Machine of Metropolis

The most used mechanical machine in my daily life is my is my vehicle. I use it to commute to work, to go shopping and us it take to me to all the other places I need to be that are beyond walking distance. When it breaks down, it takes priority: it gets fixed. During those periods of time when it quite working, my life comes to a screeching halt.

Hexagons Bolts and Nuts - June 26 2016 - Weblog Image

Yesterday my Nissan Pathfinder quit working, leaving me stranded in Fort Langley. Once the engine quit, I could not get started again. It happened right on River Road, just East of town. I got out, looked under the hood and cleaned the battery cable thinking that it could be an electrical problem. After fifteen minutes of checking, tightening, and cleaning, I gave it one more try to start it.

Like it normally does, it fired up in one turn of the starter, as if nothing were wrong with it. I drove home and parked it. I little while later I tried starting it again, and as usual it started up normally. I am puzzled.

I did a tune-up this morning, and tried to start it a couple of time. Each time, the engine came to life, roaring as it started with a burst of momentum. So we will see. I am hoping that during the work week it does not leave me stranded–that would suck.

It’s Official: Summer! Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Summer Solstice! At 3:34pm Pacific (do not for get we are in Daylight Savings Time) the Sun will cross the equator, marking the transition between spring to summer. This makes today the longest day of the year. However, it does not make this time the best for weather, as we can see outside here in Vancouver, British Columbia. There is this effect called seasonal drift, where as the Sun shines longer, and its rays more pronounced, it will take a few weeks for the good weather to catch up in the year. This is why summer starts after the Sun crosses the equator on the longest day of the year. So, in the next few weeks the weather should ramp up into hot and lazy days I so desperately look forward to.

Bonus: Apparently, we were lucky enough to have two full moons in one day! How cool it that!


As the Mosquito Bites

Well here we are, now just hours away from spring ending, and summer starting, the mosquitoes are out in full force becuase it is the perfect weather for them. Not us poor humans who have to suffer through these days of wetness and cool dreary temperatures that Mother nature has thrown at us, but yes to the blood sucking mosquito who are in their element. My proximity to a large body of water makes me prime pickings for the mega-colonies of flies who live among it. The plant life loves it too, and we humans love seeing the plants at their  best, but…

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… so do the mosquitoes.

With an air conditioner, I at least can afford to keep the doors and screens closed during those moments when the Sun does shine through the clouds, but for mean time, I keep a heater going at night. Yes, it gets that cool here at night. Such weird weather for June. I do not dare open my front door for any unnecessary period of time, leaving that portal to Mosquito Hell open. At any time just one trapped inside will make my life full of misery.

Just picture me, waking up from my sleep after hearing the buzzing sound of a mosquito flying around my head as it is searching for that tender spot of unprotected flesh in which to sink its needle like sucker into me with. Then I jump up, turning on the light so I can hunt it down, searching for it, looking to see where it has perched: on the floor, walls, ceiling, dresser, anywhere. Then I stand still, waiting to draw it out: hoping for a clean kill. Then SMACK, as I see it, my arm swings to strike, and then hope for the death blow. Only will I rest when I see its flatten carcass smeared on the surface from which I aimed my mighty blow upon it.

On Monday the summer Solstice will occur that afternoon, and yet I would not know it when I look outside now with the clouds and cold dampness. Summer still seems so long away, like we are trapped in spring until the winter returns. What happened? We were looking so good in May when we had that early start to the hot summer like whether? I hate El Nino and Climate Change.

It is Juneuary Here On the Wet Coast, not June.

Well, just when you thought the weather could get more weird, Mother Nature throws another one at us. This time it is cool weather in the middle of June. Yesterday when I got home from work, I swore I could see my breath inside my home. I kid you not! For the last three days I have been turning on the heat at night, but yesterday I left it on all day. Oh, and then there is the sudden rain, then sunshine, then back to rain with in minutes. It is hard to decide what to wear when walking outside.

Today, is a little better, but by not much. It is cool, and we did have our periods of downpours, but right now we are holding out with the sunshine. But in my home, it is cool, and I feel that I may leave the heat on again for the night. This morning it was quite cool, and I only left my bedroom heat on, so I think tonight I will leave the heat on throughout the house.

It seems that we are going to have this cool weather for the rest of the week, but next week they are promising that we are going back to our warm weather patterns. It better, we are only a few days from the Summer Solstice! Think about it? The longest day of the year, and it snowed on the mountains here in the Frazer valley! It is JUNE for crying out loud. JUNE, not Juneuary! LOL

Saying Bye Bye To My Nocturnal Life

It is official! I am no longer a night shift employee. The paperwork was signed and made official late today, and then quietly my status as a vampire changed to an almost normal day time worker. Actually, I have been working the afternoon shift for almost two weeks now, so I am pretty much on the day shift, but now it is official.

I had known about this since February, and learned that the Receiving position was going to be available since April. It was probably one of the worse kept secrets in the whole building over the last four month. The worker who left wanted it kept a secret, well, he could not keep it very well. I was told by three management personnel on three different occasions, so the cat did not stay in the bag for long.

Anyway, in all, I got what I wanted. I do loose the night shift premium, about a $1.30 per hour, but a small sacrifice for keeping normal hours. Already my sleep patterns are coming back to normal; everything is open when I am up now.

No more nocturnal life–hello to the sunshine.

June is Here, Not Enough Sleep

Still catching up on sleep, mostly from having the time of my life while on vacation, it is sure hard getting back into the grove of my so called normal life. Yes, “normal life.” I do not know what that means any more. As I come back from a week of happiness, I jump back into a work environment where I will jump from a couple days of night shift, then working an early morning shift, then covering for other’s who are vacation. Oh, but it does not stop there: then I start what is my new normal shift, something like 1:00pm to 9:30pm, a late afternoon shift, as I replace a fellow worker who just transferred out of the building to another store location. So, ya, normal does not mean anything any more. Sigh.

So June is here. When I left Northern British Columbia, it was hotter up there than is down here in Vancouver. It was is like summer reversed, and it started up North before it took hold down here. Though no doubt it will catch up to us down here, I have the sun burn to prove it as I have to wear a jacket now to work, and it looks weird as my co-workers are still showing their winter untanned skin. Thank goodness I am not pealing. So I had an extra week of summer! Hah!

On a side note, when I went to start my truck after I got home, it started up in less than second! I thought I would be dealing with a dead battery after sitting for so long. I was worried that I would phone someone to give me a battery boost just so I could get to work that night. So the truck is fine.

I know I will be behind on my posts for the next two weeks. I have so many photos to go through and post, plus jumping back into work so fast, I will have very little time to myself. But I have so much to day, and show you all, so stay turned as I get thought everything.

Terrace BC Vacation Part 11: Saying Goodbye and the Ferry Island Trail

Like all good things, they must come to an end, just like they started, but leaving is much much harder to do. So much planning, time and energy went into getting this vacation off the ground, from an idea, to stepping off the plane, it seems like it was just too short of a time in the end. Saying goodbye was as bitter as it was sweet, but this was by no means the end, but the beginning, as I will leave knowing that I will be back again in the near future! Before I left to go back to the Lower Mainland, we spent the morning hiking the Ferry Island Trail on the Skeena River just outside of Terrace. One stand-out feature of the trails are the faces carved into the bark of random trees along the paths. Also, the weather was finally turning, as the Skeena Valley needed the rain badly. So ended my vacation, with a long hug, then boarding the aircraft before I flew off into the Southern sky back home.

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The above image is a flower along the Ferry Island Trail.

It was a great idea to walk the Ferry Island Trial as the big adventure of my stay up in Terrace. The mid morning light was good, and I had my camera with me, as always. Since the last time was walked the trail, a local carver has carved more faces into the bark of some trees along the it. I would even day, as you walk the trail, many eyes now watch you. Kind of creepy when you think of it, but some of the carving look very good. But it is not just faces; some are of little storybook houses, and a few owls too. There are so many that the challenge was to see as many as you could, hoping that you did not miss any. I took well of forty shots of faces alone, so there could be more, but who knows, there was know way of knowing how many there are.

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The above image, I think the carver likes the story “Game of Thrown.” But some of the face carved into the trees were just down right creepy and funny.

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The above image reminds me of an employer I once had many years ago. The image below is your typical back woods Northern Red-Neck, equipped with shotgun and hunting cap.

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Some of the carvings are small, and easy to miss if you are not paying attention.

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Below, a twisted house. I wonder if this carver looks at a tree, and starts carving without knowing what he wants to carve, or does he set out with an image already in his mind of what he wants to carve?

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Well, this is it, the end of the vacation – time to go home. I had a wonderful time here. In all, I captured roughly 900 photographs, and we drove hundreds of kilometres seeing some of the most wonderful sights the Pacific North West has to offer.  I will end this series of Posts saying, “I’ll be back”!

Terrace BC Vacation Part 10: The End of a Perfect Day

The weather has been phenomenal throughout my visit so far. Almost perfect weather, even got the suntan to prove it. When we got back to Terrace from the Lava Beds, we decided to go out, have dinner, then spent the end of the day driving around search for the perfect place to capture the sunset with the camera. It has been a long time since I seen Terrace bathed in the light from the golden hour of sunlight. Even the mountains looked gold in the sunset’s light. It was a beautiful time; good memories!

Terrace BC Old Coop Location - May 26 2016 Weblog Image

Most of the evening I shot with the 28-300mm lens. The above image was taken looking at the old coop store location in down town Terrace, with Terrace Mountain in the background. It was so warm out that I was sweating, but it was worth it as then evening cooled off the sun light kept getting better.

Terrace BC Old Skeena Bridge - May 26 2016 - Weblog Image

Even the Old Skeena Bridge looked great in the golden light. Towards the end of the evening we drove into Thornhill (to the East of Terrace) to shoot Thornhill mountain, as the light was turning the rock face into a golden colour. We even to the school grounds, where we went to school way back in Grades three to seven–and one of us got in a game of hopscotch too. LOL

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The above image was a mountain towards the South, looking from down town Terrace. No idea what the name of it is?

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These next images are shooting Thornhill mountain using my 300mm lens. These are out of the box raw image files with no post editing.

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Normally when I see the rack faces of Thornhill mountain, the colour of the rock is a black-greyish colour, but when the setting Sun lights them up, what a transformation. I always wanted to shoot the faces with my telephoto lens. For years, as a kid, I would look at the rock faces, and wonder how they got to be the way they are now. Of course, today, I know it was the glaciers from the last ice age and the mountain being pushed up from the Earth that carved them up this way.


Terrace BC Vacation Part 9: The Lava Beds In the Nass Valley

The last leg of our trip along the Lava Beds of the Nass Valley took us right to the heart of the lava flows where the molten rock came to rest. Here, from one side to the other of the valley, it is all covered with lava flows. We drove right to Gotwomksihlky, one of the Westerly villages of the Nass Peoples. Like magic, when we crossed the Nass River, the lava flows disappeared. But what a weird feeling, walking on top of the lava flows. Oh, one little bit of trivia: This is Canada’s most recent volcanic active area in the country. These lava flows are less than 300 years old.

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The above image is one of the tree casts that were created when the lava flowed around a tree, and cooled really fast, then the tree rotted away over time leaving an impression. There are bigger ones in the Nass Valley, but we did not travel that far from the road to find them. This one was good enough.

Even thought most of the lava flows were good for walking, you really had to watch out for the lava tubes, and huge cracks that appeared randomly. The lava is sharp, and the pits/cracks/holes you could easily get trapped inside them.

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One thought that came to me was how barren the lava surface was, even after nearly 300 years, large areas are void of large plant growth. Even large areas had very little moss growing on the ricks. The above image shows how diversified the growth is, yet sparse.

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Lastly, the above image shows the area that was covered by the lave (from one of the information stations posted at the Park). The area that the lava covered is really not that large, but it was enough to wipe out some settlements, and killed many people who were trapped.

Terrace BC Vacation Part 8: The Lava Beds Water Falls

Next on our tour of the Lava Beds are the water falls that dot the river that flows over the lava. First, the water, it is green in colour were there are ponds and slow flowing streams. Some of the water falls themselves are quite fast flowing, despite their size. And I should apologize about the names, I just forgot what water fall is which. I will need to consult my girlfriend when she reads this post as to what each body of water is called.

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Like I said: green. Although the water is very clear, I think becuase of all the minerals from the lava, the water tints green.

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The above falls, I think is called the Vetter Falls. Again, like I said, I much with my girl friend on these. Sadly, this was a close as we could to this water fall. The Park built a viewing platform that we could stand one to view the falls.

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The above two images are the smaller water fall, just a few kms down stream from the larger water falls. And like the previous spot we went to, there was a viewing platform also to stand on to watch the water at a safe distance. I used a telephoto (300mm) lens to capture these.

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The last image is the river flowing over the lava beds. Amazing how clear the water is here – pure mountain water.

ADDED (June 23, 2016): “Oops… guess I’ve been delinquent on reading the posts 🙂 The green waters was part of Ross Lake, the big waterfall was Beaupre Falls, and the shorter ones were Vetter Falls.”