Monday, June 30, 2014

Canada Day in Brockville - the Birthplace of the Canadian Flag

A new Canadian Flag will be unfurled at the Maple Leaf Flag Memorial at 3 pm on Canada Day. The generosity of Mitch Golhar and the Smart Centres, will raise a 35-by-75-foot flag atop a 160-foot pole. This new Flag will become the largest, highest flag between Toronto and Montreal along the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway.
For more ...
Hot, and humid weather can be expected in Brockville for the July 1st festivities. There should be enough of a blustery southwesterly wind to get the new flag flying. The cold frontal passage with thunderstorms can be expected around 9 pm in the evening. Nature will provide the Canada Day fireworks!

One of the goals of the 50 Years of Our Flag Committee was to ensure that Canadians learned the history behind this iconic symbol and took pride in being a Canadian. We continue to work toward that end.
Some Flag Facts
  • The largest Canadian flag ever made was recently unveiled at a football game in Hamilton, between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts. The flag was 38x76 metres (125x250 feet), and required at least 80 pairs of hands to carry it on to the field. This flag is too big to fly but it will be brought on to the turf at Ivor Wynne Stadium, the Ticat's home base, for the start of every home game. A flag that size costs $15,000.
  • A larger flag is planned for Mississauga -over 300 feet in height with a 100 x 200 foot flag.
  • A flag in Hamilton is 160 high with a 35 x 70 foot Flag matching that of Brockville. 
  • A Flag similar to Brockville's is being planned for the Windsor waterfront. 
  • A 250x500 foot Flag has been made for Copps Coliseum but it is too large to fly.
  • The Flag pole on the 401 at Stevens Rd in Oshawa is 140 feet high and that Flag is 25 x 50 feet.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Welcome AES/MSC/EC Retirees!

I was waiting for you ...or at least hoping that you might come. I see that our mutual friend and tireless worker has included a link to my Blog. I post things of interest to me in this Blog. Lately I have been looking after the turtles and tree frogs. All Ontario turtles are struggling except for maybe the painted turtle.

I also post my paintings here even before I sign them in the studio. The link to my complete art site is but it links from my Blog and to other sites as well including Picassa. I am waiting to buy a better camera in order to take quality pics of my last 100 paintings or so. I am up to 1500 works which leads us to Bob's question "Makes us wonder how they had time for their meteorological duties ...... but let's not dwell on that!"

Very funny Bob! Being retired, I can now reveal my secrets.
  • Do the science to the best of your ability and learn something every day from the real atmosphere. 
  • Stay operational on 12 hour shifts. A day job means commuting in heavy traffic and working long hours at home on agendas that are outside your control anyway.
  • Accept all overtime - those will likely be the big storms anyway and the best opportunities to learn and to help those who need the most accurate forecast that you can provide.
  • Take your overtime as time off - up to whatever is allowed. No one has figured out how to tax "time-off" yet.
  • Enjoy the science and merge your day job with your passion. Art and science are really one in the same and it is good to be passionate about both.
  • Take every day as a "present" and vow to play with your family and your art.
  • Don't watch TV or organized sports unless your kids are involved. 
  • Remember, you gotta laugh!
I may be quasi-retired but I still teach the human approach to prediction based on remote sensing, pattern recognition and situational awareness - things that NWP is still working on but that humans mastered when we crawled out of the cave along, long time ago - seems like only yesterday though!
One of my very first charcoal drawing completed with Mario Airomi ... I was ten or so. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Move over Mantracker... Now there is Turtle Tracker

So far this year I have only been able to locate and protect five turtle nests. They may look slow but these Ninja Turtles can out maneuver me!
This is a fairly rare stink pot turtle. The baby turtles are only 3/4 of an inch long when they hatch out.
By the way, PPE is Predator Protector Effluence - pronounced "PEE".

Monday, June 9, 2014

Turtle Update 2014

Turtle nesting is a busy time. In my daily journeys I try to watch just where these Ninja Turtles lay their precious eggs. They may seem slow but they are tricky and easily outsmart me!. An unprotected nest is a raccoon snack and the nest is lost. Six of the eight Ontario turtle species are at risk.
This morning there were about six large northern map turtles hunting for just the right spot to lay. I was able to locate and protect three of these. One nest took me three attempts to locate which is why I take pictures of them as they are nest building. The turtles start with their front legs and finish the hole with their back legs. They hide them well but the sharp nose of the raccoon are able to locate them. A raccoon could easily flip the protector but they avoid them. I weigh some of these down with bricks.
Turtles live 70 years or more and maybe only one of 1500 eggs make it to adulthood. They are worth protecting!