Ten More Days, And It Is Snowing!

First of all, it is snowing here in Thornhill, BC. It is coming down with the rain, though I do not think it will stay, they are the nice thick fluffy snowflake, just enough to stick to the wind shield of your car. All the parked vehicles have that ominous coating of slushy goodness on them, but I highly doubt it will stay. So, with the snow, comes ten more days until Halloween! Could it be a white Halloween here in the Skeena Valley?

I think I am going to go simple this Halloween with my costume being it will be at work. I have to think of safety and whether I can work in it, as prime factors. So, I might have some simple prosthetics with fake blood, and just wear my regular work cloths for the event. Keep everything simple. But I am excited!

I just hope it does not snow to hard on that day. The bad weather came early this year. Wow! We are on our fourth nasty storm of the season already, and they say more is to come yet for October.

I Bought the Car!

I finally got it! I own a new set of wheels! I have transportation again! Yes, I bought a 2014 Ford Focus. Sure, it is a used, err ummm, pre-owned car, but it is in very good condition. With just over 62,ooo KM on the odometer, it sort of feels like a new car, well to me anyway. When I took the car for a test drive the week before, It handled nice, tight steering, good traction, and the engine sounded great–could hardly hear it. With a black body, and black and grey on the interior, the looks very black. And it has a lot of stuff into.

Getting financing was at story unto itself. For nearly two weeks I had tried to a loan. Two major hurdles. First, I only lived up here for lass than six months. Second, with my very good wage, I still had only worked for my current employer for just over three months. This put me in the “high risk” category. Remember, I nearly had three-quarters of the money already sitting in my saving. My goal was to bolster up my credit to eventually buy a house. So I was comfortable borrowing the money, the question was from who, Bank or Dealership financing?

A bump in the road to buy a car from my Bank’s loan was that the car could be no older that a 2013, and had to be in the range of twelve thousand dollars. The issue here was that it takes time for the Bank to give me the green light for that vehicle. So, sadly, I lot the first two cars I was looking at becuase of this huge waiting process from my Bank. Although I final got this car through the Bank’s loan, it was a nail biter.

My other option for the loan was to go through the dealership’s financing. Sure, I passed that hurtle, but the For Focus that I eventually bought, had was a called a “Declaration” against it, meaning it had been in a accident, repaired, but the loan could not be issues becuase of it. So, dealership loan was out for this car, and there were no other cars that fit what I wanted to spend. I had my personal limits too.

So, the dealership kept the car, as long as I made an offer, which meant I did not put money down on it, but told them that my Bank was going look over everything before they approve the car. My Bank wanted to see the paper work, with stuff link VIN numbers and dealership’s information, before they would give the OK for me to buy it.

The car was worth more than the loan, so some of the money came out for my savings. No problem, I was OK with that. But it did ass to the time waiting with my Bank. But it was all cleared up.

In the span of one week, the car was mine. I took it off the lot today at 4:30pm. Remember that I had to take a copy of the ownership papers to my Bank, then get the car insurance, and then go back to the dealership to get the keys. Thank you, GM MacCarthey for the courtesy car with driver, so that I could get to and from the Bank and insurance building without having to walk. They were awesome!

Now I do not have to walk to work! Yay!

A Wet Weekend, Looking At a Wet Copper Mountain

It was a soggy day. Although it rained for most of it, it did matter what side of the valley you went to. On the Thornhill side, it seemed to be really good, while going out to Lakesle Lake, it rained like there was a storm from Hell, and of course, down town Terrace was awesome. We eventually had dinner in Terrace before we called it a day. But before that, I took some photos while we were travelling around, near the Rifle Range, at the foot of the Copper Mountain.

Still about three kilometres away, even with a 300mm telephoto lens, the rocky face of the Copper Mountain, looks huge. Look through the camera, counting the waterfalls was almost impossible. There was quite a bit of mist to shoot through, so my photos looked fairly hazy. In the above photo, this was one of the dry spots from the rain. To the left of the photo, you can see one of the many power-lines going up to the towers on top.

The waterfalls look awesome with the rock formations. You can sort of see the scale of the rock face by the size of the trees in the photos. I am not sure how high the Copper Mountain is, but I would say it is somewhere around 800 to 900 metres. You can drive to the top of it. Perhaps one day, a trip to the top is in order, once I can find a truck, and taking my camera. I was up once already this year, during work, but I did not have my camera with me at the time.

Anyway, the weather prognosticators are saying that the rest of the week is going to by soggy in the Skeena Valley. Though far from having snow falling, it is getting cooler. I would be not surprised if this area does not have an early snowfall. That is just me, as I am not fully climatized from the Lower Mainland yet. LOL

All Eyes Looking

The quest for the vehicle continues. Right now, it is deciding whether to go with what the Bank has offered me, or go with what the dealership can do. But for now, I am still looking. I have already lost two great deals becuase my Bank took so long drawing up the paperwork, and I fear I might loose another becuase these things take so long to do up here–I just got approval, but at a lot less than what I need for around here. But at least I have options, so I decided to give the other side of the street a look, in other words, I might skip the Bank altogether and just go with dealer financing instead.

I totally understand, or at least I think I do, the inner workings of what buying a car is all about. Each dealership seems to have slight variations on selling vehicles. Some include the sales tax and dealership fees, while others do not. Some have “special buys” with tax included, while other “special buys” come with packages attached that usually cost extra money. One dealership that I went to told me that all of their cars have no tax included on the sticker price, or other fees attached. So, going car shopping means you are confronted with a sale person who wants the deal to go their way, so you have no idea what is in fact a good deal or not, but they make it sound so good that you are getting a break. The question is, are you getting a break?

So I think I found a car that will get me by for now. I am going to go with the dealership financing instead of the Bank pre-approved loan, just becuase it is fast for everyone. Sure, my Bank will loose their cut, but they still have me as a customer. All I want is a car, albeit a used one, but still new enough that I can sell it again, and go for something I really want later on when build my credit score, or buy it out-right.

I had no idea that buying through a dealership up here in Terrace was a pain. Now I see why so many choose to save first, then buy out-right. It makes sense now. Even talking to people who have awesome credit scores, and good financial connections, are still faced with a huge waits. It is way different than what services you get down in the Lower Mainland in my humble opinion. But I can not knock anyone person directly–everyone has been great helping me out. I understand that I am asking to borrow money, so I do not mind paying extra for that, but I need a car now, not later.

So tomorrow I try again. This time me a Suz., will go down together and look. Maybe the Car Gods will be on my side then, and all will work out. For now, all eyes are looking in all directions, searching for that car with the right fit.

Getting Ready – Halloween is Around the Corner

With just over two weeks to go, I decided that I should start getting the decorations for Halloween this weekend, rather than waiting until next week. Now, I am not going to do anything at my home becuase I probably will not be there for Halloween night when the kids come around. All of this will be for at my work. I have my own little office there, so I am free to do what ever I want with it, as long as it fits within safety and human rights guidelines. This should be no troubles for me. I do plan on dressing up too for the event at my work, since Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year.

I am not sure whether or not I will buy treats and candies, but I will leave that option open for when the times comes. I am sure my co-workers will do stuff too. I know I will not spend a lot, probably keeping my budget down to twenty-five dollars or so. I just want to keep fun factor high. I love this time of year, and I think our Federal Government should make Halloween a Holiday here in Canada.

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Not a Good Day For a Swim at Gruchy’s Beach

Hummm, lets see? What is new and exciting? Well, I think I found my new vehicle. Me and Suz., went and checked it out in town yesterday. It is green and just a little over ten grand, but there is hope from one of the salesmen that came to greet us, the price may drop down to eight. Of course this all is in hopes of either going through my Bank, or dealing with the dealership’s own financing. I am hope to go through the Bank instead. We drove around a bit in her car, as my hurting Pathfinder has bit the dust. I am going to wait to until I fix, maybe throw it up for sale. But this is the long week, Thanksgiving, so I am taking it easy today. We went out to Gruchy’s Beach, for a quick walk before we go to tonight’s Thanksgiving feast.

It was not a good day for a swim out in the lake. Once you got over the cold, about 13C out today, then you would have had to dealt with the wind. It was windy at the beach. But, a good day for a hike. In general, it was a good day walking around the beach in the sand. Lots of fresh air, and not another person around, except for the five people and two dogs we past as they were leaving the park. And it did not rain!

So, tonight it is Thanksgiving dinner. I love this time of year becuase of the turkey dinners smothered with cranberries–salivating already just thinking about it. But sadly, this also marks the time of year when you unpack your winter jackets and boots, and if you have not done so already, get the snow-tires on your vehicle–sniff–sniff-if you have one that works. But the awesome part, Halloween is almost three weeks away! So Happy Thanksgiving, and have a great long weekend!

Terrace Transit: The Pathfinder that Packed it In

My vehicle died on me this week, right around mid Wednesday, so I had to do a bit of walking to get around. Fortunately Terrace is a small place both in size and distance; getting around by walking is very possible, it just costs you some extra time. So rather than paying for taxies and bumming rides off of my friends, I just started walking. Then yesterday, I walked to pick up my wounded vehicle from the shop, but they told me that they would not work on it. Go figure–bastards. So I drove it home. This morning, I walked into work, but this time I thought I would use the transit system to get home. First time transit user in Terrace, British Colombia–here I come.

So in preparation of using the transit system, I did a bit of home work. Sadly, the maps and transit times found on-line, were vague and very general. So until I took my first trip, I had no idea what lays ahead. The maps they post on-line were very basic. They tell you what roads each bus will take, but if it travels over the same road twice, or several bus routes go over the same area, then you have no idea when your bus will travel it. So between the Number 3 bus, and the Number 5 going out to Thornhill, I went past Walmart Twice. They do not point out where each bus stop is either. So I had to guess where I should be at what time on the bus route, except for the designated resting points. I choose one of the “Timing Stops,” or resting stops, according to the map as my pick-up spot. It meant that when I got off from work, 3:30pm, I had thirteen minutes to travel half a kilometre to that stop. Of course, hind-sight being twenty-twenty, I could have stayed right at my work and waited eight extra minutes for the same bus, and waved it down!

I got on the bus at Braun and Medeek Street. Even though I raced down to that intersection, timing myself, I still waited eleven extra minutes after the posted time lapsed. Needless to say, for two dollars, I was happy to see it, and be on it. I asked for a transfer, since I had get off at the Skeena Mall, to transfer over to the Thornhill Number Five bus, for the last leg of my journey. In the end, it took almost fifty-six minutes to get home, versus the one hour walk it took me to walk it this morning. The benefit of talking the bus compared to walking, was very little walking–I still had to walk one kilometre to my home.  In all, I was happy, and my feet too. I understand how that part of the transit systems truly works now that I tried it. I know better next time.

As for my wounded Pathfinder, well, I blew the fuel-line, rusted right off. Where it mounts to the frame, it is very rusty, so it makes repairing it difficult. It cannot be driven as is becuase it spews fuel at a rate of one cup per hour. I am in the process of buying a new car or truck, so that is what I will focus on this weekend.

Oh, I almost forgot, this is a long weekend! This is the Thanksgiving Weekend! Yay!

Those Busy Bees

During our Sunday roaming around town, we stop at the top of the “Bench” in Terrace, where Kalum Street climbs up on the hill. At the top of the hill, there is a turn off, where the city put a picnic table and some flowers, and you can sit and watch the town below. In the flowers, there were many bees. So I took my Macro lens, my 30mm prime, and shot this bee at F2.8 at about three/five centimetres away.

I like this photo–for those of you who like purple things–this is your shot. The bee just adds to it. I could have got closer, but the fear of getting stung we lingering in my thoughts!

I guess this is the home stretch for the honey bees, as they prepare for the winter. This Bee was going like crazy, working this flower for all it was worth. There were lots of others too, but you had to be quick with your camera to get good shots.

The Couch Out On the Skeena

Back on Saturday, (September 30, 2017) I took a walk down to the Skeena River, just off of Queensway Road, on the Thornhill side, across from Ferry Island, and Terrace, BC, and came upon a couch laid  out on the sand. Call it what you may, a  sofa, settee, or chesterfield, I call it a couch, it made me laugh, sitting on the shores of the Skeena. You can see it from both the old and new bridges. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Some would say this is an eye sore, and some would laugh at it, but the question my girlfriend asked was, “I hope they made it so it won’t pollute the river when the water starts to get high.” She is right, this garbage that should not be on the river’s shore. This is like throwing out your garbage out, and worse, putting it out into the public view so everyone can see it when they cross the river into town.

Many who go down to the river’s edge, like to make camp fires, and either fish, or do it for other recreational activities.  The couch, it seems, was for such people who would want to sit in the lap of luxury in the middle of the wilderness, but ask this question, would you sit on it after a day’s rain?

Lakelse Ave at Clinton Street – A Fall Day In Terrace BC

I guess you could call this street photography at its best, being that these are shots of the street, though few people are in them. But, I was keeping with my fall theme going on the blog, more or less, shooting the colourful trees as they go through their autumn change. Pretty much in less than three to four weeks all the leaves should be gone, and the onset of winter will dominate the landscape. So I wanted to capture as much of this as I could with stretch of awesome weather was are having. Below, here is what the trees look like along Lakelse Avenue, looking West into the down town core of Terrace, BC.

The maple trees just look stunning with all their different colours in the sunshine. It was about 17C, with no wind, and of course being a Sunday, the traffic was next to nothing along this stretch of road. This was on the North side of the road, just West of Clinton Street.

Like I said, the town was not very active this time of day, so I had no troubles standing on the middle of Lakelse Avenue, shooting photos with my camera. The above shot was looking due West, into town. An almost perfect day for a Sunday walk around town. I should also add that most of the traffic is on the South of town, where the New Bridge enters into Terrace, (on the other side of the tracks), so this stretch of Lakelse Avenue does not get used that much any more. This is where you would enter town, coming from the Old Skeena River Bridge (which you will see in the shot below).

This is looking East, at Clinton Street, on Lakelse Avenue, leading out of town.

Anyway, I took a huge number of photos today, as we walked around town. We walked the foot path along Highway 16, in town, right up to the Kalum Highway turn off. So I am going to make another post on that. Stay tuned!