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 December 2017

 

 

 

 

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Background image --My tropical plants are blooming indoors even as the days grow short

 

Sunday December 10th 2017

Today Clearing. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High 9.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 6.

I woke up at 0525 and got up for the day. Today, I plan to go to Jean's for a visit and I'll stay overnight. I have an appointment in Red Deer tomorrow.

BG is 6.6 (high)   BP is 122/74. Weight 216.0.

I ate a lot of mixed nuts last night before bed and that affected my BG, I see, and it also affected my sleep a bit, too. However, I did sleep pretty well right through.

I'm working on a number of things these days.  My main priority is the heating system.  Another -- a job that should be simple, but which has become a distraction -- is getting rid of trash and cleaning up the north end of the building.  I also have some accounting wrinkles related to the charter business to sort out. 

I had left the accounting up to the charter firm and I see it is incomplete, and  their idiosyncratic methods resulted in a bit of a mess.

I've also decided I need to learn Spanish and that is coming along, I think, but there is a limit to how much I can handle at a time.

Last night, I spent some time on YouTube trying to find out how to roll Rs.  I have never been able to do that.

There are quite few videos that purport to teach it, but some are better than others.  this one is cute and actually the one I found most useful.

I have to wonder why people make these videos.  What inspires them?  I understand that it is possible to make money from YouTube videos through ads, but I almost never see videos with ads. My browsers somehow screen them, out and I am only aware of them when I occasionally see ads on my phone when I select a video.

Do other people suffer through ads?  Seems hard to believe, but I guess they must. I immediately kill the video when I see an ad instead of what I selected.  No video is worth sitting through irrelevant junk. 

Actually, I hate instructional videos generally and avoid them when text is available.  Most videos are five times longer than they need to be and there is no way to know if they are worth the time until they are over. Text I can scan.  Also, I can bookmark and re-read text. I can pause and think.   I can stop.  I can highlight and excerpt.  Finding things and repeating a segment of video is always tricky.

There are some things that are best in video, and video, being a great time-waster is ideal for entertainment, but most instructional topics are better served by text with pictures.

I drove to Gull Lake, arriving in time for supper. We had hamburgers and I retired early,, watching The Saint and part of The Man From Uncle before going to sleep. Neither flick was especially remarkable.

I was tired all day and even fell asleep at my desk when I closed my eyes for a few minutes.

I wonder if I am finally experiencing effects from quitting drinking? 

It has been over a month now and I had not noticed anything, plus or minus, other than having more time on my hands and sleeping better. I had wondered if I was in any way dependant physically on alcohol as I have heard so much about addiction, and I have been in the habit of drinking daily or almost daily for weeks at a time. Of course, I have gone days and weeks without.

During my drive up, Cross Canada Checkup was on CBC and the whole two hours was devoted to the topic of alcohol, its health effects, our social attitudes, and addiction.

I listened to parts of the show, but spent the rest of the time listening to Collins Spanish on my phone. 

Although CCC tends to be above the average in content and diversity of ideas, there does tend to be a strong representation by the consensus narrative and a paucity of truly insightful and novel understandings in any discussion.  People feel a strong urge to conform to social expectations and not seem too off-the-wall.

People, like sheep, do not like to stray beyond the pale.  A 'pale' is a stake marking a territorial boundary, and in societies, pales marking the boundaries of socially acceptable comment are placed by previous discussion by dominant personages and most people like to stay well inside.

The pales do move though, and when someone of influence moves a pale by making a widely noticed announcement, then others feel suddenly empowered to enter areas that were until then considered verboten -- and what everyone knew, but never spoke suddenly becomes the mainstream topic of the day. 

Like #MeToo, like pedophilia in the Catholic Church, like the abuse and rip-off of the aboriginal population in Canada...

Anyhow, do I miss drinking?  Surprisingly, not a bit.  When I see others drinking, do I want do so also? Nope, not a bit. 

Yesterday's post.

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 December 11th 2017

Today Sunny. High 9.
Tonight Clear. Low minus 6.

I woke up at six, having slept well, but I was groggy for an hour after getting up.  I had breakfast, read a bit, said goodbye to Jean and Nathan and drove to Red Deer.

I arrived at the imaging centre on time and and hour later, I was in Home Depot buying drum-sized garbage bags. 

It cost me $15.95, plus tax for 30. I hope to live long enough to need thirty bags.  That is a lot of garbage.

Then, on to Michaels where I bought some tiny rings to fix the ham radio on Baja Magic when I get back to Mexico in January.

Next I found the Bulk Barn and went in for some soup mix.

I figured the Bulk Barn should have a good variety of beans, lentils, etc. and soup mixes, but I was surprised to find that although they had over a hundred varieties of candy and powders, they had only a few varieties of beans, rice, lentils, etc. or soup mixes, other than the chemical ones.

Yes, those are pretend bees along the top. Not sure why.

I bought some soup mix and left. As I went to the van, I saw a Nutters two doors down and thought, "Oh, that is why they don't have more.  There is health food store nearby."

I went into Nutters and found that they had overripe bananas for $1.20, and very little real health food in a sizeable store. 

It seemed that most of the 'health food' is highly processed powders and packages.  I predict they'll be out of business soon as more and more people turn against processed foods.

Next, I went to Walmart for some real health food and bought some fresh produce, some dried beans and lentils and soup mix, plus other items.

As I was going in, the gas inspector called and wondered if I was home.  I said I could be, in an hour, but we agreed to meet Thursday afternoon at two.  Then, while I was in the store, Dawn texted me.  I had offered her the use of Baja Magic over Christmas, and she had said no at the time, but was reconsidering and wondered about the second week of January.  I had to tell her that is when Jon and I plan to be there.

Yesterday, I wrote:

I have to wonder why people make these videos. What inspires them? I understand that it is possible to make money from YouTube videos through ads, but I almost never see videos with ads. My browsers somehow screen them, out and I am only aware of them when I occasionally see ads on my phone when I select a video.

Do other people suffer through ads? Seems hard to believe, but I guess they must.


Brian replied:

Your browsers must filter the ads. Almost every video is saturated with ads. If a video is more than a few minutes long, YouTube often inserts video ads in the middle of videos. Yep, they interrupt you to make you watch a stupid ad.

YouTube's goal is to make the ads so much of a nuisance that people will pay YouTube to not have to deal with ads. You think I am joking? Welcome to "YouTube Red." It is YouTube without any ads. (It appears YouTube Red has not hit Canada yet.) Only $9.99 a month. Lately YouTube has been bombarding videos with ads for its YouTube Red subscription service.

About 1.5% of the money I earn from ad revenue on YouTube is from YouTube Red. (I assume they pay you so much money if a YouTube Red subscriber watches one of your videos.

$9.99/month for YouTube??? Wow!  I pay that for Netflix now and Netflix has a lot of commercial content. 

I watch probably 20 days x 2 hours = 40 hours of Netflix and Amazon combined a month.  Compare that to maybe three or four hours max of YouTube, on my biggest YouTube month ever.  Some months I watch zero.

Anyhow, here is, I think, Brian's YouTube channel. Lots of bee stuff.  Enjoy.

(I wonder if he gets paid when I watch.  I don't see any ads.)

I find I am exhausted the last few days.  I don't have any ambition.  Once I get up and start something, I get into it, but I am also sleepy and drinking coffee does not do anything except make me jittery -- and I am still tired.  Coffee in the afternoon usually kick-starts me, but not for the past few days.

I've been looking for any sign that quitting drinking is affecting me, half-expecting something at least.  So far, nothing, unless maybe this is it. Fatigue. Of course fatigue can have many causes, from heart problems to simple ennui.  Given a choice of the three, I'll choose ennui.

I like excitement, and dealing with this heat project is slow, fraught with decisions, and stultifying.  It is the opposite of exciting.

I realised today, too, that one of my major fears is that the transmission on the coal furnace might strip a gear and quit before I have a replacement for the furnace. I had been assuming that I would finish installing gas before it dies, but what if I do not? I'm practically the only person who can fix it, so, if I am away and it fails???

Over the years, I have had to rebuild the transmission several times  and I suspect that it needs work again -- but it is doing the job.  A rebuild takes me about a day, worst case, but I need some replacement parts that are hard to get. The weather is mild and I know where to find parts.  Why don't I just rebuild the transmission again and quit worrying? Here's why: if I take it apart, I have to be sure I can return it to service again in the span of one work day.

It takes me off the main job, but also relives pressure. I think that is what I must do. Tomorrow.

Yesterday's post.

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 December 12th 2017

Today Mainly sunny. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 early this afternoon. High 9.
Tonight Clear. Increasing cloudiness after midnight. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light late this evening. Low minus 4.

I am up at 0600.  The warm spell continues, but we only expect nine degrees today and overcast conditions, so the trend is weakening and we can expect to return to normals by Saturday.  Yesterday, even though there is still a bit of snow and ice around, there was water on the driveway.

I wonder which forecast to believe, if any.  As I have said before, I am not a believer by nature; I tend to be a doubter.  There is a considerable divergence between Environment Canada, which I feature in the header daily and the Weather Underground predictions.  Just from casual observation, the latter seems closer to actual in recent years, but seems to have website issues fairly often.

Weight today is 218. BG is 6.3. BP is 118/75.

I was traveling and hungry yesterday and ate indiscriminately. Hamburgers, Diet Coke, a candy bar... Everything I seldom/never eat these days. I do that once in a while. 

I realize that for most people, that does not seem remarkable, but for me it is. My choices for my everyday diet are out of the mainstream.

I read the current recommendations for optimal health and discard the craziest notions.  That leaves me with the conclusion that I should eat plain food and reject most processed foods.

To people who follow the standard American diet (SAD) -- almost everyone -- I seem increasingly eccentric in my food choices as I study the latest research conclusions about diet and nutrition and increasingly avoid popular everyday foods.

The various products -- from meat to eggs and packaged foods of all sorts -- that make up the SAD are promoted with widespread advertising.  Even governments'  food pyramid and dietary recommendations are strongly steered by food processing industries.

The SAD is increasingly associated with the modern diseases like heart problems and diabetes, and as with many things, the cheapest and most nutritious food products are not promoted because they do not make much money for anyone.  Moreover, many are perishable.

On the other hand, the commercial products made from basic, healthy foods can be packaged and marketed under brand names, have long shelf life, and make big dollars for producers, distributers, and retailers. 

Some of that money is used to advertise, sell more product, and make more money.  The health of the buyers is a minor consideration.

Millers were the earliest food processers. In search of the most palatable and tasty products, they eventually refined grains to the point where entire populations suffered from nutritional deficiencies and diseases like beriberi and rickets. The most nutritious parts of the grains were discarded or fed to animals.

Since then, things have only gotten worse as food companies learned how to break down the basic foods even further and utilized technology and science to combine the components in ways that produce products that are irresistible, but are often nutritionally dangerous. 

Laws have been enacted to add nutrients back to refined foods, but evidence suggests that the artificial nutrients are not as beneficial as the nutrients that have been removed and no process can restore the entire spectrum of nutrients that were removed by processing.

Why not just eat the unrefined foods?

I am considering disassembling the furnace transmission today.  Looking out the window at 0900, the promise of a warm day looks iffy, but I suppose I can trust that we won't have a sub-zero day.  I'll take a look at the transmission, but I am reluctant.

Well, it is now eleven, still overcast, and I got waylaid.  I had some business to attend to and now am caught up.

I went down and pulled the transmission apart.  I didn't go into the back portion as I don't have any parts for that section and am fairly confident it is okay for the present, but I did replace a shaft that was showing a little wear and installed a gear that I had picked up last year, restoring second gear which had been missing.  First gear is still non-functional, but having second gives me a backup and also allows running the furnace burner at a lower setting.

     

Yesterday's post.

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 December 13th 2017

Today Mainly cloudy. Clearing near noon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 late this morning. High 8.
Tonight Clear. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 7.

I woke up at 0710 after dozing an hour or two, then got out of bed, weighed, turned up the heat, made coffee and ate my oatmeal.

Weight is 217.4, BG; 6.2, BP is 104/62.  Pulse 55, at rising.

I am feeling more like myself the past few days.  The trip to Mexico, over a month ago now, was quite stressful, and I wonder if I had a suffered a slight concussion when I fell.  At any rate, I have been feeling a bit vague, disoriented, and unmotivated.  I knew that the Mexican acquisition would be a challenge, but maybe underestimated the effect on me.

2017 has been quite a year and I have noticed that I have been uncharacteristically uninspired lately about kiting, downhill skiing, or beekeeping, and have had fewer of my large suppers with friends.  I seem to be fixated on the heating system and several minor issues have increased my worry about it.

Much of my disorientation is likely due to jumping from one world to another, and another. I am finding that there is an adjustment each time and can take weeks, depending on how much I had to adapt to the previous destination.

I go from living here, alone in a huge, remote old school on the prairie with lawns and bee equipment and buildings needing maintenance, to Ontario where I am in constant contact with my mother, to the west coast where I am alone on one of my boats; at a boat show and interfacing with Cooper crew; on deliveries with my crew, Bob; or on a cruise by myself to pristine islands or out ports;  to Mexico where everyone is a stranger and most people speak Spanish, a language I barely understand, then off to LA to see Jon and family. 

I'm not really on vacation anywhere. Everywhere I go, I am on task, and have to perform -- often tackling tasks I have never done before. This year was especially tumultuous. No wonder I am feeling burned out.


I'm thinking lately about sea change and the common knowledge game.  I'm not the only one.

We are seeing it in the sudden switch from condemning and persecuting marijuana to promoting and assuming it will become mainstream, that usage will balloon, and that it will generate riches for governments -- the same governments who persecute the current efficient private distribution system and its customers. 

The public discourse has changed from seeing marijuana in terms of "Reefer Madness" and "gateway drug" to medical marvel.  Moreover, we have finally managed to discourage and stigmatize smoking and guess what? Smoking is back and acceptable -- even expected -- again. Care to smoke a joint? Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

We are also seeing it in the sudden popularity of claims of historical sexual assaults, groping, insults, etc., sometimes going back decades. Anyone who did already know about all that from childhood was just not paying attention. Remember the 'casting couch'.

We saw this same phenomenon in the Global Financial Crisis with the destruction of confidence, and sudden disappearance of buyers -- and will soon see it again in a sudden evaporation of confidence that will come with the overnight realization that the financial markets are vastly overpriced.

It seems that populations go from ignoring and even suppressing facts that are widely and universally obvious to suddenly assigning unreasonable importance and prominence to that same information.  What worries me is that I expect a sudden switch from our current Political Correctness tyranny of the minority world to a pent-up reaction which could be even uglier.  The Antifa movements are the new unofficial Brownshirts.

What do I read?  One of my favourite writers is W. Ben Hunt, Ph.D.  Today I'm reading Clever Hans and Sheep Logic.

This guy is smarter than smart. If I ever start to think I am clever, all I have to do is read one of his essays to realize how limited I am.

I'm enjoying your musings these days Allen...you chronicle not only issues faced by an ambitious aging man...of which group I belong also...to issues of greater magnitude on the societal level.

I find it amusing how folk get stuck in an ideology without awareness that ideologies are constantly changing...they dedicate their life's focus on trying to keep the status quo that they so adamantly believe in...(something like the hippy movement I was part of years ago that I "moved on" from)...only to have their feet washed out beneath them when the tides change. Time is such a ruthless force and anything but politically correct.

The challenge societally is to visualize what is the new ideological correctness around the corner...and the CBC does our diverse country a real injustice in that sense.

The challenge personally is to visualize what really makes one happy...deep, deep, down...many distractions...and the CBC virtually excludes coverage of what may make individuals content...no examples of individuals who have been successful in this aspect...just those who have been unsuccessful...and are victims of the past.

Keep up the good work Allen

Regards

Doug

Thanks for the comments.  I agree about the CBC, but have found that by using the CBC app, I can select the more useful and upbeat material like Spark and pick and choose from the other programs. 

Living alone, I sometimes turn on the radio for company, and am finding CBC a disappointment for the reasons you cite and others.

FWIW, I consider The Current , Q, and The Debaters to be a boring, trivial wasteland and seldom listen to enough of the other daytime CBC offerings to judge.  I am really really sorry to see The 360 go.  It was reasonably concise and insightful. Unreserved started off well, but seems to have become political, and not in an honest, useful way.

In contrast, I find Danielle Smith on 770 to be really sharp and worth a listen -- far more than a lot of the CBC daily drivel --  but cannot stand the noisy and obtrusive ads, noisy braggy, 770 station IDs and news noise.

I don't like noise, and that includes any music on a talk station.

Why do they insist on running pseudo-music behind the ads and why make them so long. I am actually interested in some of the information in the ads and would find them more acceptable if they were simply spoken as a concise list.

I know Ms. Smith earned a lot of hate crossing the floor from the Wildrose, but IMO, from the little I've listened, she is a realist and sees things as they are more than most and is not afraid to say what she thinks.  She was too good for politics, which is mostly mud-wrestling. If they offered her program as a daily podcast summary, with ads cut out, I'd pay.

Rob Breckenridge is also worth a listen, but his voice gets me and I am less impressed with him, and the other complaints about the noisy breaks and ads apply here enough to discourage me from listening.

I had some tests the other day and blood work and have not heard back, so I called the clinic and asked to have my doctor call me and let me know if I need to change my plans.  I need to reserve flights for January now or it will cost me.  It will also cost if I have to change them, so I need to know. 

I was told that the doctors do not call patients.  Well, he had called me the other day... Anyhow, it seems our system is run for the convenience of doctors, not the patients.

BTW, I was listening to Danielle's show yesterday and the interviewed the owner of Timely Medical Services. This is the solution for anyone who is having trouble getting proper attention through the Canadian system and can afford it.

At any rate, he did not call, so I am still in the dark, waiting

I don't have major complaints about our system, unless it turns out later that I do have some serious condition that remains undiagnosed, but I do wonder if the system worked better and there was less distance between the doctors and the patient if a lot of people might not be healthier -- or in some cases, still alive. Our system works fast when a life-threatening condition emerges, but is awkward and inefficient otherwise IMO.

Ruth came by and brought me back my sump pump.

Now I can flood the pond for skating -- if I can find anyone who cares to skate anymore.  Used to be we'd have a party and get out on the ice and play hockey or just skate. Now interest seems to have declined.

I am more ambitious today, it seems.  I even washed the big living room windows tonight and got to work doing some sorting. 

I have copies of bee magazines dating back to antiquity and am baling them up.  I have Alberta Bee News copies going all the way back to the beginning. 

I was going to donate them to the Alberta Beekeepers Commission, but after they shafted us, I'll give them to the new United Beekeepers of Alberta Council instead.  The UBAC will be the legitimate successor to The Alberta beekeepers Association and deserves the historical documents, not the Commission which has made itself into a small, exclusive special interest club.

I watched an episode of Intelligence on Netflix and went to bed around ten.

I was pleasantly surprised by this pilot and the series looks promising.  It appears to be a cut above the usual.  So far, it is subtle lacks the brutishness and stereotyping that is so common in crime series, and the characters and script seem mostly credible, if credible is the word anyone can use to describe any drama.


We are raised with televised fictional narratives and are so familiar with them that we are unaware at how contrived and unnatural even the best are by their very nature.

In order to understand and follow a story, we have to suspend disbelief and accept assumptions that are too numerous to list and overlook obvious artificiality.  Time is compacted and truncated, daily routine is omitted or vastly truncated, conversation is excerpted and artificial, acting tends to be formulaic, sex is stereotypical and phony, coincidences are amazing: people find one another just in time, but stop for conversation, villains take time to explain themselves before being dispatched, pointing a gun at someone stops him from shooting you and you stop to palaver, good guys take down gangs with automatic weapons with just a pistol, cars blow up when shot... 

We know better, but go along and for many the experience is almost real.  These artificial experiences affect their (our) real world view and experience, subtly and selectively.

Hypnotism begins always with suspension of critical thought, and regardless of what we may want to believe, we are hypnotized constantly. When we suspend our disbelief to listen to others or watch a drama, we are in a susceptible state.  Some people are more susceptible than others.  If you have watched a stage hypnotist, you will note that some in the audience fall into a 'trance', too.  Stage hypnotism is a gimmick that exaggerates what is happening around us all the time, to us and to others we interact with.

That is not a good thing,.  It is not a bad thing.  It is just how we are and how could we be otherwise. We have to trust and in trusting, we abdicate some of our control to others.

We hypnotize others all the time and are hypnotized ourselves more often than we think.  That is routine, but to practice formal hypnotism of the stage sort is shockingly simple.  So shocking, that it is scary.

Yesterday's post.

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 December 14th 2017

Today Mainly sunny. High plus 5.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy before morning. Low minus 5.

Ten days from today, I'll be eating turkey with Mom in Sudbury on Christmas Eve, if all goes well.

I woke up at three and found I was not going back to sleep. I got up.

BG is 5.3.  BP is 130/78. No weight today.  I forgot.

My weight is most consistent when I get up, especially if I slept the same hours as previous nights. After I drink coffee and eat, any comparison to previous days is invalid.  Water weighs a kilo per litre, so a few cups of coffee add up.

Yesterday, I had the munchies all day. No, no substances were involved.  I was just hungry and, out of curiosity as to how far it would go, I did not resist.

I ate fruit and as much soup, bean salad and salad wraps as I felt like during the day, salmon for supper, and after supper I snacked right up to bedtime with a banana, three oranges, several spoonfuls of peanut butter and two single scoop ice cream cones. No wonder I did not sleep through.  The curious thing is the low blood sugar. I guess it is an overshoot, as my BG must have been up over ten by bedtime.

Eating is more addictive than booze.  A person can live without booze, but a person must eat, and, just as drinking can lead to more drinking, eating can lead to more eating. Willpower can be weak, especially after eating foods that lead to hunger, and to some extent most foods do lead to increased hunger, at least until the person is full, and some foods don't stop there. 

Today, the gas inspector comes. After that, I'll get an account and get a meter hung and start  thinking what's next.

I went back to bed around six and slept until 0820.  I weighed and got 217.4 FWIW.

At one point, I dreamed that I started an electrical fire in a fireplace lined with bee wraps and could not put it out. (I know dreams do not always make objective sense.) What is most interesting about that is that I woke up and could smell smoke strongly enough that I got up to see if something was burning in reality.

It was an illusion.  There was no smoke in the house.

Here is an article from The 10th Man, by another writer I enjoy: Jared Dillian.  - The Upward Sloping Demand Curve. He writes common sense, and as we all know, "Common sense is not all that common".

I installed Compact Fluorescents (CFL) in many locations throughout The Old Schoolhouse over the years and figured to replace them with LEDs even though the CFLs have lots of life left in them as the LEDs are about twice as efficient and should save money.

Replacing the CFLs makes a lot of sense in areas where the lights tend to be left on, and my kitchen is one.  I turn on the kitchen lights when I get up and they are often on all evening, too.  The six bulbs total about 150 watts and at six to seven hours a day, they use a kilowatt-hour a day.  At 25 cents a KWH (I know we are being gouged), that comes to about $7.50 over a 30-day month (assumes I am home).

I've bought LEDs whenever I saw them in stores on sale and I guess I've bought more than a few now. I have quite a few spares. I had changed one set of kitchen CFLs to LEDs previously and last night, I changed the other fixture over. 

After surveying the result, I decided that the LEDs were dimmer -- they were 60s replacing 100s and harsher, although they were supposed to be the same colour.  I then changed them all back. The colour of the light affects my mood and I like the yellower light. 

Now I have a lot of LED lights on hand.

In your diary post today you referenced United Beekeepers of Alberta Council.
I can't find a website in Google.  Any further information available to share?

Brian


True, and maybe I'm letting the cat out of the bag, but the new organization is being formed as we speak and should represent the beekeeper groups from the cities and, I hope, extend membership automatically to all registered beekeepers.  A true Provincial organization should include everyone, and not just those with money.  IMO, anyhow.

The website is www.AlbertaBeekeepers.com, a site I have owned for some time now.  I originally recommended that domain to the Alberta Beekeepers Association as it is the best top level domain, but Gertie declined and chose .org instead. 

www.AlbertaBeekeepers.com does not currently reflect any new activity as yet and I am not personally directly involved with organizing -- as yet.

Those of us who object to the cavalier manner in which the Commission was hijacked and the smaller beekeepers were expelled, have been waiting to see if the Commission would see the error in its ways or if the government would roll back the changes as the proper procedures were not followed, and because possibly some Government employees seem to have acted inappropriately.

These matters are still not settled and investigations and appeals are underway, but in the meantime, the new organization is being formed to represent all Alberta Beekeepers, much as the Alberta beekeepers Association did before being taken over ands subverted by the Commission and the way the Commission represented Alberta beekeepers before the recent changes to become a small club representing special minority interests.

The inspector and the gasfitter came by in the afternoon and approved the installation.  I guess now I get a meter installed. Next, we run some more pipe and obtain appliances.

After supper, I went downstairs and walked a mile on the treadmill . Even though I watched an episode of Intelligence while walking. and as healthy as walking is supposed to be, walking on a treadmill is boring.

Yesterday's post.

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 December 15th 2017

I slept in today and woke up groggy. The back of my head hurts, likely from the fall last summer and exacerbated by my sleeping position. The sensation comes and goes, disappearing for days at a time. It is like  a headache, but not exactly like one.

I saw the chiropractor last week and he adjusted the neck and that helped a bit.  Now the sensation is more centered and less frequent. I called, and have an appointment at noon.

I am quite aware there are risks in chiropractors adjusting necks, but have had that done many times over the years without issues and it is common practice in the country. I am wondering if I need an x-ray. I'll ask him.

I was also a bit congested this morning, something I have not experienced for a while. Why, I don't know, but I wondered if it was related to the scabies I self-diagnosed and treated several times over months before seeing all signs disappear.  One of the signs of scabies is an allergic reaction manifested in itching all over and I assume that congestion could result, too.  After I had eliminated all signs of the infestation, the nighttime congestion disappeared, too.  Coincidence?  I don't know.  I see no signs of scabies now and have not been congested often lately.

Weight 217.4, BG is 6.4 and BP is 121/74

My BG was 5.4 at bedtime, and 6.4 at 0830, although I have not eaten since supper at six yesterday.  Go figure. Here is some insight.

At 0954, it is 6.7! (No breakfast, just coffee.) Maybe I'll fast and see what happens.  Of course, I have not been active yet.  So far today, I've made 251 steps. If I get moving, that will drop it quickly.

I have not been doing my Spanish study for the past few days.  I get burned out and if I push things, I just get confused.  I'll have to get back to it soon, though.  I'm giving it time to settle before I reinforce what I have learned. 

Cramming just fills the short-term memory for one-time use, but coming back to the material after a few days tells the mind that this is useful more than once and moves it to longer term storage.

At 1120, I drove to town, bought some fruit and yoghurt, picked up copies of my recent lab tests and went to the chiropractor.

He did the same adjustments again, but this time, with my encouragement, did them a bit more forcefully  and I think he got the neck fixed. We'll see.  I asked for x-rays, too, to be sure and went over to the hospital across the road, was photographed and took the disk back to the chiropractor's office  where I slipped it under the door as they were at lunch somewhere.

Back home, I read the lab results and they are unremarkable. (Yay!)

Cholesterol is a little high for my risk classification, but cholesterol as a marker for cardiac risk has come into question lately. PSA is high, but for me that has been my normal for decades.  The WBC and RBC are above normal, and bacteria were seen in the urine but I am not surprised.  I figured I had a urinary infection at the time and it seems to have cleared up. Oh, and HbA1C is 5.6 and that is after a few months of being fairly careless.

I've been putting off buying flights for Mexico in January, thinking that if anything was out of whack I'd just have to cancel, but it seems I am good to go. My furnace rebuild the other day laid to rest my other big immediate worry.

Today is dull and chilly, but pretty nice for this time of year.

How can I let another day pass without mentioning Bitcoin? Is it a bubble?  Or a singularity? (not The Singularity) I came across this commentary.  Do I smell tulips? 


I did some correspondence, some bookkeeping, looked at flights again, and decided I need to move now.  I'll pay more and get limited choice if I wait any longer.  I've already lost some prime opportunities. I called Jon and he has not decided when he can go, so I booked a direct flight to SJD.

Jon and I had thought to meet in San Diego and fly out of Tijuana, but that requires some co-ordination, dealing with unknowns, language issues, and a border crossing with potential delays -- and a risk of missing a flight, then having to deal with the reschedule in Spanish. 

If he had been ready to book, I'd have gone that way, but seeing as I am on my own, I'll just take the direct flight to San Jose and take the three-hour shuttle across to La Paz. The border crossing is easier and simple.  The hardest part will be getting to YYC two hours before my 0600 flight.  Plus, having waited too long, I find myself sitting at SJD four hours after arrival, waiting for my shuttle.

I then reserved a hotel in Canmore for the days in early January when Jean and family are going to be there, with the option to cancel anytime up to a day before arrival. I like that option. I need that option. Who knows what the weather will be then.  It could be balmy, or it could be minus thirty.

I watched more Intelligence, then went to bed early, taking an aspirin and two Benadryl to be sure to sleep soundly.  The last several nights, I tossed around a lot and dozed at times.

I'm wondering if I need to start using the CPAP again. Maybe I should, but I quit using it some long time ago as I was finding it kept waking me up from leaks. Also, traveling with it is an hassle and I travel a lot.  My Sleepyhead CPAP reports seemed to indicate I did not need it. Any events tended to be centrals, not obstructive, and centrals can be caused by CPAP pressure.

Sleepyhead is the best (and free) software for analyzing and understanding the information gathered by a CPAP device. It is very useful in case you want to second-guess the sleep doctor and also find out what you are not being told.  There are also discussion website where experienced users and some professionals discuss the finer points.

I thought I should look into this again as I have been groggy the last few mornings and I and see my heart rate is consistently low.  Some of that could be related to bisoprolol, a beta blocker. I'm wondering about my oxygen levels at night.  I had ordered a wristband some time back, but it has yet to arrive.

I think I'll download the latest version of Sleepyhead and look into this again.  I'll also check out the latest at The Apneaboard forum.

Yesterday's post.

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 December 16th 2017

Today Sunny. High plus 2.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 11.

I slept until sunrise at 0834 for a total of nine hours.

Weather is back to near-normal as we a approach the first day of winter.  It looks sunny outside, so far, and almost no snow remains on the ground.  We get eight hours less ten minutes of daylight today.

BG is 5.8, BP is 107/68.  Pulse 54. Weight is 215.4, down two pounds from yesterday. 

My neck is better today.  I still have some stiffness and slight pain sensation at the base of my skull, but it is much better. 

No matter what people say about chiropractors, some (most) country chiropractors can work wonders.

I can't say the same for the city chiropractors I've visited. IMO, the city chiropractors I have met were quacks who sold phony cures and were unwilling to lay their lands on. I suspect this group is responsible for much of the bad rap. Country folks swear by their chiropractor and many would be in a lot of pain without their chiropractor. In my wife's case, she could throw her back out, reaching over a coffee table and seldom could get it right without a visit to the doc.

Country chiropractors don't peddle phony-baloney quack cures.  They don't talk a lot except pleasantries and they are not overly gentle. They put you on a table, feel your back or complaint area, press and push on the right spots, curl you up like a pretzel and drop their weight on you.  You walk out a new man. Usually there is no need for a return visit until the next time you throw something out of place. 

Why country chiropractors?  Because farmers get real joint dislocations from their work and they are realists. They know if a treatment works or not and they talk to one another.  A good doc will have an endless stream of patients.  A quack will not.

Usually, in my experience, one visit is enough, but in my case, I let this neck go too long and also the doc went easy on me last time as he had not seen me before. I am older now it is prudent to be wary of using the same force that would be appropriate on a younger man.

AFAIK, my bone density is good, though.  The GP said I had a density test not too long ago, so I told the chiropractor to step it up a notch and he did.  I knew immediately that this time would work.  I've had enough adjustments done to know immediately if they work or not.  Last time was borderline.  This time was good.  Feeling the trouble spots today, though, I think I may need another trip back to see him.   I think he still took it a bit too easy on my back.

This guy is good, but not as good as Doc Petersen, my chiropractor twenty years ago.  Bruce could spot the problem exactly and was big and heavy enough to make a decisive adjustment. I have to tell this guy where the spot is on my back each time as he is always off several inches.

I heard nothing from the chiropractor about the x-ray, so I assume that my neck injury was just a strain.  We'll see if I need another visit. It takes a  while after each adjustment for things to settle.  So far, I think I may be fixed.

I sorted papers, and  around suppertime I went downstairs, adjusted the switch on the bin auger and shoveled the ashes.

I last shoveled ashes on the 3rd and the 9th.  That's a week now since the last time and they were not all the way up.  The weather has been mild and the burner is also more efficient now that I slowed down the feed.

Time flies.  I have not listed my daily steps since the 8th.

Dec 8

3,673  

Dec9

5,605

Dec 7

3,255  

Dec 10

2,649

Dec 6

3,244  

Dec 11

6,541

Dec 5

7,087  

Dec 12

3,575

Dec 4

3,863  

Dec13

5,096

Dec 3

5,981  

Dec14

5,456

Dec 2

5,953  

Dec15

2,740

Dec 1

8,976  

Dec 16

2,369

Nov 30

6,761  

 

 

Nov 29

8,543  

 

 

Nov 28

6,156  

 

 

Nov 27

3,786  

 

 

Nov 26

2,864  

 

 

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I'm averaging 5,051 a day.

From www.TheWalkingSite.Com
An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile; and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles. A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. For these people adding steps has many health benefits.

Don't forget to check back to Yesterday's post daily.  I often add and correct.

Yesterday's post.

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 December 17th 2017

Today Increasing cloudiness. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High plus 2.
Tonight Cloudy. Periods of light snow beginning near midnight. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 4.

I'm up at 0630, and have a full day, getting ready to drive north tomorrow.

I began filing papers last evening and need to finish that today.  I'm cleaning out my filing cabinets.  There are files going back twenty years or more that have no usefulness anymore. It's a job to toss them as I have to glance through hem for useful items and that takes time.  It's a trip down memory lane.

 I slept well. (Didn't set up the CPAP). Weight is 215.2, BG is 6.1, BP is 110/72. Pulse is 59.

My weight has not been dropping lately, so I guess I need to pay more attention and look back to when I was making progress.  I'm up seven pounds from my low.

Yesterday, I decided to track the effects of various foods on my BG and find that a bowl of my thick soup has less effect on it than one banana at least in one trial. I also found that a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast -- claimed to be very healthy -- put my BG over nine.

Of course, figuring these things out is tricky because the effects of one input depend on the previous meals and time of day, plus the effects of any exercise. It is much like trying to find the ideal diet for bees -- almost impossible due to confounding factors that have larger effects at times than the factor being measured.

In the case of bee diets, unless the bees are confined and have no stores, they may have other sources besides the diet being tested and even if that is the case, the bees may have greater or lesser stores of nutrients in their bodies.  Bees are known to use up their own bodily stores to feed brood. The result is brood rearing that stops after a while and possibly malnourished brood.

Bee feed manufacturers play fast and loose with results and tinker with diet, but basically, bees need to fly and bees need natural pollen. The best we can do is give them an affordable diet that contains all the nutrients we know they need in roughly the right proportions in sufficient quantity that they do not run out and make sure that any inert ingredients are not toxic or bulky enough to cause digestive issues.

I'm testing the bowl of oatmeal again.  Actually it is oatmeal with a few raisins and cranberries mixed in when cooking and crushed walnuts added when served. I measure BG before, at one hour and two hours after.

When I met with the nurse practitioner before my check-up the other day, I mentioned that I check my BG daily and have for decades, going back long before it became popular. 

"Why", she asked, "you are not diabetic."
"Because I don't want to become diabetic," I said."
"But strips are expensive," she continued.
"Not online," I countered.

What is it with Alberta medical people.  Strips are cheaper than cigarettes, a shot of whiskey, or even a coffee. More than once, I have been asked if some minor cost would stop me from paying for a product or procedure to preserve my health.  The doctor's office charges $5 to photocopy my lab results and act as if I might care. $5 hardly buys a fancy coffee downtown anymore.

Health is the most basic thing anyone has.  Without health, the rest is of limited use, and they say that you can't take money with you, so what are your priorities? Am I to assume that people who can afford to drive repeatedly to appointments, spend money on trinkets and junk food and booze will not shell out a few dollars to buy strips to watch their health?

There we go.  It is one hour after the oatmeal. 8.7!  when writing about postprandial (after eating) blood glucose, Dr. Mirkin says, "Soon after you eat, your blood sugar level rises. If it rises above the normal of 160 (8.9), sugar sticks to cells membranes and they can never detach."  Hmmm.  Maybe oatmeal is not all that great for me. I did overcook this oatmeal, though and there are raisins, so maybe I need to retest sometime and maybe with steel-cut oats.

I'll check again after two hours. 

Meantime I am looking over my blood work that I had copied the other day, again.  I'm looking at the cholesterol numbers and they are not too bad. (Click graphic at left from here for benchmarks)

FWIW, C=175, HDL=57, Tri=78, LDL=104, Non-LDL=119.

Could be better, but the significance of cholesterol as markers has been increasingly questioned.

0856: Two hours are up and BG is 6.0.  Hmmm. I know that eggs hardly move the meter. Is oatmeal better? Worse?

Who can anyone believe?  There are a zillion recommendations out there and many from eminent doctors. Some are diametrically opposite to others and all are claimed to work.  My personal opinion FWIW is that we are all different and we also change over time. Our history affects our present and one thing affects another.  Our moods and activities have a huge effect.  If we find advice that fits perfectly, it is a fluke. the answers are complex and there are no simple answers.  We have to each find out for ourselves, but there are some underlying principles that do not change. Eating less reduces weight. Exercise id good for many reasons. Too much stress is bad.  Binging is bad.  Moderation in all things is wise.

It's now 2-1/2 hours into the day.  Time to get moving.

I see Sudbury will be cooler than it has been here, but they are coming out of a cold spell.

I hear there is lots of snow, too, and I can see it on the webcam shot from Science North, looking down at the yacht club. 1207 is in the distance.

It appears the ice is not yet safe for cars or skating.  I don't see a rink or ice fishing huts.

I was hungry at a little after the 0900 measurement and ate a bowl of bean salad.  At 1030,  BG is 6.9. Seems bean salad has less glycemic effect than the oatmeal.

BTW, it seems the glycemic index has been fairly debunked (sorta, by one study with limited scope).  I think it still has some meaning, but the glycemic effect of each food is personal and varies over time and place.

Studies all average the results of groups and tend to throw out the so-called 'outliers' -- the results that are not near the average.  That could be you.  It could be me.

10 More Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

Yesterday's post.

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 December 18th 2017

Today Periods of light snow ending this morning then clearing. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this morning. Wind becoming west 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. Temperature falling to minus 5 this afternoon.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness after midnight. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 12.

I got up at 0630 with six hours until I have to drive north. So far there is no snow, but it is coming -- up to ten centimeters.  Predictions are for most to hit south of here, but that is just a guess. 

Weight 215.4, BG 6.6, 134/85

I'm glad I have studded tires, but visibility could be an issue if heavy snow starts.  I'm looking at the road reports and so far, its all good. Looking out the door (left), I see just a dusting so far.

The roadcams show a little snow falling at Red Deer and nothing at Nisku, but that could change by the time I am there. I'll leave a bit early.

   

I shoveled the ashes and checked the burner and the bin in preparation for leaving and did a wash.

A while back, a reader asked about black smoke from coal. Looking at the burner and the flame here, do you see smoke?  There is very little, and it is not black.  In fact, my coal burns cleaner than the wood stoves downtown that I smell from time to time.

I went out just now to look.  The furnace is on and I cannot see any smoke at all.  There is some, I am sure, but it is pretty clear. Most of what comes out of the stack is steam.  I see some smoke when the fire has not been burning for a long time, but even then, very little.

Now, at 0950, the roadcams show clear roads ahead.

Roads were clear. I arrived at the parking compound in plenty of time and the flight was on time.  There was no Westjet Connect on the plane, so I slept a bit.

We arrived at YYZ more or less on time, but when we landed I received a message that my connecting flight was delayed.

I sat in the terminal for five hours before it was finally cancelled.  They gave us all hotel and meal vouchers and we went down to wait at post 37.  It was an hour and several phone calls before the shuttle came.

I finally got to bed around three.

Yesterday's post.

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 December 19th 2017

Today Becoming cloudy this morning. 60 percent chance of snow this afternoon. High minus 4.
Tonight Periods of snow. Amount 5 cm over southwestern sections. Low minus 12.

The Doubletree Dixon is a nice, new hotel and my room was top notch.  I slept until nine and checked my phone.  The flight was moved up to 1135, so that meant I had to hustle. I had counted on another hour.

I went down for breakfast and had the omelet, but it took forever. Time was getting short, so I gave them the vouchers and hurried to the lobby.  A crowd was gathering, so I went to the curb.  No shuttle. Two other guys were standing there and we decided to take an Uber. 

Our ride arrived promptly and off we went.  The route seemed odd and after quite a while, we arrived at the freight terminal across the runway from the passenger terminal.  The driver was following his GPS.  We checked and told him to stop, turn around, and let us navigate.  He kept playing with the phone, so we insisted and he did finally turn around.  We could see our terminal across the runway, but we had to drive around the outside road to get there.

Ten minutes later we arrived at Terminal 3, sure we had missed our flight, but I got a message that the flight was back to 1235, the original time, so it was all good. We passed through security and went to Gate 20.  The flight was delayed again, then we had a gate change and a further delay.

The same crowd is here at the gate and scuttlebutt has it that the Air Canada flight scheduled at the same time as ours had flown into Sudbury last night without problems.

At 1221, I'm sitting at Gate 40, waiting...

We arrived in Sudbury and I took the shuttle to 1207.  My van had a flat, so I called CAA and the truck came and blew up all the tires.  They go down in cold weather, sitting, but this is the first time I've had a flat.

Mom and I had supper, then I went to Bill and Faye's to visit.  We had a good visit, but I was felling light-headed and went home earlier than I would have otherwise.

I watched video a while and went to bed.

Yesterday's post.

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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