not so wintry Indian Battle Park

I went for a walk at Indian Battle Park today.  Although it’s winter, it’s not very wintry.  I was surprised to see so many people.  I read a few news articles and wished I had some hot tea.  But, then again, with hot tea comes the need for a washroom, and I have no idea if anything is open because of COVID-19.  F wanted me to take some pictures of the Lethbirdge Viaduct (commonly called the High Level Bridge locally).  He’ll do some sketches.  I saw one solitary deer, one magpie flapping about, and one nuthatch who almost lighted on my phone.  I was talking with my sister from England, showing her the park, and the nuthatch flew toward me (us).  I jerked, and it squawked, changed direction, and flew back to its tree branch.  I muddied up my shoes wandering around the dirt-covered snow on the Oldman River banks.  I’ll go again … with tea.

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wind storm

We had a wind storm yesterday.  It’s been windy for 6 or 7 weeks with maybe 2 or 3 days of calm.  Headaches abound.  No sub-zero temperatures.  Now this wind.  Hopefully it will have blown itself out.

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garage thermostat

It seems ‘cloud-connected’ thermostats are all the rage these days.  Google doesn’t own enough personal information – they want to dissect how we heat our homes, too.  I went to Rona, Canadian Tire, Lowe’s, & Home Depot to find a manual thermostat suitable for the garage – that is, one that goes down to zero degrees.  Finding one that goes that low is not as easy as it sounds.  They’re all made for the insides of homes and only go down to 10°C at best.  I absolutely don’t want to keep the garage at a toasty 15°C in the dead of winter – just keep it above zero.

I finally one at Home Depot.  It’s made for electric baseboard heaters, overkill for this application, but it goes down to 0°C.  Now I see that Canadian Tire has the same one, but I dismissed it at the time because I didn’t know if a baseboard heating thermostat would be compatible with a forced-air type.

Yes, you can use a baseboard heater thermostat to drive a forced-air furnace but not the other way around.  The line voltage on a baseboard heater thermostat in North America is 240VAC/60Hz or sometimes 120VAC.  A forced-air furnace thermostat line voltage is 24VDC, I think, and does not handle any significant load – just a basic on-off thing to trigger a relay switch in the furnace.

So now I have a garage that will not freeze and will be nice enough to work in during the bitter, cold months.

nature is amazing

I get awe-struck sometimes of how amazing nature is.  There is a type of insect that has the only functional gear mechanism evolved in nature, that we have found at least, long before people designed it.  There is a bird that mimics the sounds of up to 14 other species of birds and, believe it or not, chainsaws.  Yesterday I read another article online entitled Scientists Discover a Major Lasting Benefit of Growing Up Outside the City.  I haven’t had a Netflix subscription for ages.  I do, however, have a subscription to curiositystream.com because of nature documentaries.

Here are a couple of pics taken out / by my kitchen window.  I bought this and hung it on a garden / camping hanging pole duct-taped to another long pole.

Biden vs Trump

I thought Trump vs Clinton four years ago was huge.  Now lots of us are watching the Biden vs Trump election State-side.  So far, this is what it is (at 1pm MST).

I don’t usually tell my political view to anyone except in meaningless idle talk.  But, seriously, there are just a few presidents as controversial as Trump – beyond even George W Bush, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, or even Harry S Truman.  Trump is second only to George W Bush for being a horse’s ass, in my humble view.

It’s a right race between the two, Biden & Trump.  The world is in for more rocky roads ahead if Trump gets in again.  I don’t so much like Biden as much as I dislike Trump, but I do share Biden’s green ideas.  Coming from an Albertan in a world of $35 a barrel oil, this likely won’t go over well, but if there is ever a time for change, it is now.

first shovel

Usually the first use of a shovel is the breaking of ground for some special building or structure of some kind.  In this case, the first shovel of the season involved snow.

We had an extended summer until a week ago when things started getting chilly.  It is the official start of winter (that is, astronomical winter here in the northern hemisphere) on December 21, 2020.  But things certainly do look like winter now.

F has filled the bird feeder with sunflower seeds and put out the suet.  I shovelled the driveway this morning.  I have two tutoring sessions this weekend, a rare event these days, but everything is online, so I won’t be driving through the driving snow.

It apparently will get down to -20°C tomorrow (Sunday) night.  Then, in true southern Alberta fashion, it will get up to +3°C a couple of days later.  Welcome to Chinook country.

first snow, painting, recycled clothes, COVID-19

I’m almost done painting the entrance of the house.  It’s turned cold.  The first snow of the 2020-21 winter happened a few days ago.  I was expecting a warm day that never came.  Instead, I put a couple of space heaters in the entrance way and brought it up to 12°C since the paint can said minimum 10°C.  I still have a bit of trim to paint.

The garage is cold, too, of course, which will make working on any projects with the new CNC a bit slower.  It’s so much nicer working in warm weather.  I’ve got a ton of firewood cut up and more to be cut but no wood burning stove in the garage – only propane and electric.  I have a few projects on the go but no new teardrops yet (teardrop trailers, that is).

Mom bought me a new shirt from Mark’s yesterday, but it was 60% polyester.  I hate polyester.  It’s like wearing plastic clothes.  I smell like a race horse at the end of the day.  I took it back and got another.  As it turns out, the second one, which is 100% cotton, is actually 70% recycled cotton.  This is my first time buying recycled textiles.  I wonder how well it will wear.

The COVD-19 count in the city is as high as it’s ever been.  I think this is partly due to the Thanksgiving weekend of October 12, 2020, with people insisting that they’re immune to it.  “Can’t happen to me.”  The latest act of carelessness is at a church in Coaldale, one of seven hot-spots in Alberta.  “Not too pretty good,” as Glenn would say.