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 December 2018

 

 

 

 

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Background image - Looking east at the Old Schoolhouse from across the tracks

 

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I'm losing interest in bees lately and bee-related posts are infrequent these days but at one time I was very involved in beekeeping. Just about every topic has been covered somewhere on this site some time or another. Your best bets for finding ideas are:

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     Monday December 10th 2018


230.5  6.0 

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy this afternoon with 30 percent chance of flurries later this afternoon. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this afternoon. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 15 in the morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening. Clearing this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 11. Wind chill minus 4 in the evening and minus 15 overnight.

I've been out of sorts for a few days now, but hope to get back on track today. My digestion seems to have settled down.

At ten-thirty I went for a hike with Carolyn.  She cut back on her medications the other day and is much better.  Where she could hardly walk around one block the other day and was hardly able to move around the house after returning home, we walked around two blocks today and she was feeling fine at the end.

This goes to show how dangerous it can be to trust doctors to prescribe appropriate medicine and to monitor the effects. I've seen this before.  Every medicine has side effects and doctors tend to underestimate the potential for problems.  Where the patient lives alone and is overcome by a prescribed drug, and also believes the doctor knows best, who is going to figure out the issue?  If the patient is too confused and tired to figure it out...?

Anyhow, so far this story is ending well.

I'm tidying up today and watering plants.

I did some bookkeeping and then some fiddling around. I'm not good for anything today.  I'm not at all inspired to do anything directed and found myself back to playing with Linux.

Now that I have a fast enough machine -- the Samsung -- to run Virtualbox without long wait times, it is fun again. Looking at the Linux community is refreshing after too much time on the commercial web.  This is the Internet I remember, driven by volunteers and innovators.  The mainstream web is turning into a cesspool of advertising and paid-by the-word meaningless 'news' articles. 

My Linux versions are old, but still run and it is amazing how good they are. I decided to download Mint Linux.  It'll take two hours to DL the 2GTB with my connection and I'll play with it.

I'll not ditch Windows, but it is amazing how good the free distros are and they can run Windows software easily and fast under 'Wine', an app that adapts Windows apps to Linux. Right now, I have several versions of Ubuntu, Fedora, and Windows XP in VMs.

Quote of the Day
A tyrant... is always stirring up some war or other,
 in order that the people may require a leader.
Plato

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Tuesday December 11th 2018


5.6 229.4   0608

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this morning. Wind becoming southwest 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High zero. Wind chill minus 18 in the morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy after midnight with 60 percent chance of flurries overnight. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low minus 5. Wind chill near minus 9.5.6 229.4

I woke early, but since I was awake, I got up. For some reason I am suddenly up four pounds for the past few days. and feeling sluggish.  We'll see how today goes.

I have to go to town and I'll take the Lenovo for a professional opinion and I have a hearing appointment.  I think I really should return the hearing aids.  They work, but aren't the life changer I had hoped and sooner is better than later.  We'll see.

I went back to bed for a half-hour and am still not 100%. Carolyn and I went for a walk to the mailboxes and back at ten. She is much better with the reduced medication, but has a nervous stomach again.

I went to the appointment and returned the hearing aids.  I found they made a difference, but not enough to justify the cost, especially since I am apt to lose or submerge them in the three to five years of their life expectancy.  I'll look into hearing aids at Costco later.  For now, I'm okay.

From there, I went to Vincovi, a new computer shop in Three Hills and I was impressed.  I took the Lenovo there for an opinion and after looking it over, Jesse said it looks like a mother board and there was no charge.  I also learned there is a little charging board I should look at. I can buy an motherboard on eBay, so I may do that.

I was a partner in the first microcomputer shop in Canada back in 1979 and installed a lot of computers throughout southern Alberta and into BC.  We has an Apple dealership, which was not a big deal at the time.  Our main focus was Commodore, then various IBM clones and Atari.  We even had a store in  Spokane, Washington for a while.

I mailed back the adapter to Amazon.  Cost was $3.59 including a padded envelope, so that was easier than I expected.  I then bought groceries, had my tires checked again (only two weeks since last time) and drove home.

I fiddled around and did some accounting, watched Netflix and went to bed at ten.

Quote of the Day
We are afraid to care too much,
for fear that the other person does not care at all.
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Wednesday December 12th 2018

27.6 5.5 0800

Today A few flurries ending this morning then clearing. Wind becoming west 30 km/h gusting to 50 this morning. High zero. Wind chill minus 8 in the morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Increasing cloudiness near midnight. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming south 20 gusting to 40 this evening. Low minus 5 with temperature rising to minus 1 by morning. Wind chill minus 12 in the evening and minus 7 overnight.

I 'm better today, but my digestion is still not back quite to normal.

Somehow the morning just flew by at my desk.  Of course, I slept until eight, so got a late start -- but I had a really good night's sleep.

The day is bright and sunny. We'll walk at two.

I called St Joe's and it seems Mom will be there next week, although no one knows how long she will be there, so I'll put off my Saturday flight until later.  I'll wait until I speak to Mom tonight, however.

She is one who is not likely to stay down any longer than necessary and I think my plans to be there for Christmas give her a target andgetting there earlier might speed up her release.  It also might encourage her to get out sooner than she should.

The deskwork just goes on and on. 

I have not pursued the boiler project since I started having this digestive problem.  I don't know what precipitated it.  It began lat Friday night and I wonder if it was the soup I made that day. 

The gas and pains hit me at supper and persisted until yesterday.  I don't know if the soup was the cause since I used all the usual ingredients, but I'm afraid to eat any more of it. The only thing I did differently from usual is that I added a stir-fry spice with garlic and ginger.

If it is not the soup, then perhaps it is related to the series of antibiotics I took over the past year.  Apparently gut problems can occur  more weeks after treatment due to imbalances in gut bacteria from the antibiotic.

We went walking at two and made the full mile today. Moreover, I did not have to wait for her to catch her breath more than once.  Cutting down the medication has to have made the difference.  The day was warm and snow has been sublimating quickly in the fields and melting into puddles on the road.

I fiddled around all afternoon and evening and am going to bed early.

I tried phoning Mom at least ten times, but got the message the phone was busy or she was out.

Quote of the Day
In the West, for example, people believe they must 'pursue happiness'
as if it were some kind of a flighty bird that is always out of reach.
 In the East, we believe we are born with happiness and one of
 life's important tasks, my mother told me, is to protect it.
Le Ly Hayslip

Yesterday's post

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Thursday December 13th 2018

5.1 229.4 0533

Today Mainly cloudy. Clearing this afternoon. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High plus 4. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 5 with temperature rising to plus 1 by morning. Wind chill minus 7 in the evening.

I'm up earlier than usual, at 0520. 

I'm hoping I am more focused today.  I have been off task for a week now.  I'm scheduled to fly Saturday, but think I'll be canceling.  I tried calling Mom again and again her line was busy. I imagine the phone is off the hook.

I have a long list of things to do. Now, to get started...

  • Find out when Mom is likely to be released -- on hold for now
                  Cancel flight?

  • Cooper boating accounts need work

  • Carolyn and I will walk sometime today

  • Books need further reconciling

  • I have several banking tasks

  • The Acer needs some software installed

  • I need to research duct coils and boilers again

 We've been through a cold spell falling to minus twenty-six Celsius. (below)

Now, before dawn, it is around freezing with gusty winds.  I imagine we'll lose most of our snow shortly.

Looking ahead at the weather, predictions (left) here are for nothing below minus ten in the coming week. 

I don't know how long I'll be here.  My expectation is to be flying to Sudbury sometime before Christmas, but I should go skiing first if I have time.

I slept well last night, but only for six hours, and I surfaced imagining a strange smell and with a  thought that I have cancer, but nothing specific. Hmmm. 

Is this some sort of subconscious realization or just a dream ?  I guess I'll find out.

This sort of thing is unusual for me. The notion seemed quite clear but I would have thought that if this is some sort of subconscious awareness, it would be more specific. A general thought like this is not helpful.

In fact, everyone apparently has cancer or the beginnings of cancer, but it is normally self-limiting and disappears. Only if it grows is it a worry.  I have had pre-cancerous spots removed from my head a number of times, but am mildly concerned that I cannot examine my entire body for signs of melanoma. Doctors don't seems to be concerned or examine for it.

It turned out Mom's phone was off the hook. Not properly hung up.  The word now is that she will be in physio until at least next Thursday.  I'll probably postpone my flight until she is out, although I can do much of what i am doing here in Sudbury.  We'll see.  Decision time is tomorrow.

Carolyn and I went for a walk at two.  It was breezy and cool, but pleasant.  She was tired today from working around her house, but we walked to the mailboxes and back with hardly a pause.

I spent the afternoon in filling forms and email.  Of course, I had to play with my computers.  I've been a bit nauseous and disoriented for the past few days and not up to anything too demanding.  I suspect some sort of food poisoning.  Or maybe my dream was true?  Hope not.

I came across https://www.drvhub.net/,  recommended by an M$ MVP on a forum where I was chasing down the over-activity at idle on the Acer and had to try it out.  It is hard to believe there is such a great facility free on the 'net these days when everyone is trying to get everyone else's money.  It is just like old times when people did things to be helpful. 

Of course I checked their reputation.  Nobody had a bad thing to say, so, I/m running it on BOTH machines at the same time.  Trusting, huh?

The Samsung reported over thirty outdated drivers!  The Acer, surprisingly -- since it is the bad-acting machine -- reported only sixteen.

There are major downloads and screens flashing now and then as the program runs and I wondered what have I done? I only hope these machines run at all when it is over. 

Have faith, Allen.

Spotify stopped and a popup said to reboot the Samsung so I did d guess what?  The computer runs just fine.  In fact, the Samsung has never run better, and I see its new 8GB RAM was shipped today. 

Now how about the Acer?  This whole wild goose chase has been due to the Acer acting up, refusing its second monitor, and showing constant high resource and power usage after the refresh, as shown in the task manager here below. 

Right now the Acer is downloading an 174 MB Intel graphics driver.  Maybe it was the original problem that divorced the Acer from its large second monitor and caused me endless grief?  We'll soon see what this tune-up does for that machine, if anything. 

I ran the driverhub program again on the Samsung and it found two more.  I've learned that there are dependencies and sometimes after updating one driver, another discovers it needs to match the new one.

Now that the Acer has rebooted and had a chance to adjust, the task manager shows a much quieter idle state.  I'd say that https://www.drvhub.net/  actually works wonders -- and it is free.

(Note.  Two days later Malwarebytes identified this executable as "Malware".  Various unknown sites on the web advise how to uninstall it, while It uninstalls nicely from the usual Programs and features page.  So, the jury is still out IMO. More later). 

Quote of the Day
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Winston Churchill

Yesterday's post

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Friday December 14th 2018


5.1 227.8 0850

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind south 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 6. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind south 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 1. Wind chill minus 8 overnight.

I slept in again. The day is overcast, but mild. My morning blood sugar has been amazingly good the past few days: 5.6, 5.5, 5.1 5.2, but my weight is up. Go figure.

The forum distracted me first thing this morning.

Re: Winter varroa treatment Oxalic Acid Drip

A lot has been written about this, but finding it is always a problem, and, of course a lot of people offer opinions whether they know what they are talking about or not. In fact those who know the least are often the most certain.

I will write generally since I do not know the legality of such treatments in every locality and am providing information that applies here, where the treatment is legal.

At any rate, this is a treatment, so we first have to ask, why are we doing it? Treatments almost always have side-effects and some collateral damage, so the benefit has to be expected to exceed the harm.

Without knowing the history of a hive, any previous treatments, or whether it has been sampled for varroa, or whether varroa was seen on a drop sheet -- or the need is assumed since nothing has been done in the past year, I'll just deal with the question generally rather than give advice and specify a temperature, There are obviously times when it is too cold, but this treatment is used in summer temperatures with good success, so there is no upper limit AFAIK.

Let's analyze the process.
 


First, the intent is to apply the syrup to the bees, not to have them eat it, since it is harmful if ingested, so it is important the bees are not hungry or they will consume the drizzle and be harmed.

Also, the cluster must be loose enough that the syrup will penetrate the cluster and reach most of the bees +/- and not just run off the outside of a tight cluster.

The actual temperature outside is not critical. What is observed inside the hive and anticipated weather changes and time of day will determine whether to proceed or not.

A bit of smoke applied judiciously in advance will ensure the bees fill their stomachs, assuming adequate liquid feed is available in the cluster.

The oxalic acid product available is dihydrate. The industrial grade is as acceptable and widely available.

Mixing the dose correctly is important. People sometimes get confused by instructions that confuse oxalic anyhydrate with the dihydrate, and mix the wrong concentration, so use clear instructions from a credible source, not some random YouTube video.

The syrup should be freshly made and at body temperature. The amount applied should be no more or less than the recommended dose.

So, in short, pick a nice day when the bees are loosely clustered, smoke them and let them settle down, and make sure they have at least few hours before sunset to recover.

The rule in beekeeping is to plan, then observe and respond to what you see, not arrive with assumptions and carry on regardless, so let the bees advise you when you open the hive.

Today I should either decide to go east tomorrow or postpone the trip.  I've decided to postpone.

I went to change the flight and guess what?  I was supposed to fly on Wednesday.  Am I ever confused these days! I lost my flight.  Oh, well, it was booked on Aeroplan miles, but just the same...

I would have expected a notice to check in a day in advance, but nothing came. Drat!  Anyhow, events made up my mind for me.  Seems I can't win for losing lately.

I should have set myself a reminder.  Google sometimes takes it upon itself to do that and sometimes not.  That confuses things, too.

Anyhow, I am free until I get word Mom is being released.

The Acer has been acting up again and I finally decided to go to the Security and Maintenance settings and guess what?  When I called up the Reliability Monitor, the cause of crashes was obvious: The Intel driver app I had installed that was so helpful at first, but lately has been a drag on the system.  I uninstalled it and we'll see how things improve.

The controversy about coffee continues, but lately coffee is winning and considered a way to defer dementia.  As for me, I drink what this coffeemaker considers to be 12 cups a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.

I've spent a lot of time deciding whether to add an SSD drive to the Acer, and which one.  I bit the bullet this afternoon.  A new Crucial 512GB SSD is on the way.  Now, should I order more RAM?  I think I'll wait until I upgrade the Samsung and see what I think.

I drove to town, sent back the RAM, bought groceries, a bottle of white wine, and picked up the power supply I forgot at Vincovi last time.

I received an email from Sudbury outlining how the doctors are under-medicating Mom, leaving her in pain. I spent some time writing a response.

At home, I had a supper of spaghettini and watched Madam Secretary until bedtime.

Quote of the Day
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Winston Churchill

Yesterday's post

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Saturday December 15th 2018

Today Clearing this morning. Wind south 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming west 20 gusting to 40 this morning then light this afternoon. High plus 3 with temperature falling to minus 8 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Increasing cloudiness after midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 13. Wind chill minus 5 in the evening and minus 19 overnight.
5.1 227.8 0850

I woke up at two and I'm still up at five. 

When I woke, I had reviewed the report and had fresh insights, so I wrote two more notes, suggesting she leave the villa and go home right away, and a second a while later, then a third. I'm quite worried.

Somehow the day passed.  Carolyn and I did the one mile walk and it was the fastest  one yet.  She only stopped for breath once.  I had to wait for a train when we got back the crossing.

I'm still debugging the Acer.  Running 'perfmon /report' says that the Acer has insufficient memory.  Hmmm. 4 GB, and that seems to be enough for the Samsung, so I suspect the Acer hard drive is the bottleneck.  A new SSD is on the way, but will it get here by the time I leave Wednesday?

The Acer was so sluggish, I set about finding why.  It seems the Intel driver monitor app was hogging resources, so I removed it and things seem faster.  Then I removed "driver support", a proprietary program that seemed to have come from Acer. It was not listed in the add and remove page, so I had to find the source online, download, and install it.  Then it showed up on the add/remove page and I removed it. That made a huge difference and the machine is reasonably fast now.

My routine Malwarebytes virus scan thinks that driver hub is malware.  I am looking further into this and running the eset online scan to confirm.

Quote of the Day
At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition,
misinformation, and prejudice.
Gore Vidal

Yesterday's post

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Sunday December 16th 2018


6.2  0600 231.4

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this afternoon. High minus 2. Wind chill minus 19 in the morning and minus 7 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 8 with temperature rising to minus 3 by morning. Wind chill minus 13 in the evening and minus 7 overnight.

Now that I know when I fly, I have a list. 

I see my weight is 'way up again today.  I wonder why.

We're having a mild winter so far and the snow is disappearing. Predictions right up to Christmas are clear and above or right around the normals, other than for precipitation.

 

Normals
Well, it is seven fifteen and i have about finished my procrastination. Time to get up and get to work.

I did a wash and tidied the kitchen, then began the living room. Then I remembered that Rick had mention mold in Cassiopeia. 

Cooper Boating is responsible for making sure that the boat is dry but I guess they did not have the heater on?  Things happen.  I also find my boat in Sudbury gets mold.

Anyhow It occurred to me that maybe Amazon has dehumidifiers. I have checked in hardware stores numerous times and never found exactly what I need, but maybe online...?

I have been discovering lately that Amazon Prime delivery is fast.  Amazon has built a warehouse at Balzac, between here and Calgary and I gather this makes the difference.  

Things come quickly, but there are exceptions. A Purolator driver dropped an item in Linden and when it was overdue by a week or more, I happened to check and saw it shown as "Delivered and ready for pickup". 

I had to call Purolator and it showed up two days later.  Couriers try to weasel out of their commitment to deliver to the address on the package and that is just wrong!  They expect me to drive twelve miles to pick up an item?  No way.

At any rate, yes, Amazon has many, many dehumidifiers, and for a good price.  So, I researched the low cost small models and see that they are not likely to work below 10 degrees Celsius and my boats are under ten in winter most of the time.  Oh, well.  Back to the salt mine.

Suddenly, today, I am receiving zero Spam email.  What happened?  Usually I can see at least twenty-five, neatly diverted into my Spam folder by Gmail. I scan them for anything useful, almost never see anything but garbage there and delete all.  I keep that folder empty so that if Gmail makes a mistake and diverts something of value, I'll see it right away.

I'm procrastinating again.

After that, I got to work and repotted a few plants and vacuumed.  I shoveled ashes and tidied the basement. Bt the time I was done, the downstairs was better, but the upstairs is worse than when I started.  Just the same, I'm moving in the right direction.  A lot of things have accumulated over the past five years and need rearranging or throwing out.  Rearranging is easy, but throwing out is hard since things need to be sorted and delivered in various directions.

Cleaning the sofa, I found a desiccated mouse under a cushion.  It is not the first time I have seen that.  I guess mice hide under cushions when people come and when someone sits down the mouse is trapped and unable to breathe, resulting in death. Fortunately, they don't make a mess.  Just dust, hair and bone. 

I took out the turkey to start thawing, but put it in the fridge and will cook it from frozen tomorrow.  I also cut up the rutabaga to get a head start. It looks like there may be nine of us tomorrow night if everyone shows.

Quote of the Day
You know, I've been around the ruling class all my life,
and I've been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country.
Gore Vidal

Yesterday's post

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Monday December 17th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h. High 7. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 3. Wind chill minus 7 in the evening.

I woke up early and today I have a lot to do.  I have to finish tidying and cook supper.

Somewhere between now and 6PM  I need to find time to go to town.

I washed dishes, caught up email, then at seven, I went back to bed for an hour and a a half, and now, at eight-thirty, the sun is still below the horizon. Official sunrise is at eight-thirty,  but I am located below the eastern horizon, so we see the sun a little later here.

I didn't go to town, but I did a massive rearranging of the living room and vacuuming.  I repotted several plants and was ready for company at six.

Eight of us sat down and enjoyed turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, rutabaga, squash, peas, rolls and melon.  Flo got a call from her son who had an accident in Red Deer, so she and Fen left to help out. Most were gone by nine, but Bert and I chatted until midnight.

Quote of the Day
You aren't ever going to be anything in this world
unless you do what you want to do,
when you want to do it -- don't plan anything, just go out and do it.
Jack Kerouac

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Tuesday December 18th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this afternoon. High 8. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind becoming west 20 km/h gusting to 40 overnight. Low minus 4. Wind chill minus 5 in the evening and minus 10 overnight.

I woke up a few times, but slept until 1025.  First up is to load the dishwasher, do the dishes, and put things away. Then I have to organize to go east and maybe south later.  I'll have to go to town today, too, it seems.

I was tired and didn't do much today and am off to bed early to get up at three tomorrow.

Quote of the Day
I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not.
The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.
Robin Williams

Yesterday's post

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Wednesday December 19th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming sunny this afternoon. Wind becoming west 20 km/h gusting to 40 early this morning. High 6. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 10. Wind chill minus 7 in the evening and minus 13 overnight..

I was up at three, packing and doing last minute things before I leave. I fly at eleven and this will be a busy day at the airport, so I should get there early.  I've arranged with Bert to drive me in.

There is not a whole lot to do before I go out the door, but I like to have a few hours to wake up and fiddle around before I go.  I almost always pack at the last minute before I go since some items I use until the end.  Also, for some reason, that suits my nature.

I expect to touch down in Sudbury at 7:15 tonight and find Bill waiting for me.  I'll be alone at 1207 tonight, but Mom is scheduled to be released tomorrow morning early.

Christmas is only days away now.

Bert drove me to YYC and my flights were uneventful.  Bill picked me up at YSB and drove me to 1207. 

Sure enough, the front yard at 1207 is a complete mess.  My brother removed all the shrubs and the flowerbed in the drive while removing the fuel oil tank.  What was he thinking?

We brushed off the van and it started right up, then we visited a while.  Bill and Faye are off to Southern Ontario for Christmas with their kids tomorrow first thing.

I called Mom and Susan and made plans for tomorrow, then went to bed.

Quote of the Day
The more one judges, the less one loves.
Honore de Balzac

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   "If I make a living off it, that's great -- but I come from a culture where you're valued
not so much by what you acquire but by what you give away,"
-- Larry Wall (the inventor of Perl)
Please report any problems or errors to Allen Dick
allen dick 1999-2020. Permission granted to copy in context for non-commercial purposes, and with full attribution.

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