Pat's Log
Tue, 13 Dec 2016

Scuba Dive Log Sheets
20161212 On my recent trip to Jamaica I finally finished all of the pages of my PADI dive log book. I decided to replace it with one of those fancy nylon logbook binders, but the insert sheets for them are bizarrely expensive. I found some free ones online, but they really were not up to par. Anyone who has ever been diving with me knows I take my logs pretty seriously, so something had to be done. My solution was to make my own.

I'm happy with the outcome. The resulting design is nice because it's straightforward, using checkboxes and icons wherever possible, and is both metric and imperial. It has everything the PADI pages have, and a few extras.

The PDF has been made available on a new section of my site. Hopefully others find them useful as well.


[] | posted @ 03:26 | link
Wed, 12 Oct 2016

Rant About Ottawa’s LED Street Lighting
The City of Ottawa decided back in 2014 to implement a pilot project to convert the classic high-pressure sodium vapour street lighting on Carling Avenue to state of the art LED. All of the usual reasons were given, their energy efficiency being the main goal. The project went ahead, there weren’t many complaints, and the pilot was deemed a success.

Fast forward to today, and the city is taking on the conversion to solid-state lighting all over the city. It’s an expensive project, but the energy savings is supposed to pay for it within four years. The problem is with the choice of bulbs they are using for the city-wide project.

Here is some background. The high-pressure sodium vapour bulb, developed by General Electric in 1964, is a staple of street lighting. The warm 2700K wide-spectrum glow is easy on the eyes, not blinding to motorists, and also pleasant to sleep to when the light beams into your bedroom window from outside. Recent pockets of LED street lighting installations around the city have been a fair replacement for this technology; the LED’s colour is a little flatter, a little bluer in temperature (around 3000K), but overall acceptable as a replacement.

The current project to convert all of the city’s street lighting to LED is, however, entirely different. The bulbs the city is installing right now are cool white, probably somewhere around the 5000K temperature. They are very jarringly white and easy to be blinded by when driving underneath them.

The difference between the old incandescent lighting and the new LEDs is very stark, especially when seen side by side, as is currently the case on Fisher Avenue, where they have converted one side of the road:


Note how in the top picture the left side of the street has a pleasantly warm and inviting feel, while the right side of the street, with its newly installed lighting, is cold and pale.

The other pictured intersection is Merivale and Meadowlands, which shows the classic sodium bulbs with the more fitting LED replacements mentioned above. These are clearly much easier on the eyes.

How did it get to this? Whose ‘bright’ idea was it to use these horribly harsh bulbs in our street lamps? I sure would like to know why my tax dollars were spent on substandard lighting. Progress and energy savings are fine goals, but only if the progress actually results in something better.

[] | posted @ 03:22 | link
Tue, 11 Oct 2016

Jacob Has a Tooth
20161010 It seems a little odd posting for the first time about my baby son over eight months after he was born. This log simply went into stasis, first being hosted on a server no longer accessible to me, and then effectively neglected for lack of time.

Nonetheless, Jacob Elliot Suwalski was born on January 28th, 2016, and is now about eight-and-a-half months old. While we were out today doing a photo shoot in our colourful autumn surroundings, he became unusually grumpy, and seemed to be in real physical pain. Teething being a real possibility, a quick check confirmed that his first tooth had just broken through the gum. The internet tells me it's his lower left central incisor. He is developing so quickly.

It's a good thing he is well on his way into solid foods.

[] | posted @ 03:54 | link

With the inherent convenience of Facebook, I've managed to ignore the log for a few years now. It was never my intention, it just sort of went that way. I think it's time to change that.

The problem with Facebook is that I've never felt it's a great place to dump my thoughts, where I'm comfortable writing paragraphs on end about a specific subject. Most people will skip over longs posts in their feeds too see the cute cat meme below. I have also held back some ideas, because it's not polite to put something up that some may find offensive, while others "like." With the Facebook model, I'm broadcasting an idea, placing it in the feeds of people who may simply be angered by it. Here, on my own server, anyone reading actually has to seek it out. This, in turn, is possible, because search engines like Google do index the content, like any other web page. Throw into the mix recent stories about Facebook and Twitter censorship, and all in all, posting here seems like a better use of my time.

So, long live the blog.

[] | posted @ 03:39 | link

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