As the Bubble Expands, Again

With news of the LNG project getting its second life at becoming reality once again, here in Terrace, BC, the real estate market seems to be erupting again right along with it, like it did when Reo Tinto brought wealth and prosperity to the valley. In fact, old properties that were once on the market, that I thought had sold, were being re-listed, but at slightly higher prices. It seems that Kitimat is once again the hot bed for the housing market, as speculators move in to take advantage.

My question is, “will the bubble burst, or is this the next wave of the markets moving to even higher house prices”? In hind sight, will this be like it is now in Vancouver, as million dollar homes become the norm? Will criminals take advantage of the boom and start flipping up here, to launder their ill gotten money, as reported on the CBC News in Vancouver this year. Will this be, or added to, a full blown housing crises? Will this be the boom-bust cycle that happens normally up here in the North Coast? So many questions, with no answers.

By comparison, the housing market is very reasonable, compared to the Lower Mainland. The average detached free hold house sells for about three hundred thousand here in Terrace today. I also noticed that hardly anyone is touching the mobile homes and condos, as much as the houses with property, as those inventories move more slowly.  I am starting to see more vacant land up for sale too.

I am holding back, as I wanted to buy in, but seeing what is going on, I may wait longer before I buy. The one property I wanted, did sell, but I herd that they got it for ten thousand less than what was asking. But that was a couple of months ago. And I still have a few conditions left to full fill with my Bank before we can start talking borrowing money. My down payment pile is growing in the mean time.

I am seeing a lot more out of province vehicles too. The majority are from Alberta, but I saw a few from Ontario and Quebec in the mix as well.There are more cars on the roads in the morning and afternoon–a good sign.

So this means that our little town in the Skeena Valley is growing again, as we help Kitimat absorb the boom. Good for the economy, but bad if you are looking to get into the housing market. Great news if you are looking to sell for your retirement nest-egg, but not so good for the low income class who cannot find a home, and afford to rent any more. When will the bubble burst?

The Upgrades on Greig Avenue

It is so nice to finally see work being done to Greig Avenue, in the down town area of Terrace, British Columbia. The way the road was before was pretty bad. There were pot-holes and cracks everywhere on the road, and it looked like it had not seen any maintenance in years. Work started on it a few days ago, and appears that they still may have several more days to go before we get pass through it with our vehicles on brand new pavement.

Speaking about car accidents (from my last post), Terrace has seen quite a bit of motor vehicle accidents over the last three days. Yesterday, while I was on my to the barber shop for a much needed hair cut, over one block from where I was, a car was hit by another, and caused it to flip over on its roof at Lakesle and Kalum Street. That one will be in next week’s paper. There were a few others around town too. Must be the hot weather?

Anyway, Greig Avenue will be awesome once the construction is finished, and we can drive on it once again. I think that it will pick up business in the area once finished becuase drivers will prefer to use it now as a route through town. I know some new buildings are scheduled to be built in the next while on the old Co-op site, so they will be happy with the improvements to the roads. It will be nice once again.

We Had a Little Fender-Bender, But All is Good!

Imagen driving down a very dark highway, and you are going from 80km/h to 100km/h, and way out in front of you, you see a vehicle, then from behind it, sparks at random places on the road, and they are getting closer and closer. Then an object bouncing towards you that you can hardly see becuase of its dark colour. What would you do? The quick thinking Suzette did what most of us would have done: stop to avoid the object. She safely came to a stop, just metres from the object, and this is what we saw.

The object was a metal picnic bench, painted dark green, that was being transported on the back of someone’s pick-up truck, and they never bothered to properly secured it to the deck. It fell off as they accelerated in the 100km/h speed zone, so when it hit the road, it was already travelling a 80km/h. So what we saw from behind were sparks, as it bounced along the surface of the pavement then came to rest.

An emergency stop was initiated. The vehicle behind us also had to stop suddenly to avoid hitting us, and as we heard it brake–at that moment I was happy. But then a second later, a third vehicle was not so quick, and collided into the back of the car behind us, then the car behind us was pushed into us. So now we have a three vehicle accident, and loose objects on the road. We waited, and after a ten second pause, we assessed ourselves, and looked outside. There seemed to be no other sounds of crashing cars–it was safe to go outside.

I will not go into the specifics of what happened to all three vehicles, but I will say this, no one was physically injured. All three vehicles had to be towed away, and the metal bench was taken off the road, so we were thankful that it was just our vehicles that were damaged, not anyone else. However, a few things need to be addressed here.

Let me quote Suzette’s Face Book post, using her words:

This piece of metal lawn furniture fell out of a vehicle last night on Kitimat highway just Terrace side of Hirsch Creek. It caused a 3 car fender bender, no major injuries thankfully. I stopped in time to miss hitting it. The woman behind managed to stop in time to not hit me, but the third car hit her, pushing her into my driver side back quarter. So, all 3 had to be towed. PEOPLE! tie down your loads! If I had not seen the sparks when this fell out of the vehicle, I would have had less notice of something wrong ahead, could have hit it, into my windshield and could have caused a major accident. Now my car is heading to the shop…

Two points. First, the owner of the park bench was the cause of this accident. You never move items on your vehicle without first properly securing them to the vehicle to prevent them from falling off and causing damage to the road, property, and people. This is the law.

Secondly, As a driver, you must drive in a safe manner. This means driving with enough space between you and the driver ahead to stop safely, in case of an emergency. Driving too close is not only bad driving, but in the case of an emergency, you are not going to stop in time to avoid the driver ahead of you. This is the only time, that you are one hundred per cent at fault if you cause the accident.

Anyway, we are all good.

On a side note, I told Suzette today, “we were partly responsible of closing down the Kitimat to Terrace Highway for an hour, yesterday”!



Fireworks at Kitimat BC for Canada Day 2018

We drove back to Kitimat, BC to see the Canada Day fireworks that started at 11:00pm. They lasted about twenty minutes, and were pretty impressive. Other than the mosquitoes, it was an awesome night. The sky cleared up, with very little clouds to threaten us with rain, and it fairly warm too. We parked away from the main parking lot and park to get better shots, and I think it paid off as far as the photos go.

Perhaps we will came back next year!

Happy Canada Day 2018!

“Let the good times roll,” as they say, whisking off first thing this morning to Kitimat, BC to see the parade and other events there. We left around 9:30ish but did not get there until well after 10:00am, as we took our time on the roads–safety first you know. We found a very good parking spot and chose our spot to see the parade, mingled around a bit, everything we great, except for the threat of rain. We brought rain gear and jackets, so we were prepared!

Oddly enough, once the parade started, the Sun poked through the clouds and only sprinkled a couple of times, until the parade was finished, then it let go with a good shower that soaked everything. Oh Mother Nature! So we went from jackets, to shirts, then to rain jackets, in twenty minutes. This is North Coast living in June and July. The great things was the wind (or breeze as we call it here) seem to drive the mosquitoes away–not one bite.

The above image is a City West person in a “Bucket” on a truck, about ten metres in the air, waving the flag along the parade. City West, is the local Cable and Phone company for the North Coast area. They usually hit every event in the North Coast, and as always, they are usually the ones with the most flags on their floats. But there were lots of flags around!

This was my very first time in Kitimat, BC at the Canada Day parade, so all of this was awesome to see. For a small town, they put on a nice event. The Mall had lots of vendors and displays to visit, and tonight we are going back, to see the fireworks, which are huge here. Kitimat is only a fifty-eight kilometre drive away, so we can do it in about forty minutes.


Scored “Awesome” On My Work Audit!

I scored unbelievably well on my work audit. I passed my first year on the job with flying colours, according to my Supervisor. In fact, he told me that he does not like giving out perfect scores, he had to deduct a few points on some over-stock issues I had, but those were minor. Needless to say, I had a near perfect score over-all. He was very pleased.

On Tuesday morning, my supervisor appeared at the office door, totally unannounced, and yelled, “surprise.” He mentioned a few months back that our annual audits were coming up, and that we should be ready for an unexpected visit, by him, to be audited. As promised, he made good on his word. He caught me in the middle of receiving a huge order that just came in, so he saw me in action, in the middle of a chaotic moment, which was good, but shocked the heck out of me. He came in, sat down, and made himself at home on the spare desk. The audit started. 

He checked everything. From my filing, to the placement of the welcome mat at the front door, it all was checked off. Then he went through one year’s worth of inventory, plus the paperwork that came with it, he looked at everything. Nothing was left unturned. Even my email (over twelve months worth) was checked, more of less, to see if I was following up, and replying to everyone.

Today at 3:30pm, it ended. He smiled and said, “you scored ninety-nine per-cent, but I have not given out out a perfect score yet, but I had to dock you on the over-stock issue you have in two places.” So my actual score is 99.5 per cent. In my book, that is an A+!

I will not find out until he has completed all the remote warehouses to see if I scored the highest, or not. He was very pleased, and told me that he was happy that he hired me from all the applicants from last year, when the position came available. He will be with me for a couple of hours tomorrow, until his flight leaves for his next Audit. So maybe five or six more weeks I will know where I stand overall with my score out of all the other warehouses.

National Aboriginal Day in Terrace BC

Today was the celebration of the 2018 National Aboriginal Day here in Terrace, BC, and the event we went to was sponsored by the Kermode Friendship Society held in the George Little Park down town. There were a good number of people out enjoying the start of the summer season, listing to the live music, and the many vendors and food trucks there. It was hard to pin a number, but I would say there were a few hundred people there when we were. And with the weather, even the water park was getting a good turnout. For National Aboriginal Day, the start is on the summer Solstice, or June 21, but becuase that was on a Thursday, today was the first Saturday of this summer, so everyone can get out and enjoy the fun.

Even lots of bubbles, as I got chased by a bunch of them. Actually, I was shooting this set of bubbles, when I felt a splash on my neck, and when I looked around to see what it was, another bubble popped on my forehead. Next thing I knew, there were fifty bubbles headed for me–time to leave. It was all fun! I got lots of bubble shots too, I might post some later on Twitter or here on the Blog in the photo gallery.

The festivities were sponsored by the Kermode Friendship Society, so a shout-out to them for putting this altogether. They did a great job. Lots of people turned out for this, along with a good number of vendors. A great family event.

Sadly we never stayed that long, perhaps about an hour, but the events lasted most of the day. From what we saw on stage, the music was great, and we saw some dancing too. I think the kids were having a blast along with most of the adults.

The weather was very good too. As Suz., put, “it’s like Goldylock’s weather,” …. not to hot, not to cold, but just right. The breeze was nice as well, keeping the pesky mosquitoes away from us and not biting.

Next year, I will put this on my calendar as a must go-to event.

Happy Summer Everyone: My First Year On the North Coast!

First, happy summer everyone. Hard to believe that it is here, being that most of May and the last half of June already felt like summer. Second, today marks my first anniversary living back in the Skeena Valley, on the North Coast of British Columbia. And lastly, and this might as well be a tradition now, my photos of around my home and work, on the first day summer, the summer Solstice. Yes, it feels like it was yesterday when I moved here. But anyway….

I started today with a bang, literally, like thunder and lightening kind of “bang.” As I was driving to work, I saw a flash of light, way off in the distance. Looking towards the West, along the valley, going towards Prince Rupert, I saw this was rather looking darker than usual set of clouds. It was a small bunch of storm clouds, and from it produced the odd flash of lightening, about ten to twenty strikes per hour. Now before you get all, “So big deal, yeah, I seen way more than that…” let me point out that getting thunderstorms in Terrace is rare. This place is almost void of lightening, and one may see this, maybe once or twice a year. So forgive me if I sound too excited about this. *smile* But it was awesome to look at. I just wish I had brought my tripod so I could have photographed it.

So, back to the Solstice… Today is the longest day of the year. This is cool, as up here, it never gets even close to dark, for twenty-four hours it just gets twilight. Yes, it is hard on sleeping, but a good set of black-out blinds on your windows will fix that. At my place, sleeping is not a problem from this. But the heat has been an issue over the last couple of days. Being the first day summer, sort of makes me wonder if this is just the beginning of our heat-wave.

Here is what outside looked like this morning at first light. I took this around 5:45am, just behind my work. As the storm clouds were coming in from the West, the East was almost void of them. Already at 16C, the day was starting out real muggy, and the A/C in the building had already started. Anyway, the morning light was awesome to photograph in, really nice light was getting in.

I put the camera away around 9:00am, as it started to rain, though it was just a sprinkle that fell, and that quickly dried up, but I was at work, and work needed to be done, why I get paid the big dollars. But the clouds were awesome, as the little mini storm cells were popping up everywhere overhead. With the right light, the clouds had a real dynamic feel to them, so I had to get some shots of them as the storm system rolled on by (on my break, of course).

Well, here I am, my first year back in Terrace behind me, and I feel great, well planed. And I have to give all my gratitude to my awesome friend Suz., who makes living here the best place on Earth. I thank you! Happy First Day of Sumner! May we have many more years together here in the Skeena Valley.

The End of Spring Mini Heat Wave

When I moved away from the Fraser Valley, to the North Coast, thinking I would leave the long days of heat filled summers behind, I am starting to think that was bad thinking. Last year, after I moved up here to Thornhill, we only had a week of 30C plus days, and that was fallowed with mild days for the rest of the summer, that were comfortable, in my opinion. But so far this year it has been “Lower Mainland” hot, and to the point that my Air Conditioner had been running half the day for the last three days. Yes, the one thing that I almost left behind, and I was happy I took my precious air conditioner. 

When I woke yesterday for work, it felt like I was living in Vancouver again. It was unreal as I drove to work, at 5:30am this morning, turning on the A/C in the car, to keep the mugginess out of the air–yes I had the A/C on, driving through Terrace, BC!

What was posted on the Environment Canada’s website, has not been what we are getting as far as temperatures and humidity goes for the down town Terrace area. When they say we should have 30C, we are getting 36C. When they say, “Rain and Thunder Storms,” we get a sunny day. Even our rate of rain has been very low and spotty at best over the last few weeks of the spring season, even raising the Forest Fire Rating to “High” in just a couple of days, after it was set to “low” for a week before. 

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, and we are already ahead in terms of above average temperatures as we end the spring season. It is looking like we might be in for another very bad forest fire season. I would even go as far to say, “the North Coast will suffer drought conditions,” as we go into the last half of 2018. 

Car Show in Terrace, BC at the Heritage Park

Another hot and sunny day, with the prospects of breaking heat records throughout the up coming week; and hey, why not head out to see a car show. And that is exactly what we did.  The show was up at the Heritage Park up on the Bench, from town. I guess there were about thirty classic and hot-rod type cars up in the show on display, and there was enough chrome you could probably see it from space. I was impressed at the verity of cars and trucks that there were. Everything from the vintage turn of the century types, to very modern, so there was lots to choose from to suit your fancy.

The Sun was pretty harsh for taking photos, so out of the 140 images I took, I have about fifty good ones that I would post. These five were just a sample of my short list, and I might throw another gallery of them soon on the website. The hard part was trying to wait for people to get out of the way so I could get a good shot of the cars, so patients was the name of the game. I only used my 30mm Macro lens, so I would not scare to many people with my camera. But still, it did not matter with the crowd, as I got a lot people any way.

Did I mention there was lots of chrome? This was when I discovered that I needed to be out of the Sun’s light to capture good shots of really shiny objects. The gleam look great in some shots, or if that is what you are shooting for, but it became a bother depending where I was standing. People here like their chrome on their cars!

Like I said, there were some really cool looking vintage cars to see here. The owners sat close by, watching people admire their works of art and hard work, and of course, everyone knows everyone here, with the few exceptions, so you could here old friends talking shop talk about their cars next to each other.

Obviously some the cars here were street legal, and a lot of them were heavily modified for street racing, so they drove themselves here. I could not tell which ones were one hundred per-cent classics, or not, but it did not matter.

Anyway, it time to go, as we only stayed for about forty-five minutes. It was only about 1:00pm when we left meaning that there was still lots of day left. I thing our next stop after this was some ice cream over at The Chill, along the highway in down town Terrace. I think I git a wee-bit of a tan too.