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 March 2019

 

 

 

 

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For a few days in March a stream runs  into my pond from nearby field

 

 Are you are looking for bee information?

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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Wednesday March 20th 2019
First Day of Spring

Today Sunny. High 13. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 3. Wind chill minus 5 overnight.

I slept until 0730. The day was already bright, warm, and sunny and I saw that the pond was beginning to rise from runoff.

Jean had mentioned they are going skiing today, so I loaded my gear into the van and drove to Nakiska. I was on the Silver Chair by one and few minutes later I was at the top of the mountain dead ahead in the picture and had met up with the family.

Temperature at the base was twenty Celsius and some were skiing in shorts.  We weren't.

Kenzie and I cruised the slopes and I did eight runs for a total of about 3,500 metres (11,500 feet) of vertical.  Of course, the actual distance skied overland is about four times that.

11,500 feet is about one quarter of my best day ever, 50,000 vertical feet, but not too bad for an old man. Back when we skied regularly, a typical day might be 30,000, but we were the first on the chair in the morning and last off the hill at the end of the day. Chairs were slower back then.

The snow was well-groomed and soft and few skiers were out mid-week, so conditions were ideal for cruising at wide-open throttle. I was pleased to find I am still in good condition for fast skiing on the steeps although we did not do many moguls.  At one point, my legs turned to jelly and I sat a while, but soon I recovered and was back on the runs.

I left the slopes just before four and drove home, stopping at the Ghost to drive through the boat yard to see if anything is for sale.  I did not see any for sale signs.  In Airdrie, I found there wasn't a line-up at the car wash so I ran the van through. It had gotten pretty disreputable-looking from traveling muddy back roads.

Once home, I sat a while, cooked some chicken and made a bean salad, then went to bed and slept a few hours.

The runoff has begun.  There was a trace of water on the pond ice the this morning and by the time I got home the stream was running and the pond had risen considerably (below).  The temperature may stay above freezing overnight and the level will continue to rise.  I expect the snow may be gone by the weekend.  The driveway is mostly clear of snow and ice and the mud is almost dry in places.

When I think of it, driving for two hours to a mountain and two hours back for three hours of skiing seems a bit silly, but the drive is an experience in itself and the trip plus the skiing makes for a very pleasant day, with a few hours at the beginning and end to boot. 

I have to think to realise that just yesterday morning I was in Sudbury. I've covered a lot of ground.  The weather here is a stark contrast to the weather in the east.  Our snow is almost gone and there the snow banks are still several feet high beside the roads. 


Breathtaking -- "From first cry to last sigh, we do it without a thought. Yet the benefits of conscious breathing are truly remarkable"


Quote of the Day
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
Bryant H. McGill

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Thursday March 21st 2019

Today Sunny. Fog patches this morning. High 12. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 1. Wind chill minus 5 overnight.

I was up for a few hours from midnight to three, then slept until seven.

I see the pond has filled more overnight as expected.  It is still well below the brim, but there is a lot more snow on the fields (background image), so I am sure it will be filled to overflowing by the time the runoff ends.

The month end is coming up soon and I leave Tuesday, so I have to finish the books today and get them to the accountant.

Of course, going straight at the job would be too simple, so I washed the dishes and made soup first.  Then I watered the plants.  They are using more water now that the days are longer and the house is warmer.

I took some time to reply to Tracey on the forum.  She seems to think that she has accomplished something with the UBAC, but if she has, it is not obvious. I think I was direct, but reasonably restrained in my comments, but feel free to join in.  Read it here.

  Is it Time for a New Alberta Beekeeping Organisation?

The warm spell has moderated, so the snow melt and runoff has slowed.  My little spring creek feeding the pond slows, then stops running overnight, but gets running by about four in the afternoon.  It then continues until sometime after the sun goes down and slows as temperature drops for the night.

I spent the afternoon at the desk and made good progress.  There is still more to do, but after supper I was tired.  I lay down for a while, then got up and watched TV. I rarely watch TV but once in a while it is interesting to see what fantasies are being ladled out to the masses, and how low we can go.

I went to bed sometime around nine-thirty.

Quote of the Day
All a girl really wants is for one guy to prove to her that they are not all the same.
Marilyn Monroe

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Friday March 22nd 2019

Today Sunny. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 14. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 3. Wind chill minus 5 overnight.

Normals Max C. Min -7°C. Sunrise 7:32 MDT Sunset 19:48 MDT

I was up at three, stayed up until five, slept a bit and got up for the day.  My daily rhythm is screwed up.

Today I expect to finish the books, drive to town, drop off the van at Danny's, and have the Usual Suspects over for supper. 

Supper will be soup, salmon and vegetables.

I started on the accounting and wanted to print this year's Amazon activity report.  I found a page and requested reports and found they were only my US activity which is almost zero. Amazon separates the US and Canadian business and sites.  I'm on hold in a chat now, after a half-hour wasted searching.  We'll see what comes back...  It took a while, but that feature is not available on the Canadian site.  Bummer.  Time wasted.

I finished sorting the files and shared the folder with the accountant, then drove to town, dropped off some papers, went to the bank, and then dropped off the van at Danny's.  Carolyn drove me home.

I made supper, the gang arrived, and we ate. There were seven of us.  The meal was chicken soup, salmon, broccoli, kale salad, bean salad, blueberries and ice cream.  Everyone left at about eight-thirty but Bert, Fen and I listened to Spotify for a while.

I cleaned up, loaded the dishwasher and was in bed around ten.

Quote of the Day
I never learn anything talking.
I only learn things when I ask questions.
Lou Holtz

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Saturday March 23rd 2019

Today Fog dissipating this morning then mainly sunny. High 11. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Low zero.

I'm up at 0600. It is minus two and there is a fog warning out.  I came across this on Twitter (right).

Personally, I am not very comfortable with the designations, right, left, and centre.  I'm not sure that anyone using the terms as epithets really knows what they mean, but they are thrown around randomly.

There are historical definitions that seem to have been lost. Wikipedia discusses the question here:

Left–right political spectrum

Now we have 'Alt-Right', which is apparently the descriptor for racist and political extremists who are not 'in' with the 'lefties' (many of whom are clearly racist and politically extreme) but I don't hear much about the 'Alt-Left' but I gather that is what Antifa is.

Here is another perspective.  Political “Left” and “Right” Properly Defined

Clearly this topic is a quagmire.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  People seem to forget when they call the people they consider to be on the 'Right', Nazis, that the Nazis actually were the National Socialist German Workers Party (not at all on the 'right') and the Hitler Youth were young socialist 'enforcers', with ideals much like the gangs of know-nothings that protest and invade free speech meetings and cause disruptions to prevent exchange of ideas.

Our forefathers fought against the Nazis for the freedom we have today. It looks as if that battle never ends.

Forget about right and left. The attempt to categorize right and left is confusing and pointless.  IMO, we should just sort people into two groups:

1.) Nice, polite, rational people who like to live and let live, and
2.) Rude, ignorant people who want force their opinions and methods on others against their wishes and by force if possible.

That makes a much clearer distinction and is easy to assess, but the more I write about this, the more I realise I really don't know anything about it -- just like almost everyone else.

The morning is foggy.

I went back to bed at eight and slept until nine-thirty.  When I got up again, the day was sunny.

I don't feel much like doing anything today and cannot think of anything I must do. I think I'll meditate a bit and something will bubble up to the top of mind.

I texted Danny about the van and he said I need a hose that can't arrive before Tuesday and I leave that day, so I told him to order it and had Carolyn drive me to town to bring the van home until I get back.

I'm considering going up to visit Jean but could also do some of the many things that need doing around here, like getting a load of gravel on my driveway which is very muddy today, work on the furnace replacement, start work on my front walk that needs replacing, fix the bathtub faucets that I never use, tidy the house, wash the windows...  There is too much to, so I hate to even start.

I considered going to Jean's but decided to stay home and just do some things I have been wanting to do.

I noticed that Brian had posted in the forum and ventured there to read one of Doug Casey's articles in the post.

Understanding the Left-Right Political Spectrum

I have been a fan of Casey for a long time and share his belief that we can't really change much, but we can try to figure out what is coming down the road and get out of the way if we don't like what we see.  I assume Doug is in Argentina at present.

I also looked at the references and although I somewhat doubt the actual validity of the Nolan Chart* and The World’s Smallest Political Quiz (I doubt virtually everything), I see it pegged me much as I would have assessed myself. Of course, answering "Maybe" to almost every question except downsizing government might have put me a little left of dead-centre.

That is what I think I think, but what I really think and do is likely quite different. Most or maybe all of us are hypocrites when it comes right down to it.  After all, I am in the 10% and like it that way.  I could easily list another dozen indications, but won't.


* We have to realise that our thoughts are expressed and shaped in symbols and although out conceptual and language models  there is some congruence with reality -- defined by Philip K Dick (no relation) as "..that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" that relationship is imperfect.  Out thoughts and communications are constrained by language. We also have to realise that our capacity to sense our environment is very limited and that has an impact on what we thing.  GIGO. anyhow...


In late afternoon, the power failed and we were without electricity for less than an hour. Since it was a short outage, I assume a breaker blew and needed to be reset.

I watched another Barney Miller Episode in YouTube, and episode of Covert Affairs on Amazon Prime, both on my laptop, looked at a Michael Levin video about race and decided it is the sort of thing that gives serious thought a bad name, and then a Jordan Peterson video on my phone and went to bed.

As for the Michael Levin video, the less said the better. It is one of those things it is better not to touch. 

Quote of the Day
If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.
Andy Rooney

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Sunday March 24th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning then 30 percent chance of rain showers this afternoon. Fog dissipating this morning. High plus 5. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 1. Wind chill minus 5 overnight.

I'm up at seven., looking out at a dull day.  I have nothing scheduled until Tuesday morning.

The pond is nearly full and the remaining snow upstream does not look to be enough to cause much overflow.

I'm thinking of Mexico and other things, and I'm realizing that I did not particularly enjoy my mother's 100th birthday party, even though it was my idea.

My visit to Sudbury was worthwhile and I accomplished quite a bit for Mom, but for me personally, it was a bit of a bust.  Rather than co-operate, my brother took over my plan. He did a good job, and the event went well, but he is not particularly sensitive or imaginative.  I find I cannot work with him.  Never could, but there have been a few occasions when I had hope.


What will I do today?  Well, the bin auger extension has come off and it seems the metal fatigued, so I have a little work to do there. I also really need to do some cleanup and re-organizing and vacuuming again.

My Acer is suddenly becoming slower again in spite of the new SSD drive. From looking at the system, it seems constrained by the processor and for some reason, the swap file.  Why it is swapping is a mystery to me.  I notice some reference to Skype and see there is no longer any way to keep Skype from starting with Windows.

In my searches I discovered that apparently Skype is problematic if a user is signed in on more than one device.  That is a deal-breaker for those of us who have a phone or two and several desktops running.  I seldom use Skype on desktop.  It works fine on the phone once I figured out the cluttered and counter-intuitive interface.  It works just as well as the phone app.

I decided to do some cleanup and ran Malwarebytes (free), finding nothing.  Eset free online scan did not find anything either.

A search then found me this gem and I followed the procedures and now the Samsung flies.  

I did the Samsung machine first since it is more responsive. This old Samsung was fast before, but now is faster.  I'm working on the Acer now, seeing as it is the problem machine -- again. I hate to spend time on this, but the time spent now will be saved many times over while using the devices

How to remove Unwanted Chromium Browsers

That is an unlikely title, but leads to a page with really powerful cleanup processes that work!


Well, now both my machines are running well and I have to decide which one to take along to Mexico.  The Acer is smaller and lighter and that is the best choice -- if it behaves itself.  I used to carry it everywhere before it began giving me grief. I suspect it will be faster if it does not have to drive the second large monitor as it is at the moment.  When on the road, it does not.

I'm off to the basement to do a wash and work on the auger.  I'm thinking I should take my large TV down there, too and set it up by the treadmill to encourage me to walk, and who knows? maybe run.

Surprise! I did not expect any issues on the Samsung, but ran the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM) and the system file checker sfc /scannow and guess what?  There were corrupted files.

I see the geese are back today, but it seems they are just passing through so far.  I see some green buds on the elms.

I went down and fixed the auger, then went out to fix the mud-flap on the van and found the job is not a easy as I thought.  I can't get the drill in at the right angle and I am not feeling very ambitious, plus it is cool and dull out there, but I got it done.  I also did a wash, the dishes and some tidying.

I turned on Cross Country Checkup on CBC and they were talking about couple who live separately.  Old news to me.  My wife and I lived apart quite a lot after we sold the bee business as we had different interests.  She was absorbed in her art and there wasn't much point in being around.  Later, on Tapestries, they were talking about the problems of people of colour. 

That worries me as does the place where feministas and LBQ.. (whatever the current acronym is) activistas have gotten to. 

Everyone is oppressed, except, it seems old white straight men (all of us, without exception, apparently) and everything comes down to who you (sleep or don't) with or what shade your skin is perceived to be. It's hard to ignore differences that people make such an issue about.

Years ago, we didn't make a big deal about things.  Sure we had a few bigots and in some places, lots of them, but fifty years ago, one of my owner-partners in a coffee house was a black as black can be.  Moreover, everyone knew who was gay in town (queer used to be the word) and that did not seem to bother anyone.  Different strokes.

Life is just not fair and cannot be. No one person alive today on this Earth does not have ancestors -- and not more than a  few generations back -- who were slaves or slavers, murdered or murderers, thieves or victims, rapists or the raped.

In fact, It's an obvious certainty that nobody on Earth would be around if a mother , grandmother, great-great-grandmother... or some ancestor had not been raped by -- wait for it -- another ancestor.  Looking back thousands of generations the odds are overwhelming.

Something to think about? And yes, with great certainty, that does include you and me. 

Wait!  Maybe I am the exception?

Our capacity to kid ourselves is has no limit.

Fact is, members of every imaginable group -- visibly identifiable or not -- has had problems and every possible group has a checkered history. 

No one group has had everything their way all the time.  That is life.  And even when a group has an upper hand, some members do not fare at all well.

All the slavers were/are not white or from outside their region.  Apparently slavery was commonplace in our west coast aboriginal 'nations' as it was in Africa, also, before the Europeans. Then there was slavery in Greece and Rome... Slavery is ubiquitous in human society. Sometimes it is hidden by other names, like indentureship -- or internship.

And for that matter, slavery was not always necessarily a nasty, brutal business any more than the lifetime financial slavery many of my neighbours willing sign up for, especially when viewed in the context of the times.  Some slaves were treated well and liberation was the last thing they wanted. as with all relationships, there has to be something in it for both parties.

Oh, while I am blaspheming and discussing whining, I should mention that not all the residential schools in Canada were horrible and abusive.  In fact some 'survivors' report a good experience, but we don't hear about that much. Check this out:

KAY: “What’s in a Residential School’s Name?” – The Talk that the University of Winnipeg Club Didn’t Want Their Members to Hear

...and this Google search.

Members of every group have been enslaved, exploited or killed or injured. It is a fact and it is not over.  Never will be. Get over it. Stop whining and get going.

Today, in Canada, the only person to blame for failure or lack of opportunity is the person in the mirror.  Let's face it.  There are members of every possible group succeeding right now somewhere in this country and the lesser members are still living better and freer than most of the people on Earth. 

Sure, life is easier for some than others, but that will never change.

End of rant.


Well, I edited this on the Acer and it is much improved.  I may be able to travel with it.

Quote of the Day
We learn...
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we both hear and see
70% of what is discussed
80% of what we experience personally
95% of what we teach to someone else
William Glasser

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Monday March 25th 2019

Today Clearing. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 8. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 2. Wind chill minus 4 overnight.

I was up for a few hours in the night and logged into the two Spanish lesson sites I have had for a while.

SpanishPod101 has given me a lot of trouble logging in and I finally made a new account, then wasted an hour or two discovering their Flash presentations don't work on either of my desktops or my three browsers. 

Flash ahs been pretty well deprecated by most sites these days and is considered insecure, but I suppose they have a huge investment in pages relying on that code.

I then ran the app on my phone and it works okay, but the presentations are in podcast form with a lot of extraneous chatter as many podcasts trend to and that is a time-waster.

Rocket Spanish has worked for me in the past, so I will likely go with that.

Duolingo tends to be too gimmicky and the vocabulary offered is irrelevant to me.

I went back to bed and slept until almost nine and am looking out on another dull day. I have to organize and pack today and also take a trip to town at some point.

I get VeryWell emails daily and coffee was the topic today.  Apparently the consensus is that 400 mg of caffeine a day is okay and a cup of coffee contains 180mg+/-.

I wondered what I consume, having had four cups already and it is just after ten. My coffee maker says 12 cups and that is a typical days consumption for me +/- but some days I drink more and some less.  Occasionally, I forget to drink coffee altogether.

I just saw a robin.

I'm brain-dead today and finally thought to take desloratdine (generic Claritin) and that helped.

Quote of the Day
The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.
Fred Astaire

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Tuesday March 26th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 10. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries. Low plus 1.

I was up at three and packed, did the furnace, watered plants and left an hour early seeing as there were fog warnings out.  The roadcams did not show anything, but I would rather be there early than late.

I encountered a few fog patches, but the drive was otherwise uneventful and I arrived four hours before the flight. 

I found the premium lounge and had a second breakfast.  When I got to the gate, I learned that the computers were down and the staff had to board us manually. 

I was first on, but we were a half-hour late wheels-up so  I worried that clearing into Mexico might be as slow as last time and I might miss my shuttle.  The we found the airline did not have any entry forms to fill on board and that we would have to get them and fill them out on debarking.  That could be another delay.

Once off, I was handed a slip and filled it quickly, walked to customs, and found there was no line-up at all. I cleared in an instant and was at the pick-up twenty minutes early.

We went the mountain route via Los Barriles and arrived at La Paz at five.  Our route took us close to my AirBnB, so I asked the driver to stop nearby. 

Finding the place was a puzzle.  The location shown on the map was wrong and I called the owner.  The actual location was blocks away from where the map showed it to be and it took me a half-hour to find it, but just exactly where I wanted to be, very near the marinas.

Jordan Peterson Is a Poor Researcher Whose Own Sources Contradict His Claims
This was bound to happen.  Peterson is getting some overdue backlash from people who study some areas he has wandered into that are outside his specialty and has perhaps oversimplified and adapted to his purposes?  I've wondered. This should get interesting.

Key melting Greenland glacier is growing again, but scientists say it's only temporary
Here is a change that runs against the PC expectations.  Of course the writer dismisses it as anomalous.  Sure. People forget that the Arctic has warmed and cooled several times in the past two millennia.

Quote of the Day
Morality is doing what is right, no matter what you are told.
Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.
H. L. Mencken

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Wednesday March 27th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries or rain showers. Wind becoming north 20 km/h near noon. High 6. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low minus 8. Wind chill minus 6 in the evening and minus 11 overnight.

I slept well and woke up with the dawn.  I'm groggy.  No food on hand. No drinking water. Only beer.

I brought my little UV-5R handheld VHF/UHF radio with me and programmed in the channel 22A marine channel so can listen to the morning cruisers net to catch up on the news. The net came on at 8 as usual.  It sounds very different when I'm stuck on the land.

I walked up the street to Calle Mariano Abosolo and found a breakfast place. I had two burritos and a coffee that turned out to be instant coffee.  I was surprised to find that it was good.

Back when I came first to Alberta, 50+ years ago, (brought by a pipeline project as it happens), instant coffee was what everyone drank. We sat around country kitchen tables, smoking Black Cat cigarettes, playing hearts, and drinking instant coffee with canned milk.

Of course, those days are gone now and nobody can imagine that world -- or excuse it by today's standards -- but it was wonderful. Anyone living out there in rural Alberta was a true individual. People helped one another regardless of origin.  Individuals, true or not, are rare in today's PC world of mindless intellectual group-think clones.

I had phoned Miguel and he texted back he was at the bank. We agreed to meet my breakfast place, but after three quarters of an hour, he didn't show and I walked across to the Oxxo and bought some beer, intending to take it home.

He finally showed and his wife was along. We went to a coffee shop and sat at the curb and talked. She sat in the air-conditioned truck with her phone.

Miguel is an interesting guy.  He was recommended to manage my insurance claim and we have stayed in touch since. 

We went to the boat and sat in the cockpit and talked business. I went below and found water and coffee and various dry foods which I'll schlep back to my apartment.

I have had to decide whether to keep the boat and repair or abandon it to the insurance company.  Cash is nice.  I would be getting out clean and it would be like starting over fresh. Just walk away.

I guess, for me, that would be too easy and I am looking at a repair.  That means a wait, more haggling and indecision, and owning a boat at the end of it all. I'll never have a better chance to get out than I have right now and am it giving up.

That means committing to a year or two or more of boating out of La Paz and owning a boat that will never be worth more than now and which will cost me to own and sell and be a worry in the meantime.

Am I crazy? I'm thinking about it.  Maybe I should fade.

I went back to the apartment and had a beer and a nap.  I awoke at four and spent some time reading, then at five, walked down towards the Malecon, but decided to go to Chedraui for some groceries.  I needed a walk, so I headed that way. I passed El Toro Guero on the way and stopped for a Hamburgesa a Camaron (shrimp hamburger) and carried on. In all, I walked more than  a mile from my apartment (blue dot)

 At Chedraui I bought what I needed and called Uber. I was pleased that I was able to ride back without one word of English even though I had to direct the driver several blocks beyond what Uber showed because Google maps has an error.  I'll have to report that because it has caused me grief twice.

I reported the error and we'll see if it is fixed. I have noticed that Google Maps gets street addresses wrong from time to time. 

I was up until after midnight doing some web work and research.

Quote of the Day
I choose a lazy person to do a hard job.
Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.
Bill Gates

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Thursday March 28th 2019

Today Mainly sunny. Fog patches this morning. High 7. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 7. Wind chill minus 3 in the evening and minus 10 overnight.

I went to bed late and woke up early -- at six -- with the conviction that I should take a buyout and not repair the boat.  Clearly, this is my best chance to get out if I want to.  Otherwise, I am in for repair costs which could escalate and then the operating costs for years to come, and eventually the task of selling the boat at some point and I'm realizing that I'm not getting any younger.

The question is, though, am I finished here?  What do I really want to do?  Do I want to be in Alberta in winter?  If not, where? The BC west coast is actually pretty nice from March onward and even earlier at times.

This apartment is pleasant enough, but what would I do all day if I decided to rent or buy here?  Do I want to have to take the four-hour flight and three-hour shuttle several times a winter?  What would I do with The Old Schoolhouse?

I spent a few hours trying to get the GPS puck to work with my software with no luck. 

Then, I wrote the adjuster to see if I can just take the settlement and walk away from the boat.

Then, in the afternoon, I walked down to the water and back.  A reply from the insurance indicated they are less than enthusiastic about my idea.

I made supper, then watched some TV and some video and went to bed.

I'm watching CSI Miami, CSI Las Vegas, and The Mentalist dubbed into Spanish with Spanish subtitles and I am starting to understand it.

Quote of the Day
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Yves Cousteau

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Friday March 28th 2019

Today Sunny. High 9. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 5. Wind chill near minus 7.

Another bright, sunny day.

I went to the boat in late morning and talked to Victor, then went aboard.  I spent some time there, then went to Marina de La Paz for some RO water, then returned to my apartment at Antonio Navarro 53.

I had a nap, then started walking to Chedraui.  Halfway there I remembered a Spanish lesson scheduled for 4:30 at the Vista Room so I walked back to Marina de La Paz and up to the Vista Room.  N0 one was there and there were no chairs, so I walked down to Topeke and called Uber.  Uber whisked me to Chedraui and I picked up a few items then went home.

I had supper and watched more Spanish TV and am quite surprised at how much I understand, reading the subtitles.  As for the sound, this tiny TV has terrible sound quality and I doubt I could understand much English on it.

On my way to Chedraui I stopped at the Hotel San Bernardino and asked to see a room.  The desk clerk spoke no English and seemed to understand my Spanish.  Cool.  Ditto the Uber drivers, but frankly I don't understand much of what is said to me.

I watched TV, then Barney Miller and one episode of Dragnet and, wow!, it was after midnight.

Quote of the Day
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Yves Cousteau

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Saturday March 30th 2019

Today Sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 12. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy near midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 5. Wind chill near minus 7.

I woke up at three-thirty and could not get to sleep, so was up until five-thirty, then slept until almost eight.

This is a nice apartment, but the floor is dusty, the toilet seeps, and a few necessary items are lacking. It has been recently re-done and is still a bit rough at the edges.

The Spanish lessons were cancelled yesterday due to confusion about registering.  Apparently no one registers, but people, including me, did show up only to find the room locked and empty.

So, I saw the notice on the board and called Raymundo who is trying to get them going and explained the confusion.  I'll go down today and see how it goes.

I walked over to the marina and up to the Vista Room and no one was there, but I found Raymundo sitting on the patio at the clubhouse and when he found out the time, he went up and so did I and seven others.

The session started with pronouncing the vowel/consonant combinations.  Some there already knew his routine.  We went through that for a while and he asked people questions.

I was not particularly enjoying the experience.  I guess he noticed and said I look serious. Was I enjoying myself?

I wasn't, but I did not want to be rude, so I said, "No se." i.e. "I don't know". Later he asked us each who we were an where we were. In turn I said, "Jo soy Allen.  Estoy a La Paz". His eyebrows went up and I guessed I had nailed the accent.

That I can mimic, from hearing others speak to me, but my vocabulary and syntax is limited.  I should have said, "...en La Paz", not, "I am at peace", but I figured I came close.

I know how Mexicans say my name from taking Uber. Each time a driver says, "Allen" to confirm he/she has the right client. Some think the "ll" is said, "Y" but most just have a unique and most pleasant cadence to the pronunciation. "Al-len".

A while later Raymundo was asking about partners and started with a young couple at my right. They were boyfriend and girlfriend. He asked me and, put on the spot, I said, "Mi esposa es muerta." -- "My wife is dead" -- being as close as I could come to a less direct "Mi esposa murio hace cinco anos" -- "My wife died five years ago". Oh well.

That whole thing depressed me and I went back to the apartment, drank some beer and slept all afternoon, catching up, I hope, on my lost sleep from last night.

Raymundo is a really nice guy, a 60+ retired? school teacher, I assume, and is giving free Spanish and Mexican culture lessons to any gringos who show up. I'm not sure that in my present frame of mind I deserve him.

Frankly, I am noticing I am depressed generally right now.  I have many choices, but none seem attractive. This, too, will pass.

My online Spanish courses seem to work about as well as anything, but I am not good at thinking on my feet in Spanish.  After I speak, I realize what I should have said, but what the heck, I seem to be understood and I am making progress. Will I ever be fluent?

I am enjoying Spanish.  I did not so much like Latin when I studied it and my teacher gave me an A on the condition that I promised never to study Latin again. Latin was all about wars and fighting back in high school.  I gather they saved the good stuff (love poems) for university.  French, I enjoyed and it was my best subject.  Maybe I'll take it up again.


In studying Spanish, I m noticing that although we analyze and write language word-by-word, in speech words are run together, and even more so in Spanish than English -- at least to my ears.  I seem to hear syllables omitted in common phrases.


On the way back from the lessons I stopped at the boat and spent a few minutes there.  I encountered Victor and his son on the way.  They both work in the yard and I suppose they must be rich, since this is a huge yard, but they do not act that way. Of course I am a client and one that pays, so maybe that affects what I see?

I seem to be on track to repair the boat, meaning I will have it to worry about going forward. Is that wise?  I am not getting younger.  If I drop dead, my heirs will have a job gathering everything up.  Should I worry about that?

I am finding that I have spread myself too thin. Swalwell, Sudbury, Sidney, Powell River, La Paz...

The teaching and captain work last summer was very rewarding and I liked having the company of students and clients. I have come to like my own company too much, I think, and being paid to have friends is cool, especially when it comes with status.

Interestingly, on Mexican TV, I see prominent, repeating ads for OpenEnglishJunior online English lessons, showing enthusiastic youngsters learning English.  The ads are clearly aimed at parents with young teens with the message that English will be an asset for their children. It makes one think.

Quote of the Day
Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders.
Tom Peters

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Sunday March 31st 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. High 7. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 6. Wind chill near minus 8.

I slept a good eight hours and awoke at dawn. I think I should get my act together. I've been a bit of a wreck.  Miguel says he will be on the job tomorrow. I have today plus three more days until I leave for home Thursday morning.

Shirley wrote last night that they will have the going away party for Grant at the ranch Sunday and I'll be home for that.  The 'going away' refers to his recent death.

I'm using the Acer on this trip and the laptop is running perfectly with the new battery and SSD I installed a while back.  I prefer to travel with this machine as it is lighter than  the Samsung. Getting it running well was a time-consuming job, but worthwhile, I suppose.  My problem now is that Windows 10 does not have the drivers for my GPS or my radio programming cables.  I'm going to have to install Linux and I have not decided whether to go dual-boot or run live from a fast USB drive.

My job for today is to review my correspondence regarding the insurance and the repairs and organise my thoughts.

I am not having a good time lately.  My computers gave me problems and now I am having device driver problems.  In recent years software and websites have made a lot of changes and keeping up with them is getting to be work.  Things that 'just worked' previously seem to require technical research to get going again.  I've spent hours trying to get a GPS working with navigation software with no luck thanks to "improvements" in Windows.

This morning, I went to recharge my Telcel phone plan and the website was not working properly so I had to dig into the cookie permissions on Chrome and got it working, but Telcel now took my money and I don't see my renewal. I'm about to run out of data.  I can use the wifi here, but it is slow and intermittent.

So, I wrote to Telcel by email, using the Google translator.  I write in English, then translate to espanol and and then translate back to make sure it is still the same. Plus, I read it myself in both languages to make sure it corresponds and change words the machine has mucked up and repeat the process until it goes back and forth without distortion.


There is a story about machine translation that goes like this: A machine was asked to translate. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" to Russian and back.  The result? "The vodka is good but the meat is less good."

I tried it just now and machines have improved: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" translates to: "Дух желает, но плоть слаба", and comes back, "The spirit desires but the flesh is weak." Another try got, "Водка - это хорошо, а мясо - хуже|" -- "Vodka is good and meat is worse"

Hmmmm. Pray for world peace.


This a nice mostly quiet neighborhood except for birds that hoot all day long. "Hoot hoot hoot", repeat. Others join in at a slightly different pitch. It is annoying after a while.  If it annoys me, why not them?


Computers and phones are driving me crazy.  Things that used to work don't.  I can't even use the Telcel site due to the security features.  How does anyone do business anymore?

Chrome kept wanting to turn Telcel page into English, so I found the setting and turned it off -- I thought -- and now the browser is in Spanish.  Maddening!

I managed to turn it back to English and muscle through the site by hook and crook and now it seems I have 10GB of data. How about that?  I don't know how I did it.  I was buying five.

Anyhow, I am finding working with software and the web frustrating in a way it never was before.  Am I getting senile or are they eff'ing everything up?  Seems nothing can be trusted to stay the same.  Anything that works simply and well can be expected to have wrinkles and unwanted features added just when you need it to work quickly.

I had been i  all day and decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood.  It is an interesting area, near the marina and naval centre, with some pretty nice houses, some shacks, some abandoned properties and vacant lots.  Bandidos and La Costa restaurants are here, too, all within a few blocks.

Quote of the Day
You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.
Margaret Atwood

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