My Old Home From 1972

Last Friday, I took a walk around the block, the one that I live on now, and for one reason and one reason only, I wanted to see my old home from 1972-73. When I was just we lad, way back, I lived here (see images). My parents were just starting out, and it was just me and my sister at the time. Thornhill and Terrace, BC were totally different then they are now today, as the populations of the towns was much smaller. There were more kids then, but it the place was not kid friendly, or at least from my point of view. But we kids made due with what we had, and somehow we made it work. But it was fun to see the old apartment buildings up close, and I was amazed that they are still standing!

A few notes of interest. The pine trees on the right, those were about a little taller than I was in 1972. I figure the building are at least fifty-five years old, built circa 1960. Back then, they were a kind white stucco, with crushed glass in it for siding, and it was not paved. In general, all the buildings are exactly the same as they were back then.

The apartment we lived was number three, about where the red mini van is parked. My parents move around quite a bit when I was young, so I really never had a “attached” home that I called my own except this one, other than our home out in Old Remo, about eight kilometres from Terrace. So when I look back at this place, this was truly one of my most memorable childhood memories growing up.

I cannot believe that these buildings are still standing!

Onion Lake, and the Clearwater Lakes Trails

Nestled almost between Terrace and Kitimat British Columbia, are the Onion and the Clearwater Lakes Trails system. Me and my partner decided to take on the Clearwater trails today. None of us have been here before, so this was going to be an adventure. We knew the trails total length was about six kilometres, and that there were side trails to take as well. It was fairly overcast as we started out, but the good news, the rain held off the entire time we were there, even getting better as we moved on. Sure, there were some mosquitoes, but they only bothered us when stopped on the trail. The starting point for the hike starts at Onion Lake, just off of highway 16, near Lakelse Lake.

There are three lakes to see on these trails, starting with Onion Lake, plus you follow Clearwater Creek for the last part of the trek between two smaller lakes, Upper and Lower Clearwater Lakes. Also, I should point out, the trail that takes you over to the “look out” where you can see Lakelse lake, well, you will be disappointed. We could only see a little bit of the lake, as trees obscured our view. Other than that, the trail was awesome!

As shown in the map, the above image, there is a steep part as you are coming from Onion Lake to Lower Clearwater Lake, it only hurts when you are coming back. I can assure you, the hike is well worth the climb. It is not that bad, as we passed kids hiking up it, young as ten years old. I would say me and my girlfriend passed about ten hikers along the way; the trails are quite popular. There are several rest areas along the way too. The creek flows from the Upper Clearwater Lake, to the Lower, and eventually down the valley. I am not sure if it runs into Lakelse lake, or not?

The path along Clearwater Creek is awesome, and we only encountered a couple muddy parts, but nothing to worry about with running shoes on. The trail is well maintained. And yes, the water here is very clear!

Also, you are aided with bridges and wooded walking paths in some areas of the creek portion of the trail, and when you hike around the two lakes. There was one section of the tail were we encountered small sink-holes. So watch your step around the lakes. 

The water in the lakes is very clear, and in the deep areas of the lake, a weird blueish-green colour. For the most part, the water is crystal clear. I guess the water here does live up to its name.

The above image was taken at Upper Clearwater Lake. The water is about a metre deep here. The image below, is a shot of the water flowing along the creek, taken from off the walking bridge just past Upper Clearwater Lake.

It was good hike! My leg feel it, and I am sure I am going to feel it tomorrow. But it was worth it. Yes, I would hike this trail again, though I might bring some bug spray next time around.

A Little Update On the Job

A couple of things, first, it is now one month since I pulled into town, and second, today is the day I went solo at my work. But before I will go into all that, I just want to take a few moments on our weather. Terrace, British Columbia is notorious about it’s weather. It is either too warm, or too cold, and it rains here a lot, but it is known to have its dry spells as well, for the most part, it is mild year round. The one thing I can say right now, there is no danger of forest fires here. We did get up to “Medium” rating, but we were far from any “High” rating, or super hot weather to cause us any warnings of forest fires. So, that being said, it is currently raining, lightly, and is 16C according to my window thermometer. 

So, today was the day that I went solo at my work. Normally, employees who under go the training, will get at least two weeks training, with a few more weeks of guidance. Not me. I got two days of getting all my paper work done for my personal data, with employee processing. Then I got four days of training, sort of the rush-avalanche of everything I need to know, then thrown into the deep end to run an entire warehouse all by myself today. Oh sure I had my managers to call upon, and the lead supervisor to ask for help, but in general, it was just me.

The tasks I have for the job are very straight forward. Like every other warehouse I have worked in, this place is no different. The logistics are the same. Inventory is the same. And the shipping and receiving are standard. The difference with this place are, the hugely complex procedures, and multiple systems that have to be used. It is just horrendous. If it were not for my background in software, computers and online networks, the mountain may have been to steep to climb. In essence, there are six main software, and multiple procedures to follow, to get the basic job done.

To more a box from one end of the warehouse to the other, you need to run three pieces of software, and do about twenty minutes of procedural work to do that job.  On top of that, there are about ten different categories for freight earmarked for general uses. And with a small work force, this complex system is riddled with mistakes and errors. Then there are the daily, weekly and monthly reports; each with its own special flavour of needs and details. There is always something to hand in, or audit.

I will not get into the mobile equipment, but hold on for some funny tails later on.

I can say I am loving it. The job is very good, only becuase it is a low volume location. Most of the workers have been there for well over two decades, so most everyone knows their job well. And the pay is awesome. I think I will do nicely here.

A Weekend From Lakelse Lake to the Exchamsiks River Park

This weekend was wonderful, although it tried to rain, and cloud over, me and my girl friend seemed to drive around the bad weather and stay in the great stuff. Actually, the holes in the clouds seem to follow use, showering us with some really good sunshine while the rain stayed on the other side of the Skeena Valley. Only when we went inside for dinner, or driving down the highway, it poured like cats and dogs. We travelled from Lakelse Lake to the Exchamsiks River Provincial Park, and stopped off at many places in between. When we went to the lake, we travelled down toward the Beam-Station, on Beam Station Road, to the North end of the lake.

Again, like I said in the previous post, it was many years since I was on this spot on the lake. This place also changed a lot. What really surprised me were the size and scope of the houses that are here. This is a rich persons place to live. Most of the homes are in the $800,000.00 dollar range. A little to rich for my blood and wallet. This was our first stop on our road trip.

Our next stop, after the Lakesle Lake, was the Lakesle River, which took us into Old Remo, my old neighbourhood. My girl friend said that she had never been here before. Then off to the Exchamsiks River!

And like everything else, this place changed a lot to for me. Year ago, the park was laid out differently than it is now. There used to be a large parking lot just off of the highway, and some cleared areas for camping. Now, there is a smaller parking lot, about half the size, and no room for campers that I could see. However, now, there are walking paths, and of course, you can still get to the river.

Even with the cloudy weather, the river and huge cliffs did not disappoint the eyes. It was awesome. The water was a beautiful green colour, and the sand was the usual red colour. But the trees were huge, and numerous. Also, were the mosquitoes. Sadly, once they got a taste of our blood, they called their friends, and the next thing we knew, a swarm of them surrounded us, and the feeding frenzy commenced. They were pure evil. So we left faster than we came.

First Full Day On the Job

Today marks my first full day on the job, and I could not be more stoked about it than any other job I worked on. It was one of those days with all training and paperwork for the first bit, but the last half of it was spent actually doing the job, so I felt like I was a head of the curve. A lot of the job I know, just names and learning new software, were different from what I use to. In fact, I was say, if it was not my previous experience, I would not be as far I as I am right now. I have lots of keys, and several passwords; oh the responsibilities I have now-gosh. Anyway, the job is a low volume location, but very steady. We will see what the future brings.

So I get up out of bed, at six, and at work for seven am, and home by three-thirty pm. Not bad, since I have no train tracks to cross, little traffic to deal with, and the distance to work from my place is seven kilometres! This morning I saw only four or five other cars on the road; is was awesome dealing little traffic. I get to work way before the rest of the regular staff do, so this makes first couple of hours quite pleasant, and when I can most of the bulky tasks done. Once the rest of the workers arrive, I am usually in the office by then, which is prefect becuase that is when the questions start. So for an hour, I deal with those.

The teams I work with are awesome too. There is a very laid-back attitude with all of the staff. There are those who are very professional, and those who want to get the job done with as little hassle as possible. But, for the most part, it is a low key atmosphere to work in. As long as you stay on top of your duties, all will go well, for me and everyone around.

Of course, learning a new system, comes dealing with minor hitches in time and an efficacies. I am slow on the scanner, but only becuase that is totally new software that I have to learn. Then there is the Inventory software that seems to be a mesh-mash of ten pieces of software welded together. It has its moments when it decides not to work. But everything else is routine and common for me to do.

The hard part will be working alone. A large part of the job is working solo. So keeping myself busy, and setting up a schedule is totally upon me to do. There are “Check Ins” and other means for head office to track me, but there will be no one to physically keep me company. They say, there will lots of days with boring times to deal with over the course of this employment. This will be a shock to deal with for me, coming from a place with over two hundred and fifty employees, and working full-out at one hundred and ten percent-none stop–flat out. Am I ready for this. LOL

Terrace, BC – Up On The Bench

When I finally made my stop in town, I stopped at the top of Skeenaview Drive, and Sparks Street, right at the look out rest area. I have taken photo from here before, like my night shots and a couple of times during the early afternoon, but today, I took these around 9:00am, so I had the morning light–far better for shooting with. I used my 14mm lens, which I thought showed a more accurate view when you go up here with.

Below, is a shot of the look out area. They added a flower bed and put in block pad for the seat, since I was here last. It looks nice.

Nothing like a wide lens for scenic view like this. The temperature was about 13C, with a slight breeze–just enough to keep the flies away. When the Sun came out, it warmed up a lot. We are far from a heat-wave here. LOL

There is British Columbia Baking Away, and Then There is the North Coast

As you already may have heard, we are in the heart of forest fire season, and ninety percent of British Columbia is stuck in the grip of a nasty heatwave. But we here in Terrace, and the surrounding area are “blessed” with clouds and rain. The entire North Coast region sits under cool cloudy weather, while the rest of the Provence is “baking away” from the hot dry weather trapped down there. One would say it is awful that we have the clouds and rain, but think about it, I would rather have the clouds than the scorching heat of the Lower Mainland, where I just came from.

I just heard on the news that the little town of 100Mile House has been evacuated, and along with it, a number areas around it. My heart goes out to those people.

I could not live in that heat. I never liked it, and as a twist of luck as I moved up here, I left on the first couple of days after the start of the heatwave back on June 21, 2017 in Langley Township. Here, in Terrace, it has been awesome as far as the weather goes. We are very mild compared to the rest of British Columbia, and for the next week, we have rain on tap to look forward to. No threat of forest fires here. In fact, right now, there are no camp-fire bans. The parks are wide open.

Anyway, we all know that all this could change, as Mother Nature (prise Nature) can change on a dime, and we may face a heatwave. There is plenty of summer left for 2017. So fingers crossed.

UPDATE: The Government of British Columbia just issued a Provence wide campfire ban as of today (July 10, 2017), until October.

A Job!

Very good news: I GOT A JOB! Well, not just any type of job, but one that I know very well, and I am very experienced at. I found a warehousing type job, but this one pays in the order of over twenty dollars an hour, and on top of that, nearly full benefits. I just found out about it on Friday, and then the flurry of paperwork started afterwards. In all, I am very happy with it. I run the warehouse, doing everything from shipping and receiving, ordering, inventory control and more. Also, they told me that there is no over-time period. That is music in my ears! Of course I will not disclose the company’s name here on my weblog, but let us just say they are well known in these parts.

Another point I would like to make, all the resumes that I sent out, I have got replies back–all of them. My girlfriend said that it is my experience, becuase most people here do not have the opportunities like I had from being down South, and the number of years at it, like I did. Also, most of the jobs that I applied were low wage jobs–I want to stress that. Then there are my “custom resume” ways of doing things. Every job, I type up a tailored resume and cover letter, in the hopes that the would-be employer will see what they want to see as opposed to having one that is a bio of my life. Regardless, there is work here, and some good paying jobs at that.

I start next Tuesday. I just did my criminal background check, and then start the processing for my employee identification. That nearly took an hour to do at lightening speed. Photographed, scanned and signed my life. And there is more to come!

Not bad–two weeks here and I found work. How sweet is that.

Flies – Lots Of Them!

I can say one thing, “I have not been in a place in Canada that has not got any flies during the summer.” Yes, I said it, I got flies here too, and lots of them. Up until now, today, the flies have not been that bad, but today, wow. The only thing that I changed, was setting up the fan in the bedroom, on the South side of my apartment. So I am pushing out my apartment air on the North side, in the shade, and the flies love it. If it was not for the screen, there would be a hundred of them inside.

Right now, the flies sit on the screen, waiting, searching for a weakness to break in. When I set the fan up on “high,” they went berserk, and most of them flew away, only to come back in greater numbers. Before I took this photo, there were about fifty flies on the screen, but the camera scared most of them away. Now that it is getting later in the day, the flies seem more active. But some still sit on my screen, waiting.

Ah, The Old World Has Not Changed One Bit

Life here in Terrace has been pretty laid back so far. No major stresses or outstanding worries, and most of the people here out in town have been very friendly. But my apartment block is a whole other world! So far, I have met about eighty precent of my neighbours. Out of that, maybe half have a job, and the other half, I am not sure. The little old lady who lives three doors down from me is another story, but I will type a little about her in this post. The new boys next door, well, it had only been five day since they moved in, and already I am thinking about getting out of here, as they drew the line for me. And the smoking, and begging…!

It has been hot here for the last week, so naturally I have been leaving my windows open. I bought some good screens to keep the flies out, and I have a fan blowing clean air from the back bedroom window. So far, today, it is 24C inside, and 28C outside. The weather has been fantastic, so say the least. I got up about 8:00 am, and made some breakfast and coffee to start the day with. I also have my computer set to watching the news, live streaming it, so I catch up on the day’s events. Then all of a sudden a face presses up against my front window–it was the little old lady from two doors down. She poke her head in as far as she could, and asked, “How are you. I was wondering if I could barrow $20.00 dollars from you?” I am setting in my chair in disbelief, “You are kidding” I thought. I replied, “No.” For several seconds she stood there, looking at me, then she got the hint and left. I am still a little freaked out about that. Nothing is private any more.

But last night took the cake. The two boys that moved in next door to me, well, they were drunk. They sit outside, smoking of course, and talking to each other about how the world owes them, and why they deserve so much more. I was totally caught off guard when one of them asked me if I had Internet, wifi, and if I could share it with until he got hooked up. Before I could answer him, the other fellow asked if I had booze of my own because they needed more. Rather than answering them, I just got into my truck and drove away. Long story–short, I did not get anything from the store–their Interact/Credit machines were out, so I came straight back home. The boys were just walking out when I pulling in. They asked me if I could give a lift down the road, and I said no, becuase I am going home and probably going to bed after that. After some obscenities, they waved me away, and kept on walking towards town. By this time, they could barely walk on their own from being so drunk. Yes, the wild West, or something.

Sometimes I think I am the only one that does not smoke cigarettes. When I took this place, the landlord specifically said to me that these apartments were none smoking. I think everyone here smokes. This is why I have the fan blowing air inside from the back room as opposed to having it in the front room. Sometimes they sit outside in front of their apartments to have their cigarettes, so the smoke drifts into my place if I have windows open. It is tolerable.

The one saving grace is there is hardly any noise, like partying, fighting, and music. So far, the place has been awesome for being quite. I hear the odd bit of noise, but in general, it is very quiet.

Like my girlfriend said, you expect this sort of thing for the rent money you are paying. I can say, with all honesty, I picked a low income area to live, for the value that I am paying. Well, the options were slim to say the least at the time before I moved here, but yes, I see another move in the near future.