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 April 2018





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Background image - My car and van snowed in in the driveway


Sunday April 1st 2018

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 7. Wind chill minus 28 this morning.
Tonight Clearing near midnight. Low minus 19.
6.1 212.2

It's 0530 and I am up.

I've been reporting my blood sugar, weight and blood pressure here daily.  That is because, primarily, this diary is for me. However, I realize that people may get the idea that I am in poor health or a hypochondriac or both, so I'll demote these numbers to a cryptic entry in a less obvious spot.  FWIW, I am in reasonably good health -- AFAIK, but did have some concerns during the long bout of colds/flu.

As mentioned, I quit drinking alcoholic beverages back in November after a fall that could have been fatal or could have blinded me. I had thought that would be difficult, but it has been amazingly easy.  Cutting down is difficult, but quitting, it seems, is easy -- so far.

I seldom even think about it. Friends have been reluctant to drink wine when with me because everyone worries about tempting me, but I am not tempted by seeing others drink. If I feel like a beer, which has happened occasionally, it is due to the location and climate or boredom. When that happens, though, I just have to remember the gash I got from that fall and that the feeling from drinking is unpredictable and often not really that great anyhow.

Depending on which source I believe, it is either minus twenty-eight or minus twenty-five here this morning. So I went looking for my local climate chart and found this instead.


This is a chart I found somewhere a while back made up (I believe) from interpretations of ice core samples and geological and fossil samples.  As such, it is at best an estimate and subject to skepticism.  Keep in mind that a lot of the source data is from guesses, imprecise methods and the data may have been cherry picked to reject inconvenient data points and 'noise'.

However, assuming the plot is credible, it could just as easily be used prove the opposite of what is claimed: That CO2 causes Global Warming. Whatever else CO2 does, that conclusion cannot be drawn from the graph.

It is obvious when looking closely to this chart and the chart in "An Inconvenient Truth", is that the CO2 level almost always lags, not leads the temperature increases, often by a thousand years. Sometimes they diverge. This very obvious each time and suggests that the rise in CO2 historically is, sometimes at least, the result of warming, not the the cause. 

That makes sense since a warming climate releases trapped CO2 from bogs and other sources. Also, we should remember that the Earth has been very different at the time of each cycle, further complicating comparisons.

Recent data is the result of far more precise and detailed instrumentation than the early data and can only be approximately compared to these smoothed charts, as they cannot reveal short-term changes in the past. Whereas the data these days is hourly, a data point on the history may represent a century, or millennium.  There may have been many just as significant short term fluctuations in the past as we see now, but we have no way of knowing.  We have no yearly-accurate or even decade-precise data for back then.

At any rate, the spikes in CO2 and temperature at the extreme right of the chart, if not an artifact of measuring changes and/or deliberate fudging may or may not be causally related, but if there is cause and effect, which causes which is a question.  Regardless, there are some ill effects of high CO2 and one is acidification of oceans, apparently.  I'm sure there are other byproducts of civilization that are just as significant or maybe moreso.

If the chart is to be believed, then the present CO2 levels are unprecedented, while the temperature is still within the cycle norms, again, if the history is accurate. It seems oddly convenient how the three plots have been fitted to overlap and track one another.

Recent observations have indicated that temperature changes in the recent decades have not been nearly as drastic as predicted, and we should have expected expect a huge change if CO2 is really the influence claimed.  Apparently the models have failed. Some fraud may be involved, too.

Remember East Anglia?  I do. Oh, I see the cleanup crew was here.  Move along folks, Nothing to see here.  Sure.

Nonetheless, we are polluting the planet and we will see how well the planet buffers our various influences.  People talk about saving the planet, but I think they have it wrong.  Ice or fire, the planet will survive.  Will we?

That said, I don't have a great issue with this huge lie as it is a cover for reducing the dependence on fuels that are limited, polluting, and the cause of many continuing wars. 

All societies are run on lies.  Lying is an essential skill in leaders. People love to pretend, and would never accept the real reason, so using the natural fluctuations in Earth's climate as cover works for me. 

What bothers me, though, is that our Canadian governments are believing their own lies and burdening the economy in ways that accomplish nothing useful.

*    *    *    *    *

BTW, I decided to check out Al Gore's lifestyle.  After all it is not what someone says that reveals the true self and what they believe, but what someone does. You'll have to decide for yourself what Gore really believes. It seems pretty clear to me.

I'm still looking for the local climate history chart showing our extremes and normals. 

*    *    *    *     *

It took a while, but I found it.  I'd say we broke a record for a low temperature on this date.  The dotted lines are the extremes in the recent record. 

Today we were at minus twenty-five. Note that the extreme high on this date was around plus twenty-five.  That is a fifty-degree spread in possible temperatures! 

How are we supposed to keep bees here???

*    *    *    *     *

I will stay in today.  I can't do much outdoors and I have more desk work.  I expect, though, that I'll have my van pulled out and the driveway cleared a bit.

How Europeís new privacy rule is reshaping the internet

Word is now, apparently, that this is the coldest Easter in Calgary since 1940.

Patrick came over and plowed out the drive for me and gave the van a tug, so I am able to get out and about again.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 Friendship is so weird. You just pick a human you've met and
you're like, 'Yep, I like this one,' and you just do stuff with them.
Bill Murray

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Monday April 2nd 2018
212.0  6.3

 Today A mix of sun and cloud. Clearing near noon. High minus 5. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Low minus 20.

I was up at five, had breakfast and skipped coffee.  Feeling tired, I went back and slept another hour and a quarter, with strange dreams.  I wore myself out worrying yesterday, I guess. Anyhow, I'll take it easy on coffee today.

I tend to drink coffee like water -- about two litres a day -- without adverse effect, but sometimes I overdo it and it seems that yesterday was one of those times.  Being shut in, I tended to overeat, too.

I found yesterday I was running in circles, being indecisive and accomplishing little of the core tasks I have on the list. Granted, I did a lot of peripheral stuff, but I need to relieve the pressure by doing the most important first..

Usually coffee does not bother me, but being snowed in, running low on coal, being under pressure to get the books to the accountant, and leaving shortly for a few weeks with deep snow and potential destructive runoff possible during my absence presented me with multiple interrelated dilemmas, resulting in a loop and stack overflow.

As for overeating, I am aware of the recommendations to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and I wonder if I am eating fruit like candy.  After all, fruits have a lot of sugar, even if it is accompanied by other nutrients and fibre.

Anyhow, today I'll be careful and make a point of getting down to the main tasks. 

The one question at the moment is when I have to go to town to get some spots burned off my head again.  I was given an appointment, but must have written it down wrong.  According to my note, it was for yesterday, but the office is closed Sunday.  Should it be today?  I tried to find out of today is a holiday for the clinic with no success.  (I hate holidays because of the uncertainty what is open and what is not.  Some close and some don't and everyone assumes that others know what they know and so do not mention it on websites and phone answering messages.)

So, I am waiting for nine sharp to call them since the appointment whatever day it is is at nine-thirty and Three Hills is a fifteen minute drive.

I had spots burned off with nitrogen recently, but there are still some.  I don't think the doctor was really paying full attention when he did it.  I like to make sure they are totally gone, especially when I expect to be in the sun.  I wear a hat, but that does not seem to keep the spots away.

I called and the appointment is tomorrow. Good. One worry down...

Next, I got busy and contacted my trucker about coal.  I had thought that if the coal lasted to summer, I'd get the gas appliances in and not need more coal, but at this point, I'm against the wall.  He says he should be able to get me a load, but is noncommittal until he speaks to the mine.

Mines are in trouble here in Alberta because our quixotic federal and provincial governments are shutting down coal plants before their programmed obsolescence dates and throwing everything into a mess.  Energy prices are soaring and whole communities are finding that suddenly they have no core enterprise.  Meantime China is planning and building 700 new coal-fired plants.

Then I contacted Patrick and he says he can clear the snow tomorrow.  I got back to the trucker and he says the mine is closed today, so is waiting on when he can get coal.  I think it will all work out. 

I had almost cancelled my flights and moved them off a week, but decided against.  Fingers are crossed...

The reconciliations and book work proceed.  No end in sight until the end comes into sight. I hate this work. Grrr.

After three, the afternoon was so beautiful I just had to go for a walk and toured the town. Come August, I will have owned this schoolhouse for fifty years. At one time I knew everyone in town.  Now I only know a few.  People keep dying or moving away.  It's hard to keep up and I quit trying.

This shot is looking east up the road from town, across the tracks and up my driveway.

Cleaning up, I came across an old contact strip from when I used to have a darkroom. These are shots taken back in 1969 when I was teaching country welding classes. That is one of my classes and I am the dude front and centre.

That was along time ago.

I hate lining up to register my vehicles annually and checked online. Guess what?  I can do it online, so I did.  It took ten minutes, not a half-hour.

I got a bit done today and am feeling more confident.  I'm getting back into ham radio lately.  The instigation has been the radio that came on Baja Magic. It is a full station and can come in handy for contacts with other cruisers..

Metaphors can change our opinions in ways we donít even realize

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 I thought yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life but it turns out today is.
Steve Martin

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Tuesday April 3rd 2018

 Today Sunny early this morning then a mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries late this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 5. Wind chill minus 28 this morning. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries this evening. Low minus 15.

I woke up at five feeling great. Maybe it was the walk yesterday, maybe it was the longer days and brighter sun, maybe it was the metformin I decided to take yesterday, maybe it was less coffee, and maybe it was none of the above. 

Actually, I drank around six cups yesterday. and I make it fairly strong (but quite not as strong as Starbucks). The only difference was I thought before drinking it each time to make sure I was not overdoing it and drank water if I was thirsty.

Today, I have to drive to Three Hills first thing to see the doctor, get a few groceries, and get the shop to check the tire pressures and maybe rotate the tires.  I can't get to my air hose, here at home yet.  The north end is still snowed in with three foot drifts in places.

Later, Patrick is talking about clearing snow, then I go to Calgary for the Bluewater Cruising meeting (optional).  In between, I continue filing and checking my accounting.

Now, before dawn, it is minus twenty Celsius.

Beekeepers refuse to put colonies in Fraser Valley blueberry fields

This article is interesting, especially in light of man article in the March 2018 UBA newsletter posted at

Amazon, Google may want to be a fly on the wall in your home, patents suggest

I went to Three Hills and saw another new doctor.  He sprayed the spots with liquid nitrogen and I encouraged him to be aggressive. Pervious doctors have tended to be conservative and not hit every spot. I think we got them all this time.

From there, I went to the tire shop and had the tire pressures adjusted and then bought groceries.

Once home again, I shoveled the ashes and vacuumed the shop, did a wash, and caught up on some email.  Then I noticed an increasingly sore neck and wondered if it was metformin.  Muscle pains is one potential side-effect.  Maybe two 500mg pills is too much to start. Anyhow, an aspirin and an ibuprofen and a nap later, all was well.

I spent the afternoon working on the UBA and arranging coal.  By four, I have a delivery arranged for Thursday night and snow removal for tomorrow. That is a huge relief.

Next, I arranged a supper here Thursday night .  When speaking with Fen, she asked if  I wanted to go to a theatre production in downtown Calgary in Maddy's place since Maddy is sick, but I am scheduled to go to Bluewater tonight and I also hate parking downtown, so begged off.  Fen's daughter and Maddy's sister Esther is in the play, and I have known Esther since she was a little girl, so it would be nice, but not this time.

I drove to the meeting, arriving at 1915, fifteen minutes early and and found it was crowded. Sitting at the back when the presentation began, I could not hear or see well, so stood to the side. It was along presentation about a trip beginning in Scotland and going through Scandinavia to Russia and back.  It could have been interesting, but wasn't.  Rather than covering details of boat handling and customs clearance, etc., we just got a story of the route and the ports, all of which seemed pretty much the same after a while.  Apparently there was a lot of seasickness and motoring into the wind. I left at break thinking I should have gone to the play or stayed home.

I stopped at Walmart and bought an electric razor and beard trimmer on the way home.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 If you've got a dollar and you spend 29 cents on a loaf of bread, you've got 71 cents left; but if you've got seventeen grand and you spend 29 cents on a loaf of bread, you've still got seventeen grand.
There's a math lesson for you.
Steve Martin

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Wednesday April 4th 2018
5.2 213

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy near noon with 30 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. Fog patches this morning. High minus 5. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Periods of light snow ending before morning then partly cloudy. Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light near midnight. Low minus 14.

I'm up at six this morning with a clear day ahead.  My passport is ready for pickup in Calgary today, but I'll put off picking it up until tomorrow, I think, unless I get bored.

My job today is just to put the sorted papers into folders and look over the accounting file for errors and omissions.  My coal comes to tomorrow and I have invited the usual suspects for supper.  Pat says he will clear the access to the bin today.

I was going to quit mentioning my markers, but blood sugar is 5.2 today.  Go figure. Yesterday, afternoon and evening, I ate a Buddy Burger and had a MacDonalds ice cream cone at Walmart, plus a banana before bed.

The Foreca forecast (below) differs a lot from the Environment Canada forecast lately.  Both agree it will warm up as soon as I leave.

That warming looks to be gradual and quiet a bit of snow has sublimated already, so perhaps the runoff will be gradual and not sudden.  Ideally, the melt happens slowly enough for the water to soak in, not gush overland, causing flooding and damage.

I decided to take a stroll around town.  The day is bright and the temperature about minus twenty, but, dressed well, it was very pleasant and measures at one mile, almost exactly.

I am slack when it comes to billing my web clients, but when filing tax, I should get all that in line, so that is what took upo my early afternoon.

hen I decided to go out and start the small tractor, so I went out my back door and was immediately impressed by how hard it was to walk the hundred feet around to the tractor.  The snow is knee deep[ and deeper in spots and crusty. It is not quite crusty enough to bear my weight, so I would just step up, then fall through every time.

Getting even a short distance is exhausting and I imagined some poor slob crashing a plan in the bush and trying to walk out in such conditions.  He would not get a quarter mile before being tuckered right out, and wet.

The tractor started up without any problem but cannot move in the snow.  It has a loader on the front that takes enough weight off the back wheels that they do no0t grip, even with chains. It needs a great deal of weight on the back to go anywhere and I am not heavy enough.

I happened upon a test site I whipped up the other week and had forgotten about:  Nice pictures, huh?  No content, though.  Not yet anyhow.

Patrick came and cleared the route to the bin.  He did a fantastic job, so Tracy should have no trouble tomorrow.  I should clean off the bin surface a bit first, though, and I have to set up the bin auger for a full bin.

I continued to sort through the accounting file and think I am nearly done.

After supper, I noticed the Saskatchewan Phone Net on 3735 KHz. Signals were strong, so I tuned an extension cord lying across the living room floor to 1:1 with a little MFJ manual tuner connected to FT-857 and checked in at 1920 hrs local. Then I checked the Alberta Public Service Net on 3700 at 1954.

I think I'm done the accounting file and next, I'll do the rest of the filing.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
A man with no enemies is a man with no character.
Paul Newman

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Thursday April 5th 2018
4AM   5.3    211.0

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this morning. Wind becoming north 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High minus 8. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 21. Wind chill minus 25.

I downloaded Vivaldi some time back and got around to taking a look this morning.  It looks like a good browser.  I find Firefox and Chrome to be slow, but perhaps it is the add-ons.  I have none on Vivaldi as of now.

Today, I should pick up my passport in Calgary. That will take four hours from here to there and back.  I should not go until after the rush hour, as getting into Calgary at rush hour can take an hour from Airdrie in.  The office is open 8:30 to 4:00. Parking near there is expensive.

Then I have the usual suspects -- nine of us -- here for supper at 6PM and coal arriving at 8PM. Sometime between now and then I have to finish filing, adjust the auger, and make supper.  At some point, today or tomorrow, I have to drop papers at the accountant's office and have a chat.

I drove to Calgary and back and stopped in Airdrie along the way.  I was back in about three hours.  The passport pickup was efficient only took fifteen minutes including parking.

Replacing the passport after water damage cost me more than replacing the cell phone, especially when we consider the two trips to Calgary. I had ordered a waterproof case on eBay to avoid a repetition of the problem.  It arrived promptly and days it is drip proof, not water proof as advertised.  It looks waterproof, though.

New Appreciation for Insects

My friends came at six  and somehow, Fen did not come and I wonder if she forgot or maybe I forgot to tell her. There was no answer on her phone. Anyhow, the eight of us had a good supper and visit.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 Mistakes are part of the game.
 It's how well you recover from them, that's the mark of a great player.
Alice Cooper

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Friday April 6th 2018
211.0 5.1

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High minus 10. Wind chill minus 27 this morning. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening then partly cloudy. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 18.

Today, I have to drive to Red Deer to day to have my eyes checked for cataracts.

*   *   *   *   *

I left at nine and was at the clinic right on time.  The appointment took two hours, and when I left, I had learned that my cataracts are no concern yet, but that my IOP (Intra Ocular Pressure) is up again and it is time for another SLT.  

I've had three previous SLTs and they have been successful to date, but there is always the chance the next one won't work and I'll have to use drops.

I drove home and arrived just in  time to be here when the coal arrived. Now the bin is full and we can quit worrying.  I must say the carbon tax is amazing.  It was bad enough on my initial natural gas bill, but on coal, it is worse. 

I'm finishing up the books to get them to the accountant and then packing is my main job. Weather here is still nasty.  The wind is cold and the day has not gotten above minus sixteen.

I was tired and went to bed at nine.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for,
you're a bigger moron than they are.
Alice Cooper

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Saturday April 7th 2018
11.2 6.0

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Snow beginning late this afternoon. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h near noon. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 25 this morning. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Snow at times heavy. Amount 10 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light late this evening. Low minus 8.

I woke several times before getting up at 0220.  Mind is active.  I am surprised and a bit disturbed by the higher than expected IOP reading.

I'm wondering if I should stick to my present doctor who has been 100% thus far, or have the new one do the laser. They are quite different, but both highly respected.

I've already started planning and packing for Mexico. That is new for me.  I'm always a last-minute packer.

I quit Quickbooks and got a data error, requiring a file rebuild.  Great! Just when I am on a deadline and need the software to work right. After two data rebuilds QB now says all is well, but I just know there are gremlins in there still. There always are in something so complex.

At five, the new EC forecast (above) came out and guess what?  More snow, and wind today.  Just what i need to drift me in for tomorrow morning when I have to leave early for the airport.

I see also that the warm weather promised earlier has been postponed now and the spring runoff is further delayed.  It looks to be a month late this year.  Mexico on the other hand is hot.  35į C is 95į F and 30į C is 86į F.

I made coffee and an omelet and did some work, then headed back to bed at 0530. I got up again at 0810.

I spent the day working on the books, reconciling and detecting errors, then started packing.  I hope to leave in a more relaxed fashion than has been my habit.  I'll be mostly packed tonight and just have to put in a few last -minute items in the morning.  I should leave by about seven.

At two-thirty I drove some papers to the accountant and that gave me a break. I went to the IGA and bought one mushroom for tomorrow's omelet.  It cost me eight cents, so I got a lot of change from a fiver.

I checked into the ham nets again and am finding the hams to be good company and better radio than the programmed stations, with the possible exception of Danielle Steele's morning show.  These hams are interesting guys to listen to.  Unlike living room conversations, each takes a turn on the topic that comes up and they seldom interrupt a guy until he is done his turn.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but itíll always get you the right ones
John Lennon

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Sunday April 8th 2018
6.4 211.2

I was up at 0230, earlier than planned, but wide a wake. I had breakfast, poked around, finished packing, shoveled ashes and took out trash, and left at seven. The roads were snowy and I passed slow-moving traffic, but the studded tires maintained traction.  I did notice that fuel economy dropped from 10 to 12 litres per 100 kilometers, though.

My regular taxi dropped me at YYC at nine, and at three I walked out in to the warmth of the Baja Sur sun.  MY shuttle was ready and three hours later, I was at the Malecon in La Paz.

I walked the half-mile to the Pekin and had chop suey, then called Uber for a lift the last mile and half.  I walked down the dock to Baja Magic and went aboard.

I had noticed that the winds lately have been from the south and knew there would be dust, and sure enough the exterior was dusty, but should rinse off easily.  The interior was hot after the day and just the way i had left it a month ago.

I opened ports and turned on fans.  I'm home.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but itíll always get you the right ones
John Lennon

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Monday April 9th 2018

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. High plus 5. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Clearing late this evening. Low minus 9.

Well, I'm here.  I slept well and am up before daybreak. I'd like to say I'm on 'holiday', but the next two days will be busy.  I have to get a Telcel SIM since Rogers is costing me $12 a day plus tax, and I have to finish working on the accounting file, a task that will be a bit harder since I now am working on a 12 inch screen, not four monitors.

At 0915, I'll meet a local who offered to take me to Telcel and steer me through to the best deal.  I need an English speaking salesperson in a city where most are unilingual Hispanophones (Spanish speakers).

The forecasts at home from Foreca (below) and Environment Canada (above) diverge considerably. I wonder if either will be right.

Here in La Paz, the weather is expected to continue warm.

This article is interesting. Read it with a critical mind. (Most people can't.)
A Shell report predicted how devastating climate change would be ó itís from 1988

So is this.
New Pesticide as Alternative to Neonicotinoids

After sunrise, I hosed off the boat.  Desert dust had blown in while I was gone and it took a while.

Debbie picked me up at 0915 and drove me to the Telcel that she said had an English-speaking owner.  He takes Monday off, it seems, so we dealt with a staff member who got me set up quickly and Debbie dropped me at Marina Palmira shortly after. 

The Telcel deal is 500 pesos (~$35 CAD) for 4GB and unlimited calling,, text, and social apps to and from anywhere in North America for 30 days.  And I have a Mexican phone number.  This turned out to be tricky because when I gave the number to my Canadian contacts back home, John tried calling and got a 'not in service; message.  When he thought to try from his cell, he got through to  me.

So, I looked up the Mexican dialing rules and apparently to call a Mexican cell phone from Canada, the prefix is 011 52 1 XXX-XXX-XXXX.  For a landline,  011 52 XXX-XXX-XXXX.  How you should know which you are calling in advance beats me.

I spent the afternoon doing odds and ends and then went to Aramburo to get groceries. On my return, I took the TS-50 ham transceiver apart to deal with the front panel buttons which wanted to fall out.  That kept me busy until bedtime.

This radio is 28 years old and still an excellent unit.  The foam holding the buttons in had deteriorated over time and let a few fall out, so I have to find an alternate way to hold them in.

Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
Jimi Hendrix

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