Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Only in Newfoundland?

Following up on holes in the road, here's the sign that went up on the nearest main street to where I live. It seems some long-pothole-suffering resident has decided to make a statement by adding on to the city's sign:

There was a whole shelf at Sobeys stocked with these buckets, just add it to the list of strange things that Newfies eat:
I'm not really reluctant to eat what might be considered by most to be "scrap" meat, but I do wonder why one would want an entire 2-kilogram bucket of specifically navel meat.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Holes in the road

Signs like the one above are how St. John's deals with potholes in the short term, a technique I've not seen anywhere else. The hole in the picture is a particularly large one, but the sign and sandbag combination are the same around the city to mark holes. Eventually, after a few days to a few weeks, the signs are removed when some sort of fill gets put in the holes.

Personally, I find the signs worse than the holes, especially at night when they're hard to see (even with the orange stripes; they don't seem to be reflective). Every time I encounter one of these signs after dark, either parked cars, misty weather, or just plain poor lighting means I don't see it until I'm nearly on top of it, and I have to stop suddenly. I've come upon signs that have been knocked down, so I guess some people do end up bumping into them.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A few Christmas decorations

Well, I haven't travelled any where of late, just been tearing up the road between the house and MUN for work. In my non-working hours, I've spent a bit of time making some Christmas decorations. I'm teaching myself to crochet, so the crochet snowflake chain and the crochet stars (which I just strung together) to hang in the window have been good practice.
Below is a close-up of the gingerbread house that Pat and I just assembled. It was Pat's first gingerbread house buiding ever, but since he's working in construction these days the skills transferred over well. I haven't done a gingerbread house since I was a kid back with my Mom.
This is Pat's gingerbread man, complete with shocking blue eyes and curly brown hair.I made a few knitted decorations which I felted, including this snowman who has turned out rather demented-looking. I think I need to find something for his nose to soften the face. The way the hat shape turned out makes me think that he's an angry Russian. And the face makes me think of The Nightmare Before Christmas.And on to other people's decorations. I was behind this truck at a stop-light (it just turned green as I took the picture) a couple of weeks ago. First time I've seen a tree in a truck.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Driving in The Shininess

A photo I took (from the passenger seat) of the view through the windshield as we approached a set of traffic lights with cars lined up in 3 lanes. All the lights reflecting off the wet pavement made it very difficult to see. It's like this many nights in St. John's (humidity comes out of the air as it cools down, I suppose). I call it "The Shininess".

Friday, November 06, 2009

Scotiabank expands across the universe

I've been watching the first season of Battlestar Galactica (the remake series) recently. Today, while watching an episode, this scene caught my eye:

(this image is a screen-shot and is owned by whomever owns Battlestar Galactica)
The heading of "Cylon-Occupied Captrica" is to indicate that the planet Caprica, one of 12 colony planets of the people who feature in the TV series, has been taken over by the enemy synthetic race of Cylons. That's not why I put the picture up though - take a close look at the logo atop the central tower in the image.

It's the Scotiabank logo. So perhaps I should switch banks, as clearly no one can match this bank's number of service locations.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Photos From the Archives (and the scanner)

I was putting away some photos and stumbled upon some other old photos that are personal favourites.

Below is a couch on fire.
I took this photo on Christmas Eve in 2001. My family had decided to swap our couch in the den with a better one that was in the basement. So my dad, my uncle, and I moved the couches around, and then we hauled the old one out in the backyard. The three of us so hated that couch - its cushions had the habit of sliding out from underneath you, leaving you slumped in a trench in the back, and the seat was too wide so that most people's feet couldn't reach the floor - so we decided to dispose of it in fire. My brother and aunt were somewhat fond of the couch, but we wanted to make sure that it could never surface again, so it was burned before they got back home.

It took a bit to get it burning (I think we may have used some oil to accelerate it), but once it caught fire, up she went. It was rather fun to stand round and watch it burn; I suggested at the time that we should make it a Christmas Eve tradition to burn an old piece of furniture, but it never caught on.

Now, what do you think this photo shows?That is the antenna on the hood of the old Corsica that I was driving back in 2001, covered in ice crystals. I came out of the house one morning in February to walk the dog before going to school, and the entire world was covered in little crystals like that.

Finally, I think this is one of the funniest photos that I have taken. Just read the sign, it says it all (a clothing shop on Princes Street in Edinburgh, in June of 2002).
(If you're having trouble, it reads: "Mr. Toskana has had an expensive divorce and now needs the money, so sale now on!")

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gros Morne Mountain Hike, Or the day I really thought I wouldn't make it

Back in August, in the aforementioned trip across Newfoundland, Patrick and I spent some time in Gros Morne National Park.

Now, if you've read about my previous travels, you'll know that I'm not opposed to a long walk. I've walked 10 miles in the pouring rain just to get to a ferry on a bus-less day. According to my Dad, I move faster than most armies when I'm out doing long-distance hikes.

However, I do have some weaknesses in hiking. One is hills. I grew up on PEI, where there may be hills all over the place, but they don't keep going up for that long (all less than 500 feet). So hills do slow me down and tire me out, but I can generally plug away and manage them eventually.

But I have a greater weakness than hills - heat. Heat wipes me out from any activity other than laying in the shade and eating frozen things. And by heat, I mean anything above 25 degrees Celsius. We can probably blame my inability to suffer heat on my ancestry; my genes expect me to be in the British Isles, not in a Canadian summer.

So what this is leading me to is the day that Patrick and I climbed Gros Morne Mountain, or as I called it, the Overgrown Gravel Heap. It was hot and humid that day - in the vicinity of 30 degrees Celsius. To do the hike, you start with a half hour walk through the woods and then a bog, going slightly uphill all the while, to get to the base of the mountain. Then you have to climb it (the rocky path up the middle of the picture below).
Midway through the first "easy" section of the hike, I felt like I was the unfittest person imaginable. My energy was gone, I was stumbling along unable to lift my feet, hunched over and I felt like I was on some sort of death march. I told Patrick so, but he insisted on me coming along, saying that it would be cooler on the mountain because there would be a breeze. Let's just say it wasn't cooler enough.

Here's Patrick starting up the mountain, amongst some of the smaller rocks we would climb through.

The photo below is looking back down the mountain from where we'd climbed so far. By this point, I was climbing from large rock to large rock - moving for about a minute or two, and then sitting down on a large rock for a minute or two. It took us over two hours to climb the mountain itself, about 400 metres (the mountaintop itself is 800 metres above sea level). It was breezier, but it was still too hot for me.
The rocky, flat top.

Looking down at one of the ponds and towards the coast on the other side of the mountain.

Anyway, the hike was finished (after coming down the other side of the mountain you go around the base and it takes even hours more) with me exhausted. I would do that hike again, but only if it were a cool day.