gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for June 2015

Last practice before the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

June 24, 2015 @ 16:23 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats, Weather

Both of the teams I’m steering for at the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival have their final practices this evening, so naturally the weather is shaping up to be a little more exciting that necessary:

TAF CYOW 241740Z 2418/2518 27010G20KT P6SM FEW060
FM241900 29012KT P6SM BKN050 TEMPO 2420/2424 P6SM -SHRA PROB30
2420/2423 21/2SM TSRA BR BKN020 OVC040CB
FM250200 31008KT P6SM FEW050
BECMG 2504/2506 VRB03KT
FM251500 33007KT P6SM SCT050 BKN120

Hopefully, the 30% chance of moderate thunderstorms will not interrupt the light rain showers (which, frankly, I could do without).

Perfect weather for dragonboating

June 19, 2015 @ 14:58 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats, Weather

Compared to this time last week, the weather this evening looks perfect for dragonboating:

TAF CYOW 191738Z 1918/2018 30008KT P6SM FEW040
BECMG 2001/2003 VRB03KT

Almost no wind or clouds in the forecast. I think this will make three practices in a row that I won’t have needed head-to-toe Goretex. ūüôā

It’s raining, so I must have a dragonboat practice this evening

June 12, 2015 @ 16:41 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats, Weather

As you’ve probably noticed if you live in Ottawa, it has been raining all day today. That means the chances are high the I have a dragonboat practice this evening (which I do) and it looks like it’s going to be (another) wet one, at least for the first part of the practice:

TAF AMD CYOW 121851Z 1218/1318 VRB03KT 6SM -RA BR OVC030
TEMPO 1218/1220 3SM -RA BR BKN020 OVC050 PROB30 1218/1220 2SM TSRA BR BKN008 OVC015CB
FM122000 18005KT 6SM -RA BR SCT006 OVC012
TEMPO 1220/1302 2SM RA BR BKN006 OVC012
BECMG 1222/1224 06006KT
FM130300 05006KT P6SM BKN012 OVC090
FM130500 33005KT 3SM BR FEW015 PROB30 1305/1312 1/4SM FG VV001
FM131200 31010KT P6SM FEW025

Thank goodness for GoreTex™!

PRESTO not-so-autoload annoyance

June 11, 2015 @ 13:10 By: gordon Category: General

My physiotherapist moved a while back from being within walking distance to a bit farther away that has terrible parking options, so lately, I’ve been taking the bus once or twice a week. I acquired a PRESTO card a few months ago because I rarely have bus tickets and I don’t tend to have a pocket full o’ coins most days.

I checked the PRESTO website to confirm my balance and found it’s sitting at -$2. Odd, I thought, because I have an autoload set up to load $20 whenever it drops below $5. The website even said the autoload was active:

Based on that, I concluded that everything was set up properly and that the problem of my card not auto-loading was on their end. When I called the PRESTO customer service number, the person I eventually reached told me that the autoload was expired, even though the website said it was active. Apparently, I didn’t tap my card within 30 days of setting up the autoload, even though I’m reasonably certain I did. I can’t confirm this with 100% certainty because you can only pull up transactions from the last three months and this would have been sometime in November or early-December.

So, the customer service person resent the autoload confirmation so it’ll be added to my PRESTO card the next time I tap it. But, because the card has a negative balance, it won’t automatically load money to the card until after the balance is brought above $0. And loading money onto a card can take up to 24 hours, so even though I loaded money today, it’s highly unlikely that it’ll be there when I tap my card to go to my physio appointment this afternoon. Fortunately, I think I have some bus tickets in my wallet. (Hopefully they haven’t expired, too!)

There is no obvious way I could tell from the website that the autoload had expired. PRESTO/Metrolinx needs to update their website so that it clearly indicates when an autoload contract hasn’t been completed within the time limit. Other autoloading things I use let you know right away when there’s a problem and there’s no excuse for the PRESTO card website not to do the same. 

Exciting weather for dragonboating

June 10, 2015 @ 16:55 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats, Weather

We’re in for some exciting weather during the next few hours:

TAF CYOW 102040Z 1021/1118 19010G20KT 6SM -SHRA BR OVC080
TEMPO 1021/1023 VRB15G30KT 2SM TSRA BKN008 OVC030CB
FM102300 19010G20KT 6SM -SHRA BR OVC080 PROB40 1023/1024 VRB15G30KT 2SM TSRA BKN008 OVC030CB
FM110100 24010KT P6SM FEW020
BECMG 1106/1108 24010G20KT
FM111400 27015KT P6SM BKN040

And there’s a severe thunderstorm watch warning in effect as of the time of this post, and up the Valley they’ve had tornado watches
A quick peek at the radar right now shows that a bunch of rain has passed south of the city, but there’s still a couple of fairly energetic cells making their way down the Ottawa River towards us:

Naturally, I’m supposed to be¬†on the water steering for a couple of dragonboat¬†teams this evening, when it’s probably going to be quite windy and probably rainy. Yay Goretex‚ĄĘ!