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Winter is here, even if the official start is over a month away
I slept well, having had the foresight to buy an anti-histamine/decongestant along the way and to take it before bed.
Today is sunny. Jean and Chris have gone out for a ski. I am watching over the kids and the dogs.
It's been a lazy day. We sat around, had lunch, then Jean, Nathan and I took a stroll down to the water and back. The ice I saw yesterday on the Lake has broken up and blown into shore, making a rough margin about 100 yards across near shore. When the Lake freezes, this will make skating and driving on the Lake difficult if it does not blow to another shore before freeze-up.
I had bought two network cameras to experiment with for home monitoring, and we played with them. They seem to work fairly well -- much better than the cameras I tried previously.
Mid-afternoon, Zippy and I left for home. We stopped at Wal-Mart in Sylvan Lake along the way. Years ago, we used to spend weekends in Sylvan, but in recent years, I have not been there except to pass through. It is surprising how the town has grown.
those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your
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I'm hoping to get some deskwork cleared up today. I began with troubleshooting an problem with audio feedback. After some time of playing around I realised that the problem was that the camera web page opens the microphone when it is running. When listening to Internet radio on the same computer, the speakers feed back to the mic. Normally, the mic is off.
I slept reasonably well last night. I'm still experiencing some allergy, but the medication is helping. I am finding my breathing is depressed after sleeping a few hours, so I still suspect my diet and peppers are high on the list. The other suspect is tomatoes.
I have found that although most tomatoes do not bother me, roma tomatoes and some tomato sauces have given me problems in the past. Recently, I began making beans stews with canned tomatoes as an ingredient. That could be it. I also am growing tomatoes in the house and have been eating the fresh tomatoes. There a re three varieties and one of them may be contributing to the problem.
I have also been using spices like oregano and a curry mix I bought recently. Here is a note a friend sent on such matters:
Yes, tomatoes and peppers are known issues for me at times, but the interesting and challenging aspect is that not all peppers and not all tomatoes affect me.
The curry powder I bought has coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, celery seed, bay leaves, nutmeg, onion, cloves, ginger, and cayenne pepper. I can see that the black pepper, the ginger, and the cayenne could be problems. I noticed that had a reaction quite soon after using it, but nothing extreme. I'll have to stop using some of the less familiar spices I have been playing with and go back to plainer bean recipes.
The night congestion and sleep problem has been going on for several weeks, so may be the canned tomatoes. I have been using them longer than the new spices. I have been using more black pepper lately and I have been aware that it tends to slightly paralyze me when sleeping, so I'll have to cut back on it.
I made some real headway with the deskwork today and worked into the evening. I finally got around to billing my website clients. That was long overdue.
I had intended to get some exercise, and went to the gym downstairs in the morning and looked at the treadmill, but did not use it. I notice my legs are getting a bit weak from so much sitting and need to walk more. Skiing will help, but I need to get into better shape regardless. I went outside during the day and unloaded the van and walked around, but was not inspired to look at the bees. I understand that tomorrow should be warm and I have some deskwork that I have put off that will take days.
My intention has been to set up some video to watch to relieve the boredom of walking on the treadmill, but have not settled on a plan. I have a number of entertainment devices, including an old 27 inch TV and DVD and VCR players as well as my phone, and two tablets, but am still planning.
I'll sleep when
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Although I did wake up with congestion several times during the night, I did get eight hours of sleep, and awoke refreshed. The antihistamine/decongestant is not strong enough to overcome whatever is causing the sinus problem, although the drug seems to reduce the problem.
Sitting up helps and I wonder if the problem is GERD, which was a problem previously and seems to bother me in winter. GERD can cause sinus congestion, cough and hoarseness. I took some GERD medication last winter, but found it caused me to be short of breath on exertion.
I also wondered if I had an h pylori infection and saw a doctor at one point, but the problem went away with spring. Drugs are the last resort. I prefer to find behavioural solutions.
I can see why I had trouble last night, maybe. I ate that quiche which is white flour, lard, shrimp, eggs and cheese. White flour I know is a problem beyond small amounts, but eggs and cheese?
I don't drink juices, but have been drinking Diet Coke and I do drink lots of coffee, but usually earlier in the day. I have an orange every morning, too. I did not have wine or other alcoholic drink last night and it made no difference. I figured the bland supper would be the ticket, but did not count on the potency of the quiche.
I have spent a lot of time today digging into this since I have to confess this condition is beginning to worry me. Here is the best material I have found so far other than dietary advice.
The reason it has begun to worry me as It has gotten worse lately, to the point where I woke up at least 10 times the other night and, after an initial three-hour sleep, was only sleeping in twenty-minute naps. I'm beginning to think this condition is life-threatening.
The link above describes my condition well. I assume I sleep well at first since my reflux takes a while to cause irritation as my active day is vertical and gravity clears my respiratory system and allows it to recover. When I lie down, stomach contents leak and rise up causing irritation in the lungs and sinuses.
What exactly to do, I don't yet know. I suspect I have sleep apnea to some extent as well. That concerns me as these conditions can be deadly in several ways. I think I'll start with diet and not eating in the evening. This gives me an excuse to cut back on alcohol as well.
A sleep doctor was interviewed on Calgary CBC the other day and I had taken note. Today I phoned and made an appointment to see him ten days from now.
Meijers came for supper. We had steak, carrots, broccoli and squash. I confess I also had four (five actually) glasses of red wine during the meal and after. So much for self-control.
After my company left, I cleaned up and watched Netflix for an hour. I'm now down to the last two episodes of Engrenages again. They added a new season and I've now watched most of it I made sure I did not eat after the meal and took tan Allegra-D on what should have been an empty stomach, then went to bed at ten.
I'm increasingly thinking the problem may be a combination of GERD and mild apnea, exacerbated by diet and lack of exercise, so am trying to become aware of any reflux. I noted some reflux until bedtime and during the night.
When you gaze
long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.
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I have an eye appointment in Calgary at eleven this morning, so have to leave by 0930.
I slept two or three hours and woke up, had a sip of water and went back to sleep for a while. I have some congestion, but not as bad as sometimes. The third time I awoke, I took two Benadryl and went back to sleep.
For some reason, two Benadryl usually will give me four hours of uninterrupted sleep. I surfaced a few times before morning, but slept fairly well and awoke rested.
Thanks for that note. There are a lot of options these days that we did not have a decade ago. I recall investigating this company a number of years ago, but did not act. I even have a login if it is still valid. At the time, the system seemed a bit undeveloped, but I am sure it has advanced a lot since then. Maybe I should act on this idea. What do I have to lose?
I tried my old username and password and got a "not known" message, so I guess they clean out their inactive memberships fairly often. What the heck, I ordered a kit, but it came to $160 when the shipping was included.
Now I have to get going if I don't want to rush. When I go to town, I like to do some errands along the way and on the return trip.
Costco is on the way to Calgary, so I made a brief stop, but realized time was getting late, so I hustled to the eye appointment. The exam took all of ten minutes as all they did was check the pressures. They came out to be 15 and 16, which is just fine.
On my return, I did the dishes, then went out to look at the bees. First thing, I installed the new battery on the forklift and replaced the battery I had borrowed from the old red 4X4.
Then I lifted lids on the hives that I brought up from the South Yard last month. They are the worst hives and I figure that looking at them will give me an idea what kind of winter success to expect.
They don't look too bad and I expect about 20% loss in that bunch if the winter is not too harsh. The bees in most hives are all up top already, so I should heft them to check weights but I don't expect they are too light. I lifted some into place earlier on. I may have to feed in late March or April, though.
I'm feeling quite ambitious this evening, and much better than for a week or more. With any kind of luck, I'll sleep well tonight, but I am feeling a bit of heartburn and burping a bit, so whatever upset my digestion is still bothering me and may wake me up again.
The instinct of
nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free.
Just after midnight, after sleeping two hours, I awoke once and then slept four hours straight, with dreams, and awoke refreshed and uncongested. I got an early start, rising at 0430.
I think I may have broken the code. The problem appears to be GERD. With that suspicion in mind, I had a light supper last night. In fact I just ate some turkey and drank a cup of coffee, then ate and drank nothing until bedtime, except sips of water.
Before bed, thinking that if acid reflux is the problem, and that Pepto Bismol might sooth the stomach, esophagus, etc. I took a shot of Pepto Bismol on the chance it would prevent reflux and the resulting congestion. It seems to have worked.
I did not take any antihistamines, decongestants, etc. or drink anything alcoholic yesterday. Coffee is one of the things that is expected to cause stomach upset, and will keep a person awake, but late in the afternoon, I sometimes find I'm tired and a cup of coffee gives me a lift. Sometimes coffee actually helps me sleep.
As for various foods and spices, I know that some do lead to problems and will be careful. Alcohol and coffee to excess definitely lead to upset. Some spices are worse.
Another thing to watch is my habit of drinking coffee hot enough that I could not hold a finger in it for more than a moment. For some reason, my mouth can tolerate hot food and drink, but I wonder about my esophagus and stomach. Scalding the throat could lead to the kind of problems I am experiencing.
I wonder about beans and lentils, too, as they do cause gas that has to get out somehow and there are only two routes for escape. Since stomach contents leaking or being forced up into the throat and then into lungs and sinuses (GERD) while sleeping seems to be the problem, gas pressure in the digestive tract is probably not a good thing.
Anyhow, enough of that for now. Today I have lots to do and I feel like doing it.
Over the years, I have spent many, many hours writing articles for BEE-L, and at various times moderating the list in an attempt to prevent ramant or subtle personal abuse, however, I have finally decided that BEE-L is wasting my time. Hoping for improvement is futile. Only a few participants are actually interested in exchanging information. For others, it is a chance to play games and exchange subtle and not so subtle abuse.
This morning, after several hours at the desk, reading and catching up, I began examining and setting up the WD TV Live Streaming Media Player I bought at Costco yesterday.
While at Costco, I had looked at 32" smart TVs for as low as $335, but decided to buy this gismo and use it with one of my old 27" analog cathode ray TVs. It cost $87, so the decision was not easy as this is just an add-on for obsolete technology. Those old TVs weigh 60 lbs or so, and the plan is to use one in the gym where I will want to move it around, so it will have to go onto a cart. Another minus is that today's video is typically formatted for 16:9, not 4:3, so the 27" TV acts more like a 24" flat screen display. Anyhow, that is what I decided to do, even though the flat screen alternative would have been much more lightweight, more portable, and had a larger display.
I got the media player hooked up to the wi-fi and it updated twice, then I was able to watch Netflix on an old TV in the gym. in the process, while experimenting, I discovered that the WD TV will work with a computer monitor that has composite video or HDMI and speakers.
I also found a pair of wireless earphones and set them up to use with the system. I have quite a few sets of phones, it seems. I've collected quite a lot of stuff over the years.
I did some cleanup in the gym while I was down there, but still did not get around to actually using the treadmill. By the time I finished that and a few other jobs, the day was bright and warm, so I took out four drums of ashes and began on the beehives.
It was 1500 by then and I was running out of time as Fen, the girls and Elijah were coming for supper and I had a roast to go into the oven and a meal to prepare but I did manage to look at a few more hives and add more pillows under the lids.
At 1630, I went in and began supper. The group arrived at 1845, and brought Bert along as well, so we had six for supper. I had cooked a 5 lb leg of lamb , carrots, cabbage, and rutabaga and we had a shrimp quiche and tossed salad as well, with fruit and ice cream for dessert. Interestingly, cabbage is a seldom served, but any time I cook cabbage, it is the one dish that is empty when the table is cleared.
Everyone left around ten. I finished cleaning up and called it a day.
All truth passes
through three stages.
I'm up at 0345 today and feeling fine. I had a bit of congestion, but it was not too bad.
I'm going to write less about sleep, etc. and get on with other matters.
It seems that overcast skies are expected, but also that the warmest we will see is around the freezing point. It will be my best opportunity to finish the bee tasks before colder weather and more snow.
I stroked three items off the list yesterday, but four remain.
Well, I am not entirely finished mentioning sleep. At 0345, I had had about five hours of sleep at most. Although I was not especially tired, at 0510, after a cup of coffee, I went back to bed and slept another three hours making a total of eight.
Sleep is important. As people age, the tendency is to sleep less and not as well, but the need for sleep does not necessarily diminish. The results of reduced sleep, regardless of age, can be confusion and ill health.
Regardless, those of us who tend to awake before sleeping the full quota have a choice: either lie there trying to sleep or take pills, or get up and try again later. Afternoon naps are a common way of making up the deficit, but the other solution is to go to bed a bit early, plan on waking up and spending an hour or two awake, then going back to bed. That plan has worked for me for decades.
Looking outside at 0900, I see that snow is falling. Now, I am going to walk a mile on the treadmill.
I did my mile and watched part of an episode of "Lie to Me" while I walked. to reduce the boredom. The old TV was quite fine with the WD TV unit, and quite watchable even at a distance of twenty feet. I'll make the unit more portable shortly, so it will be closer. The audio was pretty bad, though, and I don't know if it is the media device, the TV, or the headphones. I'll have to experiment.
I was planning to go to Calgary tonight for a Foothills Association of Cruiser Sailors meeting, but the weather looks iffy. There is a snowfall warning for tonight. It is snowing now, at midday, and I am wondering about going outside to work on the bees. I'm thinking I'll leave the pillows and bricks for another day. I'm still catching up with my books.
I spoke with the crew maintaining Cassiopeia and they say the work won't be done before I come back from American Thanksgiving, so I don't have to worry about going to Vancouver in the near future.
The forecasts did not improve, so I decided to skip the meeting and stayed home. By bedtime, light snow was falling but the storm did not materialize, here at least.
complex problem there is a solution which is simple, neat and wrong.
I slept well last night, surfacing only twice and awoke at 0630.
As of this morning, the storm still has not come to Swalwell. We have perhaps two inches of fluffy snow.
With a new web search, I did find a live Alberta road camera page. The storm seems to be happening west of here.
Jean & family and I were planning to go to the Red Deer Ski Show, but with the snowfall increasing and predictions of wind, prudence suggests we forgo the highway journey.
Seeing as it is a dull day, I went back to bed for an hour. I'm still catching up on sleep.
So much for that. Today I am back to the various home activities, beginning, I suppose with a walk on the treadmill and a turn at the elliptical machine.
The grandkids were staying in the gym last summer and each time they visit everything gets moved around. They are very creative and build forts out of the boxes in storage, chairs, couches, blankets, mattresses, and the cans, bottles, etc. in the recycle pile, plus my exercise equipment. I really need to clean and tidy down there.
I cleaned up my browser bookmarks this afternoon, then set up the new Lorex® ECO 16-channel 1TB DVR with 8 High-Resolution Night Vision Cameras.
One task I need to get back to is a new heating system. I have researched that problem many times, and never quite managed to complete the task as I tend to be a perfectionist and recursive problems require going around the same problem a number of times.
Setting up the camera system took two hours or so and it seems to work well, but now I have to install the cameras. There are eight and they all require running wires.
The system is not for security so much as to watch over the furnace and the house temperature. It came with 8 cameras, so I suppose I will set most of them up. I'll have to figure out what to watch. The coal bin, of course, a thermometer, and the ash level, then maybe the outside doors, the driveway, and the living room. After that, maybe I'll point one at the apple orchard to watch the deer...
After that, I finally went down and walked my mile. I always feel great afterwards, but always hate to begin. The video idea has some difficulties. I had walked a quarter mile before I managed to get the video going. The WD TV takes time to initialize, then Netflix is slow starting. A mile only takes me 12 minutes.
I know no way of
judging the future but by the past."
Elijah is coming over to work at 1100. I hope it warms a bit by then. We have to blow the snow before the drifts harden too much.
Minus seven (or eleven depending on the forecast source), the predicted high is tolerable, but minus twenty is too cold for comfortable snow blowing.
There is no wind right now and still air makes the job more pleasant than a breeze. Any wind tends to blow the snow back on the operator, so I have a choice: go out now in the cold or wait until it warms and the wind comes up.
Here is some interesting
As soon as the sun came up, I went out and cleared the main driveway. The snow is knee-deep and the tracks I made yesterday going to Elliotts' had hardened, making the job more difficult. Fresh snow is easier to blow.
I quit after an hour and a half. Elijah came a while later and did the steps and the back yard.
He worked two hours and then I went out and did another hour and a half on the blower. The driveway is completely clear now. I like to clear it before the drifts harden. What is shown at right is a small fraction of the total area we cleared today.
Blowing is the best solution here because plowing raises drifts on either side of the drive that cause the centre to drift in again right away. The swaths act like snow fences and stop snow right beside them.
Three hours of wrestling the blower through hard drifts gave me a good workout. That's more exercise than I have had in a while, and I enjoyed it. In the past, I worked hard all day in bee yards or spend entire days windsurfing in high winds and big waves. Both of these activities are very physical.
It seems that workout made it hard to fall asleep. I went to bed and then got back up and watched some TV. I was sleepless, but bored, until almost midnight.
Tragedy is when I
cut my finger.
It's minus seventeen at 0730. I'm slightly sore today from wrestling with the blower yesterday, but it is not too bad. I'm told that a bit of soreness is a good thing as it indicates that I am building those muscles.
What did I do today? Web browsing and reading, did laundry, watered plants, repaired and adjusted heat registers... That's about it.
After supper, I went down to the gym and did a third-mile on the treadmill, five minutes on the elliptical, the same on the rowing machine and then worked the rubber band a bit and lifted a few weights. I'm surprised at how quickly the strength comes back to the legs. A little exercise gets them working again after too much sitting. It feels good.
I need to do this in the morning to set me up for the day.
My advice to you
is get married:
It's minus seventeen at 0520 again today. I had a good night's sleep last night, with only a little congestion.
We have been running below normal temperatures lately and I can't recall when we have had this much snow this early in the fall. Environment Canada thinks we will see plus nine on Sunday, but the Weather Network says minus one.
Max: 0°C, Min: -11°C
We now have just over eight hours of daylight. The sun's maximum will be 19 degrees above the horizon in Calgary today.
The snow has drifted on the driveway again, so I went out and cleared the drifts. If I let them harden more than they have, snow blowing will be difficult in future. It took and hour or so and was slow since the drifts were rock-hard.
The back yard remains to be done. I keep it open so the coal truck can get in. I am expecting a load this weekend.
Joe and Oene came for supper.
Wise men make
proverbs, but fools repeat them.
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not so much by what you acquire but by what you give away,"
-- Larry Wall (the inventor of Perl)
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