Voted

Well, I done the deed, my civic duty, and voted for who I think should best run our local government down at City Hall, or in my case, the Township. I arrived at the polling station around 8:15am in Fort Langley just after it opened to cast my ballot(s), and there was only one other voter ahead of me.  I was not surprised that the place would be so empty, after all it was early on a Saturday morning, and by past elections, voter turnout is somewhere around half (to less than) of all registered voters.

At my work, I did a very unscientific poll of who voted, and found that 90% of my fellow night-shift crew mates did not bother. Sad in some respects, mostly due to plain old apathy on their part. Granted that you really needed to go out of your way to make time to go an vote after working a shift, and you are scheduled to work Saturday, then double inconvenience for you. Added to a night crew worker is the sheer willingness to sleep becuase 8:00am is really your 10:00pm by comparison. So granted, I am not surprised when I asked around as to who voted, and how many said that they did not.

I have not seen the results yet. I think it would be interesting to see who made it, and if I voted for them. As a rule, I will not disclose who I voted for, nor will I endorse anyone here on my website.

Here in Langley Township, the election signs along the side of the roads seemed relentless this year compared to past elections. I laughed I was driving home this morning from work at how many elections signs lined the roads. I honestly think that this years allotment of political election signs out numbered any past Provincial or Federal election race that I can recall. I hate to in charge of collecting them. LOL

Frosty, With Lots of Junk Mail

It was frosty, as usual, but the Sun was out, and there was hardly any wind, making it a nice morning to be inside. I had to go to my Bank becuase it was pay day, and then off to the Post Office to load up my pre-paid credit card so I could pay some bills with it. Also, a film crew was out shooting near the railway tracks on Church Street (Fort Langley, BC). All was well until I noticed that my mail box in the Post Office was so full with junk that I had to pick at it to free up the pile, and then I could pull the rest of it out. Granted I had not checked my mail box in almost a week, but usually it does not accumulate that much junk in it.

Frosty Morning Nov 14 2014 Weblog Image

Here in Fort Langley we have our Postal Service inside the Post Office; we do not get door-to-door service, so everyone is assigned a box, and you go there to get your mail. It is a nice set-up for a small town/village in that it is either a short drive, or walk, and you get to meet everyone in town. Inside the room where the mail boxes are kept, there was a table, and garbage bin, where you can sort through your letters and throw out any junk mail you might have. Well, that is all gone now becuase 52 new homes were built in town, and with them, more mail boxes were needed to accommodate them. The table and garbage bin had to go to make room.

The wonderful staff at Canada Post told me that if I did not want any ad flyers in my mail box, then I would need to be put on the list and invoke the Red Dot program. Before she finished, I said “Yes, do it, make the flyers go away.” So starting this week, I should no longer see any more junk mail in my mail box.

Shooting a Movie in Fort Langley Nov 14 2014 Weblog Image

The movie that the film crew was setting up for had the acronym H.T.V. on the signs that pointed to that location. I have no idea what H.T.V. stands for, but it seems to be a small production company, probably for TV or even a TV commercial. They looked cold as well standing outside in their shorts. All I can say is, “Wear pants dudes! You are in Canada–you know, winter–Eh?” Maybe they are Canadian, and they have antifreeze for blood? It is nice to film companies using Fort Langley as a place to film–there have been many in the past.

A Wee Bit Cold Outside Now

This started around Monday, as a sudden drop in temperature gripped the Fraser Valley, and tonight the temperature may fall below the freezing mark. Apparently this funky weather started from a storm over 4000km away that hit Japan nearly two weeks ago, and the effects of that storm messed up the Jet Stream and caused it to distort itself by dropping further South over North America than normal. With the Jet Stream dipping so far South, just about all of Canada is in a early deep freeze right now. A large area of North America is feeling this Arctic air mass, so even parts of the U.S. are dealing with it too. All this may end in two weeks once the Jet Stream goes back to its normal pattern.

Ice Cold Text Nov 12 2014 Weblog Image

With the cold air, comes a very large high pressure area that is giving us very nice sunny weather, albeit with a lot of Northerly out flow wind that is causing havoc with our power from falling trees, but the sunshine is a pleasant side effect this time of year. My power did go out on Tuesday, as you can read about on my blog post earlier this week, “A Very Windy Day Here In the Langleys,” but since then the wind has died down significantly.

According to the Environment Canada Website, we maybe in this polar airmass for the next two weeks as the Jet Stream slowly smooths itself back to normal. In the mean time, we deal with it. This year is also to be an “El Niño” year which should mean warmer, but more with violent weather for us here on the West Coast of Canada.

I have my winter gear ready. Although I am not ready for the killer heating bill to come, at least I warm, but this is the price we pay here in Canada. Wool socks, flannel sheets, super think comforter, winter jacket, boots, scarf and toque, I am ready! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr

A Very Windy Day Here In the Langleys

I got home around 2:00am after completing my shift at work, and woke up to the bitter cold of a home without power. The electric power appears to have gone off around 6:00am; I woke up around 8:00am wrapped in my super comfy comforter with a very cold nose. I did not have to see the blank face of my alarm clock to know that there was no power becuase I was cringing from the sounds of falling branches, and the windows rattling from the massive wind storm raging outside. The wind was howling!

Windy Day at Two Bit Park in Glen Valley - Fort Langley BC Nov 11 2014 - Weblog Image 04

The above photo is Two-Bit Park here in Glen Valley.

There was no point staying at home. It was so cold inside the house and heating it up with the propane would be pointless becuase it would take so long, and so expensive that I just left to go into town. I hopped in my truck and drove to the Remembrance Day Service here in Fort Langley, BC, figuring that sooner or later the power would be back on–it did not. The power stayed off. I then decided to drive around for a git becuase it was a lot warmer in my truck than sitting at home, so I went to Two-Bit Park right in Glen Valley, a few kilometres down the road from my place. It was a very Sunny day, not a cloud in the sky with the temperature hovering around 10C. The day was almost perfect for weather except for the wind.

Windy Day at Two Bit Park in Glen Valley - Fort Langley BC Nov 11 2014 - Weblog Image 02

When I got to the shore of the Fraser River in the park, I almost had to brace myself from the wind–it was that strong. The radio reported at that time that well over 60,000 customers were without power in the Fraser Valley. I was not surprised becuase this wind was coming from the North, and North winds really pack a wallop in the Fraser Valley. The Fraser River had some good size waves, and the pounding surf was causing spray along the rocky part of shore, a very rare sight to see.

Windy Day at Two Bit Park in Glen Valley - Fort Langley BC Nov 11 2014 - Weblog Image 01

I can only Imagen what it was like on the ocean down along Vancouver Island?

While at the park, small aircraft were flying around in formation–no doubt from the Remembrance Day celebrations. When they made their turn perpendicular to the wind, they started to spread out from their formation, and some of the aircraft were having difficulty keeping their course from the strong cross-winds.

Windy Day at Two Bit Park in Glen Valley - Fort Langley BC Nov 11 2014 - Weblog Image 03

When I returned home the power was still out. It was around noon when the power finally switched on. I had bought some chicken in Fort Langley, and threw it in the oven, thinking that cooking would also heat my place up too. When I sat down to eat, that was when the power came back on. The one good thing that came out of this was that I realized I needed a fresh nine-volt battery for my alarm clock, as it kept flashing “12:00″ after the electric power came back on. The one criticism I have was that Environment Canada’s website had no mention of strong gusty winds, nor were there any weather alerts posted. Funny, with so many out of power in the Valley, that they would have caught this.

Remebrance Day 2014

I went down to the cenotaph in Fort Langley today for the Remembrance Day celebrations and tribute. The turnout was huge, as many waited in line that started at the park, and wound its way towards the cenotaph, but with so many people getting a good view was next to impossible.

The Poppy - November 11 2014 Weblog Image

The image of the poppy is from my flowerbed taken just this last summer.

ADDED:

When I first uploaded this post, we were experiencing a small wind storm here in Glen Valley, so before I could finish this the power went out. When it came back on (nearly 6 hours later) I was over at friend’s place working on his home network in Langley City where they had power. At my end, down on 252nd Street, a tree was blown over, and took out the power line with it: I think that was source of our power outage. The rest of the day has been crazy with the wind, I just gave up on doing any work on my machines becuase of the power flickering on and off constently.

Fort Langley had a really good turnout for the Remembrance Day Service. I did snap some photos, but with the limited time that I had there, I never got any of good quality photos. It was hard to get a good shot with so many people standing in front of me. When I returned, it was already too dark to get good shots, so I may return tomorrow and try. The Sun was out this year, although very windy, so I think that inspired many more than usual to come out.

 

Talking About the “Buck” Over Coffee

Today we were all a buzz at my work, talking about just where Canada stands with respects to our country’s economic prosperity, and the news about our Feral Government leaders making untold billions in trade deals over there in China on this latest trade visit. So naturally we broke into topics such as benefits in the retail sector here in Canada, and how much costs, or savings, will we see in the near future, and will we be able to buy and get better deals in the Chinese market then now? Of course internet buying popped up over the lunch room table, as many, if not all of us buy on sites that link us to the Asia-Pacific markets. One point that was broadcast from the CBC News Channel on Cable TV was that Canada is now able to trade directly from Canadian currency to the Chinese currency without having to go through “the middle man,” U.S. Dollars.

Cup of Coffee November 10 2014 - Weblog Image

According to CBC News, the agreement between Canada and China means that both Central Banks will set up a virtual “Hub” in which both currencies can be directly exchanged without going through a middle man. The way the news source reported it, it seems that anyone between our two nations can now buy directly through participating Banks, and buy and sell goods once it is set up. So we thought that this might now mean that we can eliminate exchange companies like PayPal when buying into the Chinese market altogether, and simply make purchases through this new “Hub.” But we retreated into “what are the strings that maybe attached” to Joe consumer?

Will the “Hub” be only available to businesses only at a commercial level? Will the service charges be as much, or more than when what we are already paying for now, (going through the U.S. dollar exchange system)? Will new online opportunities spring up for consumers? Will Canadian retailers benefit hugely from this? Has Canada sold out to the “All Mighty Dollar,” as quoted by Mr, Harper over eight years ago according to CBC News, and forgotten that China is still a Communist country with a very scary Human Rights record?

As I sipped on my coffee, I wondered if all these new trade deals are worth it to the average Canadian. I can only image that selling oil and raw resources was at the top of the trading list from Canada, knowing that China is energy starved, and Canada really wants to sell its oil to them (CBC News). Either way, I want to know what is in it for me.

Source:

Canada, China sign currency deal aimed at boosting trade – Nov 8th, 2014

Photos Before Breakfast

As you all know I works nights, so when the Sun beamed across the horizon through the clouds, I was up, getting ready for the end of my day. I had lots to do, but when I saw the Sun shining through the thick clouds, the light from it made me rush to grab my camera bag and do some shooting outside around the yard. The sky lit up with brilliant pinks and oranges, and at one point it was bright enough to do some long exposures shots with my camera. This was the point where the storm that was racing in, and was just about over top, so the wind was calm and the rain let up enough to walk around without wearing a jacket. Further to the West was this massive, very dark, thunder cloud, and along with it I could see smaller clouds moving very fast to the East meaning lots of wind was coming.

Once I started shooting, the whole valley seemed to come to life after a night of wind and rain that were at times very heavy and strong. Tree branches were everywhere–some very large. The clock on my microwave oven was flashing, meaning that at one point the power did go out while I was working outside. So seeing all of this sunshine, and the colours from it, made the place look like the fairytale setting–I had to photograph it.

These images were taken right around 7:30am to 8:00am. There was only a few times where the light was really good, but that did not last long, and since then the day was very dark and stormy. The storm returned, and with it the darkness, the rain and the wind.

Fall Image Novemeber 6 2014 Weblog Image 01

The light at this time was a brilliant orange. These leaves were on the hedge-row along my driveway.

Fall Image Novemeber 6 2014 Weblog Image 02

The blood red leaves of the maple tree by my place.

Fall Image Novemeber 6 2014 Weblog Image 03

The little brook by my driveway, underneath the red maple tree looks so weird with the reddish light from the Sun rise. Normally this is just a tiny brook, but from all the rain we have had in the last three days, this has turned into a little torrent.

Fall Image Novemeber 6 2014 Weblog Image 04

Fall Image Novemeber 6 2014 Weblog Image 05

Fall Image Novemeber 6 2014 Weblog Image 06

Fall Image Novemeber 6 2014 Weblog Image 07

This red maple tree looks so awesome this time of year. The reds from it are just amazing to photograph.

Working Without a Clock

I just realized that when I go in to start my shift tonight, this will be my sixth straight day of work. This is a good set of circumstances for me in terms of making money for the governments, and myself, but as far as my employer is concerned, this could be a sticking point. You see, I am only allowed to work a maximum of forty hours per week. Giving out overtime from them is a sticking-point, which seems to be standard for all retail companies in Canada with their employees, so I now walk the thin line of being needed, and being cast aside having used up all of my time.

I took on training in another department. This training was to have started three weeks ago, but becuase of other employees taking their vacation times, and the numerous sick times used becuase of the latest round of the Cold Germ/flu-bug going around the workforce, my training started last night. However, my night-shift manager said that he is short staffed and needs me more than ever to work the regular shift. So there is a tug-of-war going on about where I am to work. Obviously, this arrangement was set by the store’s head manager, so he sort of overrules any lower decision made. So I split my shift, four hours in Receiving, and four hours on the night crew.

About my over time. Well, I have no idea how this is going to work as my fortieth hour will tick by at 4:30am tomorrow. Do I go home? Who knows?

Company policies are weird with respects to how profit driven a business is. On one hand they want to maximize their labour’s potential to the maximum possible output, while on the other, saving money, lowering expenses, and cutting corners on those cost is the dark evil that hangs on the end of every word a business manger says.

I guess from a Marxist perspective, as an employee I should not care, other than seeing if this employer folds into bankruptcy or not due to my job position and how I climb through its ranks. I mean really, if they want me to my full potential, then it will cost. It just might save them more money in the long run?

Hey, I will finally have a good pay cheque–a first since working here! The joy of working in retail.

November Already!

And it is November. Just like that. One moment I was sitting back enjoying Halloween, and the October festivities, and then–BANG–it is November. And added to the seasonal change into to the cold, Daylight Savings time is tomorrow too, on top of all this. My poor mind and body are going to pay dearly for this with work days all over the calendar.

Did I ever mention how much I hate the concept of Daylight Savings Time? I am sure if you searched my Weblog that you will find a post or two on the subject. I just think with the modern era of  technology that we live in today, working long hours around the clock, the invention of the light bulb, and the way we can telecommute to our work now that we could do away with switching our clocks just to help some politician with his Tar-Sand operation out on the Arctic permafrost somewhere. I believe that all of Canada should adopt Saskatchewan’s laws on this notion, and do away with it. We do not have to follow the United State on everything–we can stand up on our own too.

Anyway, we now go into regular time, the way the twenty-four hour clock was meant to be–what you would see when you look at a Sun-Dial. High-noon is Noon–simple as that.

Anyway, Halloween was a blast. I did dress up, but the photos look crappy. I may post one, but I have to think about it–they really look bad becuase they came from a cellphone. I never brought my camera with me, so no DSLR quality shots. I only stayed at the party for a couple of hours because I had to go into work later on in the evening, so I took off the costume before I left for work.

So…, anyway, it is November. Wow. So fast.