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 December 2019

 

 

 

 

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Winter sunrise in Swalwell

 

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Tuesday December 10th 2019

Today: Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Periods of light snow beginning near noon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 16 this morning and minus 7 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight: Periods of light snow. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 12. Wind chill minus 10 this evening and minus 17 overnight.

0700: This morning I have a doctor's appointment at 11:15 to have some spots burned off my head again and discuss the marine medical.

I did sleep better, although I was cold at one point. It seems when I sleep in a different place, my dreams from the previous location don't follow me. It is not that the dreams were bad, but moving beds, like moving around in space generally provides a different viewpoint and perspective.

I drove to town and met with the locum.  I had gone originally to have some actinic keratosis spots burned off my scalp but I had been discussing my marine medical problem with the staff earlier. She was interested and as it happens, she knows my former cardiologist and called him while I was there and left a detailed message explaining my problem.  She promised to get back to me, then burned off the spots with liquid nitrogen.

I had a burger, bought groceries, and returned home. I was not very energetic, and wasted some time installing software on the new Asus gaming machine, but by three was back to reading up on the new furnace.

I went downstairs and took the front panel off.  Sure enough, there were some items inside, including hard copy of the manual I have been reading.

While down there, I noticed that the coal furnace is up to the line with ashes and went back down after a while to shovel.

I had noticed more unburned coal and/or shale in the ash than usual and had the time before and the ash volume is greater than expected so decided it is time to lift the grate and clean under it. Ash falls down and builds up under the air slits and impedes the air flow, resulting in poor efficiency and wasted coal.

The job is not difficult, but involves sticking my head and shoulders into the furnace though a door that is about fourteen inches by fourteen high, manipulating forty-pound castings, and scooping out sand, cleaning, then and re-pasting the sealing surfaces and putting the castings back together.

The cement really should cure before being subjected to high heat. The cement Sis a thick water based paste with isinglass content that dries and also hardens chemically, so I lit the burner, ran the fire up a little, then turned the fire off to let the heat soak into the cast iron and let the cement cure for a while.

While my head was in the furnace, at around seven, my phone rang and it was the doctor.  The cardiologist had gotten back to her and said that the marine medical folks want the whole meal deal -- stress test and full work-up--and she is going to try to get me in on an urgent basis to fit in with my comings and goings.  I have to say I am really, really impressed with her an the folks at the the local medical clinic.  They are really taking care of me.

This medical means driving to the city, being injected with something toxic, running on a treadmill, the n coming home. It is a huge unnecessary imposition and expense for me and the medical system, but who knows?  It may turn up something that saves my life.  Some say that everything happens for a reason.

I often don't use my 150 GB allocation of data on my local service, but with the new computer, I have exceeded any recent month!

I equivocate about the furnace location. I have several choices and the installation is quite straightforward if I am not too fussy, but I tend to be fussy. and no one of the possible candidates is ideal in all respects.

It is eight now and I am back at the desk.

I have to say I am funny sort of person.  I seldom watched videos or movies, then got into almost binge watching, and now find the idea unappealing.  I do find the occasional YouTube video worth a little time though.  I was also working hard at Spanish and now have done very little for a month or more.  Go figure.

My teeth almost feel normal now, and I've adjusted to the new bite, but several are still a bit sensitive.  regardless, my mouth is better than it has been for a while.

At supper the other night it was mentioned that IO had ten crowns an extraction and a root canal for under $4,000 in La Paz and Jake said he had his whole mouth capped (26?) teeth for $6,000 in Los Algodones two years ago and is still very happy.  I'm assuming he meant US$.  I was talking Canadian as I paid in pesos, so the cost was about the same.

I said to be sure to get that dentists name if anyone at the table was planning to go to Los Algodones since, although I know two satisfied customers, several people who went to Los Algodones with me were not happy with the work of the dentist we found there.

I was up until midnight doing odds and ends.

Quote of the Day
A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.
Don Marquis

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Wednesday December 11th 2019

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 9. Wind chill minus 18 this morning and minus 12 this afternoon.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 13. Wind chill near minus 19.

0300: I woke up and smelled ash, so I went down and checked the furnace.  Nothing was out of place.  I think I had some dust in my nose.  I went back to bed, but now I was a wake, so I got up and had some coffee and did a wash and cleaned up files on my computers.

I'm also moving the Mint Linux image over to the new machine thinking the larger, faster system may run it better than the old Samsung.

Asus: 16 GB RAM, Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750H CPU @ 2.20GHz, 2208 Mhz, 6 Core(s), 12 Logical  Processor(s)
vs.
Samsung
: 4 GB RAM, Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 480 @ 2.67GHz, 2667 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)

At 0445 I am still up and thinking of breakfast.

I had breakfast and went back to bed at six-thirty.  At nine-thirty, I awoke again after a wonderful sleep.

The day went by and I did housekeeping tasks and reading but accomplished little on my task list that I can recall.

After supper, Amanda came by and we discussed having her daughter take over watering the plants.

I went to bed early. but could not sleep, so got up a while, then was in bed by midnight.

 

Quote of the Day
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Winston Churchill

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Thursday December 12th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 10. Wind chill minus 22 this morning and minus 13 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 14. Wind chill near minus 17.

I woke at seven-forty-five.  It was still dark. We are approaching the winter solstice, so the days are almost as short as they will get.  It is minus sixteen outside.

I slept well and am glad I moved to this bed.

As I regained consciousness, I was aware of a sense of dread, not overpowering, and not specific, but general.

This feeling passes and is not unfamiliar at this time of year.  It had not disturbed my sleep in the least. Perhaps this feeling is instinctual as we approach the shortest days of the year with its increasing seasonal cold and darkness. For me, the feeling was much worse in fall when I was a young adult and came on earlier in the season. The feeling is much weaker and am aware of it much more infrequently as I have aged.

I suppose that an attempt to distract from this deep animal intuition may be the impulse behind the distracting and active fall, winter and spring festivals celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere beginning with Halloween, then Thanksgiving (US), Winter Solstice (Christmas), New Years  (Gregorian), and to end the cold and darkness, Easter.

I am still reorganizing and planning today.  My weight is down to 227.4 with no effort on my part, but my BG is still higher than I like at 6.9.

Too Much Skin Washing?  I think so.

It is four o'clock and this has been a pretty much wasted day.  I came close to buying an outboard for my dinghy in Mexico and then decided the website was a scam after a bit more research.

All that took time, then I saw an email for 50% off base fares from Westjet and spent some time considering my future flights but after some deliberation decided that my plans are too fluid to purchase this far ahead. Another hour wasted.

I also noticed prices had been jacked up for the sale and know that they fluctuate over time and often get much lower for a few days now and then, and I have time to wait.  Then, finally, I noticed the sale was just for domestic flights and my big expense is flying to Mexico and back.

Jean and the kids are coming down Saturday, so I think I'll cook the turkey and invite some friends. 

What happened to yesterday's post?  I just went back and fixed it up.  I have been moving form one machine to another and it seems things got lost.  That happens.

I had expected the new laptop would be much faster than the old Samsung and it is faster, but the difference is not as noticeable as I had expected.

At suppertime I found I was craving some beef so made beef chili, but without chilies or tomatoes. (What do we call such a dish?)

I also decided I was not getting much done and had maybe had too much coffee. I wasn't biting my nails, which I do when  I've had too much, but my mind was going in circles.  So, I drove to town, bought some beer, then returned home and spent the evening doing nothing much.  I had a chat on the phone with my brother and a friend, then went to bed around eleven.

Quote of the Day
Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.
Mae West

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Friday December 13th 2019

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 12. Wind chill minus 21 this morning and minus 16 this afternoon.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 15. Wind chill near minus 21.

I slept well, and I'm up at 0555.  First thing, I weighed myself and found I'm down to 226.2! I can't think why. I check BG and  BG is 5.6! This trend is a surprise. It's a nice surprise, but puzzling.Annual Temperatrures in Kneehill County

At seven, I went back to bed and slept almost to nine.

The day is dull and the trees are snow-covered. Temperatures are well below freezing, running from minus thirteen to minus seventeen.  The furnace is working steadily.  I had to shovel ashes this morning as they were getting up again. I wonder how good this coal is.  Coal is a natural product and occurs in seams (layers) underground.  The heat content per ton can vary considerably as can the ash content.

The day passed and I sorted and cleaned.  I put the charger on the car and noticed the battery turned on the lights, but did not crank the engine.  It has been sitting and I suppose I should disconnect the battery so it does not get drawn down again by the parasitic currents for the receiver for the remote fob. Amanda and her daughter dropped by at five-thirty to learn the plant-watering job and look at the furnace.

I decided to reset the Acer and maybe give it to Ruth.

At 2030 I am tired and decided I am not getting anything done, so I am off to bed.

Quote of the Day
The world is a globe — the farther you sail,
 the closer to home you are.

Terry Pratchett

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Saturday December 14th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries this morning. Clearing this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 10. Wind chill minus 19 this morning and minus 13 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 18. Wind chill minus 16 this evening and minus 21 overnight.

I'm up at 2:30 after sleeping since 8:30 last night.

Today I cook the turkey and have about ten over for supper. Right now, though, I'm cleaning up old files on my computers and finishing the Acer reset.  The reset process is underway since about seven last night and has not yet completed.  The machine just sits there with a spinning circle. 

In my experience with Windows, it pays to be patient.  I recall during upgrades twenty years ago that sometimes it would take more than twenty-four hours for Windows to meditate with nothing seemingly happening before finally waking up and acting normal.

The Acer is a bit low on brain power and was sluggish, even after installing a new 500GB SSD.  It was pretty cluttered from use over time and we'll see how it runs with a refreshed and uncluttered installation of Windows 10.  Previously, it would not upgrade to the latest version (1903), but maybe it will now.

I was never a fan of the Windows 8 Start menu and always installed Classic Shell to restore the traditional XP and 7 Windows style start menu, but lately have removed that layer and am using the Windows 10 start.  It has evolved to where it does what I want although the live tiles are a pain and consume data.  I turn them off.

Wow! I'm down to my last 10GB of data for this month.  Something has been eating it up.  Spotify?  The reset and Windows Downloads?  Linux Mint Cinnamon downloads? Good thing I'm only here a few more days.  I do have 8GB+ of Public Mobile cellular data in reserve, though. 

That is plus the 1.4 GB on my Mexican account, so I put the Telcel SIM into my spare phone and for some reason, I'm not seeing a connection.

It is five now and I am going back to bed.

After a few minutes I decided I was not falling asleep so I got up and had breakfast.  I usually sleep well after breakfast, so I'll try again now at 0615.

I went back and slept until 0830 and got up.

I played with the computers a while, trying to make a Mint Linux bootable thumb drive to run Mint Linux Cinnamon on my various machines and to install ML on two retired machines.  I had in mind to give one to Ruth tonight, seeing as he laptop bit the dust some time back.

Booting from a USB drive is not a simple as it once was and I gave up after a while.

The Acer, which I had thought to have restored Window3s would not boot and also would not boot from the USB.  I gave up.  The other older, smaller, slower Acer did restore and I began the setup, but when it asked for an account decided to leave that for Ruth.

Jean and the kids showed up at four-thirty.  They brought me a beautiful plant arrangement to go with my Christmas cactus.

I made popcorn and and we played a few hands of Exploding Kittens.  The game is as weird as the name. It has 4.6 rating on  Amazon, so go figure. Exploding?  Kittens?

The others came at six.  The turkey was ready right on time. We sat around a while and I finished making supper, then the ten of us sat down. 

We had a good supper with lively conversation and everyone left around eight-thirty.  I finished in the kitchen and went to bed right after.

Quote of the Day
Avoid fruits and nuts. You are what you eat.
Jim Davis

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Sunday December 15th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 7. Wind chill minus 22 this morning and minus 10 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Clearing near midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 16. Wind chill minus 14 this evening and minus 19 overnight.

I slept well until five, then got up, feeling fine.  I stayed up a while and had coffee and put dishes away, then felt tired, so went back to bed. I overdid it last night.  Too much good food and wine. Sometimes it affects me sometimes not.

I couldn't sleep, so got up and finished emptying the dishwasher.  By then I was tired and went back to bed.  I dozed and slept and when I finally got up, it was ten.

It is now 24 hours until my Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI) Stress Test tomorrow in Calgary at 0815, so I am not to drink coffee. I can't eat or drink after midnight and should be parked and inside the facility in Northeast Calgary by 0815.

That means joining the jam of vehicles squeezing into Calgary down the Deerfoot Trail during the morning rush hour.  I'm wondering if I should get a hotel to be close in morning or drive in extra early to be sure not to be sitting on the four-lane while they investigate an accident in the morning.

The first  chart shows traffic entering Calgary in the morning. The second is the traffic exiting in the afternoon.

Looking at this chart I see I would be entering at the peak.  Any minor accident and I could be sitting quite a while, so last-minute arrivals are out of the question. Google thinks, though, (right) that if I avoid the Deerfoot and go the back way, I should make it in an hour and fifteen minutes. So, I'll allow an hour and three quarters to get there and find parking and the entrance and I should be on time. My test takes six hours, so maybe I'll have a chance to beat the fleeing masses in the afternoon crush.

I'm quite stressed lately, first about leaving my home in this cold season and second, now, about the marine medical and this additional demand placed on me, seemingly arbitrarily.  If I flunk it, I may not be able to act as sailing instructor even though the criteria are for active seamen, not, IMO, instructors.

Even though I am  was resentful at the extra effort this test demands, and consider it bureaucratic butt-covering and can-kicking with age discrimination thrown in for good measure, maybe it is for the best.  Maybe it will save my life, although I doubt it. 

I have become increasingly skeptical of the efficacy of much of medicine lately.  The rapid and uncontrollable dissemination of information and opinion due to the Internet has turned over rocks and changed how we see things.  W see now that money and influence are behind recommendation of formerly mandatory practices and drugs. Food recommendation and drugs still prescribed are being questioned and some are seen to have come into widespread use simply due to marketing, not their efficacy.

To me, even though some aspects of our current medicine have saved a lot of lives, including mine, other parts of medicine look more like witchcraft, profiteering, and busywork. 

I'm laid back today and mostly just resting up for tomorrow.

Amanda and MLE came by to do the plants and the furnace ashes.  Amanda reminded me to go for a walk, so when they were finished, I donned my snowsuit and did a walk around town.  I did not do the whole mile, but took a shortcut down Main Street as it is a cool night with a breeze.

On returning, I realized that I need running shoes for tomorrow morning and looked around.  So far, no luck.  I know I have a pair in Sudbury and one in La Paz, but Swalwell?  Apparently not.

Next I checked the Wal-Mart hours in Calgary and find they open at seven.  That should save me, but that means driving the Deerfoot at the crush or just before the crush.

I was beat and went to bed before nine.

Quote of the Day
There was a knock on our dressing-room door.
 Our manager shouted, 'Keith! Ron! The Police are here!'
Oh, man, we panicked, flushed everything down the john.
Then the door opened and it was Stewart Copeland and Sting.

Keith Richards

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Monday December 16th 2019

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h near noon. High minus 7. Wind chill minus 20 this morning and minus 14 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 10. Wind chill minus 15 this evening.

I slept lightly and woke up a number of times during the night.  I was finally sleeping soundly at five when my alarm woke me.  I was groggy and definitely far from my best. 

I have not been looking forward to the heart test today.  I generally want to know the facts and my motto is "The facts are friendly", but now and then some self-deception seems in order, as in "What you don't know can't hurt you" in cases where knowing the facts won't help, but could spoil the party. Like right now.

Anyhow, I do want to keep instructing and captaining cruises and Transport Canada insists, and Sail Canada insists, even though the job is not demanding and I am a lot safer and less of a danger to the public--if there is a risk--on a boat in ope4n water with crew than driving down a crowded six-lane at 75 MPH.   Nobody seems worried about that.  Yet, anyhow.  Don't tell the nanny state.

So, I rested a bit, got up and showered, found my papers, went out the door, and started the van.

I was on my way by six, planning to get to Wal-Mart in time to buy shoes. The dashboard said minus eighteen as I turned south on Range Road 243.

My BG was 5.9 this morning (good) and weight 231 (From the big supper the other night?).  I could not take medicines before the test and was not allowed coffee or food either, so was not feeling all that chipper. 

I was dopey enough that when I turned on the heated seat, which I was counting on to keep me warm, I actually turned on the entertainment system instead.  The buttons are close and each turns on a similar LED. So, the van was cold and I was getting chilled as I sped south.

As I passed the graveyard, the traction control light came on.  The road is snowy, so it did not seem odd, but it stayed on. Then another warning light lit up.  Who knows what these symbols mean?  Whatever happened to "Alt", "Temp", "Brake".  Now it is graphics that mean nothing in any language.

The van slowed and would hardly go.  I turned around, then had a thought, so I turned off  the engine and re-started it.  That light stayed off a moment as did the traction control light, then they came on and the van was limping again.  I turned it off again, waited a moment, then started up and the lights stayed off, so I turned around again and headed south, figuring that I have AMA and they will tow me home if need be, but I am not going to miss this damned appointment if there is a chance of getting there.

From the manual, which I read on returning home:

3. Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Light This light informs you of a problem with the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system. The light will come on when the ignition is first turned ON and remain on briefly as a bulb check. If the light does not come on during starting, have the system checked by an authorized dealer. If a problem is detected, the light will come on while the engine is running. Cycle the ignition key when the vehicle has completely stopped and the shift lever is placed in the PARK position, the light should turn off. If the light remains lit with the engine running your vehicle will usually be drivable, however, see an authorized dealer for service as soon as possible.

So, it seems that I did the right thing instinctively.

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I think the issue was the cold and starting up too quickly.  At any rate, the van ran just fine and was warming by the time I headed west on 575. 

Just as I got up to speed, 110 KPH, a herd of deer appeared on the road ahead of me in the dark.  I hit the brakes and the deer that were already on the road scampered across.  The last two which were starting to cross stopped and reversed direction so quickly that they skidded and fell as they turned.

Seems the deer have learned.  Darwin in action. Back in 2001, in almost the same place, at the same time of day, the last of the deer parade, instead of retreating, ran to join the rest on the road.  As a result one was killed, and my car was wrecked.  It seems that after a few generations, the animals learn.  The ones that don't become roadkill and don't reproduce.

I was beginning to think that this is either my unlucky day. So far, trouble has shown up twice when I was not even five miles from home. But maybe it is my lucky day as I had already dodged two bullets before dawn.

I arrived at Wal-Mart and bought shoes.  I was not feeling at all great or inspired, but found a pair that fit and went on the the Cardiology lab, arriving right on time.  I arrived at 0815, but it was 0955 by the time the test began. 

I am always amazed at how the medical businesses can expect people to wait, and wait.  Not only that, drive back and forth to various appointments. Things are definitely set up for their convenience, not the patient's.

I did the treadmill test and they injected radioactive dye.  I got to 142 heartbeat and called it off.  I don't know how far they might have gone, but that is my recommended top rate, so I figure I did okay.  Then they did a CT scan and turned me loose for four hours after which I returned for more CT and an EKG and I was on my way. I was given a letter for the airport security folks in case I set off an alarm since I will be radioactive for a few weeks. 

By then it was three. I stopped at a plumbing supply on the way home, then had a burger, my first food since last night.

From there, I went to Costco.  My plan was to buy hamburger in hopes that their meat is higher quality than IGA now sells. IGA's hamburger chews like gravel.  They must grind up old milk cows.

We'll see.  The price was better.  Of course, being there, I bought a few more things.  As I was going to the checkout, I came across robes.  I have needed a new one in the worst way.

I searched the pile and found they were all small/medium and was about to accept that s/m would fit well enough when I found the last remaining large under the pile.  Bonus!

I drove home and turned up the heat.  That was an okay day.

I have not watched any video since Mexico, but I may tonight.

Or maybe I'll try again to boot to Mint Linux using this method seeing as my last try failed.  Seems more exciting.

Well, in the middle of things my Internet throttled back to almost zero/  Naturally, I suspect it is my ISP throttling.  I have been watching because for the first time ever I am approaching my 150GB limit due to downloads and maybe streaming Internet radio.

According to their site, I should still have six GB until I hit the limit, but there are different ways to calculate GB.  One is decimal and one is binary and the difference is 1024/1000 or 102.4%.  150 GB in one measure would be 146.5 and my usage at the moment would be very close to the 150GB line.

Airenet is hard to reach after hours, so I am using my cellular data. I still have 4,500 GB of that left and can get more cheaply from Telcel if needed to finish out the month.

Public Mobile:

If I run out my Public mobile data, I'll renew early and change plans.  I don't need the US phone or data for the foreseeable future. Hmmm.  What about the unforeseeable future?

Well, the USB drive I loaded with Linux Mint Cinnamon boots the Acer.  The OS is not running quite right though, but that could be the Acer's fault.  I installed the OS and that ran better, but the cursor disappears.  At 2 AM I gave up. 

Meantime, though, while I was waiting on the Acer, I compressed the C:\ drive on the Samsung as it was getting low on space.  Compressing increased the headroom from 38 to 62 GB.  We'll see if it affects performance.

 

Quote of the Day
There was a knock on our dressing-room door.
 Our manager shouted, 'Keith! Ron! The Police are here!'
Oh, man, we panicked, flushed everything down the john.
Then the door opened and it was Stewart Copeland and Sting.

Keith Richards

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Tuesday December 17th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High plus 4. Wind chill minus 19 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light before morning. Low minus 5. Wind chill minus 7 overnight.

218.6  6.5

I was up after midnight playing with the Acer and the Mint Linux installation.  The Linux installation seems perfect and runs fast, but the cursor disappears after a while and I have to reset the computer and reboot.  I managed to install updates, but that problem persists.

That is the least of my worries right now, though.  My main Internet has dropped back to nothing and I depend on it for many things.  Also, I have two days to get my ducks in a row to go east.

I'm thinking now that when I return from down east on the 31st that maybe I won't head to Mexico on the seventh, but maybe put it off another week.  I have things to do here and I worry about this place.  We'll see.


I had called my ISP, Airenet, last night when the Internet dropped, But it was late and I got a recording so I left a message.  I had no response this morning so I phoned again and asked if I was being throttled.

I was told, no, that the Internet trunk upstream had gone down last night and was back up.

 Coincidence.

I said I was worried about being close to my 150GB limit and running out shortly.  Because I am a legacy client, the company then doubled my quota for free to 300GB.

That is a big change in attitude for this company.  In the past, they had what I can only call a bad attitude.  Today, the attitude was positive and helpful.

So, that outage wasted  a lot of my time last night and today and caused a lot of worry, but I wound up with a good result. The outage had a bonus at the end.  Good thing I asked (and nicely).


"The Elites Don't Give A F*ck": Bannon Explains Why Boris Won, Blacks Dig Trump, And What GOP Needs Most Right Now

This nails it. In Canada as well as the US.  The 'elites' just don't get it.  Trudeau would have been toast, but the Conservatives ran a 'nice guy' against the jerk who won and let the other parties frame the issues.

The people don't actually want a nice guy. They want someone who provides real jobs, and not government jobs and if he or she is a bit of a bully, they figure he/she is our bully, standing up for us.  Our current Canadian government is giving away the store and crippling the economy.  I heard that over half of working Canadians now work for a government entity.  True?  If so, this cannot go on growing forever.  Governments are inevitably horribly inefficient and corrupt no matter in what country.


I don't see any slowdown on the Samsung from compressing the C:\ drive.  In fact, it seems snappier.

 


C decided she would walk today, so we did the loop at two-thirty, again taking the shorter route via the mailboxes. CeCe stayed home as C figures it is too cold for a Chihuahua.  She said she knew nothing about the Internet glitch as she had gone to bed at midnight and it was working when she got up. 

My 8.5 m2 kite was fouled up last march when I took it out in Sudbury.  I had just stuffed it into the bag and brought it home.  In cleaning up, I came across it and laid it out.  The lines are still a bit confused but I packed it away with a note to self to further examine the lines when it is fully laid out and anchored.

 


Figuring out how to handle return air has been a main holdback in installing this new furnace. I had not been able to figure out how to easily make up ducts that come close to meeting code.  Meeting code does not matter much to me, but meeting the considerations behind the code do matter--a lot.

I have done some research in the past, but tonight I got down to digging deeper.  Some time back I had found a supplier of standard duct shapes but had not figured out how to order.  Today I searched their website and found what I need.  I also found some YouTube videos that explain how to assemble them.  So, now it is just a matter of measuring.

I bought a manometer on Amazon a week ago to measure static pressures, seeing as knowing the distance and back-pressure is important for ensuring efficient operation and long furnace life. 

I'm confident enough now that I was wondering whether to order a second furnace now, but figure I'll wait until the new year since I'll be away.  I'd worry I might miss this excellent price, though.

 


 solution to the various zones would be to have more smaller furnaces, rather than two large ones.

I already have one 120 BTU unit that modulates down to 87,000 BTU but maybe should look at several small units for the rest of the job.  They are not a lot cheaper and each one means more tin and pipe work, but the redundancy reduces risk of system failure and distributing the load over several furnaces almost guarantees any failure, other than electric outage will only reduce the system output by a fraction.  Although there is more tinwork, the tinwork may be easier and simpler.

I'm surprised that this idea escaped me until now. The smaller output units are physically only a bit smaller. For example, a 60,000 BTU unit is 17-1/2" wide compared to 24-1/2" for the 120.

One other concern is the static pressure of the existing ducts. My current air handler is not sensitive to back pressure, but the new furnaces are. I suppose that factor can be calculated from measurements. (Guess what, it is. See here.)

This whole business can be as technical as I wish to make it.  I'll calculate, but my approach will also be to install and try, but if the static pressures are too high, then what?

I went to bed again around midnight.

Quote of the Day
Life doesn't imitate art.
It imitates bad television.
Woody Allen

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Wednesday December 18th 2019

Today Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this morning. High plus 4. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 12 this evening.

218.6 6.5

I'm up just before six and this is my get-ready day. MLE and C will be over sometime this afternoon to do a final training on the plants and furnace.  I have to put things away and pack.  I always think I must do far more than I actually need to and actually do before going.  It is simple really, but I always over-complicate things.

I am a lot calmer now that I 1.) decided to stay here longer in the New Year and 2.) think I made a breakthrough in my heating project and see a clear path ahead.

However, I woke up realizing that this cardiac evaluation requirement for my instructing may well blow up a major aspect of my travel insurance.  Although I have not had any heart symptoms, my precautionary approach and demands by Transport Canada to prove I am sound may make my insurer regard any heart issues that arise as unstable and excluded from coverage.  Catch 22.

I'm hoping the cardiologist does not decide I should be taking a pile of pills. Even a slight change in prescriptions--and doctors love to prescribe-- definitely would render my condition unstable by the insurance definitions.

This whole business is major complication and hopefully for nothing.

   It's 0637 and time to get on-task.

Ooops! A funny thing happened on the way to getting to work.  I stumbled onto this amazing blog about home heating and indoor air quality that anyone can appreciate and understand.

I'm glad Airenet boosted my data allotment.  I see I am now over the 150GB, currently at 151.65 GB.  I think that streaming radio must be eating the data.  I stream radio or podcasts on Spotify for about seven hours a day on average. Eight hours uses about a GB according to the web, but some apps may use more.

Of course, the new computer downloaded a whole lot of email, too, and I did a lot of other things.

Today is turning out to be a beautiful day.  Good, because I have things to do outdoors.  I should make sure the boats are secure and that the crossbow does not fill with snow and ice during freeze/thaw cycles and do damage.

I realized that to measure static pressure I need pitot tubes and the best I could fined on Amazon was $57 del'd.  I found them elsewhere for $20 less.

This is the first time Amazon has been beaten on price lately.  Ebay is almost a lost cause these days.  Things are too costly and delivery times are long.


C & MLE came over and did the furnace and plants after three. I did not really need two people, but figured it good to have backup, especially as C has done the job so long.


After my dental work, I went back for a bite adjustment and mentioned to the dentist that I was experiencing a slight sore throat and maybe it could be strep.  I was flying out the next day.

She prescribed a pill I had never had before, Azithromycin 500mg, and I was to take one each day for three days.

I did that and went to the States for Thanksgiving.  A few days later, I had a single bout of diarrhea and I wondered if I had the dreaded c-difficile, but ever since my bowels have been better than they have for decades. It is unbelievable, really.

Could it have been that antibiotic?  Could three pills have had that big and positive effect on my bowels?  I've taken amoxil and doxycycline and several other antibiotics, but never experienced this.


I'm uninspired and just waiting around to leave.  I have still to pack, but that is a minor task.  Meanwhile, I put the charger on the truck and started calculating duct sizes. 

From my initial research I should be fine for static pressures and friction. I'm seeing what HVAC design in 2019 can be pretty technical d have a new appreciation for the guys who installed the ducts back in 1956.


At seven, I am packing and already getting tired.  I have to leave at 0430 tomorrow, so I don't want to have too much to do at the last minute.

I just realized I have not checked in for the flight. I did not get a reminder!  I have to remember to set my own reminder as Air Canada cannot be trusted to remind me 24 hours ahead and the best seats go fast.

I finally did check in, but am in the middle seat far back on the long leg. That should not be too terrible.

I'm off to bed at nine with two alarms set for three.

The data consumed to date this month is up to 154.18 GB.

Quote of the Day
The secret of the demagogue is to
make himself as stupid as his audience so
they believe they are clever as he.
Karl Kraus

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Thursday December 19th 2019

          

Today Clearing late this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High zero. Wind chill minus 3 this morning and minus 10 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness this evening. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Wind becoming south 20 gusting to 40 before morning. Low minus 10 with temperature rising to plus 1 by morning. Wind chill minus 17 this evening.

My phone woke me at one to tell me that Aeroplan has changed its terms of service.  Really?  I need to know that at one AM?  The phone is on "Do not Disturb" for a reason.

Notifications have gotten out of control.  My phone pings me now to tell me to erase unnecessary files.  The list goes on.  Turning them off is like Whak-A-Mole.  Every app and every service thinks it is important enough to break into my peace and quiet.

Things I do want to come through, like the phone ringer get mysteriously turned off in midday while pointless items like Aeroplan changes somehow prioritize themselves.

Notices get sent automagically all times of day and night.  Google calendar reminders used to have a time of day setting, but now may come in at any time and disturb me.  Ugggh.

But no device or service thought to notify me to check in 24 hours before the flight.  To add to the craziness, on a two-leg flight, the 24 hours is from the beginning of the second flight, not the first, so if the difference is six hours, others have a six-hour head start on the better seats on the first leg.  I suppose if the layover is 24 hours, one cannot check in online before the flight?  Crazy.

So, I am up, two hours earlier than intended and too sleepy to go back to sleep right away.  I am slightly stuffy, so will sit here a while and have some coffee, then maybe go back on the rack.

It's two now, so maybe I'll lie down again. 

I dozed until the phone pinged again with another unimportant email at 0230.  I was still thinking of the furnace ducts and had some in sights about the original configuration and how to have two furnaces feeding the same duct.  Next I knew the alarm went off at three.  I got up and had a hot shower, the best way to wake right up.

Now, I have an hour and a half until I leave and not much to do but I like to give myself time to be fully awake and not just jump out of bed and get behind the wheel in the dark.  By this time this afternoon, I should be in Toronto. I see my layover there is almost three hours.  That's what I get booking the cheapest flight, I guess.

I hear the coyotes yapping outside.

I pulled out a four-thirty and was at Bert's shortly after five.  I was at the gate almost two hours early and on the plane a half-hour before take-off.

I slept during the flight and played solitaire on my phone. Toronto gets disorganized with minus twenty weather, so we sat waiting for a gate for twenty minutes  or more.  At the moment I am sitting in the waiting room for flight AC 8611 to Sudbury which is delayed fifteen minutes at present.

We were delayed an hour.  Bill arrived right on time and drove me to 1207.  Mom is as ever.

I watched some Netflix before bed: "The Movies that made us".  Very entertaining. 

I was in bed after midnight.

Quote of the Day
The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.
Arthur Schopenhauer

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