The weather has been fairly mixed the last couple of weeks and the only word that correctly describes it is the Dutch word ‘onstuimig’. At least I find there is some consistency: the weather is fairly unpredictable.
Last week, I wanted to mentionthe attack on the Dutch royalty in the town Apeldoorn but ended up being too busy to even bother. I’m not sure why someone would attempt an attack on the royal family: It’s not that they’re hated nor would I say that Dutch people are proud royalists. I gleefully found out that major news outlets correctly described Apeldoorn as a ‘town’ and not as a ‘city’. If I remember correctly, the number of residents living in Apeldoorn is approximately 1,001 (+/- 153,000). I have good memories of Apeldoorn, but honestly, I don’t remember seeing a lot of the town itself: it’s not really a city with a notable past or significant landmarks, except for the royalty’s Summer residence, Palace ‘Het Loo’.
The other thing I noticed that foreign news agencies always use the city of Amsterdam as a marker whenever something serious happens in The Netherlands:
The royals, who were unharmed, watched in horror as the car ploughed into bystanders in Apeldoorn, about 90km (56 miles) east of Amsterdam.
Dutch people frown on these kind of quotes and that is mainly because the distance between Amsterdam and Apeldoorn is considered to be fairly distant (so to say). From a North American view, 90 kms is just a stone-throw away. Foreigners who have driven on the highways over here can attest to that. This brings me to a silly anecdote from 2005, when my dad visited us when we still lived in Nova Scotia. We decided to drive around, go south to Lunenberg and then hit the highway 10 to Annapolis Valley. After returning home, I jokingly asked him to point out the route we took. He was 100 percent certain that we had driven all around the Nova Scotian coast and it took me a while to convince him that we’d only seen probably half or less of it. It then finally dawned to him how small The Netherlands actually is.
I think it’s an understatement if I’d say that last week, we’ve gone through quite some weather. Monday, we started out with lots of rain which at the end made our driveway look like the perfect ‘slide and glide ramp’ for the Nova Scotian Winter Olympics of 2032. The situation in Nova Scotia wasn’t as nearly as bad as in PEI, of course: overthere, the storm turned into a freezing rain storm, eventually knocking out power in many regions on the island.
Then, Friday (and Saturday), Weather Canada called for another storm: Friday, the winterstorm hit Ontario and Quebec (which you can read about it on the Internationalist).
Yesterday, that storm hit our region and, yes again, it brought too much wind and too much rain, which (in turn) made our driveway look like the perfect place for hosting the 2056 Nova Scotian Driveway Marathon.
A couple of days ago, the local news paper had an article about a lady from Wales who’s walking around the world. Rosie Swale Pope started her run in 2003 and is scheduled to finish her travels this year. She passed by Truro, I think and is on her way to Halifax now.
The Daily News also has a short video clip, which shows her walking through one of our famous (Canadian) Winter storms (I bet that the clip won’t be archived and will go in the Halls of 404 in a couple of years, so I’d say hurry and watch it, before it disappears). Looking at the footage, I keep thinking how dangerous it is to actually walk on the road with that big of a cart behind you.
That said: good for her for doing this on her own. Stay safe and stay clear from the snowplows, ma’am.
It looks like we’re in the midst of the winterstorm that earlier pested Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. The (local) forecast tells that we can expect a mix of heavy snowfall (15 cms and up) and (possibly) rain during the Monday morning hours. It is a kind of silly to see rain being mentioned: the last couple of weeks, the temperature has been hanging around the -5 to -10 degrees zone.
I saw that Marian (at the Internationalist) uploaded a couple of short movies to Google (one, two and three), which show what a snowstorm looks like over here (I’m looking at you, Europeans). This reminds me that at one time, Alfons came over around Winter time just to see what such a snowstorm looked like. If I’m not wrong, he missed it by a week.
For now, I haven’t decided to wait it out or start clearing out the driveway: At this stage, the snow (and pellets) are light enough to brush aside with a smaller shovel. It won’t be when it starts raining.
From what I’ve heard, sections of Northern Truro (including Onslow) are still without power and according to NSP, power for most customers won’t be completely restored until Tuesday. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the crews on the road, but I find it a bit hard to believe that it has to take that long, particularly since weather has been pretty good the last couple of hours. The worst part is that it’s getting colder, again. So much for the tropical and moist winds. Having experienced being without power for six days: for the ones that have none, stay warm and find relatives who do have power and are willing to give a lending hand.
I was asked to compare Noel to that (inevitable) Juan storm: obviously (as a light sleeper) I heard the wind last night. At times, I could feel the house swing and hear the studs croak and make noises. Obviously, I was surprised to wake up and find out we still had power this morning. During Juan’s tenure I slept a whole lot better, I think: What woke me up in 2003 was the sound of roaring chainsaws.
We seem to have lost shingles and a tree (one of its main branches seem to have broken off) but we haven’t lost power. Nova Scotia Power reports plenty of areas with no power, including Truro. I guess we’re lucky, for now (I’m assuming that we may lose power in case power needs to be restored to other areas, since we’re apparently on the main grid).
A couple of news articles for your interest: The CBC reports that as many as 170,000 homes and businesses have lost power and suggest that for some of them, power may be restored in a couple of days. CanWest notes that the strongest winds were reported in Cape Breton, where winds speed hit as high as 140km/h.
Oh, and while CNN and BBC are currently lacking news reports, it seems that the news of Noel hasn’t gone unnoticed in Europe (via Alfons, Dutch only).
According to the news, NSP crews are allowed to use their own judgement to repair lines as long as wind gust don’t go over a specific speed (sustained): I see that some of the earlier mentioned areas all have their power restored while new areas with outages seem to pop up every hour.
Locally, the same pattern as usual: wind at times gusting, pockets of rain (“patterns” as one of the TV forecasters calls them) with casual power flickering. One good thing about it though: As I mentioned before, it was rather chilly this morning: Noel brings (at least) some warm temperatures, albeit for only a couple of hours.
This reminds me: Officially, Atlantic Daytime Savings ends tonight1, meaning that we’ll have an extra hour sleep. If you think of it, in Atlantic Standard Time, the storm is going to take ‘one hour longer’ to move out of the Maritimes: if meteorologists had never started to use UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), you could say that hurricanes can travel through time.
I just watched the special news bulletin and it looks New Brunswick is going to get the brunt of the rain and wind (image via StormAdvisory, via Ruk). It’s going to take a while too, for Noel to make its way through the Maritimes: earlier forecasts suggested sunny and dry weather for Sunday morning. If I’m not wrong, the forecast now warns (besides of heavy winds) for a whole lot of rain, between the 50 mm to 60 mm for our area.
At CTV, there was the (inevitable) comparison between Juan and Noel: A manager at the Hurricane center in Dartmouth said that Juan was a lot more compact and (for the remainder of its track) did not expand as much as Noel has been doing the last hours (compare here). Apparently, this surprised weather forecasters and watchers in the US, who are now reporting that New England is being battered.
I have been dreading this, but yes, I’ll be monitoring Noel today. I think earlier weather reports suggested that Noel was going to make landfall in the south-eastern part of Nova Scotia: currently, it looks like it will be more to the west of it and (probably) will cross either the Bay of Fundy or portions of New Brunswick. (Add.: Around Port Maitland, which is slightly north west from Yarmouth).
Notice that Noel is moving at a speed of 48 KM/H, which is approximately the same speed as Juan moved. If I have more details of where the storm will make landfall, I might make better estimations when we will be hit hard here in Truro. It will be interesting to see (and read) other people’s experiences (I’m currently only following Ruk’s blog).
So, there it is… that is until we get the expected power outage.
I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, and I discovered my gmail account finally has IMAP functionality too. Actually, I’m not using it as of yet. If you’re not familiar with the background of e-mail: your ISP generally provides basic POP3 services. POP3 is just a protocol to store and retrieve (download) your messages to your desktop computer. The moment you download your messages, references to these messages are deleted (not completely true: your local law enforcement authoritities may require ISPs to retain your e-mails for a while). This means that if you’re using multiple computers there’s no way to share your mail over these computers. IMAP, however, centralizes your e-mail storage and allows e-mail programs to synchronize e-mails over several clients.
Alfons forwarded me a link: One of his photos was selected to accompany an article about Fall and bicycling at About.com (which is part of the New York Times, since, when?)
And on a good note: it looks like we’re going to bunker down for the first major tropical storm (Noel!) of the year. This is going to be fun. No. Really.
Apparently there was an high-speed outage this morning, lasting up to noon. Remarkably, the router was able to connect to my provider’s gateway plus it was (assigned) a correct IP address. Routing on the provider’s end, however, completely failed. I decided to loop up what went wrong, but it seems that even the Aliant’s network status page isn’t updated that frequently. As of today it still says:
Network Status: There are no known outages at this time. Last Update: 5/2/07 12:50 PM
Brilliant: I guess reporting network status is so Eighties.
I read an article at the CBC’s about wind energy and its potential in Nova Scotia. The provincial government has released online maps that show where wind turbines would be productive. It doesn’t surprise me that Cape Breton is one of the windiest places. The maps can be found at the Department of Energy website (PDF file alert).
I closed down the comments for now: the last 3 days I received spam that came (consistently) from one IP address (Australia, if you want to know). Consistently. For three days. You’d say that an administrator would know after 3 days.
Weather has been on the up recently: It looks like it’s hitting the 0 degrees the next couple days. This comes right in time for next Saturday’s Lunar eclipse, which (according to the CBC) we have the best spot for. If you’re European, you have exactly one day to fly over and spend your valuable Eurodollars over here. I mean, Canada ranks 7 in the World Forum’s Travel And Tourism Competitiveness Report.
I read this on the Tubes: A Saskatchewan man found this giant moosehead in the Bay of Fundy (see image above, Google link goes here). For family members reading this: that’s close to the spot where we made pictures too (Cheverie). Actually, we ate around that area too: there’s a small restaurant there. And plenty of potholes. Unless they fixed that recently. It is pretty there, yes.
Earlier I heard stories about a company looking for gold in Nova Scotia: test drilling has commenced in Beaverdam. I’ve heard stories about gold mines around here, none of them really having produced a lot of that worthy stuff. At one time, I heard a story (on CBC radio) that rocks containing gold were actually used for the Halifax Airport runways. I’m not sure if that’s a true story or not.
Minor things of note:
Travelers traveling to Canada via Nova Scotia: the Halifax International Airport has been officially renamed to Robert Stanfield Airport. If I’m not wrong, this is the 3rd Canadian airport named to a popular Canadian politician. Which reminds me of the question of today: why do Canadian airport codes start with a Y?
Earlier this weekend, I felt like making an ‘English cake’ (or pound cake) from scratch. It’s no secret that making these kind of cakes is part of the Dutch curriculum. Well, maybe it isn’t anymore, thanks to cutbacks in the educational system. Better yet, I made one when I was 12 or 13 years old. I have no idea what grade I got for it: I mean, cooking can’t be harder than Math or English, right? The recipe is so simple: 150 grams of flour, 150 grams of sugar, 150 grams of butter, 3 to 4 eggs, a lick of vanilla extract (or lemon juice). I forgot that we had a mixer somewhere, so I ended up mixing the stuff up with a whisk (“the hard way”). Right on. Keep mixing, bro! Cover for 1/2 hour and bake for another 1/2 to 1 hour after that. No baking powder needed.