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February 2017

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alphaflyer: (more pensive Clint)
Okay, so I have a Very Nice Office.  It's, like, right in the river.  I look down in the summer, and there's a water lily patch and ducks and terns puddling around, and sometimes you can see fish.  But it's in March that things get really interesting, because that's when the dynamite comes into play.

Yep, you heard me.  Dynamite.

You see, the thing is -- 200 meters further down, my little river flows into a much bigger river, by way of a waterfall that's been regulated and dammed in with concrete and all sorts of man-made shit.  This becomes a problem in the spring, when the ice breaks and jams things up, threatening to flood some of the city's priciest (and highest-tax-paying) real estate.  The answer?  Blow a channel into the ice.  Three short toots, a long one, and VROOM -- up go the chunks of ice, 100 feet in the air like Old Faithful.  Every year, first Monday in March, like clockwork. Then a couple of weeks later, when it warms up (because sometimes it just all freezes shut again) they go and knock apart the remainder with mini-icebreakers. Sometimes they have to blast again at this point.

So this morning I watched the ice breakers go at it.  Grown men, steering little itty bitty red boats into ice floes at top speed.  You cannot tell me they weren't having a total ball...  Alas, I forgot to bring my camera for the show, so the blackberry had to do for photographic evidence...

River 3

river 1

More Snow

Feb. 28th, 2013 11:45 am
alphaflyer: (more pensive Clint)
Let a picture speak a thousand words -- to a backdrop of thunder, as whacks of wet white stuff from our maple tree hit the roof and cause little avalanches.  That bedraggled thing in the back is my lilac bush, reduced to half its height by the weight.  (Shot at dusk last night, hence the blue tinge.)

alphaflyer: (staring Clint)
Quote of the day: 

"A Porsche. A Porsche. A kingdom for a Porsche!!"

And I faint hear the voice of Sir Patrick Stewart:

"For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war...
some found their rest where you park your car."

Or, as my husband just remarked -- "Damn those French. Their hunchback got a cathedral!"
alphaflyer: (staring Clint)
So we had a sudden warm spell.  (Warm, in Ottawa in January, means +5 to +8.)  After the roads were covered in snow and ice for three weeks.  This leads to something called a "frost heave" where the road shrinks and expands.

Do you know what happens to road surfaces when there's frost heaving?  Cracks.  Bulges.  Potholes.  Normally we get these in March; this year it seems there'll be two rounds (thanks, global warming!)

All this to say, when we dropped child off at school on Friday, we hit one of the aforementioned pot holes, on the off-ramp coming off Hwy 417.  Did I mention rain and sludge makes it impossible to see them?

Bang.  BANG.  Pffffft.

One tire blew immediately (the hole was 5 cm long), the other just ... bulged.  Like it had cancer or something.  Luckily hubby knows how to change a tire -- the cop was most impressed, said no one does that anymore, let alone have a shovel in the trunk so wife (moi) can clear the snow away for the jack to get good purchase.  He (the cop) did, however, comment on our licence plate, which includes the number 666.  

Now I have to make a claim to the city for two new tires ...  Wish me luck.
alphaflyer: (Renner & Starbucks)
So we were supposed to have 15 cm or so of snow.  It looks more like 30.  Add that to the foot or so we already had, and our yard and porch and street are ... well, let's just say I'm NOT looking forward to grocery shopping.  

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