Thursday, I'll be in Sidney, on Cassiopeia, and headed for Granville Island. Looks like a solo trip. I'm told I can leave by eleven, so I'll maybe visit Bruce or Doug and Denise along the way. I'm to be in Vancouver after lunch the next day.
The next day, I check out the client who is chartering to make sure he is qualified, then I cool my heels in Vancouver for four days and take the boat back to Sidney.
I return to Calgary the morning of the 26th, go to my eye appointment, then??? I have promised Mom I'll go East, so maybe that is what I'll do.
I was up at six and had breakfast. I have been trapped in my browser since then. It's 0840 and feels like noon.
I have about 50 tabs open, I'm guessing, and every time I close one it seems I open two more. It reminds me of looking up words in the dictionary -- a real hard copy dictionary back in school. I would start with one word and find myself reading the whole book (Not really, but it seemed like it).
I started with the furnace purchase search last night and opened the 33 bookmarks from my previous furnace session, then got thinking about other things.
Eric Berne's classic Games People Play came back to mind.
These days I don't have a lot of room in my freezer. I had bought a duck a few weeks back and figured I should cook it. I didn't feel like putting on a big supper, and only asked a few nearby friends, so there were just three of us, Bert, Carolyn and me. It was an interesting evening. I loaded the dishwasher and was in bed by eleven.
Quote of the Day
what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
Sydney J. Harris
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I woke at eight and got up. It is raining again this morning.
I have not done any Duolingo practice lately, but have been listening to Pimleur lessons.
I intend to get further into the furnace replacement project and do some measuring and planning. If it turns nice, I also should get outside and haul the branches to the fire. I should also burn what has accumulated.
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Readers will know I am skeptical about the Climate cover story, but not adverse to discussing worries associated with our dependence on 'fossil fuels'*. Here is an article that expresses many of my own thoughts much better than I can:
Combined with the articles mentioned earlier on Economica, it is clear that we are in a pickle. Our current prosperity is based on acceleration (growth) and we are fast approaching limits to growth. Trees do not grow to the sky. The Hard Truth explains why.
Although I despise the lies used to convince the mob that actions are needed to contain consumption, and the hypocrisy of the proponents, there is a real reason to consider that growth of some sorts must and will stop and what happens historically when growth stops.
In history, the results have never been pretty. People and nations get along tolerably well when the pie is getting bigger, but fall to fighting when it shrinks.
Barb is here working on the yard today, and we had enough rain overnight that I was not worried about burning down the neighbourhood, so I got a fire permit online and l lit the brush pile. I used gasoline at first, but the material was too wet, and after a few tries, I got out the big torch. That did the trick.
By three-thirty I was tired and came in to rest. I lay down and promptly fell asleep.
When I got up, I made stew out of the rest of the duck. That took two hours, together with general kitchen duties.
Checking on hurricanes, I see that there is something forming near Cabo that bears watching.
What have I been saying? We're hooped. Climate Change is the least of our worries. We depend on cheap energy for our way of life and to maintain peace and prosperity, and we simply cannot keep doubling our energy use every decade or so. At some point coal, oil and gas either won't be enough and we have not been able to find a suitable replacement other than nuclear. Fact is, making the so-called sustainable replacements use an awful lot of the above and the lifespans are limited, with huge environmental costs to build and decommissioning costs and serious pollution issues at end of life.
As for nuclear, consider this: Fukushima nuclear plant out of space for radioactive water.
And then there was Chernobyl... Fact is, though, for the amount of energy provided by nuclear worldwide, as far as I can tell, the cost in human life and health and environmental costs have been among the lowest of our current energy sources, but there are externalities that extend far into the future and are unknowable.
I started on Duolingo, but got frustrated with the muffled woman's voice. It seemed earlier that I was getting more of the less unintelligible man's voice, but with this voice, I have a lot of trouble distinguishing words. I gave up.
I watched the rest of Homecoming and decided it was actually far better than I had thought starting out. Five stars? No. maybe four.
I was in bed around eleven.
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Images on these pages are best
It is raining again, and overcast.
History is soon forgotten. We all know about the rise of Chairman Mao in China and the amazing hardship and loss of life and abuses during his tenure, but the reasons for his rise are conveniently lost. Is the US attempting to again trigger a similar collapse?
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I see the disturbance near Cabo is now a named storm. Is that a good thing, or a precursor to something worse? I don't know.
I have had a sore jaw for days and thought it was going away, but today I will try to see the doctor.
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My goal for today is to close all the tabs in the browser. I still have fifty open. Most are on the furnace project, so I need to sort and eliminate some.
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Freezing is 0°C and the home comfort zone starts around 20°C. Our ambient here ranges down to -40°C at times (Worst case. See chart). These excursions to extremes have historically only lasted a week or so.
So, the maximum indoor/outdoor temperature differential is 60°C for comfort and 40°C to prevent freezing. I also do not need to heat the entire building evenly, and can allow some areas to be cooler, but to allow freezing for long could heave basement floors or do other structural damage.
I have to decide whether to get the most expensive highest efficiency multi-stage unit with variable fan, or just one as a primary and then get more basic, inexpensive, and slightly less efficient units as secondaries to cut in when the first is not enough to keep up. They would run much less. I figure I need 400 K BTU from my calculations from coal consumption over the years.
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I went to town to see the doctor about my jaw. The visit was basically a waste of time, but I drove to Trochu and returned the weed trimmer head and ordered the correct one. I have to say that the dealership there is most agreeable.
I came home and responded to an email from my client who is chartering out of Vancouver on the 17th. Then I got back the heat issues.
One thing that has never been 100% clear is what is the maximum demand on the coldest day. I have calculations, but they are just calculations. I needed measurements, so I went down and looked at the furnace. I know that this furnace running full-time can maintain the house at 20°C, but what is the actual coal consumption rate? From that I can figure the BTUs. I have averages over one-week periods, but what is the instantaneous consumption?
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Dodds mine says that their coal has 8,000 to 8,500 BTUs per pound. I can estimate the efficiency at maybe 65%, so each pound delivers 0.65 x 8,100 or 5,265 BTU, but how to find how much the furnace augers per minute?
I looked in the bin and could see that I'd have to dig and then igure some system to deliver measured amounts, then I realised I could measure at the burner instead.
I'd just turn off the air, shovel the fire off the grate into a bucket, and then run the auger for ten minutes, weigh the coal that comes up the grate, then place the fire back on the grate and turn on the air again. And that is exactly what I did.
After ten minutes, I took the coal and weighed it and found that in those ten minutes, 14.8 pounds had been delivered to the grate.
Note: I made a math error below, explained in tomorrow's post
At 8,100 BTU/lb that is 719,280 BTU/hr input! At 60% efficiency, that is 431,000 output BTU/hr. At 70% efficiency, that is 500K BTU.
That is what I have been suspecting. To just keep from freezing, 40/60 or 2/3rds of that is the minimum, or ~330K BTU.
That means I need a minimum of three 120K BTU furnaces to equal this old brute. That is what I feared and one reason I have not moved this far. Another option is to try to reduce heat loss or further cut the heat off in some parts of the building, but so far, I have not seen big results from such efforts.
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Well, the furnaces themselves are actually quite cheap. I'm pricing this now, but I think $10,000 will do it if I plan and do much or all of it myself. The furnaces average less than $2,000 each delivered if I use both the modulating and single-speed.
The vents and ducts are the big design problem and some considerable expense. I also need to add a water heater to the mix. So far, I have not found any heating guys who understand the issues.
As for resale, I really don't know. The building is 60 years old and the old part older. The structure is sound, but there is asbestos and mold and I doubt anyone could get a mortgage and insurance could be difficult. Add to that the fact that real estate here is in a slump... I doubt I'd recover anything I spend, but having clean, reliable heat that operates without constant attention would be a relief.
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I called Sidney to confirm details for Thursday and may have been given a job babysitting a cruise with some youngsters on board starting on the 23rd. If I do this, I'll have postpone my annual eye exam and change my return flight to Alberta on the 26th. Good thing I did not book a flight east on the 28th to see Mom as I was considering and almost did earlier today
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Holy Road to Damascus, Batman!
Will wonders never cease?
Actually, I like Michael Moore. He is quirky but calls 'em the way he sees 'em and if he sees 'em differently, he calls 'em dat way.
Anyhow I respect anyone who shows some intellectual honesty and swims upstream. It is so rare these days.
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This has been a big day. I closed almost all the tabs in the browser, but as for the heat project, I find myself back at the beginning, looking afresh at boilers, too -- or more distributed furnaces. I had better stick with it. I've gotten to this point too many times.
When I was a kid I hated Snakes and Ladders. I still do.
After eight, I watched Lethal Weapon on Netflix using my phone and Chromecast. Works better than the smart TV's built-in Netflix.
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It is overcast again.
First thing, I got an email from a reader, Dave, saying to look again at my scale readings, so I did. In fact, I even put the coal into a bag and weighed it and guess what? The consumption is 4.8 pounds in ten minutes, not 14.8.
Here is an excellent example of framing. I was expecting a number like 15 pounds and that is what I saw. This demonstrates also the value of having friends and sharing thoughts.
Of course, this changes everything! By a factor of three. Wow!
I was starting to think this job was three times bigger than it is. Just the same, the online heating calculators tell me that my original calculations were not far off, depending on what I guess as to building construction and heat loss.
At any rate, Thank you, Dave!
My router went down the other day, so now I have to set up all my surveillance cameras again for the new router. It has been so long that I need to find the instructions.
Well, this has been a tar-baby. I get one set up and the other goes offline and have not gotten around to the main camera bank yet.
C wrote and we went for a walk. I am tired today and I am not as strong as I used to be. Time to start working out, I guess.
Barb is here, gardening.
Thanks. Seems others caught my math error and I appreciate the heads-up. Just goes to show that we tend to see what we expect to see sometimes. I'm surprised at how often I am mistaken.
I agree about the duct work. I don't have the tools or the know-how. I might measure and install, but fitting is an art, so we'll see. I hired the black pipe work out thus far and may do that with the rest of that, too. Who knows, I may even get an installer for the units, but first I have to decide what I want. I'd like to get it right.
I've had a few pros look at the job, but their eyes roll back or their solution is simplistic. I could just put in a boiler and duct coils in the existing ducts, but that is likely to be inefficient and I also did not find coils that fit physically and also handle the heat load. I find this to be a recursive problem. The answer depends on the answer.
Thursday, I am gone again for at least ten days and maybe more. Then off to Ontario. At this time of year I just turn the furnace off, but I do need to get this job at least part done by winter. Right now I am thinking, how do you eat an elephant? Answer: one bite at a time.
"And your peak needs are intermittent at most."
True, but that potential one week of minus forty is actually the main problem. One freeze-up from a week at minus forty would be a huge issue. I do have to design for peak, even the additional units to handle the peak load during that one week are primitive compared to the main units and maybe I'll only heat the living sections and keep the rest just above freezing. I have rooms I have no been in for a year, but they cannot freeze.
I wasted a few hours getting the surveillance set up on the new router, but I figure that is important. Now I need to start getting ready physically and mentally to go. I don't know how long I'll be gone. I may be back on the 26th and I may be back after the 30th. I won't know until tonight.
Back to the heat. I'm thinking I should install one unit, then another and another. I can leave the coal unit installed and ready for backup if needed. Something to keep in kind, too,, is that running black pipe is cheaper and easier than ducting or vents.
Mid-afternoon, I went out and tried burning the brush pile, but it simply is too green to stay lit. Then I went and began putting the sailboats away. The sailboat project turned out to be a disappointment. I'd hoped the grandkids would get interested, but this is a new world.
°F here in the living room now and I am finding that is about right -- I've taken to drinking cold coffee.
Frankly, though, much of the time I am finding Alberta cold and dark. Even though it is August, the days don't brighten until about eleven and the days are cool until afternoon. In Mexico, the days are bright and warm from sunrise to sunset. The BC west coast is brighter and warmer usually than I am finding Swalwell this 'summer'.
When I moved the van I noticed a small spot of oil under and later, when I checked, I saw a pinhole on the front of the pan with a track of oil coming down. probably underway, it does not leak much as the hole is high on the pan, but when the oil comes down after stopping, it leaks.
That leak has to be fixed before I go far. There are a number of suggestions on YouTube, and all involve JB Weld, but I suspect high temperature silicone will do the trick, but I have to drain the pan first or the silicone won't stick
So I am under the van at 8;45 PM, draining the oil. I see now what happened. I had hit the grader hidden in tall grass earlier and I guess it made a gash. (right).
I got confirmation just now that I'll be skippering a 50-foot sailboat from the 23rd to the 30th, so that changes my plans a bit.
I made an omelet and watched more Lethal Weapon, then went to bed around eleven.
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I'm up at 0525. It is still dark. Not too long ago, it was light by now. The days are getting shorter.
There have been stable flies in the house the last few days in numbers great enough to be a nuisance for the first time this year.
I had left the fly catchers up from last year (left), seeing as they catch more flies when there are flies on them, but I had not realised they have lost their stickiness. They are low-tech and ugly, but they work and don't require spraying a chemical. so I replaced them just now. They work. By the time I had hung the fourth, the first already had caught a few. (right).
Tomorrow at this time, I'd better be out the door, headed for YYC. I have lots to do before then and my van is in the basement. Will I find a cure for its problem by then? I need to find the right sealer and by all accounts, JB Weld is the item.
It is time to quit thinking about what needs doing here and get my mind on the coast, where I will be until after the September long weekend.
An hour after changing the strips, I see I have caught about fifteen flies.
It's now 3:10 and I have been to Red Deer and back. I picked up my shell from Jean and bought a few things, including some HighHeat JB Weld for the oil pan. That was the highest temp sealer I could find. Surprisingly, no one carries the highest rated stuff, and it is no more expensive.
HighHeat JB Weld should be fine. It is good to continuous heat to 450°F and oil pans should never get above 260°F.
Now I just have to go down and clean off the surface, rough it up, and apply the putty. After The epoxy sets in an hour, I'll spin on the new filter and fill the oil. Then I should be good to go. In future, though, I'll always carry extra oil in case I hear the lifters. That unmistakable sound is the first indication of running out of oil, assuming the dash light does not come on.
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While driving home, I always think I'll get right to work, but never do. I'm resting.
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I went down and cleaned off and roughed up the area around the scratch, then patched the scratch with the epoxy.
I was feeling pretty good until I looked at the pictures and see I covered the crack, but most of the patch is off to one side. I'll add a bit more now.
I went down again and added a bit more material and am now waiting for it to set. I don't want to add the oil until it has although I don't think that oil affects epoxy and there is no pressure on the scratch.
Now, all that remains is to pack and get to bed in time to wake up at three tomorrow to leave around four.
Interesting. I assume that is peak output, but I wonder what the average output is. No one seems to mention that. Being a sailor, I know how wind can rise and fall or not blow for days. Nuclear reactors run at steady and constant output, but I have to confess I don't know much about these things. I suspect the writers don't either.
I fiddled and sorted, then went to bed at ten, but I was not able to get to sleep until eleven.
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I woke up five minutes before the 3 AM alarms and shut them off, got up and made breakfast, packed and was out the door at 4:15.
I picked Bert up, drove to Calgary and was through security by 5:40.
Flight 2019 took off on schedule at 7 and I was at Port Sidney at 7:45. I waited a while, then bought groceries.
I had heard some mention of waste tank and toilet problems so I knew I would have to pump the tank. What I did not expect was the brown fluid that welled up when I opened the cover. I washed it off the deck and closed up, then motored over to Van Isle fueled up, then pumped the waste tank. I think it should be okay now, but it appears the clients had blocked the vent by overfilling the tank, so that still has to be cleared when I get to Vancouver.
Doug called while I was working on that and we decided that we could not manage to get together this trip.
From there, I motored out through john Passage into Colburne Passage and flipped a coin (figuratively) and chose the downwind run to Sansum Narrows. I was making.
I sailed through the Narrows with some engine assist and on towards Vesuvius. I was going to stop for a beer, but the wind picked up and I decided to try to make Silva Bay to be closer to Vancouver and on the east side of the passes for morning.
I arrived at Gabriola Passage just before slack and motored through and over to Page's Marina. I could have anchored and probably should have but had not been to this marina and figured it might be an adventure. It isn't. I walked up, paid $60, and am here on the boat, just as I would be at anchor. Tomorrow, I have to be at Granville Island around noon. The clients board in the afternoon.
I came 37 nautical miles today and have 24 to go tomorrow, so I have to leave early. Sunrise is at 6:05, so I suppose I should leave around sunup.
I went to bed at around 2030. I have been taking doxycycline for my jaw and I realised I should not take my evening doxycycline since I realised that one should not lie down for a half-hour to two hours after. I had also eaten yoghurt in the past hour and calcium-containing foods affect the efficacy of the drug, so I put it aside for later.
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I slept very well, then woke up at 0150. I decided to take the pill, but then I had to be up at least a half-hour. So, an hour later, I am still up. Time to go back to bed.
I woke up again at 0500 sharp and got up. I made coffee and an omelet and listened to the weather. Seems it is blowing 19 knots at Entrance Island. Should be quite a ride across the Strait.
Around six, I untied and motored out past Shipyard Rock and the Flat Top Islands into lumpy, confused seas in Georgia Strait. There was little wind and I motored on a heading for Point Grey. The main swell was from the northwest, but another set was coming at an angle, tossing the boat corner to corner and end to end.
Once clear of the wind shadow from Gabriola, the northwest wind found me and I raised sail. The sails calmed the motion and I was making almost eight knots over ground in 15 knots apparent on the beam with a little aid from the engine.
About halfway across, the wind died, the sails flogged and the seas became choppy and random. I started putting away the sails, when the wind suddenly picked up from the opposite direction and I resumed my ride, close-hauled this time. The morning was cool and overcast. I found myself bundling up, with a toque and heavy jacket. This is August?
After I passed Point Grey, the wind was on the nose, so I rolled up the sails and motored into False Creek. After fueling the boat, I found my slip and backed into the tight space between two boats perfectly. Tony greeted me and I tied up.
The kitchen faucet had come loose and there had been issues with the aft waste tank, so I was busy for a few hours and solved both issues. Next, I went to The Market for pizza, then had a few beers.
The cleaners came and washed and cleaned the boat. I am in the forward cabin and promised to clean it before nine tomorrow. They did the rest.
The client called and will be here at nine. It will be just him and his wife to get the refresher. I watched the conclusion of Lethal Weapon, and went to bed around eight-thirty after another long day.
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I woke up after midnight and was up an hour, then went back to sleep until six.
Today I do a refresher with the clients and then I am off for a few days. I made breakfast and coffee, then packed to get off the boat at five.
My clients arrived at nine and we spent two hours on orientation, then left the dock and turned east down False Creek to do some anchoring practice. From there, we went to the Bay and did sailing circles for a while, then anchored again.
We hove to for lunch, then did more of the same and returned to the dock around five. They left to get their kids who will join them tomorrow for the cruise. I moved one boat over onto Shearwater for the night.
I walked to The Market and had two pizza slices, then was thinking of getting more beer and was walking to the brewery when I saw my reflection in the stores I was passing and thought better of it.
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I slept through to seven-thirty, then got up and made coffee. I see Cassiopeia's is still tied beside me. I pulled my curtains so they will not realise I am here and be distracted by my, presence. It is their charter not mine.
I have to pack and move to Corus once that boat is ready. She just arrived last night after everyone left, so that remains to be done.
After lunch, I moved across. I have three duffle bags and a briefcase. Along the way, I spoke with Tony and we agreed to look at the steering, seeing as Corus had problems earlier and it was on his assignment sheet.
I've enjoyed my stay on Shearwater. At 33 feet overall, Shearwater is a smaller version of Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia is 42 in length. The difference is striking.
At 50 feet, Corus is an even larger version of Cassiopeia and has even more differences. Corus has seven beds, three of which are doubles or queens and a spacious salon. It strikes me as overkill for a family of five and me. Cassiopeia would be adequate IMO, with three doubles, a very adequate salon, and the salon benches double as beds. Corus will definitely be comfortable, though.
On Corus, the steering box had dropped down when the boat was in Victoria and Rick had fixed it in Sidney, but the fix -- a car jack -- was a bit off-spec and there is still a bent part, one that is not easy to obtain on short notice. Checking it out and okaying it was on Tony's list.
I'm familiar with Bavaria steering, so I crawled back in there and took pictures. After Tony and I looked them over and I spoke to Rick, we decided that the boat is just fine as-is. The car jack under the steering box is a bit odd, but very effective, however the bent tensioner should be replaced sometime. It probably never will be.
By four I was moved in and contemplating going grocery shopping and happy hour at the Vancouver Fish Factory. A sleeve of pilsner about then seemed appealing, but I found some spaghetti and sauce in my bag and after I made a batch and ate supper, I had no such urge. I lay down and slept an hour or more, waking up at six feeling blank. I'm finally here, with nothing at all to do until Thursday.
I sat down to think and heard a racket nearby. A party boat I had noticed leaving earlier from several fingers over had just come in. There must have been about twenty-five young people in their twenties, dancing and having a good time. They were not overly loud and no one was obviously drunk or stoned.
Hmmmm. Made me feel old for a moment.
It was a good walk and I needed it. Google says 850 metres there and the same coming back, for 1700 metres or about one mile.
I found was feeling a bit weak, though, and as I walked and looked at my reflection, I realised how fat I've let myself become. I let it sneak up on me.
Time to smarten up. I've been walking with C some days, but need to get more disciplined. Use it or lose it and one mile walking at her pace is not enough to keep me in shape.
On my way, I passed several luxury car dealers, including a Tesla dealer. This makes it real. I've been reading about them, but seeing is believing. They advertise 'Zero emissions'.
That is a flat out lie. Of course there are emissions -- making them and providing power for them, and junking them and their toxic batteries I wonder what people will think when eventually the governments have no choice but charge road tax.
Moreover, the purchase price is not the actual unit cost. In additional to the tax incentives that drop the price, Tesla is burning through investor cash raised from hopeful investors. Tesla loses money on every car they sell. Then taxpayers lose because Tesla drivers get cash back from the governments, then get to to use the roads free of tax. What a boondoggle!
People are just starting to wake up to the effects of the tapering off after the population boom. We are already seeing the beginning of the implosion of systems that depend on growth, including all the retirement schemes that have been sold to the aging population.
By that definition, our western way of life is a Ponzi scheme.. When the new participants taper off, growths slows, stops and backs up and these schemes collapse. We are already seeing trick after trick employed to try to eke out a little more nominal, if not actual growth.
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I woke up at seven-thirty and started breakfast. Immediately I came face to face with the fact that this galley is tiny, especially for a boat with potentially ten people on board.
I had breakfast and tidied up a bit, then Colin dropped by for a chat. Several people came to look at the boat and I walked to the office to see what is up and get some garbage bags.
I moved my eye appointment to the 16th of September, which is not a good date since I really want to go east, but doing that at least clears the 26th since I will be sailing here on that date. I really should have that checkup, too. Vision is too valuable to risk by being cavalier. I am assuming my present good vision is due to being dutiful and having the three SLTs as the need arose.
Next, I have to change my return flight. That is always hard to do because I have to guess what will happen between now and then. I'm thinking the fifth? Or, maybe I should fly direct to Toronto and take the bus to Sudbury to get that done and over.
Looking online, I see now that Air Canada has one affordable flight, but it arrives late and then I have to take a shuttle to 1207.
I came across this scrap of writing from April about the current Global Warming excitement and figure it's too good to waste:
Am I beginning to sound like a fanatic about this? Hope not, but I have serious concerns when we are being blitzed with false information and propaganda.
Warming is the least of our worries. With just a few moments reflection we realise that the vast majority of the worlds population lives in the warmest regions and the cooler ones are relatively sparsely populated. Moreover, recent warming and increase in CO2 have resulted in more plentiful, not worse crops, and we are told that even a one-degree drop worldwide would trigger a famine.
I decided I really must walk every day, so I walked to Steveston Marine. Google Maps was a complete failure getting me there, but I did find the place. After a half-hour talking to staff, I ended up buying nothing and left.
I returned to Granville Island and had covered well over a mile by the time I returned to the boat.
I have grown a bit annoyed with Duolingo and discovered Lingvist, so I spent some time this evening with Lingvist and found its different approach and vocabulary productive. So far, nothing is perfect, though.
My clients for Thursday phoned and we made some tentative plans.
I've been watching Four Seasons in Havana on Netflix. It is mediocre IMO, and in Spanish with subtitles. I only catch a few words here and there in the Spanish.
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