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Chains on all four wheels and still the going is slow.

Sunday March 10th 2013
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Today, I pack for the East and go to the airport just before midnight. I've decided to leave further checking of the the bees for when I return.  In fact, I'm just relaxing today. 

I spent the morning writing a letter to my kids that it turns out I will not need to send.  I was discussing and asking what I should do with my share of the cottage. I resolved the question by trying to explain it.

Writing clarifies my thoughts, and after a few hours writing and rewriting, I found that I really have very little to say on that topic.  

The question is complicated, but the answer is simple.  Do nothing for now.

I hope to finish filing papers this afternoon and a little cleanup, then pack for my flight.  Other than that, all I have to do is be in Airdrie by 2330 hrs to park the van and for my ride to YYC.  I fly at 1 AM.

Did I mention that I accidentally booked the red-eye?  I think it was an accident.

Flying the red-eye is hard on me and the day I arrive I am not good for much.  I'll try to sleep, but I mostly doze it seems.  People recommend taking a sleeping pill or two Gravol, and I know two Benadryl will knock me out for four hours, but I am always leery of the after effects.

Seems my mind is a bit foggy lately.  Was it an accident, or did I just assume later that my flight was the afternoon one.  I do a lot of things in a reverie.

Winter does that to me.  Being inside and less active turns my mind to mush.  I knew that, and my plan was to henceforth spend winters in the south but reality struck, and with Ellen being sick I have had to adapt so I can be with her.  Right now, though she seems really well, so maybe we will get south in future.  For now, though we are looking forward to smelling the flowers in Victoria later this month and sailing on Cassiopeia.

The other day, when I decided to go over and tag  and clean up my Evernote notes, I came to the realization that I am doing far too much in a semi-conscious state.

As soon as I got started, I became aware of how much I have been researching recently.  I came across one thing after another and piles of accumulated notes.  I do have a lot of interests and projects underway at all times.

It is gratifying that I see I have followed up on about 75% of the projects and completed most of that -- which for me is pretty good -- but also left a trail of snippets that were not sorted in any way. 

I was able to delete about 150 of the 850 notes and still have 1/3 of the file to look over.  The job of tagging and sorting took me about four hours so far, as some of the items I turned up got me going again on that project or another.  I am easily distracted.

I see from the photos at the top of this page and last that the lens of my cell phone camera was a bit dirty from using it when working the hives.  The pictures are passable after some retouching, but I have to watch this in future.

The wind picked up in late afternoon and enough for kiting, but I was still packing and also remembered that I had been stiff, and had a sore foot in the morning and decided, even though it may be last and best chance to snowkite this year, that I should skip it to be sure to be in good shape for the midnight flight.

As it turned out, the decision was wise in more ways than one.  The wind whipped up to 23 MPH indicated and probably much more, at one point and I would have been very overpowered on my 8.5 metre kite.  The wind did die back to a manageable 10-12 MPH  later, but had I gone out I might have had a bad experience, seeing as I am still getting used to this kite and harness.  The wind also completely reversed directions suddenly.

Getting dragged around in a high wind can be very dangerous.  We have quick releases on the harness to prevent that, but they have to be activated by the user, and that can be hard to when being yanked off one's feet and still inexperienced with the system. 

Wind energy increases and the square of the velocity, so 23 MPH wind would have over 5 times the power of a 10 MPH wind, and a 10 MPH wind is about perfect for my present skill level.

I planned to leave at 10:30, and lay down to nap for a while, but was not sleepy, so I left early and met Mike in Airdrie earlier than planned.  He drove me to YYC. I arrived so early that the security line was non-existent, and I spent my extra time reading in the lounge.   We boarded at 12:30 and I settled in, hoping to sleep a few hours.

People only accept change when they are faced with necessity,
and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them.
Jean Monnet

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Monday March 11th 2013
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At 1 AM, an Air Canada 320 took off, bound for YYZ with me aboard. 

I didn't fall asleep right away, so I decided to Watch "Skyfall".  It dragged on and on, and after two hours I decided that it was never going to end and caught a nap. 

Skyfall was not like the old James Bond movies, which in their time were trendsetters.  This was just another typical action movie in the current fashion with nothing to distinguish it from the crowd.  Too bad.

My legs get uncomfortable on those seats, however, and I didn't sleep well even though I had taken two Benadyrl.

We landed at YYZ at 0645 and by 0855, I was in the air again, this time in a much smaller craft, a DH1.  I slept from takeoff until just before landing -- 40 minutes.

At 10, we landed on a wet runway at YSB in low visibility due to snow, and Bill was there to meet me, but my bag was not...  I filed a report and Bill drove me to Mom's.  We had a visit and then I went to bed for a few hours to get over my fatigue.  When I awoke, my bag had arrived.

After supper, I went to visit Bill and Faye for a few hours.  Faye sewed a tab onto a small kite I had bought on Amazon and which had arrived unfinished in this one detail.  I could have returned the kite, had I noticed in time, but I was away and did not get around to opening the package until long after the return date had passed.  There is a lesson here: open packages on arrival and inspect the goods.

 There are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

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Tuesday March 12th 2013
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Mom is 94 today and we started the day with a run out to the car dealer to get the oil and tires changed and a starting problem troubleshot.  The we returned in time for a visit from some of Mom's friends.

Due to continuing rain over the last week, the Lake is covered with water, but unfortunately not quite enough to cover all the snow and form a perfect sheet of ice.  If there were a bit more, the entire Lake would be a huge skating rink when the temperature drops as it is scheduled to do this week.  If that were the case, I could take a kite and some skates and really have some fun.  A traction kite can carry a rider upwind and down with equal ease, so it is not just a downwind ride.

Allen,

I was looking at how open your beeyards are and wondered if you had ever tried windbreaks over the years? Or if you did, if they made a difference? In musing I come to the conclusion that you probably did and found they weren't worth the effort. Right or wrong?

I have tried windbreaks,  Wooden snow fence worked fairly well, but was a hassle.  I'm thinking I should have used it this year.  The problem is that the winters vary, and all that work makes no difference many if not most years.  Snow fence also does not protect the upper entrances.

My Quonset Yard is quite sheltered compared to the other yards and it really did no better than average, so it is hard to see a pattern.  The West Quonset Yard is less sheltered and did better than any other yard, and it includes two weak swarms I picked up and tucked in there late in the summer.  Go figure.

What is not evident from occasional visits is what the conditions were like between trips.  A one-time event with the wind at just the right angle and at a very cold temperature, possibly carrying dense snow into the hive, may only come once in a a long while, but it can kill or do lasting damage in minutes.

Ideally, though, I would surround my yards with an 8-foot high fence of 8" boards with a 1" gap between.  I will, some day -- when I get a round tuit.

I did see another photo of a bee yard in Michigan US where a guy had taken some loops of galvanized metal and set them up around each pallet. The problem was that I never saw him report whether it worked or not.

I don't think that would be a good plan.  For one thing, it would shade the hives and the warmth from the sun is important.  Solid shelters also tend to cause the wind to swirl.  Perforated fences work best.

This is my only apiary. That is my house in the background. The bees are sheltered on every side except south by trees. If I were starting over again I would have it on more level ground, other than that I am pretty happy with it.   Photos More Photos

I can't tell whether it is on a slope or in a depression.  Bees do best on a side-hill, facing east and south.

Regards,

Adrian
Hudson, WI.

Note rec'd later: FYI, my hives are on the side of a hill and face south. Adrian.

One week from today, I fly to Vancouver at 3:20 PM.  I should start rounding up a crew for the trek to Sidney from Vancouver.

I visited Bill and Faye again in the afternoon and then went back to 1207 and took Mom out for supper to celebrate her 94th birthday.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Wednesday March 13th 2013
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We picked up Mom's car this morning at the dealer, then I took a boat cushion to a canvas shop.  From there I went to Bill's.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
Thomas Jefferson

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Thursday March 14th 2013
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I got up late and then drove Mom to her appointments and then went to see Bill.  We went to Ramsay to see about getting on the Lake, but the ramp was not looking good for anything less than a 4X4.  Even 4X4s were having issues with the water and wet snow. (right)

We went to Nipawin and tried flying kites there but the wind died and we did not have much luck.  We returned to Wicks' for supper and visited late into the evening.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
Oscar Wilde

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Friday March 15th 2013
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I slept in again and am catching up on email, etc.  The past few days, I have not spent much time here at the desk.

Four days from today, I fly west.  Six days from now, I shall be sailing Cassiopeia towards Sidney and hopefully be tied up at Port Sidney by nightfall.   So, I am working on lining up some crew for the trip.  I could sail that big boat alone, as she is set up for single-handing, but it is always wise to have people along to provide some relief on a long trip crossing busy traffic lanes.

I took a short walk and otherwise stayed at 1207 today.

If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.
Herbert Stein

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Saturday March 16th 2013
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Today, I am off to see about repairing a scratch on Mom's car and to get another toilet at Costco.  They have two models and the more expensive one -- ~$150 -- a very good dual flush unit.  I replaced the one downstairs ten years ago, but the improvements since then justify another change.

Bill and I plan to take a walk on one of the City's hiking trails.  We have been planning to do that for days now, but always get distracted.  Right now, though, it is minus seventeen with an eighteen KPH wind.

*    *   *    *   *

Bill and I did go out, but we drove out on the ice on Long Lake to a camp where we used spend our spare time when we were in our late teens.  The place was sold years ago, was apparently abandoned, and has fallen into disrepair.  The steam bath might be useable, but the camp itself is trashed by time.

From there, we did finally go hiking along the trails at the west end of Kelly Lake, ending up at a waterfall with geese and ducks milling around in the unfrozen section of the Lake and then returned for coffee at Wicks'.

I see I am looking a bit chubby (left).  Time to do something about that.

I drove home at five.  Sid came over for supper.  We had a good visit.

I didn't ever get around to checking out the scratch repair, getting groceries, or buying the toilet.

 Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Sunday March 17th 2013
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    Saint Patrick's Day    

Today is Saint Patrick's Day and Jean's birthday and I find myself in Sudbury again.  I looked back to 2011 and see that I was here on this date that year, too.

Looking back at my comments for this date in 2011, I see that I have now owned the Black 1998 Plymouth van for 7-1/2 years. 

The other day, Mom mentioned that our vehicle license plates had lapsed and that getting downtown to renew is a hassle.  I was driving around anyhow, but figured I'd better renew, so went online this morning and renewed for two more years. 

 I put new tires and brakes on this van in the last two years and it seems very sound.  It still looks good and runs well, but Sudbury is very hard on vehicles due to the road salt, and I am seeing some rust showing up around the rear wheel wells and the rear hatch.  I may fix it or just ignore it.  By this time in  2015, I'll have owned this van for almost ten years.  In the meantime, I don't have to worry about renewing next year.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas Alva Edison

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Monday March 18th 2013
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By yesterday's date, March 17th, we have always had runoff or signs of heavy snow melt.  Apparently, so far this year, the snow is staying put and the 7-day forecast shows no promise of runoff weather.  The winters have been getting colder and longer lately.

Tomorrow, I leave for Vancouver, so today, I start getting ready. 

I did some bookwork and installed toilet, then borrowed a chair from Sid.  After supper, I returned the chair, went to Staples and looked at office chairs, then returned to 1207 and watched the 13th episode of House of Cards.  I've now watched all the available episodes.  It's not often that I find myself watching the entertainment that is currently the buzz.

We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.
Vince Lombardi

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Tuesday March 19th 2013
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At 5 I was wide a awake, so I got up and got to work getting ready to fly out this afternoon.  I always wake up early on days when I am scheduled to travel.

Liftoff is at 3:20 this afternoon, and expected arrival in Vancouver is 8:04 PM local.  With the three-hour time difference, it will be close to 8 hours of travel.

I see warmer weather approaching at home in Alberta (above).  With longer days, the snow melts even at near-freezing temperatures.

Sid drove me to YSB and I was at the car rental in Vancouver by 9PM. 

I managed to sleep a fair bit, and slept the whole flight from YSB to YYZ.  On the YYZ-YVR segment, after I watched the entertainment for a while, I bought a supper, and either the red wine or the spice in the wrap, or maybe just sitting for hours, set my legs to tingling, so after an hour of sleep I found had to keep shifting position and that kept me awake for the last hour and a half.  This has happened to me before on flights.  Sometimes the seats are the problem, but this time, I blame something I ate.

On this second leg, I had a chance to watch Zero Dark Thirty.  Having heard  some positive reviews, I started watching but found it rather pointless, overdone and depressing.  I also was very aware that it is almost total fiction, masquerading as history.  Ten minutes in, things got no better; I really don't like what it says about US tastes these days, so I switched to Life of Pi.  That one, I managed to watch all the way through as it was well done technically and not offensive.  Was it actually good?  Would I pay money to watch it?  Hmmmm.  It was OK, but a bit long for the content.  I'd have cut it down to a half-hour.  Of course, on a long flight, killing time is the goal, so this was the perfect movie for that. 

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell

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