I'm more energetic today. I decided to pack up my kites and skis and drive up to see the Orams.
I arrived around two and found Jean and Nathan down at the marina playing curling with the kids' rocks on the ice. The day was bright and sunny and the lake looked good for skis, but there was zero wind.
They rode back to the house with me. Then Jean and Chris went to see Chris; patents in Leduc, seeing as Chris' dad is in the ICU there with suspected flu. I went downstairs and slept. I was exhausted again and I'm getting worried about it.
They returned and Mike is okay it seems.
We had supper. Kenzie made it and it was pancakes with syrup and potato patties -- no exactly my ideal diet, There were veggies, too, so it was not all off my list, but I ate what was served.
We all turned in early. I was up several times before morning. I'm beginning to think there is really something wrong with me.
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I was feeling a bit vague when I woke up, but was upstairs before Chris and the kids left for school. Jean and the dog went for a walk but I didn't. I was not ready for that yet.
When they returned, we had a good visit, then I left and drove to the marina, looking for wind, with thoughts of kiting on the lake. There were a few zephyrs, but not enough to guarantee a good kite run, so I drove south.
I had been intending to replace the windshield on the van for some time, so drove to Windshield Surgeons and and hour later the job was done. I then went looking for an oil change, but did not find what I needed and drove to Canyon Ski Area, thinking I'd perhaps do some turns. I was surprised to find the gates locked. Apparently the hill is closed. When Jonathan and I were on ski patrol there, the hill was open all winter, day and night. I checked the site and I just happened on the one day they are closed each week.
I drove home and had supper.
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I worked at the desk this morning and after lunch Carolyn and I went walking. The weather is nice and although there was enough wind promised to go kiting, it is dead calm here.
After the walk, I decided to take out the eight drums of ashes and to change the oil in the van. That gave me a fair bit of exercise, throwing 500-lb drums around by hand and dumping them. There is a trick to it and it takes very little strength once the drum is up on one bottom edge and balanced.
The oil change took longer than I thought and I hardly made wages unless we consider that I already have the oil and filter on hand and paid for. A quick change is about forty-five dollars and this cost me about twenty-five plus my time, one half-hour.
One week from today I fly to Sidney, B.C. Am I ready? Not nearly.
I go barefoot a lot and wear sandals much of the time, even outdoors in winter. My Birkenstocks cause calluses on my big toes and my heels have always had very thick skin. It can be several millimeters thick, dry, hard and cracked in a waffle pattern.
I've sanded, used a grinder, and tried other solutions, but have mostly just accepted it, except when the cracks hurt in dry weather and then resort to lotions that never actually remove the dead skin, but make it more flexible.
When I was in Walmart Monday, I bought an Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File on the chance it might deal with the calluses and cracking on my feet. It works amazingly, removing the dead skin, but leaving the living, healthy skin underneath.
This one runs on alkaline batteries, but I see on Amazon, that there are rechargeable and perhaps better units for the same or lower price on Amazon. Just the same, I am very happy with this one and have ordered replacement rollers as I have worn out the one that came with it already.
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Six days from today I fly to Sidney, B.C. Am I ready? Not nearly.
At 0800, I am seeing the first morning light. Sunrise is 0825 and the day is overcast.
I spent the day shuffling paper and preparing to prepare. The day was cold and breezy so I did not hear from Carolyn or go walking.
I tried again to figure out my US account and found it has been closed since I did not transfer money in to it. Apparently I opened it November 30th, almost two months ago. That long? Then I was drawn away forgot about it. What a hassle.
I went to bed early, listening to Audible Pimsleur Spanish on a fifteen-minute timer on my phone to fall asleep.
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I woke up at seven after nine hours of sleep, thinking about the lesson preparations. Good. I had been hoping to get into the groove. I have some insights as to how best to proceed.
This afternoon, I have a eye appointment in Three Hills.
I cleaned up the basement after Tuesday's ash-hauling, shoveled the ashes and did the kitchen, then worked on a client's web project for a while. All went well until I hit a snag that held me up a n hour or two.
At two-thirty, I showered and went to town. The eye appointment was uneventful -- no change from last year, it seems. I then went to A&W for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee, then picked up a lab requisition at the medical building. I just made it at four-thirty and realised I was too late for the lab.
I drove home and spent another hour on the website before I realised the reason my form was invisible in my test browsers was that my script generator uses old code and nowadays if a page calls internally for content that is http, not https, the browser rejects it silently. Once I fixed that, the problem was solved.
By then it was almost seven and another day has passed without my spending any time on my sailing prep. I am feeling fine tonight, so I'll put in an hour or two and maybe skip the video watching. We'll see.
This afternoon turned milder than predicted and breezy. It would have been a ideal afternoon for kiting on the nearby reservoir (image), but I was in town, so I missed the opportunity. I have not tried the dam yet, but it seems to me to be ideal, flat, snow-covered, and public.
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I'm up at 0552 and keen to get at my studies.
The temperature, now, before dawn, is around zero, with snow flurries forecast and possible rain. I noticed some low drifts on my driveway yesterday and my go out with the blower for a touch-up later. Maybe not. The snow is not deep enough to impede travel much.
I started my studies, but after a while needed a break, so I went downstairs to the gym and got on the treadmill. I seldom use it. One reason -- a poor one, I know -- is that I cannot figure out how to change it to English measure. Anyhow, I did a short walk and got my pulse up to 92 and went up to search for a manual online. I have looked before and found nothing.
Back to the grindstone...
On a chance, I emailed a treadmill company, www.treadmilldoctor.com and got a prompt, friendly reply. He could not find it either and asked for a picture of the console. I complied and minutes later was sent the manual in PDF form, gratis. That kindness from a stranger, somewhere, impressed me.
After that, I had a forty-five minute nap, then went to town. My excuse was I need a three-hole paper punch. Truth is I just needed to get out. There are probably three punches somewhere around here, but I can't find even one. I also need to have the blood test at the lab and I also realised that I need food unless I plan to just eat beans. My guts have been rebelling and either I am eating too many lentils and nuts or I have more serious problems. We'll see.
I cancelled my Monday dentist appointment and i think I'll go see Nadia who originally did the root canals that the local guy thinks need re-doing and are just below the abscess that took me to the dentist recently. Is it gone? I don't know. The inflammation is gone.
Anyhow, to see Nadia, I either have to fly into Puerto Vallarta or go to La Paz and take the ferry or fly over. I have to go to La Paz, anyhow, so maybe that is the plan. Sometime. First Sidney, and Vancouver.
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I'm up at 0441 and back at work.
Organizing the paper associated with the certification is a bigger job than the study. I bought a punch in town yesterday and am putting it all in a binder. I'm glad I have a good printer.
We are almost at the end of January and the days are growing longer. At seven-thirty-three, I just see dawn breaking in the east. Here are today's normals.
Here are the extremes for Jan 31st over the past quarter century.
Average temperatures are rising but we are not past risk of bitterly cold weather. I still remember a week of minus forty weather during the first week of February back in 1990.
The risk of such an extreme cold spell is falling daily, but if history is a guide, risk is still there until March. (right). Just the same, as of today, the forecast for the first week of February is around the normals -- High -6°C and low -16°C. Here are the extremes for Jan 31st over the past quarter century.
Although recent history is reassuring, past events cannot promise of future experience. A volcano could erupt, or some other unexpected event could disrupt the trends,
Now, at eight forty-four, the sun just broke above the eastern horizon. I decided to go SAD and made an omelet for breakfast and ate a hamburger for lunch. I've got to get my guts under control.
Until 1:30 when we went for a walk, all I did was punch paper and print documents. Most were regarding sailing, but I also printed the manual for my Yaesu FT7800M multi-band VHF/UHF transceiver.
I punched more holes and did some more reading and sorting and I think I have a grip on things now. It is all starting to make sense.
I ordered ink this afternoon, but not soon enough. It will be days before the ink arrives, and I'm out of black. I wonder if anyone refills them locally.
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I slept well and got up at 0650. It's still dark, and I can hear wind. A Chinook (snow-eater) is blowing in and with wind and temperatures above freezing. We'll lose most of our snow today. The wind could be great for kiting, but the predicted gusts are too strong for me and I have not noticed enough good snow for skis anywhere near here. Besides I have my work cut out for me, studying and getting ready to go.
Fen and friends have arranged for Erin Ross to do a gig at the Carstairs Museum this afternoon. Sounds like instrumental rock. Hmmm. Sit in an old church, being blasted with rock? Maybe it is not all rock? Will I go? I'm undecided. I guess it'll depend on what happens between now and 1 PM when I would have to leave.
As the day breaks, with overcast skies, I hear the wind and the trees near the house are dancing. It's eight twenty-five and 've finished most of my procrastinating, so back to the salt mine. Wait! I have dishes to do. Saved by another distraction.
I did the dishes as I always do each morning and got to work. By mid-afternoon I had decided not to go to Carstairs, but I may go to Three Hills just to get out. No word from Carolyn about our daily walk.
I went to town and bought a few things, then returned and spent the rest of the day relaxing, watched Terminator 2, and went to bed early. Hasta La Vista, baby.
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I woke up around two and got up for a while. Having found the climate data recently on the Environment Canada website and noticing my chart is getting dated, I made an updated version.
This is my last day here, so I have a lot of loose ends to tie up.
In spite of being short of time, I decided to drive to town and have my books rebound. They were glue bound and therefore would not lie flat. That is a hassle when studying, and after using the Cooper book, I realised there is an alternative: spiral binding. A quick call to town found a printer who does the job for $3.75.
I know it was just procrastination and a diversion, but it will pay off when I am using these books later this week.
I still have a lot to do before 9AM tomorrow. The sorting and packing continues. I spent the afternoon writing and packing. I've decided that I'll come back here after the Boat Show, but don't know exactly when, so I have not booked my return flight. It seems things always come up.
In La Paz, the parades are a family-friendly affair, with school kids on many of the floats and marching, and no "indecency". It's not as polished as the Stampede parade, but that is what I like. I hear the city government spent $900K/year on on it recently, so it is not lacking support.
I'd say these parades are on a par with the Calgary Stampede Parade (videos) (but much louder and easily accessible), but I have not seen the Stampede Parade for decades. Maybe this year... I went to Stampede twice this summer and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the Stampede in years past. I am planning to go even more often this year.
I set the coffee for 4AM and am off to bed at nine.
I fly at 11:45, so I have to leave here by 8:45, so rising at four gives me time to chill and play around as well as finish packing, do last-minute plant watering, and shovel ashes.
I can also leave earlier and spend time in the gold members lounge, though. At least I think I can, but I bought the base fare and we'll see if my gold status even gets me a free checked bag.
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I woke up at 0248 and got up for a few minutes, turned up the heat, and went back to bed. I had been dreaming about being on top of a hill with some other guy and mentioned my helicopter and that I had flown it off the top of this hill. Of course, I never had a helicopter or flew one, but this is a dream... It seemed logical and real, then I woke up.
I went back to bed and dozed and, realizing I was wide awake, got up and looked at my phone. Damn! It said 3:00 exactly.
My morning blood sugar has been in the high sixes and I have been worried I may be getting diabetic, but today it is back down close to my normal.
Looking at Swalwell weather below, I don't see any extremes coming and that is reassuring. I can only see to the seventh and I come back on the tenth or eleventh, but every day closer to spring is a day that is likely to be warmer and brighter.
Looking at Sidney weather, I am glad I have a full enclosure and new furnace on the boat. It appears we'll have some rain and the last two days will be cool. Just the same. the forecast is almost always suggesting the worst we'll see each day, not the best.
It's now four, the time I had planned to rise, but I have already eaten and done my procrastinating, so now it is time to shovel the ashes and water the plants.
So, here I am sitting at the salon table in Cassiopeia at the dock in Port Sidney, listening to JJ Cale on Spotify and drinking whisky. It is 8:08 PM and it's been a long day.
I left home at about nine this morning. I'd have left earlier, but discovered a rip in my bag and I envisioned my gear spilling out on the baggage cart and pavement. So, I spent time duct-taping the bag and headed for Airdrie.
Mike was waiting, and since we had time we went to Walmart and I bought a replacement bag. I repacked on the tailgate and was at YYC over an hour early. I went to the lounge and had a second breakfast. I had last eaten at five. Then I boarded the flight and fell asleep.
We touched down on time and John met me. We drove to the marina and discussed the upcoming cruise. John is my instructor examiner.
After he left, I unpacked and then walked to the Chinese, as we call the restaurant on the corner of second. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet and definitely not 'healthy'. One look at the regulars and you have to wonder how they can walk -- or reproduce. Anyhow, it is fantastic.
From there, I went to Fairway and bought food.
Anyhow, on that note I'm going to bed.
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Hunter S. Thompson
I woke up at 0430 feeling great. I decided to check my blood sugar and it read 5.3, so I read it again and got 6.8, so I tried one more time and got 5.9. I give up. It is only 15°C in here and it seems that if the strips are not at room temperature (21°), the results are flakey.
I spent the usual hours writing email and rescheduled an MRI. Next: study navigation and hoist the mainsail. For that second task, I'll wait until the day warms up and I'll need it to be calm so the sail does not billow.
After lunch Moe and I mounted the new mainsail. It was more work than I expected and I discovered the sail wouldn't roll into the mast. It was still too stiff to roll tight, so I pulled it out and tried again, under tension. This time I had better luck and got it all in, but I still have the battens to put in. The sail had been folded, so I'll let it sit rolled up in the mast overnight to flatten and compress before putting them in.
I was tired by then and walked uptown and ate Chinese again (That will have to stop) then bought a few more groceries, returned to the boat and had a nap. I'm settling in.
Looking a few days ahead, It is looking like a cold spell beginning Monday. That'll affect our plans. It'll drop to minus five. It is plus six now and the heating system is working hard.
My shower drain pump seems not to work, so that is a job for tomorrow. My VPN, Surfshark, suddenly seemed to be blocking my Internet, so I spent some time on that. After an hour, plus, I chatted with support and was given a URL for a download that cleaned up the issues, but there went two unproductive hours.
I renewed my Telcel plan tonight, seeing as I need data here on the dock and out on the cruises, then in Vancouver until the tenth. I have 6GB with my $45 Public Mobile plan, but that can burn up fast and I get 6GB for $35 and unlimited North American calling for $500 -- pesos, that is, or about $35 CAD. Hmmmm. I just checked and I see I have 10GB on Telcel for 33 days. How did that happen? I just paid $35 once. If I had paid twice, the second would have cancelled the first. Go figure. I still have 5 GB of my 6.5 monthly on Public Mobile, until Feb 17, also. Wow! That is 1.5 GB a day, so I can watch YouTube and Netflix without worrying about running out.
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but almost always end up where I need to be.
Today Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon. High plus 4. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Cloudy. Periods of snow beginning near midnight. Amount 5 cm over northern sections. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h after midnight. Low minus 11. Wind chill minus 4 in the evening and minus 19 overnight.
The morning is cool, but not too windy to hoist the sail, but I have to wait for Moe to unlock the office. I looked over the solar panels I bought last fall and see they are complete, but there is no long cable to go below. We'll see if that came with them or not.
Moe came by at ten-thirty and we spent the next three hours lowering the old genoa, folding and rolling it, trying to raise the new one, finding that it did not fit the track, lowering it, folding it, and raising the old one again.
On the new sail, the bolt rope is the same size as the slot, so it pulls out through the slot instead of sliding up and down behind the slot. So, I called Precision Sails and then had to take pictures to show the issue. They are promising to fix the sail. Can they do it in the time I am here? We'll see.
Meantime, my day is messed up.
I got a call and Ron from the sailmaker said he would be by tomorrow morning at eight. Then I got a call that Darryl would come this evening. I hope he cancelled Ron.
Darryl came by and we pulled the sails in and out and worried about the main, then measured the bolt rope on the genoas and the track groove several times. He's a pleasant, relaxed worker and the evening had warmed, so the job went well.
He left with the new genoa to make alterations and I walked with him to the ramp. I was surprised, even with the dock cart and heavy sail, he is a really fast walker. I bought a few things at Fairway and returned to the boat. Seeing as I have lots of data, I watched some Louder with Crowder and some Jordan Peterson. They are both interesting, but the videos get repetitive after a while. There is only so much to say on their main topics.
Then I went to bed.
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It is a cog in the complex of policies and institutions which gradually lead toward totalitarianism .
Ludwig von Mises
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