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 May 2019

 

 

 

 

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A spring snowstorm

 

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Wednesday May 1st 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 9. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of rain showers changing to 60 percent chance of flurries near midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 2. Wind chill minus 4 overnight.

I used the APAP for the first few hours last night, then went without a while, and then put the mask on again. Around 0430, I roused and found I was a bit congested and uncomfortable.  I lay there a while, then, at 0455 I got up.

I found I had left the kitchen in a mess last night after my cooking project and I'd also left chicken thighs thawing in the sink overnight.  Not good, but not too serious.  I cut off the fat, washed it off and cooked it well.

My wife worked at Chicken On The Way in Calgary back in the early seventies.  She said it was not unusual to arrive at work and find chicken parts in a tub at room temperature, slimy, and with tinges of green.  She mentioned it to the owner and was told to just wash it, batter it, and deep fry it as usual. She did. Apparently the chicken was just fine and nobody ever complained -- and the regulars always came back.

I do worry about food safety, though, especially as we hear so much about the risks.  Fact is that people survived and thrived long before refrigeration was invented and in places where it is still riot available. The Brits apparently used to hang fowl for a while to add flavour.

This chicken had only been out a few hours and was frozen solid last night at seven and was in a bag in cold water. It might have been thawed for a few hours, but not at room temperature until morning. It was not green or slimy and did not smell.  It was still fresh.  Still I cook such foods well. There is a lot of talk about E coli and I wash up well.

Fen bought a house in Didsbury and I have planned to go to see it some day and today is that day.

Didsbury is an hour's drive from here. I try to avoid long drives, but my neighbour, Fen's daughter, drives over there daily to work on the house. 

I've done commutes several times a week to Calgary back (75 miles each way) when I was in the computer business (1980), and some local people commute to local towns and the cities, but to me that seems impractical these days.

I have not been to Didsbury for years. At one time, I travelled the Province as a tech rep and then as a bee inspector.  We also went driving for various reasons or simply something to do and I was familiar with all the small towns.

I left at eleven and arrived at noon. Fen gave me a tour of her house. Ruth and Jay were there working on renovations. We then went for lunch at a Thai restaurant.  After, I left and visited the AG Foods store nearby for a few items.  The store has a great selection, but is very expensive.

I drove home and found my casserole had turned out perfect after sitting.  When I left the pepper had been overpowering but had mellowed after I left and residual heat had finished cooking the rice, soaked up excess liquid, and blended the flavours.

Predicting how flavours will fade is always tricky, but I am usually lucky, and I was this time.  If the spices are added after cooking, the result is different, so the time to spice is during the cooking or before sitting.

I peeled and cooked potatoes, then had a nap. After, I mashed the spuds and was surprised to find that the mashed potatoes turned out very gluey -- in spite of being a bit lumpy. 

I looked this problem up and there is hope.  The mashed potatoes will be a layer baked on top of the cottage pie, so texture is less critical than if they were served alone.  Everything should all turn out okay after time in the oven.  I worry about the granular ground beef, but I added crushed tomatoes and salsa to the cooked meat and trust the acids will soften the gristle. Regardless, even if the texture does not improve, the taste will be great -- and nobody ever complains.

I did not use recipes.  Never do, but I have two now.

Old Schoolhouse Cottage Pie
May 2019 Version

  • Cook a package of lean ground beef (Not from Three Hills IGA) until it is dry.
  • Crumble it up as fine as you can while cooking.
  • Add garlic and onions fried separately to you tastes. Mushrooms, too.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • This should half-fill a casserole dish.
  • Add a 550 ml bottle of salsa and a large can of crushed tomatoes and stir
  • Level and pack down then add a 3/4" layer (+/-) of frozen mixed vegetables.
  • Add mashed potatoes up to within 1/2 cm from top but not level so juices won't run over when baking
  • Level and texture surface with a fork (optional)
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs on top (optional)
  • Add grated cheese (optional)
  • Place in oven at 350 F and bake until juices rise or you think it is ready.

Old Schoolhouse Chicken & Rice Casserole
May 2019 Version

  • Cook a dozen or so skinless chicken thighs in a covered frying pan
  • Place in crock pot when mostly cooked -- or add them raw to the crock pot
  • Fry chopped onions separately and mushrooms and add to the pot
  • Add a jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes
  • Add garlic to taste
  • Add crushed chilies and black pepper
  • Raise to 165 degrees. 
  • Stir
  • Add 1-1/2 (+/-) cups cooked brown rice
  • Stir
  • Add Italian spice to taste
  • When al dente, add to crock pot
  • Stir
  • Turn off heat
  • The flavours will blend and the rice finish soaking up as it sits and cools
  • When ready after an hour or so, serve or refrigerate

I count ten for supper tomorrow unless I've forgotten someone - A C F M F M J J O R. I have enough food for two meals. I always make too much.

The driveway gravel had settled and needed smoothing, so I pulled the grader around a few times.

I had supper, watched a bit of TV, then watched Bright on Netflix and that was about it for the day.

I don't watch TV, but once in a while I like to see how the public sensibility has shifted. Sampled every six months or so, it is like going to a different planet. The ads and the assumptions in the programs shift, often drastically.  What would have been shocking or illegal a decade or more ago is now mainstream and things that were acceptable and commonplace in the past are now taboo.  Jeopardy hasn't changed much, if at all, though.

Bright could have done without the specious and phony gun action and phony fighting generally, but if we take out the chases and fights, it would be a very short flick.  Will Smith was Will Smith. Just the same, Bright entertained, passed the time, and did not strain my brain.

Quote of the Day
I respect orders but I respect myself too and
I do not obey foolish rules made especially to humiliate me.
Jean-Paul Sartre

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Thursday May 2nd 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. High 10. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Low zero.

I slept well until five-thirty with no CPAP and no oximeter.  At five, I was completely uncongested and feeling bright.  I dozed until eight and by eight my sinuses were congested and I was feeling dopey. Maybe I should have stayed up at five.

I wonder why congestion sets in after sleeping for four or five hours.  I wonder if maybe the furnace runs more late in the night as temperatures drop outdoors and the circulated air is the cause?  Using CPAP, the machine filters the air I breathe, but I haven't noticed that making a difference.

At six today I expect ten for supper.  The meal is already prepared and the main dishes only need an hour in the oven before serving so I only need to tidy and set the table.  Between now and six tonight I'll do housework and chores.  Today ios plant watering day, too.

Maybe I'll even get downstairs.  It has been over a week since I approached the lawn mower.

I didn't.  I set things up and people came.  We ate, then people left by ten.

I put away the food and went to bed.  Cleanup is for tomorrow.

Quote of the Day
Keep people from their history, and they are easily controlled.
Karl Marx

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Friday May 3rd 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries changing to 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries this afternoon. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 9. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 2. Wind chill minus 4 overnight.

At 0310 I woke up and decided to put on the APAP and oximeter,  I took two Benadryl and went back to sleep.  Next I knew it was 0810.

I got up and started on the kitchen.  After ten people I figured I'd have two dishwasher loads, but it all went into one.

The day is dull and I am not ambitious, so I spent the day dealing with various online matters.  I also delved deeper into the sleep software results.

If I am reading it right, the devices don't seem to indicate that I should have sleep issues, but I do. Maybe the answer is to just get up every night after three or four hours, stay up for an hour, and go back to sleep.

Midday I got an email asking me to teach a Cruise and Learn later in May.  Before I do that I need to get a marine medical so I set that up.

I spent the evening studying sleep and the various events and levels measured and displayed on OSCAR's reports and trying to get my oximeter data synced with the CPAP data.

I went to bed at 2218 with the oximeter and the APAP mask on.

Quote of the Day
Keep people from their history, and they are easily controlled.
Karl Marx

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Saturday May 4th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries changing to 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries this afternoon. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 9. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 2. Wind chill minus 4 overnight.

I woke up at 0407 and got up.  I was wide awake so I made breakfast. 

At least I thought I was awake; I forgot to put the cup under the coffee maker and had to soak up the spilled coffee and start over. 

I have done this more than once in the past and learned to keep that single-cup coffee maker on a tray so the spill is limited.

I have learned over time that people often think they are wide awake when the are roused, but may not be all there. Judgment can be poor.

One night we were coming into New York from Bermuda on Compass Rose, a 45-foot Jeanneau.  The wind was behind us and we were on a dead downwind run.  It was around midnight and  I was alone at the helm.  The captain was asleep below.

So far the ride had been smooth sailing, but the wind was picking up and we were already running at hull speed. Time to reef the sails.

I could have reefed by myself, but prudence calls for all hands on deck, so I woke the skipper up.  I had expected he would just help, but he came up and immediately started giving orders.

He took command before fully understanding the situation. The skipper is the skipper. Against my better judgment I followed his orders and we had a violent accidental jibe. No harm was done, but just the same...


Next, I downloaded the night's sleep data. (left)

The APAP data came down right, but the oximeter data came into OSCAR with the wrong timestamp, but it loaded into the oximeter software without any issues and that report is at right.

All I can conclude from several nights is that there are no apparent issues of the sort these devices detect.

AHIs are zero and that seems unusual.  AFAIK, people who fit my profile usually have at least a few hourly. I do see some very slight snore traces.  I'm not seeing desaturations either.  My baseline SpO2 is slightly low at 92.5 but the lowest overnight is around 88 and that is acceptable.

It is possible that I have set the APAP machine perfectly and that accounts for the good report.  Dunno.  I see that the pressure stays at the max I set -- 7 -- all night.  Previously I had it a at 11.4 and found that too high for comfort.

I also wonder about allergies.  This old building has its molds and dusts.  Regardless, I find I sleep the same other places. I have found that taking Benadryl guarantees better sleep, so it is a hint, but I don't know if it proves anything.

Also, I think my tolerance for alcohol has diminished and also am aware that alcohol exacerbates allergies.  I quit drinking for months, maybe a year and lost weight.  I think I slept better, but I was getting tense and figured a that a few drinks might help.  Probably that was a bad decision. I think I'll quit again and see if that helps.  If nothing else, I may lose weight.

Losing weight is not the panacea it is made out to be.  I've found when I get down to about 205 I get tense. That has happened twice now.

It is also possible that I would get the same results without the APAP hardware, but the machine is what gives me the results. I could turn the pressures down and see, I suppose.  Maybe I should get a sleep monitor device like what was used in my original sleep test.

Have you considered that you may sleep better, or feel that you are sleeping better, after days with more exercise?

Personally, I dislike the treadmill and would rather walk outside with our dogs. I recall that you don’t mind it too much if you have something to occupy your mind - Netflix?

If I don’t move enough my mind will stay too busy and my sleep is fitful. It is getting lighter in the evenings, would a post-supper walk be something you could fit into your routine? I monitor my steps. If I haven’t got 11,000 in a day I will top them off after supper with a walk or some yard work.

Regards,
Adrian.

Possibly, but frankly I don't see a lot of difference when I exercise or don't, a day of skiing being an exception but a day of skiing involves more than exercise.

At one time, I was trying for 10,000 steps a day but lost interest as it did not seem to make a huge difference.  I'll have to reconsider, though.

For getting to sleep, I find that setting Audible on a fifteen minute sleep timer and starting Spanish lessons usually puts me to sleep before the sound fades out. 

Interestingly, I find I often sleep twenty minutes or so and then wake up.  I also wake up after about three and half hours. I gather that is due to changing from one phase of sleep to the next.

At eight, I went back to bed and slept for an hour.

Looking out today I see we are getting another dusting of snow. I also see, on the pond, a bird that identifies as a bufflehead More. Reportedly, they are scarce. I doubt this guy will stay, but maybe...

The bufflehead male is at right.  In foreground are the usual mallards.

I spent the day researching sleep disorders and the software. I also spent more time dealing with currencies and banks, I'm not sure I accomplished much, but I think the key to better sleep is to quit drinking.  That will also maybe reduce my girth which has been expanding over the past year.

WestJet sent me a promotion today and I was planning to book anyhow so I booked a flight to YVR for the 19th. That is two weeks away. 

I had checked online and Flair offers the same service for $178, but the online reviews are awful, so this offer dropped Westjet's flight to the same price point and I fly Gold on WJ, so the choice was easy.  I doubt I'll be Gold next year though since WJ no linger flies to Sudbury.

After supper, I watched two episodes of Tijuana on Netflix.  I like it so  far. I am very fond of Mexico and Tijuana is a city I've been to often -- and where I've had dental work done.

Tijuana is reasonably safe for tourists if they mind their P&Qs but not too safe for journalists or politicians.  Thus the tales.

It's ten-fourteen, so I'll toddle off to bed and see how I sleep now that I'm aware of all the things that can go wrong with breathing and heartbeat when I am asleep.

I turned off the lights at 2255.

Quote of the Day
We should never allow our fears or the expectations
of others to set the frontiers of our destiny.
Martin Heidegger

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Sunday May 5th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High 9. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries late this evening and overnight. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 1. Wind chill minus 3 overnight.

I woke up at 0333, was refreshed and got up briefly.  I thought of staying up, but seeing as I was having a good sleep, lay back down. That was a mistake. The next three hours of sleep were as poor as any I can recall.

I got up at 0630 and am reasonably bright, but my nose and eyes are dry. I wonder why.

The day is bright and sunny so far, but this may not last.

I should haul out ashes today.


Working on the beast                          Before                            After     

Well, C called and brought over her computer seeing as she cannot get any sound out of it. I don't know what I did, but I fixed that issue and did some other cleanup actions. C smokes and as I discovered years ago when serving televisions, any electronics belonging to smokers get full of tar. (Just like the smoker's lungs). So I blew the machine out, then ran a disk check.  It is an older Windows 7 Dell and runs amazingly well.  I miss Windows &.  Windows 10 is malware if you ask me, but it gets the job done..

In La Paz, Miguel has been working on the boat and he sent me some pictures.

After I delivered the computer to C and we looked at the fridge again, I drove to Three Hills to get a few groceries. I washed the car, too, and had a Teen Burger before returning home.

It is time to start preparing for the Cruise and Learn I'll be teaching later this month -- two weeks form now -- and I remember that sailing clothing and books were left on board Cassiopeia last August.  I'll be needing that material, so I wrote to Rick to see if he can send it to Granville Island.

I watched two episodes of Tijuana and went to bed.

Quote of the Day
The state is nothing but an instrument of oppression of one class by another
- no less so in a democratic republic than in a monarchy.
Friedrich Engels

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Monday May 6th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 15. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy this evening. Low plus 2.

I woke up at 0419 and got up. Seems I slept only four and a a half hours, but I remember yesterday I had decided at this point to go back to sleep and had a terrible several hours.

I decided against using APAP last night since I was not seeing any apneas and the sleep was better tonight. No awakenings.

I decided several days ago to set my bar at zero alcohol since I have concluded drinking is messing with my sleep and my metabolism generally.  I'll make an exception occasionally and try to keep it to one 12-oz beer, not a 19 -oz glass.

I made breakfast of an egg-white omelet and coffee and sat down to check the oximeter results.

I see there were two brief events where my Spo2 went below 88. It is possible that one at least was due to a shift of the device on my finger causing a bad reading, but just the same, that is something to wonder about.

In neither case was there a worrisome rise in heartbeat.

      

I'm thinking the recording oximeter and accompanying software is more useful to me at this point than the APAP machine and the former is $100 compared to which can cost around ten times that.

There may be better options than the one I bought, but it gets the job done. It is a CMS50E with SpO2 Assistant Version 3.0.4 included. The software is adequate, but comes in versions and there may be better software out there somewhere, too.  I spent a few minutes hunting and this appears to be the best/only recording meter under $500+

I was still a bit tired after breakfast, so lay down and slept maybe another hour and woke up refreshed.

I'm having to get organized since my next departure is less than two weeks away.  Before I leave I have to get the medical, retrieve my bags from Sidney, mow grass here, and deal with various business matters.

Although the course ends on the 26th, I marked out a few more days in Case I decide to go to Sidney for a few days on Cassiopeia.

Here is my list for today:

  • Get a CDN number
  • Organize my instructor notes and refresh my memory.
  • Tidy the kitchen and my desk
  • Laundry again
  • Vacuum basement and start on the mower
  • Consult on C's fridge.
  • Study Spanish

I wasted almost an hour trying to contact the Transport Canada office and finally wrote an email. That brought a prompt phone response so we'll see how that goes.

I'm told to get the documents scanned and then send the copy with the form.  That means a trip to Three Hills tomorrow and a charge of $30-50 for the copy.  NO charge for the number. It took me three emails to be certain how to do this so it does not run me in circles.

Then I take the CDN number to the doctor in Calgary and give her $200. We'll see how that goes. Oh Joy!

All this to finish qualifying. How many times have I thought I was finished paying and wasting my time to finish my qualifications only to find one more hurdle? Of course, after this, I plan to qualify for teaching Intermediate and Powerboat.

    

I have been cleaning out kitchen cupboards and decided to test the thermos collection.  I know that at least one does not hold heat, so I filled them all with 120° water and waited a few hours.  Two of the three smaller ones were down to 108° and the larger ones down to 116°.   A third small one dropped much further and went into the scrap bin.

    

I had accumulated ten drums of ash and decided to take them out and dump them.  I had asked to have the old septic tank filled in with dirt a few years back,. The contractor had not completed filling and left a dangerous hole in the lawn, so I had covered it with a pallet.  Today, I dumped a few drums of ashes down the hole and packed them flat as best I could.  I expect, though, that the ashes will settle considerably and I'll need to top up several times in future.

C emailed that she had fallen on a footstool and bruised ribs, so won't be walking today.

I've been ambitious today.  After supper, I made two quiche -- Shrimp, carrot, broccoli, and mushroom plus cheddar.

After they were done, of course I sampled one and then bagged them for the fridge. I know what is for breakfast tomorrow.

It's only eight twenty, so I'll watch some Tijuana, then crash for the night.

I did, and went to bed at 2250.

 Quote of the Day
...for there is nothing either good or bad,
but thinking makes it so.
Shakespeare

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Tuesday May 7th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 11. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers this evening. Clearing late this evening. Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low zero.

I woke up at 0630 but decided to doze a while.  I finally got up at 0830. I was groggy enough that I made coffee without putting the cup under again. I can blame that a bit on reorganization. Things are not where I habitually find them.

I see also that I should have cleaned the kitchen before watching Netflix. I did put the quiche in the fridge but forgot a turkey thigh thawing in the microwave.  It smells okay and will be fine after a thorough cooking, but just the same...

I notice that I could have spiced the quiche a bit more.  Cold, for breakfast, it seems bland.  Heated, it's more tasty, but I should have at least salted and peppered the mix.


I had a tickle in my throat last night and my eyes are glazed again this morning, too, but each day is a bit better.  I'm assuming that the subtle bug I got sometime around the tenth of last month still lingers a bit.

I decided to sleep without the CPAP last night, seeing as it did not seem to be achieving anything and I was having no AHIs.  I slept well and the first I woke was at three-thirty after 4-1/2 hours of good sleep.

I then went back to sleep and woke at six thirty, but dozed until eight thirty. As mentioned, I was groggy with glazed eyes when I did finally get up.  I was in bed nine and a half hours and oversleeping seems to be a mistake.

Although I skipped the APAP, I used the oximeter as I am finding the reports very interesting.

Thus far I had seen nothing worrisome, however last night's sleep report (right) is the worst I've seen, with 20 events below 88% and going as low as 77!  (Zero time shown is 2250 last night). I'm impressed. I knew something is happening and the APAP reports were not shoeing it.  This gives me an entirely different angle to work on.


What to do today?  Well, I have to be in Three hills at one-thirty to waste time and money on getting a notarized copy of my identity documents and tonight there is a Bluewater meeting in Calgary.


I should mention that May 10th was the date we used as the time to begin splitting overwintered hives.

Regardless of how hard the winter was or how easy or difficult the spring, we found that date to always be the time some hives were ready.

Bees make swarming decisions well before the actual swarm, and are aware if they are running out of room. So if you have had good luck and have done a good job of overwintering, please check your hives and consider splitting or swarm control measures like reversing and adding boxes.

That said, many will have weak hives and need not worry. It is easy to tell. The way we checked was simple and took only a moment.

If a hive had bees on all the top bars, we made sure bottom box was not glued to the bottom board, then simply tipped the entire hive back 45 degrees to look under. It is easier with two people and light hives, but generally we did it with just one person.

Any hive that has many bees on the bottoms of more than five or six frames in the bottom box will be needing attention. Time of day makes a difference as will hot or cold weather, but if many bees are standing on or near the bottoms of the frames midday on a tee-shirt day or colder, they are occupying those combs.

Remembering that hive populations can double in a week if there is a lot of brood, and that doubling the population makes it look four times as crowded, a hive that looks borderline crowded today could be in the trees by the next time you think about it.

The spring months are the time of year that most real beekeeping is done. The rest of the year is mostly honey production and wintering.
 

 


Something that tends to be a mystery to bee-ginners and some long-time beekeepers is how populations can seem to drop then explode almost overnight.

Here is a very rough and oversimplified illustration:

Packages come with only adult bees and if you are lucky and bought from a reputable supplier etc., at least half them are middle-aged or younger, meaning that theoretically only half of them or fewer should be dead in three weeks using the six-week adult life very rough assumption .

If your queen starts laying the first day which is possible with direct release, the earliest you can be seeing emerging workers is three weeks.

If your package had 7,000 bees to start, then you'll only have 3,500 adults left when the first bees hatch, so the cluster may begin to look small at that point.

So after three weeks you have only 3,500 bees and all the brood they can cover.

The third week is obviously the most vulnerable time.

It is the worst time to have a windy cold snap, so if that happens, consider protecting them at least temporarily. That is a new topic for later.

Assuming the queen lays 1,500 eggs every day (big assumption) then as the brood hatches, 10,000 bees are added to the cluster weekly as the old bees continue to die off.

After four weeks, assuming the queen got right to work first day, you'll have maybe ~12,000 bees.

After five weeks you have about 21,000 bees...

After six weeks, you have ~30,000 according to this model.

As the population increases, the heat the bees and brood generate increases and the weather improves, expanding the cluster further and warming the hive interior, allowing the bees to occupy more comb and build more foundation. On hot days, they may hang out.

The point is that between week four and week five (+/-) the population doubles and that often coincides with hot weather making hives seem to explode.

So, bee ready.

As always, YMMV.
 

I drove to Three Hills, had the documents notarized and stopped at the post office to pick up a book. 

Gail, our mail carrier had come to my door this morning to say there is a book for Honeybeeworld.  Is that me?  I said, "Yes", and she had said I can pick it up or she will bring it next mail day.

The book, as it turns out, is a promotional copy of Tom Seeley's "The Lives of Bees - The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild".

The promo letter mentions the mandatory BS about "alarming die-offs of the planet's managed bee populations" (There have never been more colonies under management in the history of the world than now), but the fact is that Tom Seeley is a very insightful guy and a good writer.

I attended a demonstration in a bee yard in Ellicottville, NY, at EAS when he showed and explained bee communication to a group of beekeepers.  He used a mass of shaken bees on a board with a caged queen.  They had been there awhile and they were acting as a swarm and debating where to move to. Tom pointed out the directions and distances they were considering as scouts came and went. Excellent.

I see that Bee Culture has a podcast by Dr. Seeley as well.

I had no idea.  It seems that these podcasts have been going on a while. Here is the list.


I heard from Liz and she is going to the UBAC meeting in Olds this weekend. I am not.  I've had it with the crew who have taken over and I think the feeling is mutual. <G>.

Out of curiosity, I Googled "UBAC bees" and the page came up 404.  OK, yeah.  That is the page on www.albertabeekeepers.com that Tracey asked me to take down.  There is no other mention on the first Google page.

Entering "united beekeepers of alberta" gets a hit halfway down the page. That takes me to a plain main page that says...

"Our first adventure is to have a fun pre-Mother’s Day event in Olds where we’ll be focussing on queen bees. We’ll be trialing a livestream component to the event. We’d love to have you participate in our success or failure in this endeavour."

Whoa!  What a tentative way to promote.  If they have doubts, readers will have doubts, too.  It is clear they anticipate failure.  What a sad follow-up to a fantastic launch last September.

The UBAC meeting has been badly advertised and is on the day before Mothers day.  It is in a location that is not near most beekeepers, and the organization has not decided how to structure.  I hear they have 37 members. 

The flight of the UBAC project has been a CFIT, the pilot's term for flying into the ground. Controlled Flight Into Terrain. 

It is not as if they were not warned of the dangerous pilot and impeding crash. They decided rather than alter course that they would ignore and then turn off the alarm.  Assume crash positions everyone.


Tonight is the Calgary Bluewater Cruising meeting at HMCS Tecumseh. 

It'll either be really good or pretty bad. Just the same I'll go. It is three hours driving for two hours of meeting but that what living in the country is like.

The meeting was good and the presentation was quote interesting.

Basically six young ladies (thirties?) with little experience decided to enter the Vic-Maui race in the cruising class. 

One of them, recovering from cancer, bought a 1999? Jeanneau 44 and recruited sailing friends to go along and they made preparations but found they needed another person who had taken "Safety at Sea" and so they added Elaine to the crew at the last minute.

That boat is much like the 45 Frank takes back and forth to the Caribbean annually.  In fact Frank is posting from Bermuda at the moment, as he is in the process of making that same trip. These Jeanneaus are a coastal cruising  boat, but decent for offshore, but they are not a heavy-duty all-weather model.

Anyhow, they made it out 800 nautical miles before they had a malfunction on the mainsail roller furling, dropped the sail, and turned back. The trip out was stressful, but they were relaxed on the way back.

Elaine made it interesting.

I think I have mentioned here, that there can be only one skipper on a boat.  A major issue that greatly influenced their adventure and may have contributed to the furling failure was that there were "two skippers" onboard resulting in ongoing confusion and conflict. IMO, they could have continued on without the mainsail, but they decided to turn back for many reasons.

I noticed in pictures that they seemed be furling the genoa and showing full main when winds picked up. This boat is like Cassiopeia, in that the genoa is huge and the boat can be sailed very nicely with only the genoa.

In fact, I sometimes sail on only the foresail for simplicity. I've mentioned here making hull speed with nothing but 1/3 of the genoa showing, but I have trouble convincing some people -- even instructors -- that this is a valid way to sail these boats.  Last summer when I was captain on Agape Force, I seldom raised the main because it was such a bitch to get up and even worse to get down.

I got home at ten-thirty and am off to bed at 11:30 with a sore throat and some congestion. I'll take two Benadryl to be sure of at least three or four good hours of sleep and I'll wear the oximeter again.

Good night.

 Quote of the Day
The Secret of life is honesty and fair dealing.
If you can fake that you’ve got it made.
Groucho Marx

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Wednesday May 8th 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of showers this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. High 13. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this evening and after midnight. Risk of a thunderstorm early this evening. Low plus 2.

I woke up at 0215, 0420, 0600 And got up at 0555, put the cup under the coffee maker, made coffee and ate the rest of the quiche.

My eyes are glazed less today and the congestion is much less, but the slight sore throat is still there. I figured to get up after six hours since I noticed that glazing and congestion ramped up after six hours.  I'll sleep during the day if I am sleepy.  So far, I'm not.

I loaded last night's oximeter results and am finding them very interesting. 

I remembered coming across my results from the sleep study back in March 2014 and searched them out on my hard drive using Everything

Everything is the very best local search. It finds anything on the disk instantly without much overhead. I use Everything ten times a day.

Anyhow, as I recall, the results were not too different from the result lately except that the AHIs were much higher then and the lowest SpO2 was 78%! My mean heart rate was 54, identical to now.

I was having sinus congestion back then, too. Other than almost no apnea now, I don't see much change.

There went my morning.  I have thirty tabs open from my research and the kitchen needs attention again.

We're having a thunderstorm.  That'll make the grass grow.  I'd better get the mower back together.

I did not get away from the desk much today.  I spent a lot of time reading about sleep disorders and came away with little more than I came with.  Basically, my metabolism slows the longer I sleep and I get congested partially from inactivity. Also, my breathing gets shallower the longer I sleep.  I've known a ling time that of I wake up and can't get right back to sleep to stay up until I am wide awake and even have coffee. Then go back to sleep.

Colin called and we chatted an hour or so. I wrote to the students on my upcoming cruise and learn and received a response.

I went to bed at 2149 with APAP.

 Quote of the Day
The Secret of life is honesty and fair dealing.
If you can fake that you’ve got it made.
Groucho Marx

Read yesterday's post

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Thursday May 9th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers early this morning. High 19. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Low 7.

I'm up at 0450 after a bad night's sleep. Maybe Adrian is right; I need to get more exercise as yesterday I did not move around much.  I began the night with APAP, but decided to stop after an hour. I woke around four and should have gotten up.  I didn't and began to feel uncomfortable, then went back to sleep.  The oximeter report does not show anything different from the last eight nights.

Here is a thought: I have been eating a lot of medium hot salsa the past few days and I know from experience that pepper does affect my sleep adversely. It depresses my metabolism! Bingo!

But I love pepper and I understand that people tend to be attracted to foods that cause sensitivities. For example, I know that some tomato sauces that are used on some pizzas affect my sleep.  I also cannot resist nuts, but they don't seem to have any adverse effect other than adding weight. If I eat an ounce of peanuts, it seems to add two ounces to my mass.

There you go.  I'll bet that is it. The thing is that with tomatoes I don't know in advance which sauces are okay and which are not. I've narrowed it down somewhat to roma tomatoes since sauces seem to be made with that variety.

Fresh tomatoes and normal canned diced tomatoes don't bother me -- AFAIK -- but I should keep a food diary to compare to my sleep.  Some sauces definitely do affect me.

I'm finished the sleep research for now. I need to get to work on other things.  The day promises to be warm at 17°C.  I need to cut grass while it is still possible.  I enjoy mowing, but do not enjoy the allergies that result form breathing the dust that mowing raises.  I need to find a good dust mask. I have a good chemical mask, but dust?  Hmmm. Time for research.

Speaking of tomatoes, the other day when in town I bought some tomato plants.  I keep them in buckets and in the fall I bring them in and keep them in a south window.  Sometimes I have tomatoes, until January. They need a lot of water and can't go without like the succulents and cacti. What usually kills them is someone missing a watering.

That reminds me.  Yesterday something else I researched was replacing my reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. 

My tap water has 120 parts per million (ppm) hardness and the RO setup yields 22 ppm.

22 ppm is fine for drinking, but I have been watering my houseplants with tap water and am noticing a build-up of minerals in some of my plants that use a lot of water, meaning they need a soil change and re-potting. 

The mineral accumulation is slowing growth as well and could kill them eventually. So, I am thinking I should be using RO water for them and maybe a new membrane would reduce the ppm to 5 or 10, greatly delaying the mineral build-up.


Miguel sent me pictures of the progress being made on Baja Magic.  I've been looking for a silver lining in having to do this work and I'm seeing that he is doing a very thorough job.  He is restoring or replacing things that could have caused issues in the near future. I'd have had to haul the boat and do the bottom and replace through-hulls, etc. anyhow sooner or later.  

We never know how a misfortune may have saved us from a greater misfortune, so I try to remember to be grateful when things work out as well as they have so far.

It feels like noon and when I glance at the clock, I see it is not even nine.  I had to look twice. The sun is up, the day is bright, and I've already done a lot.

I got waylaid by accounting issues and email regarding reverse osmosis. It is now almost one and I have not finished the dishes.

In closing tabs, I came across this.  It is good. science and photosynthesis

An accounting issue came up and I spent the afternoon dealing with that as well as the reverse osmosis (RO) question.

My RO unit is twenty years old or more and I have not changed the filters for several years now because I am afraid to disturb it.  Last time I did, it leaked for a while until the shark-bite fittings settled in.  I guess the plastic is getting dry. Anyhow, I am conflicted as to what to buy seeing as the details I need for decision are not published.  I need to know the waste water ratio and the ratio of input to output purity. These numbers are not published due to the wide variability in the input parameters.  All that I see are claims.

I was finished by five and went down and vacuumed the shop then went outside to blow out the filters.

I was noticing allergies from the dust making me sluggish and took a Benadryl . That helped a lot, as did the activity.  I've always felt better once I get moving. 

While outdoors, I decided to blow up the tires on the 4X4 which has been sitting a year or two, unable to start.  I figure I should either get it going or get rid of it.  I have a portable air tank made from a propane bottle and can carry enough air to get them up enough to move the truck, but need to blow them up further to go far.  I may load it in a trailer and haul it to Tilley. We'll see.  It is a long haul.

That took a while, then I tried moving it with the tractor, but the little machine is too light.  I was able to move it with the van and would like to move it closer to the air compressor but was afraid the truck would overtake me on the slight down-slope. I need someone to steer it and brake.

I came in around nine and decided to watch Tijuana on Netflix.  After three episodes, I went to bed. at eleven-fifty. I decided to take two Benadyrl for allergies and not use CPAP, but to wear the recording oximeter.  It does not interfere with my sleep at all.

 Quote of the Day
Patience is the strength of the weak,
impatience is the weakness of the strong.
Immanuel Kant

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