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 September 2019

 

 

 

 

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Sunset from Roche Harbor Docks

 

 Are you are looking for bee information?

I'm losing interest in bees lately and bee-related posts are infrequent these days but at one time I was very involved in beekeeping. Just about every topic has been covered somewhere on this site some time or another. Your best bets for finding ideas are:

 1.) check today's date in previous years     2.) visit the selected topics page
 3.)
search this site for keywords.
              4.) visit BEE-L

 

Note: I have been doing a bit of bee writing lately and there is some mention here and on recent previous pages, but it is mixed in with my daily life.

 

 

Tuesday September 10th 2019

Today Periods of rain. Local amount 5 mm. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h this morning. High 10. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers or drizzle. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 6.

I woke at three and can't sleep, so I am up. I updated these pages and am going back to bed.

*   *   *   *   *

We got up around eight, had breakfast and untied from the dock, destination, Canada, and specifically Van Isle Marina.

The morning was typically overcast as fall mornings often are here, and the water was flat as we crossed. We arrived around ten, checked into Canada at the Customs dock, then fueled up.

Once back at Port Sidney Marina, J&A carted their things off to a car with waiting friends, leaving me to close up the boat.  They had paid in advance for two weeks on the boat, but had decided earlier that eight days would be enough.  The cost of the unused time did not seem to be an issue. Apparently they said very nice things about me when signing out.  So far, I have been getting rave reviews from clients.  So far clients have been extremely nice folks and we have been more like friends cruising than charter guests with hired captain.  Of course, I don't thinks of this as a job, but I guess it is.

I arranged to get the van and drove to Trotac to get the chain I had planned to buy a week ago, bought 225 feet of chain and drove back.  When I arrived, I laid it out on the dock and painted marks every 25 feet.  This took a several hours and four cans of spray paint.

I had emailed Gill and Vince suggesting a supper cruise, but received no reply and decided to veg out.  I was emotionally exhausted from the trip, so I watched a bit of The Great Hack, decided it was interesting but rather long and drawn out for the information it contains, then watched and episode of Deep Water which is an Australian cop show, then went to bed at nine-fifteen.

I have had a slight pain in my right chest and back for a while now and it is getting worse, especially during the past week.  I attributed to how I sleep on that shoulder, but today it was bad enough that I was thinking, "Oh shit, I have lung cancer", and was thinking I had better get to a doctor pronto. I will, but had better finish up here first just in case I don't.

I have reflected on the possibility and mostly concluded that getting sick and dying about now would be a huge inconvenience.

Quote of the Day
I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six.
Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
Shirley Temple

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Wednesday September 11th 2019

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers or drizzle this morning. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 15. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Fog patches developing overnight. Low plus 3 with risk of frost.

I woke at half-past midnight and decided to catch up on these pages.  Now it is two and time to go back to sleep.

I slept until seven.  I hear on the radio that an October election has been called. Today, I have to help check Mistral in, clear off this boat and deal with the chain, then arrange a flight home.

I have been feeling crappy the past several days and am increasingly thinking I have lung cancer.  Whatever it is, it is progressing rapidly. Each day I notice it more.  A week ago, it was just an occasional hint.  Today it is hard to ignore.

I was thinking a week ago I should get to the doctor, but this job came up.  I could have flown out last night, but wanted to finish this job.  If my suspicions are correct, the week or more delay may turn out to be fatal.  Who knows?  Anyhow, I got the job done.

I booked a late-day flight and installed the new gypsy, removed the old chain with Cordell helping from the dock.  The only slowdown was the stripper finger which turned out to be binding on the new, slightly wider gypsy, and I wondered if it could be made work.  When I examined it, I found it was actually bent and when straightened and adjusted, worked fine. I spliced on the rope and pulled the new chain into the locker. I was concerned that it might castle as I had added 60 feet more chain, but it fit beautifully.

I was surprised to see abrasion on the old splice, so I can see someone at some time found the rope to be a blessing. 

The boat has been up to Prince Rupert and around Vancouver Island more than once, so has been in some challenging locations. I'm glad I added the rope previously and am quite sure the extra chain added now will be put to use.

I said what the hell, and had Chinese for lunch.

I know Chinese buffet is not healthy, but if I'm dying, I want to die happy. Eat Chinese buffet for lunch, install expensive new chain, whatever.  As Robert Zimmerman said, "Let me die in my footsteps". Live while you can.

I'll see a doctor tomorrow and probably have a diagnosis in a few days.  I'm not particularly optimistic but there is no sense giving up.  Besides I am dong exactly what I would do regardless.

I returned to the boat, loaded my things into a handcart, and called a cab. I arrived at YYJ four hours early for my flight, but am through security and have time to read and write.

I landed at YYC on time at 2010.  Bert picked me up in my cranberry Merc.  I dropped him at home and drove to The Old Schoolhouse.  We didn't stop for groceries this time as I am unwell, and also couldn't recall what I need. I have to go to town tomorrow anyhow.

On the way home, I checked my email and found this brief message:

Re: pain in right chest/back....gallbladder?

Interestingly, Bert just had his gallbladder removed and does not miss it, so this is a more hopeful alternative than what I suspect, but we'll soon find out.

I searched 'gallbladder' on my phone, but got some crummy multi-page sites that are just ad farms. I have no patience for clicking from page to page. Moreover what info they present is superficial.  What has the web become?  I'll do a desktop search tomorrow.  The results sent to desktop searches tends to be higher quality.

I blame Google for this corruption.  They are enforcing their own standards for sites, requiring  dumbed-down pages for phones and tablets and penalizing higher quality sites in search results sent to phones.

It seems like a good idea on the surface, but Google is basically in the ad business and information quality is a secondary consideration.

The house was at sixty-one degrees so I lit the furnace. It turned out the fridge is Empty so I made a bean salad and ate some leftovers I brought from Sidney, then went to bed at midnight.

Quote of the Day
I have caught more ills from people
sneezing over me and giving me virus infections
 than from kissing dogs.
Barbara Woodhouse

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Thursday September 12th 2019

Today Sunny. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 21. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Low 6.

I slept right through to six, without getting up once.  I felt fine on rising, but soon the pain came back and I am slightly nauseous.  With any luck, I'll see a doctor this morning and get some clarity soon.

I looked up 'gallbladder' and cannot rule it out, but the fact that the pain is not apparent when in bed and not associated with food seems to discount that idea. Just the same, the symptoms fit, approximately.

I took an ibuprofen a little while ago and am surprised to see it seems to have reduced the pain and nausea almost completely.  At nine, I'll call for a doctor's appointment.

The sun is up now and I can see that Barb has really done a fine job on the gardens. She is a garden artist and I told her to just do what she thinks best.  I see she has been doing a lot of trimming by the size of the brush pile.

The gardens were badly overgrown so it will take a while for some things like the Rounduped areas to look right. It is also fall now and things are about done for the year. leaves are beginning to fall.

   

It is just after nine now and I have an appointment to see the doctor at ten. I am surprised at how quickly I got in.  My doctor has been on and off having another baby. I see her locum again today, not her.  I'm guessing the availability of a quick appointment indicates maybe her practice is in decline.

I'm feeling fine at the moment.  Figures.  Just when I go to see the doctor, I feel fine. Am I cured?

*    *    *    *    *    *

I can hardly remember when I left here last, so much has happened since.  It is all a blur. When I went to light the furnace last night, I passed the van in the basement and remembered that I had patched the oil pan the night before I left and decided to let the epoxy set longer before driving. That's one reason I keep a diary.  I can look it up.

August

  • On the 15th of August I flew to YYJ, boarded Cassiopeia, and set out for Silva Bay
  • 16th: Sailed to Vancouver
  • 17th: Did a refresher with a client
  • 18th-21st: Waited for next assignment at Granville Island on Shearwater, then Corus
  • 22nd: Clients boarded. We went provisioning
  • 23rd: Vancouver to Selby Cove
  • 24th: Selby Cove to Ganges Market, then Grandma's Bay At Beaver Point.
  • 25th: Beaver Point to Tod Inlet
  • 26th: Tod Inlet and Butchart Gardens
  • 27th: Tod Inlet to Mill Bay, Cowichan Bay, Genoa Bay, Burgoyne Bay, and Maple Bay
  • 28th: Maple Bay to Telegraph Harbour for the afternoon, then Preedy Harbour overnight
  • 29th Preedy Harbour to False Creek to anchor
  • 30th: Disembarked at Granville Island.
  • 31st: Rode with Colin to Sidney on Last Tango.  Stayed overnight on Etesian

September

  • 1st: Spent the day on Etesian and in Sidney
  • 2nd: Boarded Cassiopeia and anchored at the Spit overnight
  • 3rd: Bought and installed new batteries. Ordered chain
  • 4th: Recruited to accompany a cruise. Went to Bedwell Harbour to moor, Poets Cove for lunch, and dinghied to Port Browning and back
  • 5th: Poets to Ganges
  • 6th: Ganges to Montague. Hiked Gray Point. Hummingbird Pub for supper.
  • 7th: Montague to Annette Cove. They hiked, I rested.
  • 8th: Annette  to Roche Harbor. Sculpture garden. Hotel for supper.
  • 9th Roche Harbor to Stuart Island. Hiked 2.9 miles overland to school and back
  • 10th: Stuart to Van Isle and Sidney. Back on Cassiopeia.  Bought and painted chain.
  • 11th: Installed chain, Flew Home.
  • 12th: That's today.  Went to the doctor and had an ECG and X-ray. Doctor doubts cancer.

Well, that's a relief, but positive thinker that I am, I was just warming up to the idea of dying.  Not the process, but the end result. Looking on the bright side, just think, no more worries. All the jobs and other things I have been avoiding or putting off, gone in a instant!

The problem is what comes in between.  The dying is easy.  It is the living that is hard, and a slow death is not attractive to most.  My friend Scotty, though, used to say he wanted to spend a day dying so he could experience the event so maybe tastes vary on the matter.  Most of us however would -- if we have to go -- prefer to do so in our sleep or in some other quick, painless (we assume) manner. As for actually being dead, as far as I can tell no one really knows.   Few come back from the other side, but those who have spent a few minutes over there apparently seem universally to consider it a positive experience.  I'm happy to wait, and continue in good health however.

I received a second message, too after posting:

I am a long time reader of your diary. I first came on board for beekeeping information and have enjoyed following your post beekeeping adventures. Iím sorry to read about your concern over the prospects of a diagnosis of lung cancer. What I want to share with you is that you need not fear death by placing your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have the same problem, our inherited sin nature separates us from a holy, righteous God...  I would encourage you to read the gospel of John. Start with John 20:30-31 and then read from the beginning.

Well, Thanks. I appreciate the reminder. I've read the gospels and also spent some time studying the history of the Church and religion and am quite at peace with the idea of dying -- eventually --and only if necessary -- but am in no hurry to achieve that state.

On my trip to town I bought groceries and renewed my drivers license.  Usually it is a five-year renewal, but it seems that next year, at seventy-five, I need a medical.  Now the age discrimination begins.  First the car rentals and now the drivers license.  What is next?

People retiring with limited funds wonder how to get by.  I noticed this poster (right) in the grocery store. That looks like a decent abode for an affordable price in a nice town with a hospital and other facilities.

After I got home, I wasted the rest of the day reading and grappling with Garmin, trying unsuccessfully to sign into my account.  Grrrr.  I also read the local newspaper to see if my property was being expropriated and checked to obits in case I am in there.  I am not.  Not yet, anyhow.

So, it seems, pending the results of my tests, that I will live a little longer and have to get back to worrying about all the usual stuff. Bummer.

One reason I came home is I really really have to get serious about heat for this place. I have ten days before I go back to the coast to teach a course.  In that time my main tasks are to get moving on heat and to make sure i meet Transport Canada's criteria for Cassiopeia as a school boat.

Mom called and was wondering if I am going for Thanksgiving.  I had not yet reserved a flight, but should now. I did book to California and Mexico. I was thinking that I should wait for the results of the test, but maybe I should just keep taking ibuprofen whenever I feel pains.  It as worked all day on only one in the morning and one after lunch.  If this is just some soft tissue thing, then maybe preventing inflammation with an NSAID will give it time to heal.

Well, it hurts when I burp sometimes, so I'm not so sure I am out of the woods.  Time will tell.

As I have been saying, if people need to worry about some existential (in the common misuse of the word) threat, how about real threats, like asteroids, epidemics, and the collapse of our Ponzi economy at the end of an extended credit cycle exacerbated by demographics?  Any one of them is far more likely and catastrophic than the slight and poorly understood temperature fluctuations that have been observed in the last century. Here is more on demographics. 

I did some accounting, watched an episode of Deep Water, ate some of the apple crisp that B left with me today, made from apples from my tree, and went to bed around ten-thirty.

Aging Demographics: A Threat To The Economy And To Finance

Quote of the Day
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with
 the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
Will Rogers

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Friday September 13th 2019
Friday the thirteenth

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. High 23. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Low 8.

I slept well and woke up at 0445 and got up. It is dark and dawn is hours away. Again, for the second night, I slept less than eight hours, but I figure, go with the flow. I made an omelet and got to work.

The chest pain is still there, but not intense, so I took an ibuprofen.  I'm guessing I won't hear back from the doctor until Monday as the weekend is upon us.

At 0637, I'm reconciling the books and the sky is just beginning to brighten in the east. I don't know if the ibuprofen did anything or not as the sensations have not changed since I took it. I assume it did and if that is the case, the problem has not resolved.

Today? I see I have at least a morning of accounting ahead. I should fill the van with oil and get the van out of the shop. I should measure the possible furnace locations and get on with ordering a furnace or two.  The van is in the way of any work I do down there.

I checked the repair, filled the oil, and drove out.  The repair (right) looks great.  I trust it will hold, but I'll carry extra oil in future, just in case I get a slow leak.

I got started on the accounting.  It'll take a a few more hours, minimum.  The day is looking bright and sunny.  I'll have to take a walk soon.

*   *   *   *   *

The owner of Mistral had set up a tablet with Navionics on it and we found it handy.  I've been meaning to do the same for Cassiopeia, but was wondering how to do it without exposing my personal email and data to users.  Guest mode is easy to exit and something more robust that can withstand reboots is needed so I looked into kiosk mode.  I have a cheap tablet I don't use, so I looked online and found a good article. I have yet to experiment.  When I do, there goes an hour or two...

*   *   *   *   *

I found and located limalox and installed it, but was spooked by the access it demands  to files of several apps that have my private details.  I'll uninstall them before I use this app. 

I cleaned a lot of apps off the tablet and installed the app again but find it wants to integrate with my Google account and know my Google login credentials. I am very leery about having some developer in India having access to my account and contacts and potentially emails, etc.  Having Google hoovering then dicing and slicing my data is bad enough, but where does this end? So, I'll have to find out more about how to segregate my personal account from the apps. I considered setting up a new Google identity especially for this purpose and that may turn out to be the solution.

I signed out of Google on that tablet and I then found that the other apps would not work and also that I was signed out of my email client, Thunderbird, on my main laptop which was not even involved.  That was bad. I then decided to change my three-year old Google password. I know it is recommended, but what a nightmare!

Signing back in was a nightmare. I have two-factor authentication enabled and I had forgotten an app-specific password is needed for apps when using two-factor security. The regular password just fails to work and there is no prompt.  It is an obscure process to figure one is needed and to get one, but I did that, eventually.

And so the afternoon was largely wasted.  I am no farther ahead, but I think I have recovered to where I was at the start.

I took the turkey out of the freezer and called friends.  I'll cook it Sunday.

*   *   *   *   *

After those frustrating wasted hours fighting Navionics and Google security I gave up and decided to get out of the house, so I drove to Trochu to get the tap-and-go head I had ordered some time back for the weed-eater .

*   *   *   *   *

As for my pain, I am feeling better as time passes and still don't know what the issue was/is. The pain has diminished by 75 to 90%. 

I'm afraid I alarmed my readers and that was not my intent.  I appreciate the concern.

Adrian asked, "Have you considered the possibility that you pulled a muscle that you donít usually use? Perhaps when you were working on the chain?".

Yes, but the pain had started some weeks back and was increasing over time to where I became worried and was certain I needed to consult a doctor urgently. Since then, it has faded.

The chain job came late in the development of the issue, however, possibly, grinding in the genoa on Corus -- cranking the winches -- might have started the problem as grinding can require a great deal of force to turn the handle at times. 

I have had shoulder pain from grinding in years past, but this pain was further toward the body core, right in front of the shoulder blade. Originally, I had assumed it was from sleeping on that side on a thin mattress and who knows?  Maybe it was.

Anyhow, I'm sorry to have caused concern and here is hoping this condition resolves and the X-rays are clean.

The interesting side note and bonus from this 'scare' is that I was not particularly upset by the prospect of dying other than the worry that a death might be lingering and painful.

In fact there is some relief in the prospect of a predictable end and, mostly, I was beginning to look on the bright side and think that I should "get my affairs in order". I probably should anyhow.

This experience also caused me to think about how people who know their death is certain and immanent feel.  I suppose some experience terror, but it seems that many just accept it, adjust, and carry on.

*   *   *   *   *

When I got back, I had supper, listened to some old doo-wap and Motown music and watched Deep Water: Season 1: "Episode 4, then My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: "Ellen DeGeneres" and began on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: "Melinda Gates.  Both thee latter were very interesting.  The first was just another cop show but with gay victims.

At nine-thirty, I went to bed.

Quote of the Day
The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present.
Bill Watterson

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Saturday September 14th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 24. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Low 9.

I woke up after midnight and got up for a few hours until I was tired again. 

I took the opportunity to trim my hair and beard, which were getting long and giving me the appearance of a grizzled old sea dog. The picture at right was taken three weeks ago, so imagine how I looked before the trim.

I tend to toy with my document pictures.  At left is my old drivers license picture.   I renewed my drivers license the other day while I was shaggy, so the new license shot will be of the shaggy guy at right -  plus more beard. 

I went back to bed and slept through until 0748.

This morning, the pain is back at a 50% level and I am wondering if it is a result of sleeping in one position for five hours or the wine I drank last evening -- or both. I expect to hear from the medico Monday.  Until then, my plan is to take ibuprofen and ignore the pain.  Ignoring pain is natural to a beekeeper.

My weight is 230.6 this morning, so it has not changed much in past weeks. I have not been reading my BG much lately.

I should get back to some self-control.  Diet is hard to manage when aboard with a group of folks who prepare meals and snacks and pour drinks, then take me out to a restaurant for supper. I tend to go along with whatever is happening.

The P-S family is having a get-together at The Mill this afternoon and there is a concert in Didsbury this evening.  I'm thinking I'll go over.  So much for my plans to dig into the work around here.  Tomorrow is my turkey supper.

An hour later, ibuprofen has knocked back the pain almost entirely.

I'm running the furnace daily and it is time to get working on the new system.  I'm good without for a while and don't expect to have a solution immediately.  October is no problem, even without heat there is little risk of freeze-up but by the end of November really cold weather can be expected.  I will be in BC from the 21st to 29th and over Thanksgiving, so my time to get a solution in place is limited.

After lunch, I drove to The Mill for a birthday party and then home again.  I had considered a blues house concert in Didsbury tonight, but was feeling tired.  The prospect of the hour-long drive home after did not appeal.

When I got home, I slept for an hour. I cooked up some chicken legs for supper, then sat down and ordered a sophisticated home security alarm system to compliment my surveillance cameras.

My cameras record activity but I have not set alerts or bothered reviewing footage since C comes and goes to water plants and check the house without telling me when and I was getting nuisance alerts.  That is going to change now and I will be more vigilant. I have been alerted that criminal activity has been on the increase lately, so I'll set silent alerts and I'll be notified if anyone enters the property, then be able to watch them. I'll also set up the game camera again. It catches some interesting images.  Once I got shots of foxes playing on top of my beehives.

My pain has gone away again and what little is left migrated to the right side this afternoon.

I wondered if the issue was esophagus, possibly from taking an aspirin, then lying down before it was completely down.  I have mentioned no lying down soon after taking doxycycline, and the same applies to other pills, especially ones like aspirin and ibuprofen that can ulcerate the gullet.  The doctor had mentioned the possibility of acid reflux and I had dismissed that idea as I had experienced it in the past and the symptoms don't match, but, maybe?  At any rate, drinking wine seemed to exacerbate it so maybe it is my gullet. We'll see.  I'm glad that the pain seems to be fading.

Tomorrow is my turkey dinner, so I have thawed the turkey and laid out the potatoes. At this point, I don't know how many are coming, so I'll just make lots of everything.

10 Problems With Consciousness

This is an marvelously lucid article outlining concisely the many problems we face when attempting to understand our existence and perceptions. Interestingly he repeatedly mentions the problem of language, the deficiencies of which as a tool for perception, understanding, and explanation, all serious writers know and grapple with every moment.

It appears his book is here, online.

A New Unified Theory Of Psychology

I am sure it is worth reading, but it appears to be written more for his peers than the common man and the article covers most of what he has to say to me.  I must confess that I like the article because it is largely congruent with my own thoughts on these problems.

To me the last paragraphs on morality are particularly interesting as they hint at the dilemma caring people face as we walk through life, stepping on ants, chasing pests from our houses and gardens, eating meat, and dealing with conflicting needs and wants of our fellow humans.

This looks interesting, too.

Tree of Knowledge

Quote: "From a ToK System, science is a particular branch in the evolution of justification systems. Initially in smaller and less complex societies, justification systems were undifferentiated, meaning that the shared narratives that coordinated the populations of individuals would be a global religious-political narratives that explained how the world worked and what was good and bad..."

Anyhow, I really should get back the jobs at hand, but it is 9:27 PM and time for diversion, not deep thought.  Should I watch more of Melinda Gates with David Letterman, some shallow cop show, or go to bed?

I went to bed at ten-thirty.

Quote of the Day
The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.
Dorothy Parker

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Sunday September 15th 2019

Today Mainly sunny. High 27. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low 8.

I woke at two-thirty and was up an hour and a bit, then went back to bed and slept until six.  The pain is back. Ibuprofen.

I spent some time looking back on my teaching this year and realise I have done more than I had recalled on the top of mind. I also realise I have not logged the dates and names in one place, so I got to work recreating the records. I will have to consult Cooper's records, too, when I get a chance.

Back when I was in sales, it was a known fact that the best salesmen kept the worst records. No matter how much nagging or threatening by management, their records were a shambles.  Even expense records that were needed to reclaim expenses were neglected.  Being so totally immersed and what they were doing at the moment made them fantastic producers, but drove managers who wanted to document everything mad.

There are still gaps in my recollection of my teaching dates and students' names that don't come to mind.  Odd, actually, having lived in close quarters and interacted closely with people over a period of almost a week that their names don't come immediately to mind, even looking at their pictures. I will remember, eventually, sometime when I am not thinking about it.  "Turtle recall", my wife called it.  Everything comes back, but slowly.

Memory often is situation-dependant. What we remember is often triggered by where we are, what we are doing, and even whom we are with. I jump from place to place and activity to activity so often that I find there is compartmentalization of memories.

That is my excuse, but maybe the memory lapses are just the onset of Old Timer's.

Today, I tidy and cook the turkey. I potentially have eleven people at the table tonight.  One turkey, eleven people?  I'll cook some backup chicken, too.  It is 0820 now, and I am starting on washing up last night's dishes.  I don't use the dishwasher when I am alone. There are too few dished to make it worthwhile.

I'm ready to put the turkey in then oven. As I was working, found my reverse osmosis system is leaking under the kitchen sink.  In had thought of replacing it, but it was working so I did not.  Now I think I will.  The problem is that the tubing is plastic and seems to have become somewhat brittle with age (~20n years).  It is not obvious, but it seems the shark-bite fittings don't get a good seal and anytime the system is disturbed, leaks start.  The leaks are just drips, but they make a mess after a while.  Dealing with that took and hour and I am not sure the problem is solved or will not start up again.

I had supper ready and the place vacuumed by four.  B showed up at four, but the others came later, at the usual time, six.  The turkey was ready, so we ate shortly after.

After supper, I remembered the brush pile and lit it on fire.  It went up pretty fast and worried me a bit, but burned down soon and consumed most of the brush.

The time went quickly and by ten everyone was gone and most of the cleanup was done.  I watered down the fire and went to bed.  There were still embers, but I wet down the area and figure to check when I wake during the night.  If the wind comes up, the fire could get going again.

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Charlton Heston

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Monday September 16th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches this morning. High 24. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Low 10.

I woke several times and got up at two.  The fire still glows a little in spots, but the conditions are calm.

At first, there was no hint of the pain, but a bit is still there when I move.  That seems odd.  Sometimes the pain has been quite intrusive and sometimes, like now, barely noticeable. Maybe I'll hear from the doctor today.

Today I have to be in South Calgary by one, at least I think it is one. 

Could be twelve, Who knows?  I recorded the date and time in Google Calendar and Google Calendar likes to adjust to the time zone I am in sometimes. 

In fact, when I click on the details, I see, "Sep 16, 2019 12:01 to 14:01 Sep 16, 2019 (GMT-07:00) Pacific Time - Vancouver".  I am in Alberta and so is the appointment, so what is the truth? I entered the time when I was in Vancouver without specifying what zone.

I think the appointment might be at twelve, so I have to phone to be sure and the office does not open until ten.  It is an hour to an hour and a half drive. Curse you, Google.

I really, really hate these clever apps that try to guess and adjust things invisibly without asking.

This bug, intended as a feature, makes  old-fashioned paper and pencil look good. This sort of 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) should be called 'PITA'.

The same with the AI behind the news feed algos. Once in a while these algos find something genuinely new and interesting, but I find they tend to mostly just feed me more and more versions of whatever I happen to read until I am fed up, not knowing if I liked it, or found it useless.  An interesting aspect, however, is that I am made aware of how the media copy one another and how mistakes or misunderstandings in one article show up in other articles from some other distant and unrelated publication.

Reading these articles, too, reminds me often that magazine writers are paid by the word, not by the idea.  It is amazing how many words can be written about one little idea and how teaser headlines can be written so that the actual subject is hidden until I click.

I went back to bed at three and slept until eight.  Oddly, I woke up at six sharp and seven sharp and checked the time, then went back to sleep. My internal alarm clock has a mind of its own. I  finally woke at and two minutes before eight and got up.

I finished the kitchen cleanup, mostly a matter of emptying the dishwasher and drying rack and I'll deal with the leftovers later.  I figure I have to leave around ten for my eye appointment.  First, I have to hose down the rest of the fire in case the wind comes up.

*   *   *   *   *

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

I called the Calgary eye doctor's office as soon as it opened at nine.  the line was busy, busy, but, I finally got though.  After some delays and being passed around, I found that the appointment had inexplicably been cancelled in some sort of mix-up, and I had not been notified. (I had wondered why I had not received the usual confirming call by now).

It's a good thing I called, as Dr. Ford is not even in the office this afternoon and I would have driven all that way for nothing. They had a cancellation, though, and I was rescheduled to Wednesday 18th at ten. Perfect.

Now, I have watered down the fire when I could have banked it up and burned the rest of the remaining scraps.  Oh, well.  I can hope that I did not do too good a job of putting it out.

Now, I am waiting on results of the X-rays and ECG.  The pain seems to have changed somewhat and could be muscular. I don't know.  Sitting here, typing, it does not bother me.

For some reason, I have not been hungry this morning and only now am thinking of breakfast.

*   *   *   *   *

At 01130, I made an omelet.  Then I called around looking for an oil cap. I think I left it on top of the engine the other day when changing oil and it had been lost.  The dealer wants $40 and nobody else seems to have one. Ouch!

Then I called the medical centre for X-ray results and EKG results. Doctors usually don't call if the results are of no concern, but of course, I want to know.

I was told that both indicted no change from previous occasions, so nothing was discovered and rumours of my impeding death are apparently exaggerated. I'm not in the clear yet, though.  Word is that X-rays often miss early stage lung cancer. Time will tell, I guess.

So, I can put away any thoughts of changing my plans and get on with my schedule;  Cruise and Learn next week, Sudbury the weeks after, and then Mexico in November and Jonathan's for US Thanksgiving.  In the meantime, furnace, furnace, furnace.

From a thread on Calgary beekeepers...

> I have used oxalic acid sublimation twice so far, third treatment is due on Monday.

> I may give them fourth and depending on the weather fifth.

> Yes, feeding is on todo list for today. I will try to move hives a bit more in the sun.

> Question - how much distance I should move the hive when in the same yard? 20-30-50 cm?


I don't see any mention of quantitative mite measurement other than Liz's wise reminder. There is no substitute for measurement. Drops are useful, but difficult to interpret. Washes are the gold standard.

Without measurement, no one can really say. It is just guessing.

As for chalkbrood, numbers are meaningful. Do you see one or two mummies, or is half the brood chalky? A few mummies at the end of the season is not a disaster.

As for the weak hive. How large is the cluster early on a cool morning? No one can give useful advice without numbers. Frames of bees? Cluster diameter? Boxes occupied? Brood area?

As for moving, After a cool spell when they don't fly for three days, you should be able to move them as far as you like.

They will buzz around the old site to check it out but not stay there. In case they do cluster there, just move the hive back and do it again in colder weather.

If you want to move in good weather, simply moving all hives a few feet one way or another is not problematic, assuming there are not landmarks within a few feet. Even then you are probably OK and you can repeat the move again and again, giving them a day to adjust in between moves.


> The idea for multiple treatment would be to cover better percentages

Each treatment reduces the mite population by roughly the same percentage of the remaining mites. i.e 75% of 75% of 75& etc... (This a hypothetical example only. Of course the real world is not that simple or co-operative).

When there is brood, treating every five days is apparently optimal due to the short lasting effect of the treatment and the need to catch mites while they are phoretic. The number of treatments required must be determined by measuring the mite loads at the point where success is imagined.

> I am sublimating at the bottom of the screen board and concerned
> how much vapour would reach to the second (top) box.

Good question. In commercial treatment videos, using pressurized injection, we sometimes see vapour coming out upper vents.

Using the small evaporators, we have to consider where the brood area is because that is where the mites concentrate. If the cluster is in the top, this is a consideration, but in a well-fed hive at this time of year, the brood should have been driven down by honey and feed above.

As for the recommended temperatures, the optimal number given is a temp where the bees are home and not in a tight impenetrable cluster. I don't think that the efficacy is affected by temperature other than these considerations.

Knowing these constraints you can judge for yourself. and if the bees are clustered too tight, just give the hive a kick and/or smoke to loosen the cluster and wait a few minutes for them to be ready.


> 1. I understand that alcohol wash and mite count is a desirable starting point, however why would anyone assume that hive is varroa free? Would it be easier to just give a standard three treatments as a precaution?

Actually, a count is more important after your last treatment since you already knew the starting number was unacceptable. A count at the start would be useful if you wanted to estimate efficacy, but the end number will predict whether wintering is likely to succeed and also if further treatments are needed. Some authorities claim five rounds are required. Measure and know. Hope is not a strategy.

> 2. I was building my 7+7+7 treatment plan based on 21 day bee cycle. in your other email it seems like 5+5+5 is an option too. I am not so clear on that.

Nothing is hard and fast. Both will work, but the treatments fade in three days, so do you want to give the mites four days of respite between blasts? I have extensive info on my web pages, but it is scattered and not easy to find.

> I did not do an alcohol wash at the end of the summer, I will nest year ....thanks again for pointing it out.

Now is the time to do the wash if you want to still have these bees alive to test next year.

> I just know based on drops (I can see the screen board daily) that one hive have significantly more drops.

'More' is not a number. Drops are measured in number divided by days between counts.

> Mummies are 10-12 per side of brood frame. Lets say 20-24 per infected frame. about 3-4 heavy infected frames.

That is pretty bad, but not fatal. Requeening now won't change that. Disinfection is futile. You'll have to live with it until spring.

> Hive is two deeps, 10 frames each - I would say 6-7 honey frames, one frame of drone-management and the erst is some spotty brood with signs of chalkbrood.

Spotty brood suggests that your mites got 'way out of control, but it could also be other things like CB or even sub-clinical FB.

Drone comb control can work, but is pretty marginal at times and a lot of people bring in bees that are very susceptible to varroa, so YMMV. Counting on green frame method is something that requires precision timing and monitoring due to it's marginal efficacy. People advocating it as a sole measure may not be telling the whole story or just not have gotten to the point where things collapse.

> Second hive is same setup, some chalkbrood, but way less maybe 2-3 mummies per side of frame. Since chalkbrood is present in both hives, I have been thinking to move them to the less-shadow location for the fall and winter and increase ventilation (slotted rack or spacer at the bottom).

I don't think that humidity is the likely issue unless the hives are in a hollow, since bees keep their humidity high in the brood area and excess dryness is often more of an issue in Alberta. Just the same, full sun and slight elevation are best here in winter, and summer, too for that matter. Simply raising the hive up off the ground a foot or two can help a lot.

> They both facing south and have good sunny morning til noon.

All day would be better.

> I will check on the cluster, in a day or two.

> What should be my expectations for cluster size?

Basketball size or larger when tightly clustered is ideal at this time of year unless they are one of the races that winter small. (I'm betting they are not).

> Many thanks for your time

My pleasure.

Now that I ordered a new RO filter system, I though to check the efficacy of the current twenty-year-old one.  I have not changed filters for years and I am supposed to do that every six months.

I see that it is still removing eighty percent of the ions from the tap water and also see that the tap water is lower in ppm -- 76 ppm --than it was in springtime, I assume that is due to less river flow and less runoff from fields and Red Deer city streets.

Nonetheless, I am happy to replace the filter system as the old one leaks unpredictably.  I'll see what it fetches in a yard sale.  Some handyman can change the tubing and have a good deal.

My chest pain is not requiring any ibuprofen yet today and has dialed back a bit. Maybe it is just a pulled muscle from grinding (cranking) sailboat winches and sleeping on three inches of foam on boats. Time will tell.

*   *   *   *   *

2:13 PM: I'm starting on the furnace job now.  Honest.  In fact, I was casing the possible installation locations already.  Now to mark out the location of the existing ducts and get serious about ordering units.  I'm thinking, though, I should also get more coal as insurance.

*   *   *   *   *

Well, I lied.  No sooner did I write that than I realised that if there are no signs that I may need more appointments and treatment, I need to reserve flight to Sudbury for Thanksgiving.  So, I reserved a flight direct from Victoria to Toronto several days after the cruise, allowing a few days for casual sailing after the C&L, and a bus ticket to Sudbury.

I could have flown direct by Air Canada, but I prefer Westjet and although the total time underway is about six hours longer, this way I get a bus trip up familiar highways and arrive earlier and closer to 1207-- all for less money. 

Now everything is settled except my return flight from Sudbury.

*   *   *   *   *

And the distractions don't end.  I stumbled on some articles that confirm something I have been pointing out -- "Clean Energy" is not all ponies and unicorns. Check this out:

The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low Carbon Future

The Limits of Clean Energy

The Environmental Costs of Renewable Energy Are Staggering

*   *   *   *   *

I started figuring where to place the furnaces and was making headway, but also thinking I should take a walk and see if the oil filler cap had fallen off somewhere on the road near home, when I happened to glance down and there it was on the corner of a workbench, right where I had placed it when working on the van.

Of course I had not placed it on top of the engine as I assumed.  I know better.  Putting it there risks denting the hood. Duh! just the same, I had looked around the shop before and not seen it.

Wow! $40 saved.  I had spent at least a half-hour online, made six phone calls and driven up to Rod's trying to find one, and the dealer was the only source -- at $40. Bonus!

*   *   *   *   *

I am trying to figure out this pain that comes and goes and I am starting to think it  is an ulcer in my gullet or stomach, aggravated by what I eat or drink.  As I mentioned before, maybe I took an aspirin and lay down before it was completely swallowed. Regardless, maybe it will respond to being careful about hot liquids and harsh foods and drink.

*   *   *   *   *

The furnace job is actually not difficult once I settle on a design.  I am pretty well decided to get several 120 BTU high efficiency units and place them over or under existing ducts.  I figure to install one and see how that goes and to order coal as a backup while I evaluate the results.

The design problems to solve are

  1. placement, updraft or downdraft,

  2. black gas supply pipe,

  3. hot air duct connections,

  4. cold air return

  5. exhaust venting.

  6. fresh air supply

  7. electrical supply,

  8. condensate disposal,

Placement (1) depends on the other factors.

The black pipe (2) can be run almost anywhere and is the most adaptable part of the job. There are no problems except avoiding concrete walls in some spots. This the easiest to adapt and pipe is cheap.  I can obtain pipe and run it myself or bring in the contractor I had before. The job is just one of measuring, obtaining the threaded pipe and hangers, punching some holes and assembling the run. I think I'm in good enough shape to do that.

The duct work (3), I will contract out, at least the building of the ducts.  I may wish to measure and install myself.

Cold air returns (4) are no problem if I decide on downdraft furnaces since the intakes will be in the same space as the outlets.

Exhaust venting (5) is a bit technical, but quite straightforward if the location of the unit is chosen wisely.  Going straight up and out the roof is easier in the new section than the old. Going out a wall is simpler, but windows and doors cannot be near the exit.

Fresh air (6) can come from the room or from the outside. Either is fairly simple. If from outside, this can run in conjunction  with the exhaust.

Electrical (7) can be found nearby or run specially depending on location chosen. Nearby is preferable cost-wise.

Condensate (8) needs to find a drain. If there is one nearby and lower down that is simple, but otherwise a line must be run and perhaps a pump is required.

All he above are subject to installation codes which are based on years of experience and designed to prevent common problems and hazards.

*   *   *   *   *

I am starting to get enthused about this furnace job and am thinking I should just order a furnace and figure out the rest later. Having one here will be inspiration and one less hurdle out of the way.  Updraft or downdraft, though, I have to decide.

As I do other things, I am making broth from the turkey carcass.  After the first batch was poured off, I added water again and the second batch looks just about as thick. I wonder how many times I'll boil the bones?

*   *   *   *   *

Next furnace question: Should I get single-stage single speed units or fully modulating units with variable air flow?  Or a mixture and stage them so the cheapest one comes on only when the extra brute force is required. Would I know the difference?  There is $1,000 difference in price.  Time to go online shopping again.

I looked into my previous notes and links and began selection.

I went to bed at ten.

Quote of the Day
Ninety percent of this game is half mental.
Yogi Berra

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Tuesday September 17th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this morning and early this afternoon. High 18. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low plus 4 with risk of frost.

I slept until six and dozed until almost nine.  I got up and found the pain seems to have gone.  I have some sensation where it was and I suspect it will come back over the day but I am relieved that it seems to be fading.

*   *   *   *   *

It is coming back and is noticeable as I move.

I resumed the furnace purchase decisions last night and am back at it this morning.

I have two surplus dinghies and some chain on the dock at Sidney and I decided to put it on Kijiji.

I got bored and did some reading.  Zerohedge always has the interesting stuff:

AI Expert Warns We're Summoning Robot "Entities" Who'll Treat Us Like Ants

I feel the same about the efforts to send messages into space to contact aliens.  It is clear that if they have decoded and understand our TV, radio, and Internet transmissions, they will either have decided to avoid us like the plague or are preparing to destroy us if we ever get close.  We can't even get along with our families or countrymen, let alone our neighbouring countries, and we treat animals and bugs abominably, so what (other than sci-fi like Star Wars) makes anyone in his right mind think we would get along with aliens.

Back to the salt mine...  I have twenty-three tabs open with various furnaces to pick from... I have not even decided if I will go with updraft or downdraft.

Maybe it would help to write it out.

  Updraft Downdraft
placement Downstairs Upstairs
black gas supply pipe Some concrete walls Wood or Concrete walls
hot air ducts Easy access to existing ducts Must cut through floors
cold air return Not Simple Easy
exhaust venting Depends Easy
fresh air supply Depends Easy
electrical supply Depends Depends
condensate disposal May require a pump Gravity

I'm not sure if I am any smarter after all this thinking.  Time to go analyze each location individually.

*   *   *   *   *

I contacted C and suggested a walk.  She said she was too tired, so I asked if the dog could come.  I went down, but the dog would not go with me so C decided to come and we did the mile and had the best walk ever.

*   *   *   *   *

I went downstairs for a while and looked at various options.  Cold air return is an issue with some spots, not others.  I came across a duct coil that can handle 360,000 BTU with 180įF Entering Water Temp., 20 GPM and 3000 CFM (air flow). That sounds doable.

It would cost $600+ del'd but could just be put into my existing forced air system with a few alterations and work alternately with the coal stoker.  I'd have to find and install a suitable boiler, but that would be relatively simple. large boilers are not cheap, though. I'll revisit that idea again briefly.

It is 8 PM and I am weary.  I don't feel like Netflix.  Right about now, nothing they can present seems as interesting as my own real life drama.

The pain has receded and is only noticeable when I burp (but not when I sneeze).

Tomorrow I go to Calgary for the eye appointment.

I did a little Duolingo and am now off to bed at nine-thirty.

Quote of the Day
Ninety percent of this game is half mental.
Yogi Berra

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Wednesday September 18th 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 15. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. A few showers beginning this evening. Risk of a thunderstorm late this evening. Local amount 5 to 10 mm. Low 9.

I woke up at five and was wide awake so I got up. No congestion.

I was still a bit tired, so I lay down again and dozed a few minutes and realised that the state was like a meditation, with ideas flowing, but soon got up again, made a few notes, poured myself a cold coffee, and here I am at the keyboard.

I have an internal clock that is not under my conscious control. Fact is not much of my existence is under my conscious control. My subconscious is the boss and I know it and actually like it that way.

I have come to like cold coffee.  Good coffee is quite pleasant when at room temp. I also wonder if I scalded my gullet drinking hot coffee and eating hot food. Could that be the cause of the pain?  At any rate, the pain is receding.

I'm out of egg whites, so I made some oatmeal porridge. I'll be shopping today.

As I am eating the porridge as I write , I am aware that it is too hot.  I should smarten up.

Listening to the news, it is increasingly obvious that the lunatics are running the asylum. All politicians running for the upcoming federal election are promising to bribe us with our own money.  the days of self-restraint and fiscal prudence are over.

It is seven and I looked out to see that the morning is foggy.  I should leave for Calgary by eight or so and this may affect the drive.

The fog cleared when I was west of Acme. 

My eye appointment went well, but, although the pressures are just seventeen in each eye, the doctor thinks it is time for another SLT

This will be the fourth SLT.  Last time was 2014.

The doctor won't say if I do or do not have glaucoma, but I understand that I am in danger of damage if the pressures go up.  So far they have been controlled because I insisted on early detection of signs and SLT has been effective.  This treatment is preventative.

I heard from Cordell that the current Cassiopeia client reports mainsail damage and is headed into Nanaimo. He sent a picture and I alerted Precision Sails, the supplier and they are providing a replacement on warranty.  Meantime we still have the old sail and will use it.

I went to Home Depot and Costco on the way home and bought a few things in Acme at the grocery store.

I had chicken for supper and had a nap that lasted over an hour.  I had slept less than my usual last night.

The pain continues, no worse and maybe a little better. I am beginning to think I should see the doctor again tomorrow.

Quote of the Day
The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.
Ayn Rand

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Thursday September 19th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of showers early this morning. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. High 18. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Low plus 4 with risk of frost.

I woke up at six-thirty, realizing I am running out of time before I leave again.

MY RO unit and alarm systems are here and have limited time for evaluation and return, so I'll assemble the RO and install and try to do the alarms, too.

I called the doctor's office first thing and made an appointment.  This time even the locum was away, so I'll see Dr Savage at 2:15.  The pain is fading, but I figure if I am going to need to change my plans, now is the time to do so.

The doctor listened and looked and said he does not know, but sent me for some blood tests.  I had them done right away and since I was passing the chiropractor's, went in and had my back adjusted on the possibility the issue is my back or ribs.  This chiropractor is a bit of a nut and not quite as good as my old one, Bruce, but he gets the job done.  I felt a bit better when leaving.  Maybe it is just the placebo effect, but any cure is okay with me.

The RO job took the3 rest of the afternoon and it is not leaking, much anyhow.  Hard to tell becausee it is so wet under the sink, but it should be obvious soon if it is.  The water solids ppm are exactly the same as from the old one so far, anyhow, but I have not run much through yet.

 I received an email saying a hurricane is on its way to Baja Sur.  Bad news.  I was thinking the season was getting near the end without many, but I guess we'll see.

This was no obvious on the NOAA NHC web page I check until I clicked on the disturbance in question.  So far, the wind speeds look mild over La Paz, but this is just a forecast from a model and we all know about models.

  

Back to the furnaces...

> .. was wondering whether in your thoughts on installing gas
> heater(s) somehow a larger central unit is more efficient in
> delivering heat per unit of fuel, or a better deal money wise than
> multiple ones.

There are a whole lot of considerations and multiple small heaters was a thought, but they only come in small sizes and it would take a lot of units and a lot installation to achieve what I need.

My one central unit provides adequate comfort so I figure that this approach is a good one, and as you say, the cost is less, as is the installation work.

Time is my enemy in this as I need to have something before the nights get really cold and that can be November -- or even as an outlier, earlier.

Problem is that I've taken a run at this too many times and been interrupted or run into a snag each time, so I am somewhat daunted by it. Getting a pro interested has not been easy, either.

> I understand ease of installation and a modular approach to the
> project as considerations, but just a thought.

Good thoughts and I may add some unit heaters later, but for now, I need some brute force heat.

Having local heat only where it is needed at that moment is economical, but I need to keep the whole place above freezing. That is my primary concern right now. 

I leave Saturday and am occupied with other things in the meantime, plus have this pain. Fortunately, it seems to be fading...

I started with the alarm system and see it needs a GSM SIM card.  Only Roger offers GSM and will phase it out in 2020. I am sure I can manage a workaround.

I went to bed at ten

Quote of the Day
Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.
Babe Ruth

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