Taking the Car for a Sunday Drive

Being that it was Sunday, this means it was time for a Sunday drive, so off we went. We drove off for Rosswood, BC on the Kalum Lake Highway, or Nisga’a HWY, AKA HWY 113. Before I started, my intention was to drive to Kalum Lake for some photos, hoping that it was going to be less foggy there, but that was not case, it was just as bad for fog when we pulled up to one of lookout points. So, I kept going, on wards, stopping at the Rosswood General Store instead, where we just parked for a while once we pulled in the driveway. Also, I wanted to test my fuel economy on the car, a 2014 Ford Focus, sort of my second long distance drive since owning the vehicle. 

I like Rosswood because of its sparseness, yet close enough to drive to civilization in less than a hour. I think there are less than hundred people who live there–not much road traffic to say the least, but I could be wrong its population, but confident enough to say I am not far off on the count. The community has its tourist attractions. It has the Rosswood General Store, or the only store in the community. There is also the “Pee Tree,” which is a pipe stuck in a tree along the side of the road which has gravity feed water pouring out of it. The Pee Tree is just before the General Store. And right after that, the Rosswood Highway Cam which points to the General Store. You can click on the link to see what the road conditions are like in Rosswood, and how many people are parked at the General Store. Other than that, you blink, you missed it.

By the way, I estimated that my car burnt about 4.35 litres of fuel on the round trip from Terrace to Rosswood and back. This is according to the trip indicator on the LED screen above the steering wheel. For being about halfway through the month, I am now down to half a tank in the car, so I still have plenty of fuel for the rest of the month. So if I just travelled to and from work and into town for shopping, I could easily go five to six weeks between fill-ups.

Where We First Met So Long Ago

For me, it was a huge treat to enter the walls to which I stood long, long ago, with Suzette at my side; though now it was voluntary this time, unlike it was back then. Back then, we marched off to class, in 1975; today it was a Craft Fair in the gymnasium that gained us access. Yes, this is where we first met, in this very room, albeit under different circumstances, we never lost the thought who each other was, but we can say it was awesome to stand in that same spot forty-five years later. To walk these hallways, see the classrooms, it brought back a flood of memories, least to say, “Is this place ever small now.”

The photo is courtesy of Suzette, who shot the image with her cell phone’s camera.

As I said before, this is the very spot where we both met, as children, in grade five. We were sent to the same set of desks because we were talking too much with our peers in the classroom, disrupting our classmates and the teacher. It was that moment when we “actually” met face to face, and spoke to each other. Although we share our lives today, back then this life was the furthest thought from our future expectations of life as grade fiver’s. Fate is a funny thing. Back then, boys and girls were like oil and water, mixing was rare. Perhaps after, the oil and water turned into air and earth, and all that could change, could. So too did the class of ’74 in this very small room.

Thornhill was a lot different back then compared to now. There were more kids who lived here in the ’70s, than there are today. Today, there are rumours that the school might be scheduled for demolition soon, as the population of both adults and children diminishes. Employment has changed too; gone are the days of harvesting trees, when a person could make more money than a Banker could in one year. Now the community bases its lifeblood on tourism, with some industries of raw materials in the mining sector. With the shift in demographics, and economics, the community still functions, but far from the pre OPEC Oil crisis of ’73 and ’97 era that caused the rescission of the ’80s, and the Bank of Canada’s Prime Rate, peaking out at a whopping 22.75 percent in ’81. Today, it is the lure of cheap land, and a slow rebound of industry that draws people back.

Nevertheless, as me and Suzette stood there looking through the glass window of the classroom door, I saw a moment of wonder, as time and space came colliding together as one. It was so long ago when we greeted each other in this room. Also hard to believe we were this small once.



Putting Up Holiday Lights

I guess it boils down to how much electricity you want to burn away. Like hundreds of other homes this time of year, having holiday lights wrapped around your house goes with heating it, from toasty warm to melting your heat registers off, it is all a matter of perspective when you get the Electric Bill in the post. But for us, setting up the lights, hanging them on stairways, fences and trees, it turns into fun. And when you turn the lights on for first time, there is that sense of awe and wonder–will the fuse blow.

Of course, you want to go for those LEDs that supposedly cost a fraction less then the old style incandescent bulbs did in electricity. Whether that drives people to put on more lights or not, is still up for discussion. The main point for us is that it made us happy, and they look awesome. I think there is a need for more lights too–I can feel that.

So for what took us a mere few minutes to hang, the results seem great and worth it. Now we will see if it was all worth it when the power bill comes in next month. LOL.

A Cool and Cuddly Passed Weekend

So it is Wednesday, or “hump day,” as I sometimes call a typical Wednesday, and with it, the happiness knowing it is the halfway point in the workweek where we are moving towards the next weekend, a sense of hope that Friday is getting nearer. So, having said all that, what I wrote below, was written last Sunday, and rewritten Monday night, with proof reading and corrections done. So forgive me on my past tents, and wondering sense of time, in my use of grammar. This is, after all, my personal Weblog, so I get to make up the rules as I see fit, yet trying to conform to the standards that I was taught.

Friday night is somewhat a night to myself. I did my laundry, cleaned up a bit around the apartment, and prepared for tomorrow.  I have a couple of emails to send out, and some matters on Evil-Bay that are pending. Mostly, my online to-do list is small this week. It is the month-end, so I paid all of my Bills on-line (November 30), and made sure that my Bank statement balanced out with my records; it all works out, right down to the penny (though Canada no longer has pennies). I also bought a large size bar of chocolate–do not tell–it was my treat for a week well done. Somehow, chocolate has gripped my needs and wants in the food department. For the record, chocolate is not just a “Female” food, we Males get the cravings too. 🙂

Saturday was spent working on the PC, getting it’s software all up to date and fixing some of the on going bugs that have popped up in the last couple of days. Then I spent the rest of the morning reading some Court Documents that I want to study. These are rather touchy for most folks who live in and around the North Coast of British Columbia, so I will not include any details here on the Weblog. But, I did spent over six hours pouring over them, and I learned a lot. But having said that, I see even the Courts are a long ways from finishing this matter, as there are so many questions still yet to be answered. About high noon, Suz., called, and said she is on her way to pick me up, as we wanted to check out the weekend’s community craft events. The craft fair at the Kitsumkalum Centre was the best one, in my humble opinion, as it was packed and had more goodies to offer. In all, we had a great time. To end the night off, it was movie night at Suz.’s place. A fun and relaxing evening, even the Cats enjoyed curling up on my lap, playing chaperone on the couch, as we watched the show.

Sunday was spent with more morning reading, though not as deep as the morning before, but the rest of the Court Documents that I had with me, I finished. Later on, the plan was having dinner with Suz., and her parents, as we were celebrating her birthday. The dinner was awesome, and I was very full. We had Chinese at the Golden Star Restaurant, in down town Terrace. I have to plug this place because they are great, and me and Suz., go there often. Then I left for home early, so I could have a great start for Monday at my work. 

This was an abbreviated version of my weekend. So much more happened, of course, but this is all I need to write. I would also like to add that my car went five weeks before I needed to fill it up with fuel, and my heating bill was under seventy-five dollars (electric heat). Now I know we are getting ripped-off down in the Lower Mainland as far as bad Land Lords and local Governments goes. Shame on you! Just so glad I moved away from all that nonsense. But, you all have a great week, and as always, “stay out of trouble.”

I Saw My Old Pathfinder On the Road

This was both funny and neat to see; I saw my old vehicle on the highway as I was coming home from work today. The smell of fuel was in the air, and I could see little droplets of fuel hitting the ground behind it, as I followed it into Thorhill from town. The new owner did get it going, not that the old Pathfinder was not running, but they obviously only did a band-aid repair to it, to get it back on the road.

If you remember a while back, I took the Pathfinder off the road becuase of a major fuel line leak that spewed out about a litre of fuel per hour. Driving it meant that you took a huge risk of damaging the place you parked at, or if you created a spark/heat source hot enough, you would have a nice size fire underneath you. I hope they fixed that. But by the smell of it, I do not think so.

The other issue with it when I sold it was rust. Not only did the fuel line rust away, but the frame was about half gone as well. In all honestly, I figure there is at least less than a year before the rear frame falls apart. But, hey, if they can weld all that back up, then I tip my hat to them.

I am happy that they got it drivable again, some what. May they live long and travel lots. Happy trails to the new Pathfinder owner.

A Birthday Wish, Warm and Comfy

These last couple of days have been awesome, as usual, I would not have it any other way. A celebration of a birthday of a super close friend, some better weather, and meeting old/new friends, to mention a few reasons why these days are awesome. But most importantly, it is the friends who made the difference. Whether far away, or close by, it is friends that may these days awesome, but the closer they are, the better the effect. But more on this later, I have to talk about my car that is now just over the two month old mark. It just amazes me at how fuel efficient it is, or it has a broken fuel gauge?

My 3D Birthday Card I made for the birthday girl.

The first couple of weeks that I owned my car, a 2014 Ford Focus, I drove it around a lot, and four weeks later, I made my first fill-up. It has been over five week since, on that tank of gas, and I am now only at the quarter tank mark. The fuel economy has blown even my expectations out the door. The car is still going, working great, and even with all the rain and snow, the car is wiping all bad expectations of owning a small car away. I thought owning a small, front wheel drive car would be disastrous living way up here in the frozen North, but this little Ford car has proven me wrong.

I celebrated a birthday this week with a very special friend. Actually, in my close circle of friends, this month, or this week, the calendar is doted with them. Just within my family, there are three for November, so it has been a busy time keeping in touch, wishing Happy Birthdays over the phone. But I only focused on one, I took her out for dinner, made her a custom birthday card, and talked her ear off–It was a great time. Perhaps over the weekend, we will continue the celebrations. But I must say, November is a busy month, and happy times too.

I also met some new/old friends. Let me clarify. I met people who are relatives of very old friends from my younger days when I lived here last. It was freaky connecting the dots, and making the connections. I also saw an old high school friend too, when checking out the weekend markets in town. I can say, the more we grow older, and people change, the more things stay the same once you blow the dust of the cover–using a book metaphor. I am sure I will meet more people like that as I spend more time here in Terrace, BC.

The next three days should be relaxing ones. I have nothing planed. Mostly work stuff to do, and my usual cleaning at home, but for the most part, I want to take it easy. It has been warming up too, as far as the weather goes, even the threat of some sunshine on Saturday, but that I must see it to believe it. I have exceeded my quota of chocolate and food, so my body needs a rest from that. Yeah, time to switch this computer off, and watch a movie.

When Snow is No Longer Fun

Since a week ago, we have been getting a bit of everything, but not a lot of the good weather. Way up here, in the North Coast, we have been diving into winter head on. Even the folks who have lived all their lives here in Terrace are saying that so far, for November, the snow has been unusual, making this year stand out amongst the others. For me, the novelty of seeing so much snow in one place has worn off already, and I do not need  to see any more.

Today while I was at work, I was keeping an eye out on the skies. To be honest, I thought today was going to be your typical November grey kind of day, but as it turned out, it changed every hour. When I first got to work, it was slightly snowing, then turned to rain. I though that was good, and paid no more attention to it until I had to go outside an hour later–it was snowing so thick that I could only see a few metres in front of me. When I got back inside, the snow stopped–and rain was falling. I was glad that I bought some good boots that are water resistant and made for the wet snow, over the weekend.

I went online to see the weather reports, and sure enough, we were back into a Snowfall warnings and Winter Alerts, with estimates of up to twenty centimetres. “An’t that lovely” I sad out loud. Some of the guys who were also watching laughed at that. Even those who are hard-core skiers were a little taken back becuase the snow was too slushy for them to any fun with. Yet the weather changed again–back to more rain, then snow again.

I think it is about time that we have some sunshine. I do not care if it is minus ten coleus, I want the snow and rain to stop. The novelty of seeing the huge piles of snow have worn itself away in my mind. We are not freezing to death, but we are sure soaked to the skin. Oh well, maybe this will be a two-season year, summer and winter only.

Snow Removal to Air Plants

Where to begin? First I will talk a little about the snow removal issues that are going on in my little corner of the universe. There has been lots activities on that subject over the four days–to say the least. Second, me and Suz., went to the various local markets, to see old friends and see what lurks in the deals department, or anything that might “tickle our fancies.” It was a win-fall for Suz., as she won a huge basket of goodies in a draw that we entered. Lastly, I finally bought an air plant. Yes, a plant lives in the air, and has no need for soil. How cool is that!

The topic of snow removal has been a hot, yet muted, issue here in the sleepy little town of Terrace. We have been bracing for cooler and more wiled weather, since the weather scientists have been overwhelmingly predicting such. So far, for the this month, they have been right on the mark. So too have the snow removable companies, as they gear up for the bonanza of business. With my case, the snow plough company has been very aggressive with their efforts of make sure we have spotless yards, free of snow, before we start our day. However, with the lull in business over the last few years, they want their share of the pie, and when you are main game in town, it goes hand in had with modern day thinking, to want it all. So any way possible, to charge extra for work, especially when you do business for a large corporation, is oh so natural. At my work, the battle rages, as the snow removal company wants more money for there services, yet at the same time, wanting to leave the contract the way it is. I say, get some competition in this town.

My hat goes off to the very lucky Suz., as she won the huge basket of goodies today. It was kind of amusing, we were eating at the Golden Star Chinese restaurant, when she got the call. The women that called her is also named Suz., so it was kind of funny to know that there are Suz. One, and Suz. Two–they worked that out for themselves. It was Suz., Two that called to let Suz. One, know she won the door prize. Tomorrow, Suz. One will collect her prize.  Yay!

I finally got an Air Plant! I have it sitting on my old lamp by the window. This is a short term solution until I get something more permanent for the plant. The lamp “arm” seems to be a perfect spot for the plant for now, as it is right by the window, and easy enough for me to spry-water it. This was something that I always wanted for a long time (since I heard about them on Twitter, from a contact).

Slush, and the 3D Printer

As the title says, slush seems to be the word of the day, as the weather warmed up to the point that we had rain on melting snow, where lakes are forming in back yards. Just messy! Also, last night, me a Suz., went to the 3D printing gathering at the Terrace, BC Library to get citified to used the printer there. So a happy and exciting day mixed in with the wet and messy outside of an early winter season. Yes, driving around was nice until you had to get out and walk on the sidewalks.

The weather has changed to the extreme yet again as we now move into rainy days, with warmer temperatures, after the 50 plus centimeters of snow from a few days ago that still sits on the ground. Now, I have to say, snow removal here in the Skeena Valley is far superior to what I experienced down in the Fraser Valley. Roads are clear, and most public driveways are completely bare from snow, with snow banks safely pushed away off the roads ways. Driving a small car through the streets of Terrace has been awesome. But, if you are a “walker,” then you might be a little disappointed, as the majority of walkways and sidewalks are either untouched, or flooded with melting snow and rain. Most people walk on the roads anyway, so as a driver, you really need to watch out for pedestrians, especially at night.

Last night, me and Suz., headed down to the public library in Terrace to get our certification for 3D printing at their facility.  The Terrace Public Library held a certification program for their 3D printer where we were given a tutorial on how to create and print our 3D creations. More or less, the theme of last night’s meeting was just to get you “up and running” with the printer. The instructor did not go into any details on using software for creating 3D objects, but rather just covering the different types of software that the printer uses, and where you can find free stuff to print from various websites. We had a short demonstration, seeing the printer work, and a bunch of 3D printed objects that were printed by it, but over all, I have a more clearer idea of 3D printing, and whether or not I want to buy one. We had a great night there.

…and I have a library card too! 

Six Months Later

Today marks a mile-stone since I moved back to the North. It was six months ago today when I undertook that move, the sixteen hour drive, with all my worldly possessions in tow, leaving the hectic and very expensive Southern British Columbia behind, and moving to the more manageable North Coast. I moved for a better life, a special someone, and less stress. All has been very damn great; a move that I should have done years before.