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January 2017

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: Looking across False Creek from the galley porthole

 

Friday January 20th, 2017

Today A mix of sun and cloud. High plus 3.
Tonight A few clouds. Fog patches developing overnight. Low minus 10.

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

I'm up early, and planning to go to the boat show today.  Forecast is for rain.  I know that without even looking.  This Vancouver, after all, and it is January.


I was wrong. Today is starting off sunny!

I walked over to the floating boat show nearby and looked around a bit, then went to the office and waited around for Colin.  He was to leave for the Dome shortly, but I went for lunch and returned to find him still occupied, so I returned to Cassiopeia for a nap.  An hour and half and a deep sleep later, I caught the False Creek Ferry  to the Dome, embarking just a few hundred feet down the dock from my boat.

I spent until seven-thirty in the Dome looking at exhibits, then caught a ferry back home.

I started to watch Netflix and realized I was tired, very tired, and went to bed at nine.

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 battle plan, survives contact with the enemy.
Helmuth von Moltke.

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Saturday January 21st, 2017

Today Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon. Fog with near zero visibility at times this morning. High minus 3.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 5.

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

I slept deeply all night and was tired when I first awoke.  I hardly felt like moving at all, so I rolled over and slept until I wasn't.  I think I am either exhausted from the Galveston trip, or fighting some virus.  I felt draggy all day yesterday.

When I finally got up, around seven, I worked on this diary and fixed a problem with the forum software until it was time to catch a ride to the Dome.

Sometime around eleven, I caught a ferry to the Dome from the dock near where I am tied and spent the day there cruising the exhibits. 

Just after I arrived at the Dome and was walking to the booth, Carolyn wrote to say the furnace ring had stopped turning.  I wrote back with instructions and a while later she wrote again to say that the ring had come right off and fallen down when she was trying to straighten it with a pry bar.  It is massively heavy and she can do not more.

I could call in help or fly home right away but the weather is right around freezing and the building holds heat fairly well, so there is no immediate worry. The plants can take temperatures right down to freezing, even if they don't like the cold and would suffer, and the pipes should be fine. Most are in interior walls.

I continued with my plans and at the end of the day caught the ferry back to Cassiopeia, had supper, fiddled around, then went to bed early again.

*    *    *    *    *

I woke up at two AM local (3 AM MST) and checked the hall thermometer camera at home.  The temperature in the hall has only dropped a little, so far.

The weather tomorrow looks to be cool, though. Light winds are from the north and east are expected, so the plants by the south windows should be fine, but I'll have to watch.  I've suggested that Carolyn should turn on a stove burner or two.

I have promised to give free boat rides on False Creek to Boat Show attendees in the morning, and to meet with my brother for lunch, but perhaps should move my flight home to mid-afternoon.  I'll watch the thermometer at home and decide in the morning.

Worry, worry, worry.  The the very thing I have worried about for years -- furnace failure while I am away -- has finally happened.  At least it is not minus forty in a blizzard.  For that, I can be grateful.  I have some backup heat and people to call, but will wait and see what things look like at breakfast time.

I see Westjet has direct flights open all day tomorrow, so I could conceivably leave in early afternoon instead of the evening flight I have booked and for which I am already checked in, and arrive during the daytime instead of ten PM.

We'll see.

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'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.
Andy Warhol

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Sunday January 22nd, 2017

Today Periods of snow mixed with freezing drizzle ending this afternoon then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Local snowfall amount 2 to 4 cm. High minus 4.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 9.

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

I slept poorly, and got up for a while at 0200 to check on my house via Internet cameras, then lay down again and slept until six.

Looking at the camera, now, I can see that the house is staying around 10 C, so I'm not as worried.  The house gains heat from sun even on cloudy days, and today is expected to be cloudy.

I have to pack, have breakfast with Colin, then pilot a 24-foot sailboat up and down the Creek for an introductory cruise for people attending the Boat Show.  After that, I will have lunch with my brother, then finish packing and if the house is cooling, catch an earlier flight.  Otherwise, I fly at seven thirty-five.

*    *    *    *    *

I did my stint as "Instructor #2", on a Martin 244 in intermittent rain.  I was given a rather lame program to follow and did -- more or less -- on the first jaunt.  On the second, I had only one person, a woman with some experience on sailboats, but no helming experience, so I taught her to dock the boat and she did well.  It was pouring rain by then, and the boat has no shelter, but that did not matter.

Then I had lunch with Ron and Joan at the Vancouver Fish Company, returned to Cassiopeia, finished packing and met Colin at the office at five.  He dropped me at the Sky Train Village Station and soon I was at YVR.

YVR is everything the new Calgary Airport (YYC) is not.  YVR is comfortable and sensible in layout. I hate the new YYC expansion.  YYC is barren, full of in-your-face advertising and uncomfortable. There is limited seating at the gates and walking distances are ridiculous. Passengers are required to walk long distances on hard floors, sit in areas distant from the gates, then somehow hear announcements and go from common areas to the gates.  I wonder how that is going to work with an aging population.  I really cannot imagine what inspired the management to approve such an impractical design.

I landed at YYC and caught a cab to Airdrie, then drove home.  Alberta had a warm spell and the large snowfall from the time I left and shortly after has  melted down to almost nothing.  I arrived home at midnight and found the batteries in my electric door lock were on their last legs, but I did manage to open the door.  I then lit the emergency heater, had a bite to eat, and went downstairs.

It took me a few minutes to get the ring back in place and light the burner.  I was in bed by one.

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

Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.
Sam Brown

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Monday January 23rd, 2017

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High minus 7.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 12.

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

I slept right through to seven.

I weigh in at 222.6 today, so I am not gaining or losing in the past few weeks, but I am up eight pounds from my most recent lows. That's what happens when I travel and have to eat in restaurants.  I'm right back where I was a year ago.  Drat!

The house is warm, so I guess I fixed the problem. I'll go down in a while and see how the burner settings look.

I feel this morning as if I had been up later than I actually was.  If I stay up through 2 AM, I always feel draggy and 'sandy'.  If I sleep though 2 AM, even if only for an hour or two, I feel normal. Seeing as I went to bed at one last night, feeling like this does not make sense, unless I am still on central time from being in Texas.

I checked the furnace and it seems fine.  I'll have to investigate the failure.  It has to do with the ring drive and I need to solve the issue before I go again.

I have been congested today and feeling less than great.  Carolyn came over and we reviewed the furnace problem and solutions. Later, I drove to town, as much to get out as anything, but got groceries and a few items I need, including a new seal for the furnace ash door.

I called the usual suspects and will have a supper tomorrow night.  I have things I should do and little time left, but socializing comes first.

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 health we should continue to be the men we vowed to become when sickness prompted our words.
Pliny the Younger

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Tuesday January 24th, 2017

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High minus 4.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Fog patches developing this evening. Low minus 14.

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

I'm tired again today, and I slept in.  I had ambitious plans for the day, but settled on taking out ashes, adjusting the furnace and changing the oil in the van. This afternoon, I have to get ready for company and pack.

Why change my own oil?  It takes ten minutes and the materials cost about $25.  The oil change depot nearby charges $50 + tax, so I am making $25 x 60/10 = $150/hr and saving the tax.  Where else can I find a job that pays $150/hr without leaving home?

I did the ashes and the oil change, and now have the furnace job to do. I need to get it right as I will be away for a while and don't want Carolyn to have to troubleshoot.

I built up the cogs with a bit of welding and now the ring rotates properly.  It seems the new parts I had installed before leaving last time had worn in, resulting in a misalignment.

The job took longer than expected and the group showed up early for supper, catching me in the shower. Nonetheless, the duck was cooked o time and we had a good supper.  Everyone left around nine. I cleaned up the kitchen, set the alarms 0330, to  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 best way to predict the future is to create it.
Peter Drucker

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Wednesday January 25th, 2017

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating in the morning. High minus 3.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Clearing near midnight. Low minus 15.

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

I'm up at 0330, getting ready to go east.  I'm groggy, but got it all done and was out the door in plenty of time.  The drive to Airdrie was uneventful.  Visibility and roads were good.

Mike dropped me at the terminal, and after a wait, I was flying.

We landed at YYZ.  I caught the shuttle, recovered my van and drove to the 401.  I immediately noticed the brakes were weak, but after a few applications and pressing the peddle they retuned pretty much to normal.  What is that all about, I wondered.  I have had brake work done and inspected them myself, and can only conclude that they had rusted in the month the van sat at the lot.  Working them removed the rust and loosened the parts, I guess.

I overshot the Brant Street turnout and had to phone John for the exact address and arrived at Appleford Lane shortly after dark.  We had drinks and supper, then watched "Cardinal", a faint imitation of the European dramas I have been watching, but Canadian and set in Sudbury.  I managed to watch to the end, but when I left for bed, John was asleep in his chair.  I thought it was awful, but maybe it was the whisky doing my thinking.

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

 A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes
Mark Twain

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Thursday January 26th, 2017

Today Mainly sunny. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h this morning. High plus 4.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 8.

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

John had work to do and begged off the boat show, so I met Don there.  We looked around until his son showed up with a girlfriend and then we were off to look at million-dollar boats. One and a half million, actually, and Mike actually looked as if he was seriously considering buying one.  What's a million and a half in Toronto the Good these days, anyhow, what with real estate going wild?  I must say these boats make my Monk look small.

By seven we had had enough and although I had planned to go to the farm for the night, Sudbury was only four hours away and I felt fresh. 

The roads were wet and the winds were gusting, but the drive was easy.  I arrived in Sudbury a few minutes after midnight and Mom was still up.

This 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyage van is the best vehicle ever I have owned.  (Maybe.  I've had some other good machines, like the 1956 Oldsmobile Starfire Coupe, and my current Chrysler Town & Country Limted)).  I've had this van for 11.4 years and 42,663 miles.  It is comfortable and quiet and economical. The sound system is amazing -- still.  If I could buy another 1998 van like this, new or close to new, I might just do that, but for now this one is still great even at 315,710 km on the  clock.

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 canít say civilizations donít advance - for in every war they kill you in a new way.
Will Rogers

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Friday January 27th, 2017

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 6.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 9.

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

I slept until almost ten, then got up and spent time with Mom.  After lunch, Bill and I went to Vic's to help him re-skin his truck shelter.  After, we looked at their new antenna analyzer, a gadget that can scan for SWR across a frequency band and show where an antenna works best.

I returned to 1207 for supper, then spoke with Don by phone.  He has a boat in Saint Marten and had found a week that was not booked, from the 2nd to the 9th of February.  While at the boat show, we agreed to go and I spent the evening booking  flights.  I had intended to study, but now, at ten twenty-eight, it is time for bed.

My plans have now changed once again, and more will have to be changed to accommodate all the things coming up.

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 conventional army loses if it does not win.
The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.
 Henry Kissinger

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Saturday January 28th, 2017

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this afternoon. High 11.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Low minus 1.

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

I have no plans for the day.  It is mild and snowing lightly.  Maybe I'll go kiting this afternoon.

The snow continues (good) and the temperature remains mild (good), but the wind dropped to zero (bad), so I'm in the house planning for the Caribbean (much) and studying (less).

Mom is downstairs playing bridge with friends.

I'll go shopping later this afternoon.

I went out around four and bought a window mount for my Nexus 6P.  Apparently using the phone is legal as long as it is mounted.  It turns out that the Android Mobile app works on the phone as well as the car display and is the best way to navigate -- much better than Google Maps, which I assume is the brains behind the simplified and larger interface.

I brought back a cooked chicken for supper and after spent the evening at the keyboard, catching up.

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

Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.
Thomas Szasz

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Sunday January 29th, 2017

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming west 30 km/h gusting to 50 this afternoon. High 9.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy after midnight with 30 percent chance of flurries overnight. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 4.

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

I slept poorly and woke up tired.  I had breakfast and went back to bed to catch another hour of sleep.

The day is sunny and there is fresh snow.  The temperatures are mild, but nobody is driving on the lake and there is little wind. 

I took an aspirin and a Benadryl when I got up and was feeling 'off', and I feel okay now, but not 100%, so maybe today is not my day to go out kiting.  Mom was going to go to church, but felt a bit 'off', too, so maybe something is going around.

I had things to do and I made some soup, so was busy until lunchtime.

After lunch I had a nap and slept one of those strange deep sleeps that begins with thinking I am not sleeping and ends the same, with the realization that an hour has passed somewhere in between without consciousness.  I've had a few lately.

Bill called and said we should go walking, so I'll head over there mid-afternoon.

I didn't hear from him by three, so I went to Wal-Mart, since that is where we agreed to walk and I needed a few things anyhow.  We walk around the perimeter inside the store when the weather is inclement.  Bill showed up shortly and we began to walk, but, as so often happens, we were distracted by an item we were passing.  This time it was a camera.

Last time I was in the Caribbean, I lost my phone.  The time before, I dropped my Fuji underwater camera into a reef, so if I want to take shots underwater, I need anther camera.  My phone takes excellent pictures, and I don't use anything else normally, but it must stay away from water.

The salespeople were not especially helpful , but I did see a FinePix like the ones I have used before and we looked also at an Ion AirPro2.  That reminded me of my GoPro, which I bought, but never use.  I seldom have use for it and have had problems logging into the GoPro website. It has not taken much to discourage me.

I bought a few things, including a cooked chicken for supper and returned to 1207. After supper, I charged and updated the GoPro and watched an hour of video.  I'm beginning to think that Netflix is a waste of time. I guess

I always knew that, and considered how much time I spend watching video to be an inverse indicator of my current quality of life and also an inverse indicator of my mental health.  Less video = better life, more video = sign of deteriorating quality.  I have reached the point where everything on video is either redundant or stupid, or both.

I really should have been studying, but was getting tired.  I never was a good student.

This computer has started to show the BSOD randomly.  I haven't seen that for a while.  I lose what I am doing, but the machine boots up again -- actually, no matter what the BSOD says, it does not restart. I have to do a hard reset -- and runs flawlessly for days at a time. Whatever the problem is, Windows does not say and M$, as always offers no real help.  It's just like the 'good old days' when Windows routinely crashed once a day in any sort of any power usage.

I took an aspirin, a melatonin, and a Benadryl before bed, anticipating a recurrence of the shallow sleep, congestion, and sore hip that had plagued me the night before. 

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 the economy's doing so well, why are engineers still working on
better ways to keep people from stealing toilet paper from public washrooms?
Joe Martin

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Monday January 30th, 2017

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

I slept better and got up around eight, then went downstairs to find Mom and Debbie chatting.  Debbie comes over three times a week for two hours to help Mom exercise and to do other jobs.

At ten, Debbie left and Mom and I decided to go shopping.  I push her around in a wheelchair to look at the new things in the shopping centre, then she ride ones of Walmart's electric scooters around to buy groceries, so we did that and ate lunch in the food fair.

We returned to 1207 at one, Mom had a nap, and I did a few things.  Bill phoned and decided to come over for a hike and I said that I was planning to fly a kite.  That's more fun than walking and is a lot of exercise, so we spent an hour and a half with the kite. 

There had been enough wind earlier, but by the time we got onto the lake, the wind had dropped to less than two knots.  Even the monster 18-metre kite needs 4.5 knots of breeze to fly, but at least I had a chance to study how to rig it again.  It's been a year.  We managed to stand it up numerous times, but it only lifted off once, then turned and dropped. We gave up and went for coffee.

Mom and I had supper and she went off to watch the news.  My evening will be spent studying and fooling with this diary. I have to pack for the Caribbean, too.  Not much to pack, though.

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

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
Edward Langley

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Tuesday January 31st, 2017

Today Flurries. Local amount 2 cm. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this afternoon. Temperature falling to minus 11 this afternoon.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 14.

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

Tomorrow, I drive south to Don's farm. The next day, we fly at seven Am and by five, we should be on the ground at SXM in Sint Maarten.  From SXM, we have to find a SIM card and get to the Marina Saint Louis on the French side and board Santa Maria.

I am not getting any lighter. The scale is actually moving up a bit and I suppose I will have to show some self-control.  My recent visit with John did not help with my resolve to lighten up.  What with The Glenlivet , red wine, bacon and eggs, I set myself back a bit. Spending time with Don should be helpful as he is vegetarian and hardly drinks -- and he tries to walk 10,000 steps a day, although that has been difficult after he damaged his foot in the summer.

Looking out, I see the wind is from the northeast at an estimated 4 MPH, offshore, and just a little less than I need to get my biggest kite up and pulling.  It's a lot of work to get suited up, lug everything down to the lake, lay things out, and pump up the kite (it has an inflatable leading edge to give it shape).  The sun is coming out, though, so maybe...

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

Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.
 Lee Simonson

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