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I'm back writing. Will catch up soon.
I did deskwork and then made supper for five.
Mathematics, which most of us see as the most
factual of all sciences, constitutes the most colossal metaphor
I caught up the books and did some tidying. In the evening, I spent a few hours on the diary. I've resolved to spend less time writing and more time doing real things.
Having said that, I spent far too much time on the following...
Is the Alberta Beekeeping Community About to Split into Opposing Camps Again?
Yesterday, out of the blue, rather than the usual annual invoice for voluntary Commission membership, I received a note in the (snail) mail suggesting I subscribe to Alberta Bee News (ABN) and mentioning that I am no longer eligible for Commission beekeeping insurance. I received ABN automatically as a member without asking ever since the time, decades back, that it was established and called The Skeptic. (In fact, I was the primary advocate for establishing the publication and encountered a lot of resistance against establishing a regular newsletter. It took years to get it running and at one point, my wife and I actually published one addition).
Although ABN has gone through many transformations since inception, the present iteration of Alberta Bee News contains very little of value other than ads, articles by my friends, President Grant Hicks, and Provincial Apiarist, Medhat. (Even if we are all pals, we often disagree strongly on crucial issues).
Alberta Bee News is generally padded with a few semi-relevant articles lifted from other sources. ABC Members receive it at no cost. It should be online, but apparently is not.
Searching the Commisssion website for more information, (Sept 2, 2016) I can find only this:
I gather this is old info?
The only value to me in Alberta Bee News is info on what the Commission is doing and anything that affects beekeepers directly in Alberta, and that should not cost the better part of a one hundred dollar bill.
Sadly, since we don't get update emails from the Commission, or have a relevant and timely Alberta Bee News website, Alberta Bee News is the only news we get from an organization that claims to represent Alberta beekeepers.
What small beekeeper is going to pay $78/year for that rag? Anyone who thinks that more than a few will is out of touch, unless deliberately reducing circulation is the goal. In spite of its pretentious appearance and unjustified cost, there is nothing in Alberta Bee News that -- if communication and "Keeping in Touch" were the intent -- could not and should not be sent out in a monthly email to all stakeholders, and that includes all registered Alberta beekeepers. The Commission's lobbying and machinations affect us all.
When I can get ABJ or Bee Culture for less and receive the CHC newsletter, all of which have real, original content, why would I want Alberta Bee News except for -- wait for it -- actual Alberta bee news? Who knows, maybe I won't get CHC news anymore either? Perfect!
Personally, I can assure you from experience that it is much easier and much cheaper to use websites and emails than sending copy to the printers, then collating, and mailing -- and a wider readership is assured since after creation costs for the issue, each additional copy and each additional delivery is virtually free! Some organizations even publish a weekly magazine by email. It is dead simple.
If there is a wish to control the circulation, a password can be assigned to those authorized to read the contents, but I don't see any secrets there, and if there were any, mailing out hard copy would seem to be equally unsecure. Anyone can scan it and send it on. (At almost zero cost :)
* * * * *
This huge miscalculation -- dropping small beekeepers without consultation or alternative -- is everyone's loss. We've been here before. Years back, there was considerable mistrust and acrimony between the hobbyists and sideliners and the commercial beekeepers. The former felt they were being railroaded by regulations lobbied by the latter without representation or consultation and the latter pretty well ignored the former.
Currently, I am told there are about 200 commercial beekeepers and 1,200 registered beekeepers in total. If the Commission shuts out the small beekeepers and they organize, the Commission will find itself out-gunned. After all, the hobby group includes lawyers and other professionals with connections. As I say, it is far better to have everyone in the tent...
If the Commission needs more people on board to do the work, maybe the work of the Commission has become too much for the current staff and board to handle. How could that happen? It always does.
Maybe the Commission just needs different people, with different priorities, not more? I've watched as the organization dug a big hole. Too much easy money has gotten what was once a modest organisation into trouble.
I sat on the research committee years ago. We had a pot of money for research and potential recipients made proposals. I was amazed at irrelevant and sometimes capricious requests for funds we received and refused. Just because we had money did not mean we had to spend it. I notice that after that time some really unproductive grants were made.
Work always expands to match and exceed current resources. Forming a Commission and collecting mandatory fees has created an attractive pile of money that just has to be spent and I am surprised it has taken this long to come to this point.
I wonder how many beekeepers are requesting their levy money back? Is it still possible? If so, this is the only way to bring a runaway organization to heel -- starve the beast -- and it looks to me as if the ABC has a huge surplus and is spending wildly. If we did not need any other indication, the move to a glossy, costly magazine format to convey a minimal amount of information is a sure sign, and in a day and age when individual beekeepers are tightening their belts and when smart organizations are eliminating paper communications and going to email newsletters and websites.
Anyhow, enough of that. Looks as if Alberta beekeeping politics is becoming proud and out of touch again. It's a cycle.
Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
I am catching up the diary a bit, and wrestling with Windows 10. Although the underlying code runs much better than Windows 7 was, the GUI and the intrusions from the O/S are extremely annoying and have used up days and maybe weeks of my time over the past month. In many ways, W10 resembles adware, trojan and virus combined. W10 is the best advertising for Apple Macs that anyone could dream up. An operating system should just do what it is told, not try to run the user, spy on the user, and sell the user to outside entities.
I also updated yesterday's rant.
Mathematics, which most of us see as the most
factual of all sciences, constitutes the most colossal metaphor
I spent the day cleaning up and writing At six, I was at The Mill for supper.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our
enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Today is Labour Day. That means little to me. I had thought of going to Birch Bay, but am a bit groggy and the weather is marginal for boating.
When I got up, I heard something and went out the back door to look. The garden hose was lying on the ground and running full flow.
The yard was flooded, water filled the window wells and water was running under the gym door. I checked downstairs and there was puddle, but the drains were handling the flow nicely. I turned off the hose and thought back.
When was that? A day ago? Two? Whenever it was, I'll get a big water bill. I'm glad I did not decide to go east for two weeks as I had been considering. Who knows how much water would have been wasted?
Zippy is much better now and is eating more. I am beginning to think she had lice before she went to Ruth's for a month. She was shedding a lot in recent months and I was seeing dog hair all over, causing me to vacuum far more than I remembered doing previously. I had not added two and two to discover the cause.
I did some writing today, some North End cleanup and then cut some grass. While outdoors, I tried starting the truck and it started, then quit. I started it again and it ran, then quit. This pattern repeated with the truck running sometimes for a minute, and sometimes seconds.
Cooper Boating is planning to expand my Vancouver Island Circumnavigation in July this year into a larger flotilla next year and we began the planning online.
At five, I called the IGA and they were open until 6. I checked the Three Hills Pool online and it appeared to be open, so I packed my bathing suit and towel and went to town get a few items and have a swim. The pool was closed, but I did get groceries.
Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
I woke up early and could not sleep, so I got up. The living room was cool, so I went downstairs and discovered that the bin auger had dropped a bolt and was not pulling.
Up again a while later, I decided to reassemble the ceiling light fixture I had taken down and cleaned the other day and got that out of the way. I need to finish projects, not leave them half-done.
Today looks nice and I need to be more active, so hope to get outdoors and finish the lawn. Maybe I can get the truck running. I realise that I am hooped with no forklift and no highway truck. Managing the bees is restricted and taking things to the dump is not possible.
I was groggy yesterday and had a deep chest cough. The cough is almost gone today and, today I am brighter, but now I have a limp and seem a little unsteady. My hip is stiff. I really do not understand my body and its rhythms.
The Bluewater cruising meeting is tonight in Calgary, and as The Rendezvous Watchkeeper, I'll be attending to make announcements. I had some success with the truck yesterday, so plan to look into a fix, and the lawn needs attention again, badly.
After lunch, I found the update for my van's navigation system on my doorstep, so I went out and began the software install, but found the disk would not read in the CD player.
I called the company and got a return order number, then tried again a few time and fiddled around, hoping to have better luck. Then I happened to notice a button on the display that said open/close and, guess what, I have two CD players on the dash! Pressing that button revealed a CD player behind the display, and and the hidden one was the one I needed to use.
The software installation took over an hour, then the maps took another hour plus. To run the upgrades, the key must be left 'on, and the van battery gave out in the middle of the process, requiring me to charge it. I wondered if that brownout would brick the nav unit, but but the updates finished successfully in time for me to leave for Calgary.
While that was happening, I decided to play around with the truck wiring and concluded that the issue is right at the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) harness connection. I have to verify that, but tapping on it made a temporary fix and I was able to drive the truck.
I arrived at Tecumseh right around seven and found the parking lots completely full, so parked on the street. The meeting went well and I arrived home around 2230.
Government is too big and too important to be left
to the politicians.
I slept until almost 9. The day is bright and cool and I am full of ideas for the day. Having updated my nav system and having managed to get the truck running yesterday, I am optimistic about working out in the yard. I still have a cough, but am not limping.
I also see that I am gaining a pound a day over the past few days and am up to 221. I have not been eating excessively, so what is up with that? I assume it must be water gain, but find it a bit alarming. As I say, my body is a mystery to my mind.
Grant replied in response to a note I wrote to the Commission after receiving a bill for Alberta Bee News in place of my normal membership invoice, saying everything is just fine and I should like things the way they are.
I don't think he understood my issues. He suggested I take them up at the Convention or local board member.
As I understand it, I am no longer a member and still I should spend the better part of a thousand dollars to attend the convention and protest when a letter or two should do the trick, or approach a board member of an organization that apparently ejected me without explanation?
How does that work? Can the deaf listen? These guys -- my friends as they happen to be -- are apparently the problem.
Am I going to bother debating this further? Protesting is a tarbaby, and life is short. I'm not the only person left puzzled by this. Is this my battle? Not anymore.
Enough of this playing around at the keyboard. An hour has passed and the world awaits.
I went out and the truck started right up. I'll make sure the fix is permanent later, but today I am cutting grass. Acres of grass. I know now why the sore hip. Holding an accelerator pedal at a constant position causes me grief after a while and that is what I have to do when mowing. When driving vehicles, I always use cruise control.
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a
I slept late again today. When I did get up, it was raining.
After lunch, the rain had stopped and I went out to look at the truck. IT started right up, but quit again after a while. Wiggling wires and the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) allowed the truck to start and run again, so I took four drums of ashes out of the basement to see how long it would perform.
The truck stalled again while on that job and I determined I'll have to pull the PCM and clean the contacts. The job is not intuitive, so the Internet and YouTube were consulted and provided answers, but I ran out of time.
I drove to The Mill for supper, and visited a while, then returned home for the night.
You have to risk going too far to discover just how
far you can really go.
I woke up early -- at 0400 -- and decided to go to Sudbury. I'll fly at noon.
I packed anand dropped Zip at Flo's, drove to Airdrie and rode to YYC with Mike and Attie.
My first flight was on a 787, and it was impressive. Quiet and comfortable. The entertainment centre was a bit balky, but an improvement over the one on the other Air Canada jets.
My connecting flight was not cancelled for a change and I was in Sudbury and at 1207 by 2100. The flights took a little over five hours, including the one hour in Toronto between flights. That's better than the twenty hours it took last time.
People with courage and character always seem
sinister to the rest.
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