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 February 2019

 

 

 

 

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Looking north from Granville Island

 

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Sunday February 10th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 21. Wind chill minus 40 in the morning and minus 27 in the afternoon. Frostbite in minutes. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness early this evening. 60 percent chance of flurries late this evening and overnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 27. Wind chill minus 27 in the evening and minus 32 overnight. Risk of frostbite.

Cold continues at home and it is still cold here although we are getting some sun this morning.  It looks like a nice day for cruises on the Creek.  Today is the last day of the boat show and I'll go over to the dome, then probably return to Sidney tonight.

I rode the shuttle to the dome and at noon I looked out to see snow falling. I had skipped breakfast and found I wasn't hungry.  Strange.

At one, I went to the exhibitors lounge and had a bowl of very nice chili, then decided to go back to Granville Island, seeing as I wanted to be sure to catch a ride with John in the van.  I had brought a heavy bag and did not want to carry onto the ferry if I could get a ride.

We had to wait until five for the van seeing as the booth could not be taken down until then.  By five, the docks had two to three inches of wet snow and were treacherous.  So were the roads.

We found Colin, Dawn and Cody at the Dome and switched vehicles, then drove to the ferries.  The roads were slippery, but traffic moved well and we arrived in plenty of time. Moe had gone ahead and caught the five.  We were in good time for the six.

We drove on and went up to the cafe for a bite.  I had a wrap and that was all. While we ate, I heard from Moe.  She said that there were no buses or cabs at the Swartz Bay terminal and some people had been stranded there since the three o'clock ferry.  Apparently the Pat Bay highway had been closed a while, too. Kent came for her, though, and she texted that she got home.

We had no idea what to expect.  At Macdonald Park, we turned off and John started up the hill.  The car in front of us spun out, stopping us, and we could not get going again, so we backed around and went back down the one-way to the highway again and drove to Sidney.

 

 

 

John and Eric dropped me at Port Sidney and I dragged my bag the quarter mile down the dock through six inches of snow.   It was a struggle.

Cassiopeia was under six inches of wet snow and the load was such that the fenders were in the water, but I cleared a window and crawled in. It was ten by the time I was inside the boat.

The boat was warm and my flowers look fine, but a bit dry. I checked my blood glucose and it was 5.8, the lowest in awhile. I hope it keeps coming back down.

 I went to bed at midnight.

Quote of the Day
The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.
Ralph Nader

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Monday February 11th 2019

Today Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries this morning. Clearing this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 21. Wind chill minus 37 in the morning and minus 28 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 31. Wind chill minus 33 in the evening and minus 40 overnight. Frostbite in minutes.

The boat rocked and surged all night but I slept well.

I woke up at 0550 and am feeling normal for a change.  I checked my BG and it is 6.6, which is higher than my normal, but coming down. The last week, I had congestion and sore muscles, but that seems to have passed.  I had no congestion last night and my hearing is better.  I wonder if I am still experiencing aftereffects from the shingles shot I had a few weeks back?

The cold continues at home and I am seeing snow predicted for the next few days here.  Are planes flying out of YYJ?  I doubt they have many snow plows here in Victoria.  Can I get much done here?  Not repairs on the boat, but deskwork I can do anywhere.

Carolyn is wondering when I'll return.  I'll have to see how she feels about caring for The Old Schoolhouse for another few days.  She says it is hard work, but she is okay.  I am snowed in, so I'll study today.

I read all day and am now getting into it again.  I'm about half done.

Quote of the Day
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
Rumi

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Tuesday February 12th 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness. Periods of snow beginning this morning and ending this afternoon. Local amount 2 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 19. Wind chill minus 43 in the morning and minus 26 in the afternoon. Frostbite in minutes.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 31. Wind chill minus 30 in the evening and minus 40 overnight. Frostbite in minutes

I woke up at six, feeling fine.  I checked my BG and it is 6.4, so it is trending down toward my normal.  I was worried for a while.  Was it the shingles vaccine I had back on Jan 14th?  The antibiotics I have taken over the past year?  A bug? I know my guts were quite upset a few weeks back, but seem okay now.

I had reactions to Shingrix that lasted days -- tiredness, aches, sore arm -- and maybe the reactions were more general and lasted longer than I thought.  I'd forgotten about it until now.  I am due for another shot in a few months.

I have to be in Alberta by the 16th for an MRI.  Looking out here and at the weather forecast, I am not inclined to go out any more than I need to.  I only have running shoes and sandals.  I imagine the path to the street has packed down since I came in the other night. (right). Hope so, but it continues to snow.

Is YYJ open?  Dunno.  It wasn't Sunday night

Sure enough, everything is cancelled.  The 1 PM flight says "On Time", but it will be cancelled, too, I'll bet, just as soon as everyone arrives at the airport.

I have not tried to reserve yet, but I imagine when and if flights resume, they will be packed.  No matter.  I am happy here and have work to do.

6044.970 / 6656 MB at 0933 hrs.  I used another 500 MB and my data is almost gone.  it is time to renew, so I changed my plan, effective immediately, to the $40 plan and now I see  5GB at 3G Speed -- 0 / 5120 MB used.  As for the 3G?  I often see the LTE icon on my phone and don't notice any difference from an LTE plan.  Right now, I see H+, but I can listen to Spotify and watch Netflix without issues.

  

Dawn called and her Internet and phones are down. Shaw can't send anyone out due to the roads. I looked at her setup, but could not do much. I walked on to get groceries and returned to study.  I did some navigation exercises from the book and guess what?  I made stupid mistakes.  Seems I am not half as smart as I used to be -- or thought I was. I see I am missing details.  I need to pay better attention.

I got weary of the work, so I watched Netflix. My Mexican SIM did not seem to work, so I used the Public Mobile data.  Now, checking data, it appears I have used 1114.980 / 5120 MB since this afternoon.  That costs about $8.  Has Netflix changed my default quality setting, or is Spotify eating up the data?  Hmmm.  I did increase the Spotify quality setting.  I did not notice any difference in sound, but maybe it is streaming more data. I'll change it back.

When I check, I see I still have 7,587 MB of Mexican data until March 4th, so maybe there was a glitch this afternoon.

Quote of the Day
Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved!
That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.
Count Leo Tolstoy

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Wednesday February 13th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Clearing this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 18. Wind chill minus 28 in the morning and minus 22 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 29. Wind chill minus 27 in the evening and minus 34 overnight. Risk of frostbite.

I was up until one last night and slept until 0745.  Today I must make progress and be ready to write tomorrow.

This is hard, but it is good for me.  It's been a while since I was in school and it takes a certain mindset to succeed. I'm making a lot of stupid little mistakes and it is humbling, but stimulating to get feedback like this.

I stayed on board, even when the sun came out, and worked at the studies all day until I was going in circles.

I don't usually buy prepared foods, but I saw this (right) yesterday when I went shopping and it looked interesting, so tonight I had it for supper.  It was okay and for $5, not too bad a deal. Rice, beans, and an enchilada.  The package said it was vegan.  Hmmm.  This is the first time in five plus years I have used the oven.

I read in the news that YYJ had power outages again today and that flights were backed up and/or cancelled.  I'm starting to think should postpone the MRI again and stay a bit longer.  I think I can pass the basic navigation exam, but had my sights on acing the intermediate, too.

After supper, I watched more of The Break on Netflix.  I discovered the reason my Mexican SIM had not worked yesterday was that I has mistakenly put in an old Roger SIM. I should just throw it away.

Quote of the Day
The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive,
 but in finding something to live for.
Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Thursday February 14th 2019

Today Sunny. Ice fog patches this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High minus 14. Wind chill minus 40 in the morning and minus 22 in the afternoon. Frostbite in minutes. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness late this evening. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 26. Wind chill minus 29 in the evening and minus 34 overnight. Risk of frostbite.

More snow is predicted for Sidney today, but only an inch or so.  At present, YYJ is open and most flights are on time.

I'm going to try to write the basic today and see how that goes.  I'm seriously thinking to postpone the MRI and stay a few more days, especially if I do well on this first exam, I may want to do the second while I am hot.

It's noon and I'll clean up and go to get the test.  I can write this one on my boat.  I also have some books to rebind and I'll drop them off up Beacon while I'm off the boat.

The book bindery wanted twice as much as quoted on the phone so decided against and walked back, picking up the exam on the way.

I spent the next few hours writing .  Some of the questions were difficult to understand, but I think I got it done. When finished, I went for Chinese food to celebrate and bought some beer. too.

Coming back from supper, and walking along the dock, I noticed a set of footprints alongside my own outgoing prints.  A heron frequents this dock, and is here tonight, just as always.  Birds are amazing.

The water is five degrees Celsius and potentially deadly to us humans, and people are bundled up against the cold, but the bird is walking around naked and barefoot as if it is summer.

We walk nonchalantly alongside the water in marinas without a handrail or any protection and without a thought.  If that water was, instead a hundred-foot drop, we would not be so carefree, but the water at this time of year can be just as deadly. If we fell in, how would we get out?  The dock edge is steep and there are no safety ladders.  The chill water can disable muscles in short order.  Yet we don't worry.

I returned to Cassiopeia, feeling burned out, had two beers and went to bed early.

Quote of the Day
Do all the good you can and make as little fuss about it as possible.
Charles Dickens

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Friday February 15th 2019

Today Cloudy. Snow beginning early this morning. Amount 5 to 10 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 16. Wind chill minus 33 in the morning and minus 22 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite.
Tonight Snow ending overnight then cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 21. Wind chill near minus 28. Risk of frostbite.

I'm up at three AM, having gone to bed early and now I am wake for  awhile at least. Coffee and eggs.

Well, that is over and done.  The exam is written  That was the big job. I need to decompress. Now, what is next?

I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow night, but I could cancel.  The weather here is not conducive to getting much done. but I could get a start, and I can do bookwork here as well as anywhere.

Weather in Alberta is too cold for pleasant skiing most days until Tuesday.  My coal guy does not want to start his truck and Carolyn says there is no panic.

I can save $200 if I fly Sunday evening.  That would give me three more days here, too.  Feels best to me, so that is my plan.

I went back to bed at four and my phone rang at eight.  It was John H.  I was groggy, so did not answer.  At ten it rang again and I was awake, so I did.  This time it was my MRI calling to confirm. I rescheduled.  Perfect.  Now to reserve a flight.

I walked down the dock and delivered the exam to John and drove him home, then brought the company van back to PSM.  I have it for a day or two.  Next, I tightened up the galley sink tap.  That job had looked impossible, but was amazingly easy with the right tools which I found in the dock office.

Then, I reserved a flight home Sunday and flights to Sudbury and back for Mom's 100th birthday party.

After that, I drove to All Bay Marine and looked at pumps and wire and a number of other items and bought one screw for 12 cents.  I'll go back tomorrow, though.

I had texted to Moe earlier that she and Kent could practice docking tomorrow and noted that she had texted back that they will come over after one if the wind is not too strong.

I bought groceries at Save-On-Foods, then returned to the boat, had supper and tried to watch Netflix.  Netflix said I had a screen in use.  I don't know who or where unless my Mom was watching Netflix and I doubt it.  I watched part of a sci-fi series on Amazon Prime Video and went to bed.

I realise that my ideas about societies and their foibles like the economy, climate cycles. and politics are heretical to many, but these insights are shared by others who write better than me.

Ben does it extremely well in this article about Magic Thinking. He focuses on the economy, business cycles, the insane things we believe about how think we influence (control?) them, and how these beliefs are just a predictable part of the cycle, and he illustrates the recurring belief that magic can somehow change things that are beyond our control and why societies routinely adopt idiotic and sometimes dangerous ideas. 

Our collective thinking is best summed up by this 'joke' from 'Annie Hall'.

This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.”

IMO, that about sums up how societies 'think'. It's a miracle we survive.

John Mauldin piles on here, but he tends to be a believer, rather than a skeptic like Ben -- and like me.

(I note that Mauldin is still plugging his upcoming conference.  I gather he has not filled his 600 spots.  Interesting.  After all, it is 'only' $2500 for three days with the 'movers and shakers'.)

These guys are eloquent, but personally I can only sum it up thus -- The human mind cannot accept that we do not know and therefore any explanation that allows us to think we might have control is better than on that says we can't -- or none. 

While we are on the subject, here is some straight talk about the climate hysteria that has caught on and is distorting public policy by someone who reads and analyses all the data and studies: Hurricanes & climate change: detection Special Report on Sea Level Rise

There is far more to read on this topic than I care to peruse, but a sampling from both extremes and the middle has assured me that the Planet has its own ideas about climate and although we certainly must have some influence, it is small and uncertain, especially compared to the natural events and influences, many of which are entirely unpredictable and may serve to add heating or cause cooling. 

Of course we know the Planet will not always be hospitable, but when and how it changes is largely out of our control and the irony is that any efforts we make that actually have any significant effect may actually prove to be the exact opposite of what would have been desirable.

Quote of the Day
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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Saturday February 16th 2019

Today Periods of snow. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind north 20 km/h. High minus 17. Wind chill near minus 30. Risk of frostbite.
Tonight Periods of snow. Amount 2 cm. Wind north 20 km/h. Low minus 19. Wind chill near minus 29. Risk of frostbite.

I was up from midnight to two, then slept in again. The sun is up already now at 0915.  The day promises to be warmer and most of the snow should go.

I have to tidy, then change two water pumps and re-wire the running lights.  Moe and Kent will be by for a few hours of docking practice after lunch if the winds are light.

Public Mobile says: 2225.434 / 5120 MB used. 
Telcel says: Te quedan 6,527MB hasta el 04/03/2019

Carolyn says it is miserable in Swalwell: snowing, blowing, and cold. It does not look too bad on camera.  I had hoped to get coal before this happened, however.  I see the bin has more snow now and drifts could be bad.  That'll give me some exercise with the snowblower, though, assuming they are not rock-hard.

Now to get to work...  Time is passing.

I drove to All Bay and bought pumps, then went to Save on Foods, but the parking was crazy and I eventually found myself at Fairway again. I bought a wrap for lunch and went to the boat.

Moe and Kent were there and we set out to do some docking practice. Truth is, I could use some myself. Anyhow, we went out and they turned and twisted and docked and docked and docked and finally we returned and tied up. I find I actually enjoy this.  I also realise how fortunate I am to be able to take a boat like Cassiopeia for granted.

People think of yachting as standing on the bridge of a fancy yacht, dressed in white or navy giving orders in bright sunshine, but, truth is much of it is planning, wishing, fighting or dodging foul weather or spending time solving insoluble problems and fixing obsolete gear in the stinky depths of a boat in difficult and/or remote places with a shortage of parts and inadequate tools. Of course, that is why aficionados love it, but it is an acquired taste.  It is not for everyone.

Well, I was also fortunate to find myself, after they left, spending three hours upside-down in the head (bathroom) cabinet installing a new shower drain pump after they left. Of course, I could have paid someone $500 to do that, but...

John, my examiner, called to review my exam. Apparently I passed with 90% and the lost marks were for things like referring to 'starboard' as 'right' on occasion and such picky stuff. Well, I am  teaching non-sailors and frankly when the *hit hits the fan and time is short, I use the language everyone understands, not the jargon that the shirts at Sail Canada love.  Sailor-talk is sailor-talk.  Straight talk is straight talk. For some matters, like parts of the boat, the jargon adds precision, but in other matters, it is just being pedantic.  That is my opinion.

I've been listening to Randy and Holger tonight while I work on the boat.  Carolyn is writing that she went to my house again.  The auger was bare. We should have bought more coal, but the cold snap has endured longer than we had anticipated and, besides, Tracy was reluctant to start his truck. Whatever.  This has provided entertainment for all. She even got the neighbour involved.

I'll be back in Swalwell tomorrow night.

Quote of the Day
A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Thomas Mann

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Sunday February 17th 2019

Today Periods of snow. Local amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind north 20 km/h. Temperature steady near minus 16. Wind chill near minus 27. Risk of frostbite.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Clearing before morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 26. Wind chill minus 24 in the evening and minus 31 overnight. Risk of frostbite.

I woke at 0330 and checked my home.  All is well. I went back to bed at 0430. Next, I woke up at nine.  I have to pack up today and also finish up some work on the boat.

My main chores were to install the pumps I had bought, so I spent a few hours contorted on the floor with my head against the toilet reaching into cramped cabinets, unscrewing and screwing the mounts and removing and attaching hoses.

The sleeping bag is to pad the doorway sill that tended to press against my side as I squirmed around, reaching at odd angles into the cabinet.  Regardless, I was bruised by the time I was done.

I was all done and packed up by four and walked to the office where I met with Moe and Dawn. Then Moe drove me to YYJ.  My flight was a half-hour late but uneventful other than finding I had been upgrade to Plus and was treated to snacks and a small bottle of bubbly.

My regular taxi met me at the door and drove me to Airdrie.  The van started right up.  I brushed off the snow and drove home via Beiseker.  The back roads were drifted a bit but passable. 

Carolyn had warmed my house for my arrival.  I opened mail, shoveled coal, showered, and went to bed.

Quote of the Day
It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.
Franz Kafka

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Monday February 18th 2019

Today Clearing early this morning. Wind becoming south 20 km/h this afternoon. High minus 17. Wind chill minus 40 in the morning and minus 22 in the afternoon. Frostbite in minutes. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy before morning. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light late this evening. Low minus 22. Wind chill minus 31 in the evening and minus 24 overnight. Risk of frostbite.

I woke up at seven, got up, had breakfast and coffee, then went back to bed and dozed for an hour.  I'm decompressing from my adventures. At this point, I have completed my qualifications and should be certified shortly for Basic.  Next comes Intermediate and Powerboat?

I was away for twenty days.  I had not intended to be that long, but as always things came up -- snow at YYJ, for one thing.

Back on January 26th and 28th I was contemplating the probable weather while gone and it looked benign.

As soon as I left, the prognosis changed and drastically.  We had extreme cold while I was away, with temperatures dropping to near minus forty several times.

As I write this, I seem to recall this happening once before, maybe back in 2017?

My driveway has drifts and I am needing coal, so I should go out and run the blower before the drifts get too hard, or I could use the tractor.

I called Tracy and he will come before the weekend.  I'm okay until then. looking out, I see a breeze and that is not fun for snow blowing as the snow gets blown back at me, but I think I'll give it a try, for the exercise.

I have a lot of catching up to do, but getting the drive cleared will be a good start.

The breeze came up so I decided to wait for a better day.  Tomorrow is expected to be milder.

I puttered around and did some cleanup, then began working on the Acer again. First, I updated it since it has been offline for a month or more.  I could not get the disk I cloned earlier to boot, so decided to use a different method and downloaded the Acronis software recommended for the new Crucial drive, then left it to install the updates and wert to bed.

Quote of the Day
Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
Anton Chekhov

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Tuesday February 19th 2019

Today Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 8 except minus 5 over western sections. Wind chill minus 32 in the morning and minus 11 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 14. Wind chill near minus 17.

I woke up at 0530 and found the coal had run out, so I raked a bit onto the auger.  Lowering the auger had changed the switch position and it had failed to start.

Then I checked the Acer.  It had updated and rebooted, so was ready to clone.  I installed the software and started the process of cloning the hard drive to the new SSS.  I had tried before with different software without success, so I was hoping...

I had breakfast and got back to catching up.

As the day brightens, I see ice fog outdoors.  In Calgary, traffic sounds pretty bad as they dig out from recent snowfalls.

Looking at the forecast for the day, I am thinking I might be able to clear some snow. Tomorrow looks decent, too.  I prefer minus ten or warmer and no wind for snow blowing.  If I push snow with the tractor, the wind does not matter except for the chill.  When blowing, wind sends the snow back in my face. .

By seven, the cloning completed successfully so I installed the SSD, crossed my fingers (a geek's technical trick) and booted.  The Acer came alive and now ran acceptably well.  I expect it will speed up as it adjusts and I fiddle with it.

So, that is one more item crossed off the list, and that project was a discouraging one! So was the Coastal Navigation exam and I beat them both.  I seem to be on a roll.

The day brightened and I went out to blow snow. Three hours later, I was done, with an hour off in the middle for lunch.  The day warmed, too, and was around freezing by the time I was done.  The drifts were getting hard, but the machine managed. Now I am ready for coal.

Next scheduled departure? Eighteen days from now, on the 9th of March for Mom's 100th, returning home on the nineteenth.  That is unless I make a quick trip to La Paz to tidy up a few things in the meantime, and Carnaval La Paz 2019 runs from February 28 to March 5 with a parade on the last three days.  That trip is doable, barely.

After I came in, I made spaghetti, ate too much and lay down for a long, pleasant, semi-delirious nap. Clearing the snow was a good workout just managing the self-propelled blower and I am very glad it was that mechanism powered by faint memories of dead dinosaurs, not my arms, tossing tons of snow up and far away from the drive.

The Acer is running well now, so I have four screens again here at command central.

I did a lot of deskwork and watched ore of The Break on Netflix.

Quote of the Day
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Albert Camus

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Three Hills Area Weather Forecast
Intellicast | Yahoo | Weather Channel
Webcams  | Banff  | Banff | Sunshine Village | Calgary
Satellite Pictures 1
Canadian temperatures are in degrees Celsius

allen's Computer Security Page
A collection of helpful ideas and links
Free Online Virus Scans
 Panda | Trend Micro
Free Online Security Check

Convert Currency | Convert Measurements
Convert Celsius to Fahrenheit >
Chart
  Calculator

   "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)
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© allen dick 1999-2014. Permission granted to copy in context for non-commercial purposes, and with full attribution.

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