gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for September 2006

CafePress store

September 12, 2006 @ 21:37 By: gordon Category: General

I don’t check my CafePress store very often, but when I did today I discovered that someone actually ordered some of the items I designed and sell there. So, somewhere in the northwest US may be some cars that have bumper stickers I designed stuck on them. Very cool! 🙂

Re-visiting the Conestoga

September 11, 2006 @ 08:17 By: gordon Category: Diving

My friend Ken and I went diving yesterday afternoon. It was Ken’s first time in about four years, so we returned to the Conestoga, a wreck I’ve gone diving on twice this year. For a variety of reasons, we didn’t get onsite until quite late in the afternoon. Once onsite, we got our gear on and headed into the water. The water temp was around 68F and the viz was ok. We drifted downstream on the surface and mustered at the boiler that pokes out of the water. From there we descended and swam to the bow, dropped over the side of the wreck and drifted to the stern, popped up over the stern into the wreck and went back to the bow. From there, we basically made our way back to shore and exited the river after a 3-minute safety stop, which is probably redundant as the whole dive is one long safety stop because it’s so shallow (max depth was 21′) and also because we were diving 32% nitrox, rather than straight air. (The 32% nitrox has more oxygen in it than normal air, which is 21% oxygen, meaning you take on less nitrogen loading, reducing the likelihood of getting the bends.)

So, all in all, it was a good weekend. 🙂

Fall 400 Dragon Boat Races

September 10, 2006 @ 10:32 By: gordon Category: General

The Singapore Slings dragonboat team, which I’ve been steering for this year, took part in the Fall 400 in Carleton Place. With only 32 teams competing, it was a much smaller festival than the Ottawa Dragonboat Festival we paddled in at the end of June. But, it was a lot of fun! Each team took part in three races and the top six teams had one final race to determine the final rankings.

Our first race was at 10:20 and we paddled the 400m course in 1:52.87, which was a new team best for the Singapore Slings. Our second and third races we within two seconds of the first races. The weather started out grey and wet, but by the end of the day it had become sunny and not so miserable. The wind picked up as the day progressed, which was a factor in the slightly slower races. If the winds had been calm, I think we would have approached 1:50.0

From the perspective of the guy standing at the back of the boat, I can say that the three races were amazing. The team has never paddled better and that’s because of the dedication and committment of the people who came to practices every Tuesday since sometime in May. I’m looking forward to steering for them again in the future!

Turing Bombe recreated

September 07, 2006 @ 09:06 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

My friend Rob pointed out an article on the BBC’s website about a working replica of a Turing Bombe that was recently finished at Bletchley Park, aka Station X. People in England have been working for about ten years, building all the intricate pieces necessary to build one of the machines that helped crack the German Enigma code. They’ve finally finished and took the machine for a “test drive” yesterday and even had a couple of people who ran the originals under heavy secrecy in WW II.

I saw the machine while it was being built on my first trip to the UK in 2003. We visited Bletchley Park one day and saw the exhibits, including a real Enigma machine and the Bombe that was being built. You can see a couple of pictures I took of a non-working replica here and here.