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I have about quit watching the news, it’s all bad, really stupid stuff, and apparently Congress is afraid that Trump’s tweets will ruin their careers if they say anything about the security breaches (dinner public briefing over N Korean missile launch), poorly thought out plans Bannon and Putin pulling strings while Trump bluffs and puffs out his chest and tries to intimidate everyone.

The Dakota Access pipeline is being built despite lawsuits from the Dakota Sioux, and there are U.S. Veterans standing with native Americans hoping to stop it. I am lighting a candle for peaceful best solution.  The Earth takes the long view. I hope in the long run most species survive. Not sure mine will manage it.

Not sure what spring will bring. If the zika mosquitoes come here, aerial spraying may well wipe my bees and all native pollinators out. Even if what really causes birth defects turns out to be a larvacide in the affected areas of South and Central America.  I read a report from some doctors in that region that said zika had been around forever but small head birth defects showed up with the larvacide. Who knows who is telling the truth?  I don’t.

I have 2 hives in diesel tanks sitting on the old truck on the back lot, will start trapping them out into hives as soon as weather permits.  It has been bone dry here, but a lot of rain is due to arrive all at once tonight and tomorrow.  I have outyards in rural areas waiting for bees, if I can get enough hives established to move them out. I can’t move, right now anyway, but maybe I can get the bees out.

That is more than I can do for our country.  Or maybe that is all that I can do for our country.

Funny how things change

It isn’t all that funny.  Not really.  Many of the changes I have seen coming for a long time.  I have found that my peace of mind is better if I limit the amount of news I watch these days.  I have re-located Rachel Maddow’s schedule, I guess I am guilty of watching the news that I prefer to watch.

If it is all slanted, I try to find slants toward objective truth.  I can only hope that all is well in the end. Planted seeds in my garden, we seem to have a winter drought again, here in North Texas, except for the one day when we got 4.5 inches of rain.  Its dry or flooding, no middle ground.

I am sad about the Dakota Access Pipeline. I recognize that it will probably be built and like all pipelines at some time it will leak nasty black oil into water. Don’t know what year. I think the good folks of Bismarck should have had that over their water supply since they wanted the thing so bad, but that’s just what I think. I will not visit Bismarck in this lifetime,  nor buy a product made there. I doubt they make anything. Most towns don’t.

I am sad about Trump. I am not sad about Hillary.  Running her and stealing primary votes from Bernie Sanders in 4 states was about the dumbest thing the DNC could do, and they did it. I have discontinued the handful of donations toward that party that I used to make. I don’t have the spare cash, and by the time Trump gets done crashing the economy so he can pick up bargain real estate, I will have less money.

My old dog has been fighting cancer for a couple of years. The dog before him that got cancer died in 3 days. After Spike’s death I got the corn, soy and wheat complete with their attendant Roundup spray out of my dog’s diet. Bronx is still alive. His mast cell was removed 9/11/2014. It has been over 2 years.  It had metastasized, he still has cancer. Mast cells give off histamine, makes dogs itchy and gives them upset stomach.  But he took benadryl for the first 2 years and 4 months, along with Golden Paste starting in November 2014. He went from looking like dying to bouncing around the house in a week after I made and started him on turmeric paste. Benadryl quit working 3 weeks ago, he is on a prescription antihistamine now, he feels better.   I am glad he is still with me. He is sad about Trump too. He is afraid the doggy biscuit supply is endangered. But I think we are ok for now.

It has been an odd winter. Got cold too early, a bit of rain after the cold, and it was cold a long time.  6 bitter chill days in october. It is dry out. Was foggy this morning. They keep forecasting rain but it never seems to come. It falls high in the atmostphere,and the air near the ground is so dry the drops never touch the ground. The temps now are mild, 60’s in the day time, 40 or so at night. But no rain.

I had the stumps of the red oak that didn’t care for drought and the aggressive cherry laurel taken out yesterday.

The bees are alive and in their hives, I think. Too cold to be sure.  And I’m trying to get my bookkeeping done on this chilly day despite a headache in my dried out sinuses.

The weather guys get all excited when they see a cloud.  But where is the rain?

Getting ready for rain

Rain has been scarce this year, coming to my little corner of North Texas every couple of months, but when it rains it rains hard and an inch or two can fall very quickly.  I’m using migratory covers with a drilled hole for feed jars on my beehives, so when rain is due I need to either put a poncho on the jars or put an extra box with telescoping cover over the whole feed jar. Since we are also expecting a cold front, I put a medium super on each lid and a telescoping cover on top. I am feeding 2:1 syrup. The goldenrod did get started after our last rain event, but it has been so dry they are getting more pollen than nectar.  The hives are light. I won’t make fondant yet, but I will when the hard cold sets in.

The greenhouse is not quite ready for the tomatoes, my solar pool blanket should come tomorrow, and that will help some inadvertent venting stop venting. The tilapia are in the tank, thermometer in place, glass lids on top of tilapia tank and owens corning pink held on the outside with contractors trashbags and duct tape. It is holding heat very well. Which is good because I’m still trying to find the heater I use in it.

I have picked up expanded shale for the plant trays but haven’t built the supports to position them over the stock tank.  Only so much time, I had to go to work.Wanted to mow the lawn but never managed to get the mower out. The chickens are fed and tucked in. All will wait til tomorrow.

The year things changed

In June 2010 the constant supply of honeybees in my neighborhood suddenly disappeared. Seems they were all living in a vacant house, and that house was sold.  An exterminator came and sprayed and killed part of the bees but missed a lot, and the ones he missed that had always been gentle bees suddenly started stinging the neighbors. After that he poisoned the honey. The bees died. The possum that ate the honeycomb died, the wasps, solitary bees, bumble bees, butterflies, anything that ate that honey died.

March 1st 2011 I bought my first beehive. It wasn’t a very good hive, probably 50% african dna and hotter than a firecracker. I wasn’t a good beekeeper, I bought the hive from a beekeeper hoping I could pay her to teach me, That did not work out. I later learned she did everything wrong, setting my hive up in deep shade and setting me up for disaster. But beekeeping is addicting, and I was definitely hooked.

Security Metrics has been billing annual fees to my account for security scans that First Data has paid them for, and billed me for, for 2 years. Because of the timing on the double-pay, and the speed my life moves at, I didn’t catch them until about 10 days ago. If this has been happening to your business, large or small, and you also can’t get a refund (although both companies admit that I should not have been double-charged), and you would like to start a class action suit, please contact me via message here. Thank you.

UPDATE 2/23/11:  I received a refund from Security Metrics for 2 years double-billed security scans. I will however leave this post up,  in case other small business owners are wondering if they are ” seeing double” in their security billing. Yes, it does happen.

UPDATE 11/2/14: seems the great gouge was illegal but the refund from 12 years of overcharging by First Data hasn’t come yet and I am not expecting it.

I caught a train coming home last night. Meaning the road was blocked by a long freight train. Many of the cars were full of coal, used to generate electricity in Texas. 35% of Texas electricity comes from coal, and our state is probably last in the Union at enforcing any EPA air quality regulations on big business.

If mountain tops are being blown off in the Appalachians to provide the coal, trains are hauling it cross country, and the smoke from said coal then making the air filthier than the alternative gasoline would, what good does it do to drive an electric car?

It is true, that hydrogen from water is not cost-effective, it takes as much electricity to separate the hydrogen out as is produced by burning the hydrogen.
But hydrogen from urine is cost effective. The initial tests were done on cow urine, and the urine from one cow was sufficient to power 17 homes. Write me if you want a link to the article.
Urine can generate a huge amount of electricity in proportion to the cost of separating the hydrogen atoms out.
Every large city in America has a waste water treatment plant. I do not have the knowledge it would take to devise the system, but someone out there does.

I don’t have all the answers. I think a good question should be spark enough.