Local Flooding

May 6, 2017

A look on Chaffey’s Locks Rocks on Facebook just now showed photos of water flowing over the Opinicon Road at Telephone Bay.  A commenter on the Newboro Lake FB page claimed the water is overflowing the upper gates at the Newboro Lockstation.

I just read that Canada’s Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould,  plans to make the punishment for selling marijuana to children a 14 year maximum sentence, the same as for child molesters.

On July 20, 2013 I posted the following article to my blog.  I also sent it along to whatever contacts I could find in Ottawa.  Coincidence?  Probably.  But I think they’re right in their thinking:  drug dealers have no more place in the schools than child molesters, and both offences should receive equal social opprobrium.

July 20, 2013           The Walnut Diary

As a retired secondary school teacher and vice principal, while I detest marijuana for the damaging effect it has on the learning of young people, I support legalizing it with one important caveat: take strong steps to keep the stuff away from kids under the age of 18.

In particular I would suggest that the type of electronic surveillance which has proven effective at rounding up child pornography rings should be directed toward the use of cell phones in secondary schools.

The grade 12 drug dealer sitting in the back of an English class will be a lot less likely to take orders by text from grade nine kids if Signals Intelligence has made a copy of his morning text traffic available to the local police before his lunch-hour delivery time.

Kids, especially boys with ADHD, are badly damaged by early cannabis use. I have seen too many bright kids ruined by the drug to have any use for it in or around the school yard.

If we treat marijuana dealers who sell to kids as the child molesters they are (and not just as students misbehaving), let the rest of society pay their taxes and buy their grass at the LCBO.

UPDATE:

I fell into a discussion online in which a guy challenged me to put up proof that grass is bad for kids with ADHD. So I’ll add a few links here as I find them.

Rod

http://www.okanaganclinicaltrials.com/public/column.php?category=Addiction&title=Marijuana+use+and+psychiatric+illness

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/cannabis-use-and-abuse

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_1-7-2013-11-49-21

These were the first three Google listed.

IMG_20170507_165706At last the frozen lakes are out of the way and Grandpa can finally get around to fixating on the only important topic in his world:  Me!  Today is my seven-month birthday. Doesn’t everyone have birthdays every month?  Maybe it’s only because there’s just one of me and two sets of grandparents.

In any case, Mommy shot this video while riding in the back with me as I tried out the new car seat, which is good.  Daddy’s really fond of the Cayenne, too.  I like to go for rides in it because Mommy can sit right beside me, I can take naps if I get tired, and when we get to Grandma’s house that loud stuffed animal wags her tail and Mommy pats her a lot.  They call her Taffy.

About the Porsche? I like to ride in it.  Daddy loads all of my stuff in and there’s still room for Mommy and Grandma beside my seat.  I have to sit facing back, but I can see out the windows well.  Daddy mentioned shades for the back windows and a sunroof, but I haven’t seen either yet.  He’s happy when he drives it, though.  Mommy is calm when she rides in it, too, even when there are a lot of other cars going by, or snowstorms.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my review of the ride to Grandma’s house.

Ada

 

 

How the Lake works

April 8, 2017

Readers of the ice reports on this blog have a proprietorial attachment to the body of water which surrounds Scott Island, but the coming summer will be one of celebrations on the canal and free lock passes, so it’s a good idea to look at surrounding lakes and the culture of those who cherish them.

The Big Rideau Lake Association’s website now features an ongoing series of learned essays under the general title How the Lake Works.  They sent me copies of the first six papers.  Of very high quality, the essays seek to inform without bias, so the tone remains carefully neutral and the bibliographies are good.

I particularly recommend the paper on water levels by Brian Hawkins, and Life Under the Surface by wildlife biologist Buzz Boles which will be posted over the next few weeks.

https://www.bigrideaulakeassociation.com/howthelakeworks/

Or you can go immediately to my neighbour Doug Bond’s lyrical description of the geological features of the area:

https://www.bigrideaulakeassociation.com/how-the-lake-works

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For years I have told anyone who would listen that the most hazardous driving conditions of the winter occur in April, when a quick fall of snow is saturated by rain at 32 degrees F.  I even had a name for the phenomenon, April grease.

We drove into some on the way home from Merrickville today.  I was mildly curious to see how Ruby would do on zero-traction slush, but primarily I was eager to get her home without damage.

The trip began bravely enough, with very little traffic on the back roads.  The few winter- hardy drivers plowed along, their pickups in 4WD and loaded tanks of sap in the back.

As long as I was exactly in their wheel ruts, things were normal.  But if the right wheels climbed a 1″ pile of slush, Ruby let me know with a stutter-step to the right, the same as any other car I’ve driven in this stuff.

On a side note:  because of this slush I quit using a Volkswagen for winter commutes.  A light FWD like our Jetta would lose control for as long as both front wheels were floating on slush — in passing situations, for example.  I opted for a series of Volvo sedans, those of the skinny, tall Michelins. They were pretty good, though I managed the odd front-wheel skid with them, as well.  When the new 4Runner came along I learned just to drive it in 4WD through thick and thin.  It was very stable in the passing lane unless in 2WD, at which point it behaved like an annoyed pig on ice.

Back to Ruby and the unfamiliar April slush.  As we passed Toledo things became greasier, though I noticed that most drivers were still holding a pace for dry pavement.  Then one guy braked to turn.  His SUV split-arsed a bit, but he recovered neatly and continued into a barn yard.  Though well back, I tried my brakes on the tricky surface.  To my surprise nothing happened for a bit.  It wasn’t a skid — no machine gun rattle from various corners of the car — but rather it seemed that the brakes just weren’t working.  Ice on the rotors, or all wheels with zero traction?  Likely ice.  I’ve noticed that before on Ruby.  This never happens on a Lexus, but Toyota engineers didn’t have to worry about brake cooling on a sedan designed for geezers.  Cayennes occasionally find themselves on a track, so the rotors are built to run very cold.  32 degree F slush, a whirling, shiny object and you have a perfect chance for ice to form.

So part of the routine for driving Ruby in near-freezing conditions is frequent touches of the brakes to defrost them.

Once they were dry, I over-applied the brakes as a test.  The usual muted machine-guns went off, and the car slowed quickly, dead-straight.  A basic safety line established, I experimented with the Goodyear winter tires and the grease.  Frankly, I wasn’t all that impressed.  The wheels are simply too wide for the weight of the vehicle on grease.  The coarse off-road treads of my pickup would grip the asphalt better, I think.  I slowed down to just a bit over 80 km/hr.

Why the critical attitude when I certainly should have been driving more slowly in bad conditions?  In my wife’s Lexus, a pretty good slush car with a relatively high weight-to-tire width, I know how quickly I’m driving without a look at the speedometer.  In Ruby, I really don’t know without instruments.  Speed creeps up if I don’t use cruise control.  Stealth speed is not what a driver needs in April grease.

Will I leave Ruby at home next time in bad conditions?  Naw.  I’ll just set the cruise at 80 km and go for it.  It’s still by far the best, safest car we’ve ever driven.  I just need to adjust the control nut behind the wheel.

And now that I think of it, on one memorable 5 a.m. drive to the Ottawa Airport on April 7th, I refused to drive my Volvo an inch further because I couldn’t keep it on the road.  We went in our friend’s Dodge Mini-Van with AWD.  It drove like a motorized living room, but it didn’t slide around on grease.

I searched online today for any news article dated after January 30th about the accused shooter in the murder of six men and the injury of nine others, all of whom were praying at their Quebec City mosque on January 29, 2017.

It’s been less than two months, but the killer seems to have vanished from the public record.  Only the BBC continues to cover the story.

Last August I posted a column on this blog suggesting that one way to discourage domestic terrorism would be to deny notoriety to the perpetrators.  Reporters seem to have done that in spades in this case.

I can’t help but wonder, however, if the news vacuum might have more to do with the pur lain surname of the perpetrator and the non-French surnames of the victims, rather than my suggestion.

The media silence, broken only by an Angus Reid push-poll today against 103, the Anti-Islamophobia motion, suggests that Canadians just want to forget that this massacre ever happened.  We’re good at that.

https://rodcroskery.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/its-up-to-journalists-to-deny-notoriety-to-those-who-most-want-it/

UPDATE:  31 March, 2017

In a brief news clip the reporter mentions a court date today for the accused killer.  She further explains that the previous defence attorney had requested and gained a publication blackout on the case.  That attorney has quit and a legal aid lawyer is now representing the accused.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1089002

No, I did not go out on the ice.

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That’s a 24″ male splake, taken by casting from shore into open water.  Splake are in the shallows at this time of year, easily reached with light tackle and a floating Rapalla.  This one fought rather well on six-pound test line.  I could feel every rock he rubbed the line over as I brought him in, each time expecting it to part.  But my luck was better than his on this day.

Do not try this on the Big Rideau or the other Rideaus.  Splake are considered Lake Trout on those lakes for season and limit purposes.  On the bodies of water toward Kingston, on the other hand, splake and lake trout are all lumped in as splake, and they have no season, with a catch limit of five.

A lake trout is generally not as pretty as a splake, and it has a distinctive forked tail.

20170320_161328

My catch produced two 1 1/2-pound fillets.  Bet baked one for supper.  As splake go, this one was pretty edible.  Elsewhere in this blog you’ll find a couple of humorous articles: How to Catch a Splake, and How to Cook a Splake.  If you click Fish Stories or Splake below, the server will cue up a number of splake-related articles.

https://rodcroskery.wordpress.com/2008/04/20/how-to-catch-a-splake/

https://rodcroskery.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/450/