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 December 2017

 

 

 

 

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Background image -- A Chinook took most of the snow while I was away

 

Friday December 1st 2017

Today Mainly sunny. High plus 3.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low minus 10.

December is here and Christmas is a little over three weeks away.

I slept well again and was up at 0620.  I had breakfast and did a few things, then went back to bed and slept two hours more.

These morning naps after breakfast are refreshing and entertaining.  I sleep lightly at times and have lucid dreams.  Today, they were black and white movies without sound. Nothing special.

My plan is to get back to basement cleanup and also get outside again for a bit.  The moderate weather is predicted to continue. Maybe I'll treat my bees to some oxalic acid evaporation.

I have not been too ambitious lately. I've been feeling sluggish and feeling as if I was fighting infection, but yesterday I made a lot of progress towards preparing for the pipefitting and was more energetic. I plan to extend that effort.

I still have not decided exactly how to proceed, but have decided that hooking up my cooking stove would likely be a good plan. 

I converted a new stove to propane when I bought it about ten years ago now, but can convert it back to natural gas easily.  I also need to hook up a water heater to replace the electric one that has served well thus far. It is probably twenty years old by now. 

The placement of each new gas appliance is the question as each requires venting and some need electrical power to function.  Condensing units also need a water drain.


It is three and I did not get downstairs.  I did cleanup and made soup and invited friends for supper.

There were seven of us, including Bert's two-year-old charge.  

I served soup, chicken thighs in diced tomatoes, two kinds of rice, red and brown, and bean salad, with ice cream for dessert.  I found that I had gone a bit heavy on the pepper in the chicken and soup, but that seemed okay with all.  The was very little interest in the (excellent) bean salad.

The toddler was overtired and made quite a scene and kept Bert distracted. The meal was not to her taste either, having been prepared for adults.  She did like the ice cream, though.

People are always worried about eating beans.  Beans, other than kidney beans in chili or pork and beans are not popular in mainstream American and European diets, it seems. The main concern is gas, I suppose, and frankly, it took me a more than a little while to accept that beans could be part of a healthy, normal diet, and that beans are actually an ideal food. 

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more your toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
Let's have beans at ever meal!

The idea of eating plain beans was strange to me at first, but now, I keep cans of various beans on hand and think nothing of opening a can of black, pinto, or kidney beans and eating them as they are, cold or hot.  I usually drain the liquid.  Canned beans are a cheap, easy and healthy option that stores without refrigeration and is available everywhere, usually for less than two dollars a can.  Wal-Mart sell cans of a variety of kinds for 88 each. One can is enough for several meals.

Here is something that makes me wonder: people in North America starve if they can't afford the SAD (Standard American Diet) that is, by all reports, killing us -- meats, juices, sugared condiments, prepared foods, and other costly items, when basic nutritious food like beans and cabbage, can be purchased cheaply.

Statistics Canada reports that the average Canadian household spends about $241 CAD per person on food each month. That is 274 cans of beans a month or 9 cans a day.  Dry beans are cheaper, but require time, equipment and skill to prepare. A can of beans requires only a can opener and a spoon. https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodOct2017.pdf

I'm not suggesting eating only beans, but just showing how beans can provide a convenient cheap nutritious and tasty contribution.

In the USA, consider this report for October 2017 (updated monthly).  The thriftiest plan runs around $170/month (USD) -- $212 CAD -- depending on age and gender.

I seldom suffer from gas, but I am used to beans and high-fibre foods. People who seldom eat foods that are high in fibre may experience gas until their system adjusts.  

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Saturday December 2nd 2017

Today Clearing this morning. High plus 1.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy after midnight. Low minus 13.

I'm up at 0420.  I slept fitfully and finally decided to get up  I'll drink coffee, wake up enough to sleep better, and then go back to bed. The cause of my poor sleep was likely the black pepper in my supper.  Snacking before bed may have contributed, too, as perhaps the three cups of strong coffee with dinner.

I like some noise early in the morning and I sometimes listen to the morning show on the local CBC station on my Pixel XL phone. I can do that anywhere I have Internet if I care to, LA, La Paz...  and the sound is fairly decent.

This morning when I turned on CBC, I realized it is Saturday.  Local CBC is hard to listen to until six.  They play offshore programs from world radio and typically pick depressing material about conflict and oppression.  It's not a a good way to start the day IMO.

I turned to CBC Music in the CBC app and found the first three channels offered are "Christmas music". 

Christmas is a little over three weeks away and the bombardment by "Christmas music" has begun. It is now only December 2nd.  Maybe these channels are background noise for elevators and retail.  I can't believe any sane person would choose to play them at home or in the car, especially three weeks in advance.

I wonder how the people who work in retail can stand that noise.  Does anybody ever listen to and think about the words? Most of it is total nonsense. Little Drummer Boy?  Really?  Fiction on fiction

That said, in Aliso Viejo, some houses on Jon's street already had Christmas lights and yard displays set up. I don't think Bert has taken down his Christmas lights from last year.

I found the Jukebox channel and it is okay for an old guy like me: tracks from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

I can prolly stand it for a while.  Amazingly, in the mix they are playing the less featured 50s tracks, the ones we actually did play in the Nickelodeon in Whitings' Drug Store on the wharf in Port Carling back in the fifties and at school dances.

After an hour, I went back to bed.  I dozed an hour or more, then fell right asleep and next I knew it was 0843.  Fen is serving the neighbourhood breakfast at the Mill today at 0830.  Guess I missed it.

BG is 6.6 (high). BP is 110/71 (ideal) and pulse is 64, ideal, but higher than lately.

I weigh 216.8.  I'm up eight pounds from my low, but neither gaining or losing.  Joe has been intermittent fasting lately and that reminded me. I'll see how far I get into the day without eating.  I'm drinking coffee and that makes me hungry, but so far, so good.

Fit reports the following steps per day:

Today so far        1,108
Yesterday         8,976
Nov 30 6,761
Nov 29 8,543
Nov 28 6,156
Nov 27 3,786
Nov 26 2,864

Yesterday, I never left the house.  This place is so big that just going into the bathroom, vacuuming, and checking the coal bin means a lot of walking.

This is Your Do-Over recommends 10,000 steps as the lower threshold for obtaining the benefits of walking, but everyone agrees that any walking is better than none.

I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I have had no more BSODs since I identified the offending driver with verifier.exe and removed the offending program -- Networx.

After lunch, my first meal of the day at noon, I watered the plants again. 

I watered Wednesday on my return. However, when I am away and the house is cooler, the plants need less water and I prefer to have the soil dry out a bit when the air is cool.  The soil should be damp. but not wet.  When I return and turn up the heat, the plants take up water and I need to re-wet the soil under the plants that use a lot of water.

 I spent almost an hour working on a halogen work light.  I am not sure it was the best use of my time, but I like tinkering and it kept my attention off the elephant in  the room -- the heat project.

Halogen work lights tend to be troublesome compared to incandescents and LEDs. The bulbs must be kept fairly level, they get very hot, and the fixtures corrode due to heat and dampness.  Bulbs are expensive. 

Halogen was an improvement in efficiency over incandescent, but similarly fragile and also very hot.  LEDs are a huge improvement, so far, at least. They are cool and tough.  I have one in my trouble light and so far, it has not broken, and it does not burn me if I touch it.

I blew off the shop vac filter and vacuumed the shop floor.  It needed it and sweeping does not get all the dust.

I figure having the place tidy will help me focus on the next stages of the heat project.  Tidy workspace, tidy mind.

The day was bright, warm and calm, so I went outside and disconnected the car battery for the winter and removed the dog blankets from the car and van.

I have reduced the car and truck insurance for the winter to fire and theft. I won't be driving either vehicle until spring, and besides, the truck does not run.  I no longer have a dog and my coming and going is not well-suited to having one.

Then I decided to move the tractor and accessories off the front walk.  Since I have forks for the loader on this light-duty tractor, I decided to remove two pallets and some junk from the shop and went down the grade and lifted the load.  That is when I discovered that the tractor cannot back up an icy grade with the loader, even with calcium chlorides in the rear tires and chains on.

The loader itself weighs enough and is far enough forward that on a slope, the centre of gravity shifts off the drive wheels enough that there is little traction.

I managed to get the job done by turning around, but am still learning this machine.  I have to be very careful.  The machine has no roll cage and it is easy to get the centre of gravity high and on on a side hill that can result in a rollover.  I had a forklift fall over more than once and one time I was driving.  The Swingers each had roll cages and just went on their sides, but that is bad enough. Fortunately no one was hurt either time.

By dusk, around five, I had enough fun and went in and watched Netflix, had supper, watched some more, and then worked at the desk until eleven and went to bed.

I am planning my next trip to the Baja in January and I ordered some charts for the La Paz area that work on my phone.

Apparently these Blue Latitude charts are the only reliable ones available for the area. Charts are essential when cruising around in a strange area, and even familiar ones.  Hazards are everywhere.  Reefs can be found anywhere even far from shore, although the risk is much greater in areas close to shore.

As sailors say, "Water is not as likely to hurt you as the hard stuff around the edge".

Running hard aground can be anything from a mild nuisance if the bottom is sand and the tide is low, to a serious incident if the bottom is hard and/or the tide is high.

A rock can stop a boat dead, throwing people and things forward at the speed the boat was travelling, potentially causing serious injury, and the impact can damage the hull by pulling the keel back abruptly resulting in expensive repairs mor even, in extreme cases, sinking.

Grounding, even on soft bottom, can result in the boat lying on its side when the tide goes out, possibly exposing the cockpit to waves and also water intrusion though through hulls and the companionway if it lays over far enough.

The day ended with 5,953 steps.

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Sunday December 3rd 2017

Today Mainly cloudy. Clearing late this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High minus 3.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness. Low minus 13.

I woke up at 0505 and got up.  I had been having weird dreams.  Ellen and I were trying to figure out our finances and we had apparently maybe a hundred hives left. Strange.

Watching the Lethal Weapon series has had an interesting effect on me, it seems. Riggs lost his wife and has not gotten over it.  He still feels married, and that is a central underlying theme in this action series with a chick-flick undertone.

I haven't really thought about it, but there is a resonance and maybe watching is stirring things up.  I know I am single now, but am not looking for a 'replacement' for Ellen and think I am perfectly happy alone. However, I'm living in a house decorated by Ellen and full of her artwork and still have the same friends.  Ellen and I lived quite independently most of the time and I was away for weeks and months at a time, so in some ways, nothing has changed.

I did not eat until noon yesterday and found that I was not all that hungry when I did. I also did not eat after six in the evening.

I am always in a quandary about fasting, and a fridge full of leftovers does not help me fast.  We are exhorted to eat so many servings of this and that and so much fruit and so many nuts to the point where I wonder how one can avoid putting on weight. 

I buy fruit as recommended and leave fruit out.  If I don't, I forget to eat it and it goes bad.  Sometimes I leave the jar of nuts on the counter.  Although I know I should not eat more than I need to, I also tend to eat what I see.

"I'm on a seafood diet. If I see food, I eat it"

We strive for maximum efficiency in our cars and home heating.  We avoid burning any more fuel than necessary, but with food, we do not think in such terms.  We tend to think of eating as recreation.

The weather is ideal for getting outdoors and dealing with the bees, kiting, and the ski hills are open, but I seem to have become fixated on other things.  My big excuse right now is that I really need to get reliable, low maintenance heat into the building and also organize and clean up the house.  I notice the windows are dirty and although I do vacuum, I really need to do a thorough cleaning.  Haven't done that for years.

Weight is 216.0.  BG is 6.1, BP is 124/81, and pulse is 63 today. All in all, not bad.

I see I dropped almost a pound. I think I'll wait until noon again today before eating.  The change could be just noise.  One reading in a series could be just due to chance, but I guess we'll see.  The 6.1 BG is lower than my normal, but the change is within the stated normal errors of the device, so only time will tell.

I read a while back that eating makes a person hungry and that seems to be true.  Eating leads to more eating. 

Moreover, besides being a necessity, eating is a habit. Add to that the constant encouragement to eat this, eat that, this is good for you, that is soooo tasty, the constant availability of food, and our biological preference for high-energy foods, and the results are predictable.

How do we counteract that pressure?  Just say, "No"?  It takes a good rationale and will power. As with many things, the best way to stop is to not start.

Speaking of not stopping and not starting, it is now exactly a month since I overdosed on margaritas in La Paz and decided to quit drinking.  I wondered at the time if quitting would be difficult. Would I miss it? What if I am physically dependant and don't know it? What do I drink if everyone goes to the bar?  Water?  Sodas are now considered harmful...

So far, quitting has been easy.  We'll see over time.  Apparently some people have a long cycle between benders, but I suppose if I remember not to start, that should not be an issue. I've quit before for years. Now I just have to remember..

Do I feel better?  Generally, no, but I don't have dull days after overdoing it, and I won't be spending money on beverages.  I really like saving money.

It's seven and I do feel a bit hungry.  Coffee does that to me.  Should I quit morning coffee?  I think that would be going too far. I'll have a glass of water and get moving.

Quit booze, quit eating, quit coffee?

I am always reluctant to go down to the shop and get started, but I went down and the cleanup is progressing.

I'm at the point where I really need to make a dump run, but my truck won't go.

I feel like the kid who is told to clean up his room, and my reaction is the same, "I don't know what to do with all this stuff!"

My answer to myself is, "Start with what you do know and when you get the the tough items, they won't look so tough to deal with because you'll have space to work in."

Okay, I'm at that part now and my truck is broken down. I need a truck to haul the trailer and I need the trailer to take the garbage to the dump -- unless I use the small trailer!  I can pull it with the van.

Or, maybe I should borrow Fen's truck?

Nope. For now, maybe the van and light trailer option is the most convenient and immediate.  It will only carry half as much or less, but it is low to the ground and available without delay or hassle. The dump run to Linden is only 14.5 km and involves maybe a half-hour of driving, total, and by using the small trailer, I will save that much time loading and unloading.

I'm headed out now to hook the trailer up and start a dump load.

I should fix the truck and that is somewhere down the list.  I've tried several times with no luck and given up for the time being. I wrote a truck ECU guy and he said it could be harness fatigue, so it may not be the ECU.  If it is a harness, I really don't look forward to sourcing or installing it.  The engine compartment is a rat's nest of devices, hoses and wires.

Writing this diary is a form of meditation.

I shoveled the ashes this afternoon.  I can't remember when  I did it last.

I played around with the tractor and found that it is really tippy with the loader on and also unable to get traction without weights on the back. I have dual wheels for it and should put them on, but the inside wheels have calcium and the outers do not.  Also the snow plow is only as wide as the tractor with single rear wheels and snow plowing is the intended use in the short term.

I think the back wheels with calcium are overinflated, too, and that causes poor traction.  I wonder if I can let some air out without losing calcium?

I hooked the trailer to the van and moved some junk out of the basement.  In the process, I went down to the shed and see that the shingles Matt put on in 2002 are now suffering damage. I can see up through the roof from inside in spots.  I guess they were fifteen-year shingles.  The ones on the house still look good, but they are the fifty-year variety. I may have to re-shingle the shed again, but if I do, it will be metal this time.

I was tired at five and quit for the day, watched video and ate supper, then went to bed early.

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Monday December 4th 2017

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High minus 1.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 before morning. Low minus 6 with temperature rising to minus 2 by morning.

I got up at seven, having slept twelve hours. I didn't sleep straight through, though; I got up for a few minutes several times, but mostly, I slept.  I could possibly have slept longer, but I have an appointment at ten.

Weight is 215.6.  BG is 5.9. BP is 129/83. Pulse 63.

I did not eat until eleven yesterday.  I had aimed for noon, but was distracted enough by hunger at eleven that I had lunch earlier.

My fridge is full of food from the other night and the temptation is to eat it.  Actually, I really cannot eat that much food before it goes bad if I know what is good for me, but I hate waste. 

My sister used to say, better that it goes to waste, than to waist.  She also used to say, pointing to a piece of pie, "Imagine that as a lump right here", pointing to her midsection.

Last night at 1730, I had supper and I over-ate. Not to where I was uncomfortable, but beyond where I was satisfied.  I was dog-tired by seven to the point where I could do nothing but sit and watch video so I went to bed.

Three hours later, when I woke up for a few minutes, I thought to check and my BG was 9.8.  Even though I had eaten low glygemic food, I ate a lot and the amount matters as much as the type of food. It seems that up to a certain 'dose', the body does not react, but over a certain threshold, BG climbs fast.  Interestingly, this morning, my BG is lower than usual.  5.9 is good, and I am not complaining, but lower than my norm of 6.2. Did my system overshoot?

My weight has been dropping since I have been skipping breakfast and eating after six PM. I have done this too few days to say for certain --  It takes three or more data points to make a series and I have two. -- but if this is a trend, I like it.

I subscribe to various 'health-related emails and today I received this one: "How Often Should You Shower?"  I

I've noticed in the past half-century the progression from the weekly bath to a daily shower,  When I go to California where water is always short, I note that everyone in the house showers daily and also that I have to run the water for several minutes to get it hot enough to be pleasant, using up as much water before as during.

I personally don't usually shower daily unless I am doing sweaty or dirty work.  I shower when I think I need it and have wondered about the trend to morning showers.  My personal belief has been that they are bad for the skin and using soaps unnecessarily kills the essential skin bacteria that keep us smelling sweet.

I also don't find I need anti-perspirant very often. It seems to last me days and weeks, depending on what I am doing. My sense of smell is not as acute as it once was.  Should I shower daily?

On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with swimming multiple times a day and how is that different?

As for skin health, I avoid sun block under most circumstances, believing that covering up or seeking shade during the peak sun hours around noon is sufficient and being suspicious of some of the ingredients.

Am I being inconsistent?  I do use sunblock on the first day in a hot sun like Caribbean or Mexico if I have become pale from being north in winter, though.

Keep in mind that the chart shown at above right is for NZ and also that solar noon is not at 12 noon in daylight saving time regions or near time zone borders.

There are reports now that sunblock does not protect us from the killer skin cancer -- melanoma, which is caused by part of the spectrum that sunblock can't stop effectively.  Sunblock only prevents burning and easily curable cancers and encourages false confidence.

Consider also the argument for the health benefits of sun exposure:

I drove to Three Hills and met with a nurse, then had a check-up with a doctor.  The doctor is locum, replacing my GP who is out on maternity leave.  I'm always happy to see a locum, as they are usually fresh young doctors, up to date and eager to do the job. This guy was pretty good, which is a change.  We were scraping the bottom of the barrel for a while out here in the sticks.

Next, I went for lab test, picked up my prescriptions, and drove home.  I had not eaten since last evening at 1730 and at 1243 today, my BG reads 5.3.  5.3 is a number I'd like to see much more often.

I was not especially hungry, but, on general principal, had a lunch of refried beans and my vegetable soup. Now I am full, and I was getting to where I was enjoying being a bit hungry. 

Maybe I should have gone a bit longer, but I think I am still a bit suspicious of fasting, even though, by all accounts and what I see it is good for me.

My 'vegetable' soup is based on a dried soup mix package of the sort found on the shelf with the dried beans in stores.  These packages make a decent soup with just water added, but I usually dice an onion and add chopped carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, pot barley, and even canned tomato sometimes.  Diced mushrooms add flavor. Of course, I cook the slow-cooking and flavour items first with the soup mix (45 minutes) and add the softer and fast-cooking items as I finish.

Some bulk food stores have an even better version of soup mix. I saw one with 26 ingredients, I believe -- all of them grains, beans, lentils or peas and with none of the chemicals added to packaged soups and broths.  I've given up using purchased soup stock after researching the ingredients. It is getting to the point where I distrust all packaged foods.

I find I am looking forward to getting back to Mexico, even though that is a month away, best case. My Spanish for Cruisers book came today and yesterday I was listening to lessons while I worked until I could not absorb any more.  For some reason, I am not particularly looking forward to going to the Canadian West Coast and the boat show in January, which has been my habit. A trip to Mammoth Lakes to ski with Jon and family is in the cards, though. Maybe.

The gasfitter dropped by to preview tomorrow's work. Then the medical imaging clinic called to set an appointment for next Monday.  I reconciled the accounts to date and at 1510, I am now going out to play.

At 3:42 in the afternoon, the light is already becoming dim as the sun goes behind the clouds near the horizon. 

It's already getting cooler and darker. I hate so-called daylight saving time (DST) change-over.  Actually, we should stay on the DST schedule year-round. We don't need early-morning sun.

As it is, we get adjusted to a daily schedule much of the year with more daylight in the evening when we already have lots -- almost until midnight, here -- then lose it when we could most use it, in fall and winter.   On the first day of winter, the sun only rises to 16 above the horizon here as it is.

I didn't get around to doing much except catching up on some planning. I ate a six and again ate a bit too much, but my BG was 5.9 after and 5.1 after an hour, then 6.6 two hours later.  Supper was refried beans and soup. Thick soup.  Not bad.

I watched an episode and half of Lethal Weapon, but I think it has jumped the shark at S1E18. I'd say it has gone off the rails.

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

<< Previous Page       At 3:42 in the afternoon, the light is already becoming dim as the sun goes behind the clouds near the horizon.

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Tuesday December 5th 2017

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind northwest 40 km/h gusting to 70 diminishing to 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High plus 4.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light overnight. Low minus 9.

I'm up at 0615. At 0900, I expect the gasfitter, and by noon, I should have a gas installation complete.

At that point, I'll be able to install a gas hot water heater to replace the electric one I have used for many years and a heating system to keep the house warm and secure, especially when I am not here to tend a furnace.

The coal furnace has served me well, but does require some expert management and maintenance at times.

Tonight I go to the Bluewater Cruising Association meeting in Calgary at seven. I have to go as I am getting an award for managing the Rendezvous for years.

BP 107/68, pulse 55, weight 216.8, BG 6.3.

I bought a bitter melon the other day when I was grocery shopping.  I'd found one in Sudbury and bought one back then, but have not figured out if it is a good idea to eat it or not and if it is wise, how much to eat.

From WebMD: "The appropriate dose of bitter melon depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bitter melon. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Drugs.com: The plant is relatively safe at low doses and for a duration of 4 weeks or less. 2 There are no published reports of serious reactions in adults given the usual oral dose of 50 mL. Antifertility action (decreased spermatogenesis) has been observed in rats and dogs fed bitter melon fruit extract. 12 , 24

The seed constituent vicine may induce favism in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, an acute condition characterized by headache, fever, abdominal pain, and coma. 6 , 12

The red arils around bitter melon seeds are toxic to children. The juice given to a child in 1 report caused vomiting, diarrhea, and eventual death.

There is too little authoritative info. I think I'll steer clear.

The gas job was finished a little after noon and the pressure test is underway. 

For the test, the pipe has to hold fifteen pounds for fifteen minutes. The working pressure will be far less than that, though -- 14.9 millibars or 1743 Pascals or Pa, or about 0.25 psi (pounds per square inch) or about 4 ounces of pressure per square inch.

         

So far, all we have installed is the service.  Once a meter is installed and the account activated, I'll add appliances one at a time. We could have done the whole job at once, but it would be a huge job and I like to do things in modules. That way I can think each project through, test the results, and make sure one aspect is complete and successful before starting the next.

Once that was done, I went to reviewing my info on furnaces, then left for the Bluewater Cruising Association meeting and pot luck.  I don't much like pot luck suppers, but bought a roast chicken.

The meeting was pleasant.  I received a service award for my four years of running the Thanksgiving Rendezvous.

The presentation was by a couple about their trip around Vancouver Island. They went in August and took twenty-one days.  Locally, on the coast, August is called Fogust , but their weather looked as good or better than my trip in July. I took twenty-eight days and thought I would have liked to take longer.

I arrived home at eleven and went to bed around midnight.

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Wednesday December 6th 2017

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this morning. High plus 2.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 6.

I woke up at six.

Weight 215.6, BG 6.1, BP is 122/76. Pulse is 51. 

Now that the gas pipe is in, and I am waiting for inspection, then it is time for the next step, attaching something to it.

The plug shown is the point from which I will extend the line further south to the main part of the house and the taps seen here are for any appliances I decide to install nearby.

Running the gas line is the easy part.  Most appliances other than a kitchen stove require a vent and the location and lengths of the vent lines are the main restrictions on potential locations. 

Many locations for water heaters, furnaces or stoves that would be ideal otherwise, for attaching to ductwork or water lines or drains, are not practical because the exhaust run to the outdoors is too far or needs too many bends, the outlet would be too close to windows or doors, or would need a tall stack to be above nearby roof peaks or obstructions. It's technical.  Running gas line is pretty simple in comparison.

My kitchen stove is converted to LPG and can be converted back to natural gas again with an hour's work, so I should run a line to it soon.  I should also replace the electric water heater which gives lots of hot water but is costly to run.

These jobs could be distractions, though, because getting reliable, maintenance-free heat is the major focus. 

I am back to deciding how best to proceed next. Nonetheless, when I run the gas piping, knowing where these things will be is a consideration.

Researching these matters takes time.  I spent the day reading and thinking. I like to get outside for at least a little while daily, especially in this nice weather and went out to look at loading for the dump. I realized that when backing the trailer in the other day I had demolished a trailer taillight and need a replacement.  That gave me an excuse to drive to town and I was bored, so off I went.

Driving to town and back takes at least an hour and seldom less than two, and burns $6 in fuel.  I avoid unnecessary trips, but some neighbours drive to town daily and one I know will drive to town to buy one package of cigarettes.

In town, I found a replacement and bought a few groceries.  While there, I noticed that my van, which lately had been clicking rather than starting occasionally, was sometimes now taking three or more tries to get the starter to crank, but I made it home.  I asked at NAPA and the starter solenoid is integral to the starter.  Rebuilt starters are $200+ at NAPA.

I'm going to have to do something about that starter, and soon.  I took the insurance off the car and truck, so I could find myself stranded if it gets worse.

On returning, I did more research and watched video until bedtime.

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Thursday December 7th 2017

Today Mainly sunny. High 9.        Tonight Clear. Low minus 5.

Dawn was breaking when I woke up at 0750. I'm usually up long before the sun, and have tended to sleep six to eight hours lately, but last night I slept nine hours.

Weight is 214.8. BG is 6.1. BP is 109/72. Pulse 55.

It's a nice day and I have to deal with the van starter and the trailer taillight, and the dumps are open today.  I may make a run, but am very confused about what location takes what, and of course they are all fifteen miles away in different directions.

I'm not sure that all this recycling saves any energy and certainly wastes my personal energy. With sorting and recycling, getting rid of stuff can be a major chore.  Can you understand this page?  I can't.  I'll just drive over and find out what they refuse and then drive to Three Hills, I guess.

That is one reason things have piled up here.  Another is the means of transporting the trash.  At this point, with the truck out of commission, I'll use the little trailer, but I have to ensure the van will start. I don't want to find myself with a dead van and trailer at the transfer site.

I'll have to finish by three or so as I'm off to Delia for a birthday party tonight.

I see that my monstera has made fruit and continues to bloom.

Taking advantage of what looked like a warm day from the kitchen window, I went out to install the new taillight. There is a breeze and it is chilly, but I got to work. 

The new part fits, but the running lights are not coming on, so I am working on the connector.

The trailer lighting was working last time I hooked it up.  In my experience, seldom can I count on trailer lighting to work on the first try if the trailer has been sitting for a while. Corrosion tends to affect the connectors or the wiring. In this case, it is the connectors -- I think.

I can see that I'll be spending more time getting the trailer lights working and will be lucky to get around to the main job in the remaining time available. Although I'll drive in daylight, if I am stopped, the cops expect all lights to be working and the light I broke is the right turn signal which is needed day and night.

When I was learning to drive back in the early sixties, not all cars yet had turn signals.  It was a fairly new idea and signals were either retrofitted to older cars or the driver was expected to roll down a window and use an arm signal. Windows were mostly crank style back then and only luxury cars had electric windows.

The connectors seemed good, so I looked under the van, then pulled off the van's left taillight to take a look at the harness.

I had figured the problem was the plug connection, but when U-Haul installed the hitch, the harness was run under the back fender where gravel is thrown up.  The result was a complete  break in the wiring. (right)

I am now re-routing the harness into the vehicle instead of under it so that when not in use, the harness will be inside and away from the weather and rock chips.  When needed, the ribbon can be pulled outside through the tailgate and clamped by the weatherstrip. That is how I have it set up in my eastern van and it has been trouble-free for more than ten years.

It took me until well after three to get the whole job done, seeing as I decided to replace the trailer clearance lights that had been shattered by flying gravel.  Of course the replacements I had on hand were a different screw mount, so fitting and drilling was required, but I got the job done.  I realize I should install mud flaps on my van and car to tame the flying gravel on the back roads I frequent.

At four, I drove east.  We had a good supper with some of the usual bunch and I left at 2030.

The drive home is an hour.  I was in bed by ten.

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Friday December 8th 2017

Today Mainly sunny. High 10.
Tonight Clear. Low minus 7.

I woke up at 0330 and as I was wide awake, with a head full of ideas, I got up and had coffee and oatmeal.

We are into a warm streak and about to break a record.

Highest temperature (1993-2016)  7.7C2015
Lowest temperature (1993-2016)  -33.8C2009
Greatest precipitation (1993-2015)  2.3 mm1997
Greatest snowfall (1996-2006)  2.3 cm1997
Most snow on the ground (1996-2004)            8.0 cm1996

BG is 6.1, Weight is 216.8, and BP is 114/68. Pulse is 59. 

The apparent weight increase may be due to the short, five-hour, sleep last night.  As I noted here earlier, I figure I lose -- as I recall -- about 0.4 lbs per hour sleeping. I assume this is water lost to respiration and sweating.

So, figuring four hours less sleep last night than the previous night, I should weigh 1.6 lbs more than yesterday morning. Subtracting 1.6 from 216.8, I come within 0.4 pounds of the previous reading and since my estimations are all guesses, that is amazingly close!

It's five AM and I may just go back to bed.

I did and after ten minutes found I did not sleep, so got back up.

I worked a while longer, then went back to bed and slept another hour or more., getting up at 0805.

I noticed a pain in my side and remember that it is a referred pain from my back, not some internal organ. Also, my neck has been sore and I've had a slight headache now and then since I fell asleep sitting up and feel down, kinking my neck, so I called the chiropractor for an appointment and was told I could come in within the hour.

I showered and drove to town. I was told it is eighteen years since I have been there. I may have been to the chiropractor in Linden and also I recall going to a chiropractor in Red Deer during that time, but mostly, I have been fine.

This chiropractor is a beefy hands-on guy of the sort that solves my problems with a few crunches, not a theoretical lightweight with more talk than action.  It took him all of five minutes to do the adjustments and I was out of there.  My side pain is gone and we'll see about the neck and shoulder. Sometimes it gets worse right after the adjustment before it gets better.  At least it feels different.

I returned home and am planning to spend an active afternoon and do deskwork this evening.

I've been trying to reach the gas inspector to find out when the installation will be approved. I was give one name and called him yesterday, left a message, and did not hear back.  I called again today and he did call back.

Turns out he was the wrong one.  He works north of Edmonton and he gave me another name and number.  I called the number and the inspector turned out not to be the right one either.  He said that the guy who has my area broke his foot and is off on leave, but this fellow will find out and get back to me Monday.

I wondered about my daily steps. Here is the record from Fit. Of course, I don't always carry my phone and besides, the numbers are estimates made by a device in my pocket. (How can it do that?).

Dec 8 3,443
Dec 7 3,255
Dec 6 3,244
Dec 5 7,087
Dec 4 3,863
Dec 3 5,981
Dec 2 5,953
Dec 1 8,976
Nov 30 6,761
Nov 29 8,543
Nov 28 6,156
Nov 27 3,786
Nov 26 2,864

We can see that even a day at my desk generates three thousand steps and the average daily count is 5,539, or about half the ideal minimum that is 10,000 steps according to some experts.  So far, I have yet to exceed the 10K.

How far do you have to walk to hit 10000 steps?
An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile; and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles. A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. For these people adding steps has many health benefits.

I see that walking from my marina in La Paz to Marina la Paz, where the Cruseros headquarters is located would be 2.9 miles, let's call it three, or about 6,000 steps. Walking there and back would be 12,000. 

I had considered that an excessively long walk, but maybe I should reconsider. Taxi two ways would be $12, so I'd be making almost $5/hour, too.


I got to work sorting trash and loading the trailer. By 1630, I had had enough and quit for the day. I had supper and watched Longmire. Colin phoned and we chatted about various things.

I decided to have my local accountant handle the charter accounting, too.  Up until now, the charter firm has handled it, but it hasn't been done in a timely manner and, besides, it's best to have everything in one place.

I often correct or add to previous day's entries.
Yesterday's post.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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I often correct or add to previous day's entries.

Saturday December 9th 2017

Today Sunny. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 10.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy near midnight. Low minus 7.

I was up at 0520 after sleeping nine hours. BG is 6.2. Weight is still 216.

I did some deskwork, shoveled ashes, then finished loading the trash and headed for the Linden transfer station.

While cleaning out the furnace, I happened to notice that the bulb in my trouble light has a flat spot melted on one side.  It continues to work just fine.

I don't know how that happened, but this ED bulb has taken treatment that incandescents or CFLs won't.  I have historically gone through a lot of bulbs in trouble lights. Incandescents, even the rough service ones, can't stand being dropped and a splash of water shatters them.

When  I arrived at the dump, I was greeted by the attendant who scrutinized my load and assigned each item to a different spot and told me that all refuse had to be bagged and could not be left until it is. 

This is new.  There is always something new to make the job more difficult and less enjoyable. 

It is hard enough to convince myself to do this job without the discouragement of always being informed of some new wrinkle. 

(I hoped I did not need ID as I had left my wallet at home.  I didn't need it -- yet.  Probably will need it next year, though.  I'll not be surprised if there'll be a security check before long.)

Fortunately, I had not brought a maximum load and was able to leave most of the junk and only had to take two drums back to bag. Also, I had a plan B for the plastic and drove the recycle in Three Hills.  There was no attendant on duty there today to encumber the process and I was able to throw the plastic containers into the general plastics enclosure without undergoing an inquisition first.

I can understand why some people dump trash on the roadsides or over embankments. These days one needs a PhD to deliver trash to a transfer station and keep abreast of the ever-changing rules.  The thing of it is that they are just going to bulldoze most of this stuff into a hole and bury it.

I got home, had lunch and made some soup.

Then I went out and spent the rest of the afternoon bagging trash. What a waste of time. Fortunately, I had some black garbage bags designed to fit in drums.

I came in a dusk, cooked a salmon steak and watched the final two episodes of Longmire.  Sadly, that series has hit the end of the line.

Now, I'm doing some accounting before bed.  Fit says I made 5,061 steps today.

I was really tempted to get on the treadmill this morning, but managed to resist the temptation.  One of these days, I'll do it.

Once again, I managed to resist the temptation to get on the treadmill this morning, but it is a string urge.  What has come over me?

Yesterday's post.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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