January 2019





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Thursday January 10th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 6. Wind chill minus 14 in the morning and minus 8 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 11 in the evening and minus 19 overnight.

This is my last day in Sudbury before I fly home, so I have loose ends to tie up.

Mom went for her hair appointment at ten and I did some work at the desk. When it comes right down to it, I find that really do not have much to do before I go.

I mentioned earlier, that I bought a new printer for the upstairs here.  It was cheap at $38, but it is a Canon and I have had good luck with Canon lately and I am delighted with this one, too.

I have a Pixma MG2900 All-in-One printer/scanner at home and it works well.  It feeds paper without and issue and prints double sided. I can't say I like the scanner software, but Windows fax and Scan runs it nicely over my wifi.  I was able to find a decent price on cartridges on the net, unlike my HP which refused to use HP cartridges, causing me to throw it out. 

Anyhow, This Pixma TS3120 is fabulous and it has an added feature: it shuts down automatically after a while, lessening the chance it might have its power turned off while on standby waiting for a job, potentially drying out the heads.

I added several extra codes to the back door lock this morning, seeing as so many workers come and go and it is prudent to have some temporary codes that change every so often. This keypad lock allows several codes to be active and any one of them to be disabled if desired, and new codes added if needed. 

The installer had left us with the wrong manual and the wrong master programming code, so I had to remove the lock to see the programming code on an internal sticker. That done, the rest was simple, but overall, the job took well over an hour, especially since I started by using the incorrect code on the manual until I realised it must be wrong. Somewhere, someone else with this same lock has the manual with the codes that belong to this lock and is wondering why they cannot program their lock.

I spread out the kite in the living room and untangled the lines.  I'll have to check them before launching next time, though.

I went out to Carpe Diem to check on how she is wintering and found the tarps are loaded with snow and ice, so I knocked it off.  I can see that I need a better system, though.  I'll be lucky if ice does not build up and collapse the tarps by March when next I'll be here.

             The view under the tarp           The snow load          A fan and CaCl             CaCl Crystals
knocked to the ground

To keep the interior dry, a fan blows air over a tub of calcium chloride.  CaCl draws moisture from the air and turns liquid.

I made supper for Mom.  She had bought a steak, so I cooked it in her George Forman grill.

During supper, Dawn phoned and wants to set up a flotilla for June first up to The Broughtons.  I said yes.  I was on a flotilla there in June 2014 and will retrace that route.

I was think of going to Adanac to night ski, but the temperature has dropped to minus thirteen and minus ten is my cutoff. Besides, only two runs are open according to the web.

I did a bit of deskwork upstairs and them watched more video. 

Netflix is giving me grief.  I never know what country I am supposed to be in to watch Madam Secretary.  I think the USA. I was able in Mexico and the US, but apparently it is no longer offered in Canada. 

Surfshark can shift me to the US server, but not reliably on my phone it seems.  While trying to find Madam Secretary, I discovered new seasons of Death in Paradise, a series I used to watch, but which I thought had ended, so I watched an episode of that.

Surfshark is a good VPN for shifting countries and it was cheap, but I think the Windows app is still in beta. It loses connection periodically.  I have to remember to also turn of location services on the device, though, and sometimes it seems my O/S remembers a location for a while and that can keep me from accessing what I am looking for.

Netflix announced a big price increase recently and I am considering whether to stay on.  I have Amazon Prime and that provides video, but maybe a narrower selection. That matters little to me though as long as I can reliably find something I like.  I thought it over and dropped back to one screen and standard quality to stay at $9.99/month.

The price increases in air travel and streaming and drop in energy prices are just a few more signals of the end of this business cycle. Businesses are scraping for revenue to try to keep the earnings up and hitting diminishing returns.

Anything that stops growing begins shrinking and once the shrinking starts, there is a domino effect.

Quote of the Day
If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one.
W. Somerset Maugham

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Friday January 11th 2019

Today Sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 6. Wind chill minus 19 in the morning and minus 10 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 11. Wind chill near minus 14.

I'm up at four and packing.  There are a few last-minute things to do.  I had forgotten to register Mom's car and my van online and needed the odometer readings, so I went out and found that info, then found the pink slips are expired. I assume the insurance has been renewed, but won't know until Mom gets up later.

Mom was up at eight and found the pink slip and managed to gather the info required to renew the stickers. Bill came at 0830 and drove me to YSB.

I had not paid to check a bag when I checked in online and expected to be charged.  The bag was accepted at the counter without comment or cost. Lately, the attendants ask people to gate check bags at no charge, so I guess you only pay if you want to.

The Air Canada Q400 was completely full.  The fellow next to me was large, so we were a bit crowded in those small seats.

The next flight was uneventful except I found myself seated next to a large woman who was casually conversational the way people were on flights fifty years ago.

These days we seldom speak to the person sitting next to us for four hours, but she was about my age and from Bancroft, a small town and we chatted about all sorts of things.  I suppose growing up in a mining town makes for commonalities.  She was saying she and her husband had ridden motorcycle across Canada and up to Alaska.  They are both in worse shape these days and I doubt she could climb on to a motorcycle or into a sidecar these days.

I slept a lot, too, but announcements and food and drink service woke me repeatedly. I find the announcements annoying and unnecessary and the food service, I suppose is a necessity, but an interruption.

Bert was at the airport to pick me up in my van and we drove to the SuperStore in Airdrie for groceries and then through Carstairs to pick up his medication.

I dropped him at home and drove to The Old Schoolhouse.  I don't think I have ever been so happy to be home. This trip east was hard on me.

Quote of the Day
It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law.
This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.
James F. Cooper

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Saturday January 12th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light near noon. High zero except plus 5 in a few localities. Wind chill minus 15 in the morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 5 in the evening and minus 19 overnight.

This was a lost day. Carolyn and I did the one-mile walk and I wrestled with the Acer. I know I should just give up and ditch it, but I am stubborn -- and cheap.

I ran Driver Hub again and this time, it installed a whole lot of garbage and changed my browser and start page.  I ran Malwarebytes and found 416 nuisances. Malwarebytes removed them.  I'll run Eset, too to be sure.

I'm worrying about inflation.  We are seeing that the central banks are having real trouble with undoing the inflation they deliberately created to counter the 2007-2009 deflation and are finding they are at risk of causing a collapse if they withdraw the liquidity they created. That has been obvious to me from the start of QE.  You can't put that genie back in to the bottle.

The velocity of money has not yet recovered to normal levels, but when the 'animal spirits' revive and they always do, inflation will run out of control.  We are already seeing inflation in home values worldwide and in paper asset values. 

A large portion of the Canadian population will be in deep trouble is the prices fall since much of their net worth is in housing and housing values are largely supported by debt.  If interest rates rise, then people will have less to spend and if people run out of future earnings to borrow, the 'values' will collapse.  In fact they already are, and once people see that their equity in the their homes has evaporated and that they would have to pay money they don't have to sell, they will be feeling poor.  Poor people don't buy many of the goods that keep our people employed or pay as much in taxes as confident people with earnings and credit. Layoffs are already underway...

Quote of the Day
By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate,
secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.
John Maynard Keynes

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Sunday January 13th 2019

Today Clear. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. Fog patches dissipating near noon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 16 in the morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Clearing after midnight. Fog patches developing late this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 10. Wind chill minus 7 in the evening and minus 13 overnight.

Another day, another belt off. This was a blank sort of day. If I wrote anything, I forgot to save it.

Quote of the Day
Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society.
The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.
George Bernard Shaw

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Monday January 14th 2019

Two young stags were butting heads on the pond this morning.  The does were farther down the bank, grazing.

I went to the doctor's this morning.  Most of the light-headiness and nausea that caused me to make the appointment has passed, but there are always a few things to cover.  After, I went to the druggist for a salve and a Shingrix shot.  Shingrix is a new preventative for shingles with much higher efficacy that Zostovax.

After I got back, Carolyn and I walked, but only covered about 2/3 of the route.

I'm wrestling with the Acer, still. I've had a terrible time with it running slow, then trouble cloning the disk to SSD. Looking back, I should have just bought another laptop, but I made the decision to go forward with this using the best information on hand at the time, and as I proceeded, it always looked as if I was about to come out the other side of the problem.

I do have the Samsung and it works well, but I am never comfortable with just one machine running and up to date. I like to have a backup. A while back the Samsung was lame and I was about to give up on it but the SSD makes it as good as new. Now, if only I could work the same magic on the Acer...

It seems the Windows 10 update have required more and more of these machines. Each new update seems to slow them a bit.

Any readers left here know what I think of models of natural chaotic phenomena like weather and climate.  Not much.  Here is another example of 'science'. Let's be clear.  Most models are not science IMO.

Many models outside physics and chemistry are technology or 'applied science' and the quality varies. Some are pure voodoo. If there is no hard data to enter, then GIGO.

By their very nature predictive climate models cannot be tested until after their predictions either bear out or don't and one successful prediction or even several in a row does not guarantee that the model will work in future. GIGO is the rule. The probability of accuracy is unknowable. The underlying assumptions are improvable, the most obvious one being that we have included all the variables and that no new ones intrude.  That is nonsense, but it keeps economists and climate 'scientists' in coin.

Check out this article:

Models Can't Keep Up With Migrating Magnetic North Pole... The magnetic north pole is shifting at an unprecedented rate. Over the last 30 years, the rate of distance that the magnetic north pole moves per year has sped up, around 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) per year to around 55 kilometers (34 miles) per year, according to Nature. Unlike the static geographic north pole, the north magnetic pole is in constant flux, influenced by the movements of iron-rich fluids deep below the Earth’s crust. Or at least that’s the theory—the whole thing is still somewhat of a scientific mystery.

The World Magnetic Model (WMM) provides a five-year forecast of the Earth’s magnetic field, which assists with navigation. But the rapid and irregular movements of the north magnetic pole over the past three years have made the 2015 WMM inaccurate... More

I spent the afternoon researching various items and became very tired late in the afternoon.  I went to bed early.

Here is a good article on modeling,

...  Generalizations about modeling remain hard to make. Eric Winsberg is one of the few philosophers who has looked at them closely, but the best critiques of modeling tend to come from people who work with them, and who prefer to talk strictly about their own fields. Either way, the question is: ought we to pay attention to them?...

You know what I think.  Bullshit baffles brains.

Quote of the Day
Continued inflation inevitably leads to catastrophe.
Ludwig von Mises

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Tuesday January 15th 2019

227.8  6.7

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 3. Wind chill minus 13 in the morning and minus 7 in the afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Becoming cloudy this evening. 30 percent chance of flurries overnight. Risk of freezing drizzle overnight. Fog patches developing overnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 10. Wind chill near minus 14.

Yesterday, the doctor.  Today the dentist.

I drove to Carstairs through ice fog.  I went for a cleaning and a check-up. The x-rays detected an issue with two teeth that had been bothering me recently. One had been bothering me longer term. Apparently, there is an abscess above the two.  Both have root canals that have to be redone I'm told and are the cause of the abscess. Both teeth have caries that will require removing the crowns and recapping them eventually.

When I got home, it was breezy and Carolyn did not want to go walking.

From the Shingrix yesterday, I have a very sore upper arm today, and I am tired.

Feb. 12, 2018
In October 2017, the FDA approved a new shingles vaccine, called Shingrix.

This January, the CDC officially recommended that adults 50 and over get the new vaccine to prevent this painful, blistering disease instead of the previous one, Zostavax. WebMD asked a few infectious disease experts how Shingrix works and whether it has any risks.

How is Shingrix different from Zostavax?

Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and a painful complication called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) in all age groups. Zostavax only lowers the odds of getting shingles by 51%, and of PHN by 67%. It's even less effective in people ages 70 and older.

You need two doses, given 2 to 6 months apart. "That second dose is really important to make sure you get long-term protection




I paid $163 for the first Shingrix shot yesterday and in six months the second costs the same. I have a sore upper arm and am brutally tired today. Still it is probably worth it.  I've seen shingles (Pictures) in action and I don't want it.

I was beat by four and in bed by five.  I got up a few times for a while but was very tired and was back in bed for the night by ten.

Quote of the Day
Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
Milton Friedman

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Wednesday January 16th 2019
226.8  6.9

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Risk of freezing drizzle this morning. Fog patches dissipating this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 8. Wind chill near minus 14. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 14 in the evening and minus 21 overnight.

Slept until 0800.  Odd dreams. Arm still sore. It's foggy this morning, with ice crystals.

I'm thinking about heat.  So far, I have still not hooked up gas appliances and it is not looking as if I will be soon. I'm far too busy with my studying and the tradesmen I contacted seem to be too busy.

If I can make it past the end of February, the risk goes away down. The historical extremes lows rise from minus forty and the average low rises from minus fifteen to minus ten.  Daily averages are such by March that the chances of a freeze-up if the heat plant fails are low.

I spent an hour working for a web client this morning. This afternoon, I'm still planning lessons for February trip.

I shoveled ashes. 7 drums to go out. Sauna tonight.

Larry is going to Vietnam. Seems he met a young lady on a Vietnamese dating site a year ago and they hit it off.  We texted back and forth about it this afternoon while he was troubleshooting the furnace on Cassiopeia. It is acting up again. Larry is optimistic.  He is tired of Canadian women.

He's not alone in that and it seems that increasingly western men are going where they're appreciated. From what I have observed, it seems to work out well. Maybe not so much with Russians.

I'm told that prices there are amazing.  Good hotel for $136 CAD for five nights. Meals, $5/day. 

The furnace tech dropped by the dock in Sidney and says my Espar furnace is throwing multiple error codes and apparently it has 4,000 hours on it.  I'm told that is a lot, but it is only two years of continuous use, spread over twelve years. That is hard to believe.  It adds up to a solid month a year. Is that a lot?

My jade trees are blooming beautifully.

I'm more energetic this evening. I think I'll walk on the treadmill and have a sauna.  I have not been in the sauna for a year.

I heated the sauna and had a good soak, then spent more time on the course material. I'm noticing discrepancies between the manual I have been given and the most current version. Nothing very big, but still significant.

I invited the usual suspects for supper Saturday.

Quote of the Day
If you bungle raising your children,
 I don't think whatever else you do matters very much.
Jackie Kennedy

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Thursday January 17th 2019

Today Periods of snow. Local amount 2 cm. Wind becoming east 20 km/h this afternoon. High minus 12. Wind chill minus 23 in the morning and minus 18 in the afternoon.
Tonight Periods of snow. Wind east 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 16. Wind chill near minus 24.

I had aches and pains when I woke up.  I got up, had breakfast and went back to bed and got up at eight, feeling better.  That Shingrix shot certainly has some noticeable aftereffects.

I'm still working on the sailing course materials and I'm glad I set aside a couple of weeks to do it  What a bunch of paper! And I see that everything is harder than before.  Lots of bureaucracy at Sail Canada, it seems.

Larry texted yesterday that the Espar on Cassiopeia is not worth fixing and and today texts that a new one is $2000+/-.  I checked it out and said do it.  The boat is no fun without reliable heat.

I spent the day reconciling changes in the Basic Cruising Standard texts and reading.  I had a nap in the afternoon and I'm still tired, but my upper arm only hurts a little when I squeeze it.

This study is never ending.

Quote of the Day
Women always worry about things that men forget;
men always worry about things women remember.
Albert Einstein

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Friday January 18th 2019

Today Periods of light snow ending near noon then mainly cloudy. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this morning. High minus 9. Wind chill minus 25 in the morning and minus 15 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 before morning. Low minus 14. Wind chill minus 18 in the evening and minus 23 overnight.

I'm up at 0730.  I went to bed early last night and was up several times to read and think, but slept well.

I see another frosty day coming up.

I'm finding it hard to get a grip on this instructor project as so many things are unclear and made  more unclear due to the vast volume of words outlining policy, requirements and procedures.  The sheer complexity of the material makes a simple job virtually impossible.  I can see that few, if any, will be able to make it through the maze and those that can will not necessarily be the best instructors.

I see this everywhere and as far as I can tell, it is a product of oversupply and everyone getting university degrees.  People are just accustomed to paperwork as a substitute for simply getting out there and doing.  It is no accident that many of the most brilliant innovators are people who found university too phony and left to do something real.

That is not to say there are not good and worthwhile pockets in universities and that some, by luck or personality don't find a niche and become very happy and productive, but on the whole, I think these institutions are simply a way to keep people busy.  Unfortunately the institutionalized products of these puppy mills find it their purpose in life to keep other people doing meaningless exercises and busywork. 

Sadly, after a decade and a half or more inside these institutions, having never spent much time in the real world, some decide to stay on and become the staff and oversee the next generations of product.

At risk of piling on, here is some supporting opinion:

Just because you have colleges and universities
doesn't mean you have education.
Malcolm X

Strange as it may seem, no amount of learning can cure stupidity,
and formal education positively fortifies it.
Stephen Vizinczey

If you want to get laid, go to college.
If you want an education, go to the library.
Frank Zappa

To continue down the road of cynicism, read this: Modern Monetary Theory or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the National Debtmobile by my favourite contemporary philosopher of the day, Ben Hunt.  Here is a teaser, and, no, it is not all dry.  Ben's writing is actually interesting.

At its core, Modern Monetary Theory is an argument that would be wonderfully familiar to every sovereign since the invention of debt. It is essentially the argument that significant sovereign debt is a good thing, not a bad thing, and that budget balancing efforts on a national scale do much more harm than good. Why? Because there’s so much to do and so little time for the right-minded sovereign. Because it is fundamentally unjust for the demands of private lenders to thwart the necessary ends of the sovereign, and it is politically difficult to finance those ends through tax levies on a fickle citizenry.

MMT is the sovereign-friendly justification for deficit spending without end.

Historically, this argument has been used by sovereigns to support wars without end.

I've been planning to go to Calgary to the Foothills Association of Cruising Sailors tonight, but the forecast is for snow, then wind and continued cold.  Recent snowfall has been light and fluffy, so it won't take much wind to make it blow around and that means poor visibility and white-outs on the highways, so I'll have to give this more thought.

Background tasks occupied my morning and now, after lunch, I see that the weather forecast has changed.  Wind is not as likely on my travels, so my Calgary trip is back on.

Bert is in the Peter Lougheed Hospital in Calgary with suspected gall bladder issues, so I'll pop by on my way to the FACS meeting.

I drove to Costco, bought Kleenex and had a slice of dry pizza, then drove down Métis Trail.  Métis Trail turns out to be the old 36th Street, a familiar route and one I travelled often in the past, but today it seemed strange, having been turned into a major route and extended north to Balzac.

Métis Trail took me directly to the hospital and I found Bert's room in the ICU without difficulty.  His sister, Dorothy was there visiting and we chatted a while, then I drove to my meeting. 

On my way between the parkade and the ICU I had dropped my parking ticket and we thought that I had had it in my hand when I entered the room, but apparently not. I was reconciled to paying the maximum daily fee, but, retracing my steps to the parkade, I found it on the sidewalk twenty feet from my van,  It was damp, but functional.

The meeting was about cruising the North Channel, and Phil made a good presentation about my home territory near Sudbury.

I drove home and sat up until midnight.  I had several glasses of red wine and went to bed.  I know better than that.

Quote of the Day
It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
Albert Einstein

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Saturday January 19th 2019

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning and early this afternoon then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High minus 5. Wind chill minus 25 in the morning and minus 12 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40. Low minus 12. Wind chill minus 12 in the evening and minus 20 overnight.

I'm feeling vague today.  I have company coming so it is a good excuse to take the day off and do some cooking and cleaning.  I've let things drop over the past few days, being preoccupied with a number of tasks, including preparing for the upcoming cruise.

I bought chicken breasts to be the centre of my meal plan.  Nine guests were expected and I planned to make a tomato sauce, then cook it with the chicken in the crock pot and serve the chicken and sauce with rice and spaghetti with broccoli and cauliflower for vegetables.

Everything was ready by six.  Fen and Maddy came from Didsbury where they were working on the house Fen bought recently.  Fen is easing into retirement.  Ruth rode over with Joe and Oene, Dave having decided that my sidewalk and front steps are too challenging.  Flo and Maurice had been up all night in Red Deer as David's wife was having a baby, so they did not show. Carolyn came from across the tracks.

The sauce was okay -- pretty good actually -- but I was not happy with my choice of spices. I think I'm losing my edge as a chef. 

Dinner conversation revolved around Alzheimer's and hearing aids among other topics relating to old age.  Looks like we are getting there.

I loaded the dishwasher and tidied, then was in bed around nine-thirty.

Quote of the Day
There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you
realize that what you see is all that you will ever be.
And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself.
Or you stop looking in mirrors.
Tennessee Williams

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