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Read yesterday's post
The temperature rose to minus eight overnight. I have my day planned. A beekeeper is coming by first thing to have me look at his brood chambers, then I am off to Eagle Lake to get the bridle piece I need and for some kiting.
Kiting access is often over unmaintained prairie trails or through fields. I'll drive the 4X4 in case there is drifting.
* * * * *
Today, I weigh 224.4 again. I say 'again' because this is what I weighed last September 3rd.
Today's weight is the lowest my weight has been in seven years, and exactly what I weighed on September 3rd after leaving the hospital.
The beekeeper showed up on time and his equipment looked just fine. He had a package that survived one winter but not the second. He had treated and the equipment looks perfectly OK, just a bit short of feed and without a lot of fully drawn comb.
I left home around 1045 and arrived at Eagle lake at 1140, a few minutes before Patrick. He had some students, but lent me his kite which is identical to mine to see if it was any different. I rigged the kite and found the wind had dropped to nothing, so joined his class for a few minutes.
After ten minutes or so, the wind picked back up, so I sent the kite up and had a good two-hour session. The snow was mostly untracked powder. The kite worked well and I sailed across the lake and back multiple times.
By 1445, my legs had had it and I know enough to quit while I'm uninjured and still having fun, so I sailed back to my truck, packed up the kites and drove to nearby Strathmore to shop.
I bought a few groceries at No Frills and stopped at Canadian Tire for tire chains and a Thule box for my van. The box is to hold my ski and kite gear if I do go to Mammoth. It will keep the junk out of the van interior regardless so I can carry passengers or lay out my mattress.
They had the chains, but not the box. I drove home up the 21 highway, and had a light supper. The truck is running well, but the exhaust or intake is noisier than I would like.
I ate a green banana and a small ice cream cone, but still came in well below my calorie budget for the day.
When a thing has been said and well,
have no scruple. Take it and copy it.
Read yesterday's post
I slept poorly and when I woke up at 0230, the temperature was minus one, well above the day's forecast high. I went back to bed after a while and slept until seven or so, fitfully. By sunrise at 0836, the temperature had dropped two degrees.
I weigh 224.4 again today -- no change in spite of a 3,000+ calorie deficit yesterday. I slept less, though and that could factor in. And, I'm not very ambitious. After breakfast, I went back for a bit more sleep, but I am not really feeling energetic. I'm a bit groggy.
It is around freezing out and the wind is up to 6 MPH, so burning boxes might not be a good idea. Perhaps I should launch a kite later, but as I say, I am not feeling ambitious right now. I have in mind to go and get the Thule box in Red Deer and at the same time buy a length of auger flighting I've had my eye on for a year but been too cheap to purchase. It's only $95, but sometimes I am a skinflint.
I've decided to revamp the bin buddy. It has worked admirably this winter and saved me much shoveling. Previously, I had Elijah do shovel coal and it gave him some income, but automating the job reduces the furnace work to a once a week half-hour task.
I spent the morning and early afternoon at the desk doing basically nothing, but I did reserve my flight to Victoria to take Cassiopeia across and to attend the Vancouver Boat Show. I ordered more coal, too.
It is one of those days, warm and breezy, but overcast and dull. It is, so far, not windy enough to push my buttons and make me go out to play.
I got tired of being inside and went out to burn boxes. I burned several hundred, some lids, too, and some pallets, but my progress is not really obvious to a casual glance yet. I have burned maybe a third of this stack now, and there are more stacks after this.
When I look at what I am burning, I wonder why I did not do this sooner. In going through the boxes, I do keep any that look good, and they are few.
I also remember now that I had built a box gauge that measured height and length and that we checked each box passing through extraction. Many of the boxes are too long or two short or too shallow and as a result, the frames won't hang right, or even will fall right out.
Nonetheless, I'll have a small stack of the least flawed left when done. Maybe. Maybe I'll just burn everything to get it gone.
The most reliable way to forecast
the future is to try to understand the present.
Read yesterday's post
I slept well, but woke up to find the house cooler than usual. I had not latched the south door and it had blown open.
Our normals have not changed in the last two weeks, but our days are now seventeen minutes longer than they were on January 1st.
Seventeen minutes is a 3-1/2% change and the daily change will accelerate in the coming months.
I weigh 223.4 today and am warned I am losing 7 lbs a week, so my progress continues.
I am eating well, and as much as I like, but am making sure I am aware of what I eat by tracking on Fatsecret.ca and avoiding calorie-dense foods or pigging out. I access and update my food diary whenever I eat anything at all, using my laptop computer or their Android app.
My vegetable stews (left - click image for a close-up) are very low calorie, nutritious, and quite filling. If I make sure I burn at least 500 calories by exercise, even if it is just housework, driving or shopping, that increases the calorie deficit and speeds weight loss. If I go kiting or skiing, that really makes a difference.
What to do today? I had thought I'd take a look at the furnace transmission and rebuild it. I might also take a trip to red Deer, but we will see.
Wind is predicted today, so maybe I'll go kiting, and any time I feel bored, there are more boxes to burn.
It is now 0811. I'll just get dressed, get moving, and see where the day goes.
Well, it is now 1020 and I got as far as the kitchen, cleaned up, then had an email to answer and found the forum software was out of date. Bringing that up to date took a half-hour and here I am, still about to get dressed.
So go my days...
I had a few little tasks lined up, so I went outside and tried programming some remote entry fobs. No luck. I think the batteries are shot. Then I installed the tire chains on the van and went to try them out. The van battery was flat, so I put on the charger.
After the van started, I drove around the driveway, adjusted the chains and decided they are a bit small for the tires. They could work, but there is no point no having the correct set. I am accumulating a lot of items to return.
It's windy in Calgary and the wind is starting to build here now, at 1300.
I was researching tire chains on the Canadian Tire website to see what store has the right ones and now I notice that the policy is exchange only and only within three days of purchase. Oh oh!
Let's see. I bought them Sunday and this is Tuesday. I'm running out of time.
I drove to Red Deer, bought the auger flighting, then returned items at the north Canadian Tire. They took the chains, no questions asked. Their Thule boxes were high on a wall, out of reach, and I wanted to compare before buying, so I drove to the the south store. Theirs were also a bit awkward to examine, so I bought both and will return the one I decide I do don't want.
From there, I went to Princess Auto and bought the same chains for $50 more than I had paid at Canadian Tire, but maybe they are the right size and will fit better.
I arrived home at 2100.
We really can’t forecast all that
well, and yet we pretend that we can, but we really can’t.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 224.2 today, up 0.8 lbs. Was it that Double Chicken Buddy Burger with its 960 mg of sodium?
I have the auger for the bin buddy rebuild now, two Thule boxes to evaluate, plus tire chains to try on for size. Wind is predicted with sun and warm weather, so kiting is a possibility. I see I forgot a few grocery items last night, so maybe that means a trip to Strathmore, and a side-trip to Eagle Lake.
My email and matters triggered by emails have already eaten up three hours of my morning. I did get two loads of laundry in, but the dishes wait in the sink. It is amazing how time flies. It seems like yesterday that I vacuumed and did laundry, but it is probably more like two weeks.
I have a runny nose this morning. It is only on one side so far and I hope that it does not get worse. That's the problem with going to town in winter and with eating in restaurants or drive-throughs.
I ignored the manual and put the chains on regardless of the possibility of interference with 17" wheels. Then I drove around, turned the steering all the way over and back, and found no interference. That does not mean the chains might not hit the body if the vehicle suspension bottoms on rough terrain if reasonable speeds are exceeded, or the chains get loose, but they will quite certainly work for me under the conditions I expect. Good.
These chains are of an interesting, self-adjusting design I have not seen before and are actually quite easy to put on. That does not mean -- even though it is warm today -- that I did not freeze my fingers doing the job.
* * * * *
I now have to decide on the Thule boxes. The longer one is actually smaller, 11 cu ft and the shorter one is larger at 16. Both are high enough to keep me out of parking garages, so that gives me reason to think.
I spent some time shuffling things around and thinking, but have not decided. Neither box will carry all the stuff I'd like to carry. Due to their fixed, hard shape and side loading using all the volume efficiently in either will be difficult. I'd be better with an open basket carrier with a tarp, but I worry about security, but in truth, even a hard box with a lock won't stop a determined thief .
* * * *
I last shoveled the ashes on January 7th. Today is the 13th and I could probably go another day, but that is what I thought on the night of the 6th and then found a problem the next morning after we hit a pocket of shale in the coal. I have no reason to push my luck, but I do want to know how long I can go between. It looks as if I can go seven days with the weather we have experienced this past week -- below normal -- until today.
I shoveled the ashes and got an entire drum. I saw more shale in the ash.
* * * *
My nose continued to drip, so I took an Allegra-D and that stopped it for the time being. I'm not too energetic today. maybe it is the cold, but I am glad I did not go kiting with the other guys. Seems they had a good time, according to Facebook at least.
* * * *
I'm finding I'm pretty serious about changing my diet and losing weight. What I am learning is actually quite shocking. What I thought of as food all my life is actually manufactured product designed to make me hungry, not satisfy me.
I'm even starting to think that 180 pounds might be a good eventual target now that I am seeing results and can see this might work. For now, 210 will do fine. That is fourteen pounds and a month -- theoretically -- away.
I also think I must be quitting drinking, too. It does not take much alcohol -- only a few drinks -- to make me feel lousy for days. It never used to be that way.
Now, if I can only remember that when people are drinking wine and a glass of wine looks tempting...
He's turned his life around.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 223.8 today, down 0.4 lbs from yesterday.
Last night was my best night of sleep in a while. I experienced no nasal dripping during the night and I slept six hours straight. My target is eight hours, but when I awoke at 0420, I was not tired, so I got up.
My nose is normal this morning. Did I dodge a bullet, or is the '12-hour' tablet still working some fifteen hours later? The expected effects and active half-life of any drug can vary widely from person to person.
It is warm and windy today, so I'll be compelled to go kiting. I could just go out my door and kite on the nearby fields, but they roll up and down, causing the wind to vary in strength and making returning to the starting point less predictable than on a flat surface like a lake, and I would be without companions for company and support.
That reminds me it is plant-watering day. That job takes an hour and over ten gallons of water. I measured. That is Imperial. Twelve US gallons.
* * * * *
I had to measure some lines on my newest kite to troubleshoot some performance issues, and while working on that I decided that the Thule system is not flexible enough for what I plan. I need something more flexible and realize I should be able to buy a huge duffle bag or just use a tarp and straps.
I wasted an hour or two online and could not find any bags longer than 48". My skis are 178 cm (70"). I think something like this (right) is going to have to be the solution -- a large tarp and bungee straps, perhaps with a plywood platform, perhaps not.
I would use a larger, heavier tarp than in the picture and wrap the contents better than shown here. I'd also make sure the tarp was well strapped so that it would not flutter and to discourage tampering by passers-by. Light tarps flutter no matter what you do, but heavy tarps resist flutter quite well.
Well, it is 1400 and I have done quite a few things, but nothing that really feels like an accomplishment.
I'm finally ready to go out kiting and the wind dropped. How about that?
* * * * *
I'm not doing supper here tonight. Enthusiasm for a weekly meal seems to have waned for now. Instead, I'll be going to The Mill. I'll take chili, seeing as they work during the day and I have the time, and the chili already made.
* * * * *
Well, I guess I do not have a cold. My nose has not been dripping today. Bonus!
* * * * *
Now that I have decided to return the expensive Thule boxes and build a rack, I am happier. I could see that I will never be happy with a solid box. I hate spending money and I like building things.
Now that I look carefully, I am thinking may not need to build anything. I may be able to simply put a heavy tarp on the roof, pile on the goodies, fold the tarp in, tie it up, and bungee it. The roof has reinforcing ridges and the racks will carry most of the weight. The rails provide a place to tie and I think that is all I need. I'll get tarps, ropes, and bungee straps tomorrow and test out my plan shortly.
I had supper at the Mill with Fen, Maddy, Lorelee, Bert and Betty. Fen and I decided to go to dinner theatre in Red Deer tomorrow night. The others did not seem interested.
I was home by 2045.
We forfeit three-fourths of
ourselves in order to be like other people.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 224.2 today, up 0.4 lbs from yesterday. I ate over my calorie budget yesterday. In spite of calculated daily calorie deficits totaling 11,140 over ten days, which should represent a 3-lb loss, I weigh the same as I did on the 6th. I have plateaued again.
I have not been as active the past few days and that is bound to be a big factor. I am also thinking that the energy-burn numbers that are given for various activities like housework, driving, shopping, etc. on Fatsecret may be optimistic.
* * * * *
Speaking of food, I am going to dinner theatre in Red Deer tonight and to be at The Mill to pick Fen up by 1630. Also, I have a load of coal coming tomorrow and have a few things to do to be ready. Other than that, I have bookwork and housework to do. With temperatures below minus ten, I am unlikely to go kiting.
I picked up Fen ten minutes later than planned and we drove to Red Deer. The country roads were covered with snow up to the undercarriage, but it was light and fluffy. The main roads were plowed and sanded, but snow-packed. Driving was just fine.
We stopped at Canadian Tire and I returned the Thule boxes and a trailer break-away system, and exchanged an air pump that did not work, then we proceeded to the Quality Inn and found the dinner theatre.
Dinner was the usual steam table buffet. I took a plate and sampled a bit of everything, then had a cream pie and a piece of carrot cake for dessert.
The play was Gladys in Wonderland (more) and this was the first night. It went off well and was quite enjoyable. Everyone did a great job. I actually enjoy these amateur productions more than I enjoy professional theatre.
We drove back south over snowy roads and by ten thirty, I dropped Fen at the Mill and continued home.
One is tempted to define man as a
rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to
act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 225.2 today, up one pound from yesterday. I blew my calorie budget yesterday at the dinner theatre buffet. I knew I was doing that and did not go crazy eating, but I did have a fairly full plate and cream pie. I did not bother counting calories.
In the forum yesterday, a forum member posted a thought-provoking link to a talk, that, among other things, explains very clearly how simple calorie balance cannot explain obesity. The evidence is quite obvious
I think this is fairly obvious and that calorie management is only a device to achieve temporary progress and that other factors are involved in long-term maintenance.
The video is an hour long and most of the talk is background showing that calorie balance alone cannot explain obesity and is worthwhile, but if you are impatient or already know all this, the real message begins at around the 45-minute mark and the conclusions around 55 minutes.
Maybe I have not mentioned glycemic index and glycemic load lately, but these concepts are central to my diet philosophy. I have monitored my blood sugar for years now, precisely because I am aware of how rises in blood sugar are implicated in weight gain and health problems.
I worked on the bin buddy in the afternoon and the coal came at 1700. To fill the bin before the yard drifts in, I ordered before the bin was empty, so there was coal piled, on top of the bin again.
So, I went out after supper and found tarps and old tires to weigh the tarps down and covered up the pile.
It is a beautiful cold winter night. Windchills of minus forty are predicted, but, dressed properly, it is fantastic out there. There is enough light that in years gone by I'd be skidooing with friends and enough wind tonight that I'd be kiting if I had company. Flying around the fields alone at night, though, is not prudent.
My diesel truck that was so hard to start at zero is now starting for me at minus twenty. I plugged it in this morning, ran it, and then it sat for hours. After that interval, it started right up. I find that very encouraging.
Instant gratification takes too
I weigh 222.6 today, down and amazing 2.6 pounds from yesterday. This the least I have weighed since 2007 or 2008.
Patrick plans to go to Spray today. I have one of his kite bars and need to get it back to him before I go to the coast. Although we have minus twenty here at sunrise, with minus sixteen as a high and snow predicted, the forecast for Spray is minus three, sunny and windy. I don 't feel like going since I leave tomorrow for a week and have odds and ends to tidy up and some worrying to do first, but we shall see.
It's ten, now, and the go/no-go moment. I still have things to do, so my decision is made. No go.
Around two, I heard from Patrick. He was going to Weed. I said that the temperatures were a bit low for me and he said it was expected to warm by mid-afternoon and since I wanted to get his bar to him and pick up my line extensions, I decided to go. I was at Beiseker when he texted they were thinking of leaving Weed and going to Namaka. If I had known that, I could have gone straight to Namaka, but I said, "OK".
I was extremely low on gas, so we met up at Hwy 1 and Road 270 and drove together to Strathmore where I filled up and had coffee. They went ahead and soon changed the plan again, this time to Eagle.
I thought of going home, but decided to drive the twelve kilometers out of my way to see how it went. They were having a good ride on sister kites to my Lithium, but Patrick said it was about as cold as he had ever been kiting. He guessed minus twenty, but my van said minus fourteen.
No matter the number, I had decided it was too cold and too late in the day for me. Minus ten is my cutoff, especially with the sun low in the sky and disappearing behind cloud on the horizon. I watched a while and then drove home. The picture tells the story. That is what an Alberta late afternoon a January looks like. Dark.
I received a summons for jury duty a while back, requiring me to report tomorrow morning. I was eligible to be excused and had applied to be exempted on the basis of age, poor memory (True -- I had forgotten about it) and distance, but heard nothing, so I phoned the recording number on the form just now and apparently the jury call had been cancelled. That is a good thing -- for me at least. I have a ticket to YYJ, leaving at noon tomorrow.
What I ask is this: if half a little pill like the one shown can lower my blood pressure by ten or twenty points and slow my heart by ten, what can these larger items -- and the various other things we eat with little thought about effects -- do?
We know what the pills do, or should do, but what do we really know about common foods?
Last thing of the day, I crawled into the bin to adjust the bin buddy demand switch that determines when the coal has dropped and more is needed. Everything else works AOK, but the switch needed a little adjusting. I think I got it, but I am not totally happy with how it is working.
Morning will tell.
I am not one of those who in
expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.
I always wake up early on a day when I make a jump and when I awoke at 0429 this morning I was wide awake I got up.
I have lots to do before I go, and must leave by 1000 at the latest.
First thing, I noticed that the bin buddy switch had not triggered, so that needs some fiddling. Why do I do these things at the last minute?
I left on time and dropped Zippy at the Mill. She did not really want to stay there, but what other choice was there? Besides, she has a good time there and the staff spoil her to the extent that she is a nuisance when she gets home, wanting in, out and lots of attention.
I parked at the lot and caught the shuttle to the airport and soon I was getting out of a taxi at Port Sidney Marina. I visited with the charter company staff a bit, went for groceries, then pulled away from the dock, headed for Russell Island.
By the time I reached Dock Island, I realised that sundown comes early at that location, even though it is south of home, not later as expected and that I was an hour from my destination, with night falling soon. I checked the moon phase, turned on the running lights, and called Bruce. I figured that I might go into Fulford and have supper with him if I could see well enough to go that far.
The moon was waxing gibbous and although there was some cloud, I figured I'd be okay so I proceeded. I don't normally move at night in these waters since there is so much driftwood, but it had been blowing all day in one direction and I was not seeing any logs. I also could follow the lighted path of the ferry terminal lights reflected on the water.
I arrived at the pier, docked perfectly in the semi-dark, tied up and met Bruce. We ate at the Rock Salt Restaurant and I totally ignored my diet, other than having a chef's salad in place of chips with the two beers and what turned out to be a ginormouus lamb burger.
We left the restaurant around eight. I returned to Cassiopeia and turned in early.
A man has to know his limitations.
I woke up around 0330 and wondered how things are at home. Lacking Internet, I had not checked before going to bed. Now I wondered if I should worry.
I got dressed and prepared to walk up the street to where I would find a signal on my phone, but gave it a try from the boat and was able to see the cameras. The signal comes and goes here.
I went back to bed and slept until weight, then cast off and sailed ov3ere to Ganges. That took a few hours. I decided top tie up at the Ganges Marina and paid $32 for the privilege even though I saw no one and the only service I received was the privilege of tying to their dock and walking on the docks. I figured I did not want to put the outboard on the dinghy and was unsure of where I could leave it, so tying up was easiest.
I met Bruce at a dockside bar and had two beers and some wings. My diet is having a day off. We then walked around town then went to his place for supper. We had steak and I had wine with the meal.
After supper, he drove me back to the marina and I called it a day.
A thing worth having is a thing
worth cheating for.
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