Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Ramparts and Ditch at Castle Douglas

Reports of Spring are so far greatly exaggerated in Regina, although we supposed to hit +6C this weekend.  I am hoping for a long slow melt off to minimize the flooding.  Here's three shots of our snow banks for posterity's sake.  I've included my daughter as a handy benchmark - she's 5'7" tall.
The walk up to our front steps (around a corner behind the daughter).  I have shovelled the snow off the roof (from up top) once and raked it clear (from the ground) several times.  Note the ice dam along the roof edge - our's is much smaller than others thanks to my snow clearing.

Basically Katie's in the same spot but it's a different angle looking towards the street.  The pile beside the driveway is one of the largest on the street and safely conceals our two vehicles from the right angle.  The house across the street has some nasty ice dams.

The big pile from the driveway side.  Again the benchmark is 5'7" so I'd guess that the pile is close to 6'.  I've knocked the top off it a couple of times.  The foot prints in the pile are from where I climbed up so that I could get a better angle for raking the snow off of the roof.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St Paddy's Day

And let's remember that Banjos were cool way before Mumford & Sons or the Avett brothers.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Why We Drive A Subaru

Aka What Winter Looks Like, aka Why An Outdoor Game is a Ways Away Yet

I took these photos this week while walking to work.  Every year we have this on going discussion with my brother in law (who lives in Halifax and is an expert on EVERYTHING). It basically goes like this "you really don't need all wheel drive, front wheel drive does almost as well and uses less gas and any way it's not a problem once they plow the streets", "but they don't plow the streets", 'yeaj but once they plow them it's not a problem"....

Anyway we've had 1.4m of snow and we rarely see a snow plow on anything but a major artery.  So the snow gets compressed down (on our street the multiply daily school bus trips do it nicely) into 4-6" of solid ice.  Think of Sedimentary Rock being transformed into Metamorphic Rock and you get hte idea.

Typical side street moonscape driving.  The university student in the background gives context of the snow bank and drift heights.

A neighbour cleared the sidewalk (that's a pavement to you Brits) down to bare concrete.  At the curbside (sic there is a curb in this photo) she found that her sidewalk was a couple of inches below the current driving surface.

Here the city has cleared the ice away from a manhole cover - note the 6" drop below driving level.  This one sits in the middle of an intersection of two side streets.

Tough to see but for most of the winter there was a car parked here.  Note the second car under the pile of snow on the left.  Because the car provided shelter - the bottom of the hole is the original paved street level.  The top of the hill is the current driving level.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Old Stuff Day

So what is Old Stuff Day?  Well I got this via Bleaseworld, so I'll let him quote Warhammer 39,999.

"On this day, each blogger can go through their history and find posts that they’d like to shake the dust off and present again to the community at large. Some suggestions for content that would be good to post: 

* Posts that you considered special that didn’t receive as much attention as you thought they deserved
* Content that people liked in the past, but haven’t seen recently 
* Posts you might have created before your site received much traffic, and now deserve to be reshown
* Or any content you’re particularly proud of!"

It's the 2nd of March, there is 6" of ice (compressed from 4-5 feet of snow) on out street and I'm running out of room to put the snow from the driveway.  So now the weather from last fall doesn't seem so bad and I'll repost....

Outdoors Adventures

So an actuary, an archivist and a French literature prof walk into an open field...

Sylvain wanted to use his 1:1200 WW2 battleships in a Fletcher Pratt style game, so he decided that we would do it grand scale and play in a park.  With winter approaching, this was best done sooner than later so Sylvain, Curt and I went out to play with toy ships in the park today (much to my family's amusement).

Today's weather was, well bloody cold and miserable...Ok my picture didn't work but the weather network has the following readings at 2pm on October +6C (-2C with windchill), and winds of 43kph from the NW.

I had two USN battleships (USS Colorado and Arizona, based on neither ship being at Pearl Harbour on the 7th) while Curt  fielded the Kongo and Ise for the IJN, with Sylvain acting as GM.  After about 35 minutes of game time (about an hour and a bit of real time) we traded some hits with my eyesight proving superior to Curt's.  He decided to cut and run, which was quite alright with me.  I did my running sprinting across King's Road park chasing down ship logs and turning circles blown away by the gale force winds.

I am sure that Curt will post much better pictures but here are the ones off of my I phone.

Colorado (to the right) leading Arizona

Same ships but from a lower angle.

My fleet in line a head.

Sylvain and Curt by the IJN force from the USN position.

Sylvain takes measurements while Curt takes photos.  Note the paint roller shell splashes - very effective!

We're ranging in on the target.

Curt's shots are short but getting closer.

Rules discussion.

A hit!