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 December 2019

 

 

 

 

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Looking north from Newport Beach Pier toward Long Beach and San Pedro

 

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Sunday December 1st 2019

Today Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 9. Wind chill minus 24 this morning and minus 12 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 19 with temperature rising to minus 9 by morning. Wind chill minus 23 this evening.

I'm up at five-thirty after nine hours in the sack. I slept well again and I don't feel cold today.

Maybe the tiredness will be gone, too. I finished the antibiotics the other day.  My teeth are beginning to feel normal.  It takes a while after having ten crowns re-done.

Suddenly it is December and tomorrow I go home.  I'll be glad to be there, if only for two weeks before going to Sudbury for Christmas.

This has been a trying trip.  The boat was not ready so I had to stay in an apartment, then I worked with Miguel to deal with remaining items. The flight north to Tijuana was less than comfortable, and the weather here in Aliso Viejo has been cool, rainy, and breezy. 

At one time, this temperate weather in late November would have impressed me after flying in from Alberta, but now, flying in from Baja Sur where it was 80 degrees daily, and remembering Thanksgivings when  we swam at Pacific Ocean beaches here in Laguna, this is downright cold.

Note: the weather in La Paz has been windy and rainy lately, too, but warmer.  Alberta is in a cold trend.

The kids are grown now, so we don't go to the zoos or parks or do the things we used to do.  Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm are old hat. I'm older, too, and not as up and at 'em as I once was.  Besides I have been to SoCal so often that it a case of 'Been there, done that'.  I'm jaded. 

As I say, it will be good to get home, I think.  We'll see.

The weather should warm about the time I return and stay mild for the forecast period. On average, winter weather at home is quite tolerable, but the cold snaps and blizzards are what makes it difficult and dangerous at times, and hard on equipment.

I suddenly have a cold sore and that may explain some tiredness. I've noticed a tendency for tiredness just before a cold sore. Let's hope the sore fades.  I'm glad it did not pop up during the weeks I was having dental work.  I don't know if it would prevent the work, but it would be uncomfortable.

Looking back a year I see I was dealing with computer issues and calculating the gas work and equipment needed.  Somehow that gas work got stalled and here I am one year later at the same point, except that I have now ordered a furnace.  I wonder what interrupted the process last year.  I think it was a problem finding an installer or maybe just indecision.

It was both.  I was reconsidering duct coils and when I finally found a gas fitter, he never did get back to me.  Then I was going east. 

So much I have forgotten.  It has been a busy year with many adventures.

After lunch, Jon, Katrina, Brendan, Daisy and I set out for Newport Beach.  We figured that beach would be open there not affected by the 1.2 million gallon sewage spill last Wednesday in Laguna.

The beach was not marked as contaminated and we saw surfers in the lineup south of the pier, so that was a good guess.  We wandered the beach a bit, then went out on the pier for a while and then stopped for a gelato before returning to Songbird Lane.


Looking south towards Laguna Beach from Newport Pier.

We had taken the kite with us, but had not launched it, so Brendan wanted to fly it in the street. I said there is not enough wind or space to do it here, so we drove to Eastwing and made a few runs with the bigger kite.  We had no luck.  There was almost no wind. We got out the smaller kite and it did fly a bit, but we gave up as it was getting dark.

Quote of the Day
I used to be stupid but I've turned that situation around 360 degrees.
Scott Adams

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Monday December 2nd 2019

Today Clearing. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 4 except zero in a few localities. Wind chill minus 19 this morning and minus 9 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy near midnight. Wind becoming west 20 km/h gusting to 40 this evening. Low minus 6 with temperature rising to minus 1 by morning. Wind chill minus 13 this evening.

I fly home today, lifting off at 1735, arriving at 2145 tonight.

It is Cyber Monday and I took advantage to buy a new laptop on Amazon.  The deal was 37% off and arrives by the 9th, so we'll see.  I've been fed up with the Acer for some time now, so maybe I'll reset it and get rid of it.  I only hope the new laptop will be as good as this old Samsung I am typing on now. It is rated as a gaming machine.  I don't game, other than solitaire, but maybe I'll start.

I packed, then Daisy and I went for a walk around the block.  The day is warm, like the weather I expected, and shorts are in order but I leave today and am dressed for Alberta in long sleeves and slacks.

My phone was ringing as I came in the door. The seller was wondering if I will be home tomorrow.  I said yes.  The furnace comes tomorrow!

It's now noon and I should be at the airport by four to be sure of catching my flight.

Suddenly I am no longer Westjet Gold and the free bag I was promised has been retracted.

Quote of the Day
Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.
Mark Twain

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Tuesday December 3rd 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. Clearing late this morning. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this afternoon. High plus 4. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 13. Wind chill minus 4 this evening and minus 19 overnight.

I'm home.  I slept until five-thirty and got up.  That is a short night's sleep, but I was not tired.

When I got up the house was at 63 degrees F (17 C).  The furnace ran all night steadily warming the place. 

It was 42 F (6 C) inside when I went to bed at midnight, so the furnace warmed the rooms by (63-42)/5.5=3.8F/hour. Outside this morning the temperature is minus two Celsius (28 F).

I started this computer and turned off the VPN.  Once again that screwed up my wifi settings and I spent an hour uninstalling the VPN and fixing my adapter settings.  The job is not for the faint-hearted.  To complicate things, the breaker that powers my router tripped several times.  Something on that circuit must be overloading it. Could be the bin auger.  If so, having the bin auger and the Internet both quit while I am away could be problematic.

My new furnace is scheduled to come today.

I spent the morning unpacking. After lunch I went to town to get a few groceries and pick up a mail item that was on hold.  It turned out to be a letter requesting more info for my Marine medical , seeing as my doctor had not given complete information.  I also suspect some age discrimination.  By seventy-four, we are supposed to be dead or blind and stupid in a rocking chair, not teaching people how to sail yachts, I guess.

I talked to the people at the medical clinic and they figure I can see an OT and that should take care of it.  We'll see.  The letter came weeks after the deadline for them to complete the evaluation and at a time when i am not around to go to appointments for the next six weeks.

I had supper, then did a little tidying and sat down to program my ham radios. I got started figuring out the process and it was time for bed. I slept only five hours last night, so figure to get a head start tonight.  It is 9:59 PM.

Good night.

Quote of the Day
"Be yourself" is about the worst advice you can give some people.
Thomas Lansing Masson

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Wednesday December 4th 2019

Today: Increasing cloudiness near noon. 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High zero. Wind chill minus 13 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries this evening. Clearing before morning. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 12. Wind chill minus 7 this evening and minus 14 overnight.

Today I drive to Calgary for a follow-up eye exam at eleven.  I had the SLT treatment on October 21st and the appointment today is to assess the success of the measure,  It means a drive of seventy-five miles each way.  I'll do some grocery shopping on the way back.  I was less than impressed by the selection in Three Hills yesterday.  I left home at 0945 and was at Dr, Ford's right on the dot of eleven.

The measurement came out at eighteen in each eye which is not a change either way, but still in the safe zone.  We agreed the one reading might be an anomaly. The dental work and antibiotics could have raised the IOPs temporarily, so I'll see him again in three months. We'll see.

While there, I asked for a reading eyesight test I need it for the marine medical and passed without glasses. 

Before I left, I received a call from the furnace delivery guy.  He was on his way to Swalwell and wanted to make sure I was home. Of course I wasn't.  The delivery was scheduled for tomorrow, not today.

He said the package would fit into my van, so I met him at the MacDonalds on Peigan Trail and we slipped it across into my side door.

While at MacDonalds, I had a coffee and a Quarter-Pounder with Cheese.  The coffee was good, but although the burger was not the worst burger I ever ate, it was far from the best. It was pretty bad. I don't know what I ever saw in MacDonalds burgers.  I think they must have gotten worse over time.

From there, I drove to the Walmart in Airdrie and bought groceries.  I also spent time on my phone trying to find an Occupational Therapist to fill in a report for Transport Canada with little luck.

After picking up a package at Home Depot, I headed home, and, as I reached the Crossfield turnoff the weather turned nasty.  Snow blew across the road in gusts but visibility remained good, though, and with the studded tires, I could not tell if the roads were icy or not.


It seems my phone camera sees better than I do.  To my eye, the snow blowing was more opaque

When I got home, I brought the van into the basement to unload the furnace near where I expect to install it. I went up, relaxed and had supper, then napped until seven-thirty.


Series of Multiple X-class Solar Flare Eruptions


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The Roots of Religion: Genevieve Von Petzinger

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Quote of the Day
Do not worry if others do not understand you.
Instead worry if you do not understand others.
Confucius

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Thursday December 5th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 3. Wind chill minus 12 this morning and minus 5 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 8. Wind chill near minus 11.

I woke at eight.  Today I'll tidy and get to work on the furnace as well as look into the check engine light that stays on in the van.  It has to do with the evaporation system.

Here is a very Interesting and illuminating page with videos and transcripts.

How & Why Big Oil Conquered The World

Of course this article is a narrative and has a point of view.  It is almost impossible to not have one.  Does it coincide with mine? Probably not, but that does not make it any less valuable. I'm not endorsing everything claimed, but find the research behind it useful for understanding where we find ourselves at present and maybe the reasons that the successor moneyed interests are attacking oil and coal. The whole matter is complex and it is not clear at all how else history could have evolved.

Looking back to 2017, I see that I had my Pixel XL at that time.  That makes this phone well over two years old!  That is a record for me and at this point, I continue to be entirely satisfied with it.  I have bought a replacement battery, but not bothered to install it as the original is still okay, even if it is down to 80% according to Accubattery. 

I unloaded the furnace, removed the wraps and took a good look.

From what I see, installation should be fairly simple once I get started.  I'll have to position the furnace, build a stand, figure out ducting, and get and install the black pipe and the venting, then arrange a drain, but I have a pretty good idea how to proceed. The venting is likely to be the biggest issue as I have to get access to the outdoors without too many bends and without exiting too close to the ground, a window, a door, or the electric meter.  Also, I don't want to have to break concrete.

My new computer came today and the mail delivery person, Gail, came to the door and knocked.  I did not hear and she left with it as she needed a signature.

Later, I saw her footprints to the door and back and realised she had been here and called her.  She said she had knocked and I realised later that I had heard it, but since she only rapped two taps, I had not realised it was the door knocker. She will return tomorrow.  meantime I am researching doorbells.  My old one is kaput.

I spent some time considering the installation and began reading the installation manual again.  There are a lot of things to think about and get right when picking the right spot and making sure to meet all the criteria for venting, draining, ducting and gas service. Failure to plan well could mean either a kluge or having to tear out and start over.

It was midnight when I went to bed.

Funny, but I have a clock that alerts me to moments like lunchtime and midnight.  I can be totally unaware of the time, then suddenly think, "I'll go to bed now", and notice it is a minute to midnight.  I wake up the same way, at precise times, completely unintentionally.  Who knows what is going on in my unconscious?

People Nowadays

Quote of the Day
I drink to make other people more interesting.
Ernest Hemingway

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Friday December 6th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog becoming fog patches near noon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 14 this morning and minus 6 this afternoon.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Fog patches. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 6. Wind chill near minus 10.

I woke at six. Seems I am needing less sleep lately. My weight is down a bit to 227.

We have another beautiful late fall day dawning here on the prairie. Temperatures will be below freezing, but not by a lot.

My goal today is to stick to my knitting and not be distracted from the furnace installation task. Knowing myself as well as I do, I don't have a lot of hope for that.  There are too many distractions and this job is full of indecision points.  Too many choices!

At 0839, the sun is just peeking over the horizon to the east.

I mentioned previously that normal ground temperature around here is about ten degrees once we get down below grade and how this place has a very large basement floor area. Realizing this and by setting the thermostat below earth temperature, I saved a lot of fuel last month. At 42 degrees, heat came up from the floor rather than going into it.  The rate of transfer is slow and it is possible to freeze the earth down as much as eight feet over a winter, but even then, heat is coming up through the ground, just not fast enough to counteract the extreme cold up top.  After all, the temp is ten C and the air can be minus forty. left unheated, the basement floor will freeze over winter.  I saw that when we bought the abandoned building.

  

I took readings around the basement floors and they ranged from 10 to 12 degrees.  The floors average about  is about six feet below grade. The walls read from four to twelve degrees below grade.

It is already December, and the earth temperature is holding steady so far and that is encouraging  We are the 3000 line in the chart at right above (see here) and that chart is the temperature clear of buildings at the time of greatest frost penetration, likely mid-February or early March.

I conclude that maintaining the building at about six degrees C when I am away will use the least energy and make best use of the ground heat from below.

Did I say something about not being distracted?  Of course I did, and of course Gail showed up with my new computer, and of course I had to open it, and of course I had to set it up and break it in...

It is now 1329 and it is downloading and I am back on task. Ooops.  No I am not.  I had more to do.  Setting up a new machine takes quite a while.  It is five now and I have done little about the furnace but I did make soup out of the chicken I bought the other day.  Oh, well, there are still quite a few hours left in the day.

It's nine now and I did everything else but the furnace work.  I did a little study, but other things kept me occupied.

I'll wait until midnight to go to bed, I think and see how i sleep. 

For some reason, I have not been sleeping right through since I got home.  I have been sleeping less and seemingly needing less sleep, so maybe I can blame that on the dental work.  When I went in for the work a month ago, it seemed I had an abscess and although it did not bother me much, it may have been raising hob with my system.  The dental work fixed that and several other annoyances and during the last month I have been on two different antibiotics.

I had some digestion issues after the antibiotics, but my digestion seems better than ever right now.

The new computer is quite the machine.  It is a gaming laptop and has the graphic design suited to gamers rather than old sailors. So far, I like everything about it and find it is blazing fast compared to the Acer and noticeably more agile than the Samsung although the Samsung is keeping up awfully well for such an old machine.

Small and lightweight, it is not and it has four times the RAM (16 GB)as the Samsung and a much faster processor.

I was preoccupied lately and forgot to shovel the ashes, but remembered tonight and will do them before bed.  This is the first time since I arrived home on the 2nd. The furnace only made only a scant half drum of ash during the entire month I was gone, but has made a full drum in the four days since I arrived.

Coal consumption and ash production seems to be directly related, as it should be, to how high the the thermostat is set above 40 F.  I imagine, though that in minus forty weather, the consumption would climb even set at 40 F.

I went to bed at midnight.

Quote of the Day
I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way.
So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
Emo Philips

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Saturday December 7th 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating early this morning. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High minus 3. Wind chill minus 24 this morning and minus 9 this afternoon.
Tonight Snow ending overnight then cloudy. Amount 5 cm. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 14. Wind chill minus 13 this evening and minus 19 overnight.

I was up at seven and sat down to deal with various matters.

I have become aware of an increasing number of serious Internet threats and decided that I should get a more complete protection than offered in Windows Defender, a pretty good app that comes with Windows but is pretty basic.  I decided on McAfee after some research and spent some considerable time installing and tweaking it on two computers and my phone.

I also read further down in the installation manual, but progress is slow due to distractions.

Joe's birthday party is tonight and Bert will be here at three-thirty to drive over with me.  The trip is about an hour each way.  I have concerns about then weather, but we'll take a chance unless it really closes in on us.  Looking at the forecast (right), snow and wind looks quite certain.

Bert came by at 3:30 and we drove over, taking my van in case of snow.  Studded tires add a degree of safety on slick roads. We arrived without incident.  It was good to see everyone.  During supper we saw a little snow, but even on the way home, the predicted snowfall proved to be only a few flakes.

On arrival home at 8:30 I was exhausted and went straight to bed.  I woke several times before midnight, but went right back to sleep.

Quote of the Day
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
Steven Wright

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Sunday December 8th 2019

Today Snow ending early this morning then clearing. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 10. Wind chill near minus 18. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness. Wind up to 15 km/h. Temperature rising to minus 6 by morning. Wind chill minus 17 this evening.

I'm up at 1:30.  I was waking up every hour or two, so decided to get up and have coffee, then stay up a while until I'm tired again. I've already slept about five hours and sometimes that is enough for a night.  Sometimes not.

At the moment, my feet are in lukewarm water with a teaspoon of bleach in hopes of dealing with dry skin that cracks.  This only happens here at home in winter when the air is so dry.  Going barefoot in Birkenstocks exposes my feet to the dry, cold air and that, combined with the tendency for my fee to develop thick heels can be a nuisance.

I suppose I could wear shoes, but I don't much like them and it seems I come by that honestly as my mother wears sandals much of the time, too.  I like sandals, too, because I tend to take my footwear off in the house and sandals are easy to kick on and off. If I wear shoes, my feet get hot and cramped., but shoes do have their place, as do boots.

Bleach is interesting in that it will remove skin, starting with the dry outer layers.  At concentration, there is risk of burns, but diluted, the effect is reduced, the extreme in dilution being swimming pool concentration.

I researched the idea beforehand and found this site most interesting. Generally, though, writers are very leery of bleach. In today's world of liability for everything, it is risky to say anything that might be misinterpreted by some fool.

In my own case, on occasion, I have washed my hands in bleach and if my hands were rough before, they were smooth a silk after a quick wash in bleach and a careful and thorough rinsing.  Don't try this at home, kids. YMMV.

As many thing, the dose makes the poison.

My problem is not unique. Amazon sells foot peels and the reviews are generally good, but I have never dared try them as I am concerned that if they misfire, I would not be able to walk for a week. I like being able to walk.  The worst reviews state that the product did not work for them, and nobody says it disabled them, but just the same...

For decades I have depended on a program named Synergy to run all my computers from one mouse and keyboard, so I installed Synergy on the new computer and tried logging in.  No luck, so I am waiting on support.  Synergy has always been a bit flakey since it can link computers running diverse operating systems like Linux and BSD and Windows in various versions.  With all those OSs mutating constantly, maintaining software to work with them all is a game of Whac-A-Mole. (Is it even PC to think about whacking a mole anymore? Even in pretend?)

The new computer is so big, nice, and fast that I hardly need the rest of my computer set-up and monitors most of the time.  I wonder how it will travel.  It is a big sucker!

So far, the bleach is not doing much as far as I can tell. maybe I should order a foot peel.  I wonder what the active ingredient is. I'll bet a home version would cost less than a dollar to make.  I ordered a kit online, so we'll see.

It's five o'clock and I'm going back to bed.

Whoa!  Where did my entries go?  I'm sure I wrote during the day, but I did have a software freeze and I guess it all evaporated. Start over!

Well, I got up again at eight and and spent the day reading and planning and tidying.

I've noticed I am becoming that old bachelor who lives in a mess. It creeps up.  Most of the spaces I use are neat as a pin, but the peripheries are gathering clutter.

I have a good excuse.  Throwing things out is hard.  Throwing out means sorting, lugging, loading and driving, then sometimes finding the gate locked or being sent elsewhere.  I also hate to throw away anything that might be useful in future, although odds are that the future is not as long as it used to be. Ten years?  That would make me eighty-four. I've been retired almost twenty years and it does not seem that long.  Ellen died six and a half years ago.

I don't mind the idea of being eighty-four, but I am already starting to detect age discrimination.  My marine medical complications are a good example. Also, my drivers license only renews for a year now, not five and they will put me through tests and nuisances from now one.  FWIW, I have a document saying my vision is 20/20 without correction, but...

I'm still not quite ready to mount the new furnace.  I am studying and planning and can see that the installation is not as simple as it could be, depending on what position I use. 

Horizontal mounting means re-plumbing the water disposal. I may or may not go that way.  Still undecided. No wonder no plumber/gasfitter is eager to do the job.  They are used to simple replacements of existing set-ups or new installs in new houses, not a job like this that taxes the mind and requires complex planning and time.

In response to my realization that I need to do some rearranging, I began clearing back the projects in the western work area of my main living room. 

The room is fifty feet  by fifty feet (two classrooms joined) and the main and dining region is open, but I had been working on house plants in the west side and it is amazing how the pots and debris have accumulated.  I'm becoming with the thought that I may need to reduce my plant collection.  Turning down the heat already began the process, killing off some of the least hardy.  I think overwater did in some others.  Plants don't need much water when it is cool and people don't seem to ken that.

I was up till midnight working on the project.

Quote of the Day
I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.
Ronald Reagan

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Monday December 9th 2019

Today Periods of snow. Local amount 2 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 3. Wind chill minus 16 this morning and minus 5 this afternoon.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 10. Wind chill near minus 13.

I slept in shifts and was up for a while at dawn, then slept until nine. Once up, I got to work on the marine medical, scanning and emailing documents and phoning.  I was finally caught up by two.

I'm still installing software on the new machine. Synergy is not working and support was no support at all, so I downloaded Mouse Without Borders and now have five screens running off one mouse and keyboard.

The day passed quickly.  I am still installing software and cleaning up. 

It is nine and it feels like one of those days when nothing was done although I worked non-stop all day. 

I'm still in my robe.

I was up until midnight doing odd jobs.  I decided to sleep in the bed with the memory foam for a change. I find that I sleep better if I move around, like a cat I guess.

Quote of the Day
I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road
and not be questioned about their motives.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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