Suzette’s Ghost Says, Ten More Sleeps to Go!

Like the titles says, only ten more sleeps until Halloween, and according to Suzette’s ghost, time is getting short. I was looking for more materials for my Halloween costume, as I am almost there with my idea. But, ya, I feel like I am on a race against time. I better get my act together.

Of course my costume will be my little secret, as I do not want to be copied, or outdone, when I go to work with it on. So I have some more work to do on it. But like Suzette’s ghost says, “only ten more sleeps to go.”

Some Raking Anyone?

I just had to post this shot. I took just after we headed back into town after our drive on Kitselas Road, and there was still some daylight left in the evening. I saw the maple trees in the Uplands Elementary School grounds, as the Sun was setting, and asked Suz., to stop and let me take the shot–I was a passenger. I grabbed my camera bag and jogged over to the trees, as the light was disappearing quickly.

I got about thirty shots, so it was hard to choose only one to post. There are about ten huge Maple Trees on a row, along the main road. And the Sun was almost forty-five degrees off to left from where I was standing. The light was great. It made the colours really stand out. I used my 30mm Macro Lens, at f 2.8, for this shot.

So, who is going to rake these all up, I say. LOL

A little fact: I did my Grade Two Class here as a youngster. This is going back a long time.

A Drive Down Kitselas Road

Since it has been over a year since me Suz., drove down Kitselas Road, we thought it would be a great opportunity to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I taking the opportunity to shoot more autumn tree shots of the Skeena Valley, so we headed out to go for the drive. We do not get to spend that much time on the West side of the Skeena River, and it is a less travelled area, just outside of Terrace, BC. Since it was a fairly sunny day, it did not take much of an excuses to go for the drive. So off down Kitselas Road we went.

We got into the valley at just the right time, as the Sun was setting. The yellow leaves looked an extra orange, from the filtered light. The other weird thought I had, was how calm the wind was here, where just across the valley, where I live, it was gusty. The Western mountains must be protecting this part of the valley from the wind.

Not sure what the names of the creek was, but it is the second bridge you cross before you get to the end of the road. I would say, Kitselas Road is about fifteen kilometers long. The colours of the creek looked awesome, even in the shade of the mountain near by. You can tell it has been a dry summer, by looking at the creek. Last year, this was about a metre high, and looked like it was standing water from the Skeena River near by.

It was good drive; loved it. Now the weekend, and the holiday, are over as of tomorrow. Sigh…..

Voted! Civic Election in Thornhill, BC, 2018

There, the deed is done. Me a Suz., voted around 3:00pm today at the Thornhill Community Centre, where we voted for our School Trustee, and Regional District Representatives, being that Thornhill (aka Electoral Area E) is an Unincorporated community, we do not have a Mayor or Aldermen to choose from. And as always, it felt good to get out vote. I was also happy to say that we saw a few people there also out voting too, including Suz’s. folks. However, I did notice while I was looking at the lists of registered votes, few were checked off, but the day was still young, and the polls close at 8:00pm tonight.

So hopefully all of you got out and voted. The people that run your community are the ones who effect you the most, so these elections are the most important in terms of where the rubber meets the road in your neighbourhood. These guys will be controlling everything from your roads, to the schools that your kids go to, so that makes it kinda of important. Sadly, voter turn-out is traditionally low. Maybe this year, will be the year the voter turn-out will break records?

I cannot wait and see the results tonight!

UPDATE: 11:00pm

Well it appears that in my little corner of the Skeena Valley, our Regional District election, we have a new person in that seat! According to the Terrace Standard, “UPDATE: Eric Nyce defeats Harry Nyce in Nass Valley, Meziadin.” October 20 2018. Quoting the on-line news article, “In the regional district election, Jeff Hammond has defeated incumbent Ted Ramsey, 181 votes to 169.” What shocks me, is that there are about four thousand people who live in Thronhill, BC, (aka Electoral Area E), and only 350 voters came out to vote. According to my Math, I get a total percentage of 8.75% of the people of Thornhill who went out and voted. Wow!

Congratulation Jeff Hammond.

ADDED: The 8.75 percent is based on the total number of people who live in Thornhill, BC, not the total number eligible voters. This would bump up the percentage of voter turn-out by a few percent. I do not have that information at the moment.

 

Doing Some 3D Work at Home

It has been a while, leaving my rendering and animation hobby sit on the shelf for nearly a couple of months now. I was not too busy for it, but I did have other “likes” I wanted to pursue first before I jumped back into doing 3D art work. So, being I was talking a one week holiday, this week, from my “real job,” I made it a week of rendering on my 3D software. And rendering I did.

So I completely recreated it from scratch, again, my Egg Head character, but this time making it as a female. So, her she is, Ms Egg Head.

Those first few steps were hard. 3D Blender is not an easy piece of software to learn on. Setting up the rigging for the mesh, I had to go right back to my help files to relearn the process, as I completely got stuck with the Inverse Kinematics settings on the armature. The other issue I had was setting up the mesh, so it matched the armature the way I wanted it to–that took a day to get it the way I wanted it to go. But, I was pretty happy with my results. The mesh, and rigging, took less that an day, and I was doing basic animating the next day. The stuff I am doing here is “kindergarten” stuff to what the software can do. You can do Motion Picture grade work with 3D Blender–it is everywhere.

Anyway, I am currently rendering out a small “Dance” video. We will see how well that goes. More to come.

Canada Cannabis Day

Happy Cannabis in Canada Day. Today marks the day that smoking, or doing, cannabis becomes legal, all across Canada. Now, for the record, I am not “on board” with this, but this is what the people voted for, so, far be it for me to impose my beliefs against the Will of the People. Instead, I wish everyone in Canada, Happy Cannabis Day, and for those who wanted to get their first legal puffs off, I guess the place in British Colombia to do that was in Kamloops, the only legal store that was ready to do so here on the West Coast. That store opened at 10:00am this morning according to CBC News. But from what I heard, there is plenty of illegal weed to feed the masses with, so there is no shortage of the stuff around here.

This is also my fourth attempt at writing this post, before I settled on this one. Simply put, I was either too harsh, or too Liberal in my statements, so I just stuck to being very neutral in choosing my words. I had some nice size rants, around the fifty-five hundred word mark, but I deleted those and went for this post instead. Short, sweet, and to the point, reining in my personal feelings on the topic.

I wonder if this will be the dawning of a new National Holiday? Anyway…

So far the people who live around me are not smoking the stuff. However, the 2:00pm happy hour started at the far end of the apartments, from where I am, so alcohol is still the choice among my neighbours that I can tell. I guess this is day one, of many to come, so we will see what the weekend will have in store for us here with legal cannabis.

As for when the Skeena Valley getting cannabis stores, I only heard from our local news paper that only four store are applying for the permits to sell cannabis in Terrace, BC, yet none in Thornhill, BC. The article did say, as of today, you can buy cannabis through the Liquor Distribution Branch–on line, so not many options for the North Coast as of yet, to get your first legal took going. Please read, “Four Marijuana Stores Looking at Terrace” from the Terrace Standard News paper for October 17, 2018, for more information on this source.

Well, that is it for me on this fine October day. Rock’n the time off from work, so peace, and chill out.

Instead We Did a Hike Along Howe Creek, In Terrace.

It was a spur of the moment switch up from our past routine, so after Mochas and Coffees, we headed up to the Howe Creek park at Sparks Street, and do the trail from there over to the Howe Creek Tree park. Since it was fall, and the trees looked so awesome with their fall colours, I took the camera along. I was not disappointed, becuase at every turn, hill and field, the trees were stunning. It was a great hike becuase it took all the worries that were on my mind, and allowed me to focus on the beauty that was around us. Hey, this might sound cheep and tacky to you, if you have lived here all of your life, but for someone who lived far away from this, it is like coming to a whole new world. I will let the photo speak for themselves. Anyway, I shot 152 photos, and it was hard to choose what to post from them. I would say about 60 of them turned out as keepers, and out of that 60, choosing these ones were hard. I might do an album, and post that too. We will see.

The above shot is looking at the Bench, just below Skeenaview Drive, from Sparks Street, using a 300mm lens. Sadly, power lines fill the horizon, so I used the telephoto lens to try and see through them. It is hard, but if you look closely, I missed a set running right up against the tree line. And just a short walk to the tree line, you will hit the creek itself. And once you are in the among the trees, you are blown away at the colours as you stand underneath the tree canopy.

Once we started walking down the trail, we met several people, some jogging, some walking their dogs, and a few were on bikes, and yes, we stopped at one time, talked, and then started walking again. Terrace is a small town, so you are bound to know half of the town, sooner or later. And many also like to hike the trail too.

Over the last couple of days, rain had fallen. The creek had some volume to it, but you could see the signs that it was almost running dry during the summer months. This pond was almost transparent, with the clear water from the springs that feed it. The leaves dotted the water’s surface, and were slowly sinking to the bottom, making the water look really dark. I call this the black mirror effect.

SQUIRREL! Yes, you will see squirrels here. This little guy was not happy to meet us on the trail. He scurried around, from tree to tree, like Tarzan on speed, so we figured that we were close to his nest. He chirped and squeaked until we moved on, but not until I got about ten shots of him right above me.

And then for the grand finale, the tree park. Almost at the end of the trail, you meet the bottom of Lanfear Drive, and on the Western side of the road, lays the Howe Creek Tree Park. It is here that you are blown away by the colours of the trees at this time of the year. With just the right amount of Sun light, with some clouds to diffuse the light with, in the right position in the sky, shafts of light illuminate the trees in a stunning, and breath taking, show that even a camera cannot duplicate. You have to be there to see it.

A Frost Morning In Thornhill BC

Yawn! It is not even a Friday, and this does feel like a Friday the Thirteen kind of day. Lets see, where to begin… The Septic is backing up, and the Land Lord just happen to be here doing various maintenance projects, so he is currently working on that. This is the start of some vacation time that I have owed to me from my work. I have a meeting with my Bank, and so far to, and it is not even 10:00am, five scammers have called; some are down right funny. Anyway, it is a cold one, so let me being the Post.

First thing, it is cold outside. It is just at the freezing mark, and there is some wind, but not much. My windows have no frost, but my car is just covered. I took off to Walmart around 8:30am, for some items I needed for breakfast, and I had to chip away at my windshield, as it was encased with a thick layer of frost. The last two days have been dry ones, with lost of sun, and clear skies, so it is no big surprise that the night time temperatures are falling below the freezing level. During the day, we have been getting close to 18C, so no big complaints there.

Second thing, and a real big issue, not life threatening, the septic system is backed up. I think it needs the sewage-sucker machine to come in and slurp the tank out. Thornhill does not have sewer service, so all properties must have their own septic fields. This is why so few like to live here, or own land, it is pricey to put on in now-a-days. So, my toilet started making “gurgling” sounds, and would not flush properly. This went on for a couple of days, and I was thinking that maybe it was plugged. I phone the caretaker, and he said it was the sewage tank being full, and that he will get someone on it as soon as possible. So, as I type this out, there are two guys under the crawl space of the compartment, working on the plumbing, and a sewage sucker truck outside, sucking up the sewage from the septic tank.

Third thing, I spend the last part of the day, yesterday, trying to set up a meeting with my Bank for a mortgage, or the possibility of getting one. As the housing market shots upwards, I figure I might as well see if I qualify, now that I have over a year’s time living here, and a year with my car loan. So I have a meeting set up, but the lady at the Customer Counter, told me that they are swamped with requests, as everyone wants to move here with the promises of well paying jobs on the horizon. So I spent some time this morning getting my documents ready that she said they needed to my assessment. My fear, the Bank will take too long, as the housing market slips away to unreal prices, and all the good deals are gone–leaving only million dollar homes left over that no can afford.

Lastly, five phone SCAMMERS in a row! Yes, I had some funny ones. I had, what looked like a local caller, from the Grand Forks area of British Columbia, but never bothered to answer that one. Then two from India, as it was real easy to ID the callers on the web. One was a robot voice that said I was going to jail becuase of my income tax. The other said I was in trouble by the IRS in the United State of America, becuase of goods tax not paid on some perches I supposedly made there. They left messages, at least. I do not buy from the U.S.A., as I am personally boycotting them right now. I would rather buy from China. But it was the East Indian Ascent, from the very young sounding girl, that gave that away, right off the bat. Next was a guy claiming that my PC had a service ticket issued on it, and that he was going to up-date my OS. I answered that one. Hum, let see, Oh, I run only LINUX on my machines, and there is no outside support for that OS, so SCAMMER. I was chuckling, and I hung up on him. The last one, for now, was an American sound lady, with a very sexy voice, sounding like she was from Texas, claiming that my Life Insurance Claim was being issued, and I had to give her all of my personal information, including Banking information. I hung up on her becuase I was getting ready to type out this post.

So that has been my day so far, and it not even 10:30am, on a Saturday morning.

So, You Want to Move to the Skeena Valley?

Over the last couple of days, since the news that a 40B dollar LNG project will get the go-a-head in Kitimat, BC, the wave effect in the housing market has started its upward climb. Now, living here, one town away, seeing the effect spill over here into the Skeena Valley, is no big surprise. In just a few days, prices for homes have increased, and several were scooped up within in hours after the big announcement. Let the gouging being!

To give you some examples, one home that I was keeping an eye on, that house on Molitor Street, went from 199k to 299k in one single leap up. At the other end of town, on Olson Street, a home that sold a few months ago, went back on the market, selling for almost double the original price–while still under construction in renovation. 

The fear in the coming months, on the current rental markets, are that rate of renovictions will start increasing. Now that the Vancouver market has perfected the practice, is almost certain that this will evolve into the Pacific North Coast. As the new NDP government has not shown signs of changing the law, many low income people that I have talked to are very, very scared. Yes, land lords want in on the money too, so marginalized citizens of the Skeena Valley will be the victims of the economic success in the coming months.

The underline message is that unless you get that $35 (plus) dollar per hour employment, do not move here. The Skeena Valley is no stranger to the boom-bust of the business cycle. When I lived here as a kid, I remember the highs and low of the ’80s, and ’90s. I kept an eye on the boom cycle here in the 2011 season, lasting about five years. So the patterns are well imprinted here. This boom cycle will no doubt yield that same results. The good news, for the well settled person, with deep roots here, the effects should be “life as normal.” If you are already a home owner, and with good employment, your worries are few. Market demands, are just that, and you will pay for that if you want to break into the job market here–so bring your money. Welcome to Boom Town!

The Hills Look Bright Today

A little tongue and cheek with the photo I chose for this post–a shot of down town Terrace, BC looking North East at Terrace Mountain, all lit up by the setting Sun. In the for ground is Lakelse Ave., and Emerson Street; pretty much the down town centre at the old mall parking lot. But anyway, let me get on with the post. It is Thanksgiving day, Monday, a holiday for us here in Western Canada. Me and Suz., did get out for the afternoon. There was a drive down the Prince Rupert Highway, to Ackers Point Telegraph Point, then a romp around town before we called it a day. I did get lots done at home; more or less cleaning and organizing. Oh, then there was the awesome dinner over at Suz., place, totally yummy! You could say it was a great day overall.

Yes, it did rain. We needed it. According to the forestry website, we are still in a level-four drought classification for the North Coast. Even Suz., admitted that in all of her life, she has not seen it this dry here in the Skeena Valley. Climate Change, or what! Last year, at this time, the mountains were completely white with snow. Today, they look like are in the middle of summer: dry and bare. Even with what little rain we got over these last few days, it is not even close to what we need.

Holidays, you gotta love them! Need more of them. This working life it sometimes to tough on a guy.