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Cassiopeia at anchor in Deep Cove.

Monday May 20th 2013
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Today we say our good byes and return to Sidney, pack, and prepare to fly home tomorrow.

I dinghied in and paid for the docking and a anchorages book, then we motored out of Bedwell Harbour and turned west for Boundary Pass.  We set the sails and were moving nicely, but the wind soon died and we motored over to Tsehum Harbour to get fuel at Van Isle Marina.  I had not stopped there before and found they have  large, accessible dock with people on hand to catch lines.

Shortly after, we backed into our slip in Sidney and got to work on getting ready to leave tomorrow morning.

Write drunk; edit sober.
Ernest Hemingway

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Tuesday May 21st 2013
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I'm up at 5 AM, packing and getting ready to meet the cab at 7:45.

I packed and tidied and was ready just in time to catch the cab.  We flew out of YYJ over to YVR, then on to YYC, arriving at 1:25.  I did some shopping on the way home and we arrived around four.  Amos, our cat was very glad to see us.  Zippy is still at Ruth's.

The grass has grown and needs cutting again.

There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
Flannery O'Connor

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Wednesday May 22nd 2013
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We're home and the grass is growing.  Ellen texted Megan twice and no answer, so we texted Elijah.

I'll take a look at the bees shortly.  I expect a few hives will be getting ready to swarm before long, but many will be struggling.

I settled back in at home, doing wash and odds and odd jobs.  Elijah came and mowed grass.  Still no word from Megan.

Ruth brought Zippy back in the late afternoon, then Fen and Maddy came for supper.  I cooked a goose, and had it in the oven for two hours, but it was still tough.

We finally got a text from Megan's phone.  Apparently her mother had confiscated it and so she did not get our messages. 

He would make a lovely corpse.
Charles Dickens

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Thursday May 23rd 2013
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It's sunny this AM, but several days of rain are promised, with significant amounts expected.  I'm going to tidy today and check the bees when the wind goes down.  It is currently blowing from the ESE at 16 MPH.

In the meantime, I'm sorting the recycling heap.  I accumulate a pile of stuff over several months, then sort it.  The job is a nuisance, as there are rules as to what goes where that have to be remembered each time and every municipality seems to have different expectations.

At various times, I have to deal with the rules for Sudbury, Muskoka, Airdrie, and Three Hills.  All are different.  At home, I prefer to drop off plastics in Airdrie as they take all plastics in one bin whereas Three Hills expects me to read every container and submit the #2s separately.  I don't even try to sort paper and cardboard.  I just burn it, but do sort the drink containers and glass and plastics.  Then I make a trip to the bottle depot and the recycling depot.

Ellen tried recycling papers some time back and a few days later got a call from the depot as somehow she had not gotten the sorting perfect. They had found an envelope in the material and called her.  If they were going through everything anyways, why expect us to sort? 

Anyhow, it was like something out of Alice's Restaurant and we have never recycled paper since.  I've heard that oftentimes if there is no customer for the scrap, all our carefully sorted trash goes to the landfill anyhow -- after all that special effort.

Maybe Airdrie will take unsorted paper.  I should check.

I did a lot of sorting, updated the reports for some recent days in this diary, had a nap and then visited with a Peter S., and after that, Shirley.  The wind dropped a bit, but the rain became heavy and we cancelled the kid who was to come and mow grass, and gave up on going out to look at the bees.

I also spent an hour or two on the 'net investigating beach wheels for the RIB dinghy, but did not decide.

After supper, I spent another hour or more evaluating and ordering LED ceiling lights for the boat. To try LEDs out, I had spent $25 for one single light in Victoria and liked it,  but on eBay, I was able to buy 25, delivered, for about the same money -- total cost! I hope they are as good.  We'll see.  I figure for the money, I can hardly lose. 

LEDs draw about 1/10th to 1/5th the battery current for the same amount of light as a conventional bulb.

I watched an episode of The Rockford Files before bed.  It's a pleasant show and not as gritty as Engrenages, a French series I have been watching lately on Netflix.  Having had a good sailing trip, I find that I am relaxed and not in the mood for anything edgy.

I counted and I have now spent 22 nights on Cassiopeia.  At present she is out on charter.  I'm happy to have her in use.

For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable
in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
Henry Louis Mencken

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Friday May 24th 2013
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It's raining again today, but the wind has dropped.  I may go out and lift a few lids if the rain lets up.  I also have the corporate year end to do.

The time is approaching for making decisions about how many hives I can spare.  I've left the hives alone for another week and they should be building up well by now.  When we get a break in the weather, I have lots to do.

I have a "Safe Use of Organic Acids" demonstration to do in Calgary tomorrow if the weather is decent.  I'm not the world's authority on that, but have been drafted for the job.  I do have experience, including a first-hand experience with what happens if you allow formic acid to remain in contact with skin.

Jonathan and the kids are coming on the 5th and staying until the 8th , so I want to get things done by then.  After that, I should go east for a while.

I see the apple trees are in bloom

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief
that one's work is terribly important.
Bertrand Russell

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Saturday May 25th 2013
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Today, I got up, gathered supplies together and drove to Calgary where I taught a Safe Handing of Organic Acids workshop in Bowness. 

After, I returned home and had along nap.

Meijers brought steaks over and we barbequed them for supper.  Elijah cut the grass for an hour.

This article had been brought to my attention previously and the question came up.  Joe read it more carefully that I and noted that a fine had been levied for importing a thymol-based varroa treatment.  That surprised me.

The Amitraz matter I can understand, but thymol?  Controlling Amitraz use in terms of timing and methods makes some sense as this is the best chemical control we have and the beekeeping community benefits from standardizing and monitoring for signs of resistance and outlaw use could create pockets of accelerated resistance in  mites, however, AFAIK, thymol is basically a spice and considered GRAS by EPA

Seems to me that we are approaching a point where enforcement is becoming draconian and working against reason rather than for the common good.  Technically, this event may have been illegal, but I'd have expected enforcement to use judgment. 

If all laws were enforced, we'd all be paying fines all the time, sitting in jail, or constantly looking over our shoulders.  In a free country, and a non-police state, the rule of law depends on the consent of the governed and citizen respect for the law.  This sort of over-enforcement only serves to bring the authorities and the law into disrepute -- IMO. 

If anyone disagrees and thinks this action justified, let's debate this in the Honey Bee World Forum.

Personally, I came to the conclusion that thymol is not something that I want to use, but I see no danger to people, the bees, or to honey and consumers from its careful use.

In my reading I came across this useful Canadian Bee-related site.

This isn't right, this isn't even wrong.
Wolfgang Pauli

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Sunday May 26th 2013
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Today, I plan to look at my bees, tidy the yard, do some bookkeeping and maybe mow some grass.  I have a telephone meeting in the afternoon.

Cassiopeia returns from her first charter of the year today.

I looked into the North Yard and see I lost one that had been very weak.  The others are coming along, but not quickly.  This is the slowest year I can ever recall.  The hives have still not consumed all the patties I put on a week or more ago.

I pulled the driver side back wheel off the Super Duty 4X4 to change the pads and rotor.  All went well until I discovered that one caliper is seized.  I tried un-seizing it, but will probably have to replace it.

God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately
not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.
Robin Williams

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Monday May 27th 2013
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I have an eye appointment at two this afternoon in Calgary.  I'll leave early and run a few errands, including picking up a new caliper.

I went to the appointment.  After a number of tests and am examination, the doctor said my eyes have not changed much and that the field of vision tests came out at 99%. 

A test on a new device shows a slight damage to the nerve in one eye, but that we already knew.  The intraocular pressures are normal at 14 and 15, so the SLT done on July 12th last year worked well again.  This is fortunate since the odds were against the operation working that well a second time.

I should mention again that the reason I am seeing this specialist is that seven years ago I had queried the local eye doctor about the results when having a routine checkup.  She had said that the intraocular pressures were a bit high but that she was not seeing any damage and not to worry for now.

I did worry and asked if damage was likely at some point in the near future and she said, Yes", and that her ability to detect damage was limited compared to a specialist's.

I said that I did not want wait until she could see damage and could she arrange for me to see a specialist.

A while after, I had and appointment and the specialist did detect a slight hint of glaucoma in one eye.  The nerve showed slight enlargement, so we tried drops.  They were a nuisance and they did not work, so we tried an SLT to drop the pressure.  The SLT was a simple walk-in, walk-out and drive home half-hour procedure performed by the same specialist, at a local hospital .

The SLT results were stellar and pressure returned to normal.  That endured for six years, but recently, as expected, the pressures began to rise again and we repeated the procedure -- with good success, it seems -- in July 2012.   I am lucky as SLT does not always work at all, even once.

The bottom line: ask questions and seek treatment before damage occurs.

I did some grocery shopping on the way home.

The mistakes are all waiting to be made.
Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower

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Tuesday May 28th 2013
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Today turned out to be a big one.

We were up early and off to Drumheller for Ellen's chemo.  We arrived on time, but for whatever reason, we had to wait until a local drug store opened so we could get a drug that we could have picked up the day before if things had been planned properly.

The treatment took until after two in the afternoon.  In the meantime, while waiting, I did some shopping, had a long nap, and visited the Tyrrell again.

While shopping I came across a shelf of dried beans and bought a package of each, totally about ten.  Who knew there are so many varieties?
 

I discovered bean salads a while back and have increasingly been eating more beans and also a sort of 'trail mix' made up of various seeds and nuts and a few raisins.  I find I am eating less meat.  I think that as one ages, the body's needs change.  These foods also can be prepared in batches and store well.  That increases convenience and reduces preparation time.  It has not been unusual for me to spend twenty minutes or more making an omelet and cleaning up in the mornings.

I have been buying canned beans until now, but figure that they are not a very efficient way to buy more than a few beans and also find that the quality varies, so I figured to give the dried beans a try.

When I got home and surveyed my purchase, I realised that you get a lot of beans for $30.  It looks like enough for a month or more, even if I ate nothing else!  $30 spent on beef would result in a much smaller package and a food that shrinks, rather than expands, when cooked.  Grains offer another alternative that is nutritious and inexpensive but, again, preparation into an attractive meal can be challenging. 

I lucked out with the bean salad idea, and need something similar for whole grains.  We are offered many grain products in the stores, but virtually all of them, including those promoted as "healthy", are over-processed, high glycemic and sweetened with simple sugars.  Breakfast cereals, even including slow-cooked rolled oats, tend to be high glycemic and leave me feeling uncomfortable and hungry shortly after.

Beans, seeds and nuts seem to suit me though.  They are unprocessed and take longer to digest.  I've even substituted trail mix for my usual three-egg omelet over the past few days and find that I am not usually hungry until lunch.

Today, I'm trying bean salad for breakfast.  I've tried skipping breakfast, but find that I cannot think, and feel weird when I don't eat after I get up.  Oatmeal and breakfast cereals don't work for me.

Rehydrating dried beans involves soaking, so I am learning about preparing beans from scratch.  Seems there can be some toxicity and ant-nutrient issues, but I am vague on the topic.  That, and general ignorance about beans have been the reason that beans have not been a larger part of my diet in the past.

There is a lot written about beans and grains on the Internet, but a lot of it is low quality speculation, myth, or just rumour.  I'll have to seek authoritative info.

When we got home, my former neighbour called and said he and the local fire departments wanted to burn down the old granary at the southwest corner of my property as a training exercise.  I said not unless the wind was in a direction that guaranteed that my bees and my house would not be smoked.

At that time, the wind was southwest and blowing directly towards my home.  By the time that evening arrived, however, it had shifted and was blowing away from my property.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers

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Wednesday May 29th 2013
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The remains of the shed are still smoldering in the rain this morning.  Fortunately, the wind did not turn against us and we received very little smoke or ash.  I had forgotten that I had left drums of old kodel in there. 

I see that my charter boat, Cassiopeia, has reached 30 days booked, halfway to my target of 60 days.

I was very tired today and could not get interested in anything.  I had a long nap and got more ambitious.  The sun came out and I took the caliper off the truck, so it is ready to exchange for a a rebuilt, then went to check bees and put on patties.

The hives are coming along, and a few were in all three boxes.  One was preparing to swarm, but the majority of the hives are still in one box.

I reversed the strong one, borrowed some brood, and exchanged it with a weaker hive.  This hive could be a source of queen cells if I need them.  I used up a box of patties in the quonset yard and quit for the day.

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation.
H. H. Munro

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Thursday May 30th 2013
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The rain stopped for a while late yesterday, but has resumed this morning. I was going to drive the 14 miles to Acme this morning to get the caliper, but the rain means the the four miles of gravel road will be muddy.  The alternate route is six miles longer.  I don't want to drive the extra miles and I don't want to have a dirty van.  I'll wait.  I have books to do again. 

I looked further into the bean toxicity question and found some references, but not as many as I would have expected. 

Causes of Foodborne Illness: Bad Bug Book > BBB - Phytohaemagglutinin
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/CausesOfIllnessBadBugBook/ucm071092.htm

Red kidney bean toxins - A guide to Food poisoning
http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/food-poisoning/red-kidney-bean-toxins.html

Toxins in Dried Beans
http://missvickie.com/howto/beans/beantoxins.htm

Why Do I Have to Soak Dry Beans?
http://missvickie.com/howto/beans/howtosoak.html

How to Avoid Food Poisoning from Undercooked Beans: 5 Steps
http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Food-Poisoning-from-Undercooked-Beans

I drove to Acme to get the caliper and it turned out that the bracket was not included and that was the part I need as the old one is siezed.  I declined it and drove to Beisker to get gas for the mower and returned home.  Now I'll try serious heat to unseize the bracket.

A bit more aggressive approach with the  oxy-acetylene torch soon unseized the bracket and I cleaned it up and reassembled the brakes.  That takes care of that side.  The other should be a one-hour job at most, assuming it is not seized and it does not appear to be.

I criticize by creation not by finding fault.
Cicero

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Friday May 31st 2013
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I have the brakes on the other wheel to do today.  Wendy and ken are scheduled to come for supper.

I did the other wheel.  Of course it took longer than expected, but not much.

Wendy and ken came for supper and we had a good visit.

I criticize by creation not by finding fault.
Cicero

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