Assembling New Maid of the Mist Tour Boat in Niagara Falls Canada.

Without too much fanfare, Hornblower Canada’s new Maid of the Mist tour boat arrived at the Niagara chasm in mid January 2014. It new tour boat, maid of mist, Niagara fallscame in pieces. The vessel was shipped here by truck and had to be assembled on shore. This is the latest and most state- of -the- art example of a prefabricated water vessel that can be built on site and thereby eliminate more expensive sailing and towing expenses. Plus the spectacle of building such a large vessel on shore in the shadow of a frozen waterfall in the background has perhaps added to the news bubble surrounding the birth of this new local tour company.

The Niagara Region enjoys approx 14 million tourists per year and that makes this area one of Canada’s busiest tourist destination wherein there is a single tourist attraction commanding the public’s attention.

Assembling New Maid of the Mist Tour Boat in Niagara Falls Canada.

Assembling the new Maid of the Mist Tour Boat in Niagara Falls Canada. The prefabricated hull and pilot house and various other nautical bits arrived by trucks which were unloaded in January in the Niagara River chasm, beside the frozen water system, in the middle of the first polar vortex of 2014.

In the photo above you can see the men wrestling to get the pilot house locked into place. They are following a plan set by the boat’s manufacturer and followed by the foreman who came up from the factory to oversee the assembly. The Pilot house component of the craft would be very sensitive as its where the Captain of the ship and the river pilot sit and navigate the craft.  As this vessel is far more technically sophisticated than previous boats, one can only assume that this metal pilot house box will be stuffed full of sensitive electronics and other nautical instrumentation.

Fishfinder Sonar for Smartphones Amazes Anglers at Hunting and Fishing Shows

Its official. The FishHunter portable sonar fish finder which uses Bluetooth wireless technology to broadcast its own submarine survey straight to your smartphone is finally available for sale on the internet.  Get one delivered for $229, plus tax and shipping, and that’s a bargain price considering a lot of smart people spent thousands of hours making this rig work…  Read more about the science behind the sonar chips in FishHunter on Fuel Ghoul.

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Its a little known fact that fishermen don’t actually use fishfinders to find fish, they use sonar to study lake bottoms or riverbeds looking for suitable structure preferred by the species of fish they hope to catch. More advanced anglers select hard-to-hook game fish and go looking for the underwater terrain they know these creatures habituate.

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Fishhunter becomes their whistling eyes (and ears) under the water. Ever wondered what lies below the muddy reflections of your favourite fishing hole?  Now you can find out as you survey the lands below the surface of the lake and that makes fishing even more interesting, if perhaps a little less relaxing…

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FishHunter comes complete with the industry’s best fishing app that has an onboard Fish Species Database which details the preferred living conditions of over 150 different types of fish alongside bait suggestions and tips for catching them.

One thing I’m definitely going to pay more attention to is the Moon Cycles app that charts nine different phases of the moon, dates to show proper times for Solunar Fishing. This is a very interesting theory that’s almost 100 years old now and hasn’t been disproved yet – the logic states that when there’s a full moon you’ll catch more fish. I’ve always wanted to test that theory, and now this app makes it real easy.  Next time I’m catching lots of fish I intend to check the moon phases and see if its a new moon or a full moon.

Got Maps? FishHunter is an interactive Fishing Atlas. Users can harness GPS systems to pinpoint their catches on marine maps loaded with memory and social sharing features, as they log details for their own continuous improvement.  Also be sure and check out the FishHunter photo contests for exclusive access to great prizes and emerging community events.

These portable sonar devices for smartphones will change the sport of fishing!

Here are pictures of the sonar in action at the Outdoorsmens’ trade show in Denver Colorado

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The device was warmly received by the primarily American audience of hunters and anglers, and a great many units were sold here… but in general the media has been slow to cover this cool innovation.

One story that introduces Fish Hunter sonar for smartphone is on Tumblr, and from a popular Son of a Beekeeper who uses some of the same pics as this post. Also there’s a lovely article on Quazen about FishHunter sonar for smartphones, and how they’re sure to make fishing more of a spectator sport.  That piece postulates that this portable sonar device will be the hottest toy at the cottage in 2014, and I wouldn’t doubt what its true. The set-up sure stopped a lot of people at this recent trade show.

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Do you live in Ontario? You can add your two cents to this discussion about portable fish finders on Ontario Outdoor Magazine.

Or you can register and join in this discussion about FishHunter sonar fishfinders on Fishing Fury forums.

Residential Basement Waterproofing After Summer of 2013 Flood Raises Toronto Real Estate Property Value

On weds Sept 9th 2013, a wet basement calls forth a couple of very experienced ‘Dry Guys’ who tackle the waterproofing project from inside the house!  They make it look easy because they’re very efficient, and full of handy DIY tips and tactics.  These guys are good people and I learned a lot while hanging out with them for an afternoon.  a couple of dry guys do wet basement waterproofing remedyScarborough Jack and Ian Boghagdan know that a good happy house has to have a warm and dry cellar, and they know that a house for sale has to advertise that is has a warm dry basement esp after it flooded in the July 2013 storm of the century.

345 Godsen Ave, wet basement

The Summer of 2013 will probably go down in history as being one of the wettest seasons on record. It rained for weeks at a time and one flash flood in late July dumped an entire month’s worth of rainwater onto the city in one night.  People who have never had a basement flood were suddenly deluged, and one such residential property was the house across the way… just fresh on the Toronto real estate market.

Myself and a nosy neighbor had the pleasure of watching a residential DryShield Waterproofing Solution Corp team tackle the job from inside the house. They were in and out of the space of a week, and they didn’t make a lot of noise about it.

taking out the trash1The first phase of the assignment was to remove the moldy drywall and wet insulation from the summer flood.

Six garbage bags of material were brought outside on the very first day, and a few more the next.  The wall was filled with old newspapers, fiberglass insulation and sawdust as the piece on Dumpdiggers blog illuminates no animals were seen or harmed.

The house is very clean at the moment, as the homeowner has moved out of the domicile on account of the flood.  The torrential rain drowned his prospects of a quick summer sale, but the waterproofing work is also fast and relatively painless. While I watched, the DryGuys went about clearing the wall under which the run-off entered the basement and they began cracking away the concrete under the wall to make an eight inch gully along which they ran a long length of perforated plastic pipe covered in a course silky hose . The trench slops down into a well in which there’s an electric sump pump.

shovel gravel in trench, waterproofing wet basementThe internal gutter remedies wet basement in Toronto story on Fuel Ghoul outlines the building supplies and gives more details alongside original pictures from my Typepad photo hosting account.  There is another story about how frost action cracks Victorian era brick walls on the Distillery District blog.

The wall of the basement is then affixed with a thick plastic membrane that has nipples and runnels to drain away any excess moisture down into the freshly dug gutter at the bottom of the wall.

Here is Scarborough Jack cutting the plastic waterproof membrane with a special blade; this stuff is hard to cut.

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Next it must be nailed to the wall.  Look how Bogdhon has maneuvered the piece to fold it over the joint between the wall and the floor.

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This is literally a ‘dry shield’ that covers the cement wall and forms a barrier between the wood and drywall and wet concrete.

Do you see how it overlaps? And how it ends over top of the eight inch gulley.  Wall panels will cover this trench with a special wainscoting or floorboards trim.

There is a Bizcovering article about waterproofing wet basement from inside the home which also outlines these procedures and has even more original pictures and DIY tips.

Snow Removal Service Uses Beetroot Juice as Natural Deicer

snow removal in Durham region Dan Shephard of The SnowmenDan Shephard operates a successful snow removal service in Durham region and is testing the water (literally) after trying a new natural deicer made from beetroot juice.

Geomelt is made here in Ontario.

Featured in a popular Bizcovering article, Snow Removal Service Uses Beetroot Juice as Natural Deicer, Dan was again chronicled in Fuel Ghoul blog about the green snow removal solution simply because he agreed to help test the beetroot snow melt product.

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Rock salt depositories – rock salt is very toxic substance and is harmful to the ecology of many sensitive freshwater systems. Any reduction in the use of this compound to keep highways safe for drivers is a step in the right direction for the environment.

ImageWhen red beet juice is added to rock salt water it lowers the mixture’s freezing temperature which keeps the cement wet on cold  weather days when the rest of the landscape is frozen solid. By making the salt more effective, contractors can use less.

Dan is among the few professionals selected by researchers to help advance the science by conducting real-world testing as a professional contractor. The GeoMelt product is being tried all across Canada and the US in several climates and ‘test counties’.

Drivers who live in test counties  where highway maintenance crews spray the beet juice compound on the roads should experience fewer delays behind snow plows and salt trucks.  Ideally, the deicer will be so effective that snow plows wont make second runs.

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Beetroot Juice is a Powerful Natural Deicer for Concrete Sidewalks, and Asphalt Roads

Applying a NaCl salt brine and beetroot mixture to paved surfaces will make them safer by melting slippery snow and ice, but the spring runoff should also be much safer for the environment.  Water quality tests will be performed by public and private agencies all winter and spring 2014.

How Does it Work? After a parking lot or street has been treated with beetroot juice and salt mixture, further precipitation should melt on contact with the ‘wet’ surface because the beetroot juice and salt doesnt freeze. .The frozen water particles are excited by the beet juice (and NaCl)  on an Atomic level, and do not freeze solid into ice.    Dan Shephard has committed The Snowmen to trying the beet juice deicer in the upcoming winter season,

Post by on Aug 31, 2013

Stand Up Paddleboarding Tours of the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto

SUP in Scarborough Bluffs So it turns out that taking Stand Up Paddleboarding tours on Toronto east lake shore at Brimley Marina (Paddleboard Addict) is the very best way to see the Scarborough Bluffs !
The bluffs are timeless. They are full of beautiful wild birds and animals. The bluffs were mentioned in the letters sent back to England by Elizabeth Simcoeoomers, the wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada. The bluffs along Lake Ontario shores reminded her of the limestone cliffs in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England.   In her diary, she wrote, “The shore is extremely bold, and has the appearance of chalk cliffs, but I believe they are only white sand. They appeared so well that we talked of building a summer residence there and calling it Scarborough.

Stand Up Paddleboard Tour on Lake Ontario

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SUP Tours are perhaps the fastest growing water tourism industry in the GTA, but is it sustainable?
The calm waters around the Brimley Marina are perfect for spectators who seek a closeup view of the beautiful Scarborough Bluffs in summertime.
The sensation of walking on water with unobstructed views is unforgettable.
Imagine doing this while getting physically fit in an amazing full body workout.?!

 

Smojoe writes about Taking Stand Up Paddleboard Classes in Toronto and paying only $50 per lesson.

The son of a beekeeper blog describes with elation the exercise of taking stand up paddleboarding lessons in Toronto at the Brimley Marina for the betterment of health and body.

What about this picture of SUP yoga on Zoomers magazine which shows a young woman with terrific balance against a serene empty background

green living blog

Green Living Blog TV Show in Toronto

Yesterday I donated 336 Glass Jars to the Bleecker Welselley Activity Network for their upcoming cooking classes. You can read more about my Earth Day charity action on the advice of my green living blog friend on Smojoe
336 glass jars donated to the Bleecker Welselley Activity network for senior citizens
Dog appIn other news, Urban Dog fitness spa / interview with Susan Rupert the owner of this amazing business is profiled on The Distillery District blog which showcases the use of modern technology including close circuit televisions so dog owners can watch their pet exercising with other dog remotely, to improve the quality of life for pets and owners and create jobs and happiness. The dog app was featured on Mashable.

Its a cool story all around and fits nicely beside the iPhone dog app innovation to allow dog owners to get together to walk their dogs and share their neighbourhood parks and scenic streets and maybe there is safety in numbers

The Urban Dog profile story got a lot of attention on the Distillery Facebook page.

coffee table made form recycled hardwood pallet

Toronto green TV blogger Nikki Fotheringham writes a green living blog in which she often demonstrates that green solutions can be aesthetically pleasing as well as environmentally sustainable.  and in many cases success depends on a third criteria which is whether or not the green option being showcased is economically viable as a market alternative.

I have begun crowd sourcing ideas for another TV show – green house

Earlier today I asked for ideas and pictures and ideas for recycled industrial material as household furniture items. I asked about green living on University Network, and i asked about green living furniture ideas on Red Flag Deals which i expect will get lots of attention. And i asked about green living blog on Canadian Content discussion forum and its got some feedback already.

Lenzr.com: New Look, New Contests

Lenzr.com has been quietly revolutionizing the concept of online storytelling for the past two years through its serial photo contests. Now, as of June 1, 2011, Lenzr.com has an updated website featuring new technology so compelling it’s possible that photo contests may be the next big thing in terms of online marketing. It’s still essentially the same great site: budding photographers compete with each other, upload photos to the sponsored contests, persuade their friends and family to vote on their work and vie for real prizes whilst participating in a competitive, but also encouraging, photography community.

What the new site offers that the old Lenzr.com never had are ‘Community Contests’. These contests can be set up by anyone (an individual, business or organization) at any time, to show (not tell) the world about a story topic of their choice.

In addition to these exciting new changes, Lenzr.com has just launched four new sponsored contests, for prizes of laptops and digital cameras!

Summer Photo Contests on Lenzr.com

Construction Sights Photo Contest on Lenzr.com

The Construction Sights photo contest is hoping to receive submissions illustrating a necessary summer protocol in the city: Construction. Like the glass analogy, there are two ways of looking at construction sites–positive or negative. On one hand, it’s hot, there’s dust flying around, and your bus has been detoured thanks to another construction delay. On the other hand, roads are being improved, housing is being created and many people are busily employed with construction work. There are two sides to this story–show us how you feel about the Construction Sights in your area and win!

The prize is a Sony laptop, courtesy of this contest’s sponsor, a family-owned Ottawa roofing company.

Best Office Staff Party Photo Contest on Lenzr.com

The Best Office Staff Party is looking to see submissions that juxtapose a stuffy office environment with a rollicking good time. How does your office let loose? Mini cupcakes? Interns working the ‘bar’? Who’s the life of the party–your boss? Show us your hilarious office party moments and don’t forget to include a sentence or two to put the photo in context. Also, while we want to see shots of people having a great time, make sure your co-workers are OK with your entry before submitting it–we are not responsible for any trouble you might cause!

The prize is a Sony laptop, thanks to an incredible IT staffing agency located in downtown Toronto.

The A Counting Exercise photo contest is looking for submissions featuring a repeating visual pattern to be counted. Tap into your inner Count von Count and take a look at the world from an arithmomaniac’s perspective: sure, those may be faces in a crowd, lines on the highway or a handful of pretzel sticks, but they’re counting exercises, too! Get creative with this one–this contest has received a lot of entries already featuring many amusing counting exercises. Show your never-ending profile in a three-way mirror, the Lego pieces your kids left all over the floor or a parking lot full of bicycles in a progressive European country–give the Lenzr judges something to count and you could win!

The prize is a Sony laptop, courtesy of this contest’s sponsor, a team of North York accountants.

Finally, the Shafts of Sunlight photo contest is looking to see tangible lines of natural sunlight in the submissions. There is somethiShafts of Sunlight Photo Contest on Lenzr.comng divine about the way light can take on the appearance of matter–observe in the picture to the right–these shafts of sunlight look almost like monkey bars sent down from the heavens. Try to capture a similar effect in your photo. This is the most specific contest; the rules state very clearly that shafts of sunlight, not other light tricks, are the desired outcome. Snap the most spectacular shaft of sunlight and you may win!

The prize is a Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera, courtesy of the contest’s sponsor, fittingly, a sunrooms installer.