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 March 2018





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Background image - Snorkeling at Caleta Lobos


Thursday March 1st 2018

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High minus 2.
Tonight Cloudy. Snow beginning early this evening. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. Low minus 6.

I slept until 0710

6.4 BP: 120/71 Pulse 60

I slept well.  High BG? I ate fruit before bed. Maybe that is it?

I notice I have become addicted to fast carbs again.  It is easy to do.  Just eat chips and other fast carbs and after a while-- not long -- you crave them.  Breaking the addiction takes several days of being strict.

I'm listening to Calgary radio on the Internet this morning and guess what, they are talking about La Paz on CHQR -- whale sharks and glamping.  Hmmm.

It's March and winter is in retreat.  Three weeks now until the first day of spring.  Days are growing longer quickly and runoff is not far off.

It's time in Central Alberta to think about checking bees, distributing feed combs, moving clusters, and feeding.  Thin syrup and patties go on nearer the end of the month.

I'm working on the wiring now and expect to be finished around noon, now that I have figured it out.  Then I have to flush and fill the antifreeze.

I completed the wiring and put things back together.  The glow plugs work and the engine started right up. As for the coolant, I won't know until I run the engine a while.  There could be an airlock since I had drained it a bit. I tried draining it all the way, but realise that the loop through the hot water tank needs to be pressure flushed. Moreover, the petcock would not flow to drain the block, further suggesting that a pressure flush would be wise.  I still have a few things to do like tie up the harness, but am good to go and should take the boat out for a run. 

I need a run, too. I feel a bit let down after two weeks of company.  That was a high. I'm finding things quiet now.  Shifting gears.

Discovering the melted wiring was a downer too, and getting what I needed to repair it has been slow.  Add to that the season ending for many...

A trip to the bays and Islands may be the cure. We'll see.

Now, Where to go?


I put in a wash on shore and got to work raising the jib where the genoa had been.  I'll be sailing tomorrow and will need a foresail rigged, plus I should try out the jib.

Supper was bean soup and four chicken thighs.  The chicken here in Mexico is much better tasting than in Canada for some reason.  Four thighs was maybe a bit much, but I was hungry.  I've been resisting the fast carbs today after backsliding for weeks.

After supper, I did a little work for the United Beekeepers of Alberta and began watching more Babylon Berlin, but was tired and went to bed.

The day has been windy and even in here, there boat rocks a bit.  My neighbour is putting his boat up at Bercovich tomorrow and going home to Montreal.  The season is ending apparently, but I'll be back at least one more time.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Friday March 2nd 2018

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Snow at times heavy beginning this morning. Amount 10 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h. High minus 5.
Tonight Snow at times heavy. Amount 5 to 10 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light after midnight. Low minus 9.

It's 0200 and I've been up for fifteen minutes.  I woke up feeling a bit groggy and realised that sleep will be better if I wake right up before going back to sleep.  I'm about awake now.

*    *    *    *    *

I went back to bed and slept until 0545.  I made coffee and an omelet and am tidying the boat to prepare for departure.  I think I'll wait for the day to warm a bit before leaving.  I am out of coffee and the tienda does not have any.  I'm also out of fruit.  Should I go shopping before I go?  That could mean leaving around noon.

I decided against.  I'm that eager to get out of town and back to some quiet cove.  The exhaust still did not seem to have as much cooling water as it should but I had worked through the entire system and could find nothing wrong, so I cast off the lines and started out.

As I motored past the other boats, I was hailed from the dock and told the exhaust did not sound right and there was not much water.  I stopped to chat, said I knew and had been observing, the re was no overhearing, and decided to go on a bit further and see what happened.

I exited the marina and sped up a bit.  The temperature rose more than usual and the exhaust definitely sounded different, so I returned to my dock and looked over the system again. The diver was there, so I had him check the intake grill for obstructions. Nothing was found.

Finally, I decided to take the strainer out of the circuit and connected the pump directly to the through-hull.  That fixed the problem.  I pulled the strainer off and examined it carefully but could see no flaws, so I went up to Cross Marine.  Kim said it could be dirt on the gasket. I had not considered that.  There was some grit.  Then she looked at the top and said she could see cracks.  I looked and I saw cracks.  Problem solved.

Walking back to the boat, I looked again in bright sun and there were no cracks, but I cleaned the O-ring and reassembled everything and when started the engine, the water flow was much better.

I left again and when I exited the channel, I set the sails and was impressed by the jib.  It had not looked like much when I took it out of the bag. It has about half the area of the genoa, but we were making 6.5 knots quite easily without a lot of heel.  I was not getting upwind, though, as we can see in the yellow track (right) until I took the sheets inside the spreaders. Then we made closer to ninety degrees after tacking, but not ninety.

Tides and currents and other factors can figure into this, too.  Sloppy helming can be blamed also.  I was on autohelm and enjoying the ride. If I had hand-steered, perhaps the route would be more precise. At one point, I was making bean stew for supper below in the galley while the machinery sailed the boat.

I arrived at Caleta Lobos around three-thirty and anchored right near my best snorkeling spot -- the one in the background picture -- but was tired and had a nap instead of snorkeling.

I watched the sunset and read my email.  Carolyn says she got stuck in my driveway and had to ask her neighbours to get her car out.  Apparently the snow is two feet deep in places. She was quite shaken by the experience.

March is the month for big dumps. It is the best month for skiing in the Canadian Rockies if you like powder.

I'm writing this and about to watch some video and go to bed. I'm weary.  Seems I picked a rolly spot.  Swells are coming in through the gap.  I suppose I could move, but I won't The motion will rock me to sleep.

Maybe I'll skip the video.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Saturday March 3rd 2018

Today Snow ending late this morning then cloudy with 40 percent chance of flurries. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind east 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light early this morning. Wind becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 late this morning. High minus 7.
Tonight Cloudy. 40 percent chance of flurries this evening. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 16.

I got up at 0505.  I'd been dozing a while and dreaming.  I was dreaming that I had the 0300 to 0771 watch over some amoeba. They weren't exactly amoeba, but more like tiny plants. 0771 is not a real time. I got tired of that, got up, and made an omelet.  No coffee today.  I used the last of it yesterday for supper.

BG: 5.9  BP: 115 75 Pulse 61

Markers are good today, Yesterday, I resisted all the usual temptations and stuck to an omelet and my bean stews. Can one day make a big difference?  Hard to believe.

I have a stiff knee, probably from contortions working in the engine yesterday and before.

Nothing on the agenda except to snorkel mid-day, and mark the chain.

I have 275 feet of anchor chain with no markings, so when I play out chain, I don't know how much is out. I can guess more or less by counting the windlass turns, but sailors usually have flags of some sort every so many feet so they know more accurately.  Sometimes it matters.

This anchorage proved to be rolly all night.  The alarm went off before midnight when the wind reversed and blew from the south as predicted by the Windy Android app.

Windy, AKA Windyty is generally acknowledged by sailors as the best of many.

I set the alarm short on purpose, wanting to know when the reversal occurred.  When that happens, the pull on the anchor changes direction 180 degrees and can pull the anchor out of the bottom.  This is less likely with the Rocna on Baja Magic, and in a sand bottom, but possible, just the same.

After breakfast, I went back to bed and slept until 0835.  I would have slept longer, but my pressure pump was starting up every ten minutes.  I guess I have a small leak somewhere again.

I fixed the water leak in a jiffy.  It was just a matter of tightening a clamp.

I'm getting ready to snorkel, now, at 11 AM.  The tide is still up and although afternoon is better, the water gets too shallow to swim over some of the best spots when the tide goes out.  I'm looking at the water temperature.  It was nice the other day, but slightly cool.  I see it warms up from now on and gets downright soupy in summer.

I'm a bit groggy again today. I'm over the colds, but still not 100%.

My thermometer says the water is 21.8 C or about 72 F.  The air is 25.6 or 78 F, but it still feels cool.  That's the thing about being south.  When the temperature goes below 26, we want a sweater.

I'm tired.  Maybe coffee is needed.  I've gone without coffee before and never missed it, but maybe in a more stimulating environment.  Never needed it before. Am I addicted?

I did go for a snorkel and the water was clear enough to see well, and it seemed there were more types of fish today. The funny thing is that after coming back, I am energetic and feel warm.

Before I went, I made sure the tidal current and wind would not carry me away and I would find I'd have to fight current to get back.  I've had that experience before and it is bad enough with friends around, but could be deadly alone. I also took a noodle.  Those little toys have the same buoyancy as a lifejacket and add visibility.

Now what to do?  I have two days, three if you count today before I need to get ready to go -- Saturday, Sunday, and Monday  There is really nothing pressing to do, either.  I'd like to hike and lowered the dinghy earlier.  Maybe that is next.  My knee does not bother me except when I bend it ninety degrees.

I took a spin around the bay and looked at coral from above.  A glass-bottomed boat would be nice.  Then I had a nap and I think I'll have another.

I decided  was not myself and was not having a good time and decided to return to my slip and take it easy until my departure Tuesday. 

There are many possible reasons for my funk, among them the letdown after company leaves and an unusual and unaccustomed sense of loneliness; my coming return back to Alberta; the unexpected engine problems; Carolyn's ordeals at home with the snow, getting stuck, her home heat, and mine; realizing that I have achieved my goals for local cruising here in the La Paz area and everything is now a repeat or longer excursion; realizing that I have been eating badly and finding myself craving fast carbs; having left on the cruise without any coffee; possibly missing drinking at times when I felt like this; and lastly, a possible migraine -- suspected because I could not remember names for a few hours.  At one time  wondered an episode like this was a stroke, but apparently it can be a migraine symptom and in my case, it has happened more than once and been temporary.  Strokes aren't temporary.

As usual, people scrambled to be there when I arrived at my dock. 

It is a sailor's custom to be there to catch lines or fend off.  Some people need all the help they can get to come close to the dock and get the boat in place.  I don't, and I guess that is very unusual. I hate to see helpers waiting. It throws me off, wondering what they might do.

Being so far in, everyone sees me coming and there can be four or five people waiting.  I really don't need any help and I have taken to leaving the mooring lines on the dock since I don't need them when away.  That frustrates the people who expect to catch lines, but works for me. 

Some people are good guessing what the captain intends and acting appropriately, but many want to control the boat and that is my job.  I have learned over many years to place it exactly where it belongs and to step off gracefully and tie up without any help.  People on the dock distract and get in the way when the various steps need to proceed quickly and in some cases, foul up the landing. However, a person understanding this can be handy to hold the boat if there is a strong breeze or current that would carry the boat off before I can tie.

I wasn't myself when I got in.  I was tired, off balance, and, for lack of a better word, depressed. I figured a cup of coffee would help.  I also needed some groceries, so I walked over to the gas station convenience store and had a cuppa while I waited on Uber.

At Aramburo, I bought a few things, then rode back to the marina. By then, I was feeling much more myself.  Whether it was the passage or time or the coffee, or neither, I don't know.

This must be withdrawal. 

Am I addicted to fast carbs, coffee, booze, and adrenalin... and experiencing withdrawal from lack of coffee and cut out fast carbs for a day? 

Booze was already removed from the mix relatively recently, and with company gone and my time here being over, there is much less excitement.

I'd been expecting a craving for booze and surprised it never came, but today, I was craving everything and anything. Food, coffee, company, and maybe even booze, but interestingly, any urge for booze was very weak and accompanied by the thought, "No, I don't think that would be a good idea -- at all".  As I say, interesting.

When I arrived, a band was warming up for, I assume, the birthday party at the pool for, I was told, one of the cruisers.  For whom, I don't know, and I was not invited, not that I'd do more than walk through if I went.

When a person does not drink, drinkers sound raucous and a bit stupid.  If you are one of them, they don't -- at least not so much anyhow.  That was partly why I drank: to enjoy parties more.

The music stopped just after nine.  I notice that here in Mexico, the sound is turned down after ten or so. Just the same, I have come to think electronically amplified music is an abomination and now I am wondering about recorded music.

I'm feeling better now, but still not ambitious. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

It's ten and time for bed.

Hmmm.  Coffee tomorrow. Can't wait.

Yesterday's post

One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.
George Orwell

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Sunday March 4th 2018

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. High minus 8.
Tonight Overcast. Low minus 15.

I'm up at 0525 after a good night's sleep.  Of course I made coffee first thing, then an omelet.

BG: 5.7 BP: 113/68 Pulse: 53

I have two full days now before I leave for Alberta.

First thing, I'm cleaning up my email inbox.  It accumulated 1500 messages. What to do with them all?  Many can be deleted and some archived (whatever that means). The rest get filed, but for what?

Then I plan to do some bookkeeping and start getting the boat ready to be left at the dock, unoccupied, for a month.

I really should take a walk, too.  I see the hill behind us has a hiking trail  to the top.  Okay.  That is my plan. Maybe I'll do that before the day gets too hot.

I did it, and in my Birkenstocks.  Those are the only shoes I have here. It was quite a climb over rough terrain and a lot of rip rap. I had to stop a few times to rest, but I made it to the top.

Starting out                                                Getting closer

               The challenge                                 The terrain                       The footgear

The photographer

A monument                                         Marina Palmira from above           

The path down             I have one in my living room            Looking back   

Google Earth view

Apparently, I climbed 126 meters.  The climb was a bit treacherous in sandals.  Also, I was aware I could encounter snakes and scorpions and sliding stones, but the ground was amazingly stable and slipping was not a problem.  On skis on a snowy slope of this pitch, I would have charged down in an instant, but on a rocky slope in sandals, I was very cautious.

On the way back, I stopped at the gas station convenience store for some coffee and peanuts and sat there a while.

At home, the sun is shining.


Interesting links:
how to use your bathroom scale as a fuel gauge
how to use your blood sugar meter as a fuel gauge

I spent the afternoon doing books.  I know it is something I could do at home, but I am burned out for the moment.  I had some bean soup and six chicken thighs for supper. Six because I bought too much food again and am too stupid to just throw out what I don't need when I leave.  Interestingly my BG was 5.6 an hour after.

Oatmeal, bananas, fruit and all the things we are told to eat raise my BG, but eating chicken actually lowered it.  The hike up the hill might be partly responsible for the low BG, too, though.

I'm watching more of Babylon Berlin tonight.  The camerawork and the settings are interesting and the plot is tolerable.

Yesterday's post

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.
St Augustine

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Monday March 5th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 10. Wind chill minus 32 this morning.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 24. Wind chill minus 29.

I'm up at six.  Coffee, and omelet. My knee is sore today. I don't know what that is about.  It is not a cartilage problem.  |Maybe it is a tendon.  Sometimes when I sit with my leg up on a stool and over-straighten it, this happens.  So far, it eventually cures itself but this is worse than previous times. I had to take ibuprofen.

6.0 . BP: 122/77 Pulse: 72

This is my Get Ready to Leave day. I'm out of here tomorrow at ten.  I'll have been here for around two months, total, in three trips this winter and each visit has been different.

This has been an interesting trip, with company on board much of the time. I enjoyed the company, but having people on board has changed the experience.

Right about now, I am burned out. The cooling and wiring issues threw a monkey wrench into the flow and distracted me from cruising.  I'll be returning next month.

I'm cleaning up, storing things away and dealing with things that I've put off. At first, I thought I would be short of storage, but over time I have found space and actually have extra.

Malcolm sent me the final version of the United Beekeepers of Alberta newsletter #1 today and I updated the UBA website

The new Alberta beekeepers organization is now starting to roll, with all the regional local associations on board.  A convention is being considered for this summer.

It's been a while since a rogue group in the Alberta Beekeepers Commission decided to exclude the smaller beekeepers and revise the plan without consulting the Commission membership, or, for that matter, a plebiscite of all registered beekeepers of Alberta -- the body that originally authorized the formation of the commission and the takeover of the Alberta Beekeepers Association assets and personnel -- and are thus important stakeholders. 

The organizations representing the excluded beekeepers -- the vast majority of Alberta beekeepers -- waited a while and appealed to the commission and government for restoration of the rights originally negotiated at the time of formation.  Protests and appeals were met with only roadblocks, delays and broken promises, so the groups have formed a new organization to continue the work of the original Alberta Beekeepers Association in providing a forum for all Alberta beekeepers and to make representations on the behalf of all to government.

This is a small start, but in time, we expect that with the vast pool of talent in the beekeeping community a strong and representative council will develop and fill the void.

I chatted with Bill at length today using Skype, and he says that on both on my tablet and my laptop Skype sounds better than my cellphone.

I'm finding I don't need a phone here in Mexico.  Skype works fine. Although I hate the Skype GUI and find it counterintuitive, the communication motor under the hood is fine. 

My cell bills are getting yuge. I'd be embarrassed to say how yuge.  I am going to have to buy out my contract and get a cheaper plan and get a Mexican plan.  They apparently are cheap and my laziness in seeking one out has cost me big $$$

BTW, if anyone is looking for a fantastic phone cheap, I have been seeing Nexus 6Ps for about $100 online lately and if I had not broken mine, I'd still be using it.  I'd buy it before a lot of newer phones selling for six times that or more. (Pixel XLs are under $400 US)

I spent the afternoon organising and at this point, at 1900 hours, my salon and cockpit are a bigger mess than ever with things spread around.  I lifted the outboard and the dinghy and covered the windows this afternoon, though, so that is done. There is more to do, but I have time tomorrow.  I think I'll watch some Netflix

I know I'm not at a peak if I'm watching video. At peak, everyday life is far more exciting than any video.  Apparently right now, life seems dull, so I'm watching video. So be it.

If a person does not work, drink, like restaurants and bars and is not looking for a mate, that eliminates about 80% of what people seem to do these days.  That goodness for shopping :)

Speaking of shopping, I did it again.  I have too much food and have to give some away before I leave.

I watched more of Babylon Berlin.  I don't follow half of it, but it is something to do.

Yesterday's post

 The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
George Orwell

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Tuesday March 6th 2018

Today Mainly sunny. Fog patches this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 7. Wind chill minus 30 this morning.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy near midnight. Fog patches developing overnight. Low minus 19.

Today I return to Alberta and find myself in snow and sub-zero weather. It'll be a shock, I'm sure. First, though, I have to finish closing up Baja Magic and get packed.  By ten fifteen, I have to be in be or a cab on my way to the Terminal Turistica on the Malecon.  At eleven we'll be on our way to SJD and by two, I should be at my gate. At 3:05, I'm scheduled to take off and by seven-forty, I should be landing in Calgary.

I have a long list of things to do before leaving the boat for a while.  I have to be sure the boat is secure and ready to be left for an indefinite period.  Since I won't be here to deal with any heavy winds, everything has to be secured and anything sensitive to sun has to be covered or put away.

I'm up at 0425.  When I woke up, I was not sure where I was. I lay there a while and got up.  I'm feeling better and my leg is not so bad today.

BG: 5.7  BP 127/77 Pulse 55

It's windy out.  Dennis was supposed to come with the genoa last night, but did not show up, possibly due to the wind.  He may come this morning, I suppose, and that may disrupt my departure preparations.  If not, he won't be paid until I return.

He came as I guessed and installed the sail without much help from me.  That was fortunate as I was wrestling with trying to inject oil into the toilet for storage, failing, and making a mess. 

He did a beautiful job on the sail, adding borders that match the enclosure. I didn't expect that.

I was ready to go right on time and walked up to pay my bill at Cross. It was a bit more than expected, but still good value.

I caught a cab to the bus terminal and again the cab driver cheated me. H quoted me fifty pesos and gave me change for sixty. I don't have enough Spanish to argue. That is twice now and one reason I take Uber.

The shuttle left on  time.  I've travelled with this driver before and rode shotgun.  He speaks good English, so we had an interesting chat along the way. 

We arrived right on time and my flight left on time, but we arrived in Calgary a bit late.  My cab had been waiting almost a half-hour by the time I was out at the curb.  I guess that makes us even since I had to wait for him one morning.

My van started easily and after I chipped and melted off the ice, I went to the SuperStore for groceries and was home by ten.  I started getting the new phone set up, then went to bed at midnight.

Yesterday's post

 The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
George Orwell

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Wednesday March 7th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 8. Wind chill minus 31 this morning.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Fog patches developing overnight. Low minus 20.

I woke up at 0630.  I'm a bit groggy, and the heat was off.  I went down and moved the auger a bit, then started catching up.

209.8 6.3

It's minus twenty-two, here, not plus twenty-two like La Paz, but central heating makes it comfortable.  The day is sunny.

I spent the morning at the desk.  I was feeling a bit 'off', and wondering if it was flu, a virus, or something more serious. I decided it is a virus, but was close to going to the doctor in case it was heart.  By afternoon, I was really tired and slept two hours.

After waking I felt somewhat better, but still not great. By suppertime, though, I felt better and now, after midnight, I am awake and feeling normal.  Maybe better than normal.  I laid down at midnight and could not sleep, so got back up for a while.

I spent some time on the website, outlining Alberta beekeeping history leading up to the formation of the United Beekeepers of Alberta. 

In short, the formation of UBA is directly due to the Alberta beekeepers Commission abandoning the smaller beekeepers and reneging on the agreements that allowed the ABC to absorb the ABA.  Nobody wants to have two provincial bodies, but the Commission forced it to come about through bad decisions.

I doubt the Commission is happy about what they have forced to happen by an ill-considered move.  I hear Gertie has resigned and have to wonder did she jump or was she pushed. My understanding is that she was central in making the changes that created this division by needlessly disenfranchising the majority of Alberta beekeepers.

In doing my research, I came across the ABC Facebook page and guess what, there was a post there that arrived via the Red Deer Beekeepers. I'd forgotten about it and it seems ironic to see it there, but truth be told, it was a small group that effected the 'coup' and started the whole thing.  Many of the Commission's eligible producers were not happy when they found out about what had been done, especially since it was done without authorization by an AGM.  For whatever reason, though the subsequent AGM did not reverse the actions.  It is possible the members were told that it could not be undone.

February 10, 2017 ·

I see this group counts 543 members at the moment, and I am also aware that a meeting is scheduled shortly. I had intended to be there, but, as it happens I am still in Northern Ontario visiting family and won't make it.

Although probably most group members are not aware of, or interested in beekeeping 'politics' in the Province, or even that there is such a thing, there is. Maybe some in this group are not even Albertans, so maybe the number affected is fewer than 543, but those of us who are Albertans should probably take a little interest, especially in view of recent developments in the Alberta Beekeepers Commission (ABC), the body that claims to represent all 1390 Alberta beekeepers to the Alberta Government, and which has a strong say in the wording of bee laws and directing the activities of the Provincial Apiarist. ABC claims to be the successor to the Alberta Beekeepers Association and was, but now, by its board's recent actions ABC has, intentionally or not, clearly forfeited that right.

In short, without proper notice to the ABC members (so called 'eligible producers') or the other registered beekeepers of Alberta, the executive and board of the ABC, with the cooperation of Alberta Marketing Board personnel, eliminated the ABC directorship position that, up to that point, had represented hobbyists and sideliners. At the same time, they eliminated the provision for smaller operators, including serious sideliners, to pay the minimum eligible producer fee and obtain membership. There is more to it, but that is the simple version.

Many of us may be busy with our own matters and not care, or see the threat, but the ABC was established by a vote of ALL registered Alberta beekeepers at the time and as such could honestly claim to represent Alberta beekeepers. That means you and me. However, now, suddenly and without discussion or consent, we are excluded by these changes and we no longer have any say. To me that is huge.

If the ABC board are permitted to keep those changes, and then convince the government that they still represent all Alberta beekeepers -- even if they now have only 179 actual eligible producers and have become a closed club -- and there are 1390 of us beekeepers in total, we are sitting ducks if the club decides to take measures against smaller beekeepers.(For the Alberta beekeepers numbers breakdown, see the chart at… )

To me, these actions, made quietly and without proper notice to their own members or the beekeeping public, are an outrage. Others agree and are acting. Liz Goldie of the Calgary Beekeepers, several from Edmonton and I have been opposing this coup.

Liz has done the legwork and is prepared to take a challenge as far it can go, with FIOP requests to determine how this seemingly illegitimate action was able to take place and who is culpable.

Liz and I have attended meetings with Marketing and with the ABC executive. Although we were promised minutes from each meeting in a timely fashion, the meetings were before Christmas. Apparently we are being stonewalled. We have received pretty words and little co-operation beyond the legal minimum, if that. This fact by itself seems to indicate something is fishy.

Do you care? Are you concerned that the people who removed your representation and right to participate in what was our provincial organization might decide to lobby to limit your right and my right to keep bees, and other matters affecting your current rights without our say? Some in that group are not shy about speaking badly of hobbyists. Do you want a small closed group with their own purposes to claim to represent us all to government and control the agenda?

If not, then please consider nominating a person or persons from your group to stand up for your interests and to work with the beekeepers of Calgary and Edmonton to express continue to work towards reversing this injustice, and alternately work towards forming an new, truly representative provincial beekeeping association to ensure the interests of all beekeepers are kept before governments.

We need a democratic organisation that represents all beekeepers in Alberta, from the smallest to the largest -- the hobbyists, sideliners, and retired, and the commercial beekeepers, too. The commercial beekeepers may have more hives, but we have many more people -- if we stand for our rights, and numbers count when speaking government.

Please consider this matter at the meeting. Sorry I can't make it.

 Pretty good, if I do say so myself.

And that is why we now have the United Beekeepers of Alberta Council. I don't know what the people who voided the majority of beekeepers rights thought would happen, but Commission's actions left the rest of us no other choice.

Yesterday's post

 The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
George Orwell

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Thursday March 8th 2018

Today Increasing cloudiness early this morning. Fog patches this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 30 this morning.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Clearing late this evening. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 11. Today A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 8. Wind chill minus 31 this morning.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Fog patches developing overnight. Low minus 20.

I'm up at 0716 after five hours of sleep.  I'm feeling okay, a little sleepy, maybe, but the aches and pains are gone.

208.9 6.7 BP:141/77 Pulse 64

BP is up and so is BG.  There seems to be no trend.  Weight is lower than expected, but not out of trend  I was at 209.8 when I left for Mexico. I took no special dietary measures while there, and in fact ate badly, with a lot of chips pretty well daily.

Over the past week, I have been tired, disoriented at times, had dry eyes and fuzzy vision, had a sore tooth for day or two, felt utterly exhausted at times, had palpitations, had a sore knee, walked with a lope after sitting at one point, and generally felt uninspired.  These various symptoms have occurred before, but never all in sequence in such a short time, then gone away. My vital signs all stayed within range.  I attribute the symptoms to some virus, and in this case, maybe exacerbated by aftereffects of the colds I had this winter.

*   *   *   *   *

I retired many years ago, but continued my businesses on a slower scale. However, in the last several years I have lost interest and the businesses are lapsing.  Sometimes I think I am getting forgetful, but can't remember why I think that.

Things have been on autopilot and it is becoming time to consider disposing of things and updating my accounting structure.

I spent the morning writing one letter. As with all my writing, I start out writing it all out, then trimming, adding, and trimming, then sitting on it, reading it, and then editing again.  I never could write anything readable by hand. Too much editing.

Anyhow, it is almost noon and time to get moving.

Carolyn came over and is taking the salted cellphone to the post office to be returned.  The new Pixel XL is identical and runs beautifully.

Although the XL is eXtra Large, compared to other phones, it seems tiny compared to the tablet I have been using.  Once I managed to overcome all the Samsung junk and install Google Launcher, it became quite a good device.  Whereas it had seemed slow, over time it seemed to speed up and it worked well using Skype, and I could rely on it for Uber. I had been sorry shortly after I bought it, but later on it proved a lifesaver.

I'm paying far too much for cellular coverage and data now.  I really have to take the time to sign up for alternatives. I paid about $100 plus tax in insurance, then $200 for this replacement phone plus tax .  I see online that I can get one, no strings attached, now for about $300 on eBay. (All CAD), so maybe I should cancel the insurance before long, especially if I change providers.

People wonder about the UBA and where and how to get involved.  That will all be revealed soon.

Yesterday's post

 Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?
Peg Bracken

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Friday March 9th 2018

 Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. Local blowing snow this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind becoming north 40 km/h gusting to 60 this afternoon. High minus 1.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 12.

I'm up at 0730.  The day is sunny and warmer, at minus twelve C.

6.6 207.4 130/79 67

I think this is the lowest my weight has been in decades, and I've done nothing special.

Should I worry? My BP, BG are within range, but the morning BG has been high the last two days. My pulse is in the normal range, which is not normal for me.  I have tended to bradycardia for months now, so for me being normal is not normal. 

A second, later check of BP reads 118/71 Pulse 61.  Nothing wrong with that!

I'm considering going to see Jean and family and I see on Facebook that Medicine Lodge will be open tomorrow, 10-4.  It's a nice little hill.

40 minutes later, my BP is 131/76. Pulse 56. 

I have not moved since the last measurement, 40 minutes ago. These things change constantly over a day.

Here is an ABJ article that is old news, but nevertheless something that has been totally ignored.


Commercial Pesticides: Not as Safe as They Seem


We have been talking about this for decades now and nothing is being done.

90 minutes later: BP is 133/83 Pulse 62

I did desk jobs and was half planning to drive to Bentley, but found I was experiencing some weakness, faintness, headache, blurred vision, aches and pains, and fatigue, and decided that either I am still under the influence of some bug or something serious is wrong.

These common symptoms are to  a greater or lesser extent associated with many things including heart, diabetes and withdrawal but a 'flu bug' is the most likely. Just the same, I wondered if my heart is acting up as these symptoms are listed under heart and I had also noticed an irregular heartbeat a few times.

I decided I should eliminate heart since I had begun to worry about it and with my history, I had reason to worry.  Dying is one thing, and would be a huge bother, but I worry far more that my heart might be damaged due to neglecting to consult a doctor when something could be done, rendering me an invalid and a burden to myself and others.

So I drove up to Emergency in Three Hills.  It's a small hospital and I knew that if I mentioned heart they would take me in right away, hook me up to an EKG, do a blood test and I could stop worrying. 

The facts, whatever they are, are friendly.  We all need a bit of self-deception or we could not function, but not in matters like this.  Knowledge is power, and ignorance is not bliss.

Sure enough, I had an EKG and a triponin blood test without much delay.  The doctor studied the results and said that  he could not see any changes since my last tests.  I was out of there in two hours and went grocery shopping downtown.

Back home, I had supper and watched more of Babylon Berlin

I should write a review sometime.  Not too many years ago, this series would have been shocking and banned in Canada due to the full frontal nudity and images of dead bodies, graphic sex, and more, but mores have changed and that sort of thing is now rather ordinary.  I watch the series because it is not nasty, has an interesting setting and cinematography, depicts an interesting era in Germany right after the Great War, and the characters and depiction are not nasty.

As with all such attempts, there are anachronisms and imposition of current mindsets on the characters, but that can hardly be helped.

I went to bed at ten.

Yesterday's post

 Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted,
every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered.
And that process is continuing day be day and minute by minute. History has stopped.
Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right.
George Orwell

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