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 April 2019





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Looking out towards the Rockies from Coliseum Mountain


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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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Saturday April 20th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of rain showers or flurries early this morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h. High 13. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 5. Wind chill minus 7 overnight

I woke up at 6 and got up.  I had slept only six hours but was wide awake so I got up.  I have a slight sore throat and I've noticed a hint of it for days now. I associated it with the cold I picked up in La Paz and the congestion, but today it is worse.

I finished the kitchen cleanup and made breakfast and my throat improved but there is still a sensation there. I hope it is not strep again.

I tend to be susceptible to strep and have had to take antibiotics a few times over the years when a sore throat got worse and worse. I'm lucky to have access to antibiotics and that they work, but word is that the superbugs are spreading and that antibiotics as we know them may become powerless.

We got to talking about AGW last night and today I thought I'd see what I find on the Internet right now.  I found a Wikipedia article listing credentialed dissenters and note that the article adopts the usual pejorative and dismissive language of the mob -- Climate deniers, etc..  Nonetheless, the listing is useful.

When we read any article, an educated reader will detect biases by deconstructing the language, chuckling at the rhetoric, and assessing the unsupported assumptions.

Sadly, much of the popular climate material we find most easily uses terms like "climate deniers" to describe people who do not at all deny that climate changes, but simply think independently, have different data, and have a different perspective from the howling mob.  The use of such terms immediately marks these commenters as unreliable and biased.

Fact is, no observant person will deny that climate is changing, and few will argue that humans activity has zero effect, at least locally, but many -- at least those who are not bought-and-paid for cheerleaders -- express reservations and uncertainty as to the degree and direction of these effects, wonder whether nature has buffering capabilities -- and even if maybe we are at the point of a natural secular change in the other direction where a little warming influence might save us from a future crop failure and famine. (That's right.  It is possible!)

Anyone who pays attention and reads beyond the front page remembers that, for example, in the case of the BP oil spill in the Gulf, that, other than collecting what oil could be skimmed, well-intentioned chemical mitigation efforts were possibly as damaging as the spill. Moreover, quoting in the article, "...biogeochemist Chris Reddy, said natural microorganisms are a big reason why the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was not far worse."

Nature has its ways.  We're on a wild ride on a ball of stuff that we don't control and probably shouldn't.  We've evolved here and prospered in spite of ourselves.  Maybe we should just trust fate and be ourselves.

Can we modify Earth's climate?  Should we?  What is ideal, and for whom?  This is a complex system.  Do we really know what to do, and if we did, the possible unintended consequences?

Some say that the current climate is ideal and it should not change.  Is anyone suggesting we enter a cooling?  If so, I am not hearing it, but that is the alternative to warming.  Stasis is never an option, and even if the overall climate remains constant (whatever that might mean), local climates and microclimates will not.

We see that with ocean currents that no one can predict and which are responsible for climate in many regions. Northern Europe is one such region and of great importance to homo sapiens.

So, say, we have a magic wand and can cool the climate to slow the melting of glaciers that has been underway for ten thousand years, would everyone be happy or would the same doom-and-gloomers run to the other side of the ship and start crying that we are causing a cooling disaster?

How much do we need to cool the planet to grow the glaciers or stop the melting?  You don't want to know. You would definitely not like it. I do know that if the climate cools a few degrees, we are in big trouble. Crops will fail.

Here is an interesting thought: Carbon could be a partial cause of the icecaps melting faster than before, but actual black carbon particles, not invisible, colourless CO2.

Carbon soot darkens snow on glaciers and icecaps, reduces reflection. traps heat, and melts the ice. 

We know that the developing countries are running dirty generation plants and the soot goes around the world. ... 

In the developed world, we now use scrubbers, but only now are they getting onboard with that idea.

I'm looking at some of the first articles coming up with a search for "doubt about climate".  I note that various terms have all become shorthand and people throw them around, but don't understand or agree what they mean.

Here is a heading: "Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal. - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change".  Really?

Whoopdee-do.  How much did it cost to figure that out?  Wasn't there a mile or so of ice right here on this spot just a few millennia ago? Of course climate has changed and that change has not miraculously stopped in spite of what some may want to think.

If you are going to lie, start with an obvious truth and go from there...  Of course the planet is warming. That is why civilization is possible.  Will a few degrees make a difference?  Of course and some will like that change and some won't.

And, it seems that, just as it has many times before, CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere.  Looks extreme, huh?  Note that the chart below is based on data that should be questioned. 

Nobody was there to measure 400,000 years ago, so these numbers have to be deductions.  What is the margin for error and how are the methods proven to be valid?  Also note that the chart starts at 160, not zero, so it exaggerates.


Although it is not a stretch to assume that most of the increase comes from our activity, there is evidence that warming itself releases methane and CO2 as permafrost melts and oceans warm and this can happen naturally and suddenly at trigger points.

One common caveat in science is that correlation does not mean causation.  Moreover, if there is causation, then the one that comes first is likely the cause and if we look closely at the charts, including the one Al Gore featured, in the past temperature rises precede a rise in CO2 as often as not.

You know what I think? Some people are never happy unless they are unhappy.  For a more cheerful perspective, go here. Start at 1:15.   This is worth watching, too.

What do I think?  Frankly I don't know, but I am a natural skeptic and, in my experience, if everyone believes something it will be proven wrong sooner or later.  People are really gullible and are often led off in crazy directions. Consider fashion.  Nuff said.

Where's the support for male victims of domestic violence?  Good question. This is just another issue with sexist stereotypes.  Many men sleep with one eye open or get out of the house when the 'little lady' is on a rampage. Don't ask.

Kenney offers an olive branch; Canada should take it  IMO, Danielle Smith should have been our premier a few years back, but she was tainted by the Looney Tunes component of the Wildrose and the media's way of fixating on a few outliers in a party. The voting majority was split and Rachael walked up the middle.  

Rachael took advantage of the opportunity and did not recognize the real will of the people and the gift they gave her, so and imposed the party's wacky ideas on us. (Some were acceptable, but not well-consulted). Amateur, if you ask me. 

Rachael came to her senses late in the game but lost the election. Everyone liked her better than Kenney, but she betrayed us once and nobody wanted to take a chance.

In Alberta, we say, "You fooled me once; shame on you. You fooled me twice; shame on me."

Danielle would have been a much better premier than Rachael because Danielle is a moderate and a pragmatist. I'm afraid that like most moderates she is misunderstood and gets it from both sides. Read this. What a woman!

In contrast to Danielle and her creds, on the federal side, we have Trudeau. I feel for that poor guy. He never had a chance. His dad was a  narcissistic egomaniac, his mom bipolar, his brother died young.  He tried various careers, but  never excelled in anything, then the Liberal Party beamed him up as Hail Mary to use his name and looks to win an election.  He is unqualified for the job and far over his head.

I have huge respect for many women and am a fan of strong, smart women but I am definitely NOT a feminist.  I respect strong, smart people.

I'm going to write an article about the destructive aspects of feminism and sexism generally (and maybe 'racism', whatever that is) one of these days. Maybe.

I know what I see, think and feel (perceive?), but it is huge job to get my arms around it and make words out of it. I don't think in words.  Who does?

And  I am never, no matter how I try, and no matter how I sharpen my words  or write and re-write, able to say what I mean.

I got to work on my lawn mower downstairs and once I got started, I got into the job. 

I have a workshop full of tools and a lot of experience doing mechanical work. I used to spend days and weeks working on my various projects, from forklifts to truck and motorhome engines.  Lately, these projects have not attracted me the same way, but maybe I have shifted to boats.

I pulled off two flat tires and realised that unless I want to repair the flats myself (I don't), I'll have to wait until a tire shop opens Tuesday.

I got to a point where I figured a second opinion might be useful and went upstairs to consult YouTube.  I found several videos that confirmed my approach and revealed a few possible snags.  Then I quit for the day.

After supper, I decided to watch more YouTube.  One thing that has been on my mind lately has been the climate debate, or more likely lately -- non-debate. 

Whereas the matter began as a scientific debate, the question has been seized upon by the mob and turned into a religion.  We hear people say, "97% of scientists agree", and "The science is settled" as if that is proof of anything. 

It is proof indeed, but proof of ignorance and rhetoric, not science.  Even if 97% of people agree on something, which in this case is demonstrably untrue, it proves only that they agree, and does not show exactly what the question was or the quality of the proof.  The question defines the range of possible answers ...And, true science is never settled.

The major reason to suspect that the current climate dogma is not science is that one essential characteristic of science is that true scientists try to disprove hypotheses, not confirm them.

Practical science is a different matter, but deals with clearly measurable phenomena, not inferences and unprovable theories.

A consensus is only a temporary phenomenon and can change overnight.   All it would take is a series of major volcanic eruptions, a collision with a sizeable meteorite, or a major solar event.

I am sure that 97% of theologians -- the go-to authorities at the time -- agreed that the sun goes around the earth before Copernicus and quite a while after.  Very few believe that today, but at the time everyone 'knew' that the sun goes around the earth every day.

We hear a blizzard of ideas, projections and measurements trotted out to justify the AGM case, but as far as I can tell, much of the historical data is inferred, not directly measured, cherry-picked and/or been filtered by subjective and potentially biased interpretation. 

Models are used to project into the future, but the models have been very inaccurate and some cannot even predict the past. If you ever wonder how good the climate models are, click here.

BTW, I am not claiming I believe the data produced by either the climate suckers* or the climate deniers*  

A pox on both their houses, I say.  It is said that figures can't lie, but liars can figure, and there goes your proof.

I suspect that 97% of any group of educated people agree that human activity has climate effects, but that agreement ends when we begin to discuss, exactly what effects and the degree -- and what, if anything can or should be done.

* I figure that if the people who have doubts have an epithet applied, so should the believers. Of course, I don't think either epithet is useful and I don't like to sort people into categories.

Personally, I think that CO2 from fossil fuel use itself is probably not the main culprit for melting glaciers and icecaps. Soot and the continuation of long-term warming are a more likely cause.

Soot, con trails in the stratosphere, agriculture and heat pollution in cities are more of a concern to my thinking.

After supper, I watched the entire 2-1/2 hours of Dr. Jordan Peterson & Slavoj Žižek - Happiness: Capitalism Vs. Marxism debate on YouTube.  It was a bit of a snooze at first, but the conversation further in was interesting.  Apparently people paid professional hockey game prices to attend and some cheered as if this was a boxing match. I worry about the rabble.

I watched some movie clips and went to bed around midnight.

Quote of the Day
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Mae West

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Sunday April 21st 2019

Today Sunny. High 18. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Low zero.

I woke up at 6 again.  I guess six is the new seven and six hours is the new eight hours of sleep. My cold is almost gone.

My plan today is to finish the mower, so it is time to push back from the keyboard. I spent too much time here yesterday and all I accomplished was to confuse myself. 

As they say. "Bullshit baffles brains", and much of that climate nonsense is BS.  There is so much proven intellectual dishonesty, intentional oversimplification and political maneuvering in the mix that it is fundamentally incomprehensible. 

So many people are lying, spinning, and compromised by money and politics that the truth, if there is any, is obscured.

"Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It's certainty".
 Stephen Colbert

I fall back on my default position: Nobody really knows and it is all guesses.  Here is a thoughtful article on the question. It is worth a read. If the article bores or offends you (it shouldn't), skip to the comments.

Climate Science as Culture War

This is a propaganda war.  What makes me doubt the AGW case as much as anything is the tone of the supporters, the lack of respect for dissenters, and the employment of rhetorical, rather than factual and reasoned arguments.  There could be some truth to it, but it is obscured in the BS that surrounds the matter.

I'm invited to The Mill for supper tonight. This will be a family supper and it will be good to see everyone again.

I went down to look at the lawnmower job and decided that it will wait until I repair the flats.  Then the wheels will be on and I can stand it on end to work on the bottom.  I also decided to go to Birch Bay tonight and go hiking with Jean and family tomorrow at Nordegg. 

I have to go tonight because the plan is to leave on the hike at eight (AM). That means I'll have pack and then just drive from The Mill.  I'll already be twenty minutes closer from there, making the two-hour trip a bit shorter.

In my reading I came across a few more interesting bits. As I indicated, the Peterson/Slavoj Žižek event was not particularly Earth-shattering, but it did stimulate a lot of intelligent criticism.  Here is one example.  Something I found surprising is how many actual Marxists there are out there and how they cluster in the educational institutions. I also discovered Hegel, who seems to have some interesting ideas.

Marxists clustering and influencing the educational institution is something that Peterson has been saying and is proving out.  I suppose I should not be surprised because Marxist thinkers have never tended to be actual workers or producers of goods and services  They have always been from the idle classes, and the arts departments in academia are ideal hangouts in which to talk, write and complain while being fed and clothed and housed by the people they complain about and seek to displace.

I'm going to pack and maybe grade the driveway and head for The Mill around four-thirty.

I lay down for a quick nap and woke at five.  I was supposed to be at The Mill at five, so I packed hastily and drove over.

I was late, but not by a lot and we had an excellent time.  Around eight-thirty, I left and drive to Birch Bay.  No one was home when I arrived, and the the dog barked even before I entered the yard.

I let myself in and the dog stopped barking, but was quite suspicious of me and stayed a few feet away, watching me until the family arrived and then the dog was my pal again.

The family arrived a while after me and by then it was late and everyone went to bed.

Quote of the Day
Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies;
one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing.
What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
Bertrand Russell

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Monday April 22nd 2019

Today Sunny. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 23. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low plus 3.

We were up at six and out the door at 7:55.  Our destination?  Coliseum Mountain near Nordegg, a two-hour drive from Birch Bay.

I was not feeling my best.  Even after being up two hours I was groggy and tired but I figured I'd be a sport and see how the day went.  Worst case, I could sit in the car or go into Nordegg while the others hiked.

We rode in Chris' new Nissan Rogue.  It is quite the machine.  Its ride is almost as smooth and quiet as my 27-year-old Mercury, and the interior is very comfortable for the five of us and the big dog. The dash says it is using 7.8 litres/kilometer which is only 70% of the 10.8 litres/100 km that my old Merc uses.

Am I the only one to think it odd to drive for two hours each way to go for a walk?  If I were anti-vehicle and CO2 phobic nut, I'd be offended, but driving is what people like to do and I'm fine with that.  Driving, for me, has lost its charm after decades of driving around the continent and innumerable trips to town.

Nonetheless, IMO, the automobile is one of the most liberating inventions of all time and one of the most liberating for women.  Maybe that is why the social control advocates are against private vehicles? 

We arrived at the trailhead and readied for the hike. The day was overcast and predicted to reach 18°C with no rain expected. Our goal was to reach the lookout, about two-thirds of the way to the summit.

We chose the Coliseum Trail.  That is the direct route to the peak and is 6.5 kilometers one way to the lookout. We planned to stop at that point as the ice and snow beyond for the final distance is treacherous and even the trail regulars we encountered told us that they were waiting for better conditions.  This route involves a steady climb of over 500 metres or over 1650 feet once past the initial cross-country section.   This is not your everyday stroll in the park.

Weather was perfect.  The sun came out and the winds were light. The five if us -- from 6 years old to 73, plus the dog made the trek.

Chris measured our distance to the lookout as 7.2 km, so with the return, we walked over 14 km, or nearly ten miles. We encountered slippery sections with snow and ice, plus mud in some sections. 

I was pretty slow for the last kilometer or so on the way up, stopping often to rest, but but we made it to our destination without anyone slipping or falling. 

We reached the lookout (right), sat on the rocks, had lunch and headed back down.

The trip down was in many ways as trying as the climb.  Walking downhill with tired leg muscles is a challenge.

We were back at the car around two in the afternoon and back in Birch Bay by around four. Orams, senior, arrived for supper around five-thirty.  After supper, we had cake in celebration of McKenzie's birthday tomorrow and sat around for an hour or two.

They left at eight and I had to decide whether to stay overnight again or drive home.  Walmart was open, so I decided to go home and stop for groceries on the way.

I was home around eleven and in bed by eleven-thirty.

Quote of the Day
To be independent of public opinion
 is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Tuesday April 23rd 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. High 19. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Low plus 3.

I woke up at six again after a night of strange dreams, and got up.  Suddenly I am sleeping six hours a night, not eight.

My legs are fine, but my eyes were glazed again and my sinuses drained a bit, so I guess the cold lingers.

I spent the morning catching up.  I had had some ambitious plans, but I just fiddled at the keypad and did kitchen and laundry duty.

I got to working on my books this afternoon and see my insurance settlement came through.  Now I can pay some bills.

The hike yesterday was stimulating and I think I should do more hiking. I'll look into it.

A web page I mentioned earlier -- Hiking with Barry -- was a good resource for finding hiking groups from Calgary. Barry goes into great detail about the hike we did Monday and others as well.

I did books in the afternoon and decided I needed to get out, so I drove the mower wheels to the tire shop and had them repaired while I waited.  I will be driving to town tomorrow but figured I should get this done.  The job took a while and I am glad I did not decided to do the patch myself at home when I saw that they had to pull the tire off several times because each time they patched one hole, they found another when they mounted the tire  blew the tire up. Finally they installed a tube. That job would have taken me all day and they did it in a half-hour.

I returned home and had supper, then looked at websites and crampons until nine, then went to bed.  I w as too tired to do anything more and video has lost its appeal.  My legs had been fine in the morning, but by evening, they were stiff.

Quote of the Day
The learner always begins by finding fault,
but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Wednesday April 24th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 this afternoon. High 12. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Clearing before morning. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light late this evening. Low minus 7. Wind chill minus 5 in the evening and minus 11 overnight.

I woke up from a very elaborate dream at 0517 and got up.  I had slept eight hours.

I weighed and went back to bed, then dozed another hour, contemplating the dream.  It is too long and detailed to write out here.

I'm still puzzling it out. Some aspects are clear enough and some details quite interesting, like the pale blue naugahyde seat covers in the van driven by my prof.  Who she was or who the two women fellow students were is foggy. Why I was going with them on a trip and why I was not packed for the trip is also vague. Oh, well. By tomorrow, it will all have faded.

I was not congested when I first woke, but over the next hour my sinuses drained constantly and when I got up, I was quite congested. In spite of my arduous hike and not eating much, my scale says I weigh over 233, up five pounds from a few days ago. I assume it is water and maybe related to the cold. This cold (or whatever it is) is strange.

I realised recently what has happened to my front walk. It happened over time and was not obvious.

Basically,the walk out side the door has sunk. It was originally attached to the foundation under the doorstep by rebar, but that rebar has sheared off. 

I estimate the step is made of about two yards of concrete and weighs an estimated eight thousand pounds. I was going to build a new step and walk but am now thinking that maybe I should just jack up the slab.  The rest is not too bad. I have two jacks that can lift the slab -- I think -- if I dig under it.

The problem will be to see if it is wedged in and can't be lifted freely. That is my plan, but for now, I need to get the mower running so I can cut the lawn before it goes wild.

I mention Ben Hunt from time to time.  Here is a good read: This is Water. As I have said before, this guy is smart. Wise, too. He can see through the illusion.  At least a few layers. No one can see all the way through all the layers. Take the red pill.

Readers with perseverance might have noticed that I was getting a little obsessive about our current local zeitgeist and and the current Canadian zeitgeist generally. I was worrying about the mania over AGW and the election.

I think I am over the worst of that now.  I'm still worried, but even if the water (zeitgeist) is polluted by incoming currents from sewage (media) outlets, it is the water I have to swim in.

For that matter, the water has always been polluted, but I am well adjusted to the old pollution.  This recent garbage is something new. I don't see an escape, unless Mexico is it, or the open ocean.

Mexico has a different culture and a large young population so I see a great future for Mexico.  My concern is that Mexico is about a quarter century behind us in our rush to PC and loss of personal liberty, but catching up. There seems to be no escape from the oncoming Brave New World.

Our zeitgeist swirls beyond my control, so my choice is live with it or go crazy fighting it. I can move to places where the water is less polluted, and (to mix metaphors) try to dodge the bullet, but resistance is futile. We will be assimilated.  We have met the Borg and the Borg is us.

Well, I have a day's work ahead.  Job one is to figure out my bills and how to best pay them.

I made chicken soup and got engrossed in my accounting work, so the soup is very well cooked.

C and I walked to the mailboxes and back. Then I ran to town, made a bank transfer, returned home and had supper.  After, I decided to put the wheels back on the mower. 

I had ordered new blades from Amazon and they came last night, so I decided to install them and found a nut I had put on just the other day was already seized, really seized.

I used my best tricks (a strong, tight wrench and a big hammer) to remove it, changed the blade, and replaced the nut using anti-seize this time.  Last time, I thought of it but did not bother.  My mistake! I knew better. When I have an instinct, I should follow it.

I spent some time writing email and am not off to bed at 2136 hours. 

I wonder how the night will go?

Quote of the Day
Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong.
They are conflicts between two rights.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Thursday April 25th 2019

Today   Clearing this morning. Wind west 20 km/h. High 15. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness this evening. Wind becoming east 20 km/h overnight. Low minus 2. Wind chill minus 8 overnight.

I woke up at 0320 and decided to get up.  I made a cup of coffee and sat for a while, then went back to bed.  Next I knew it was 0530. I dozed until 0630 and got up.

In the past, my habit was to get up in the middle of the night for a while and then go back to bed. That worked well, but I got to thinking that it was abnormal and began tricking myself into sleeping through.

As with many things, forcing myself is probably not a good idea. I'm better to listen to myself and not try to go against my nature. I find if I sleep right through, I am sometimes groggy.  If I get up for a while and wake right up before going back to sleep, I sleep better. 

If I am lying down too long, it seems my system slows down too much. I've wondered if my oxygen levels drop too far, making me groggy and threatening my health.  I ordered an oxygen monitor from Walmart ten days ago (right) and expect it to arrive any time now.

It seems that the same day I ordered the monitor, the 15th, I ordered the gravel for the driveway.  Now that it is here, I am thinking I got twice what I really needed. It is quite thick, even now that it has settled and packed.  Rain and traffic will pack it down more and I'll smooth it more with my grader and we'll see. I expect I won't need more for the foreseeable future.  It is probably twenty-five years since I last added gravel to the drive.

I'm not congested today, my eyes are clear, and my legs are back to normal.

The mountain hike Monday was a peak (sorry) experience and one I won't forget for a while.  In fact, I may repeat it.  Looking online, I see there are many possibilities and a number of hiking groups out of Calgary and some are aimed at my age group.

We've had some warm days but now expect some cold and precip.

6 Reasons Why Mexico is Safer than You Think

Every day I start with a plan and seldom do I do what I intended. Sometimes I do something entirely off the list and other times I actually do some. Today my plan is to 1.) pay some bills, 2.) work on the mower, 3.) start raising the doorstep.  Lets' see how I do.  First, though, comes daily chores -- dishes and tidying...

The oximeter arrived and now I have to figure out how to best use it.  There are instructions, but the type is so tiny I had to scan the pages at 600 DPI and blow them up to read them. The device has Bluetooth and USB connection plus software on a disk. Oh.  I see.  There is also a manual on the disk. 

Hmmm. That manual is available only after running the setup program and it explains how to run the setup program.  Clever?  anyhow I have the software installed and I am charging the device.

I opened the software and started Bluetooth and it works!  Not too exciting though. I'll see how my oxygen levels are when I sleep tonight.  I hope that is unexciting, too.

I played with the new toy.  I am intending to see if my SpO2 levels drop when I sleep.  I also think that maybe C is experiencing low SpO2.  We'll see. First I have learn how to use it. The device info is in English although in very tiny print, but the device manual is in Chinglish and makes for interesting reading.  Did you know that espial is a word?  It is.

Here is an interesting article about the effects of chronically low SpO2.

By three I was feeling a bit off and knew I was not going to get anything more done and needed to get out, so I drove to Linden and bought some beer and wine since my supply was zero and I am thinking of having company again soon.  Plus, I wanted a beer.

Once home, I drank two beers over an hour or so and found I was exhausted for no apparent reason, so I lay down and slept until six.  I got up for a few minutes, was still tired and went back and slept like the dead for two more hours.

After that, I was still tired, but got up and figured out this device and am ready to go to bed again.

While learning this software, I also looked into Sleepyhead, excellent freeware CPAP software that runs oximeters data as well as CPAP and found that the project has been discontinued. The copies I have locally work on one machine, but won't start on the other.

I set a low SpO2 alarm at 84%.  Will I be awakened by an alarm tonight?  Am I going to find this thing biting my finger all night annoying?

Oh, yeah.  My list!

Quote of the Day
Every idea, extended into infinity, becomes its own opposite.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Friday April 26th 2019

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries or rain showers changing to 30 percent chance of rain showers this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind east 20 km/h. High 13. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Becoming cloudy this evening with 30 percent chance of rain showers changing to 30 percent chance of flurries or rain showers overnight. Wind southeast 20 km/h. Low plus 1.

That was an interesting night.

Yes, I was aware of the device on my finger, and the alarm went off several times, rousing me each time.

The report is reproduced at right.  Times are from the beginning of recording, not time of day. I'm still learning how to interpret the data and squiggles.

I'm not sure which alarm went off.  In addition to SpO2 below a set threshold, apparently sudden changes in the pulse rate (PR) trigger an alarm.  I'm still figuring this out.

Each time the alarm went off, I took a deep breath and the alarm stopped and I do see some low SpO2 events, so I suspect SpO2 but cannot see it in the charts.  I do see it in the report.

Apparently my SpO2 dropped below 88% 10 times during the night.

I had set the alarm at 84% but that seems to have been ignored. 88% seems to be a generally accepted low trigger but I wonder what my settings accomplish if they are ignored.

I'll play with this some more and then get on with my day.

My intent in ordering this device from Walmart was to confirm that SpO2 events were not interfering with sleep.  From my CPAP experience, I was not expecting to see any, but figured something is going on with my sleep.

Quelle surprise!  It seems this was a very good investment. Maybe I should be looking at CPAP again. I've tried my APAP machine a few times over the past months, but found it unhelpful, and did not see any obstructive events in the APAP reports, but maybe it is time to dig into that approach again. I did see a few centrals but they are not mitigated by CPAP.  In fact centrals may be exacerbated by CPAP.

It is Friday again.  A week has passed since my turkey dinner. I'd like to have another supper this weekend but if I do it too often it is not such a special event.

Time flies.  Tasks on my day list don't seem to get done on a daily basis, but when I look back at what I've done and where I've been, I see that I've covered a lot of ground.  My approach is not a direct frontal approach, but more circular.  What I intend to do often profits from delay and oblique approach.  Nonetheless I fault myself for my seeming procrastination.

Let's try again: 1.) pay bills, 2.) work on the mower, 3.) Start raising the doorstep, 4.) dig deeper into sleep.

The weather has turned cooler, so the outdoor work may or may not be pleasant -- if I get around to it.  I will have to move sleep study up the list.

I spent time catching the books up and did none of the rest of the list and went to bed early.

I did go for a walk in the afternoon.  C is feeling better and we did the mile in record time.

Quote of the Day
To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Saturday April 27th 2019

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of rain showers early this morning. Rain showers beginning this morning changing to snow at times heavy and blowing snow near noon. Snowfall amount 5 cm. Wind east 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming northeast 60 gusting to 90 this afternoon. High plus 4. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Snow at times heavy and blowing snow ending near midnight then clearing. Amount 5 to 10 cm. Wind northeast 60 km/h gusting to 90 diminishing to 30 gusting to 50 this evening. Low minus 8. Wind chill minus 8 in the evening and minus 15 overnight.

I slept in and am taking the day off.  Snow is predicated and the day is overcast.  The wind is picking up.

The snow began around ten and continues into the afternoon.

At two, we have received at least four inches, but it is melting fast.

When I was looking at the Sleepyhead CPAP software yesterday while playing with the oximeter I discovered that the Sleepyhead developer has given up on the project. There was some conflict in the group working with him.  He quit but a fork called OSCAR is continuing on.

I downloaded OSCAR and it looks just like Sleepyhead and seems to run well on both my machines.  Sleepyhead was failing to launch on one of my machines even after I reinstalled it.  The OSCAR website is in Dutch, but the program runs in English -- if you choose English while installing.

As for reading web pages in other languages, the Google Translate plugin works really well. It can be annoying if you want to read a page in its native language, but is manageable. I use quite a few other plugins as well.


Hover Zoom  is an extension that shows the image behind thumbnails by simply pointing to them. Hover Zoom is almost essential for enjoying the images on my pages.

Just Read simplifies cluttered webpages and removes junk.  It also turns annoying dim grey or pastel text into black. I use the mouse gestures all the time.

Practical Start Page is the best launcher for that I have been able to find to suit my purposes. I've tried many start pages and find I have no use for the usual portals. Other extensions may be fancier, but are not as useful IMO.

OneTab is a quick way to clear some or all unused open tabs and still have them or the previous session handy to be quickly restored later.

The rest of the plugins are self-explanatory.

I keep my history and bookmark manager pinned as well as two radio stations I like to use, for a total of for pinned.  My settings restore the previous pages on startup, not a home page so they always come up.

The storm is continuing into the evening. The snow has stopped but the wind is still blowing and predictions are for more snow.

Quote of the Day
If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company.
Jean-Paul Sartre

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Sunday April 28th 2019

Today Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this morning. High plus 4. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of rain showers changing to 60 percent chance of flurries this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 5 in the evening and minus 12 overnight.


Max 15°C. Min C.

Sunrise 6:11 MDT Sunset 20:50 MDT

The storm ended.  We now have a few inches of snow on the ground, temperatures around freezing, and a promise of continuing cool weather for the coming week.  The days are growing longer fast, so the snow should be gone soon.  I see a deer wandered through.  I can tell it is a deer because deer always drag their feet when they walk.

Last night I slept with the CPAP mask on my face and the oximeter clipper onto a finger. This morning, I am assessing the results using OSCAR and the oximeter software and am not sure what to think. I had zero AHIs and apparently my SpO2 dropped to 88 on several occasions, It has been a while since I studied these topics, so I have some catch-up to do.

Neither device bothered me or interfered with sleep -- once I got to sleep. Getting to sleep was a bit of a chore, though, with the CPAP making noises and sticking out from my face.

After midnight, after lying awake a half-hour, I finally had to take two Benadryl to get to sleep.  Benadryl tends to improve my sleep, so that may have influenced the results.  I'll have to repeat this without that influence.

The fact that the Benadryl improves my sleep suggests there could be an allergy component to the stuffiness.  Getting to the bottom of such matters is complex and I can see why doctors so often get diagnosis wrong or miss obvious issues.

I have figured out how to lead the air line so it is not being pulled as I move, and I was not aware of any leaks, but the software showed constant large leaks.  Could it be the software leak threshold settings are low?  I have to get up to speed on this again.

From what I can see, CPAP is not really indicated for me, given my low (zero) incidence of AHIs, but the event count is fairly high.  I'll have to look into that.

SpO2 event count was 26 and pulse rate 63. Such events are defined as changes in pulse and breathing or low saturation (below right)  88 seems to be the threshold and I touched that point several times.

As for how I feel, which is the acid test, I was only up briefly once during the night and I am reasonably bright today.  I have no congestion, but my eyes were a bit glazed when I woke up.  That latter effect I blame on the cold I've had, but that should be ending by now. I also note my weight this morning dropped two pounds from the high point two days ago.

My guess?  I am thinking the congestion I experience sometimes at night is related to falling very deeply asleep to the point where my breathing slows and becomes shallow and my normal sinus draining reflexes become weak, allowing a build-up of the normal mucous flow.

So, the upshot is that I have spent $100 and many hours on this project and am nowhere close to understanding.  Maybe I need to consult a pro again.

On with the day!

Well, I decided to just clean up.  I began with shoveling ashes.  The furnace has been working harder that last few days, so that was overdue.

Then I started filing papers and throwing things out.

Throwing things out is not easy.  Two reasons.  One is that as soon as I throw something away, I find I need it. Two, we are expected to recycle, even though I hear that most recycling goes into the landfill. (True).  That means mucho sorting and delivering to multiple collection points which are open at varying times.

The day has become bright and sunny and the snow is going fast.

I fiddled around and tidied, had supper, listened to music, browsed the 'net, played with the oximeter and CPAP, software ground my heels,and went to bed around ten.

Quote of the Day
Sometimes the truth is too simple for intellectuals.
Jean-Paul Sartre

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Monday April 29th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries or rain showers this afternoon. High plus 5. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 5 in the evening and minus 12 overnight.

I woke up at around one, and got up after three hours in the sack.  I was curious what the results are.

I'm feeling bright.  I uploaded the results of the APAP device and the software chides me: "You only had the mask on for 3 hours, 22 minutes and 3 seconds". Compliance is apparently an issue for people under therapy. I uploaded the recording from the oximeter too.

Once again I see no AHIs on the CPAP print, but two desaturations below the 88% line on the oximeter, down to 86%. The CPAP machine reports large leaks and also did yesterday.  "Your average leaks were 38.34 L/min, which is over your 7 day average of 33.59." 

I have not noticed any leaks, but maybe that could account for an inaccuracy.  I'll have to inspect the hose and mask.  

This all fascinating.  The prints seem to indicate no need for CPAP, but I think it may be doing me some good. Time will tell.  If nothing else, this is entertaining and makes use of the ResMed S9 AutoSet machine I bought back in July of 2014. It is hard to believe that five years (almost) have passed.

Well, it is time to go back to bed.

I changed masks and eliminated the leaks, then slept right through to a little after eight.  I felt drowsy and my mouth was dry. 

As happened previously with this mask that has no leaks, the pressure had blown my mouth open.  I think the top pressure is too high. I got up, took off the devices and lay down again.  Next I knew, it was a little after nine.  I'm going to have to study this a bit more before I use CPAP again.

I tried to look at the data from the second sleep session, but the software did a poor job of loading the data.

I don't have to make a list today.  My list from Friday is still fresh. Let's try again: 1.) pay bills, 2.) work on the mower, 3.) Start raising the doorstep, 4.) dig deeper into sleep.

The only thing I've spent much time on is number four. I did also make some progress on number one, too, but need to finish that so I can cross it off.  A number of things attach to it and I'd like to clear it.

I got to work on the accounting and happened to glance out to see a fox walking by.  She stopped to do some mousing and sure enough, in a minute or two, she caught a vole.  A few bites and it was gone.

I wonder where her den is?

I was in the mood for something substantial for supper, so micro-waved a 'baked' potato and cooked a steak from the freezer.  Now I am full.  Too full.

I browser, worked on the software and watched a little YouTube and went to bed around eleven.

Quote of the Day
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
Robert Orben.

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Tuesday April 30th 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of flurries late this morning and this afternoon. Wind becoming north 20 km/h this morning. High plus 5. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 5. Wind chill near minus 7.

I woke up at 5:30 and got up. I was not congested until just before I got up.  When up, I found I wasn't particularly groggy, but my eyes are still glazing, so the cold may be lingering.

Outside, it was snowing lightly.  I made coffee and breakfast, my usual omelet, and got going.

Overnight, the devices functioned well and I spent an hour or two after breakfast at the keyboard considering and researching the results.  Lowering the top pressure had solved the dry mouth and leakage issues but I had some minor events which I am still working on understanding.

From what I can see, events like changes in pulse and breathing depth or rate are normal.  It seems that sleep therapists know all about these things -- maybe not as much as we might hope, judging by the experiences related on the forums -- but also it seems clear that sleep therapy is as much art as science. Every patient and every night is unique; each xPAP machine maker has its own research, algorithms, and settings. I'm looking for the commonalities and the certainties.  So far, I'm not having too much luck in that.

It is clear that the oximeter was a very good investment, but it takes some study and a few sessions to get an understanding.  Apneaboard is a good source of info, experience, and opinions from lay users (sorry) and also a few health professionals who hang there.

Then got to browsing. First this from Epsilon Theory:

"That’s a problem, because humans crave the Answer, in both our political and our investing lives. We are hard-wired to seek it. And just because the Answer does not exist … well, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t constantly going to fool themselves into thinking that they’ve found it. That doesn’t mean that raccoons and true-believers alike aren’t constantly going to sell you on an Answer."

I enjoy Epsilon Theory maybe just because of confirmation bias. I tend to share the same insights and it is nice to know some genius and his associates see things the same way I do and can express thoughts so clearly.  I struggle if I try.

Maybe we are all wrong?  Wouldn't bother us much. We'd rather switch than fight.  After all, ideas are just ideas and symbolic models of reality. They are toys and sometimes crutches.  We know reality is very different and work to find ideas that come even close to fitting.  Even out best ideas are very poor models and a faint image in time and space.

As Philip K. Dick said, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away". and if we are going to argue lets try to get closer to reality.

Hmmm.  Maybe not.  That could be unpleasant and that is why we so often prefer the models, even knowing they are wrong.  Ignorance is bliss.

Next, I 'wasted' a half-hour on these cartoons (left).

I have to go to town today.  I'm out of fruit and eggs -- egg whites, actually as I have decided that maybe eating two dozen whole eggs a week might not be the best -- and need to go to the bank, too.

I feel like having a party.  I wonder if I should.  I keep telling myself that I have so much to do, and I do, but looking at it from another angle, I don't.  Everything is so fluid.

Now back to work. My Mexican friends need money for the boat project.

I managed to get the Transferwise account to work.  I still have to go to Three Hills to do another transfer later.  Getting that transfer done is a huge relief.  There are only a few things that have had me feeling pressured and that was the main one.  Now maybe I'll worry about the mower again and even get around to the furnace.

John called and filled me in about qualifying for teaching Intermediate Cruising and Powerboat courses.  It sounds like a cakewalk, but so did Basic.  Once I anteed up, I found the goalposts had moved and I had to run the gauntlet. (metaphorically, not literally).

Do I want to qualify to teach at a higher level?  Yes, if I am almost there, but not if I have to go through the grinder again. 

Not only did it cost me time and worry last time, but I paid out almost as much as I earned last season, qualifying, and there are annual dues and requirements to stay qualified.

That said, I really enjoy teaching and it is nice to be paid and fed to go out on someone else's boat with a group who think I know something they don't. I sail alone a lot, and when I do a delivery, my crew often is in a rush to get back,

Somehow, I ate too much lunch. I just had a salad wrap and al little chunk of leftover salmon but that seems to have been plenty

I finished my interminable international multi-currency banking puzzles and went to town.  I bought a few things, picked up a package for C and drove home, dropping the bag on the way and instructing C on the oximeter.

On returning home, I decided to cook hamburger I bought for a cottage stew.

As soon as it began to cook, I noticed a lot of water in the pan.  The, as it cooked, I found it is granular and tough (see picture at left). I noticed that the last time I used hamburger from the Three Hills IGA. Too bad.

Before the Three Hills IGA changed hands recently, the Three Hills IGA always sold the best hamburger anywhere, but I am guessing under new management they are cheapening the product but grinding gristle and it appears they are adding water, too. 

Added water is a problem with meats in many stores these days. Chicken breasts and fish are sometimes infused with salt water to add weight.  Read the label.

I had a light supper and sat down to vegetate with Spotify and YouTube....

It is surprising what we can find. I came across Wolfman Jack on Spotify. There are new cuts in 2009 and 2014. Who Knew? He died in 1995. FWIW Here are a couple of Wolfman clips: One Two.  More clips on XERB.

Speaking of wolves, I saw the fox hunting along the pond margin again earlier today.  She appears to be a mother, so there are kits around somewhere nearby and she will be hungry. That does not bode will for the ducks if they plan on nesting here.

I watched most of the pilot episode of It takes a Thief, but quit before the end.  It wasn't really all that good.

I went to bed around ten.

Quote of the Day
The great enemy of the truth is very often not
the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest,
but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.”
John Kennedy

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