June 23, 2014
It's a bit late for them to be taking notice but the Obama administration deserves credit for worrying about bees. Honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a truly critical national problem. From a grass roots perspective one might wish that the administration's recent Presidential Memorandum on pollinators had explicitly mentioned the possibility of creating programs to encourage urban hobbyist beekeepers but I think the wording of the Memorandum gives agencies enough flexibility to consider the option. As it happens, by the way, these days one doesn't need to become an expert on bees in order to have a hive. If you want, private services will install and manage a hive for you. In the DC area, for example, Eco Honeybees will be happy to set you up. Although DC has extremely restrictive regulations regarding urban beekeeping it apparently doesn't enforce them. And despite its ill-informed regulatory environment DC has become something of a national hub for innovative beekeeping. I've had a hive on order from Eco Honeybees for a couple of months and I can't wait for the bees to arrive!
June 18, 2014
Yesterday morning, in the early hours, my dad passed away in his sleep. I went to check on him at 5:00 a.m. and found him gone. He was a great man, a good man, much beloved and highly respected. He'd had a happy and productive life. I believe he'll enjoy whatever the next phase of his journey may bring.
He was born in Galesburg, IL, the son of a bar tender. His mother (she was the smart one, a Warfield, but not of the Baltimore Warfields) left the family when he was about five; his father's mother raised him. He worked as a shoe salesman at JC Penney, was drafted during the war, and served as a cipher clerk with the 449th Bomb Group of the Army Air Corps, stationed at their forward operating base called Grottaglie Field, near Taranto in southern Italy.
June 14, 2014
I'm going to have to take more time off, I'm not sure how much, a month at least, probably, maybe two, maybe more. My dad is quite ill and, all things considered, I want to spent what time I can with him while he's still here. Since January he's been to the emergency room more than a dozen times, three times with pneumonia. In other words, for the last six months he's gone to the hospital about every ten days to two weeks for an average stay of two to three days. This is exhausting! During his most recent stay — for pneumonia plus a moderately serious UTI — in light of my concern for his quality of life I asked his doctor whether he would be eligible for home hospice care. It turns out he is and, with his consent (and total approval from his closest friends), I arranged his return home, last Tuesday, into the hospice program. For a couple days he did reasonably well but he's struggling again. He's bounced back many times before so a recovery, however temporary, wouldn't surprise me, nor would his shrugging off this mortal coil. I'm worried sick, I'm doing everything I can think of doing, but what happens, happens.