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December 2016

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: My furnace burner

 

Tuesday December 20th, 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy this afternoon. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 50 becoming northwest 40 gusting to 60 this afternoon. High plus 1.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Clearing overnight. Wind northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 gusting to 40 late this evening then becoming light overnight. Low minus 7.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I slept in until 1000, and got up.  Liz had said I should write to Landon, as he apparently is the lead on the Commission matter, so, I did.

Hi Landon,

Liz said I should write you, and I attach some conversation below.

I have tried to keep out of this. For one thing, it has been unclear who is who or what exactly has been happening since the actions in question have not been well publicized before or after. I also figured reason would prevail, but apparently not and there is a rush to fix something that was not broken.

My first contact was with Gertie, but that led nowhere and my subsequent note to Grant was blown off with a dismissive response which puzzled me until I realized later that Grant was not aware of what happened.

The contact information on the website was incorrect. Contacting the office has proven unhelpful.

At any rate, I am writing to caution you, if indeed you are the troubleshooter here, not to believe Marketing if they reassure you that the actions are proper. Their interests and yours are not the same. They want things tidy, and do not care about justice or wisdom of actions. The insiders on the previous commission and Marketing convinced themselves they could do what they wish, but not the beekeeping public. They went down. The ABA structure carried onto the Commission was a result of lessons learned about turning a back on the silent majority.

To this point, the current Commission has held the high ground with an honest claim to represent the entire industry due to the compromises worked out to achieve balance back in the ABA days.

With a sideline/hobby director on the board and an option to for full membership, even though these were underutilized, the claim to represent everyone was valid and there was no arbitrary cut-off.

However, by recent actions the Commission has abandoned its moral authority and created a vacuum that others are rushing to fill.

One of the problems has been the the board members are busy with other things, are only mildly interested in much of the detail. Things are left to Gertie and IMO she is relied on her too much and the board has IMO abdicated responsibility to be in contact with the beekeeping public to her. Her interests and those of the board and those of the industry as a whole IMO may not completely overlap and her biases IMO may have tended to colour decisions.

At any rate, there is along history to what is currently happening and the more things change the more they stay the same. Once history and reasons for things are forgotten, the same mistakes are made.

It is in the best interests of the Commission to maintain a position as the representative of all Alberta beekeeping, else the Commission will abdicate leadership and influence to organisations with larger memberships and lose the position of being the main and only group consulted on the Bee Act and matters regarding responsibilities and activities of the Apiarist.

I notice, as a service to all beekeepers, the ABC claims to put on the IPM annually. My understanding is that is incorrect, and this is only one of a number of things that the board may be led to believe that are not quite true. My understanding is that the Apiarist does that, and until now, there was not a clear distinction.

With their recent actions ejecting the majority of Alberta beekeepers, however, the ABC has given up the claim to represent beekeepers and be the go-to authority for the government to provide guidance regarding the Apiarist's activities and revisions to the Bee Act. Going forward the ABC will just be one special interest group in a number of provincial groups with input, and the other groups can claim larger membership. Think about it.

It is unfortunate that our Edmonton meeting was so formal and that Liz felt pressed to present all her arguments rather than have a give and take discussion. What little discussion we did have on important points of possible agreement was cut off.

Be aware that no matter what Marketing may wish to tell you, and some may want to believe, legal and moral are not the same thing, and small beekeepers in Alberta are not the enemy. It would be in the best interests to keep as many in the tent as possible for many reasons.

Having been through all this before, having been involved in the compromises, both while on the ABA board and off, and knowing why and how our system was developed over time through trial and error -- and why and how it has worked to present, I would be very happy to chat with anyone who cares to listen.

Allen

Will this accomplish anything?  Hard to say. Landon chaired our recent meeting and cut off productive discussion, so we will see. Apparently he is vice-president, according to the recently updated website.

In a message posted in the forum, Lee questioned my credentials and contributions, as is his right and just as I question his.  Of course, I welcome criticism and examine it to see where it may be constructive, no matter in what spirit it may have been offered. While much of his comment may have seemed spiteful and of little merit or been a matter of opinion, it caused me to to think and remember why I did not serve on the board continuously -- besides having been defeated in at least one election over the forty-three years since I began attending meetings.<G> 

I generally did not seek the position because I felt I could have as much or more influence from outside, and have a clearer view. Board members tend to get co-opted by the staff and one another and talk to one another more than outsiders. They form a group that confirms one another's ideas, often uncritically and when everyone thinks the same, no one -- or only one -- is thinking.

I am not a follower. It is not in my nature and as a result, I see what others do not, and I like it that way.  By standing up and speaking and by writing motions -- even motions that were defeated -- I was able to influence the agenda far more than if I were required to chair meetings and to toe the party line.

Speaking of chairing meetings and procedure, chairing is an art and I have seen it done well and I've seen it done poorly. The difference is an assembly that breaks up unified, with everyone satisfied they had their chance even if they don't particularly like the result or a group that breaks up with some members or factions feeling bulldozed and planning to get even somehow.

Although there are rules of order (Roberts Rules or variations are generally used), there is a lot of latitude and a good chair knows the rules, but can read the mood of the assembly and flex the rules enough to ensure all sides -- no matter how nutty or unpopular -- are heard fully and respectfully without allowing any one side to simply repeat their opinions over and over at length.  A good chair also makes sure the facts are laid out and challenged if necessary. 

Interesting points: Motions to suspend the rules are in order, as are motions to reconsider motions already passed. Objections from the floor must be heard and considered. There are many technical points, but a good chair knows them all or has a parliamentarian who does -- and has the rule book at hand. As with all rules, there are some that must be followed, some that are made to be broken and some that have to be adapted to the situation.

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

You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.
Ray Bradbury

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Wednesday December 21st, 2016
First Day of Winter

 

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 50. High plus 3.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy near midnight. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light overnight. Low minus 4.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

Bill came over after lunch and we went to the shopping centre to walk and putter around.  He dropped me off at 1207 at four.

At five, Mom and I met three of her friends at The Apollo for supper.  That was fun.  We got to talking about smartphones and it seems that none of these three ladies were aware of how phones have progressed, or they were putting me on. I assumed that by now, pretty well everyone was aware of the capabilities of these phones. Maybe not.

We located places on Google Earth, did searches, called up websites and looked at marine charts of Lake Ramsey. I also checked out the unlocked North American Nexus 6P I bought from Newegg a while back and see it is down to $459 CAD delivered.  This by far the best phone I have owned, and an excellent deal. I paid $499 and figured that was cheap.

To demonstrate my security cameras, I called up the hall camera (left) and noticed that the temperature had dropped to six Celsius.  It should be around ten, but had been dropping during the day each time I checked earlier, but now was lower than my lower acceptable limit.  I had figured the warm weather in Alberta had reduced the furnace activity, but by now, I knew something was wrong.

I called my neighbour and she went over and said everything was fine, but the switches were off and there was no fire. Apparently, I forgot to turn them back on after i shoveled the ashes before leaving on Monday morning and it was warm enough out that the temperature inside did not drop until now.  She said she turned them back on but saw no flame.  That could be bad unless the fire started up again soon.

By then she was home and I asked her to go back and check since if the flame was really out, coal would continue to be augured in without burning and fill the furnace with unburned coal. If she went right away and there was no flame, I'd instruct her on lighting it. She called shortly after and the fire had started up and all was well.

*    *    *    *    *

I've heard nothing back from Landon.  I really had not expected to.

I am hearing that people are now contacting the Commission office to request refunds of their payments for insurance that was sold to them and not provided.  I wonder now if more beekeepers will request their refundable contribution back.  I suppose I should do that, too.  I have not yet.

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 government is like a baby's alimentary canal,
with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan

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Thursday December 22nd, 2016

 

Today Mainly cloudy. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 6.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light early this evening. Low minus 7.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I slept poorly.  Probably those five cups of coffee at supper had something to do with it.  I was up after midnight for a while, but slept well after dawn.  I was up at nine, though, to have breakfast and drive Mom to the hairdresser.

It had snowed overnight and plow had not come, but we made it out the drive.

After the hairdresser, we went to Wal-Mart and did some shopping, then returned to 1207.  By then the plow had cleared the driveway.

After that, I went to the dollar store and bought gifts. All I need is some token items and the dollar store is ideal for that -- or so I thought until I got home and tried the flashlights.  One simply did not work and the next had bad batteries.  Even after installing good batteries, the beam was poor.  Dollarama used to have good deals, but now they have increased prices a lot and there is less reason to accept the occasional dud.  In my case, I had two duds in a row and I am not finished testing items.

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 takes in reality only one to make a quarrel.
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism,
while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
 William Ralph Inge

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Friday December 23rd, 2016

 

Today Increasing cloudiness. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Snow beginning near noon. Amount 2 to 4 cm. High minus 4.
Tonight Snow. Amount 5 to 10 cm. Low minus 10.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I woke up at 0630 today.  I guess I have adjusted to EST.

I have some gift items to test out, items to return and batteries to buy.  Weather here is right around freezing, and Adanac is open, so I could go skiing or snowboarding, I suppose. Although the lake is frozen over, no one dares go out on the ice yet and my kites are at home anyhow. 

I can see wet spots on the lake surface, soaking up through the snow and not even one daredevil out there, so I think I'll wait a month and kite when I return in January.

Snow and cooler weather are predicted at home.  I see snow is predicted.  If the forecast bears out, Central Alberta will have a white Christmas.  So far, the ground is bare (recent live picture at left).

I'll be home late on Boxing Day and hoping to be kiting up at Gull Lake, Namaka, and at the Spray Lakes later that week.  Five inches of snow should help.

As for my driveway, however, I'm hoping the snow does not drift too much.  If it drifts, I may be looking at what I saw back in 2013 (right).

Things look okay at home now that the furnace is turned on.  It's very interesting to see that when the outdoor temperatures hover around freezing -- zero Celsius -- that the indoor temperatures remain around plus ten Celsius, the set point on my thermostat.  It was two days before the temperature in the hall dropped appreciably.  It is only when the temperatures drop below zero outdoors that the furnace has to do much when the thermostat is set down to ten C. (fifty F.).

Sarah, Lindsey and Darren came by in the afternoon to visit a while.

After supper, I drove out to  Wal-Mart to return a TV I had bought thinking it to be a monitor.  I swung by Adanac to see how it looks.  The hill was closed -- contrary to what the website said -- but the lights were on and the groomers were out. The snow looks good, considering how warm it is here today.  It's  a small hill, but it is a hill, with a tow and a $20 lift ticket.

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

Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing.
Bernard Baruch

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Saturday December 24th, 2016

 

Today Snow at times heavy. Amount 5 to 10 cm. Wind east 20 km/h gusting to 40. Temperature falling to minus 13 this afternoon.
Tonight Periods of snow ending before morning then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Amount 2 cm. Wind east 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 16.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

Today we go to Segsworths' for a Christmas Eve supper and open a present each.

I was thinking of going skiing at Adanac this morning, but Mom wanted to make peanut brittle, so that is what we did. I came to visit Mom, not go skiing.  I'll get plenty of the in the coming week in Alberta.

That left me with a few hours until we go visiting. I have things to do here at the keyboard anyhow, so I am catching up with my organizing.  I have to check over my upcoming trips and make sure everything is in place.  It is easy to lose info.  I have information overload.

I should be home Monday night -- two days from now -- and from what I can see we received lots of snow.  I hope I can get into my driveway.

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

Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing.
Bernard Baruch

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Sunday December 25th, 2016
Christmas Day

 

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries near noon then a mix of sun and cloud. High minus 16.
Tonight A few clouds. Fog patches developing late this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 23. Wind chill minus 27.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I slept in until nine, then Mom and I went over to Sid's to open presents. That took a while.

I'm not big on Christmas shopping and gift-giving.  It seems like a waste to buy a whole bunch of stuff that people do not need or even want, but but it seems others are into such things, and when in Rome...

I had gone to the Dollar store and spent a bit over $100 to buy shoe boxes decorated with Christmas/winter themes and fill them with odds and ends I figured might entertain -- Items like note paper stacks, magnifying glasses, sticky notes, batteries, elastics, tape, yo-yos, peanuts...

I wasn't sure what people would think, but it worked.  The yo-yos especially were a hit.

Mom and I returned to 1207 for lunch and a rest, then went back at four for supper.  Supper was traditional --turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, and pumpkin pie.

We left at seven -- Mom tires early -- and that was our Christmas.  I'm glad I made the effort to be there.

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

Who knows? Maybe my life belongs to God. Maybe it belongs to me.
But I do know one thing: I'm damned if it belongs to the government.
 Arthur Hoppe

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Monday December 26th, 2016
Boxing Day

 

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming sunny this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 16. Wind chill minus 34 this morning.
Tonight Clear. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 19 with temperature rising to minus 12 by morning. Wind chill minus 26.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

It's minus thirty-two at home today.  I expect to be there around midnight. It's minus thirty overnight, but everything looks good on the surveillance cameras. 

I'm in Sudbury at the moment, where it is minus seven and snowing, with promise of freezing rain along the 250-mile drive to YYZ where I board my jet at 2100 hrs for the homeward trip. I'm driving to Toronto to avoid the inevitable Air Canada screw-ups -- delays and cancellations --  on the YSB  to YYZ leg.

*   *    *   *   *

I left around noon and drove to Skyway Park, the $100/month car park I've used sometimes in the past.  I had checked online and verified then price was almost unchanged. On arrival, however, I was told that the rate was double that -- seasonal pricing.  I countered that I had gotten a quote online from their website.  They did not believe me until I produced the screenshot I had made before leaving on my phone -- call it a premonition. They honoured that price and shortly I was at the gate at  Pearson International Airport, or more precisely three hours early for my 2105 flight.

I had time to kill, so I connected to the airport public wifi to watch Netflix to avoid paying cellular data charges and was surprised that my Google phone offered me a free VPN (Virtual Private Network).  I agreed and was hooked up immediately.

VPNs protect users on public wi-fi from snooping and attacks by nearby hackers sharing the wi-fi, but Netflix usually detects VPNs and considers them to be an evasion of country controls on content, even if they port to the same country, and refuses to function.  What a pain! 

Google VPN apparently is a new, free feature that came with with Nougat 7.1.1.  It appeared for the first time, now, after a recent update.  I have another VPN, but it costs, nags me for money and is not particularly well implemented.

Surprisingly, Netflix did work on Google's VPN.  I guess Netflix does not wish to cross swords with a mammoth like Google. but I suspect I was actually given a US IP.  From all I could tell, Netflix thought I was in the USA because some items on my list that are Canada-only, like my Danish content did not show up on my list. That was no issue, and I watched Pulp Fiction again. 

I find Pulp Fiction hilarious. I'm not a huge John Travolta fan, but he is a gas in this ironic, quirky film.

After a while, we heard that my flight was delayed, and I went for supper.  I was in the mood to treat myself, so had a falafel salad and a beer that amounted to $30. 

I find eating in restaurants difficult because nothing is really suitable for someone with my tastes and anything that looks possible is usually loaded with things I'd rather avoid.  Then the prices for one meal would feed me for a week at home.

I went back to the gate and waited.  Eventually -- after I had been there five hours -- my flight was cancelled and we were told that everyone was rebooked for a flight at 8 AM the next morning -- with no compensation.  Apparently Air Canada had known since well before the flight originall departure time that they would cancel, but it seems they had to inflict maximum punishment on us for choosing Air Canada.  Had they informed us earlier, people would have enjoyed the evening elsewhere.

People picked up their bags and headed for the exit. As I passed the Air Canada customer care  area (what a misnomer!) Several hundred people stood in a long line.  I knew better than join them.   I stood a better chance online and tried the miserable Air Canada app that features a smiling agent on the opening page and does everything except what the user actually needs it to do.  No joy.  It said to go online via the web.

Well, I could try the phone or the website, but knew a trick and time was passing.  I immediately looked for any Air Canada gate with someone on duty.  Destination does not matter. 

Gate personnel can do anything that the customer (dis)service people can do, and they are not lined up, harried, busy, abused -- or trained to screw the customer over like the CS people are.

It just so  happened that the first gate I found was also a Calgary flight (Bonus!) -- and people were waiting to board the red-eye flight scheduled to depart shortly.  Apparently the fact that my flight was cancelled did not affect this one in the least.  We were screwed, but life goes on unaffected it seems. Go figure.

I walked up to the desk. There were two people ahead of me, both wanting to change seats and neither was from my cancelled flight. 

When my turn came, I said that I had been booked on AC 145 to Calgary and it was cancelled, could they help me?  The agent looked up my name, printed a boarding pass and handed it to me.  I said, "I have a seat?", She nodded.  I was now assigned seat 12E on the next flight to YYC!.

How about that?

*   *    *   *   *

I slept about three hours on the four-hour flight.  At first I couldn't sleep, so I had a coffee.  It was good coffee -- better than the slop that MacDonald's is peddling now -- but surprisingly it made my legs jittery.  I could not sit still, so I took Benadryl.  I don't like to take Benadryl before driving, but driving was four hours away, and four hours is how long it takes Benadryl to (mostly) wear off.  I knew I would not be able to sit still if I did not take it.  Fortunately I had some in my briefcase. Premonition again?

Soon I was a sleep and I slept soundly until we were approaching Calgary.

*   *    *   *   *

We landed just before two and I hailed a cab to Airdrie, brushed the snow off my van and drove home, arriving at three-thirty.

I went straight to bed and slept.

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 you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal.
 If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative.
If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate.
If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist.
Joseph Sobran

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Tuesday December 27th, 2016
 

 

Today Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind becoming west 30 km/h gusting to 50 late this morning. High minus 3.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 8.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I got up at 0830 and plan on blowing snow before the wind comes up later today.

I did go out and I cleared most of the drive, then began cleaning up the walkway. 

Seems I had left  an extension cord on the step and wind had blown it onto the walk. 

When the blower encountered the cord, hidden under the snow, the cord quickly wrapped around the augers and pulled hard enough on the shaft that the cast aluminum gearbox broke. (right).

That was the end of that project for now. I pushed the blower indoors to melt off the snow and to and dry so I can work on it.

I can see that I will have to order parts.  There is slim chance of locating any locally.

I made a chicken soup/stew and then got ready to go to The Mill for supper.

I arrived just after five.  Bert, Esther and Stella were there.  Max, Betty and Murray showed up shortly and Rick came along later.  We had a good supper and visit.  I left at nine, drove home, and went to bed.

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 lottery is a tax on people who can't do math.
Author Unknown

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Wednesday December 28th, 2016
 

 

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 50. High minus 1.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Wind west 20 km/h. Low minus 13.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I'd like to get the snowblower working ASAP, and definitely before I go to Galveston, so I spent the morning working on the blower and ordering parts.

I looked online and phoned several local dealers.  Of course, they do not stock parts.  Several offered to get them in.  Apparently the model number is non-standard. 

When chains like Canadian Tire buy, they request a special model number because they advertise price matching, but only for identical items.  If their model number is different, even though the product looks identical to another store's model, they are off the hook.  No one can prove it is the same machine.  The manufacturer is off the hook, too, since if another store claims that the chain got a better deal, the manufacturer can say it is not the same product.

Five business days was the quickest arrival anyone promised and the prices I was quoted varied.  I placed an order and we'll see what happens.  Unless it snows again soon, waiting a week is fine.  I'd have liked to fix it it sooner, but what can I do.?  I'm lucky to get parts at all.  It'll cost me a bit over $100 and a day of fiddling in the shop.  A new blower would cost me  $1500 to $2,000.

*   *    *   *   *

I have not heard anything from the Alberta Beekeepers Commission.  Not a peep, so I can only assume they are hell-bent on their announced course of action. That means we shift to Plan B.

They may assume that the changes will not weaken their position, however, they are now a rump and have lost the authority to speak for Alberta beekeepers when approaching governments.

True, they may speak for the,majority of beehives in the Province, but, last I heard, people, not hives vote and the Commission is now number three in Alberta for membership, and maybe number four.

When smaller beekeepers had a member on the ABC board and the option to attain voting membership, the Alberta Beekeepers Commission could claim to represent all Alberta beekeepers, but now they can no longer make that claim.  They definitely do not and have made that very clear.

The associations in both the major cities now outweigh the Commission in membership and will be demanding to be consulted equally by governments in regard to Bee Act and other legal matters and the activities and responsibilities of the Provincial Apiarist, as well as any other matters involving beekeeping in the Province. Other groups may also demand attention.

Moreover, the regional groups may now request to be involved in the organization of the Integrated Pest Management Workshop that the Apiarist puts on annually, and receive the revenue surpluses.

Perhaps the Workshop should move around the Province and also take place at times of day more suited to sideliners and the majority of Alberta beekeepers.  Calgary, for example, makes a better location than Edmonton in many ways, having a more International airport.  Grande Prairie is another option.

Many other ideas are under discussion to fill the vacuum that the Commission has created by abandoning the smaller beekeepers.

Obviously, too, somebody will need to publish a newsletter to convey the Apiarist's messages and beekeeping news to the province's beekeepers or ally more strongly with the regional associations or with the federation that will likely emerge to represent the beekeeping majority.

I have set up www.albertabeekeepers.com as a placeholder website for whatever provincial organization emerges or for a federation of the regional associations.

*   *    *   *   *

Random thoughts:

I wonder what the Alberta government will think of the new direction chosen by the Commission board -- raising funds by taxing beekeepers to lobby governments, rather than for research and serve beekeepers -- the original purpose presented when formed.

I wonder what the commercial beekeepers who are being taxed will think to see their organization move in that direction.

I wonder what governments will think when they realise that the Commission represents a small group of Canadian businesses who hire foreign workers exclusively and by preference, and do not represent most Canadian beekeepers in Alberta.

*   *    *   *   *

It is my observation also that the Commission has worked against beekeepers in recent years, promoting, not resisting raised costs and standards for Canadian producers that make us uncompetitive.

I recall back at a Kelowna CHC meeting having had a chat with the CFIA rep and putting CFIA on notice that their intentions to use the same standards for honey as perishables like meat and milk were unrealistic and would be resisted strongly.

We would accept the HACCP concept -- it made sense -- but that our industry and products are very different from others. With honey, there was no record of the sort of human health incidents that were regular occurrences with products like milk and meat.  I told him that any changes would have to be justified by proof that the existing measures had failed and that we simply could not afford to change over to shiny stuff for no reason.  As for wood in contact with the products, come on, our frames and hives are made of wood and always have been!

CFIA backed off for several decades until I was gone and then managed to bully the Co-op intro spending huge sums for new premises, where they installed the same equipment they had been using before.  Then CFIA convinced some young naive beekeepers that we needed more rules and those same beekeepers worked hard to increase the costs and paper burden enormously.  Is our product better in any significant way as a result?  I doubt it.  Is it more bothersome and costly to produce?  You betcha!

*   *    *   *   *

I wonder how many beekeepers being taxed by the Commission will decide that the Commission has been working against their interests and request a refund.  It is anyone's right.  AFAIK, you can do that and still vote!  And vote you should.  It is simply because nobody cared to hold the board to account and insist on proper notice and procedure or accountability that the board has been able to do the damage they have and to increase taxes without providing value for money at the same time.

IMO, any beekeeper can find a better use for that money than supporting the Commission as it is currently being run.

It seems stupid to me to support an organization that has lost its way.

*   *    *   *   *

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 more sensitive you are, the more likely you are to be brutalized, develop scabs and never evolve.
 Never allow yourself to feel anything because you always feel too much.
Marlon Brando

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Thursday December 29th, 2016

 

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. High minus 5.
Tonight Cloudy. Becoming partly cloudy this evening. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 late this evening. Low minus 11.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I'd imagined I'd wake up early and want to go skiing, but I woke up at 0200, found I was awake, but tired, and spent two hours tuning my PCs.  Then I went back to bed and slept until 0900.

Now, at mid-morning, I am awake, but tired and I've decided I need to take it easy.  I may have free skiing at Kicking Horse and Fernie, but I'd be pushing myself to get there.   Moreover, I still have a slight chest cough, so maybe that cold is not entirely gone.

I've been symptom-free for over a week, other than feeling tired, draggy, and uninspired, and having a cough that can't quite reach and clear the phlegm.   

Although the forecast says a low of minus eleven today, it is currently minus sixteen here. There is some sort of disconnect. Weather forecasts in Alberta can be spectacularly off.

I had plans to be more active over the holidays and came back on Boxing Day to spend time skiing with Jean and family, but they are not doing much, and the weather is predicted to turn cold next week.  I should have taken my kites and stayed east longer, since the lake there is frozen over and snowy and the  weather is mild, but hindsight is twenty-twenty. Last year, that would not have worked.

I have yet to get Zippy back because I figured I'd be in the mountains, but I'm thinking I should slow down and take it easy for now.  It feels like I'm pushing on a string.

*   *    *   *   *

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

I am not so much for the freedom of religion as I am for the religion of freedom.
Robert Ingersoll

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Friday December 30th, 2016

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I'm on a break from the diary for the next little while.

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