October 2019





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An Early October Morning at The Old Schoolhouse


 Are you are looking for bee information?

I'm losing interest in bees lately and bee-related posts are infrequent these days but at one time I was very involved in beekeeping. Just about every topic has been covered somewhere on this site some time or another. Your best bets for finding ideas are:

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search this site for keywords.
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Note: I have been doing a bit of bee writing lately and there is some mention here and on recent previous pages, but it is mixed in with my daily life.



Sunday October 20th 2019

Today Clearing this morning. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High 8. Wind chill minus 6 this morning. UV index 2 or low. Tonight A few clouds. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 7. Wind chill minus 10 overnight.

I woke at three and five, but slept on and got up at 7:15.  I weighed and am at 226.8  (!).but BG is 7.3.  That latter is not surprising since I ate two ice-cream cones in the evening not long before bed, but is not a good number.

The eastern sky is just brightening and everything has a touch of frost. There is a skiff of ice on the pond.  I'm happy to be home. I feel ambitious and the aches and pains are not apparent this morning. I'm inspired to go downstairs and exercise.  I often have that urge but resist, so maybe today I'll break that trend and do it. I should also do some work downstairs and outdoors.

I'm listening to Mexican Spotify and thin king about Mexico. I renewed my Mexican phone plan and am looking at the shuttle for my arrival. 

Uber has been very useful for me in La Paz but I see the taxis are staging a pushback. I doubt they will be successful.  I find Uber very helpful in getting from A to B.  The local buses are excellent, too and run everywhere all the time for a low cost, but Uber rides are easy, direct -- and cheap.

My Mexico is not the Mexico of most tourists. I have never been to a resort and probably never will.  I live in La Paz for several months each winter in three-week stints and interact with the population. I walk the local streets, shop the mercados and tiendas and try to learn the language. I'm considering permanent residency.

Tomorrow I go to Calgary for another SLT.  This will be my fourth.

Looking at my departure for La Paz on the 1st, I see we lift off at 6 AM.  What was I thinking?  I guess that was the cheapest direct fare, but means I have to be at the airport by five at the latest and leave here at three! Hmmm.

I'm looking at bus compared to shuttle and see the bus is $255 MXN compared to $450 MXN for the shuttle.  That is $37.456 CAD vs $17.52 CAD. Aside from the cost, I arrive at SJD at 0929 and the first shuttle departs at 1230. That means a three-hour wait. 

A bus leaves Santa Anita at 1030, but I have to get through customs and to Santa Anita in one hour to catch it. Santa Anita is five miles from SJD. The next bus is at 1330. SJD customs can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour--plus.  I think I'll take my chances and play it by ear at the time.  If I want to take much baggage, the shuttle is the better bet than lugging it to the bus depot.

I tested my drinking water coming out of my new reverse osmosis filter.  It has half the PPM of the output of the previous filter.  The old one wasn't too bad and I did not need to replace it except for the leaks.  With luck this one will last nineteen years like the previous one.

At one, C and I did the one-mile walk. Her dog dogs her heels.

I came back, had a nap, and spent the afternoon studying gas installations. There are many details to consider. This building is not a simple project.

After that, I made chili con carne. I have avoided eating much red meat in the last year, but figured I'll slacken a bit and vary my diet.

I spent more time studying and watching YouTube, then went to bed at ten-thirty.

Quote of the Day
You cannot find peace by avoiding life.
Virginia Woolf

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Monday October 21st 2019

Today Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High 10. Wind chill minus 10 this morning. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 2. Wind chill minus 4 overnight.

I'm up at four-fifteen.  I have to be at The Rockyview Hospital at twelve-thirty for my SLT, so I have a few hours before i must leave at ten or so.  I'll do a few things along the way.

Things got busy this morning, but I got away on time and drove north to Linden to vote, then on to Airdrie where I had a breakfast sandwich.  Now, running out of time, I drove straight to the Rockyview, and by the time I parked and walked up, I was just on time.

After a short wait and a few minutes with a nurse, Dr. Ford blasted a hundred tiny laser holes in each iris, wrote a prescription and sent me to the waiting room for a half-hour to be sure no issues arise.  I had a nap, sitting there, and then, after a nurse did a pressure check, drove to Costco.

Costco was doing flu shots, so I got my annual shot and drove to Walmart for a few items and to fill the prescription.  Then I went to Home Depot and bought a thermostat.  The one I had bought online had been defective and was returned to Amazon.  I hope this one is better.

I drove home, put things away, did a funds transfer for Miguel, installed the thermostat, and watched Netflix until ten and went to bed.

Miguel assures me that Baja Magic will be ready to launch when I arrive, but there are still some things to finish.  We'll see.  I reserved an Airbnb for three days as insurance.

The new thermostat is a huge improvement.  For one tying it is easy to read and also allows turning the house down to 5°C (41°F).  The old one went down only to 55°F.

When I am away and the thermostat is lowered

That lower setting makes a big difference in fuel consumption when I am away.  I tried the lower temperature this last trip and consumption was almost nil.  The reason is that fuel consumption is directly related to the difference between the ambient outdoors and the indoor setting.

55°F is 13°C (old thermostat) and 41°F is 5°C (new thermostat). That is an 8 degree Celsius difference.

The blue line above is the average normal daily outdoors low. The orange line is the indoor temp maintained by the old thermostat. The green line is the temp maintained by the new one.

The average peak daily heating load at any given date is the distance between the orange line and the blue line or the distance between the green line and the blue line -- neglecting the effects of sun and wind and heat inertia.  The basement floors can be assumed to be at 55°F, so adds to the heat sink. 

The average daily load on the other hand is the distance between the two lines and the centre dotted line.

I estimate from the above that the new thermostat should cut my fuel consumption in about half when I am away in November and 40% in December/January/February.

Of course these are models and reality seldom agrees more than occasionally.

My new surveillance cameras are supposed to be here today. That should be exciting.

It's eleven o'clock and I still feel tired.

I just remembered: I got the flu shot yesterday, then, on top of that had surgery on both eyes. Maybe that explains it?

Still using Windows Seven and worried about the end of life? Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade

It's one and I am doing books. I'm behind in reconciliations and year end is not too far off.

Quote of the Day
There are no limits.
There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there.
You must go beyond them.
Bruce Lee

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Tuesday October 22nd 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of showers this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 this afternoon. High 11. Wind chill minus 7 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of rain showers changing to 60 percent chance of flurries or rain showers overnight. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low plus 1.

I awoke at four-fifteen.  lately, I have been sleeping six hours. I got up and went to my computers.  The Samsung had BSODed.

Both my Windows 10 laptops have BSODedin the past week.  The message mentioned memory management.  Is it Windows?  Or something else?  I restarted and the machines run fine. Microsoft claims the machines will restart, but usually they just sit there with the BSOD string back at me, and the 'help' info is no help at all.

As a result, I ran Eset virus scans on both machines, and while that was underway, Windows Defender quarantined a file (right) on the Acer.  From what I can tell it is not malicious, just a vulnerability in a BIOS updater that came with the Acer. More  More

*   *   *   *   *

I'm tired and draggy this AM.  Could it be the prednisolone eye drops? I am to apply them four times a day for four days to prevent inflammation and promote healing. 

I went back to bed at 0630 and dozed until 0755 and am still just as draggy.

The new thermostat seems to be working perfectly.

I am disappointed in the results of last night's election.  We have the same ridiculous, immature prime minister for now, at least.  I assume we'll muddle through somehow.

*   *   *   *   *

FedEx dropped off my new surveillance system this afternoon as i returned from my walk.

I spent some time setting it up and found that the instructions are not very complete.  Getting Internet connectivity is not intuitive.

*   *   *   *   *

Tonight I am expecting a load of coal.  I decided that I do need the proven furnace system to continue even after I install a gas unit.  So, this morning I need to shovel ashes and alter the bin auger switch which has caused me issues in the past.

C, CeCe and I did the walk again today and I took a better video of the dog tracking her heels. 

I'm too tired to do much except sit here, so I lay down for an hour or two and slept. Then I got up and got going.  I altered the bin auger switch and shoveled ashes.  Then I went out and moved boats out of the way of the truck which was expected shortly.  I had put it off until dark and the 4X4 which blocks the back driveway now has a flat.  I tried blowing it up with the air tank, but no luck, so I texted Tracy, thinking he should be here any minute.  He texted back that the wind had blown his shed away and he was busy picking up the pieces.  So, tomorrow I'll get the delivery. I hope. Actually, I am fine for a few more days with the coal I have.

I went to bed at nine and hope for more energy tomorrow.

Quote of the Day
There are no limits.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

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Wednesday October 23rd 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries or rain showers early this morning. Clearing near noon. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50. High plus 5. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 5. Wind chill minus 9 overnight.

I was up in the middle of the night for an hour or so. C had tried to email her dog video to friends and the 30+GB file had been rejected by most mail hosts, so I downloaded Handbrake and condensed it down to 8GB.

Handbrake is a very handy app that will convert videos to other formats and sizes.  That came in handy here, but can also reduce films for use on a phone.

I slept until 0745 and am feeling more energetic today.  I assume the flu shot weakened me yesterday. I suppose that is a sign it was effective. 

Many people avoid the shot, but what many do not know is how many worldwide were killed and that the death rate was almost 100% in some outbreaks of the disease. 

This is worth reading:
 The Threat of Pandemic Influenza: Are We Ready? Workshop Summary.  

Here is s brief excerpt from that article that reminds me of the almost unreported shutdown of US radiation reports during the Fukushima disaster and radiation release.

"...An architect of that effort said, “Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms…. There is nothing in experience to tell us that one is always preferable to the other…. The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters very little if it is true or false” (Vaughn, 1980).

"The combination of rigid control and disregard for truth had dangerous consequences. Focusing on the shortest term, local officials almost universally told half-truths or outright lies to avoid damaging morale and the war effort. They were assisted—not challenged—by the press, which although not censored in a technical sense cooperated fully with the government's propaganda machine.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.  Reminds me of the "Climate Crisis" where the conspiracy is so obvious and out in the open that no one can see it.

By looking around, and reading, everyone should know that the climate is not changing drastically, or outside the normal historical variation recorded over the past two millennia, but no one believes the evidence of their own eyes. 

However, on the TV, climate is a disaster, with pictures of the worst spot in any extreme anywhere and reports of any new high temperature records anywhere on the globe.  The calms, planetary greening, and the record low temperatures recorded daily in random locations go unreported.

People believe the sensationalist media and their smartphones over the evidence around them.

Ben Hunt discusses this herd behavior in Epsilon Theory and it is not a new phenomenon.  Books have been written, too.  Here is the classic: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

"The text concentrates on a wide variety of phenomena which had occurred over the centuries prior to this book's publication in 1841. Mackay begins by examining various economic bubbles, such as the infamous Tulipomania - wherein Dutch tulips rocketed in value amid claims they could be substituted for actual currency - and various follies spread by word of mouth in urban areas.

"As we progress further, the scope of the book broadens into several more exotic fields of mass self-deception. Mackay turns his attention to the witch hunts of the 17th and 18th centuries, the practice of alchemy, the phenomena of haunted houses, the vast and varied practices of fortune telling and the search for the philosopher's stone, to name but a handful of subjects. Informed by personal research, and exhaustive in detail, it is with an evocative conviction that the author excoriates mankind's numerous delusions.

Will having open eyes and seeing through the illusions make a person happier?  I doubt it.  Truth is an acquired taste and, given a choice, not something most people choose. 

People like their delusions and heresy has historically been punished. Movies have been made on this theme, The Matrix being the first that comes to mind. 

The Matrix is an allegory --"A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers."  Sound familiar? 

"Just because you're paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you."

It is much easier to go with the crowd, but at turning points the public can become nasty.  We are approaching one now.

As you can see from the above, I spent the morning down the rabbit hole and to end the plunge, I bought three audiobooks:  Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell - Talking to Strangers, Joseph de la Vega - Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds and Confusion. The latter is a summary of two classics, not the entire original books.

Now, back to the furnace project, the yard tidying, including the flat tire issue, and installing the new video surveillance setup...

I should mention that my way of thinking is shaped by calculus, linear algebra, probability, and computer science. Once one studies these topics, the mind is changed irrevocably and makes one a stranger to the uneducated.

I did dishes, and tidied, then was about to go out and see the wind is gusting from the NW. at 38 KPH. Prospects look better around five.

I see the new reverse osmosis filter is getting more and more efficient over time (left), even compared to three days ago--4ppm now vs. 10ppm then.

I bought a roast chicken the other day at Costco.  It was not too great, being a bit overcooked and over spiced, so I cut it up today to make soup and wraps.

I was about to get back to work when I got an urgent message from Miguel.  His goods are held up in customs and he is having trouble making the payment. Can I help?  Hmmm.

Now I find out: There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever.

Ooops!  Maybe there was! Tulip Mania, Not a Myth

I went out and filled the tire, moved the truck and raked the driveway.  Now I am ready for the coal.  I am working on figuring out the new surveillance system.

Tracy arrive around eight and dumped the load, then said he had dropped his phone from his breast pocket somewhere in the coal as it was running into the bin.  I called his number repeatedly and we looked and looked and went down into the bin and had no luck. Finally he gave up.

I paid for the load and was happy to see no carbon tax was applied this time.  Alberta killed the carbon tax when we threw out the NDP.  I expect it will be back on when the feds get around to it, but the matter is in court...

I installed a new camera in the bin and it covers a larger area, but in the semi-dark the higher resolution is not apparent.

I checked the furnace and went to bed a while later.

Quote of the Day
Anything worth dying for ... is certainly worth living for.
Joseph Heller

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Thursday October 24th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 13. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light late this evening. Wind becoming southwest 20 gusting to 40 overnight. Low plus 5.

I was up in the middle of the night until five, then slept until eight.

I spent the morning figuring out the new surveillance software, then went out to look for Tracy's phone in full daylight.  No luck.

I'm finding that the software with the surveillance system is limited and apparently does not connect over the Internet, but the Android app does. I wasted a lot of time on that.

The shot on the right shows the phone app screen.  Most of the cameras shown are the old ones and the locations are being changed. This is just an interim test. The old system sorta works, too, so maybe I'll continue to use it for some fill-in spots.

My replacement rear window wiper arm came today and appears to be virtually identical to the original. 

I am finding Amazon Prime to be an amazing improvement over conventional shopping. It is a simple as looking online, deciding between offers (That is the hard part) and waiting a day or two for it to show up in my mailbox.

I installed the arm and that was a quick $24 fix that could have cost me at least $150 at a dealer.  It was simply matter of unscrewing the nut, using my nut splitter to break off the metal hub from the old wiper which was still on the stud and then press on and tighten the new arm.

We went for the one-mile walk and then I had a long nap.

I had supper, did deskwork, then watched video a while and went to bed at nine.

Quote of the Day
Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go.
 Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day.
Melody Beattie

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Friday October 25th 2019
Two months until Christmas

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 increasing to 50 gusting to 70 this morning then becoming northwest 60 gusting to 80 this afternoon. High 16 with temperature falling to 10 this afternoon. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Wind northwest 60 km/h gusting to 80 diminishing to 30 gusting to 50 early this evening. Low minus 2. Wind chill minus 8 overnight.

I'm up at 0445.  One week from today, I'll be on the way to La Paz.  Between now and then I must get the yard ready for winter.

Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

It's windy and predicted to get windier today and tomorrow. Although the public forecast (above) is not especially drastic, both Environment Canada and the head of Calgary Emergency Management Agency tweeted out advisories today.  We'll see.  Interesting: One story for the plebs and one for the insiders.

I finally almost caught up on the books.  The wind has been gusting up to maybe 100KPH.  Reports from not far away registered up almost to 100MPH. It is still warm, but expected to become much colder by the end of the day.

I decided to have friends for supper and could only find four available.  I made a cottage pie. As before, the hamburger is not what it once was.  The IGA is bringing factory-made product and it is chewy and does not cook up well. I added tomatoes in hopes of tenderizing it.

I cooked up random amounts of everything, just taking a package of beef and adding two chopped onions and a can of diced tomatoes, peeling and mashing a bag of potatoes (minus three), half a rutabaga, dumped in a random amount of mixed vegetables, and found they filled my casserole perfectly.

I was on a roll.  Everyone loved the dish.  It is a good thing that we were only four tonight.

These two items at left added a lot IMO.  I was surprised at the quality and low price of the Walmart mushrooms.And the tomatoes helped tenderize the beef.

Of course I can never duplicate the recipe, but that is how I cook.  Sometimes people rave and sometimes they just eat.  By eight-thirty, everyone was gone and the dishwasher was running.

I listened to music on Spotify for a while and was in bed by ten.


Quote of the Day
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things
and evil people doing evil things.
But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
Steven Weinberg

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Saturday October 26th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning and early this afternoon. Clearing this afternoon. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 increasing to 40 gusting to 60 this morning. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 11 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind north 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 gusting to 40 this evening. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 11 this evening and minus 16 overnight.

I'm up at eight with no aches and pains.  Looking out, I see dark clouds in the east and a skiff of snow. It is minus two Celsius outside.

I decided last night to spend less time on this diary and more time on the house and yard while home.

I ordered a weather station on Amazon and also installed Bluestacks to run Android apps on my laptop.

I did some more account reconciliation, then cleaned up in the hall where a large plant has taken over. There is more to do.

I am realizing that I have let things go around here.  My sheds are3 losing their cover and the house is a bit of a mess.  Nowhere near Aaron's, but some areas are definitely getting there.

After supper I had no energy and watched The Good Wife.  these episodes I have seen, but I enjoyed them again. I was in bed by ten-thirty.

Quote of the Day
Turn your wounds into wisdom.
Oprah Winfrey

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Sunday October 27th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy this afternoon. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this afternoon. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 14 this morning. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Cloudy. A few flurries beginning this evening. Wind becoming north 30 km/h gusting to 50 this evening. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 17 overnight.

I'm up at seven.  Outdoors is minus five and still dark. I've resolved to cut back on coffee and desk  time.  We'll see how that goes/

I started this diary eighteen years ago, back before the term 'blog' was coined. I've kept it up since, with a short lapse of a year or so.  Why, I do not know.  It entertains me, but also eats up time.  I realise how much when I sit down to simply read through a week or so.

Back then, I was a commercial beekeeper and wrote a lot about bees.  These days I don't have any and have lost interest.

I got to work vacuuming, then, at 1:45 went for a walk with C and CeCe.  She is in great spirits these days. That is quite a change and a good one.

I unlocked the Rogers tablet this afternoon.  I had received the tablet a a 'gift' from Rogers back when I signed up with Rogers and after I left Rogers, I found it was locked to that company's SIMs. However in December 2017, in Canada locking was prohibited and unlocking became free. I had not gotten around to doing whatever was required to get it unlocked so I can use my Mexican SIM seeing as phoning any company these days is torture.

So, finally, today, I logged into my old account, chatted online with an agent and got the code.  It was simple and relatively painless.

I installed my Mexican SIM and entered the code and the job was done. Dead simple. Now my tablet has Mexican data, but, of course, it is not a phone so I'll swap that SIM into my Nexus XL when in Mexico and just use the tablet this way in Canada and the US. 

While thin king about phones, I also verified that my expiring Public Mobile plan will renew with the bonus data for US travel.  I'll need it at Thanksgiving, even though my Mexican data works in the US.

*   *   *   *   *

My friend in Mexico wrote again and still needed some help clearing his shipment which is locked up in the US but had realised most of the funds, so I helped him with the balance, seeing as I owe him some money anyhow once the re-fit is done, which it apparently isn't--quite.  I arrive there in days, so I am hopeful.

Quote of the Day
The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else,
which makes you unique.
Walt Disney

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Monday October 28th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50. High minus 5. Wind chill minus 18 this morning and minus 13 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Clearing before morning. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 14. Wind chill minus 16 this evening and minus 22 overnight.

I'm up at seven and feeling fine. It is minus eight out, windy, and dark.

In spite of the claimed Global Warming, I have noticed a trend to earlier onset of the first cold week here in recent years. In the past, this weather tended to come after Halloween, at the end of the first week of November.  It came earlier back in the last millennium, though, and Halloween was often cold in those times.  In recent years, Halloween was typically quite nice.

Of course local observations do not necessarily reflect global conditions, but they are what we here in Western Canada are seeing.  I suspect that we are, in fact, back into a cooling trend.

I don't know how authoritative that is, but I got ten out of twelve. Not sure which I got wrong--or their sources.  Who knows what to believe these days.  My default is, "Believe nothing". 

Actually, that is the true scientific position.  Scientists are not believers if they are true scientists.  True scientists regard everything with suspicion.  If anyone says, "The science is settled", run.  That person is not a scientist and does not understand the basic underlying philosophical foundation of science--doubt.

That policy has worked well for me so far, but does not help me fit in particularly well except with the geeks.

Lately I get up for a few minutes, turn up the heat, and lie back down for a few more, then get up five to fifteen minutes later once I am wide awake--unless I fall back asleep.

I wondered if my SpO2 is low, so i checked it and it was 97!. During the night, the times when I monitored it overnight, it seems it routinely dropped to 88 for a few seconds several times a night, but it seems it is plenty high in the morning.

I called the tire shop about putting on my winter tires and was assured if I arrived at ten-thirty they could do it with a short wait.  I went out to load the tires into the van.  It was cold and gusty.  I saw that as storm window had been blown off and picked it up.

Once that was done, I drove to town and arrived right on time, only to be told that I would have a one and half hour wait.  That means two hours. I drove home.  The roads were mostly bare, but the wind was blowing snow across reducing visibility to a hundred feet in spots.

I see my weather station has arrived and also my OBDII reader.  So, I'll look at them both and when the weather improves, go out and use the reader and mount the weather station.

I'll do the van first seeing as I need it Friday.  As for the Mercury which is also, coincidentally, showing a "Check Engine" light, I'll use the jumper and flashing dash light method. OBD1 readers are scarcer and costlier.

Correlation is not causation. What are the chances that both "Check Engine" lights came on in the same week for the same reason? Most people tend to assume common cause, but there is no real reason to believe.  It is possible, though but there is no obvious way of knowing.

I can see this weather station is going to take a few hours to set up. Later.

Google Is Reportedly Rolling Back Its Free Storage Options, So RIP Your Insane Gmail Inbox

Clear Google Drive space & increase storage

I am totally uninspired today and way off-task.  I have pressing tasks--at least I thought they were pressing--but I can't get going on them. I went out and connected the tester to the van and find I have a PO456 error -- very small evaporative system leak. That is unimportant, but keeps the CEL on so I'll clear it. I did no0t see any other codes worth keeping.

One possible cause is a bad gas cap so I'll check that, too.  If that is not it, then it could be one of two valves and that is a harder task to fix, but as I say, this issue is very minor and harmless.

I went out and, yup, that could well be it.  The gasket is worn and the seating area is rusty.  I ordered a replacement cap on Amazon, seeing as they are cheap and will polish the mating surface as well.

Actually, I don't think I often tightened past three clicks and it says right on it that not doing so may turn on the CEL!  Duh!

Now I wonder what the issue is with the Merc...  Finding that out is a bit harder than just plugging in a tool like the one for the van. and is a job for a nicer day.

I organized the wiring for the surveillance recorder and then watched Netflix until ten.  I went o bed but could not sleep, so got up and watched some more until midnight, went back to bed, and fell right asleep.

I have wondered if I am drinking too much coffee and cut back.  maybe I should cut back more.

Quote of the Day
Capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Tuesday October 29th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Clearing this morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 21 this morning and minus 8 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 16. Wind chill minus 10 this evening and minus 20 overnight.

I woke up at five with an active mind and feeling chipper., so I got up, turned up the heat and got moving.  It is minus thirteen outside.  Winter is early.

I have been sleeping with my sleep mask the last few nights and find it makes a noticeable difference in my sleep.  I found I was waking up from time to time and this seems to have stopped that.

I had used the mask for a while previously, but found I was sleeping fine without and quit, but my room is not completely dark.  Lights from passing cars, the numbers on the clock, and the LEDs on devices nearby apparently do have an effect.  I assume that when I change sleep modes during the night, my eyes open and these lights affect me.  The mask prevents that.  It is a bit loose, but stays on quite well, and I'll have to fix the ties.

At seven-thirty, I lay down again and slept until eight-forty-five. Mike phoned and I am off to town for a meeting at eleven.

I drove to Airdrie, and after the meeting went to Walmart for a few items.   I remembered that had an empty propane tank in the back and asked about exchange.  I was told there is a vending machine out front, so I went out and did and exchange.  From there I went to Home Depot, then drove home.

Yesterday, I had asked to have that propane tank filled in Three Hills and was told it was stale-dated and could not be filled.  They were almost huffy about it. My option was to buy a new full tank for $57. 

I had said no, and carried it back out to the van.  Today I exchanged it for a full one for $27.  The vending machine did not ask about inspection date and I saved thirty bucks!

Today was a beautiful day for the drive.  I arrived home and finished my vacuuming and tidying-- for now at least--had supper and watched an episode of The good Wife.  I'd seen it before, but my memory of such entertainment is vague, so although it seems familiar, aspects are new.  Before I could watch anything, though, I had to fix my router and that took an hour.

When I sat down and turned on the TV monitor, I had found the Chromecast would not connect, claiming the wifi it knew was too far away.  On looking further, I discovered the router had reverted to the default SSID, so I had to factory reset it and reprogram it.  That is always a chore and a memory test as I have to remember where I stored the configuration details for the modem connection seeing as I have a static IP.

Why did the router glitch?  I wonder.  Routers get hacked these days. At any rate, a factory reset should have cleaned it up.  I have some weak and reused passwords and I really should finish cleaning them up. Two were dealt with today.

All that took me through to nine and now I have to decide: work some more or watch more video.  I could go to bed, though, too, but I am not very tired.  I have some web development to do, so maybe I'll take a swing at that.

I did that, watched another episode, and finally went to bed a bit before midnight.

Quote of the Day
Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Wednesday October 30th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h. High plus 4. Wind chill minus 25 this morning. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy overnight. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 5. Wind chill minus 7 overnight.

I'm up at five forty-five and feeling great in spite of only sleeping a little under six hours.   I slept right through the night.

I think the sleep mask must make the difference. Reducing coffee consumption could be another factor. It is hard to tell when several things change at once.  Not only those two factors changed, but the season is changing fast and I have a deadline coming up, changing my psychology, too.

My aches and pains seem to have gone and my weight has dropped several pounds.  My BG is still a bit higher than normal, though. 

The chest and back pain seems to be entirely gone (finally) and the stiffness in my right hand seems to have faded.  I am taking that symptom, though, as a hint I should use the winches for pulling lines, and not so much my hands, especially when furling the main.

I have two days until I go and this morning I notice the bin auger belt has jumped off.  I had fiddled with the switch in an attempt to improve it and now it is worse. I'll have to deal with that pronto.

We are in a cold streak now and will be until I leave.

I did some basement work, then sealed up the old cat door and a vent in the east bathroom ceiling. After, I coiled the garden hoses and looked at the trash barrels and untied the laser so I can switch it to the other trailer.  It is plus four and quite nice for outdoor work. Not too hot. Not too cold. No wind, but not much sun.  It feels good to get away from the computer.

While I am working, I am downloading several large files, charts for OpernCPN.

I came in  for a moment and sat down to check the dump hours.  While I was moving, I was full of energy, but once I sat down, the ambition faded. Anyhow, I'm headed back out to get the load ready for the dump. I need the drums.

I decided the easiest way to get more empty drums was to dump the four drums of ashes on hand, so began that job.  I was half done at 2:45 when C pinged me and we went for a walk.  She is in high spirits now and we walked the mile, then another block!

When I got in, I made turkey soup from leftovers in the freezer. I'm weary, but enjoy the activity.

While I was walking, FedEx came by and dropped a box. I'd ordered some special batteries for the weather station and some high-capacity NiMH rechargeables plus a USB charger.   Most rechargeables do not state very obviously on the battery or the package what the storage capacity is, and you can pay as much for an 800 mAh battery as for these 2800 mAh ones.

At 4:49, I am weary, but am headed outside to finish before dark.

I dumped the last two drums and reset the Check Engine light on the van and came in. By then I was beat.  I ate, cleaned up some files on the computer, played with Mint Linux in Virtualbox on my laptop, watched some video, and was in bed around nine.

Quote of the Day
I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people will never forget
 how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

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Thursday October 31st 2019


Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries or rain showers. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High plus 4. Wind chill minus 6 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening. Clearing near midnight. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light late this evening. Low minus 8. Wind chill minus 11 overnight.

I woke up at two and got up.  I assume my subconscious is rehearsing tomorrow's departure. I'll have to be up at two then to leave by three or shortly after as my flight lifts off at six.

After being up an hour I went back to bed and slept until six when my alarm woke me to check in.  I now have 24 hours until I fly.

I have no real sense of time, consciously, at least.  My subconscious seems to have some fairly definite set points, but when I look at this coming day, I have a very hard time understanding exactly what will fit into these 24 hours.

I have some notions and a list, but what happens, happens.  I know I have a tire changeover appointment today at ten and will meet my accountant --probably-- but I tend to be spontaneous and things can change.

I can often estimate my time of arrival on a complex road trip with spooky precision, even to the minute, but I am lost trying to understand what I will do in the next twenty-four, other than in generalities.  Fact is what I think I will do and what I will do are bound to be vastly different. 

As I have observed before pre-thought and decisions are one thing, but at the moment, the action often is different and the narrative and justification come right after, so closely that we think the conscious decision was made in the split-second before the action, but in fact, it was not.

So much for procrastination.

I checked in and then spent an hour trying to get my name right on my boarding pass. I checked in again and the same abbreviation was present. I give up.

I've made my omelet, had my coffee, and done the dishes.  The sky is just showing some light in the east at 0752.

Now I have to decide what I'll do before I leave. It should be nice outdoors today, so I'll tidy out there a bit and make sure the boats are ready for snow.  I'll seal some cracks in the basement door, shovel ashes again, and check the furnace.

I drove to town, waited until my studded tires were mounted, and then drove to the accountant's to discuss my books. From there, I drove home and un loaded the summer tires.

I depend on Uber to get around in La Paz, so guess what news came in today's email (right)? Uber is banned!  Uber plans to continue operating anyhow, pending appeals, so we'll see how that works out.

I was tired by six and watched a bit of The Good Wife and got back to work.  By eight, I was exhausted and not accomplishing much so I went to bed at eight-thirty/  I set my alarm set one with expectations that I would be more productive then and be wide awake by three when I should be out the door.

What was I thinking, reserving a flight for 6AM?

Quote of the Day
Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.
Wayne Dyer

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