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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
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.


  • 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


  • 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?

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

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