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Archive for October 2009

More climbing at Luskville

October 23, 2009 @ 14:56 By: gordon Category: Climbing

Climbing at Luskville with Kerri 022 Last Sunday, I picked up some more tubular webbing and an ATC belay device at Mountain Equipment Co-op and Kerri bought another rope like the one I own and some other stuff. Kitted out with our new gear, we headed back up to Luskville and spent the afternoon climbing. The weather was even nicer than the previous weekend, so we were able to climb for several hours.

We climbed up to the top of the John and Ron Cliffs at Luskville, decided on the routes and set our ropes in the anchors. I belayed Kerri from the top and then she belayed me from the bottom of the rockface.

The large crack in the first picture was one of the routes we worked on, with a couple of variations.  The other route was just to the right and presented its own challenges.

Climbing at Luskville with Kerri 030 You can see both of the ropes we set in the second picture to the right.

We also explored the top of the cliffs and scoped out some of the other routes in the area and generally enjoyed the sunshine.  It’s probably the last time we’re going to be able to get out before the snow flies, especially as I’m going to be away this weekend. Hopefully it will still be nice when I’m back next weekend and we’re able to get out instead of going to the climbing gym (not that there’s really anything wrong with the climbing gym).

Otherwise, maybe we’re going to have to look into ice climbing…

Climbing at Luskville

October 18, 2009 @ 01:04 By: gordon Category: Climbing

Climbing at Luskville 052 Last Sunday, Kerri, Parm and I went climbing with my friend Robert and his wife at Luskville. Thought I go climbing with Kerri and Parm most weekends at the gym, this was Kerri and my first time climbing on real rock since last fall.
Last year we went to Home Cliff on the Eardley Escarpment, which has a lot of routes to climb. The downside to it that it tends to be fairly busy and the hike in is a bit sucky.

Luskville, on the other hand, has a nicer hike in and isn’t as busy. In fact, there was only one other guy who was solo-climbing some of the other routes, so we had our choice of routes. Robert set a couple of ropes and we tried each of them. Then he and I climbed up to the top of the cliffs and set a couple more routes.

Climbing at Luskville 089 We climbed these routes, which were more challenging than the first set, and enjoyed some amazing views as the sun was getting closer to the horizon.

By the time we finished climbing and had the ropes coiled up, the sun was almost set, so we made our way back to the cars and arrived just as it was getting dark.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is shaping up to be fairly nice, so we’re going to head back for another day of climbing.

40 km/h: Coming soon to a residential street near you

October 08, 2009 @ 08:06 By: gordon Category: In the news

The City of Ottawa is poised to approve rules that will allow the speed of a residential street to be automatically lowered to 40 km/h if 60% of the residents on the street agree. According to a story on CBC’s website, this policy will go to city council for final approval on October 28th.

The intent of this is to make residential streets safer by making drivers drive slower. But this is only going to work if there is increased enforcement with less tolerance for drivers exceeding the posted speed limit. Since many police officers give drivers a 10 km/h “cushion” before they issue a ticket a street that has it’s limit lowered is really having it lowered to 50 km/h.

Instead of lowering the limit to 40 km/h, a street that has 60% of its residents agreeing that the limit should be lowered should be subject to aggressive zero-tolerance speed limit enforcement. Be clocked going less than 10 km/h over the limit and receive a written warning the first time, and a fine subsequent times. (Of course, vehicles clocked going more than 10 km/h over should receive a fine on the first offense.)

And it occurs to me that this could have ramifications for bus routes on residential streets that have had the speed limit lowered, particularly for routes that are on many of these streets. The affected routes are going to need to have their schedules adjusted to respect the lower limits, or you’re going to see bus drivers pushing the limits to adhere to their schedules.

Stargate: Universe first impressions

October 03, 2009 @ 12:52 By: gordon Category: General, Seen on the 'net

SGU logo The premier of the next series in the Stargate franchise, Stargate: Universe, aired last night on Space. The premise is a group of people consisting of military-types, scientists, and bureaucrats who end up on an extremely old spaceship that travels faster than the speed of light, millions of light years away from Earth, after escaping via a stargate from a military outpost that came under attack. Rather than dialling a stargate address in the Milky Way galaxy, the lead scientist dialled a stargate address that had an extra character in its address. This nine-character address took them to Destiny, the spaceship, which was created by the Ancients thousands of years ago.

Being an extremely old spaceship, there are a number of “challenges” they’re going to have to deal with. First and foremost: the life support systems in the ship are not exactly in the greatest condition and there are a number of rather inconvenient holes that are slowly venting what remains of the atmosphere into space. They have extremely limited supplies of food and water. The lack of a proper doctor to look after the people who were injured in the evacuation is going to tax their medic.

And, of course, there’s the lead scientist who wants to explore for the sake of exploring. There are hints that he may have other motivations, too.

One of the character finds himself thrust into the world of the stargate after solving some thousand-year old mathematical puzzle that  the military had embedded in a video game to identify geniuses, similar to how the government tested the security of a new encryption scheme in the movie Mercury Rising.

I thoroughly enjoyed the premier and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. The actors were brilliant, the characters were real, the sets and effects stunning, the cinematography superb and Joel Goldsmith’s music was perfect.

Commenters over at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog appear to like the new series, too. (Joseph is one of the consulting producers and writers of SGU and has been teasing his readers over the last few weeks with pictures from the series.)