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Monday October 20th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I'm under deadline pressure to sort, pack, and get to the airport today.  I should be home by supper.

This came in yesterday and I have referred it to the forum.  Please check it out and answer if you can.

The forum is the best place to post complex questions since I see them and reply when I can.  The forum regulars also reply, and they are quite insightful.

>Good morning Allen

>Is it as simple as shaking a queenless hive into a weak hive? Would they not just go back to where their original box was, and it won't be there?

> What time of day to do this or does it matter?  or is it to late to be doing this?

Winter wrapping
Store the outer lids away, do I place anything under the inner lid right on top of the frames?
Do I leave the mouse guards on

We have one TBH, should I move them into a two box hive? I have some frames of honey that I can stock these boxes with.

We were on vacation and just got back last week, with nobody to care for our bees, so just started feeding, I had left a third box on most hives, and this seemed to be a saving grace for us as the bees have moved most of that honey down.

Thank you for all your help

Steve

All went according to plan.  When I arrived at my van in the YYC economy lot, the instruments and turn signals still did not work. I had hoped they would cure themselves, but they hadn't.

I headed north to Crossiron and stopped for a snack, then lifted the hood and checked the relays and fuses.  Nothing seemed out of place.  Al  the fuses appeared at first glance to be okay.  Nothing was labeled as being for the instruments, so I swapped relays and fuses, but to no avail. 

I tried the headlights and park lights and they worked, but the emergency flashers did not, so I pulled the fuse marked 'emergency flashers' and found that it was burnt.  Hmmm.  I had a spare and put it in and started the van.  Everything worked!  Go figure.  Everything on the instrument cluster is on that fuse?

From there, I went to Airdrie, figuring to get a flu shot.  I tried two pharmacies and both had half-hour waits with no wait list.  Just sit there. I kept on going, arriving home around 1740. The cat came out to greet me.  I could not reach Ruth to enquire about Zippy.

I unpacked and showered.  It is good to be home.  That was quite a trip.

I had supper, did some deskwork, watched some video, then went to bed.

Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.
Aristotle

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Tuesday October 21st 2014

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I slept fitfully, just as I had the last night on the boat.  I awoke many times and had odd dreams -- not disturbing, but odd. I used the CPAP machine and it showed an AHI of 1.26 with nine events.  I have no idea why sometimes I have zero and sometimes this many.  I ate Italian sausage twice in the past days.  Could that be it?  I can never figure these things out. My body is a mystery to my mind.

My back only really bothered me acutely twice in the last week, and, thankfully, ibuprofen and aspirin quickly suppressed that issue.

Now that I think about it, however, I notice that one ankle is a little testy -- and, come to think of it, my back still has a slight pain. My right thumb has had a 'trigger' for a few days and is worst on awakening.  I have to assume that it is all due to arthritis.  For decades now, x-rays have told me that I have some lower back degeneration.  I figure I am lucky it is not worse.

Being a beekeeper, I don't even notice pain until it reaches a threshold.  These things come with age and activity, and, living on a sailboat I find myself hauling lines and winching sheets.  At times, that can be heavy work.

At least my shoulders are not acting up at present as they did last year after I insisted on winching with the left arm even when the shoulder complained, on the assumption that exercise would help (It did not). Having muscled the snow thrower around in deep snow previously had not helped either.

Yes, those are two fawns by the pond and a muskrat swimming to their left.  That's what I saw when I glanced out after the sun came up this morning.

I have some catching up to do.  At 0915, I have already spent several hours at the keyboard, updating and scanning the computers, writing articles and organizing.  The weather predicted looks too good to spend the entire day inside.

It's a different world, being home.

I was away for ten days and in that time, I travelled to Sidney, then Thetis Island and back to Sidney, then to Fulford, Whaler Bay, Snug Cove, and Granville Island.  There I changed boats and returned to Sidney, anchoring again at Whaler Bay and visiting Ganges along the way.

Here, my hair is like straw and my nose and eyes are dry.  On the coast, my hair was kinky and soft and everything was always damp.

On the coast, I was on the go all the time.  Here, I have lots to do, but am not much on the move.

After lunch, I'll drive to Drum to get Zippy.  I should get out and walk, and I should look at the bees.  Will I?  Hard to say.  I have an article due and other jobs demanding my time.

*    *    *     *    *

Sitting here, with nothing pressing, I had a chance to glance back over the past few days of entries and notice omissions and small awkwardnesses, so I cleaned them up.  

I always find it interesting to re-examine my writing from previous days.  The structure reveals a lot about my state of mind at the time and how my attention has been divided.

I went to Drum, set up Ruth's phone for her, opened the van door and Zippy jumped in. From there, I bought groceries, had a flu shot, and drove home.

I'm tired today and doubt I'll do much this evening, even though the furnace needs some maintenance.

It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.
John Burroughs

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Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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I should go to Three Hills today and I should work on the furnace as well. 

After the constant action of the past two weeks, I am getting settled in to a slower schedule.  My back is better, but my thumb is still stiff.  Sleep was a bit better last night, but could still be better.

After sitting a while, I find I am still stiff in the lower back and the ankle and my thumb, too.  Oh, well.  This happens sometimes.

This looks like a good time to be home from the West Coast: Windstorm knocks out power to 80,000 in Metro Vancouver

I spent the morning and early afternoon writing emails and an article about the Rendezvous.  As it turned out, writing the article was almost more work than organizing the event.

I decided that I'll go to town tomorrow and did the one-mile walk, then started the riding mower and cut grass around the bee yards.  I have to do some tidying and know I won't if tall grass and weeds are in the way.  I see that the deer are sleeping here and that they have eaten all my apples.  So far, they have left the trees.

I mowed for an hour or so, then came in.  The weather is ideal, other than the wind, but my ambition had run out.  I think I may be depressed, but also that I have some sort of physical condition, especially seeing as my joints have been sore the past few days.  From what I have read, movement and exercise is good, but in limited amounts.

I really should either clean up my bee stuff or sell a lot of it off.  The problem?  Either requires interest and effort and I have lost interest for the moment.

 There is no pleasure in having nothing to do;
the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.
Mary Wilson Little

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Thursday October 23rd 2014

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I have no ambition these days, and I am resting up after my travels.  Nothing seems very interesting.  My stiffness and joint pain continues and I figure it is arthritis again.

The weather is beautiful and I am tempted to take a walk, but I have ten people coming for supper tonight and there's a turkey in the oven. I got it ready early and have been cleaning and organizing ever since.

It is amazing how time passes and how things stack up.  I wash dishes several times a day and keep my stove pretty clean, I thought, but I was wearing reading glasses as I worked and noticed a layer of grime had sneaked up on me.  So I spent some time doing a complete stove wash-down.

I vacuum every week, but my house plants shed leaves -- especially the ferns -- and dog hair forms dustballs if I am not diligent. I don't bother washing windows, but that day will come, I am sure.

I spent almost all day in the kitchen and folded wash, etc...

After the shooting at the War Memorial yesterday, the local radio is full of repetition and speculation, so I've been listening to Internet radio.  I like the Blues and have downloaded several apps that stream from my phone and tabs to my Bluetooth speakers.

I generally stay away from editorializing about such things, but today I'll make an exception.  Canadians' lack of understanding of what we have gotten ourselves into by participating in one ill-advised and botched foreign regime change attempt after another is scary.

I grew up in the immediate aftermath of WWII and remember the huge impact that a foreign war can have here at home.  People seem to have forgotten what happens in wars and not realise there will inevitably be fifth column activity, assassinations and sabotage here in Canada.

When it comes right down to it, there is not much to say about these events except that when you go to war, soldiers get killed (ours, too) and nobody seems to take that as a given.

The government and media  are calling these apparently independent killings of soldiers "terrorism", but so far and as far as we know, the only casualties have been soldiers.  Deliberate killing of civilians is terrorism -- AFAIK.  Killing soldiers is war.

If civilians had been the prime targets, that would be terrorism, but Canadian civilians have not been injured at this point.  One gunman ran into our Parliament, but are the politicians not the people who declared war?  He didn't run into a Tim Hortons.

Of course, the belief is that these two (so far) perpetrators are lone actors and the suggestion is also that they were crazy.  Nonetheless, it seems clear that they were inspired by islamist (not Islamic) ideals and motivations, making them part of the movement even if they had little or no actual contact with the central actors.

When sending jets to bomb people from above, why would we not expect the war to be carried to our shores? Imagine the frustration of people fighting on the ground when being attacked from the air. They would obviously find any way they can to carry the battle to the enemy, even if it involves primitive methods and it would be naive to imagine that an enemy will play by our rules.

Enough editorializing.  I truly hope that the current events settle out and a just peace can be restored, but can see that there are population, ideological and demographic issues that point the other way.

*    *    *    *    *

My friends came, ate, partied and went, all in a matter of three hours.  Supper was a success.  The meal was turkey -- well done and moist, two kinds of rice, turnip, broccoli and cauliflower, tossed salad, with lemon cake, Jell-O, and ice cream for dessert.

Everything was cleaned up by 2200 and I watched some video and went to bed around 2330. 

At midnight, I realised I was not sleeping and got up to write for an hour. I have been asked to write an article about managing communications on flotillas.

To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble.
But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!
H. L. Mencken

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Friday October 24th 2014

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I'm back!  I woke up energetic and full of ideas this morning.  My soreness has not gone away, but after an ibuprofen, it is barely noticeable.  I'm hoping this stiffness and joint pain episode passes soon.  I have work to do outside before the snow comes.

I think I'll spend the morning at my desk, then force myself to get moving and do some chores.

I planned to go outside at noon and did so shortly after.  Outside, I put chargers on the vehicles and moved the vans in prep for mowing that part of the lawn.  I then went in again and answered some email and called the boat broker.

Passing the stove, I was reminded that I have been smelling gas near the stove ever since I came home --not much, but a little and the smell comes and goes. So I pulled out the stove and sprayed the piping with soapy water.   Sure enough, there were bubbles and I found a loose fitting, so I tightened it up.  The fitting was a bit corroded and stiff, so that took a while since I had to unscrew, clean and retighten it.

It's only a week until Halloween now and another week until the Alberta bee convention.  By that date, we usually have some bitterly cold weather and sometimes snow that stays.  I'd better get hustling.

Well, maybe I'm not totally back.  I did a few things outside, including changing a propane bottle,  getting the riding mower stuck near the pond and running it out of gas, but I am out of ambition.  Where I once went out and worked for hours, I am thinking f reasons to come back in after a half-hour or so and my energy seems low.  One ankle still hurts a bit.

Found that I have no gasoline, and needed to go to the bank to sign some papers and started for town, then realised I'd not make it to the bank, so returned and had supper.

That was my day.

There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is
a willingness to contemplate what is happening.
Marshall McLuhan

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Saturday October 25th 2014
Two more months until Christmas

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

The warm spell is ending, but the current daytime temperatures are quite pleasant. Today is Saturday and I plan to take it easy and not try to accomplish anything.

I  did a bit of bill-paying and account reconciliation and am almost caught up with the bookwork.  When traveling, I get a pile of receipts but I am distracted from keeping accounts.

In the evening finally pulled the burner apart in the furnace and cleaned and re-cemented it.  The job was overdue.

Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.
Philip K. Dick

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Sunday October 26th 2014

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I've decided to spend less time writing and less time at this desk.  I have been putting off fixing the forklift, but I think the time has come to bite the bullet and get back to that job.  I need that machine for beekeeping and to take out the ashes. My furnace work last night reminded me of that reality.

The mornings are cool, so I'll begin by working indoors.  I have an incredible amount of 'stuff' to sort and a lot to throw out.  I have a lot of items that might have had meaning or been useful ten or twenty years ago, but are museum pieces today -- a Sony PDA, piles of old computers dating right back to Commode Pets, plus papers, and books...

The job is daunting, but I figure that doing this work gives me something to do and being active is better for me than sitting at the keyboard or video screen. 

The problem is that I have not decided what I am going to do in the next five years, so I tend to just move things around.  Besides, even when I want to throw things out, I have to get rid of them and that is not easy. 

I burn what I can, but if things won't burn, then I have to haul them to a landfill thirty miles away, and that takes planning and organization so that I have a full load and so that I arrive at the dump when they are open.  At the dump, I am supposed to sort things, but if I get there late in the day, just before quitting time, they seem to be a lot less fussy.

I always try to have a five-year plan, but don't at present.  Ellen's illness and death put my previous plans on hold while taking care of her and waiting to see what would happen.  She was diagnosed in November 2011 and died in the summer of 2013.

Now I am picking up where I left off with my old plan, only it is now three years later, I am three years older, and my partner is gone.  That makes my old plan somewhat obsolete, but it is all I have at present.

Planning has to take into consideration age, responsibilities and resources.  Age has a way of bringing on limitations and one has to keep that in mind.  We all have a "best before" date.  At the time of Ellen's death, I put off making new plans pending the memorial scheduled for a year after her death. 

Up until now, I have been running on momentum, but that is running out and it is time to set goals again.  One of my previous goals was to buy a boat on the West Coast and another was to spend more time in the Caribbean.  I've done both.  Sailing further offshore was another possibility, but practical issues mitigate against that.

I need to decide how much longer I want to live here and if I decide to move, where to.  This place is a bit of a White Elephant.  It requires maintenance and is too far from anywhere to allow easy shopping or access to reliable health care.  In the near future, I need to do something about my heating system.  I've made a start on updating the heating system several times over the years, but various things have emerged to interrupt that work.

*     *     *     *     *

The weather was nice around noon, but an hour later, the wind had picked up and before supper snow was blowing by sideways.  I did not work on the forklift.

I did go down to check the furnace and found that the grate was stuck.  It has been sticking lately, so I pulled the ring off again. That is not an easy job.  The thing weighs 40 lbs or so and has to come out through the ash access. 

I got it out and set it up where I could examine it and found that a previous weld to build up a rub point was protruding and catching on the grate itself.  Not only that, but the build up bead was harder than the cast iron due to the carbon picked up from the cast and was cutting the grate.  I ground it flush, reassembled the unit and lit the fire.  So far, so good.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.
He kept it up until a hunter came along and heard him and shot him...
The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
Will Rogers!

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Monday October 27th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

The furnace is fine this morning.

Today: Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of wet snow early this morning. Clearing near noon. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this afternoon. High plus 4.

I'm thinking of topics for my upcoming SABA presentations in March.  How about "How I Unwittingly Contributed to the Small Cell Hoax"?

I wrote a series of Bee Culture articles reporting on my visits to Lusbys a decade ago.  Since then, Dee has gone on to make a number of claims that do not fit the facts as I saw them at the time. I wonder how a presentation on that topic would go over.

*     *     *     *     *

  If there was ever any doubt about the damage that cutting off the supply of cheap replacement packages for the USA has had on the Canadian bee industry, here is the proof (right). The result of border closure was a serious as the advent of World War Two!  Apologists for that draconian measure may blame mites, but now, a decade later, we can see that those claims are disingenuous.  The real issue is the expense and difficulty of obtaining replacement stock.

I wrote a series of articles back in 2004 on the impact of continuing this ill-advised and destructive embargo.  The articles are probably as relevant now as they were then.

Beekeeping Economics in Alberta Since Border Closure 

I took a trip back in time just now and am amazed at how little has changed in a decade. 

The salaried bee people who make money by studying and speculating about problems -- not solving them or finding ways to make them unimportant -- advocate blocking our access to cheap US replacement packages, and run a FUD campaign against the resumption of trade, using confusing and hypothetical "scientific' arguments that have little relevance to beekeeping economics, but which buttress their own positions and ensure their own incomes.

Those who actually make a living with bees (not by regulating or researching) are naturally less concerned with the absolute health of bees than the health of their businesses, and are therefore willing to chance some aspects of bee health for reduced business risk and better economics.

Regardless of claims to the contrary and lots of whining an wailing, it seems that US beekeepers are able to maintain their stocks in a sufficiently good state of health that they are able to sell surplus bees to meet all demand -- and offer to supply Canada if the embargo is lifted.

Any honest economic analysis will show that an open border reduces costs, reduces economic risks, and improves the profitability of the majority of Canadian beekeepers both in the short run and the long run regardless of phytosanitary red herrings.

Alberta is outside the natural climactic range of honey bees. 

Left to themselves, honey bee colony counts on the Prairies would dwindle to almost nothing in a decade.   To maintain economic numbers of bees here, either a great deal of extra effort is required, or new stock must be brought in annually.

Bees were brought here from Ontario and California originally and cutting off the traditional US source has made the business much more difficult and impacted profitability

Presently both approaches -- imports and splitting --  are used to maintain economic colony and population numbers, but the imports allowed under current regulations are expensive and restricted in quantity and timing.  Our best supplier historically is embargoed by our government on trumped-up and speculative grounds.

Any diseases or pests that are known to be in the US have been here in Canada at one time or another.  Other than the ones that are currently widely dispersed in Canada, none have proven to be an economic issue.

Although anecdotal evidence exists of these facts, and is widely known in the industry, officially this history is not recognized or reported or used in the rigged and biased "risk assessments" that are used to justify the continued embargo.

The fact that annual colony attrition is episodic and not constant makes it difficult for many to understand.  Since some years and micro-climates are easy on the bees, it is easy for the protectionists to point out success stories.  The problem is that success is not predictable or universally reproducible.  The real problem is risk of loss and the cost and difficulty of recovering from loss.

Some argue that we can raise our own replacement bees in Canada, and we can definitely raise and winter extra colonies, BUT, the cost is high and matching supplies to needs is impossible due to the small size and nature of the market and the brief window of time to mitigate losses.

Moreover, and more critically, the years when we do not need as many replacements are the same years that a surplus is available. 

In the bad years, the intended replacement bees are needed by the would-be suppliers themselves and there are none for the would-be customers.  It is feast and famine, feast and famine...

A shortage one year brings supply to market the next year, when the supplies may not be in demand.  A surplus that year discourages suppliers from preparing to supply the next year when they may. Rinse and repeat.

In a continent-wide market, the surpluses and shortages tend cancel out since one area may have a surplus and others a shortage. Moreover, southern US suppliers are in a position to sell bees on short notice when there is demand or make honey if not.  Canadian beekeepers due to our climate, simply cannot.

In the small and regulated Canadian market, shortages or  surpluses tend to happen everywhere at the same time and our regulations inhibit sharing bees even if that were not the case.

Maintaining a closed border only benefits an influential and vocal minority, many of whom are not commercial beekeepers, and seriously cripples our industry.  The economy generally, and beekeeping in general would benefit from a relaxation of regulation.

Let's face it.  If you were employed predicting, monitoring and dealing with bee diseases, would you be eager for a solution that makes these diseases less of concern and as a result improves the profitability of beekeeping, but reduces your importance?

If your livelihood depended on enforcing regulations, and if consulted, would you recommend opening the border?  Apparently not, if the position of CAPA is any indication.

Importing continental US bees with shorter advance notice, less risk, and at half the price of the current replacement costs would make bee diseases and pests much less of a worry for commercial beekeepers in Canada, require less skilled workers, and ensure supplies of bees for the industries requiring pollination.

IMO, the regulators and scientists should recuse  themselves from border discussions due to obvious conflicts of interest, or leave themselves open to lawsuits from industry.

When in eight of the ten provinces, bees can fly freely back and forth between Canada and The USA, and migratory beekeepers in both countries transport bees throughout their respective countries, how can this make any sense at all?

Obviously reason and logic has no bearing.

*     *     *     *     *

Effects of bees on canola

*     *     *     *     *

In the afternoon, I went to town and got the papers signed.  Somehow, I forgot the gasoline card again, so that didn't happen.  When I travel, I remove unneeded cards from my wallet and on returning often forget to replace them.

After that, I called a charter company in Grenada about a boat and left a message for my boat broker.  He was supposed to be doing that, but has not been doing much for me lately.

Then I had an early supper, slept an hour, and watched an hour and half of video and that was it.  I'm still watching The Good Wife and Suits.

Worry is like interest paid in advance on a debt that never comes due.
Unknown

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Tuesday October 28th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

At 1000, frost still lingers. 

Today, I have to start checking airfares.  I'm looking for flights to LAX for Thanksgiving and maybe a flight to Sudbury to see Mom.

Seeing that the prices are getting worse, not better, I Googled for the best dates to find airfare deals and see that now the ideal time is estimated to be six weeks before flying and one hundred and five days earlier for holidays.  That is a big change from what I read a year ago, when the ideal time was three weeks in advance.  I have continued to operate under that assumption until now.

*     *     *     *     *

I reserved a flight to LAX for Thanksgiving and then, because the afternoon had turned ideal for outdoor work, I went out and began on the forklift.

I find I am still very tired and uninspired.  I wonder if I caught something in the Caribbean.  At any rate, I made an appointment to get my various shots for a visit later this season.

I think I'll read back over the past few months and see what I have been up to.

That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere,
is almost certain to be false.
Paul Valeryfwar

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Wednesday October 29th 2014

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Sunrise:8:21, Sunset:18:12.  The days are getting shorter.

I am more ambitious today and went out to work on the forklift.  The job is not straightforward since the machine is cobbled together, and also because the replacement transmission is not an exact replacement. 

Rather than push to complete the job, I've decided to take my time and go one step at a time. 

Previously, back in  the early summer, I cut out a lot of tin that was in the way and today I cut out some plates on the floor that hinder access to the transmission.  Lifting it out will be much easier than dropping it. 

I have to keep in mind that I may have to change this transmission immediately after testing it since I am uncertain of its condition.

This cooler weather is actually nicer for this sort of work than hot weather.  I have to wear work clothes anyhow and wearing heavier clothes is no hassle.  In  fact, I have better temperature control since I can add or remove layers for comfort.

There is discussion in the forum again these days.

 It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
William Blake

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Thursday October 30th 2014

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I'm hoping to get back outside again today, but the weather looks gloomy and cold so I may not get out there much.  Also, tonight, I am expecting seven for supper. The table seats ten, but I don't feel like a big crowd.

Looking around the house, I see that I need to vacuum again.  I don't know where all the dirt comes from.

After lunch, I put a five-pound top sirloin beef roast into the oven to cook slowly and made a bean salad, then did some housework.

My guests arrived at 1800 and the dinner was a success.  Everyone left around 2100 and I left the cleanup for the morning.

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life.
Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.
Cullen Hightower

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Friday October 31st 2014

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I slept soundly last night.  In fact, I have slept well the past few nights.  I'm not using the CPAP machine since I seem to sleep quite well without it.  Moreover, I have been able to sleep longer the past week or so, managing around eight hours, rather than the six I was getting previously.

The longer nights certainly help.  In summer, the early and late light affect sleep, but now the nights are twelve hour long. 

Who can explain the mysteries of the human body?  Sometimes I have sleep problems, sometimes not.  Go figure.

I had an enquiry this morning about my well-being since I neglected to post yesterday.  I posted in the forum, but did not get around to updating the diary.  Actually, I started, but my antique software crashed and I lost my work and never got back to the task.  It seems that I was pretty busy all day and just did not get around to it again.  It happens.

How am I?  Good question.  I think I'm fine but had a somewhat dull period the past few weeks.  I suppose I am progressing through the various stages of grief, exacerbated by legacy habits and  possessions.

As repeated often in the many resources about grief, the stages are not obvious to the person experiencing them at the moment the are happening, but are somewhat predictable, and can be inferred by watching and comparing one's own behaviour and feelings to a remembered "normal".

I am trying to come to terms with two existential problems.  One is I don't know how long I will be healthy and alive, but have to make decisions about how to allocate my resources, and my remaining time.  Of course, this is the fundamental problem of life itself.

People conflate this problem with the second problem, finding a "meaning" in life -- a reason to do what we do when not struggling for the basics -- food, companionship, and shelter.

We necessarily have more time and resources than required to simply survive or the human race would have perished many times in the past when conditions changed or became more challenging.

What to do with that surplus is the eternal question.  Religions, cults, armies, the arts, and politics attempt to commandeer and exploit any surplus energy and resources they can and many, if not most people are happy to give over time and resources.

Determining one's own path is challenging and to do so with absolute certainty, impossible.  To attempt to do so requires bravely facing unknowns and knowns we would rather not contemplate.  We have to make guesses about important things and most people are not happy with that.  People prefer promises, and are willing to kid themselves when they receive them from those who claim to know the unknowable, even if they know deep down inside that those promises are bogus.

I'm feeling some specific grief about the breakdown of the sale in the BVIs after all the effort expended and raised hopes.  Maybe it is just a focus for existential angst and general grief from aging and loss of my mate, but this minor grief is identifiable and discrete.

I am still working on buying a boat in the Caribbean.  That has been on my list for years now and the last purchase attempt, sadly, did not work out, so I am after another one.  This boat is a bit smaller, and that may be a good thing.  It's the same year and model as my West Coast boat.  She's a 2005 Bavaria 42 Cruiser, but with some differences: a shoal keel, no enclosure, and no radar, a smaller dinghy outboard...

In some ways, I wonder if I should be proceeding with this boat acquisition since this dream is getting a bit old.  It's one I intended to have achieved years ago.  Going ahead in the face of failure seems illogical and quixotic, but in my life, I have found that fulfilling dreams is always a bit daunting and accompanied by misgivings. 

I've also found that pressing on and achieving those dreams has always been worthwhile.  I put off buying my West Coast boat for years, and lost out to a higher bid at first when I made my offer, but I forged ahead undaunted, prevailed in the end, and have never regretted doing so.  Buying that boat opened doors that took me into whole new worlds.

I bought a WD Internet box some time back so I can watch video and exercise downstairs.  I had not used it lately so got it out and set it up and watched a few shows, but did not exercise -- yet.

I am always reluctant to get started with exercise, but once I get going, I usually enjoy being active.  Lately, though, I have found myself less enthusiastic and inclined to quit early.

I'm indulging myself, but know that has to have limits. 

Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that great gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born.
Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Brothers Karamazov"

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