Snow!

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agenthex
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We had a bit of snow here last Monday and the city was shut down for basically the whole week....

 

There also tend to be a lot of timid drivers here who even abandon their vehicles in the middle of the road if they slip even a bit, so generally it's not a good idea to venture out even if you are comfortable driving on slick roads.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

Don
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I feel the need to rant.

 

I left the village of Glenmavis at 08:30 this morning - there was a metre of snow on my car and no chance of the roads being cleared any time soon. I've been snowed in 225km from home since Saturday.

 

It took me over an hour to walk to Airdrie Station.

 

Get on a train at 10:12.

 

It stops half way there - at -6oC and no heating on the train. For two hours. THEN they tell us it is broken and they can't fix it. And there are no more trains to Queen Street for 24 hours. 

 

Eventually give up. Thanks First ScotRail - aka a bunch of useless £@$%^& who couldn't keep a bus pass in working order, let a alone a railway.

 

Take a bus and taxi to Glasgow Queen Street.

 

About an hour later a train turns up heading in my direction. Except it needed a crew change in Perth and nobody there knew how to drive that sort of train. This is now about 80km from where I started and it's already taken longer than the total journey time ought to. Then it takes them SIX HOURS to look through the "Big book of excuses" to figure out why these losers can't get a working train to Perth in order to head north. Six hours in a station at -4oC. No extra clothes - I didn't take any as I was just going to be away for a day. I've been wearing the same clothes for a week now.

 

After six hours and increasingly psychotic messages from the centrally controlled automatic system which was talking about trains known to need pulling off the line with a crane as "delayed". Yep! Delayed till March 2011.

 

Thanks Scot Fail! You've done it again.

 

Increasingly baroque lies from the station staff. To be fair to them, their managers were lying to them.

 

But the automated system kept stepping on the station staff trying to tell us what they knew.

 

Six hours later, they put us on a bus to Dundee.

 

We get there around 21:00. this is the half way point - about 110km from where I started and about 110km to go.

 

OK there will be a train in 20 minutes.

 

Except its doors froze solid at Leuchars and wouldn't close. It isn't all that cold - around -6.

 

This can only be described as complete and utter incompetence.

 

So after a couple of hours in Dundee Station - There is one good thing to say about Dundee - the ring road lets you get out of there fairly quickly. I reckon they ruined the city when they put a speed limit on the ring road. There is nothing wrong with Dundee that a couple of fifty megaton weapons couldn't fix.

 

So a couple of hours in Dundee station. Their station staff were rude, aggressive and lying. These guys would do well at NeverBuying.com

 

Eventually they find not one, not two, but three trains. Or so they said.

 

So I ended up on the grossly overcrowded first one as nobody in the station believed that the other two trains existed. Including a lot of First ScotFail employees.

 

So I eventually get home at 01:00, sixteen and a half hours after I set out. On a bad day it would have taken 4 hours.

 

Last time I use one of First ScotFail's conveyances.

 

Yes the weather is awful but it hasn't snowed today and the temperatures are a lot milder 225km south of here than they are here (Currently -10). -30 is not unknown so why are things freezing solid (Like the brakes of the train I was on initially and the brakes of the train sent to retrieve it).

 

If you are in the UK. DO NOT travel by anything belonging to the First Group. You will regret it.

 

And this complete disaster cost me $80

 

How many Chinese lights have that effectively messed up your life?

 

I think it's time for lawyers at dawn.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

newbie74
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I have to ask - didn't you go by car? How are you going to get it back?

 

Impressive rant. I (as many Brazilians do) think that Europe is a big Swiss clock - expensive, but flawless...

 

Anyway, I've read this some time ago....

 

“Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians”.

Don
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newbie74 wrote:

I have to ask - didn't you go by car? How are you going to get it back?

 

Impressive rant. I (as many Brazilians do) think that Europe is a big Swiss clock - expensive, but flawless...

 

Anyway, I've read this some time ago....

 

“Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians”.

 

I've always loved that heaven/hell quote. And agree with it though I only know one Italian and he is an extremely good cook. Well, he ought to be, he runs a restaurant. 

 

My car is not suited to driving in snow. The ground clearance is about 6cm, the tyres are far too wide and the engine power is far too high - this device is better suited to good roads. Good roads are something we could use more of - or at least a lot of salt and sand on the roads. Instead, we got snow and more snow. Then some more snow. then a lot more snow.

 

embedded car

 

8 hours after this was taken there was 20cm more snow on it.

 

When I go to collect the car, I'll take a bus - not operated by the First Group - to Glasgow and a bus (Again not operated by the First Group) from there to Airdrie, then walk to the village once there is a lot less snow. If I can't find a non First Group bus or train from Glasgow to Airdrie, I'll walk the 25km if I have to. First Group will never get another cent from me.

 

The snow was melting where the car is abandoned today but it will have refrozen tonight.

 

Meanwhile, I have borrowed my mother's car which is much smaller, has narrow tyres and a lot less power. It is a lot better suited to driving in deep snow.

 

The roads were closed at three places on the route I'd have had to take had I been able to get the car out of the village it is in - that would have involved about 6 hours' work with shovels and 4 people pushing the car till I could get the tyres to grip.

 

As for Europe being like a Swiss watch. The bits of it I have lived in aren't. The banlieux around Paris are probably almost as bad as the favelas. There are parts of every city I know about in Europe where it is not safe to go. I've spent a lot of time in a part of Madrid where you dare not go outdoors after dark.

 

Ask about Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The worst airport in the world in my experience. Europe does have its problems - many things do work well but a lot of things don't. The second worst airport is Bulawayo in Zimbabwe which has almost certainly got worse since I was last in it in 1985. Almost equal to it was Jan Smuts airport in Johannesburg in South Africa which has probably improved since 1985. All three are best avoided. Even if I have to pay a lot more, I will never go to Charles de Gaulle airport again.

 

Everywhere in the world has its good bits and its bad bits. The trains in Holland have the best coffee anywhere. But it is extremely expensive. The coffee in British trains is expensive and awful. But talking about coffee to a Brazilian........

 

For reference, my favourite airport anywhere is the one in Madrid. Not that I like airports but Madrid is the best one I've experienced anywhere. And I don't speak Spanish and almost nobody there speaks English. Almost the only Spanish phrase I know is "Habla Ingles?"

 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

newbie74
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Thanks for sharing.

 

Some very valuable knowledge about snow and traveling has been posted here. I hope you can get to your car soon enough.

 

Nespresso is aggressively marketing it's coffee here. I like it, but I prefer the inconstancy of the local coffee. It's not always excellent but sometimes you hit jackpot....

Don
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newbie74 wrote:

Nespresso is aggressively marketing it's coffee here. I like it, but I prefer the inconstancy of the local coffee. It's not always excellent but sometimes you hit jackpot....

 

The coffee is one reason I've always wanted to visit Brazil. I do drink a lot of coffee.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

newbie74
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Hey,

I think the best coffee is available everywhere in the world (we have lots of imported brands here). You no longer need to come here just for that. But there will be a World Cup and Olympic games...

antib
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Situation report Smile

 

Yesterday was windy. We have new wind speed record 172Km/h Sealed

Somewhere the wind push out the water from lake Balaton. (Waves)
In the west part snowing, east part of the country raining.
Some place the rain is too much, flooding problems....in the eastside of the country
We in west, cold, windy and snowing
But, we are a small country. The weather is a little crazy 

Yesterday weather "live" on idokep.hu with some pictures, (my favorite weather forcast page) with Google Translate.

//// idokep.eu live Central Europe weather forcast.  Local (country) idokep.hu  ////

how2
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Don wrote:

newbie74 wrote:

Nespresso is aggressively marketing it's coffee here. I like it, but I prefer the inconstancy of the local coffee. It's not always excellent but sometimes you hit jackpot....

 

The coffee is one reason I've always wanted to visit Brazil. I do drink a lot of coffee.

 

Dam I have to visit ChinaLaughing

mizjif
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antib wrote:

Situation report Smile

 

Yesterday was windy. We have new wind speed record 172Km/h Sealed

Somewhere the wind push out the water from lake Balaton. (Waves)
In the west part snowing, east part of the country raining.
Some place the rain is too much, flooding problems....in the eastside of the country
We in west, cold, windy and snowing
But, we are a small country. The weather is a little crazy 

Yesterday weather "live" on idokep.hu with some pictures, (my favorite weather forcast page) with Google Translate.

//// idokep.eu live Central Europe weather forcast.  Local (country) idokep.hu  ////

 

172 km/h!!?? wow that is hurricane strength. there must have been a fair amount of damage!

 

We are young into december and we are looking at -30c windchill here (-27c without the wind chill)....

 

and Don, that is a LOT of snow you have there! 

Don
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When I worked in Shetland in 1989 the winds once reached 330km/h. 

 

Two people died when they were blown into the sea not far from where I was working.

 

RAF Saxa Vord was getting new domes put over the radar antennae. Some of those radomes landed 200km away in the Atlantic.

 

Where I was working the waves broke over the house I lived in when we had high winds. 300m from the shore and the house had three floors.

 

High winds are no fun at all.

 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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mizjif wrote:

and Don, that is a LOT of snow you have there! 

 

Not by local standards. Where the car is abandoned, it is very unusual for the time of year. It is not unusual in bad years in February/March. I'd have thought this wasn't a lot of snow by Canadian standards.

 

Fortunately the white stuff is melting rapidly here - but not where I dumped the car. I had hoped to collect it this weekend, but no chance of that happening now.

 

Where I had hoped to be at the end of the month has several metres of snow on it. I'm not even about to try to get a car to my long range light testing area.

 

Guess I'll be driving a bus to get folks to work here instead. (For the last 20 years I've provided a bus to get folks to where I work on the days that public transport doesn't)

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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The white stuff has (temporarily) vanished so off tomorrow to get my car before a lot more of it lands on Wednesday night according to the forecasts.

 

Just arranged overnight accommodation for the assistant with her pal Sonny.

The soundtrack is from Sonny's owner's last band. His current band is to be found here.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

fishinfool
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Cool!   Who sings that song Don?

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Don
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A guy called John Martin. The band was called The Dawntreaders. The song is called "I could eat you whole" which seemed appropriate. I went to see his current band playing on Friday night which was fun.

 

John and I were at college together and he worked for me for around four years till he went and got a real job. He's currently a deputy headmaster of a school in Aberdeenshire.

 

His wife will never forget the first time she met me. 

http://misssymartin.blogspot.com/2008/05/wasp-factory.html

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

mizjif
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Ya for canadian standards it is not too bad. but like you said, for time of year, that is alot of snow!

Don
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Collecting the car turns out to have been a bad idea - it now needs a new head gasket. Arrived here on the back of a lorry at 2:10am - 7 hours after I set out. 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

charlestt
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Bloody hell mate your not having much luck with that car of yours !!

 

 

 

 http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy41/charlestt225/Sig/A1200023-1.jpg" width="159" he

Don
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Today it feels like match in the petrol tank time....

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

fishinfool
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Sounds like you need a vacation after all of the crap you've been through lately. 

I hope things get better for you.

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Budgeteer
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After quite some time, finally we have snow too. Nothing fancy a few cm at best but snow it is. It will be gone till morning i guess. XD

In the first week of december we registered still around 16 celsius. Now near 0 with -4 or -6 at night which is quite chilly by our usual temps. Still we lack proper winter gear more often than not.

Last year we had almost never got under 7 degrees daytime through entire december. Trend continued till end of february with a chilly 0 a few days. March went up considerably to 10 degrees and steadily up to end of april where temps were running up to 22. We usually have 8 months a year suitable for motorbike riding. For some even more. I saw one going around a good week ago when temperatures were around 8-10 celsius.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Don
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Round here the rainy season usually starts in March after the snow melts and continues till January when the snow begins. It is very unusual for us to have a lot of snow (or any) in November, let alone for it to hang around for three weeks. The last of it had just melted when another 20cm of it landed in my back garden. I've driven motorbikes on every day of the year here - from 1984-1990 my only transport was a motorbike (But 1984-86 I lived on the fringes of the Kalahari Desert which was a bit warmer).

I tried commuting to the hospital from the long-distance test range (Which is on the most often and longest blocked by snow road in the UK), a distance of about 85km each way on the bike in winter 1989. I lasted a week before moving back into town.

One well-known local author (Stuart MacBride) says the rainy season in Aberdeen begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st. This is reasonably accurate.

However, we don't get the extremes of temperature that the mainland of Europe does - the highest ever is 29.8oC and the lowest ever -18oC. The day I finally managed to get back from the frozen south, it was -16 when I got home. Three weeks ago it stayed below -10 for several days - this is very unusual. I don't ever remember it being as warm as 29.8 and I've lived here mostly since 1964. In fact I can't remember it hitting 25 for any length of time.

 

There is about 20cm of snow out the back just now - I'm not going to worry about it till I can't see the assistant in it. The top of her head is just over a metre from the ground. This is unlikely to happen as I've never seen that much snow here.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Budgeteer
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I would love summers not going over 29 degrees. Here we get spikes to 40 in shade! Usually 32-36 but the excessively high humidity is the main problem. It gets hard to just sit in shade not to mention any work. air conditioners are a godsend! and i'm a pure atheist.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

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And the snow is gone. Strangely the temp went up (by night) and snow is melting completely.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Don
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More white stuff - looks almost pretty till you realise more is landing and I've got to go out in it and work Sad

Snow

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

fishinfool
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After living in Hawaii for 7+ years, I actually miss the snow and Alaska.  I spent almost 23 years there so it will always be a part of me.  This time of year we would be setting up at my friends cabin and would go out snowmobiling every chance we got.  Getting new snow is always the best time to go. 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Budgeteer
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I bet you can safely consider yourself a world citizen. I'm sure you have quite some stories to tell. Unfortunately you live far from my home so the option to drive by with a 6pack to test discharge times and a snack for your assistant is quite a stretch.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Don
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Especially as I've never got farther east than Osnabrück. I must do so some day.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Solar
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Man i hate snow – gotta move.

raccoon city
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I hate cold weather, too.

Luckily I live in one of the warmest areas of the U.S., and this winter has been very mild compared to last year, for example.

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