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 December 2018

 

 

 

 

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Background image - Looking east over Ramsey Lake from 1207

 

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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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Thursday December 20th 2018

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 late this morning. High plus 5. Wind chill minus 11 in the morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Wind south 20 km/h gusting to 40. Low minus 1.

I didn't sleep at all well and woke up at five, had coffee and eggs, then went back to bed. Didn't sleep. Got up again.  Repeat.

At 8 , I was at the continuing care picking up Mom.  By nine we were home and a while later, Susan came with coffee.

I made soup, then had a nap.  This afternoon, I'll go grocery shopping and go to the bank. I have a deposit to make and a bank transfer to somehow manage.  I've tried to accomplish this task five times now and always am missing some piece of information.

Ron had mentioned loss of brake fluid when he drove Mom's car and had topped it up.  I immediately noticed an issue on my way to get Mom, and had to rely on the hand brake for the trip to the care facility and back.   After lunch, I drove the car to the shop and caught their shuttle home.

After supper, I went to the bank and found that again they were unable to do it and I had to ask for more information. From there, I went to Walmart and bought groceries, then returned to 1207.

I watched video and went to bed at midnight.

Liz posted a link on Calgary Beekeepers today. She had picked it up from BEE-L.  Apparently, varroa do not consume haemolymph.  What they do consume is far more damaging. Here are couple of slides from the video, which every beekeeper should watch, and which demonstrates how science should be done.

 
Varroa Does Not Feed on Hemolymph --  Samuel Ramsey

I have expressed my skepticism about much of the popular bee research and current wisdom.  Here is a video that reveals how bee scientists have been relying on one misinterpreted piece of work done eons ago to form a foundation for a entire structure that now is discredited by the work of one young worker who actually bothered to question it.   

The work required some sophisticated equipment and support, so, of course his supervisors and supporting institutions have to share credit for encouraging and funding his work.

Quote of the Day
When everyone believes the same thing,
it usually turns out to be completely wrong.
Jared Dillian

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Friday December 21st 2018
Winter solstice 2018 in Northern Hemisphere is at 5:23 p.m. EST

Today Increasing cloudiness early this morning. 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light early this morning. Wind becoming northwest 30 gusting to 50 this afternoon. Temperature falling to minus 3 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Clearing overnight. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 10. Wind chill minus 10 in the evening and minus 15 overnight.

I have decided to cut back on the feedbag.  I noticed that my weight has been climbing, so it is time to end that. So, I dropped two pounds since yesterday and plan to get back down to 210.  That will take a while, though.

It is snowing today.  Mid-morning, I caught the shuttle to get the car from the shop and found I had lefty my wallet at home.  So, I had to go home and back, and finally drove the car home.

Then, having received more info for the bank, I drove my van to the bank again and finally managed to do the transfer.  From there, I drove to the SuperStore, bought a few more groceries and headed home. 

Enroute, I found the roads so slippery that I had almost no stopping ability. and slid partly through a red light.  Luckily, there was no traffic, but I got the message and decided to go straight home, with just the one stop along the way.

I spent the rest of the day indoors.  I was too tired after supper to do anything, but stayed up a while and watched video until it was late enough to go to bed.

Quote of the Day
 He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
Thomas Paine

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Saturday December 22nd 2018

Today Mainly sunny. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this afternoon. High plus 1. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 10 in the evening and minus 19 overnight.

I slept poorly again and got up at eight.  Mom was asleep in her chair, so I had breakfast.  She then got up and came to the kitchen for breakfast.  After, I went back to bed and the next thing I knew, I heard the doorbell.  It was ten and Sharon had arrived for coffee. Mitch arrived shortly after.

We visited until after eleven, they left, and we had lunch. After, I lay down a while but did not sleep, then spent some time at the keyboard.  Mom got up from her nap and we sorted her pills for a while.

It took a while, but I figured out the problems.  The young doctor had reduced Mom's meloxicam, administered once a day by half, and substituted acetaminophen administered three times a day.  The problem there was that meloxicam has a half-life of about twenty hours and acetaminophen peaks in one hour and is half dissipated in two or three, leaving her partly unprotected for the next four hours until the next nursing shift.  The result was Mom in pain several times a day, from the time the acetaminophen wore off until the next dose of medications several hours later.

Mom's GP had tried reducing the meloxicam a year back and that precipitated a crisis until we figured the problem and restored the previous dose.  The young doctor apparently did not know that this had been done and made the same error, leaving Mom in unnecessary pain.

Doctors worry about NSAIDs due to a slightly increased statistical cardiac risk observed in test populations, and due to increased risk of gastrointestinal injury, also observed in test populations. Of course, these are real concerns, but these fears come from observing large, diverse populations and are not able to say what might happen in any particular case.

Just as the murder rate in any particular city may have meaning, it does not indicate what is going to happen to any one individual. It's a risk/benefit calculation and people -- even doctors -- are terrible at evaluating risk. Otherwise lotteries would be out of business.

Note: I later got better data (see Tuesday below) indicating that the estimation of risk has changed considerably since I researched this years ago and the risks are now considered far higher than the earlier estimates.  Nonetheless, the data are difficult to interpret due to unstated confounding issues and the fact that these drugs are fine for many people.  One must wonder what makes the drugs fatal for some and beneficial for others.

Mom took us all, MIch, Sharon, and me, out for supper at The Apollo, her favourite.

I went to bed at ten, but got back up to write a while.

Quote of the Day
What we call public opinion is generally public sentiment.
Benjamin Disraeli

Yesterday's post

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Sunday December 23rd 2018

Today Mainly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 20 in the morning and minus 6 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 11. Wind chill near minus 14.

I'm tired again today.  I ate breakfast at eight, then slept until ten, when I heard voices.  Sarah and Sid had come over to see Mom, so we had coffee until lunchtime.

Ron had dragged out my Keurig coffee maker and Mom likes the idea, so I set it up.

I had bought the Keurig machine a year or two ago, thinking it was a good idea, then found that it keeps water hot all the time and that the pods cost 50c a cup.  Moreover, the pods are garbage, so the device wastes electricity, is expensive to run, and creates garbage that ends up in the landfill. 

Our normal good coffee costs about $15 for enough to make 200 cups of coffee. That is 7.5c per cup, and generates only compost waste. Our one-cup coffee makers take a little longer, but use less counter space as well, so I had put the Keurig machine into storage.  When people were here 24 hours/day to take care of Mom, Ron found it and set it up.  Now, Mom is thinking she wants to try it, so we are.

I went grocery shopping and found a variety pack of pods, purchased them, and returned home. I also bought Mom some lamb chops. 

That was the day.

Monday December 24th 2018
Christmas Eve

226.2      6.1    0532

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 8. Wind chill minus 11 in the morning and minus 16 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 14. Wind chill near minus 18.

I woke at 0532, feeling wide a wake and feeling better than I have for a while. I see I dropped a pound overnight and BS is 6.1, so I am getting over whatever put three pounds on me and had me feeling down.

I had breakfast and went back to bed.

Sharon and Mich came over at ten and we had coffee.  Then I made lunch and Mom napped.  I di, too.

At four, we drove to Sid's for supper, and returned to 1207 at seven.

Quote of the Day
It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law.
 This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.
James F. Cooper

Yesterday's post

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Tuesday December 25th 2018
Christmas Day

228.8   6.2    0632

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 6. Wind chill minus 15 in the morning and minus 10 in the afternoon.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 10. Wind chill near minus 13.

I woke up at 0630, but I'm still tired.  I got up anyhow.

I've been tired and unmotivated for days, now.  I think I must be depressed. I don't much like Christmas at the best of times, and the events of the past few weeks have been depressing.

I had thought I'd be inspired to get out and buy gifts, but did not have the energy.  I'm conflicted about the consumer side of Christmas anyhow.

Enough whining.  At ten, we go back to Sid's to open gifts.  Then we return home and return there for supper later.  I'm catching up here, then may lie down for a while before we go.

The day is overcast and minus fifteen now, at daybreak.  I should go for a walk, but at minus fifteen, the idea is not appealing.  The lake has a nice layer of fresh snow and all I need is a decent breeze to break out the kite I brought and the skis I keep here for a few runs.  I'd like a day above minus ten as well.  Anything colder is hard on the hands and face.

We went to Sid's for the morning and returned home for lunch.  I noticed that I am feeling faint and slightly disoriented.  This has been the case for a few days.  My digestion is still unbalanced.  I suspect this is due to the antibiotics in the past year. Any alcohol seems to exacerbate the issues.

I have been further researching medications and trying to figure why the doctors want to reduce Mom's meloxicam.  I have been aware that NSAIDs have some risks, but apparently more recent work has shown far greater risks than were previously thought.

Here are a few links:

At four, we went over for supper and returned at seven.  I'm feeling better again.

Quote of the Day
Public Opinion... an attempt to organize the ignorance of the community,
 and to elevate it to the dignity of physical force.
Oscar Wilde

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Wednesday December 26th 2018

228.4 5.8  0555

Today A few flurries ending this morning then mainly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 6. Wind chill near minus 12. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 10. Wind chill near minus 13.

Christmas is over and that is a relief.  Now we wait for New Years and things go back to 'normal'.  I'm hoping my tiredness has passed.

I should get out for a hike.  I keep thinking of doing the 2.2 mile walk around Minnow Lake (right).   I also have a ton of small tasks to finish.

Mom is getting back on her schedule.  Susan comes this morning.  We are expecting to hear from a personal support worker prospect, also, but we're not sure when.  Sarah goes back to Toronto today, too, and we expect her, possibly, for lunch before she goes.

Sarah came for lunch.  I did some deskwork in the afternoon.  A Personal support worker came for a short while at five.

I'm feeling 100% today.

Before bed, I watched a short YouTube video about Trump's persuasion techniques and a Jordan Petersen interview on Femsplainers. No Netflix.

Before turning out the light, I checked the bin auger and could see a potential problem and dropped Carolyn a line. No reply.

Quote of the Day
Terrorism is a direct response to the crimes our government has committed against
 foreigners (besides which, the actual terrorists are within our own government)
Gore Vidal

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Thursday December 27th 2018

                 

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Clearing this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 6. Wind chill minus 9 in the morning and minus 16 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 16. Wind chill minus 15 in the evening and minus 20 overnight.

I woke at 0140 and checked the surveillance cameras.  Sure enough, the main auger was bare and I had not heard from Carolyn. 

I phoned on the chance she was up.  It was 11:45 PM there, but she had been asleep since supper and she had just gotten up.

Sure enough, she was up, had just seen the email.

She went over and reported back.  The belt was off again.  A little while later, everything was back to normal.  I went back to bed.

Next I knew, it was 0745 and we have to be at the doctor's office at nine.  Mom had slept in, too.  We had breakfast and we'll soon be out the door.

The visit there was routine. The nurse practitioner confirmed that the wax had been removed, we discussed medication, then drove home.

Mom was tired all day, so maybe she has whatever kept me tired over Christmas.

In the afternoon, I went shopping at Walmart, returned, and made supper. Lisa came again and did a few chores.

I went upstairs and watched video until ten, checked the bin auger, and went to bed.

Quote of the Day
Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are
unlikely to think about changing society.
When you trap people in a system of debt,
they can't afford the time to think.
Noam Chomsky

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Friday December 28th 2018

                 

Today Sunny. Increasing cloudiness late this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 5. Wind chill minus 15 in the morning and minus 9 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 14. Wind chill minus 12 in the evening and minus 17 overnight.

I was up at 4 for a while, then slept in until 0758.  We have fresh snow and it is zero.  I hear the roads are slippery.

I'm remembering again that my best sleep pattern has evolved over time to where I sleep the first shift of three to four hours, get up for an hour or so, then go back and sleep a second shift that last until I wake up ready for the day.  That is the best profile.  I've been trying to sleep right through lately and that has been working out as badly as any other attempt I have ever made to "do the thing right".

Susan came at 9 and Carrie came over at 0930 for an interview. We had a good visit, then she left, but fifteen minutes later she was still stuck at the end of the driveway, so I walked out and drove her car up the hill and up to Howey.  Walking back, I realised it was raining.

The afternoon was overcast and rainy and I knew netter than to try to drive anywhere, so we stayed home and I took care of some planning.  Mom was having a bit of an existential crisis. She does once in a while.  I'm used to it; she gets over it and the sun comes back out.  She is mostly an optimist.

We've had confusion about in-home care lately as Mom does not fit the mold. She is getting better, not worse. I called CarePartners, the outfit that provide in-home personal care workers.  We have an account set up and are working out the details.  In the short term, I cancelled three night workers.

So, it seems she does not need or want all the assistance that was arranged. We are working it out with the providers, since once approved, it is hard to dial things back.  The whole assumption is that people get worse over time, not better.  Sorry, but we can't comply. Once the crisis has passed, Mom is back to being independent herself.

Ron set this up when Mom was looking much worse.  He tends to be a pessimist, but my role for the past two decades has been to show up when there is a crisis, ride it out, then disappear as soon as Mom is back to being okay, as she always is.  Right now, she is back to okay enough to where I am feeling superfluous.

Lisa came, made supper and got Mom changed for bed.  I stayed upstairs and let them work together.  This is something Mom wants, but the extra visit booked at bedtime is not needed.  She can still get herself to bed.

Me?  I've made myself unnecessary here and I'm wondering when to make the next leap -- and to where?  New York?  Mexico?  Swalwell?  None of the above?  Maybe Rome?

Quote of the Day
Never fire a warning shot.
It is a waste of ammunition.
Hunter S. Thompson

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Saturday December 29th 2018

                 
6.2  227.4  0445

Today Increasing cloudiness early this morning. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning and early this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High minus 1. Wind chill minus 13 in the morning and minus 5 in the afternoon.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 8 in the evening and minus 15 overnight.

I woke up at 0440 and got up, had breakfast and spent an hour at the desk, then lay down again.

Next I knew it was 0758 and I heard voices downstairs.  Susan had arrived early and was getting Mom up for the day.

A theme that comes up often in the best sources I read is the observation that there is actually no way to predict the future.

There is a saying, attributed to Niels Bohr but apparently an old Danish proverb, that it is difficult to predict, especially the future.  People keep trying to predict the future by looking to the past and convince themselves that they know.  Fact is, we don't have a clue. 

Climate change?  Yes, the climate has always been changing.  We live in a chaotic system. Not long ago, the experts were predicting a new ice age and we believed them (At least the usual gullible people did).  Now we are expecting that we are causing overheating as the temperatures have trended up for a few years, based on cherry-picked data compared to imperfect and speculative historical numbers -- believe it or not, their own projections into the future! 

If you think we can make large and permanent impact, read this: Suck it up, everybody: Here are nine years infinitely worse than 2018.  Then watch this excellent presentation 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed.

Face it, we're being duped.  Nobody knows when the next volcano will spew more material into the atmosphere that humans have in the entire history of industry. 

It could be tomorrow.  Consider, too, that you or I or both -- and for that matter, all humanity and life on Earth could be dead tomorrow.

After lunch, I drove Mom to the hairdressers and went grocery shopping while waiting.  I had planned to buy a printer and done research online, but stumbled across the Canon Pixma 3120 on sale at Walmart. After a quick check of online reviews -- all positive -- I bought one.

Back home, I set it using a downloaded Canon phone app and immediately printed a picture directly from the app to test it out. Amazing!

Mich and Sharon came for coffee at three.  Sharon is back to work tomorrow and off to Manitoulin for a few days.

A Personal Support Worker came at 5 to make Mom's supper and help her change for bed.  I stayed out of the picture.  So far, this is working well.  Mom really does not need much assistance, but we are making sure she does have some assistance available and familiar with the setup.

Quote of the Day
You canít actually model the future
John Mauldin

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Sunday December 30th


6.6 228.4 0645

Today A few flurries ending this morning then mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 this morning. Temperature falling to minus 16 this afternoon. Wind chill minus 6 in the morning and minus 24 in the afternoon.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 23. Wind chill minus 20 in the evening and minus 28 overnight. Risk of frostbite.

Just another day.  At home, the belt came off again  Carolyn fixed it.

Monday December 31st 2018
New Years Eve

Another day.  Minus ten and overcast.  Some wind is forecast, so we'll see if there is enough to kite.  It has rained since the last snow, so the lake may be too icy.  We'll see.

Carrie appeared this morning in Susan's place.  Susan was feeling ill and called her to sub.

Bill and I went out to Kivi Park for a hike.  The weather was pleasant. After, we stopped at Walmart and returned to Maurice St.

B&F were scheduled to go out for supper with Vic, Paula and their son and GF.  They suggested I come along, so I did.  We went to

Susan called in sick in the evening.

Quote of the Day
There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person.
There are only homo- or heterosexual acts.
Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices.
Gore Vidal

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