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Archive for March 2006

Spring has truly arrived

March 31, 2006 @ 08:26 By: gordon Category: General

I went out at lunch yesterday to take my bike to the local bike shop for it’s annual servicing. As I left the building I thought to myself that a hotdog would hit the spot but that probably wouldn’t happen since I hadn’t seen the hotdog guyat the corner of Scott and Holland yetthis year. Well, as luck would have it, he was out for his first day of the season and already had a line-up of regulars.

Some people use geese flying north to tell when spring has started. Others use robins. I use the arrival of the hotdog guy.

Shipwrecks 2006

March 26, 2006 @ 21:52 By: gordon Category: Diving

I took Friday off work and drove to Welland so that I could go to Shipwrecks 2006, which started at 0900 Saturday morning. The event was basically a series of presentations on various shipwrecks in the Great Lakes (primarily) and their histories. There were also a couple of presentations on recording techniques and expeditions to discover other new wrecks. Several dive clubs and similar organizations, including Save Ontario Shipwrecks, had information booths set up outside the auditorium.

This is the first time I’ve gone to Shipwrecks and I have to say I was extremely impressed. The speakers were experts in their field and many of them had well-produced videos as part of their presentations.

After the show on Saturday, I hopped in my Tracker and returned to Ottawa, making a round trip of 1230 km in 36 hours.

Next stop: Belgium

March 23, 2006 @ 15:49 By: gordon Category: Geocaching, Travel bugs

A few days ago, Donald the Sun Worshipperwas picked up from a geocache in France where he’s been for the last seven months. According to his rescuer, he’s going to be dropped into a cache in Belgium.

Geocaching on the last day of winter

March 19, 2006 @ 23:53 By: gordon Category: Geocaching

Kathy and I headed out this afternoon to do some geocaching in the rural parts of eastern Ontario. Our first cache (GC3E83) was, which is located Warwick forest about 50km SE of Ottawa. After stopping for supplies at a Tim Horton’s, we headed along the 417 to exit 66 where we turned south for a while until we came across the nearest concession road to the cache. Driving along it, we found a likely access point and walked about half a kilometre in along a snowmobile trail. Crossing a small creek, Kathy spotted the cache at the base of a clump of cedar trees.

The second cache we found (GCD7A) was located in the forest just east of Limoges. After bouncing along a frozen forest access road, we parked near a small cemetary in the middle of the forest (literally) and made our way into the cache. On the way in, we encountered a guy wearing bright orange hunting gear and carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows. Greeting him, we found out that he was “hunting trees” with blunt-tipped arrows. Apparently, the only thing in season right now are bunnies. We found the cache container fairly quickly and made the obligatory trades.

We attempted to find a third cache, but were not successful. Located about 200m into the forest, we headed in and while we are fairly certain we were in the right location, the cache was nowhere to be found. It’s been at least eighteen months since it was last found, so it’s very likely that the cache has gone missing. (Update: It appears that the cache was pulled sometime last fall, but for some reason it wasn’t flagged like that in my cache list.)

So, we covered about 100 km, found two out of three caches and did some hiking in the woods. All in all, a good way to end the winter. 🙂

Proof that airplanes and idiots don’t mix

March 17, 2006 @ 08:54 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

It’s a fairly well-established fact that airplanes and idiots don’t mix, much in the same way that monkeys, dynamite and matches are bad idea (but highly amusing to watch from a safe distance). Fortunately, there’s a fairly high bar set to enter the aviation world because it costs so much to learn to fly, particularly if you get a commercial license and start flying for an airline. However, every now and then one manages to get through and sooner or later Something Bad happens.

A friend posted a link to what happens when a passenger jet, an idiot (or two since there’s a pilot and co-pilot) and hail meet up. Click here to see the pictures.

It’s very hard to believe that the pilots didn’t have some sort of warning that there was hail in the area they were about to fly through when they encountered this. According to one of the messages in that forum, the pilot(s?) were sacked by the airline, as they should have been.

Hawaii pictures

March 10, 2006 @ 08:46 By: gordon Category: Travelling

At long last, some of the pictures from our trip to Hawaii are available online. There are still some others that aren’t there, yet.

It’s going to rain/freezing rain/snow today

March 09, 2006 @ 07:43 By: gordon Category: General

Ottawa’s currently under a freezing rain warning. School buses are cancelled, so there’ll be a lot of parents who are either going to be late to work or stuck at home today.

The TAF (terminal area forecast)for CYOW has 13 time periods on it, including the TEMPO and PROB sections, which makes it one of the longest ones I’ve seen:

TAF CYOW 091147Z 091212 07008KT P6SM OVC060
FM1300Z 08008KT 3SM -SN OVC015 TEMPO 1315 2SM -FZRA BR OVC008
FM1500Z 09010KT 2SM -FZRA BR OVC008 TEMPO 1516 3SM -SNRA OVC010
FM1600Z 11010KT 2SM -RA BR OVC008 PROB30 1619 1SM -FZRA BR OVC006
FM1900Z 13008KT 6SM -RA BR SCT004 OVC015 TEMPO 1903 2SM -RA BR BKN004 OVC015
BECMG 2123 16008KT
FM0300Z 16008KT 6SM -SHRA BR OVC015
FM0500Z 16008KT P6SM -SHRA OVC025
FM0800Z 18008KT P6SM OVC060
FM1000Z 18010KT 3SM -SHRA BR OVC010
RMK NXT FCST BY 15Z=

One of the rules of thumb I use when scanning TAFs is the longer they are, the less hospitible the weather is. It doesn’t always work, but for a forecast like this one it does. At least there’s no SG, PL or GR (to name a few) in it.

I really can’t wait forsummer to arrive.