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I slept in until 1000, and got up. Liz had said I should write to Landon, as he apparently is the lead on the Commission matter, so, I did.
Will this accomplish anything? Hard to say. Landon chaired our recent meeting and cut off productive discussion, so we will see. Apparently he is vice-president, according to the recently updated website.
In a message posted in the forum, Lee questioned my credentials and contributions, as is his right and just as I question his. Of course, I welcome criticism and examine it to see where it may be constructive, no matter in what spirit it may have been offered. While much of his comment may have seemed spiteful and of little merit or been a matter of opinion, it caused me to to think and remember why I did not serve on the board continuously -- besides having been defeated in at least one election over the forty-three years since I began attending meetings.<G>
I generally did not seek the position because I felt I could have as much or more influence from outside, and have a clearer view. Board members tend to get co-opted by the staff and one another and talk to one another more than outsiders. They form a group that confirms one another's ideas, often uncritically and when everyone thinks the same, no one -- or only one -- is thinking.
Speaking of chairing meetings and procedure, chairing is an art and I have seen it done well and I've seen it done poorly. The difference is an assembly that breaks up unified, with everyone satisfied they had their chance even if they don't particularly like the result or a group that breaks up with some members or factions feeling bulldozed and planning to get even somehow.
You have to know how to accept rejection and reject
Bill came over after lunch and we went to the shopping centre to walk and putter around. He dropped me off at 1207 at four.
At five, Mom and I met three of her friends at The Apollo for supper. That was fun. We got to talking about smartphones and it seems that none of these three ladies were aware of how phones have progressed, or they were putting me on. I assumed that by now, pretty well everyone was aware of the capabilities of these phones. Maybe not.
We located places on Google Earth, did searches, called up websites and looked at marine charts of Lake Ramsey. I also checked out the unlocked North American Nexus 6P I bought from Newegg a while back and see it is down to $459 CAD delivered. This by far the best phone I have owned, and an excellent deal. I paid $499 and figured that was cheap.
To demonstrate my security cameras, I called up the hall camera (left) and noticed that the temperature had dropped to six Celsius. It should be around ten, but had been dropping during the day each time I checked earlier, but now was lower than my lower acceptable limit. I had figured the warm weather in Alberta had reduced the furnace activity, but by now, I knew something was wrong.
I called my neighbour and she went over and said everything was fine, but the switches were off and there was no fire. Apparently, I forgot to turn them back on after i shoveled the ashes before leaving on Monday morning and it was warm enough out that the temperature inside did not drop until now. She said she turned them back on but saw no flame. That could be bad unless the fire started up again soon.
By then she was home and I asked her to go back and check since if the flame was really out, coal would continue to be augured in without burning and fill the furnace with unburned coal. If she went right away and there was no flame, I'd instruct her on lighting it. She called shortly after and the fire had started up and all was well.
* * * * *
I've heard nothing back from Landon. I really had not expected to.
I am hearing that people are now contacting the Commission office to request refunds of their payments for insurance that was sold to them and not provided. I wonder now if more beekeepers will request their refundable contribution back. I suppose I should do that, too. I have not yet.
The government is like a baby's alimentary
I slept poorly. Probably those five cups of coffee at supper had something to do with it. I was up after midnight for a while, but slept well after dawn. I was up at nine, though, to have breakfast and drive Mom to the hairdresser.
It had snowed overnight and plow had not come, but we made it out the drive.
After the hairdresser, we went to Wal-Mart and did some shopping, then returned to 1207. By then the plow had cleared the driveway.
After that, I went to the dollar store and bought gifts. All I need is some token items and the dollar store is ideal for that -- or so I thought until I got home and tried the flashlights. One simply did not work and the next had bad batteries. Even after installing good batteries, the beam was poor. Dollarama used to have good deals, but now they have increased prices a lot and there is less reason to accept the occasional dud. In my case, I had two duds in a row and I am not finished testing items.
It takes in reality only one to make a quarrel.
I woke up at 0630 today. I guess I have adjusted to EST.
I have some gift items to test out, items to return and batteries to buy. Weather here is right around freezing, and Adanac is open, so I could go skiing or snowboarding, I suppose. Although the lake is frozen over, no one dares go out on the ice yet and my kites are at home anyhow.
Snow and cooler weather are predicted at home. I see snow is predicted. If the forecast bears out, Central Alberta will have a white Christmas. So far, the ground is bare (recent live picture at left).
I'll be home late on Boxing Day and hoping to be kiting up at Gull Lake, Namaka, and at the Spray Lakes later that week. Five inches of snow should help.
After supper, I drove out to Wal-Mart to return a TV I had bought thinking it to be a monitor. I swung by Adanac to see how it looks. The hill was closed -- contrary to what the website said -- but the lights were on and the groomers were out. The snow looks good, considering how warm it is here today. It's a small hill, but it is a hill, with a tow and a $20 lift ticket.
Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be
the least disappointing.
Today we go to Segsworths' for a Christmas Eve supper and open a present each.
I was thinking of going skiing at Adanac this morning, but Mom wanted to make peanut brittle, so that is what we did. I came to visit Mom, not go skiing. I'll get plenty of the in the coming week in Alberta.
That left me with a few hours until we go visiting. I have things to do here at the keyboard anyhow, so I am catching up with my organizing. I have to check over my upcoming trips and make sure everything is in place. It is easy to lose info. I have information overload.
I should be home Monday night -- two days from now -- and from what I can see we received lots of snow. I hope I can get into my driveway.
Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be
the least disappointing.
I slept in until nine, then Mom and I went over to Sid's to open presents. That took a while.
Mom and I returned to 1207 for lunch and a rest, then went back at four for supper. Supper was traditional --turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, and pumpkin pie.
We left at seven -- Mom tires early -- and that was our Christmas. I'm glad I made the effort to be there.
Who knows? Maybe my life belongs to God. Maybe
it belongs to me.
It's minus thirty-two at home today. I expect to be there around midnight. It's minus thirty overnight, but everything looks good on the surveillance cameras.
I left around noon and drove to Skyway Park, the $100/month car park I've used sometimes in the past. I had checked online and verified then price was almost unchanged. On arrival, however, I was told that the rate was double that -- seasonal pricing. I countered that I had gotten a quote online from their website. They did not believe me until I produced the screenshot I had made before leaving on my phone -- call it a premonition. They honoured that price and shortly I was at the gate at Pearson International Airport, or more precisely three hours early for my 2105 flight.
I had time to kill, so I connected to the airport public wifi to watch Netflix to avoid paying cellular data charges and was surprised that my Google phone offered me a free VPN (Virtual Private Network). I agreed and was hooked up immediately.
Surprisingly, Netflix did work on Google's VPN. I guess Netflix does not wish to cross swords with a mammoth like Google. but I suspect I was actually given a US IP. From all I could tell, Netflix thought I was in the USA because some items on my list that are Canada-only, like my Danish content did not show up on my list. That was no issue, and I watched Pulp Fiction again.
After a while, we heard that my flight was delayed, and I went for supper. I was in the mood to treat myself, so had a falafel salad and a beer that amounted to $30.
I went back to the gate and waited. Eventually -- after I had been there five hours -- my flight was cancelled and we were told that everyone was rebooked for a flight at 8 AM the next morning -- with no compensation. Apparently Air Canada had known since well before the flight originall departure time that they would cancel, but it seems they had to inflict maximum punishment on us for choosing Air Canada. Had they informed us earlier, people would have enjoyed the evening elsewhere.
People picked up their bags and headed for the exit. As I passed the Air Canada customer care area (what a misnomer!) Several hundred people stood in a long line. I knew better than join them. I stood a better chance online and tried the miserable Air Canada app that features a smiling agent on the opening page and does everything except what the user actually needs it to do. No joy. It said to go online via the web.
Well, I could try the phone or the website, but knew a trick and time was passing. I immediately looked for any Air Canada gate with someone on duty. Destination does not matter.
It just so happened that the first gate I found was also a Calgary flight (Bonus!) -- and people were waiting to board the red-eye flight scheduled to depart shortly. Apparently the fact that my flight was cancelled did not affect this one in the least. We were screwed, but life goes on unaffected it seems. Go figure.
I walked up to the desk. There were two people ahead of me, both wanting to change seats and neither was from my cancelled flight.
When my turn came, I said that I had been booked on AC 145 to Calgary and it was cancelled, could they help me? The agent looked up my name, printed a boarding pass and handed it to me. I said, "I have a seat?", She nodded. I was now assigned seat 12E on the next flight to YYC!.
How about that?
* * * * *
I slept about three hours on the four-hour flight. At first I couldn't sleep, so I had a coffee. It was good coffee -- better than the slop that MacDonald's is peddling now -- but surprisingly it made my legs jittery. I could not sit still, so I took Benadryl. I don't like to take Benadryl before driving, but driving was four hours away, and four hours is how long it takes Benadryl to (mostly) wear off. I knew I would not be able to sit still if I did not take it. Fortunately I had some in my briefcase. Premonition again?
Soon I was a sleep and I slept soundly until we were approaching Calgary.
* * * * *
We landed just before two and I hailed a cab to Airdrie, brushed the snow off my van and drove home, arriving at three-thirty.
I went straight to bed and slept.
If you want government to intervene
domestically, you're a liberal.
I got up at 0830 and plan on blowing snow before the wind comes up later today.
I did go out and I cleared most of the drive, then began cleaning up the walkway.
When the blower encountered the cord, hidden under the snow, the cord quickly wrapped around the augers and pulled hard enough on the shaft that the cast aluminum gearbox broke. (right).
That was the end of that project for now. I pushed the blower indoors to melt off the snow and to and dry so I can work on it.
I made a chicken soup/stew and then got ready to go to The Mill for supper.
I arrived just after five. Bert, Esther and Stella were there. Max, Betty and Murray showed up shortly and Rick came along later. We had a good supper and visit. I left at nine, drove home, and went to bed.
The lottery is a tax on people who can't do
I'd like to get the snowblower working ASAP, and definitely before I go to Galveston, so I spent the morning working on the blower and ordering parts.
Five business days was the quickest arrival anyone promised and the prices I was quoted varied. I placed an order and we'll see what happens. Unless it snows again soon, waiting a week is fine. I'd have liked to fix it it sooner, but what can I do.? I'm lucky to get parts at all. It'll cost me a bit over $100 and a day of fiddling in the shop. A new blower would cost me $1500 to $2,000.
* * * * *
I have not heard anything from the Alberta Beekeepers Commission. Not a peep, so I can only assume they are hell-bent on their announced course of action. That means we shift to Plan B.
They may assume that the changes will not weaken their position, however, they are now a rump and have lost the authority to speak for Alberta beekeepers when approaching governments.
True, they may speak for the,majority of beehives in the Province, but, last I heard, people, not hives vote and the Commission is now number three in Alberta for membership, and maybe number four.
The associations in both the major cities now outweigh the Commission in membership and will be demanding to be consulted equally by governments in regard to Bee Act and other legal matters and the activities and responsibilities of the Provincial Apiarist, as well as any other matters involving beekeeping in the Province. Other groups may also demand attention.
Moreover, the regional groups may now request to be involved in the organization of the Integrated Pest Management Workshop that the Apiarist puts on annually, and receive the revenue surpluses.
Many other ideas are under discussion to fill the vacuum that the Commission has created by abandoning the smaller beekeepers.
Obviously, too, somebody will need to publish a newsletter to convey the Apiarist's messages and beekeeping news to the province's beekeepers or ally more strongly with the regional associations or with the federation that will likely emerge to represent the beekeeping majority.
I have set up www.albertabeekeepers.com as a placeholder website for whatever provincial organization emerges or for a federation of the regional associations.
* * * * *
The more sensitive you are, the more likely you
are to be brutalized, develop scabs and never evolve.
Thursday December 29th, 2016
I'd imagined I'd wake up early and want to go skiing, but I woke up at 0200, found I was awake, but tired, and spent two hours tuning my PCs. Then I went back to bed and slept until 0900.
Now, at mid-morning, I am awake, but tired and I've decided I need to take it easy. I may have free skiing at Kicking Horse and Fernie, but I'd be pushing myself to get there. Moreover, I still have a slight chest cough, so maybe that cold is not entirely gone.
Although the forecast says a low of minus eleven today, it is currently minus sixteen here. There is some sort of disconnect. Weather forecasts in Alberta can be spectacularly off.
I had plans to be more active over the holidays and came back on Boxing Day to spend time skiing with Jean and family, but they are not doing much, and the weather is predicted to turn cold next week. I should have taken my kites and stayed east longer, since the lake there is frozen over and snowy and the weather is mild, but hindsight is twenty-twenty. Last year, that would not have worked.
I have yet to get Zippy back because I figured I'd be in the mountains, but I'm thinking I should slow down and take it easy for now. It feels like I'm pushing on a string.
I am not so much for the freedom of religion as
I am for the religion of freedom.
Friday December 30th, 2016
I'm on a break from the diary for the next little while.
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