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August 2017

 

 

 

 

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Background image -- Carpe Diem, tied up at Rock Valley Lodge

 

Tuesday August 1st 2017

I slept fairly well after I got to sleep, but it was 1 or so by the time I finally decided to take 2 Benadryl. Two Benadryl are pretty much guaranteed to put me to sleep. I don't like to take anything to sleep and I have no reason to believe Benadryl might be addictive, but it's efficacy does wear off over time if it is used often.

I woke up at 7:25 realizing that Susan was coming early today and that someone have to unlock the door for her. She can never remember the combination. so, I went downstairs, still groggy, and found Mom was already up and the door was unlocked. Susan had just pulled into the drive.

Susan came early today because Mom is expecting her grandson -- my nephew -- Graham to arrive around noon and this way Susan will have completed all her chores and gone.

The temperature this morning is 19 degrees Celsius and it's the perfect kind of day to start the morning with a swim so I went down to the boat and dove into the water. That's a good way to wake up instantly.

*   *    *    *    *

I've now accomplished something I've been planning to do for over a year, launch this boat, and although it's quite a simple accomplishment compared to all the things I've done with my yachts, it has eluded me and having achieved it I have quite as feeling of satisfaction.

I'm not entirely finished though, seeing as I still have to put the electrical panel back together, test out the battery and ensure that the lights work.

On a small boat like this the electrical system is not important for anything other than the lights but if I'm going to be anchoring out overnight I really should have proper lighting.

I texted Graham and he was not likely to appear until about 1:30, so I made lunch and then went sailing. The wind was blowing fairly hard and the gauge said 12 knots. I sailed under jib and reefed main.

I returned at 1:30 and Graham had just arrived. We visited a bit and I went down to the boat and looked over the electrical system. I'd taken the panel off sometime back and wanted to try to remember what needs doing.

I decided there wasn't much to do. I then checked the battery and the voltage was good so I tried starting the outboard using the electric start and found that the solenoid would click in but there wasn't enough juice to turn over the motor 

I concluded the battery was about finished. It was 5 years old and I don't think it was very good last time I checked.. I took it out, made a list of things I need, and went to Walmart to do some shopping for supper and to get a replacement battery.

I returned at 5:30 cooked supper and then went sailing again. On returning I went swimming for probably the 4th time today before returning to the house and spending the evening dealing with correspondence and looking up parts for the boat.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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 Wednesday August 2nd 2017

I woke up at 6 feeling just fine so I went down and had coffee and breakfast and went back up and went to bed for an hour

When I got up again I did some reading, visited with Mom and with Graham when he got up around ten. I made soup for lunch, then went for a sail. Graham had been preparing for an interview for a job in Switzerland and had a phone interview at 11 so he was tied up for an hour or so.

Mom had been expecting the doctor to come by today but as it turned out when I called them at 1 the visit was actually scheduled for tomorrow. So, Mom had her nap and I went down to the boat.

Graham had shown some interest earlier in going for a sail around the lake so we untied and went for sail down to Moonlight Beach and back. We had good wind and Graham took the helm.

Moonlight Beach was of interest because his father, my brother, had worked as a lifeguard there many years ago when he was a teen. He'd gone on to be a lifeguard in Vancouver as well, then gone into real estate and done quite well on the West Coast.

We returned, had coffee with Mom, then Graham left for the cottage in Muskoka and his flight to Switzerland tomorrow. I did some odds and ends and then I made supper. Afterwards I went down to the boat and had a nap. I enjoy sleeping on the boat. it's very comfortable and the motion and sounds are quite relaxing.

After I woke I got a call from Colin and we discussed the insurance settlement which is still forthcoming and possible salvage of the wreck.  Then I worked on the electrical system. I had bought a new battery on the assumption that the reason the electric start was working was battery-related, but the new battery made no difference, so I jumped the feed cable and found that didn't help so I guess I'm going to have to dig a little deeper.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Thursday August 3rd 2017

I woke up with 7:30 feeling much better than I have for quite a while, and having slept about 6 hours again. I didn't really get to sleep till about 1:30. It seems that I'm sleeping about 6 hours every night now, and having a nap every afternoon.

My goal today is to get the electrical on the boat working. I checked the electric start yesterday and researched it a bit last night. It seems I probably have a bad connection somewhere. That was my first instinct after I found the battery was good but I wasn't sure what was what looking at the wiring on the outboard motor after I took the cover off. The internet was once again helpful in figuring things out.

Mom is expecting the doctor after lunch today. Other than that I don't have anything scheduled, and in fact that event doesn't concern me much at all.

For the last year or so Mom's doctor's been coming to see her in the home and that is really a great convenience. Doctors stopped doing house calls many years ago, but I gather they have reinstituted for older people who might have difficulty accessing the office due to mobility issues

Ever since I arrived, I've been relaxing, and it's been a while since I've done that. I've been driving myself pretty hard ever since early spring, since the boat show in Vancouver, actually.

What with the instructor clinic then working on Shongololo and other subsequent tasks like delivering powerboats back and forth between Sidney and Powell River, and being at home with lawn to cut and leaves to worry about, I haven't really had a few days where I didn't feel I had to do anything at all.

Aaron and I had talked about going to EAS, but we decided that we were both quite stressed with too many things to do, that involved a long drive and considerable expense, and decided to cancel. That was a wise decision in retrospect.

Mid-morning I went to Princess Auto to get a few things and returned to be home in time for the doctor's arrival. Mom was up and waiting and then we got a phone call. Apparently the doctor already been there, earlier than expected, and not found anybody -- Mom had been sleeping.

We had been told the doctor would arrive after 1 o'clock but she'd come at 1 at 12:30. Anyhow she came a while later and while that was happening I went down to the boat and worked on the starting switch.

After much research and pulling the outboard motor apart I discovered the entire problem was simply a defective start switch. The fact that the starting switch didn't work in no way affected the battery charging at or any of the other features and so I can use the motor just fine without the electric start, seeing as the motor starts on 1st pull using the rope.

I went in and made supper, then went back down to the boat. I napped for an hour, then went shopping at the Superstore. I usually go to Walmart but I thought I would do something different period at 9:30 I realized I wanted to get to the drug store before it closed at 10 and checked out. I drove to the drugstore, purchased some Permethrin solution and went back to 1207.

Before bed I applied the cream from neck down and watched a bit of Netflix. Drop Dead Diva ran out so I have been trying a series called Bloodline. So far I don't know what I think of it, but it's the least bad of a lot of bad series.

I went to bed after midnight and slept quite well, waking up once in awhile to hear rain on the roof and see flashes of lightning.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Friday August 4th 2017

I woke up at 6:30 and got up at 7, went downstairs around 8:30 and made coffee. Mom was already up and waiting for Roseanne who was expected at 9.

Roseanne came at 9 and did her various chores. I sat around until 11 visiting and doing laundry. I was washing all my clothes and the sheets on the chance that I actually do have scabies. Around 11:30 I made lunch and after that Mom went for her nap.

There's still more work to do and some tidying and I intend to start packing the boat for my trip to the North Channel. That requires a bit of planning.  I'll have to take food and what I need for navigation and miscellaneous items to entertain me.

I haven't decided when I'm going to leave. I had thought I might leave tomorrow, but that leaves Mom alone over the weekend, seeing as her helpers don't come in on Saturday or Sunday.

After lunch I went shopping at the Four Corners and picked up Mom's prescriptions, then went to Sudbury Boat and Canoe to buy a new impeller kit for the outboard.  Then I went to Walmart for a few things and returned to 1207.

I noticed signs in the stores about the Civic weekend and came to the realization that we have another long weekend coming up. For me long weekends are a big pain. Stores aren't open and the lakes are crowded. it seems this holiday may be different though because I noticed that Walmart is open everyday for almost normal hours.

We had supper then I went down to the boat and I slept for an hour again. This is gotten to be a habit the last several nights. I sleep well on the boat. Maybe it's the rocking maybe it's the gurgling or maybe it's just the fact that I'm tired after supper lately.

After that I worked on the electrical system and got it working properly. By then it was only about an hour till sundown at most but there was a decent breeze so I went out and sailed around a bit then returned at sundown.

On the way into the dock the outboard quit twice. This is very unusual as this outboard has been very reliable, so I'm going to have to check into that in case it develops into something that could be a problem in the big water I plan to go to it next week.

I returned to the house and put in one last load of wash and that's it for today. I went to bed around 11. No video tonight.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Saturday August 5th 2017

I woke up at 7 and stepped onto the scale I bought yesterday. It says 204.2 with pajamas on and I know that's a lie. I'm going to have to take that scale back. I have a number of returns to do today and a little more shopping to do.

I am just about ready to go out to Macgregor Bay. All I need is the ambition now. I'll have to take the boat over to the ramp, load the boat onto the trailer, then pack it up for travel.  And I have to pack everything I need for a day or two.

I could either do that by packing supplies into the van and loading the boat at the ramp or do the transfer at Whitefish Falls -- or I could bring everything back to 1207 to do that here. Any way I do it it seems like a lot of work.

Also, the boat exterior is quite dirty even after being washed previously and I'm tempted to do a little more cleaning before I go. The interior is fine but the exterior needs further cleaning and a coat of Poli Glow.

Poli Glow is an acrylic sealer that provides a wax-like surface that repels dirt and looks beautiful. I don't know if I'll have time or ambition to use Poli Glow until I get back later this week. I leave for Alberta a week from tomorrow.

I cooked supper for Mom and me and then I called Sharon and drove the van and trailer to Bell Park. 

Sharon picked me up at the ramp and drove me back to 1207. Next, I motored the boat across the lake and loaded it onto the trailer.  After that I dropped the mast and stowed all the various parts to get it ready to move back to 1207.

I arrived back at 1207 about 8:30 and read a little bit and went to bed at 9:30.

I was tired.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Sunday August 6th 2017

Last night was one of the worst nights of sleep I've had in a long time. Allergies woke me up every hour or hour and a half all night and at one point I had to get up for a while and have a cup of coffee. I slept better after that and manage to get in 8 hours.

Yesterday I managed to get the bathroom scale working again and this morning I weigh 215. That's up quite a bit. I haven't been very careful what I'm eating. some of that weight could just be water from allergy.

The bathroom scale had not been working for quite some time now and I had given up on it, assuming that it was defunct but I decided to check the battery with a voltmeter and although it was close to being in range I decided to try one from my cars key fob to see if that would work and sure enough the scale is back to life. While this scale wasn't working I had bought several others and had to return them in as much as they didn't work properly so I'm glad this one is back in commission.

My plan was to leave early today to go up to Macgregor Bay and that could still happen but it won't be early. As I packed up the boat last night I decided it needs further cleaning on the outside and I still have to pack and organize food and things like that so I'll be lucky to get out there after lunch. Whitefish Falls is an hour's drive from here.

Mom left for church with friends at about 10. I decided to further clean the exterior of the boat because the remaining dirt was bothering me. I tend to be very proud of the appearance of any boats and sometimes get a bit obsessive about it but I do get compliments wherever I go.

I finished around 12 and the boat really does look good. I need to get a coat of Poli Glow on it sometime soon before it gets too dirty again. Poli Glow protects from dirt.

Mom and friends appeared in the driveway.  She thanked them and went in. I followed, made lunch, ate, and washed dishes.

Now it was showtime. I pulled out of the driveway and headed for Whitefish Falls. The drive was uneventful except when I stopped at Tim Hortons in Espanola I brushed a canoe that was protruding from the back of a truck with my trailer's guide post.

Bystanders were quite excited and everybody came over to look. Two police were also nearby and came over to talk.  I suspect some busybody alerted them. (How is it that there are always cops at a donut shop?)

The owner of the canoe and I looked at the situation and decided no harm had been done, not without him kiddingly pretending shock and damage, and we all laughed and went on our way.

When I arrived at Hilly Acres I arranged to launch the boat and park overnight, then proceeded to raise the mast and attach the sails and lines.  It is always a lengthy process. All the time, I was watching a thunder cloud over head and wondered if it was going to come over us or not. Thunderstorms circle around and are hard to predict. When directly overhead, they can produce a deluge of local rain while mere yards away, it may be completely dry.

I was just about finished setting up when a fellow came by and we started to talk. He as it turned out owned a steel sailboat tied to the government dock and it turned out we had a lot in common so we talked for about 20 minutes. Meantime I was watching the storm as it circled and seem to be getting closer.

I finished the setup and backed down to the ramp to launch the boat. Just as I got the boat in the water and floating the storm hit with heavy heavy rain and strong north winds.  The winds had shifted 180 degrees from the direction the wind of been blowing moments before.

I changed to my bathing suit and managed to get the boat launched, but it was a bit of a Gong Show due to the winds and the fact that I forgot to untie one of the tie downs. Seems I'm a bit dopey today.

I motored out to camp and was greeted there by Bill, who had prepared space at the dock.

Faye made spaghetti and we had a few glasses of wine and called it a day.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Monday August 7th 2017

I slept poorly, and got up for two hours sometime after midnight and experimented with the new LED lighting that I had purchased, deciding that one of the samples I had bought was most suitable and discovering that to others that I have thought most potentially suitable did not seem to work at all.

I eventually got back to sleep and slept fairly soundly in the morning. Sometime around 10, I heard a voice and Bill was on the dock checking to see if I was up. He had made some porridge so I went up and had porridge and coffee, then we went down to my boat to work on the lighting

Bill and I are longtime buddies going back to high school days, and married cousins, so we are cousins in law, I suppose. Bill and I had and still have a common interest in electronics and radio that's has lasted over a lifetime. Bill made a career in electronics and electrical work at Inco, later to become Vale, the local mining company.

The existing ceiling light fixtures in this boat had become corroded from water that leaked down from deck fittings that are probably improperly bedded, and still need to be re-bedded for that matter.

My solution to that leakage was to seal the holes where the wires come through the ceiling for the fixtures with silicone to prevent future harm, so we did that and wired up one of the lights, then screwed it to the ceiling. For the remainder of the fixtures the wires protrude awaiting the purchase of the appropriate fixtures.

I hardly need more fixtures though as the one we installed is very bright, but I will install three more since that is what was originally there.

We were finished that by about 3 or 3:30 and I decided it was time to go and do some exploring. I untied from the dock and headed west with Little Current as my tentative destination. I had charted the route and it looked like about 18 nautical miles, or about a three-hour Cruise at 6 knots. That would be using the engine. Sailing would likely be slower, if it was necessary to tack into the wind.

The wind was very light and from the West, so it was necessary to motor for the first leg. Macgregor Bay is full of rocks and as I motored West, still getting used to the charting software on this tablet, I heard a couple of thumps and noticed the rudder kick up a little bit. I had discovered rocks in what would have seemed to have been water that should have been deep enough for my boat.

This boat has a hinged rudder that kicks up if the water is shallow, so the rocks didn't cause any damage or slow me down at all but they were most instructive. In a boat with a fixed keel hitting rocks would have done serious damage at almost any speed.

The route was clearly marked and I motored until I turned south at the point. From there, I sailed at hull speed and arrived at Little Current well before dark.  I prowled along the main dock and checked the cost of tying up overnight.  It was only about $40, including power, but I had noticed two sailboats anchored at Picnic Island as I approached, so I bought fuel at Spider Bay Marina dn went out to anchor.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Tuesday August 8th 2017

I slept better last night, but did wake up a few times. Each time I checked the anchor but had not moved much.

I didn't have much trouble with allergies last night for some reason. I'm thinking maybe my problem has to do with eating nuts because I ate a lot of nuts over the last few days and I didn't eat any yesterday. I did have a little stuffiness though, and aches and pains from all the moving around and restricted space, so I took a cetirizine and an aspirin sometime around 11 or 12.

Today is bright and overcast with some sun and with a moderate breeze from the south. The weather is predicted to be sunny with a west wind at 12 to 15 knots continuing all day. I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I imagine I will probably return to Macgregor Bay and my van. At least that's what makes the most sense

On the other hand I'm anchored here near Little Current and I have options of many potential places to explore so I am in the process of considering my options. I don't really have to be anywhere until the 14th, but I do plan to be at Rock Island Lodge on the 12th and I really should spend a bit more time with my mother in Sudbury.

I raised anchor and motored in to Little Current to tie up at the main downtown dock. Tying up there is free during the day and there is only a charge for overnight. I met some of the boaters on the dock and wandered up to the Anchor Inn to see if I could round up Roy Eaton who had run the VHF net on Channel 71 earlier in the day. By the time I got there he was gone but I did have a coffee in the cafe. I paid $2.50 for a tiny cup of coffee and that was the only coffee I was to have all day.

I went down to Wally's Shack and bought a guidebook and a chart of the area for about a hundred bucks total including a new Canadian flag to fly from my topping lift. Little Current is close to the international border so it is a good idea to identify myself as Canadian when I'm here.

Sometime before noon I cast off and decided to head back north and decide where my destination was along the way.

At this point I could go anywhere and I don't have anything pressing. However I do feel that I should go back and visit more with Mom before I leave so I may head back to Whitefish Falls. We'll see when I get a little farther north and have to decide.

The wind was against me so I motored at first and then put up some sail, deciding to tack and venture outside the channel seeing as I had my little eTrex with me with good nautical charts showing where the rocks are.

After several close-hauled tacks, I was able to clear the point and from there I was on a broad reach fully powered and reefed as I headed north.

Approaching Northwest Point I saw several boats in a Cove and decided to stop in there for a swim and a rest seeing as it was Siesta time . I entered the cove and the wind dropped to almost nothing. There was a little beach and I approached it until I was in about five feet of depth and dropped the anchor. The water read 22 degrees Celsius and I went for a swim in to the beach and back, then raised sail again and rounded the point

Once I was clear the point the wind picked up considerably and the swells were huge. A reefed main and a jib was plenty of sail. In fact I was thinking I would do better on jib alone but I didn't want to take a chance on turning into the wind to take down the main. This is where in-mast reefing is really really nice. Reef anywhere anytime.

I ran downwind for a while and the wind got stronger as I went. I spotted a nice little hidey-hole behind Neptune Island, turned in found a shallow spot. 

The spot, from all appearances, was idyllic but I soon found there were horseflies and deerflies enough that I wasn't able to nap. So, I moved on down the channel and anchored again off a point for a while and had a nap.

I was considering whether it would be wise to continue on or not as I saw thunderstorms off in the distance somewhere in the vicinity of my destination if I was going to Whitefish Falls, which it seemed I was, judging by the direction I had automatically chosen at the point.

I raised sail again and continued downwind.  As I went the wind built and the waves got larger and I saw a lightning in the distance so I decided I would be wise to anchor for somewhere for the night.

I found a beautiful spot and dropped an anchor and rested awhile, then noticed that the storm seemed to have moved on.  I was only 5 miles from my destination -- about an hour if I made the kind of speeds I had been, so I decided to raise anchor and see if I could make it to camp before dark

The wind had not dropped much and I continued under jib alone for a while, then the wind dropped a bit so I raised the main and continued on down the channel.

Although I had a paper chart I wasn't using it and my electronic devices we're hard to use for distance planning. They were good for close-up but difficult to use for planning my eventual course. As a result I missed the turn to follow the recommended channel and found myself fighting back up wind to regain my position. Winds were very strong at that point and I used the motor to assist and had to also spill wind so I wouldn't be heeled over too far.

I got back on course and turned down wind again toward the camp and found the wind had dropped enough to raise the main. After a couple more miles the wind dropped sufficiently that I started the engine and continued at five to six knots.

I was happy to to run the engine a bit because I was still trying to burn out the gasoline that was in the tank, assuming that it was at least 2 years old and maybe as old as four years.

I had shaken the tank around to look for water and noticed there seem to be some water in the bottom of the tank so that, in addition to the age of the gasoline, concerned me and I wanted to use it up ASAP

I was about half a mile from the camp when the old gasoline finally ran out. I had new gasoline that I purchased in Little Current on board, so I tried to shake the rest of the gasoline out of the outboard tank into a pail so that I could replace it with fresh gasoline.  In the process I spilled a bit into the sole of the cockpit and got it on my feet.  Moreover, I was unable to get all the gas out because of the design of the tank and I'll have to do that later.

I added a little gas to get me to the camp and started the engine. It ran better on the new gas

I arrived at the camp before dark went up and visited with Bill and Faye and Myra and Ken, but was sent out to wash my feet due to the gas small.

Then went back to the boat to sleep. I was dog-tired.  My trip had only taken a bit over a day, but it felt like a week.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Wednesday August 9th 2017

This is August 9th and would have been Ellen's 72nd birthday. In a few days it will be 4 years since she died. A lot has happened since then and lot has remained the same. I'm still living in the same house, with the same friends doing the same things.

I slept well last night and only woke up twice. I went to bed around 10 at the latest and finally got up at 9. When I got up I looked out the window and saw little faces looking in at me. Sue's kids were down on the dock and looking for something to do. Maybe their voices woke me up. I don't know. At least I had a very good sleep for a change.

Sue and Jay had arrived the previous day and had been in the little camp when I arrived last night.

I went up and had breakfast with the gang. Ken and Myra are here and so are Sue and Jay and their kids. Seems Jay works with PMRA and has a keen interest and a lot of knowledge about the problems with chemical crop treatments and the bees, so we had quite a chat.

My plan is to stay until the afternoon, anchor the boat and catch a ride over to my van and go back to Sudbury for a couple of days, then return here Friday night or Saturday, then return to Sudbury and put the boat away before I fly home on Monday afternoon.

After lunch I spent a couple of hours sorting things out on the boat and getting it ready for me to leave for a day or two, then anchoring it off the end of the dock so won't be in the way. I would have just left it on the anchor but Bill wanted a shore tie, so we tied the stern to the little camp.  That might be a good idea, then it might not. We'll see.

The stern line adds additional stress to the anchor line if the boat finds itself sideways as the wind shifts, but it also holds the boat in position.

Bill ran me over to the landing. I disconnected the trailer from the van, retrieved my things from the boat, and headed back to Sudbury.

I stopped for supper and Espanola at a Chinese restaurant. I had the buffet and have to say it was not the best I've had but it was also not the worst. The best I've had was in Sidney on Beacon Avenue, and the worst was in Three Hills on the road into town.

I returned to Sudbury by the bypass and went into Walmart for a few things, then I went to Canadian Tire for a while and picked up a couple more items and return to 1207.

I was up until almost one reading and doing various odds and ends then hit the sack. I slept an hour or so and then was I was up again for a little while and went back to bed and slept.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined 
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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