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February 2017

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: Looking out from Grand Case a sunset

 

Friday February 10th, 2017

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

Today Mainly sunny. High minus 4.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries overnight. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 late this evening. Low minus 9.

We awoke to six inches of fresh snow. Don went out and blew the snow off the drive, we had breakfast, and I packed up to leave.

The drive to Sudbury was uneventful. I bought a headlight bulb along the way to replace the burnt one, and arrived in Sudbury just after lunch.

I had hoped to do some kiting, but although the snow was perfect, the winds were calm.

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

After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
Fred Thompson

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Saturday February 11th, 2017

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

I slept in, then Mom and I went to Walmart for shopping and lunch. 

Later I visited Wickendens.

Still no wind.

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

Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.
Oscar Wilde

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Sunday February 12th, 2017

Today Mainly sunny. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High plus 4.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 9.

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

Mom had planned to go to church, but discovered she had lost a hearing aid and would not be able to hear the sermon, so she stayed home.

Mich and Sharon came by and we visited for an hour or so.  Afterwards, they shoveled a ramp onto the lake so they could get their snow machines down off the shore and they were gone for hours.

Still no wind. I dropped over to Bill's for a visit.  Vic was there.  I happened to check my cameras and noted that the auger was bare and called Carolyn. 

The picture at right does not show the bare auger, but the red circle shows where the coal is taken to the main auger.  At the time I looked, I could see the bare main auger and that should never happen.

She went over and found the bin auger switch had stuck and the auger had not started.  The burner fire was out and in trying to light it and playing with the ring, she dropped the heavy ring into the pit again.  I knew she would not be able to get it out, so I called Matt.

If the furnace was not fixed soon, we would have to use backup heat.  The night was predicted to reach minus ten and if that did not freeze the pipes, it could well drop the inside temperatures enough to damage the plants.

I while later I learned that Matt had gone over, retrieved the ring and lit the fire for her and all was well.  For a while I had been thinking I might have to rush home, not easy that late in the day when all the flights were full. 

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

It is a great ability to be able to conceal one's ability.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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Monday February 13th, 2017

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

Debbie was here from eight to ten to assist Mom. 

No wind, but we did have some sun today.

The driveway plow showed up at nine or so to clear the drive since we had received a lot of snow the past few days.

In the morning, I did some computer research and studied and after lunch went to Bill's to ride with him to Steve's to see Steve's ham radio setup.

We drove to Steve's, met Vic there, and spent an hour in the shack with Steve, then drove back to Bill's.  Bill and I had a beer and chatted, then I drove to 1207 to make supper.

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

An epigram often flashes light into regions where reason shines but dimly.
Edwin P. Whipple

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Tuesday February 14th, 2017

Today Mainly sunny. Wind southwest 20 km/h. High 7.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy this evening. Wind southwest 20 km/h. Low minus 6.

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

This is my last day before I fly home.  My flight is at 0600 tomorrow, so I have to tie up loose ends today and pack.

I'd like to stay longer.  My original intent was to spend two weeks, but I went to Saint Martin and that that used up nine days of the fourteen. On returning, I extended my Sudbury stay but, nonetheless, my stay is shorter than intended. I'd extend again, but I should get home for a few days and I plan to be in Vancouver around the 20th for the instructors course.

I'm beginning to think that course is a stupid idea and that I won't pass since there is so much memory work and that is not my forte, but win or lose, the experience is bound to be useful.

I've only managed one kite session here.  Lots of snow, but no wind.

On waking up, I checked in for my flight tomorrow and am now researching stand-up and elevating power wheelchairs (one example).

We had a meeting with Mom's physio regarding power chairs and decided to keep searching.  Mom gets around fine now and she has quite a group of people keeping an eye on her 24/7, but we are thinking of the future.

After days of calm, the by two-thirty the wind came up to where I figured I could go kiting, so I went down to the lake and tried my 8.5.  There was not enough wind, so I blew up the 18 metre2 Lithium.

The Lithium lifted off nicely, and I made several good tacks across the lake, but the wind was gusty, ranging from weak to overpowering.  One minute, the kite was dropping, and the next, pulling hard.  I had to be careful careful not to get lifted off the ground.

The snow was fresh and about eight inches deep, but a but wet and heavy. on each tack found I was being carried a hundred yards downwind, not back to my point of origin.  That often happens on the first tack or two, and usually I get back after a few runs and wind shifts. Today I was not getting back to my origin.

I soon found I was a half-kilometer downwind and the wind was building, making controlling the huge kite even more difficult, increasing the chances I would have to walk home even further if I persisted.  I was also running out of time. I had promised Mom to take her out for a Valentine's Day supper. 

Mom has her favourite restaurants, but wanted to try the Ambassador after seeing their ads on TV and we had a reservation for five.  It was now four. If I continued to fight the kite, I might get back on a lucky tack, but I also might find myself much further down the lake.  I was now at the end of North Shore Drive and walking back would be much more difficult if I continued.  Moreover, my plan was to stash the kite and skis and pick them up by car and this was my last chance.  Beyond here, no roads were close to the lake.

I let the kite go and it did not flag as it should, but continued flying, but depowered somewhat.  I could see that the wind would carry it into bushes if I let go, so I pulled the release and watched it go, then untangled and retrieved it from the bushes and bunched it up to carry.

I stashed the gear along the road and hiked home up the drive in my ski boots, changed.  Then Mom and I drove down, got the gear and dropped it at home. 

We were right on time for the reservation and I helped Mom out of the car at the hotel; entrance and we went in. Mom always dresses well.  Always has and is an impressive sight at 98, moving along with her walker.

We approached the desk to ask directions to the dining room and were shown a flight of stairs.  Mom cannot do stairs.  Apparently there was no elevator.   I had not thought to mask since these days every place of any consequence is wheelchair accessible.  In fact, I had thought it was the law. The Ambassador is not.

We left and tried her favourite haunts, but they were totally booked. Finally, we were down to the Swiss Chalet and even the SC had a lineup.

We drove to the SuperStore, I bought a hot barbequed chicken and we drove back to 1207 for supper.

After supper, I went to bed and slept until midnight.

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

We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong.
Sir Arthur Eddington

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Wednesday February 15th, 2017

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

At midnight, I woke up, began packing,.  I then realised that I had forgotten the pump and a kite down at the lake.  I had not returned to my point of origin on returning to 1207 and had forgotten them in the hurry to go out.

I walked down and got them, laid out the big one to dry, then went back to bed. The big one is almost as long as Mom's house!

The alarm woke me up at three. I had a few things to do before my shuttle was expected at the prearranged four-thirty pickup. 

I was just finishing packing and tidying when I glanced out at four-ten and saw the cab was already in the drive. I rushed the last few chores and carried my bags out.

At ten-thirty, Alberta time, I picked the bag off the carousel at YYC and went outside to meet Mike. Mike drove me to Airdrie where my van was parked. From there, I went to the carwash, bought groceries and drove home.

The temperatures were well above freezing and the sun was bright and warm. The snow has almost disappeared and I found my driveway quite passable, although there are drifts on the south part.

After unloading, I drove to Carolyn's to look at her garage door opener and found it has stripped a gear (right). Then I went home, had a bite and went to bed. It was about three.

When I awoke, it was dark. The clock said 9 PM. I went back to sleep.

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

An epigram often flashes light into regions where reason shines but dimly.
Edwin P. Whipple

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Thursday February 16th, 2017

Today Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. Wind southwest 20 km/h. High 10.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness this evening. Wind southwest 20 km/h. Low plus 1.

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

I slept until six and got up.  I weighed myself and see I am still at 218.2.  That's okay. Not bad, really considering what I have been up to.

In total, I slept about fifteen hours last night and that has to be a record for me. 

I have been experiencing spells of fatigue, weakness, and leg pains recently and concluded that this is due to my deciding to take my statins again a few weeks back. 

I had to buy travel medical insurance and one of the complications in applying is their definition of 'stability'.  Any change in medication good or bad starts the timer over.  I had discontinued the statin due to brain fog, pains and concerns about other side effects.  I continued to buy them, just not take them, but my Texas trip made me reconsider and I began taking them again.  Now I have again concluded they are poison.

On the web, there are many reports of serious issues with statins and reports also questioning efficacy.  Testimonials implicate statins in various issues, some permanent.  Scary stuff. Of course there are equal or greater numbers of favorable reports, but when there are as many against as for, one has to give the naysayers credence.

Coming days are predicted to be warm, as are the nights.  I expect to see the remaining snow disappear quickly.

I subscribe to Audible books and since I have the maximum number of credits and needed to use one, I went to see what I might find interesting.  Audible suggested "The Obesity Code". 

As always, I read the reviews and especially the Amazon reviews since they include critical reviews and I find the negative comments more helpful than the happy talk in the five star reviews.  Often I find a better alternative.

Nobody had anything bad to say about Fung's ideas.  Some found the book unnecessary and others pointed out that all the material is in his lectures, available for free

Here are several:
How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally
Therapeutic Fasting - Solving the Two-Compartment Problem'

His interesting contribution to the current debates about obesity and diabetes is promoting fasting as a cure or partial cure. I've seen this fasting, intermittent at least, increase in respectability lately and have considered it, but am not very good at going without eating.

I fasted a whole twenty-four hours once, years ago and discovered that my day revolves around meals.  A day without eating seems timeless.

I also sometimes get a bit faint if I don't eat and have gotten into snacking.  Snacking was encouraged by many writers in recent years, but I think that was just another wrong way turn.

I also drink coffee and coffee makes me hungry. 

Excuses.

I suppose, as it is with all such good ideas, I have to decide if I really want to fast or not.

I look at all the fresh food I just bought and wonder, what if I don't eat it?

In the end, I bought the audio book since it cost me nothing

I watched one video and part of another and he covers (again, as many others have by now) how our dietary 'experts' led us far astray and how the dietary recommendations we followed have led to obesity and diabetes. 

As stated before, I prefer text to videos.  Videos are slow and serial access but text can be skimmed and the contents accessed and evaluated in a parallel fashion.  Videos are time-wasters IMO.

In the afternoon I drove to Drum to get Zip.  Although I'll only be here a few days, having my dog will be pleasant.  I do miss her and when I go to get her, as much as she enjoys Ruth and Dave, she is delighted to come home. I still miss my cat.  Pest that he was, he was a good friend.

I saw a van at Elliotts' and dropped in. Grant was out but Shirley was home.   Shirley was a regular visitor when Ellen was alive, but less since and I hadn't seen them for quite a while.  They winter in Arizona and I am always somewhere.

Fen texted that Allan and Arnell are playing tonight at the Acme United Church and I considered going, but decided to stay home and enjoy being here.  This old schoolhouse is a bright and sunny place and as much as I enjoy being away, it's home, and has been for almost fifty years.

Spring runoff already? Usually it comes after Saint Patrick's Day, but in the fifty years I've been here it has varied a lot.

Some winters we have had very little snow and others have kept us snowed in. The one thing we can count on in our local weather is surprises. The only pattern is that there is no pattern. Some winters had weeks near minus forty and others only had a few cold spells The days are longer now and lengthening quickly, so the end is in sight. Although this is an unusual melt, odds are, though, that we'll be buried in snow a few times yet and subjected to periods of cold before summer.

Gotta love my Nexus 6P.  It took both the above snapshot -- into the sun -- and the video.   amazing!

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 is like a sixth sense, without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.
Somerset Maughm

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Friday February 17th, 2017

Today Mainly sunny. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 8.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness near midnight. Low minus 6.

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

Tonight is the Foothills Association of Cruiser Sailors (FACS) meeting to discuss the Spring Thaw coming up in May.  I spent the day at the desk and am still not caught up.  I spend a lot of time at this diary and really should end it.  We'll see.

Late afternoon, I drove to Calgary for the meeting and found I was early.  Rick presented a movie made up of shots and snips from the Spring Thaw from May 2016.  I looked at the schedule for this spring and have to decide if I am going or not.  Two of my boats are not booked for this time slot -- May 11 to 24th -- yet.

I drove home after, stopping in Airdrie to get a bit more food for company expected tomorrow evening and went to bed.  

Along the way, I listened to The Complete Guide to Fasting.  Apparently I bought it rather than the book I thought I bought the other day.  This one is a bit disappointing.  As with all books these days, it seems, the content is repetitious and the author is slow in developing the theme.  There is a lot of padding and as I listen, it seems the author has some serious problems.  After a chapter or so, he has lost so much weight, reportedly, that he should have disappeared by now.  Anyhow, I'll hear him out.

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

It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.
Margaret Thatcher

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Saturday February 18th, 2017

Today Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries late this afternoon. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High plus 4.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries changing to 60 percent chance of flurries this evening. Risk of freezing rain overnight. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 1.

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

More bookwork today. The weather continues mild. 

One message that I did get from last night's audio book listening on my drive to the city and back,  and something I have been aware of, vaguely, is that we are constantly encouraged to eat often by our families and advertising.  Food is everywhere all the time in Canada and most western countries.  Mothers worry if their children do not eat even though studies have shown that refusing food at times is perfectly normal and that children rarely suffer from not eating on command.

Moreover, everyone likes to eat and eating is central to socializing.  Eating is an activity that can be shared by everyone.  In fact, I have friends over for supper weekly when I am home.  I'm putting on a supper tonight. Maybe I have to rethink that...  Nah.

Just as a friend once explained to me that social pressures label a person a smoker or non-smoker, with no in-between, and we internalize that label and conform to the image, boxing ourselves into the role and performing it, maybe we unconsciously box ourselves into an eating role and feel we must eat according to expectations -- ours and others.  If we look around, there are strong messages to eat everywhere, on TV, on billboards, on buses, and in conversation. 

Eateries are meeting places.  I often wonder how to join others at a restaurant or a bar without participating.  I've done it, but it is not easy.  At least one can claim to be the designated driver, but even then, it seems polite to order a soda, and we know that sodas are bad for us, even -- and maybe especially -- the zero calorie ones. 

An extreme case of pressure to consume was a bar on Yonge Street in Toronto down by Sam the Record Man where I went once back when I was in school nearby.  On weekends the servers would kick out anyone who did not buy a drink every twenty minutes.  No kidding!

My mother talks about eating healthy food and plans her days around meals. When younger, before marriage, she was a dietitian. She has snacks on the table all day long, and I find myself snacking constantly while there.  I'm aware of what I am doing, but there is a strong tendency in humans to fit in.

Years ago, the realization that a person is not arbitrarily a smoker or non-smoker, but rather just a person and one with choices liberated me.  Although I never absolutely quit smoking until I watched my wife dying of lung cancer, that awakening to see the power of assigned roles freed me from smoking and I only smoked socially going forward.

Maybe the realization that I do not have to eat three meals a day plus 'healthy' snacks will be the idea I have been looking for.  Obviously dieting is not the answer.  I did try fasting a day once years ago and found that hunger went away, but surprisingly, the day seemed very long.  We tend to mark time around meals and eating -- or drinking.

It has been my habit to have a snack at bedtime and sometimes during the night if I wake up hungry.  I have considered being hungry a bad thing.  Maybe I have to flip my attitude. 

At any rate, I did snack at the FACS meeting last evening since they lay on free chips and peanuts and Cheezies. I'm a sucker for Cheezies even if they make me feel horrible if I eat too many. 

Still under the influence of my listening on the trip in, I limited my indulgence and decided to forego the glass of wine or pitcher of beer that others around me enjoyed.  I did not feel deprived.

Recent studies have shown that among other adjustments in lifestyle, going without food from supper until morning reduces mental fog and seems to reverse some apparent dementia, so, this morning, instead of eating breakfast immediately on rising as is my habit and instead of having coffee, I decided to wait.  Coffee makes me hungry and although I run on coffee, and find it a boon if I start to lag during the day, I can take it or leave it without withdrawal.

It is 0758 now and I have been up almost two hours.  We'll see how long I last.  Yes, I am a bit hungry, but not unpleasantly so.  Drinking water seems to reduce the hunger and I am not aware of it most of the time.

I decided to get supper ready early and made a bean salad and a chili. I have not eaten anything, even a taste, since last night, but I think that now, at 1115, although I'm not overpoweringly hungry, I think I'll have a bite and see how the chili tastes.   I had a small bowl and that was all I wanted.

It's been really interesting not just eating on reflex.  I have bananas and oranges and nuts -- all good snacks -- sitting out in sight but today I passed them by.

Then I went out and burned the garbage and started the 4X4 just to keep it from rotting away.  One front tire was flat so I blew it up.  That tire is part of a new set with about 3,000 km max and I assume that the cold and lack of use caused a rim leak..  Last summer the truck had an intermittent issue that made it just stop and not start, but lately it runs fine. Go figure.

A mouse had taken up residence again.  Somehow they gain access and ever since a mouse built a nest in the roof liner a few years back, mice seem to find that spot whenever the truck sits for long.

At the moment I am listening to Scott (Dilbert) Adams' audio book, "How to fail at Just About Everything and Still Win Big.  I highly recommend it.  He covers a wide range of subjects and does it well. At the moment, I just happen to be at a chapter about diet and mood, success, etc...

Supper went well.  There were eight of us. Being a weekend, I set four as the time to arrive rather than the usual six PM, and served the meal at six. Chili, bean salad, kale salad and asparagus were the main course, with ice cream for dessert.  We chatted until after eight.

Snow began at suppertime and the ground was white by leaving time.  I cleaned up 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

What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
 Adam Smith

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Sunday February 19th, 2017

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. High plus 3.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 4.

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

I have more bookwork and studying to do today, and ashes to take out.  I drank red wine last night and I should know better by now.  In spite of all the good press red wine gets, it is hard on me. I have some sort of sensitivity to some brands and it is unpredictable like my reaction to some tomato sauces used in pizzas, and not others.

I waited until ten and had breakfast.  I did not feel like fasting today but figure from what I am reading/hearing that going twelve or more hours a day without eating has benefits.

After lunch, I started up the 4X4 and hauled out two drums of ashes, then drove by the North Yard.  Two of the three hives are alive. One looks good and the second may be okay.  It's hard to say because the cluster may go down a ways in the tall hive and be bigger than the view from the top bars suggests.

For those who wonder about opening hives in this weather, doing so is quite harmless.  I don't disturb the bees much and don't move frames, although I would if the bees were starving. In that case, the harm done by the disturbance would be less than the harm of leaving them to die.

Late last year, I bought coal before the bin was empty, partly to beat the $400 increase per $1200 load due to the implementation of the Notley "Alberta Disadvantage" tax Jan 1st and partly to make sure the truck got in before the driveway became drifted in.

As a result, there has been a pile on top of the bin, covered with a tarp to keep it dry.  Now, after a month and more, there is room in the bin and I shoveled the balance in.

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 wish I had a dollar for every time I said "Money isn't everything."
Gene Mora

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