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Monday August 1st, 2016: I decided to get the pool filled and ready for when the grandkids come. It had become overgrown and gained three inches of dirty water since I had it cleaned and ready before I left. It took me a while, but I siphoned out the water and cleaned it out again, leveled the sides and then began filling.
The pool is full now and reads fifteen degrees Celcius, which is too cold for swimming. Mike built a solar heater for his pool (right) that really warms the water and I may do the same. Turns out the pool has a few tiny leaks, but nothing to worry about. I'll patch them.
I have been planning to get a Nexus 6P, so began looking online. There went two hours on eBay and Kijiji. Buying a used phone is fraught with perils, it seems. Then I noticed that by twisting the phone in my hands, the speaker would work for a while, so a bad connection somewhere was a possibility.
Then I got to thinking and realized that the earphone jack has a mechanical switch built in that turns the speaker off when earphones are plugged in and that switch might be the cause. Switches can accumulate corrosion or lint on their contacts and anything there will interfere with the connection when the plug is removed. In that case cycling the switch off and on very positively can clear the obstruction and restore contact, so I plugged a headset in and out multiple times and now the sound seems to work. We'll see how long this lasts. I still plan to upgrade my phone soon.
Rain fell heavily all night accompanied by sheet lightning that came near, then retreated and returned. The basement is damp again today with water in the shop.
Zippy was restless and scratching again this morning, so I gave her another bath. The rest of the morning was spent catching up this site. In the afternoon, I did more bookwork and filing, then started tidying. Somehow the place has gotten messy and in need of a thorough vacuuming. I also need to get the plants under control. Between the dog, the house and the plants, they are running my life and keep me from running away to sea.
I watched some video and then vacuumed half the living room. I am amazed at the difference it makes in how I feel about then place. If I don't vacuum often, the rug gets a fine coating of dog hair and plant debris which I find depressing. Vacuuming is very satisfying, and the actual vacuuming is easy, however the job, done properly, involves moving furniture and scatter rugs, etc. and reaching behind larger items, so is a bit of a chore.
I now have the pool pretty well set up and the books more or less up to date and this diary back on track.
A neighbour who bought bees from me has gotten very interested in expanding, so I suggested swarm catching. That is a cheap way to get an education. She caught one swarm and worked with another beekeeper on a cut out at the same site.
We assume the swarm had come from the hive they cut out, but when they opened the wall, there was comb, nectar and honey, and bees, but no queen or brood. The swarm reportedly seemed to have no queen. How could a hive with no brood swarm, and throw a swarm with no queen(s)?
There was reportedly another tiny swarm at the same spot as the first the next day. Also, the bees remaining at the cut out site were in a number of small clumps, not a cluster the next day.
Might the colony have absconded due to mites? No riding mites were reported, so that sounds doubtful.
My guess? they only cut out part of the hive and there are more bees in the wall. I lent her an infra red thermometer. (Pictures courtesy Sera).
My computers converted to Windows 10 run much more smoothly and I have jiggered them to appear and function much like Windows 7 using Classic Shell. I never see the live tiles or Cortana. Maybe some day I'll try them out, but at present, I don't see the need. Regardless, just for the performance improvement, I'm glad I did the upgrade.
BTW, the upgrade is still free, but not advertised in any obvious way, apparently for users of "Assistive technology" Could that be you? Why not?
From Windows Secrets...
I looked at the site and it appears to be true. Makes sense. M$ wants everyone on board Win 10. Also, I imagine that a lot of people put it off too long and had as much trouble as I did. I started early, knowing Murphy is always around the corner, but I am sure many who were not as lucky (or skilled) as I got caught short.
I've always thought that M$ might well, a week or so after the deadline, announce that they understand some might have had problems and allow a grace period.
The only reason for being a professional writer is
that you can't help it.
Today is a blank sheet. I slept in until 9, then puttered around until noon.
I recently subscribed to Kijiji email alerts for the Nexus 6P phone, and today there was mention that Newegg is selling the phone for about the same price as people are wanting on Kijiji. The Newegg phone is brand new and with warranty. No worries about hidden defects or seller dishonesty or lapsed warranty. So, I ordered it even though my Nexus 5 is working fine. In fact, my Nexus 5 got an OTA O/S update today.
Moreover, for $85 extra, at Newegg.ca I get a 3-Year Newegg Replacement Coverage that seems to cover damage and water. Seeing as it cost me $6/mo. for the coverage on my Nexus 5 and I did use it once for a $50 brand new replacement after a dunking, I figure this is a good deal that works out to a little over $2/mo. We'll see.
On more careful reading, I found the warranty was not what I thought, but merely and extension of the factory warranty which is basically worthless since factory defects usually appear within days of purchase. I cancelled then order and will re-order without the extra cost.
The rest of the day went by without any much accomplished. I mowed some grass and topped up the swimming pool and that is a bout it. No ambition at all.
Before bed, I set one laptop to install the Anniversary Edition of Windows 10 and left it for the night.
In heaven all the interesting people are
I slept in again. My weight seems stable at 217. If I want to lose weight, I'm going to have to work at it, it seems.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update installation had completed overnight without issues and all I had to do was run through setup again, and setup again tried to reset all my privacy settings. I overrode those changes and then the machine stated resetting all my program defaults to Windows apps, one by one, with notifications. That is most annoying, and the worst is that Edge insists on handing some calls, like calls from Thunderbird even after I assigned all the file extensions to Chrome.
Zippy is still fine, and now can sleep peacefully, but I'll bathe her again soon to make sure the lice are history.
* * * * *
When I checked the pool this morning, the level was down again. Curious. I looked at the back and hose had come apart again. The sun has weakened the plastic over time and the pipe had cracked earlier, and I had taped it up. Now, the tape had come apart. Time for a new hose, but where can I get one to fit?
Next, I decided to cut grass. I had intended to let it go, but the chaos bothered me and so I spent a few hours on the mower.
* * * * *
After lunch, the pool thermometer read eighteen degrees Celsius (66F), and I recall we swam at eighteen last year so I went in -- and I found it cold.
Then I decided I have to go to town. I am out of snacks, even healthy ones like fruit and need some variety. I also need a new pool hose and patches. Moreover, I need to get out more.
I cut more grass, made lists and drove to Airdrie at around 1600 to get supplies. Top of the list was a pool solar cover and pool patches. After the pool shop, I bought groceries and drove home.
* * * * *
At first recovery appeared hopeless, but the homeowner was willing to have us look inside his front door and the ceiling panels looked easy to remove, potentially revealing the swarm which had just moved in. He got a little ladder and began removing them.
I had ice cream in the van so I begged off and headed home, leaving them to do the job. I heard later that they were able to recover the bees.
I put the groceries away and trimmed the new solar cover to fit the pool, noting when I started the job that the water had reached twenty at the end of the day. It will be interesting to see if the cover makes a big difference. I still have to repair the hose.
I also plan to simply paint the south and west outsides of the pool black. I suppose the risk in doing so is that the pool could look awful. Possibly, the paint could peel or damage the skin or I could get the pool too warm. If I used the external solar heater Mike and Meijers use, the heat can be shut off, but using my plan, I'll have to shade the pool if I need to reduce the heat, but otherwise this system seems much simpler, cheaper, and more direct.
Martyrdom... is the only way in which a man can
become famous without ability.
I slept in again this time until ten. I had been up until two. Went to bed earlier and could not sleep. No reason. Just couldn't, so I got up until I could, and it took two Benadryl to make me sleep.
Today, I plan to mow grass, tidy the shop, and paint the pool. I may even work on the bees.
I should also wash the dog again. I first washed her with the special shampoo on the 29th of last month and washed her since, but it is time.
The lice eggs take a week to hatch, so there may be some new nymphs and I want to head them off before they have a chance to develop and breed. The systemic should be taking care of them, but relying on a single control is never wise.
The day is dull and the pool dropped to eighteen degrees again. Maybe I need to build a Redneck Pool Heater.
I tried various mechanical tricks, and got an "ECU not responding" from my OBDII dongle and Torque cellphone app, so gave up for the moment and posted on PowerStrokeNation.com. Their forums have saved me before.
Then I went back out and noticed that the truck headlights were on... I went over. Absent-mindedly, I apparently had left the key on. I turned the key and the truck started normally, so I went back in and wrote this:
Then I ordered the Nexus 6P. My Nexus 5 has been flakey, even after the fix.
Next I have to deal with Westjet. After midnight last night, not sleeping, I decided to buy my October flight to YYJ for the Thanksgiving Rendezvous. As a frequent flier, WJ had given me a $50 discount, expiring in two days, so I attempted to use it and the web page screwed up the deal, so I have to phone them. The two earlier attempts today were met with a warning that there is a long phone queue.
In late afternoon, ay 1756, I managed to get through and had a long session with a young lady who had the same problems with their website that I did. Westjet's computer systems are problematic and have been for years now. She had to re-enter info over and over. I figured she was new and she had to get assistance with the balky system every so often. It took thirty-four minutes to straighten it out. I had her on speaker and was busy with other things while she struggled, so did not mind the long waits and time on hold and was very patient and agreeable, imagining what she must go through. I would not want her job.
I cut grass until dark. The lawn mower is getting hard to start when hot now. It might be time for a new battery. It's been six years.
Again, I was not able to get to sleep easily, even at midnight.
Risk is most dangerous when it is least apparent,
and least dangerous when it is most apparent.
I slept until nine and awoke to dull, rainy day. The forecast does not look much better.
My truck won't start and the lawn mower starter is acting up. My furnace began smoking in the middle of the night. Seems to be a bad moon for machinery in my life today.
Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.
I woke up sometime after three AM to the smell of coal smoke, so I got up and went downstairs to the shop to see what was up. In warm weather, the furnace burner only runs a few seconds every hour to keep the coals lit and for some reason, the chimney was not drawing. I turned up the thermostat to generate more heat so the chimney would draw and the problem went away.
Once up, I stayed up until five, then went back to bed and slept until ten. I wrote an article in the forum in the interim.
I did some mowing and sprayed Roundup on weeds, took my Nexus 5 cell phone apart, tinklered with it and put it back together and presto!, it works. I had given up on it and ordered a Nexus 6P. I can see this phone has been damp by the indicator (I already knew that), and see quite a bit of lint in there. Nonetheless, it will probably be good for another year and will make a good backup phone. I have several SIMS, so can run several services at once when crossing borders.
Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.
I slept better last night, after I fell asleep sometime after one, but still not as well as usual. I'm having to cut back on coffee, because all of a sudden, the past few days I find myself keyed up and unable to get to sleep before midnight. Too bad; my new Hamilton Beach 12-Cup BrewStation with Removable Reservoir arrived on my doorstep yesterday.
I suspect the problem is allergies to dust or moulds from mowing, but hate to take drugs for them.
As soon as I set up the pool, the weather has turned cooler.
I am weary these days and have no ambition to tackle the bees. My yard is a huge job and the bees and that section of the property just adds more stress.
I went out and sprayed more Roundup on the driveway. The rains this year have made everything grow uncontrollably. Makes me yearn for the '70s when we cut grass once in July and did not need to cut again for a month or more. Now the passing of one week results in tall grass. Of course, back in the seventies, 100 lbs was a good crop and many years some beekeepers never got to extract.
Suddenly, around noon, I was feeling more ambitious and washed the dog. Finally. I think the lice are licked now. The vet phoned and said I should give Zippy one more systemic to be sure.
Then, when I checked the pool, the thermometer said twenty Celsius, so I see that the solar blanket is working. That is encouraging. Now to the next phase...
For now, I just painted an area comparable to the area of the solar panels others like Mike use (lower right), and on the south side only. We will see how that goes. Temperature control? A sheet of white plastic hanging over it if needed.
If the heating effect seems weak, I'll fasten a clear plastic sheet over it to trap heat, but I figure with this plan, all the heat of the sun goes straight through the pool wall into water, and that water is close to the ambient temperature during the day, so there is no hot water to circulate or to protect from the ambient. This system should be quite a bit more efficient in trapping the sun energy over the area covered than outboard devices -- in theory, anyhow.
At night, though, I don't know. A black body radiates much better than a white one, and this surface does not turn off like an outboard solar heater so the black pool surface could potentially lose more heat than white pool surface if not covered.
Total cost? $6.79 plus tax and a half-hour of labour. No assembly required. No nails.
Next, I'm fixing the leak on the shower drain that I have put off addressing for a long while, and oh, yes, I and it is just 1530. I'm, on a roll.
When I went back out, the pool was up to 21, so I went in. 21 still feels a bit cool but would be perfect if I had been working hard.
I reserved a flight to Sudbury for Friday night. The flight would have been $1250 return, so I used Aeroplan points and paid $188. Of course, the rewards flight is a redeye and stops in Fort McMurray!, then Toronto, then Sudbury. The return flight is much better.
I know I will regret the redeye and sleep for a day after, but seems I never learn. The alternative was paying too much or driving for 30 hours each way.
I'm still waiting on my new phone.
We are here and it is now. Further than that all
human knowledge is moonshine.
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