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 March 2018

 

 

 

 

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Background image - Hiking out to camp on Bay of Islands, Georgian Bay, ON

 

Tuesday March 20th 2018

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. High plus 5. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Fog patches developing overnight. Low minus 8.

My alarms woke me at four.  I got up, showered and packed.  I had been concerned about fog, but the visibility was excellent when I looked out. I had wondered about getting snowed in, but there was no new snow.

I sorted magazines and newsletters I had promised to Liz and was ready to go earlier than expected, so I drove to Airdrie, dropped off the seven boxes and Mike drove me to YYC.

Being early, I decided to use one of my lounge passes and so I went up to the lounge and had a second breakfast. 

My flight was scheduled to board at 8:50 so I left the comfort of the lounge and walked to the gate on time and, sure enough, and as often is the case, we boarded twenty minutes after the scheduled time. We did, however, push back on schedule and arrive at YYZ on time.

At  YYZ, I found my YSB flight, at the other end of the terminal and soon we were flying right over Mom's house then landing ay YSB twenty minutes early.

Bill had said he would pick me up there at six but by twenty after there was no sign of him.  I had gone outside and looked for him several times, but stayed in by a window to watch for him where he usually parked.

By twenty after, I really wondered. No one was left. I went to the curb again and looked around.  A maroon van down the curb a long way north started moving toward me and it was Bill.  Unknown to me, he had a new van and for some reason, he parked in an unusual spot to wait. He had been there for twenty minutes.

We had supper at Gonga's Grill and then drove to 1207. He stayed and chatted until nine and left.  I went to bed by ten.

Yesterday's post

 I could tell you my adventures—beginning from this morning,” said Alice a little timidly; “but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.
Lewis Carroll

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Wednesday March 21st 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating late this morning. High plus 3. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries overnight with risk of freezing drizzle. Fog patches developing near midnight. Low minus 7.

I woke up at six and caught up on a few things, but email and other business are getting ahead of me.

I had a nap after breakfast, then went out and started the van -- it started right up -- and checked the boat.  The tarps had stayed in place beautifully, so I am hoping the spring cleanup before launching will be less of a job this year.

After that, I had coffee and visited with Mom and the neighbours until lunch. 

After lunch, I went to the surplus store looking for boots.  No luck. Then I had an oil change, picked up Bill and we went to Tivo Park for a hike and a ride on the kiddy zip line, then went to Walmart to buy groceries and look at phones.

After that, I dropped Bill off at his home and drove back to 1207.  At 1725, Mom and I got into the car to go for supper and discovered the muffler was almost dragging.

We switched to my van and drove to the Apollo. Mitch and Sharon were there already.  We had a leisurely supper and returned to 1207.

Here's nifty idea for a shelter and storage we saw at the park.  Those are shipping containers.

Yesterday's post

 May we not then sometimes define insanity as an inability to distinguish which is the waking and which the sleeping life? We often dream without the least suspicion of unreality: 'Sleep hath its own world', and it is often as lifelike as the other.
Lewis Carroll

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Thursday March 22nd 2018

Toda

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog with near zero visibility at times this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High plus 2.
Tonight Periods of snow. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light overnight. Low minus 1.

I woke up at 0830, having stayed up until after midnight watching Collateral.

Today Bill and I plan to hike out  to camp.

I drove over around noon and we headed west, stopping in Espanola for lunch in the mall. From there, we drove to Whitefish Falls and to the end of Gravelle Road, which, as it happens is a gravel road.

We put on out boots and took the snowshoes which Bill was sure we'd need and I was sure we wouldn't, and walked west out onto the lake. Walking was easy.  Snow was only two inches deep on the ice and traction was good. The day was sunny, around zero C, and calm, ideal for our purposes.

We reached camp and looked everything over.  One floor had heaved a bit, but will go back down when the ice under the supports melts.  Then we checked several neighbours' docks and buildings and crossed over the narrowest spot and walked back along the north side of Pig Island.

Once back at our van, we drove back to Espanola and did some shopping at Canadian Tire, then I dropped Bill off at home at six and returned to 1207.

I figure we covered about 2-1/2 miles on our circuit.  Apologies for the quality of the screenshot above. Google maps and Google Earth images are not nearly as clear and beautiful as they were in the past.

Yesterday's post

The most important thing in life is to stop saying 'I wish' and start saying 'I will.'
Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.
Charles Dickens

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Friday March 23rd 2018

Today Clearing. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this morning. High plus 5. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Clear this evening and after midnight then partly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries overnight. Wind south 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light before morning. Low minus 4.

I'm up at 0800 sharp.  It's the clock in my head, I guess, and it runs me on autopilot.  I wonder how to program it.  I'd like to sleep all day sometimes when I have nothing in particular to do, as I did when younger.

My weight is down to 212, thanks to the hike, I suppose. Still up from the low point. 

I'll take Mom's car in to the muffler shop this morning.

I drove up and got an estimate, then took the car in after lunch.  It only took three quarters of an hour and the exhaust is now quiet and the banging has been fixed, too.  Cost was $687, including tax. Inflation is getting scary.

I returned to 1207 and spent some moments sitting in Carpe Diem, evaluating my wintering efforts this year.  Everything seems clean and dry.  The battery is charged and the lights I installed last summer are beautiful and bright.  I need something that good in my other boats.

Other years, a black dusty mold formed on the interior surfaces and vinyl upholstery and it was a mystery to me until I realised that if it if temperature and humidity are right, microscopic molds land on what appear to be clean surfaces and use the carbon and nitrogen from the air to grow.  After while, the surface appears quite dirty. In a boat in storage, the warming and cooling condenses water on the surfaces, offering an idea environment for these opportunistic organisms.

     

When storing a boat, we toss the cushions, make sure the storage and bilges are open and generally leave no closed or damp spaces for mold to grow.  The result looks messy, but it is mess with a purpose.  I can hardly wait for summer.

  
         Calcium chloride             Looking back through the cockpit         

Last fall, I placed a small fan and a bucket of calcium chloride in the boat, figuring the air moving over the CaCl2 would give up its moisture and keep the interior dry.  So far, so good.  The CaCl2 has a bit of a crust, but has not drawn enough water to liquefy.  It has a lot of life left yet.  The salt is cheap, too.

The cockpit is a bit dusty, with a bit of debris, but not showing mold or stains like after some winters.  I wonder about the tarp overhead, though.  I can see through it.  Will it shed water this spring?  I think so, but it is hard to say.  If it doesn't I could wind up with staining again.

This came in today:

With the recent death of a woman who participated in so-called "bee-sting therapy," it may be no surprise that your diary entry is pretty high up in Google. http://www.honeybeeworld.com/misc/stings.htm

So this part really, REALLY needs to be corrected, despite your disclaimer: "bee stings are sometimes deliberately administered in large numbers to treat diseases such as MS and arthritis with good results."

That statement is absolutely false. see https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/bee-venom-therapy-grassroots-medicine/

Thanks for helping to stop the spread of dangerous and false information.

My reply:

Thank you for reminding me.

Actually the statement is not 'absolutely false' logically, but it deserves some qualification, especially as most people can't read or understand logic and might assume it means something it does not, and is a statement of fact, not a recommendation.  These treatments would not continue to 'large numbers of stings' unless the people involved think they observe 'good results'.

Whether objective third parties are able to observe such results is another question.  Science method works best when results are consistent, controllable, and repeatable. One-ups and miracles are therefore considered outliers and often dismissed.

I had, indeed, seen that article about the death and in fact I was meaning to mention in my diary but I have been traveling and preoccupied.  I had forgotten about the bee sting page.

What is interesting about the appearance of that article is that such deaths in apitherapy seem to be very, very unusual or we would have heard more about them.

As for 'science-'based medicine, drug companies and medicine have deservingly lost a lot of respect in recent years due to revelations of the influence of money, suppression of inconvenient test results, defunding of inconvenient research, and knowingly peddling of drugs that are more harmful than beneficial. 

Unfortunately revealing widespread and long-standing corruption in science and medicine seems to have enabled the rise of a plethora of totally fanciful ideas and quackery.

I am not a fan of apitherapy myself but maintain an open mind. My sister died of MS and never had even one bee sting treatment.

I'll modify the statement and add a caveat, but let's never forget that far more people due an untimely death at the hands of mainstream medicine than ever due of bee stings -- either administered or accidental.

Again thanks for writing and bringing that to my attention, but without more information and more similar reports, I'm inclined to think it was a fluke.  Just the same it is worth pointing out the treatment is controversial.

The report of a death from bee sting acupuncture is here.   I have not heard of other such events, but that is not to say they do not happen.  I don't know.

Frankly, I don't know what to think about apitherapy or acupuncture.  There is a lot I don't know.

Bill came over after supper and we went to Princess Auto and Walmart to do some shopping.

As we were leaving, I saw a kiter zip down the lake.  Seems there is good wind, and the snow conditions are ideal.  I had realised earlier today though that although I had brought my kite and helmet, I had neglected to remember my harness and the kite is useless without it.

Yesterday's post

 The man who raises a fist has run out of ideas.
H. G. Wells

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Saturday March 24th 2018

 Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light early this afternoon. High plus 2.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries this evening and after midnight. Low minus 7.

I weigh 211 today. My weight is dropping back and I have not been making any special efforts.  It's a mystery.

I was up during the night and then slept in until nine.

The neighbours dropped over for coffee this morning and by the time they left it was time for lunch.

Some interesting articles:

It's a beautiful day, but I have bookwork to do.

That was my day.

I watched Seven Seconds before bed.  It gets off to a really slow start and I almost ditched it, but am glad I persevered, so far, at least. a

I am determined to learn Spanish.  I really don't know how much I will learn, but I need at least enough to know what is going on around me, so for the past few nights I have started playing Audible 's Collins Spanish with Paul Noble on my tablet when I go to bed.  I set a fifteen minute timer and seldom hear more than a few minutes before drifting off.  The lessons occupy my mind and displace other things that might keep me awake, and are repetitive, so if I miss some, part, I just back up to something I recognise the next time. I have quite a number of Audible Spanish courses, but this is the one I like best at present.

Yesterday's post

 Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write!
H. G. Wells

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Sunday March 25th 2018
Nine months until Christmas

Today Fog dissipating this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. High plus 4. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low minus 10.

I woke up at 0522, found I wasn't sleepy and got up.

I weigh 210.8, down again, although I was not careful about diet yesterday and did not leave the house.  BS is 5.8.

I had breakfast and coffee and laid down again.  I woke up an hour later. 

We have another beautiful day but I have deskwork.  I'll try to get out for a while, though.

At home, it is foggy again. I can't believe how many mornings have been foggy this winter/spring and how late the snow melt is this year. I still don't see any water on top of the ice on my pond.

Mom and I decided to go to the shopping centre for lunch, so I loaded the wheelchair into the car and off we went.  We returned to 1207 at two, having also done some shopping for clothes and a few groceries.

Bill and I had planned a walk but I called him and said I'd call again after a nap.  I woke up at 4:45, time to make supper, so cancelled the walk.

I still have bookwork to do.  Seems I keep running out of time. In the evenings, I don't much feel like it.

By eight I was dead tired again and went to bed. 

No video tonight.

Yesterday's post

Quote of the Day
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last,
and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
H. L. Mencken

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Monday March 26th 2018
 

Having gone to bed at eight, of course I woke up sometime after three.  When I found I was awake, I  got up and had coffee.  I went back to bed after a while but did not sleep and got up for the day. Weight is 210.4. Still dropping.

I have today and tomorrow here, then fly home Wednesday afternoon. This evening is the ham radio club meeting.  I think I'll go.  Otherwise, the bookwork is proceeding at a snail's pace and I have some web work to do for a client.

Dr. Mirkin has some relevant articles today.  The first is on a topic dear to my heart.

As I have written more than once previously, I hate dislike restaurants.  With few exceptions, they are noisy, slow, expensive, and serve foods that are unhealthy. I also don't like having people serve me. Other than that, I guess they are okay.  Seems people love them.  I don't.

Regarding blood type, I am type A and my blood is thick, almost to the point where I can't get a big enough drop of blood for a glucose test unless I take an aspirin.

I don't do any exercises.  I know I should.

I've known about Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratios for a long time, but have never out that knowledge to use beyond buying Omega 3 eggs for a while.

As for statins, doctors are convinced they are beneficial.  I suspect in a few years, those opinions will change.  There are too many negative user reports online about muscle loss and confusion for there not to be strong arguments against.

Bill came over and we walked out on the lake, going ashore at Somerset Street. It looks green in the screenshot, but, of course everything is still covered with ice and snow. We covered a mile and half.

After the walk, Bill went home and after supper we met again at the Sudbury Amateur Radio Club meeting at seven. The meeting was about Software Defined Radio, with demonstrations of just a few of the amazing things available off the air with a computer and a little USB dongle and rabbits ears for under $50. (No rabbits were harmed in the process).

Yesterday's post

Quote of the Day
 The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

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Tuesday March 27th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Wind becoming west 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High plus 5. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of rain showers changing to 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Fog patches developing before morning. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 8.

I slept until 0745, got up, showered then made breakfast.

 BG: 6.5 Weight 212.4

I made a mushroom omelet for breakfast.  Since I'd bought too many mushrooms and am leaving soon, I made made mushroom soup yesterday but still had lots left, so the omelet got the rest.  I wondered how it would turn out, but it turned out surprisingly well. I'll do that again.

The weather has turned overcast with a little snow.  Mom wants to go to the shopping centre again this afternoon, so that is the plan.

For some reason, I when I am here, she gets out to the shopping centre and Walmart.  Otherwise she doesn't although she has helpers who can and would take her. She does get out once a week to the hairdresser and sometimes other events, but I'm surprised we'll be out twice in one week.  The excuse is to return some pants she bought.

This is my last day here and my thoughts are turning to Mexico.  I have eleven days at home before I go and hope to be able to get to my bees and do some work on them during that spell.

The coal is almost gone and requires Carolyn to be over daily.  If I switch entirely to gas, having the coal bin empty will be a good thing.  If not, I'll need another load.  Right now, though, the route to the bin is deep in snow so I could not get a load if I wanted to without a lot of bother.

Running low on coal makes for extra work, since the bin auger has trouble when there is very little coal, but the extra worry is not necessarily bad since she enjoys tending the furnace as long as the route over an back from her house is not too snowy. 

Nonetheless, I really must get my act together to be less reliant on a neighbour.  At some point soon I'm going to have to install gas heat.  I've made the first move by getting the service in.  Now I need to install some appliances.

I'm still watching for signs of water on top of the ice on the pond, indicating the beginning of run-off.  I see the snow is slumping a bit but so far, no run-off.  We are more than ten days late and no beginning in sight.  Damn Global Warming!  Where is it?  Not in Swalwell this year.

Must read -- and watch! -- The “Deepfakes” Are Coming.  Don't miss the Obama video.  They used his actual words, but imagine the words they could put in his or anyone's mouth.  So much for 'reality'.  If you weren't there, then ???

Here is an earlier effort from -- wait for it -- 1984.

5 Components of Emotional Intelligence

I was reading back in the diary and found this.  It's worthwhile to understand now and revisit come May.

In the north, after a winter of short days and cool weather, the increasingly longer days and hotter sun in early May often bring on a few days to a week of unusually hot weather.

If so, mark the dates because this is the sort of weather that guarantees the beginning of swarming three weeks later and sets us up with ideal conditions for splitting just before swarming time rolls around -- young bees emerging, and plenty of sealed brood, nectar and pollen coming in daily, and (usually) comparatively settled weather.

Why?  On hot days, the hive interior becomes warm enough that the bees can occupy the entire space. Wax gets soft enough to work easily.  Honey softens and is easier to move around.  Fewer bees can do more.  The heat brings on spring blooms and nectar and a wider variety of pollen becomes available, further stimulating the bees.  All the forces align for expansion.
With warm days and nights, a larger volume can be reliably kept at brood temperature and the workers expand the brood nest, use up the food around the brood and prepare more cells for the queen.  The queen ventures farther out, laying large areas of new brood. After a long period of cold and scarcity, it is now boom time and the bees shift gears from survival to build-up.
Assuming the colony can feed and keep all that new brood warm enough to pupate, within a week, slabs of sealed brood will be seen, and, three weeks from the warm spell, the first of the new generation of 'Boomer' bees will emerge.  Once the new brood is developing, its metabolic processes add to brood nest warmth, although to a lesser extent than adult bees do, further encouraging expansion.
Days before the new wave of bees emerges, though, the most successful colonies will already be getting crowded and be foreseeing the limitations of their space -- and perhaps detecting limitations in their queen, especially if she has been laying large numbers of eggs for a long time.  They will be preparing to raise new queens and divide and/or replace the reigning queen in anticipation of the arrival of the new generation.
Once that decision is made, it is hard to reverse, although some colonies, less intent on swarming but intent on supercedure, may only raise a few cells and could go either way, depending on conditions when the new queens are emerging. 
At this time, scouts will be seen reconnoitering the neighbourhood, peeking into any opening looking for a new home, and any swarm traps that beekeepers have not set out before now will likely be ignored.  Any old hive boxes left around that have been robbed out may well attract their attention.
The days leading up to the population explosion are the ideal time to split, as splitting now is exactly what the bees were planning anyhow and the bees and the beekeeper are working as one. 
If the beekeeper does not do the splitting and before the swarm date, the bees will, and right on schedule, starting three weeks after the first real heat wave or as soon as the slower hives are ready.
Swarming is as natural for bees as having children is for humans.  Preventing swarming is either a matter of assisting nature or going against nature. Swarm prevention involves either going with the urge and making splits that suit us, or by dulling the urge by either 1.) weakening the colonies or 2.) proactively reducing crowding and distracting them to honey making.
Many of the elaborate methods promoted in books and articles are simply ways to confuse and weaken the colonies disguised as management.  Bad idea IMO. 
Others, the valid and sensible plans, are simply ways to give the bees room ahead of their needs and avoid congestion or queen problems, queen problems being the other principle reason colonies may start cells that could incite swarming -- rather than the intended queen replacement -- if the right conditions develop when the new queen(s) emerge.

Be ready.  The bees won't wait if you are not.

Also May is the beginning of an opportunity to capture free bees early enough to make honey for you -- if you know how, are prepared, and let it be known locally that you are looking for swarms.

Yesterday's post

Quote of the Day
 We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and -- in spite of True Romance magazines -- we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely -- at least, not all the time -- but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.
Hunter S. Thompson

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Wednesday March 28th 2018

Today Periods of light snow ending late this morning then mainly cloudy. High plus 4. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy this evening. Low minus 7.

All I have to do this morning is pack. Bill comes at sometime after eleven to drive me to the airport.  I'll have two hours at YSB until my flight to to YYZ and YYC leaves at two

If all goes according to plan, I'll arrive at YYC this evening, take a cab to Airdrie, buy groceries, and arrive home by ten or so. 

Mitch came over for coffee at ten.  Bill came for me at eleven forty-five and I was at the airport by twelve-thirty.

We took off on schedule at two and I am in the lounge at YYZ waiting for my flight.  There is a flight leaving for YYC at three-thirty, but mine is at five, so I wait.  Gone are the days they'd just put me on this one.

At home it is cloudy and around freezing and not predicted to get nicer in the forecast period.  There is almost no point in being there from a beekeeping point of view.  Runoff still looks to be weeks away.  We'll see.

Maybe I should go to Mexico and return earlier than planned, but there could be some good skiing and kiting while I'm home, so we'll see.

I arrived home just before ten and was in bed by eleven.

Yesterday's post

Quote of the Day
 If you have someone that you think is The One, don't just sort of think in your ordinary mind, 'Okay, let's pick a date. Let's plan this and make a party and get married.' Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you come back to JFK, when you land in JFK, and you're still in love with that person, get married at the airport.
Bill Murray

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.Thursday March 29th 2018

 Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Fog dissipating late this morning. High minus 2.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries early this evening. Snow beginning this evening. Amount 5 cm. Low minus 10.

I got up at 0600 and had breakfast. The weather is expected to be below zero and snow for the next few days, so I'll stay in and try to get caught up on various chores.

6.3 212.0

So far, at 0852, I have just fooled around, reading stuff that does not matter and texting my daughter who is in Victoria on a road trip with her family.

   
Victoria                                                                Swalwell

I did some tidying, some filing, and adjusted the bin auger.  Now it works fine.

In the evening watched a little video and tinkered with my ham radios.

Yesterday's post

Quote of the Day
 Just beat my record for most consecutive days without dying.
Bill Murray

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.Friday March 30th 2018
Good Friday

Today Snow. Local blowing snow this afternoon. Amount 5 to 10 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming north 30 gusting to 50 this morning. High minus 9.
Tonight Periods of light snow ending late this evening then clearing. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 21.

Up at 0645.  Forecast is for two to four inches of blowing snow.

6.7 212.2

I had invited the usual suspects for supper, but the conditions were bad enough to cause us to cancel, so I put the fresh frying chickens into the freezer for another time.

Mid-day, I went out to see if I could make it out of the driveway.  I couldn't.  The van is stuck. I can get it out, but I was not in the mood. I'll have to do something in the next day or two.

I spent the day at the desk and went to bed early.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
Morality is doing what is right, no matter what you are told.
Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.
H. L. Mencken

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.Saturday March 31st 2018

Today Partly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Otherwise sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 7. Wind chill minus 28 this morning. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 23. Wind chill minus 28.

I'm up again at 0600 and the day is dawning clear and cold, at minus twenty-two.

I was in bed at 8:30 last night, and woke up at 0230.  I was feeling ambitious, so I stayed up for two hours then went back to bed for two more hours.

I have a week to get things done here before I go south.  I had hoped to see runoff while here so I can mitigate any problems, but there is no sign of melting weather in the forecast period.

Plans for The United Beekeepers of Alberta are moving ahead.  Details will be announced shortly, I expect. In the meantime, bookmark www.albertabeekeepers.com and check there from time to time.

I spent the day filing papers, doing books, fiddling around and playing with my ham radios.  I went out twice to try to get the van unstuck, but the snow had turned to ice and I'll wait for the neighbour to give it a tug tomorrow.

In the evening, I considered watching more video, but instead got busy with my ham radio equipment.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Ayn Rand

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