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August 2017

 

 

 

 

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Background image -- 1207 As Seen from Lake Ramsey

 

Thursday August 10th 2017

I slept reasonably well and woke up just after 6 this morning.

I checked my weight and it is 214 today. That's up 6 pounds above my lowest low, but still okay considering how I have not been particularly careful what I eat.

Everyone comments on how much weight I've lost. I haven't really noticed except that my pants are quite loose and would fall down if not for a good belt. For some reason my digestion has been out of whack the last few days so I'm trying to get that back and under control.

It's foggy and cool this morning so maybe it's a good thing I'm not on my boat at camp this morning, although the weather at Whitefish Falls could be quite a bit different from here in Sudbury on the north shore of Lake Ramsey.

I'm back in town for a couple of days to visit Mom and to do a little bit of shopping. This morning I plan to go out and get a few items I need and we'll see after that what's left to be done. I plan to go back to Camp Friday night and stay Saturday, coming home Sunday. I fly out on Tuesday in the afternoon.

Mom went out to get her hair done and came back just before noon. I've been sorting things in the garage, thinking I should throw some things out and also streamline what I have on board the boat. I've accumulated quite a bit of material over the last decade or so that I've owned this boat so it's time to decide what I need and what I don't.

Once Mom came home, I made lunch for her and then I went out shopping. I started out at the Second Avenue Home Hardware, looking for a Boat Bailer sponge. They didn't have one and they didn't know what I was talking about.

I continued to Lowe's where I returned a lock and bought a few screws to attach some fittings to the boat then proceeded to Dollarama where I bought a few storage containers. . The bilge of the boat tends to be damp and so if I want to keep anything dry and there I need to keep it in a sealed container.

After Dollarama I proceeded to Princess Auto where I returned a few items and purchased the light fixtures I need to complete the boat project. From there I went to Tim Hortons for a large black coffee and then to a glass shop I had been to last year for a quote on a companionway door. Last year they quoted me $300 which I found excessive, but this year they quoted me $200 and said they could do it right away. I paid a deposit and left the template with Tom, expecting a phone call in the next day to go and pick up the new parts.

Next, I went south to Sudbury Boat and Canoe again to get some white paint for the outboard and also to get a bailing sponge which I have been told on the phone they do have. When I got there I found out they actually don't have the sponges but they did have the paint.

Romako's was next for a chart plotter and sonar fish finder. Romako's has good staff that can explain things about the various Hummingbird devices and I learned a little bit but not enough to feel confident making a purchase at this time -- especially since I don't really need it until fall when I come back here again, and who knows, by fall there may be a new line of chartplotters on the market making anything I buy now obsolete.

Canadian Tire was next and I looked for screws. I needed stainless steel number 10 by inch and 3/4 pan head screws. No luck. I may have to go to Maslack to try to find them or just simply use the zinc-coated ones I bought until they rust and then replace them.

Home Hardware down at Gloria's restaurant was next, once again to find sponges. No luck. However they did look up the SQ SKU number for me and I can order them when I need them later on.

By now I was getting a little tired and it was coming on supper time so I returned to 1207 and made supper for Mom and myself. Supper was followed by a cup of coffee and a nap.

Now I'm wondering if I should go back out and get the few things I didn't get today at Walmart its 6:49 and I have a few hours left in the day.

Tomorrow I'm expecting to go back out to camp, hopefully with the new door for the boat. Saturday is the party. I expect to return back to Sudbury on the Sunday, prepare the boat for being left on Monday morning, and fly home Monday evening.

I decided to drive out to New Sudbury and stopped along the way to make an oil change appointment for tomorrow morning, then proceeded to Lowe's to look for some hooks and small items. From there I went to the dollar store and bought couple pairs of cheap glasses.

The reading glasses I was using we're starting to distort. They also seem a little strong. Seems my eyes change a bit over time and I seem to leave weaker glasses for reading than I did a little while ago.

From there I drove to Walmart, bought a few groceries and looked for a greeting card for Mother. She wanted to send a 50th anniversary card to Bill and Faye and the one that Susan bought earlier in the day didn't seem quite appropriate in her mind although it turned out to be better than anything I could find in the rack at Walmart.

It seems these cards either assume excessive familiarity and extol the assumed love between the couple or quote a Bible verse. To my mind it takes a lot more than love to last 50 years, and religious comments don't seem quite right either

I returned to 1207 and found out I was tired enough to go to bed around 10.

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 11th 2017

I woke up at 4:20 this morning and found I was wide awake and clear minded. I stepped on the scale and I weigh 213.6. Somehow I lost a pound and a half over the last day. Odd.

I suppose have been a little more careful of what I've been eating and it was quite active yesterday, but just the same...

I'm thinking today I'll do a few catch up jobs and go back out to camp this afternoon or evening if that suits Bill. I'll need to count on him for a ride back out to my boat. Tomorrow is the anniversary party.

The forecast shows warm weather, some sun and cloud, and a chance of rain for both days.

I have an oil change appointment for 10 this morning. So that means I will be headed out to the New Sudbury area sometime this morning. While I'm up there I'll get a few odds and ends done.

I went to the oil change place on time and they were not ready for me. I went on to Costco and had my tires air pressures checked. These tires are very good, but all four lose pressure over weeks.  I am told that it is due to rim leaks and I need to have them taken of and remounted.  The problem is finding a time when I don't have to wait hours.

I returned to 1207, packed, and drove to Hilly Acres, arriving at around four-thirty, just in time to meet up with Bill at the dock.  He had come over to pick up some of the others and we rode across to camp together.

We retrieved Carpe Diem from where she was anchored and returned to the dock to tie up, then I rearranged the interior, restoring cushions to their places and generally tidying up.

After supper we played Bingo.

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 12th 2017

Today is Bill & Fayes's 50th Anniversary party. 

In the morning, I finished installing the ceiling lights in Carpe Diem.  By two, everyone had arrived and the party began.

Weather was perfect.  Not too hot, not too cold, and with sun and no rain. After spending time schmoozing on the deck, I went swimming with the kids and then went back to my boat for the night.

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 13th 2017

After breakfast, I packed up, untied, and motored back to the boat ramp, loaded the boat onto the trailer, then spent an hour or more tying down and organizing the load.

I arrived back at 1207 at around six and parked the boat and trailer in the driveway for the night.

I had returned early to meet Ron Dominic to rake the driveway, but he cancelled and promised to be there in the morning instead.

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 14th 2017

I expected Ron between eight and nine and he came right at nine.  His helper mowed the grass while he raked the driver with his four-wheeler.

I packed for my return to Alberta, then tossed the cushions in the boat and covered her with tarps. 

I had left the boat uncovered a few times and even in a period of weeks in summer, the exterior got stained by leaves and needles and accumulated dirt. 

Each time, it took me hours to clean the exterior.  Moreover, water gets inside and creates moisture problems like mildew. 

After Bill mentioned that it only takes him two hours to cover his boat, I realized that although Putting on and tying down tarps is not as much fun as pressure-washing, it makes sense.

I have thought that I need to find a better way to tarp the boat than I have been using, but the shape is awkward to wrap.  Life lines and stanchions protrude, and the hull tapers at the ends.  Also the cockpit is a cavity with no support for the tarp.

I use the mast as a ridgepole, but supporting it is a hassle.  I need to build an A-frame and some sort of tarp support for the cockpit area.  Below are pictures of some attempts from the past.  The cave-in was over winter and is a result of snow load.


front                                                back                                                                      back caved in              

And here are pictures of my latest attempt.  I expect it to only need to last until September.  At that time, I'll need to plan something sturdier for winter.

        
                   front                                                                     back

I finished wrapping with time to spare.  My shuttle arrived at five. I had supper at YSB, and was at YYC at half past midnight. My cab was waiting and I was home a bit over an hour later.

I arranged to use a non-airport cab since the cost is to Airdrie ten dollars less than the cabs that have the airport contract.  Non-contract cabs are only allowed to pick up and drop off clients by prearrangement.

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 15th 2017

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. High 24. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low 9.

I got in around one-thirty and went to bed around three.  Sometime around nine, I got up, somewhat tired and jetlagged.

The day was spent catching up at the desk, sorting pictures and updating the diary.  It is amazing how long that job takes, even though I had dictated each day's notes into my phone and just had to cut and paste and edit.

It is surprising how well dictation to my phone works for emails, notes and texts, with only occasional errors in transcription.  The most annoying error is the tendency for Google to capitalize words randomly and also to recognize common phrases as titles of movies, capitalizing the words.

Dictation into Keep, then cutting and pasting works fairly well, but I need to paste into Notepad to lose the formatting, then cut and paste into my editor.

Regardless, Keep separates paragraphs by soft returns, which works, but is not what I prefer.  Maybe I should try using Evernote.

This got me thinking and I Googled voice commands for Google Keep. I should have been saying, "New Paragraph", not "New Line" for a new paragraph..

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 16th 2017

Today was spent at the desk catching up further, doing email, and mowing grass.  I pretty well finished up the lawn.

I took a Allegra-D before going out and seem to have been less affected by allergy.

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 17th 2017

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers early this morning. Clearing this morning. Local smoke. High 28. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Clear. Hazy. Low 10.

Today Ruth is coming to pick apples and to drop off Zip.  I'll only be home a few more days, but at least Zip and I will have a few days.

A few days ago, Ruth texted me that Zip has a lump on her neck that she thinks could be cancerous. We discussed options and decided that there is not much to do.  Zip is fourteen now, and fourteen is pretty old for her breed. The vet could cut the lump off, but in Ruth's experience, it just puts the dog through trauma and the lumps reappear.

I'm finally caught up with the diary and it is a huge job.  I don't know why I do it.  Almost nobody reads it and after taking the time to write it, I don't have time to read it either.  It is handy, however, to be able to look back and see what I was doing at some point in time.  I go so many places and do so many things, I sometimes forget.

On TV cop shows, the police ask, where were you on such and such a date at such and such a time? I certainly would not know, but somehow, the suspects almost always know exactly where they were and what they were doing several days or weeks ago. Odd, don't you think?

Of course nothing on these shows is at all real.  The stories are complete fantasy, and fantasy we go along with, knowing it is manufactured according to a formula with no obligation to follow real world rules. In fact, breaking everyday rules with impunity is what makes these creations appealing.

Now that I have wasted two days on this diary, sorting photos and other fiddling, it is time to do something real. Like my bees, maybe?

I dread working the bees.  I just know they will have made honey and plugged up.  I hate honey -- it is heavy and sticky and plugs up the hives -- and I have no reliable way to deal with it.

Ruth came over and began picking apples.  Flo came along after a while and they picked apples and crabapples for several hours.  I skimmed the swimming pool.  It was quite warm, but I did not feel like swimming.

I found I was itchy today and although I attribute that partly to allergy to yesterday's lawn mowing, I also suspect that if what I had was scabies, that the treatment had not completely fixed the problem, so I rubbed myself down with the 5% permethrin solution again, seeing as I have some left over from the last treatment.

After a day at the desk reconciling accounts, I was tired.  I watched some Vexed, and went to be early.

Vexed is pretty dumb, but harmless.

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 18th 2017

Today Sunny. Hazy. High 32. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness before morning. Hazy becoming local smoke this evening. Wind becoming northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 late this evening then north 20 gusting to 40 overnight. Low 10.

I woke up at 0614, feeling wide awake and with some ideas about things I have been working on over the last week or two.

I am back to checking my parameters.  I had left the BG lance behind when in Ontario and did not have an accurate scale at first, so had lapsed. 

Fasting BG is 6.3 (better than yesterdays' oddly high reading, but still high), weight is 213.6 (coming back down), BP is 126/78 (Okay), pulse is 64 (normal).

I guess I am over the shock of arriving home.

I spent the day cooking and sorting paper.  Then, at about four, I was about to go out and work on the bees, but first, I ran the mower around the hives to get ready since I expect to be working through them to see how they re-queened after splitting and and maybe I'll be pulling honey.

When I came in, I decided to have a glass of wine.  That extinguished what little enthusiasm I had for the job.  I don't know what good I will do.  I suppose I should sample for varroa, though. 

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 19th 2017

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers this morning. Clearing this afternoon. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 22. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 7.

I woke up at 0630 after a restless night's sleep.  Even though  had only cut a littler grass, my allergies were acting up, not helped at all by the fact that I drank a bottle of Ken's excellent raspberry wine last night.  Alcohol exacerbates allergies, and I know better.

As I said, I should check for varroa.

About now, they damage begins if varroa are above a certain level as discussed at length back in the diary. If they are likely to kill or weaken the colonies, action is required now. September will be too late.

See Oct 11, 2011, Oct 25, 2011, and also see Jean-Pierre Chapleau's studies of this question

The recommendations are to remove supers, treat and wait the required time, then replace the supers. Although not legal, treatments with formic or oxalic are safe and harmless at any time of year, supers or no supers.  That is not a recommendation for anyone to do it. I'm just sayin' it would be harmless, if it were not illegal.

My commercial friends report a slow honey season and have stopped their extracting to wait for more honey to come in.  That is quite unusual in recent years since we have canola as far as eye can see and lots of alfalfa.

I recall back in the seventies and eighties, seasons when the crops were poor and that some beekeepers did not extract at all and some had to feed in summer to keep the bees alive.

Crops and pest control were different then,  Canola was just being developed and rapeseed was the predominant flowering crop other than alfalfa, and in some regions, clover.  Beekeepers avoided rapeseed as best we could since the resulting honey could be dark and bitter.  A little rape honey content could ruin a crop and lower the value by a lot.

Neonics  and systemics had not been developed and extremely toxic sprays were used.  Besides the target insect, birds and fish and any insects in the area sprayed died too.  That included bees.

Integrated pest Control (IPM) had not yet become mainstream and with the encouragement of pesticide salespeople and extension agents, farmers often sprayed a first sign of a pest, rather than sampling and estimating the probable damage to see if it would become economic or not. Often the sprays cost more than what the pests might eat and the collateral damage these could be significant.

The predominant cropping method involved 50% summer fallow for weed and moisture control on crop land, so almost half the country in some regions was black all summer, further reducing the area in crop. Crops were predominantly grains anyhow, providing no benefit for bees.

One bright spot was alfalfa seed production.  Leafcutter bees had not yet been imported and alfalfa seed production depended on honey bees. The difference in crop between having and not having bees was a factor of ten. Bees increased the crop by ten times. As a result the beekeeper got half the seed crop and the grower protected the beekeeper from spray-happy neighbours.

As time went on and canola acreage expanded, IPM became more widespread and systemic neonic seed treatments replaced open-air sprays conditions improved for beekeepers in Alberta and crop failures became less common.

To be continued...

I really must get outdoors.

I did, finally, but first I drove to Three Hills and bought food for tomorrow. Then I went out and worked the North Yard and a few hives in the South Yard.  Some are looking good, some pretty slow. 

I saw one hive with several bees with deformed wings, but no varroa in the drone brood I opened and very few varroa on the floor. I should do some drops or a wash, but I am running out of time this trip.

There is not a lot of fresh honey, but the hives are heavy with brood honey from last year.  I did get some boxes of fresh honey to extract at the party tomorrow.

I worked without a veil and did not get stung. By eight, I was tired and quit.  There was still another half-hour until the stinging starts, but I had had enough for the day.

      

 

 

I tip the hives back and lay them on the ground, then take the floor, move it forward a bit, and rebuild the hive from the bottom up.  Easy.  Much less lifting.

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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