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 February 2020

 

 

 

 

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Flying back from Baja California Sur

 

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Monday February 10th 2020

Today A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Clearing this morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this morning. High plus 1. Wind chill minus 12 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness early this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 7 with temperature rising to minus 2 by morning. Wind chill minus 11 this evening.

I'm up at seven.  The big thing this week is to see the Occupational Therapist and get that cleared.  This marine medical has been the big complication lately and I hope to get it over soon.  My deadline is the 13th.

Now, Even WHO has figured out that this is a
slow-motion train-wreck in progress.

WHO Chief Warns Virus 'Super-Spreader' In Europe Could Be "Spark That Becomes A Bigger Fire"

This Is How China Is Rigging The Number Of Coronavirus Infections
Asymptomatic coronavirus infection no longer counts as a confirmed case, in direct contradiction of WHO guidance.

I received a call from the occupational therapist and drove to Three Hills and an hour later I had a letter for Transport Canada. 

Before I left, the OT suggested I take a MoCA test, designed for "Early and Accurate Detection...to quickly find out how an individual’s cognitive function is affected". 

I scored 29/30, my sole error having been mistaking a sketch of a rhinoceros for a hippopotamus in my hurry. I was told that Donald J Trump had apparently bragged about his score, but he only got 27/30.

I had noticed a clicking in the left front of the van and it seemed to be getting worse, so I pulled into the tire shop and asked to have the tires checked and the wheel nuts torqued.

When the hub cap was removed, a stud and nut fell out.  A stud had sheared off and all the nuts were loose.  They torqued the remaining nuts, ordered replacements, and booked me for tomorrow afternoon to have the studs replaced.

I returned home and faxed the letter to Transport Canada. Now we'll see what happens next.

After lunch, I lay down and had a long nap and now am getting back to catching up.

Quote of the Day.
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right.
Ashleigh Brilliant

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Tuesday February 11th 2020

Today Mainly cloudy. Periods of snow beginning this morning. Risk of freezing rain late this morning. Snowfall amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 12 this morning.
Tonight Periods of snow ending overnight then mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Local blowing snow this evening. Local amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind north 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 gusting to 40 late this evening then becoming light after midnight. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 18 overnight.

I'm up at four-thirty.  I had breakfast spent some time at the desk, then went back to bed to doze a while.

The Wuhan Virus train-wreck continues (read here) and the 'conspiracy theories' and most worrisome projections seem to be proving out.

Here is a must-listen.
The low-down on Greenpeace and the climate change hysteria.:
Dr Patrick Moore - Renegade Report

I'm a bit tired today. I woke up with a dry mouth and my digestion is a bit off. I took the new statin for the first time last night so I'll have to watch and see what happens. Is it just a coincidence that I feel lousy and unmotivated today or is it the new drug?

In online user reviews, statins have a far percentage of negative user reports mentioning muscle and joint pains, memory loss, confusion, liver and kidney harm, etc. than other drugs, but doctors are quite adamant that they are beneficial and keep prescribing them. Doctors love to prescribe and I have to wonder how much this has to do with drug companies' advertising budgets and lobbying of doctors.

My neighbour is an addict. She does not accept the fact, but she is and when she starts to feel withdrawal she runs to the doctor for a pill. At one point she was practically a zombie.

Jordan Perterson was on the same drug and had to go to Russia to get off it. Western doctors just figured that the problem was dosage or choice of drug. More More.

The day is overcast with Storm Radar giving me warnings of snow starting.  I need to take out about ten drums of ashes soon.  Yesterday would have been perfect.  Today, less so.

I ordered anew 1TB SSD for the Acer, then realised that changing the drive might void my warranty.  I tried to cancel, but Amazon said it was too late last night although I only received noticed of shipping today.  Let's hope it makes a difference.

At ten, I went out and the drive has arrived. Now it is just a matter of installing it.

I took out my adapter, connected it and began cloning the 1TB data drive, then left for Three Hills to get the wheel studs replaced.

Quarantine centers set up at US military bases, DOD says

The tire shop charged me although the loose nuts were their fault. I'd have expected them to take responsibility, but nope. They had put the snow tires on and no one has removed the wheel since then.  I managed to get them to reduce the price a bit, but this shop is just terrible when it comes to customer service.

I came home and found the hard drive drive had copied over onto the SSD, so installed the new SSD and booted.  The drive was not recognised until I noticed the new drive had been reassigned as 'E', not as 'D'.. I changed it to D and now the machine runs as before and I'll soon learn if the SSD makes a difference or was a waste  of $$$.

Oh, yes.  It is faster, by far. I notice it immediately in calling up explorer folders with images, and web pages are drawn more rapidly.

I'm wasted.  I assume it is the statin. I took a long hot shower and booked off for the day.  I get like this sometimes. Years back, I chose a really big hot water tank and when I want a hot shower I never run out. I seldom use the sauna, but  I am now considering a steam bath. 

I'll lay off the statin a while and try again.  Maybe this was just a fluke, but I think I know.  I really should have asked that damn doctor if he eats these things or just forces them on trusting people.  Come to thinks of it, the pharmacist seemed to assume I would not like them and suggested just a one-month fill.  Good advice.

This SSD is just what i hoped.  Web pages fill instantly.

I am blitzed.  I'm not happy.  I'm not sad.  I'm too weary and brain-dead to do anything except listen to music. I'd watch a video but am not up for the depressing garbage that Netflix is making these days.  Maybe I'll watch Groundhog Day or Men in Black or some other oldie. 

I actually watched Better Call Saul, which I found entertaining.  It is very well written and acted and artistically shot.

Quote of the Day.
The day you realize that your efforts and rewards are
not related, it really frees up your calendar.
Scott Adams

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Wednesday February 12th 2020

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming south 20 km/h this afternoon. High minus 10. Wind chill minus 24 this morning and minus 16 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind south 20 km/h. Low minus 15. Wind chill near minus 24.

I was up for a half-hour at 0333, then slept until 0707.  I did not take the statin last night and I feel much better today.

There is not much real news on the Wuhan virus front.  The spread continues and more is unknown than known. The stock markets are on a tear, seemingly unaware of the risks and the inevitable slow-downs coming.  Zero Hedge continues to provide a wide range of background and the MSM is now admitting things that were initially ignored or denied.  Indonesia denies any issues there and we are hearing nothing from Africa in spite of Africa having close ties to China with heavy air traffic both ways.

Barb sent me this link

Solutions Underfoot: How Paul Stamets is Using Mushrooms to Save the Bees

I have no doubt that bees see things we don't and have their own ways of recognizing and obtaining substances that benefit them in ways we have no clue about. However, like much of the material written about bees, even by beekeepers and some 'bee scientists', much of the article is speculation, extrapolation and fantasy.

The phrase "Save the bees" is a dead giveaway to anyone who actually knows bees. The article includes the obligatory genuflection to the gods of Climate Change and Bee Disappearances, Colony Collapse, etc. which although widely accepted are in fact bogus, and the tacit acceptance of these myths leads me to question the rest.  There are, however, TED talks on YouTube on the topic of mushrooms and the forest fungi, that are worth watching. It is an interesting topic.

Well, wadyaknow.  I just (finally!) received an email with my marine medical certificate (right).  No restrictions.

What an ordeal that was, making me alter plans and even fly home to meet the deadline!

My new SSD was a good investment.  This laptop is now blazing fast.  Installation was quite easy, too.

Here's another place to read the news before it becomes news: NoTricksZone

I spent the day so far ordering a few things and had a nap. 

I awoke realising that probably there are two versions of the virus on the loose since the reports seem inconsistent.  One possible explanation is that either there is a mutant or that several closely related strains escaped at once. No one has suggested it, but personally, I'm going with the assumptions that there is some truth behind the leaked info and that is the explanation that reconciles them. 

Moreover, one report noted that all the dead so far appear to have been genetically Chinese. That seems peculiar and fits with the theory that this is a bioweapon on the loose.

Now I am going out to shovel coal and maybe snow.

I shoveled in half the coal that is on the bin and came in.  It was cold out there.  I'm still a bit weak, too.  I'm not at all ambitious either.

I'm not getting much done.  I should do things here or go back to Mexico but I am sorta stuck.  I'm committed to going to Mom's on March 5th and being in La Paz by the 18th when Gillian shows up there to act as crew for two weeks.

I really should get to the mountains and should go see Jean and family.

China Reports Huge Jump In New Coronavirus Infections, Deaths; Stocks Tumble

and now the cat is peeking out of the bag

Sudden Militarization Of Wuhan's P4 Lab Raises New Questions About The Origin Of The Deadly Covid-19 Virus

To my mind there was never much doubt. Now, when is the rest of the story coming out? Is there just the one strain or are we looking at several closely related strains with different outcomes?

I spent a few hours looking at potential flights and reading, then watched Better Call Saul until midnight and went to bed.

Quote of the Day.
He was happily married - but his wife wasn't.
Victor Borge

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Thursday February 13th 2020

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this afternoon. High minus 1. Wind chill minus 20 this morning and minus 5 this afternoon. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 11. Wind chill minus 5 this evening and minus 13 overnight.

I'm up at six and I have a cold. It has been coming on for a while, starting with raspy throat, but now I'm noticing stuffiness. I've been tired for the past week, too.  I assume I caught it on my last flight. I noticed the woman next to me had a dry cough.

It looks like seasonal normals today with overcast skies.

Here is a Baja California Sur promo video. Very beautiful.

By eight or so, I was weary and lay down to nap. I slept two hours and am now a bit faint, but the congestion and raw throat has cleared somewhat.  I'm guessing that I'm about halfway through this.

As it is, I'm not good for much.  I'm going through files and cleaning up. I sorted and printed my departure checklist.  There is a lot to remember to do before untying the dock lines and leaving for a cruise.

I think I'll change the battery and the screen on my Pixel XL.  I shattered the screen back in Sudbury and have replaced the phone since, but have the supplies to repair it.

They cost almost as much as the UMIDIGI F2 I am using now and which compares well to the Pixel XL and the repair is a touchy job. I see I bought an extra cover glass in addition to the complete front glass and LCD as a unit.

Here, finally is the perspective that has seemed obvious to me from the start being publicly stated by someone with credibility. Let's hope we are wrong.

In Shocking Admission, WHO Advisor Says Coronavirus May Infect Over 5 Billion People

But here is a more hopeful perspective
The Coronavirus Threat Is Greatest In Cities

Now to tackle the Pixel XL job. Here are my guides:

Google Pixel XL Battery Repair & Replacement Guide
Google Pixel XL Screen Replacement Guide

> Allen, perhaps keep a perspective on COVID-19. 10,000 Americans have died from the common flu this year. Perhaps exhort you’re readers to get vaccinated?

I am the first in line every year, having had the flu and pneumonia from it twenty years ago.

I assume everyone has the brains to get inoculated and if they don't, my exhortations won't change their minds.

> The fatality rate from COVID-19 is staying at 2 %.

We don't know that.  The data that has been released so far is very questionable.  We do know that this disease is unusually communicable.

One report says that 80% of those who contact it experience nothing beyond normal flu symptoms and some only mild symptoms.  That is very hopeful.

> No big whoop, will have impacts on global supply chains. And travel companies.

Agreed. We don't know the extent yet, but  it will be major. In fact it already has a huge impact but so far we are whistling past the graveyard and pretending...

It's a Wile E. Coyote moment.

> Most fatalities are elderly, same as regular flu. Very few young people showing symptoms or signs of infection. Some, but few.

I don't have that information. We do know that the original whistle-blower was relatively young and died.

Maybe you have sources I don't know about.  If you are following the MSM, which I don't to any great extent, what I do see is that they speculate endlessly on limited data and tend to downplay the severity and risks.

> Basic precautions in flu season are always well advised, and this seems to be the same.

When a Japanese medico in a hazmat suit gets infected from going aboard the cruise ship, and caregivers are coming down with it in reportedly significant numbers, I wonder.

> If youngsters start succumbing, new paradigm. Spanish Flu redux.

From the Wikipedia entry on the Spanish flu:

It infected 500 million people around the world,[2] or about 27% of the then world population of about 1.8 billion, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic. The death toll is estimated to have been 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million (about 3 to 6 percent of Earth's population at the time),

> Get a grip, buddy!  Worried you’re going down the rabbit hole.

Me too. Actually, I do have a grip, though.

This is the biggest thing happening in a while and it can reach everyone everywhere. I'm bored and this is fascinating to watch unfold.

I think I have reason to be concerned and to keep watching. In my case, I am not young and I have a 101-year old mother.  I travel a lot and right now have a cold, probably from flying a week ago.  Aaron had a cold shortly after he returned home, too.

My perspective is that this bears careful watching.  If this does prove to be what I suspect it to be, there will be an inflection point at which those who have been watching and making preparations will be glad they did.

Time for panic, it is definitely not, but I did skip going to Vancouver and the crowded boat show this year.

At this point, we have filtered and improbable numbers and the evidence this new one is very contagious. If it turns out anything like the Spanish Flu it will be a very major event, touch everyone and have long-term effects.

If not, we should know better in ten days as the experience in more transparent jurisdictions is reported, I assume, truthfully.

Thanks for your concern.  I hope I am wrong.  There is limited space down here in the rabbithole.

 

Comparisons:

Every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses. This figure corresponds to 795 to 1,781 deaths per day due to the seasonal flu.

SARS (November 2002 to July 2003): was a coronavirus that originated from Beijing, China, spread to 29 countries, and resulted in 8,096 people infected with 774 deaths (fatality rate of 9.6%). Considering that SARS ended up infecting 5,237 people in mainland China, Wuhan Coronavirus surpassed SARS on January 29, 2020, when Chinese officials confirmed 5,974 cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). One day later, on January 30, 2020 the novel coronavirus cases surpassed even the 8,096 cases worldwide which were the final SARS count in 2003.

MERS (in 2012) killed 858 people out of the 2,494 infected (fatality rate of 34.4).

At present, I'm going through a bout of what I assume is some distantly related virus, so maybe this is dry run for the real thing? 

I was about to work on the phone, but instead, lay down and slept about two hours.  It is getting dark now and I have still to shovel the ashes, but am feeling weak.  I do need to do them today, but maybe I'll watch video first. That does not take much energy.

I shoveled them and then watched Better Call Saul again until ten and went to bed.

Quote of the Day.
If it's the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?
Robin Williams

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Friday February 14th 2020

Today A few flurries ending this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Local amount 2 cm. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High zero. Wind chill minus 12 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 40 percent chance of flurries late this evening and after midnight. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 13. Wind chill near minus 16.

I woke several time during the night and took another Allegra-D and some Benadryl to get back to sleep. At three, I could not stand lying down any longer and got up to clear my head. 

I never watch video in the middle of the night, but sat down and watched another Episode of Better Call Saul then went back and slept until six and dozed until almost eight.  When I got up I was feeling much better.

I had breakfast and sat down to see how the world is doing. It's a new day with a whole new perspective.  As I said earlier, I estimate it will take another nine days to get the virus story straight and narrowing down the models to have a better than 50% probability of projecting futures with any certainty, if I can even use that word.  We simply don't yet have many reliable facts to base projections on now.   Any projections are bound to be very wrong--GIGO--but authorities have to act on some understanding and fine-tune as facts become clearer. Only time will tell.

“It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” ― Yogi Berra

Right now, we have -- I'm guessing -- a 25% understanding with a high degree of uncertainty.

I suspect the Chinese have a better idea what is behind it and the implications. I'm still not sure we are looking at just one virus on the loose.  The reports are not consistent enough for just one.

In the early stages, we can see a wide range of interpretations of the scant information reflected in the wide range of actions taken, from the draconian Chinese lock-down based on a worse-case projection formed late to the total absence of any action by some other countries (Africa?).

WHO Turns On China, Demands To Know How Nearly 2,000 Doctors Were Infected With COVID-19
WHO is a bad joke IMO. Like all of the UN it is a political entity masquerading as a serious organization.

'It's Coming': CDC Director Warns Coronavirus To Become Widespread Throughout United States, 'Probably Beyond 2020'
Seems very likely.  The question is, how lethal is it and can one become immune or will it just keep going around and around.

I received an email this AM from UP Development that enclosed some sample meditations, so I tried the first one. Very nice.  It made me aware of what I already know: I am uptight.

C emailed me and we went for a walk at 11:45.  Ce Ce tagged along, and by the time we got to the mailboxes I had to pick her up and carry her.  Chihuahuas are very small with short hair and more of a warm weather dog than an outdoor dog for our winter climate.

I returned and made a pot of chili, then unpacked the car radio I bought for Baja Magic.  I was surprised by how inexpensive it was and how small and full-featured it is. What a deal!

Smoking Gun? Chinese Scientist Finds "Killer Coronavirus Probably Originated From A Laboratory In Wuhan"
Maybe if denial and a cover up attempt fails, the next strategy is to get on top of the story and pretend there never was denial or an attempt to cover up?

This SSD has proven to be just what the doctor ordered for running Windows 10 on this laptop and the installation was dead-simple. 

Back to the Wuhan virus.  It seems obvious that the Chinese government knows something we don't. If this is truly an engineered virus, does it carry a delayed payload that presents some time after 'recovery'? 

Viruses are used as carriers for genetic modification.  If the Wuhan Flu is no worse than other flu, why the panic? We won't know for some time.

I recall when everyone was blaming beekeepers for creating antibiotic resistant AFB and I said, nope, it is horizontal gene transfer.  That turned out to be the case although beekeeping practices may have aided in selecting for those strains after they appeared.

Similarly everyone mocked Lamarck, but he had the last laugh when we discovered epigenetics.  Ooops, guess what?  Parents can pass the effects of actual experience down and not just their DNA...

I went searching..

(I'm using Yahoo! search now.  Sadly, Google can no longer be trusted to give unfiltered results.)

My friend says, "Don't panic".

Genetically Engineered Virus Dangers: Why Does Stephen Hawking Think It Will Wipe Out Humanity?

...Stephen Hawking has long been sharing his pessimistic views about the future of Earth and humanity, so it comes as no surprise that the physicist reiterated them at Oxford University this week, saying, “I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.” He encouraged people to pursue space travel and inhabiting other planets as the means for humanity’s survival because the doom of a nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or some other calamitous occurrence, could threaten our future here.

The genetically engineered virus as the cause of humanity’s downfall, although equally ironic, is perhaps scarier than the prospect of nuclear war because it is more of an unknown. What is it? As the name implies, it is a virus that has been created or modified at a genetic level. Scientists have started to toy with these viruses to treat other human illnesses, such as cancer. For example, researchers in a lab could create a virus that targets and kills cancer cells, curing patients without chemotherapy. But there are possible applications for just about any condition, including alcoholism. Smithsonian Magazine reported that a genetically engineered virus could reduce the urge to drink by introducing a certain gene into neurons that control behavior of an addicted brain, and then manipulating them into encouraging or discouraging the problem behavior...

...One article in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health targets viruses whose DNA has been modified as well as vaccines that use genetically engineered viruses. They “possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards,” even to people who are not the patient and to other species, the article says. And when the engineered viruses in vaccines reproduce with their naturally occurring counterparts, they may “possess totally unpredictable characteristics with regard to host preferences and disease-causing potentials.”

Aside from engineered viruses possibly creating offspring in our bodies in unpredictable ways that ultimately make them stronger and impervious to our current medical treatments, one way these modified or engineered viruses could start infecting us and spread like wildfire could be a containment issue in a laboratory setting, which is not unheard of — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a scare a few years ago when employees were at risk of exposure to anthrax...

Consider, too, that the rabies virus alters host behaviour and so do various other viruses. The most notable such viruses kill the host, but some viruses do not, however they alter behaviour, sometimes permanently and perhaps heiritably.

We underestimate the potential of viruses
How a mind-control virus turns caterpillars into exploding 'zombies'

If you were going to bioengineer a virus for warfare or world domination would you want it to merely make the 'enemy' populations sick?  Whatever its ultimate purpose, would you not use coughing and the proven features of the common cold or flu to spread it? It will be interesting to see if the disease alters the victims behaviour or personality after recovery.

"Apparently in Wuhan, there has been a rash of people showing little to no symptoms just collapsing in public."

Tired of websites asking or demanding you to turn off your ad blocker? 
Try either of these:
Disable JavaScript      Quick Javascript Switcher

I sympathize with website owners, especially as I am one, but there is no way I am ever going to look at those ads or buy anything from them so what is the point?  Some poor advertiser pays for a hit that is of no value to him/her.  So, ads or no ads, someone gets screwed either way.  I'd rather not be subjected to nonsense, wasted space, wasted processor cycles, and wasted data.

I actually had Google ads on this site at one time and it made me some pocket change, but IMO it is just not worth the bother and also devalues my site.

While it is fun and maybe useful to speculate here is the latest:

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Last updated: February 15, 2020, 00:32 GMT

Coronavirus Cases:

67,100

Deaths:

1,526

Recovered:

8,193

Well if these figures are anything like correct maybe this will just turn out to be a nuisance.  Just the same, in spite of the appearance of full disclosure we know that there are still some hidden aspects and the long term effects are unknown.

I'm pretty well recovered now but my chest hurts when I cough.

Dropbox sent me a notice of an escalation in price3 to $119/yr.  I see I have 66GB to move. Amazon gives me free storage and since most of my storage is photos and that is not counted, before needing a higher plan, I am moving to Amazon.  It takes time to research and switch, but saving $119 US a year seems a good plan. Google Drive and OneDrive are other options, but right now Amazon looks to be my choice. I have the bandwidth to make the transfer

Quote of the Day.
I don't believe in astrology;
I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.
Arthur C. Clarke

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Saturday February 18th 2020

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating late this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 3. Wind chill minus 7 this morning and minus 13 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 13. Wind chill minus 13 this evening and minus 20 overnight.

I slept well and woke at three-thirty, got up and had a shower then washed the dishes.

Somehow, things have changed.  I'm more relaxed.  Maybe the mindfulness meditation had an effect.  I usually sit down at the computer first thing, but not today.

I checked weather and Zero Hedge and see that things are moving along. AH seems to be the place to get the earliest hints. Ideas are filtered, obviously, but with a wider latitude.

The weather looks fairly crappy for the next few days. I'm not sure why I am here.  I suppose it is because I am not there.  I'm feeling better now, so should go skiing but the mountain weather looks marginal.  Minus ten is about as cold as I find comfortable for skiing and sunshine is a real bonus.

As for ZH, there is always food for thought. Decide for yourself.

And from the National Post:

"No evidence... that we can find". Is that the same is "It is impossible?  I think not.

I'm not the only one following this novel virus situation.

> ...Even expert epidemiologists seem to be all over the place managing
> incomplete information.

It is a Rorschach test.

> In some ways that cruise ship in isolation/quarantine with all the cases
> is a perfect laboratory from where to glean  information - assuming
> we are given all that is known.

I read that the quarantine director was infected but cannot find that
reference again.

> Will be interesting to see how it all plays out long term.

I'm hoping we won't see it first hand.

> Certainly the bizarre communist/capitalist hybrid in China makes it
> even more complicated to sort out. Lest we think of ourselves more
> superior, doubt North America would be doing much better.

Humans are social beings and hugely interdependent. Like bee colonies, we visit one another and exchange genetics. Anything that is the neighbourhood gets distributed.

> Was thinking last night about our rural area here and population at
> risk vs. medical attention centers and patient beds. Maybe the
> isolation in a rural area may help if this thing spreads.

Isolation is just a faint hope. The only plus is that everything gets to
the boonies late.

> And it is starting to appear as if there are big differences in
> susceptibility depending on health and age.

And race and gender. Plus smoking history.

> Been wondering, and some have asked me, about how much overwintering
> colonies are capable of moving honey around to get it located
> optimally inside the cluster, especially after they start rearing
> brood. Any observations, info, anecdotes from your world on that?
> It would seem that once they commit to an area raising a new round of
> brood, they need to stay there, and on warm days might benefit from
> moving honey from edges and distant areas closer to the brood?

True. If they do move, and sometimes they do, it means sacrificing
brood. Best is if they can move the feed but that means the feed must be
liquid and in a space where it gets warm enough to be manipulated and
does not chill the bees working on it.

That is where colony size and health is important along with wrapping or
warmth from sun during days.

People parrot that bees do not heat the hive, but they do if the hive is
tight enough and insulated enough and they get some help from the
environment.

Bees can ramp up their colony metabolism by a factor of about ten to one
as I recall and do on occasion.

I think Tzabo did some studies on cluster movement during winter. I
can't find them right now. Unfortunately my search shows he died recently or I'd write him. There might be a link in the BEE-L archives.

But we are now looking at spring and the colony mood changes. If
conditions get damp, the bees get very active.

Pirker did an interesting study -- Steering Factor humidity

I also came across some wintering articles I wrote for Bee Culture many
years ago.

Wintering Part One | Wintering Part Two | Wintering Part Three | Wintering Part Four

Covid-19 Contagion - An "Unprecedented" Moment For Our Hyper-Connected Planet

Another 'Nightmare At Sea': First COVID-19 Case Detected Aboard Cruise Ship Given 'Safe Harbor' In Cambodia

The Four Coronavirus Scenarios: The Bad; The Worse; The Ugly; And The Unthinkable

Above is a good estimate of the possible trajectories for this infection looking from today. Let's hope this whole thing fades into nothing a month or so.

As I have said before a time or two, though, it'll be a week a least before we have enough data points to reliably project a series and maybe a month before the projection s converge to make a really good prediction. At present, the R0, infective period, the incubation period, and the potential for catching it again are not sufficiently known.  There is sufficient scatter in the reports to almost suggest more than one virus.  Mutation is also reported and that could go any which way.

Disappointment! Seems my Pixel XL is history.  I changed the battery and screen and it will not boot. Bricked!  Bummer.  Not even worth putting back together or taking off the protective plastic.  I have no way of knowing what part is defective.

BTW, after rejecting the "Modern" start on Windows 10 and installing Classic Shell to restore the Windows 7 start, some time back, I decided to work with the standard start and uninstalled Classic Shell.  I still hate the tiles, but I find the rest of start to be fine.

Hubei Doctors Warn Of Even-Deadlier Coronavirus Reinfection Causing Sudden Heart Attacks
Article includes an interesting interview with a victim who had virtually no symptoms.

Mid afternoon the day was bright and beautiful. Temperature was up to freezing, so  decided to go for a walk. I emailed C.  No reply, so I put in a wash and went out the door.

I was halfway around town when she replied, so I walked back to her place.  We put up the new flag and then walked about half the loop.

The cold/flu bug knocked me for a loop and I have been accomplishing very little the last few days.  I have lots to do, but am unmotivated.  I'm here until the 5th, with an eye appointment on the 4th.  There is time to go back to La Paz for ten days, but I really should go skiing and enjoy being here.  The thing is that when I am here, I don't have much of a social life unless I drive distances and that does not appeal.  I don't even have a dog or cat.

I suppose I should get the year end to the accountant so I don't have to fret later and there is always the gas fitting and duct work to do.

I did a bit more meditating today and it seems to help.  I also again considered a vipassana ten-day session in April, but that seems extreme.  It is probably a good idea, but is a big commitment to spend that many hours a day meditating without having done a day or two first, and I wonder about comfort for an old guy like me.

"God Of Chaos" Asteroid Will Get Closer Than Orbiting Satellites In 2029, Researchers Warn Impact Would Be "Devastating For All Life"

I did laundry, watched more better Call Saul, and sat down to do some Spanish.

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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Sunday February 16th 2020

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 2. Wind chill minus 19 this morning and minus 4 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening. Fog patches developing near midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 10 this evening and minus 19 overnight.

I'm up at six.  Peeking out of the Rabbithole, first thing, I saw a fox run across the yard.  Then I checked the news.  It is fascinating to watch, like a slow-motion trainwreck.  It's a good analogy as far as it goes.

Quite frankly, I did not read the last three items in entirety.  Knowing the truth, if there is a truth as such, is actually impossible. I present them for thought, not belief.

Verifying the claims and documentation cited would be daunting if not downright impossible but from the beginning I've suspected, whether deliberate or accidental, biowarfare was mixed up in this.  I'd love to be wrong.

The cute thing about biowarfare is that there is really no rational response to a first strike, especially if it is impossible to prove it was an act of war. There is no tit for tat and unlike terrorism, no on lining up to take 'credit'.

Now why were the two Chinese virus researchers scientists escorted out of Canada last year? Could the answer be the exact opposite of what is naturally assumed? I leave it to your imagination.

Are we in the opening acts of World War Three?  If so, will we even know there is a war?

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.
T.S. Eliot

My friend says, "Don't panic".

I knew I should have done something today.  Looking at Nakiska, conditions look perfect and this is the last warm day for a while.

I've confirmed I'm going to Gull Lake tomorrow.

Back to the question.  Consider that China has been pulling the US's whiskers in the South China Sea, with confrontations and building military bases.

Search: "China challenges US militarily" with your favourite crawler.

My Gull Lake trip is now Wednesday. Jean and family plan to ski Tuesday.  I told her the weather is predicted to be below minus ten, so we will see.

C and I went for a walk at one.  The day is quite pleasant.

I decided to take out ashes, so I did, and I got stuck. I dumped the two drums I had pulled out of the basement and then stood there by the road a while. Patrick was clearing snow in his corrals and saw me, so he came by to give me a tug. I guess he is getting cattle.

By the time I was out, it was four-thirty and I quit for the day. I'm either out of shape or still getting over the cold/flu thing.

I made a bean salad and sat down to watch Better Call Saul.  previously, I was enjoying it for the novel characters and quirky twists but the last few episodes are less enjoyable.

I am thinking I really do not care for the Amazon Cloud way of handing pictures.  For one thing it does not seem to recognize dups.  For another, I cannot manage folders once uploaded.  It is cheap, but disappointing.  I guess in this case I get what I pay for.  I'm really surprised that Amazon, with huge web and Internet storage resources has such a lame GUI.

After I wrote that I looked at the Amazon pictures again and maybe I'll get used to it, but deleting is difficult and editing is limited.

Quote of the Day.
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
Samuel Goldwyn

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Monday February 17th 2020

Today Increasing cloudiness early this morning. 60 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High minus 10. Wind chill minus 14 this morning and minus 21 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Periods of snow beginning early this evening and ending overnight then 30 percent chance of flurries. Local amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 20. Wind chill minus 21 this evening and minus 27 overnight.

I'm up at seven and so far I'm really sluggish today. It's minus sixteen, headed for minus twenty-one. The air in the house is dry.

Well, I'm already bored with WWIII and am working on the books today.

If WWIII is already underway, when did it start, and will we ever know it is on? Will it ever end?

Ancient wars were fought hand to hand with crude weapons, then archery and armour and horses became the advantage, followed by gunpowder.  WWI was a paradigm shift as cannons and guns and airplanes and poison gases upped the ante, obsolescing the previous weapons of choice. WWII was fought with technology submarines, torpedoes, aircraft carriers, fighter planes and bombers, rockets, and finally two A-bombs. The A-bombs sobered the world up and decades passed in 'Cold War' with local wars but no worldwide conflagration.

In recent years, countries have been destroyed and at present, drones are killing people, South American leaders are dying mysteriously of cancer, countries are hacking and sabotaging one another's communications. Satellites are dogging one another in space and we now have a US Space force. Biowarfare labs are everywhere and even small countries have them. Overt attacks where the attack can be recognized for certain and the attacker definitely identified may well be out of date.  The new warfare may well be technological and biological arm-wrestling matches.

Oh, and here is a Twitter link that suggests the release of the virus was from the lab, but was truly an accident simply due to bad biohazard trash management. No matter.  The genie is out of the bottle now and the past has little importance compared to future actions.

Life goes on--until it doesn't. Unlike a nuclear war, a pandemic won't kill everyone or despoil the environment, so maybe we are in an eco-friendly war.  No destroyed cities, no sunken ships, no nuclear or oilfield contamination, minimal effect on wildlife...  Those who think humanity is a plague on the Earth will be pleased.  Until they aren't.

I went for a walk at one.  The temperature was minus fourteen with a breeze from the north, making it cold on the face.  I only did two thirds of the usual mile.

On return I did some bookkeeping and had a nap.  For some reason I am totally beat today and nothing looks interesting. It's five-thirty and I cannot think of anything I really feel like doing. 

I lay down again for a little while and could not even sleep.  I really don't want to watch Netflix. Better Call Saul was starting to haunt me. 

I keep thinking I should go back to Mexico, but have to be here to see the eye doctor on the 4th and have non-changeable flight to Sudbury on the 5th.  I could change my appointment blow the flight off, I suppose and fly direct to Sudbury.  I have promised to be in Sudbury for Mom's 101th and then have to be in La Paz by the 18th when Gillian arrives and preferably a few days before.

I am tired of the virus story. It's like watching paint dry. 

I know.  I'll study Spanish.  Thing is I've come to dislike Duolingo.

I'm going crazy here, so I took a look at flying direct from SJD to Sudbury. It is practical and costs no more than stopping here on the way through if I do go south a while. There is a long layover though that will require a hotel, but there is even an option to spend most of a day in Toronto on the way through.  I'm thinking...

Studying Spanish was the only thing that excited me at all tonight so I spent a few hours at it.  I am getting to where proper use of direct and indirect object pronouns is a puzzle.  Conversational Spanish teaches an instinctual understanding that sorta works, but I think while I speak and critique what I am saying on the fly so having a technical understanding makes speaking easier for me. If I understand the why as well as the how, things are much smoother.

Duolingo has brought me a long way, but it is cumbersome and annoying in its cuteness and slowness.  Rocket Spanish has an interactive mode where I can actually hear how I sounded  in a conversation and can take both sides as well as grammar lessons.  StudySpanish.com has some excellent lessons and quizzes but no apparent interactive audio that I have found.

It is ten and I am going to bed.  Hope to sleep right through and wake up bright tomorrow.

Quote of the Day.
Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.
Voltaire

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Tuesday February 18th 2020

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 11. Wind chill minus 27 this morning and minus 16 this afternoon. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming clear this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 23. Wind chill minus 20 this evening and minus 28 overnight. Risk of frostbite.

I'm up at seven again.  I slept poorly again, but am not a foggy.

Looking at the news, it seems reality is closing in. Looks like 2020 is going to be an 'interesting' year. We have blockades across Canada and the world is slowly realising that the Wuflu is not contained and likely will not be.

Beekeepers can compare this inevitable spread to the arrival and spread of both tracheal and varroa mites into North America. In each case, both quarantine and eradication of carriers were attempted, but the combination of the huge costs and the fact that detection is impossible until the infection reached established levels and the economic necessity of movement, both legal and clandestine, ensured spread, sometimes creeping and sometimes by leaps.  Looking at the wildfires in Australia where deliberate arson has been shown to be a major factor exposes the fact that there are people who delight in spreading mayhem.

The more pessimistic projections are suggesting five million dead before it is over.  I hope not. Moreover, that is assuming it will end and we don't know that for sure seeing as there are reports that immunity may not result from an initial infection and that a second round is more deadly than the initial bout. There is a lot we do not know.

Jean and family are going to Nakiska today and I am considering it but the weather is predicted to be below minus ten (left) and my rule is to avoid anything colder than minus ten.  I do have clothing and face protection for cold weather though.

Carnival starts on Thursday in La Paz (right). I am torn about being here.  This trip home has been disappointing largely due to the flu/cold that set me back for the better part of a week and blunted my ambition.  

I had to be here to complete my marine medical the obtaining of which was a huge and disruptive inconvenience.  Flying always involves the risk of illness.  I rate the risk at somewhere between ten and twenty percent, depending on time of year.

It is eight AM and if I am going to the mountains, I should leave by ten to be there in time for the afternoon ticket.  Radio road reports for Calgary indicate slippery conditions there.  I have studded tires and that keeps me on the road and going straight, but what about the others sharing the pavement?

It was dull and minus seventeen here when I finally left here at about eleven.  I figured I'd have a nice drive if nothing else.

Once I hit the road, I found the van was vibrating.  Snow had packed into the front wheels snow into the front wheels when I was stuck and turned to ice, throwing the wheels off balance. I stopped at Beiseker and used the coin car wash hot water wand to melt the ice out.  I was amazed at how little time a loonie buys these days.  It cost me $5 just to get the ice out in a matter of maybe five minutes.

As I drove, the sun came out and by the time I reached Calgary, it was minus seven.

I arrived at Nakiska at two, parked close to the lifts and bought an afternoon ticket.  I met up with Jean and Nathan on my second run and we skied more or less together.

The slopes were quite uncrowded and so we were able to cruis at high speed on the blues, pulling Gs on the turns and bashing down the Black Diamonds.

I made seven runs on the Silver Chair.  That gave me a little under 10,000 feet of vertical in the hour and a half on the slopes.  Not bad for an old man.  My best day ever in my prime was 50,000 vertical and the benchmark for full days used to be 30,000.

I left at three-thirty and was surprised my legs are not even slightly tired at the end. I was weary, though.  I had been less than myself all day and found that although I felt generally good, I was a bit weak.

I drove home, stopping along the way in Cochrane for a burger and to look for a piece of plywood for the dinghy (no luck) and Airdrie for groceries.

I arrived home around eight and was in bed by eight-thirty.

Quote of the Day.
When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
Sydney J. Harris

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Wednesday February 19th 2020

Today Sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 7. Wind chill minus 32 this morning and minus 12 this afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 16. Wind chill minus 15 this evening and minus 20 overnight.

I was up at three for an hour and had breakfast and coffee, then slept until eight.

Strange. Nothing new on the Wuflu front today.  I guess it is not news anymore.

Ooops.  Wrong.  There is this:

If you run up against blocking overlays on news websites demanding subscription or payment, try either of these extensions. They both work for me.

  

I understand the websites' need for revenue, as the advertising model is failing. There are too many sites that we visit to infrequently to subscribe to, though, for us to subscribe to each.  Google has a system where we can elect to pay a penny or two for each view from our Google account, and that seems reasonable to me, but when I tried it with The National Post's site, it did not work.  There was some link to troubleshoot it, but frankly, it is not my job to troubleshoot their product for them.  I installed an extension instead.

*    *     *     *     *

That ski trip yesterday was just what the doctor ordered.  It got me out and appreciating why I live here.  I had a rough re-entry this time, coming back after a good and adventure-filled month in Mexico.  The week of being sick with a bug did not help.  I now remember my many days and weeks in the mountains and my days out kite-skiing and much more.

Two weeks now until I my eye appointment and and fifteen days until I go east.  This afternoon, I am going to Gull Lake for Nathan's birthday cake.

*    *     *     *     *

The World's Top LNG Producer Is In Trouble.  There is a worldwide glut of LNG and in Canada we have blockades over the building of a pipeline to export the product. I assume that the glut is temporary but...  I also wonder about compressing natural gas.  I seem to recall it uses up about 1/3 of the gas to compress the rest.  That is pretty poor efficiency. Then it has to be transported and decompressed. Are pipelines more efficient than tankers?  Dunnio.

*    *     *     *     *

A reader sent me a link that proved invalid so I did a search on the title.  "Climate change models proven inaccurate:" Wow! It's a battlefield. In a war, the first casualty is truth.

This just in from a scientist friend:

"Here is an update from Nature, your trusted name in scientific news.  Not much new or useful.  Note the spread of model predictions based on the assumptions, but at least these scientists admit they are working with very incomplete data.  The cruise ship experiment is certainly a small crucible of all that could go wrong.  Even in that contained and closed situation the f..ups and misinformation are beyond belief, or maybe the critter is something of a virulence and uncertainty never encountered.

Me: Yeah.  Read that last line again.  Maybe both?

I'm still not convinced that this virus episode does not represent an opening? gambit in a new chapter of the forever war.  The players are all masked and cloaked and the motives and expected gains are unknowable.  In this war, a single player may be as pivotal as entire countries or blocs.  Consider the man who refused to launch.  We could be looking at the polar opposite: one person who decides to put an end to humanity and who works somewhere like.. a virus lab??  Consider this.  Yes, indeed. There are people like this and they sometimes, somehow, get into responsible positions!

Cambridge Academic Says Human Race Must Become Extinct To Save The Planet - A Cambridge academic has called for the extinction of humanity to save the planet while noting that white, male, heterosexuals are to blame for all the world’s woes.

*    *     *     *     *

Interestingly, I was born into a religion that says that one man saved the whole world.

*    *     *     *     *

Ken sent this to me.  Videos with transcripts and links to more. Good stuff:

*    *     *     *     *

Here is Aljazeera's take
 China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

China Deploys 40 Mobile Incinerators To Wuhan: Report
That they are intended to burn contaminated medical waste makes sense. The suggestion they are to burn bodies seems preposterous.

This adds the the incredulity: "...the mobile incinerators are able to destroy up to five tons of waste per day - burning a load in as little as two seconds."
Two seconds?  I don't think so.


You gotta admit though that Forrest had luck.   Looks like we're gonna need it, too.

10 Very Important Questions That The Mainstream Media Should Be Asking About This Coronavirus Outbreak

I drove to Gull Lake, had supper and drove home. I'm off to bed at eleven.

Tomorrow's Post

Quote of the Day.
Life is too short to dwell on what might have been.
Hillary Clinton

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