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.

A Day of Awesome Cloud Formations Over the Skeena Valley

As the day chugged along, I noticed the clouds above us over the valley–they had a really interesting pattern to them as they slowly moved in from the North. There seemed, at first, to be about four layers, and all of them were high clouds, so there was no threat of rain. We drove up to the area hill, along Kalum Street, to get a better look, and of course I had my camera with me. Here is one of the shots I got from that moment, around 7:30pm.

I took several shots from different directions from the hill, but we also drove into Thornhill, BC where we had an even better vantage point looking over Terrace Mountain. I asked Suz., if she would be willing to come back with me during the Sunset, as I had a good feeling it was going to look awesome.

We parked up at Crescent Drive, on the Old Lakelse Lake Road, where there is a lookout. We waited for almost a half an hour there. It was looking bad, as it got darker, but no amazing Sunset. The clouds started to change to an orange colour, but in general, it was starting to “suck” as we waited, fighting off the flies that were biting us. Time went on.

Then within about Ten minutes, we were greeted from this:

The sky lit up like a giant field of burning ambers. It was brilliant to see, as the light from the Sun slowly moved across the sky, casting its shadows and lighting up clouds red, yellow and orange. It was worth the wait. In the above shot, the tree line is from the top of Terrace Mountain, looking from Upper Thornhill. Two other people stopped by to take shots as well of the light show. An awesome end to a great day!

A Day Out at the Lake After a Long Rest

It was a long week due to the stomach flu, but I got through it. Actually, I was well enough by Thursday, but I had to play catch-up on the all my chores that I neglected while I was under the flu’s spell. So, once caught up, me and Suz. went out into town, and off to the lake to bask in the sunshine, to work on our tan. But it was cool out, with a threat of showers, depending on where you were in the valley. But in all, a very nice day to spend at the lake, on a Sunday afternoon–the place was all most void of people–it was awesome!

This was almost the shot I waited for, our feet planted in the sand by the lake, but as you can see, it was cool, so we wore our shoes–better than nothing I guess. Nonetheless, It was a warm sunny day, so we sat by the water’s edge, collecting the Sun’s rays, perhaps working on our skin cancer, but it felt good. There was a bit of wind too, which made for chilly moments, but still just nice enough to sit and enjoy the lake side. So here is the shot of our feet in the sand. Oh, and that is Furlong Beach Sand at our feet!

Work went well to, although I had some over-time towards the end of the week, but nothing too drastic. It seems to be getting busier, in terms of more appointments and orders, but nothing I could not complain about. I can still manage everything by myself, with time to spare at the end of the day. My work is going well, and I must say, I enjoy it. I wish I found this employment years ago. Maybe I found Utopia?

Anyway, back to the day at the lake. In the morning, there was a few rainy periods in some areas in the Skeena Valley, so I guess everyone though it would be a bummer day at the lake. When we got there, around three o’clock in the afternoon, Furlong Beach had only a few people around it, so we were almost alone where we were. It was great–sunshine and beach–it was almost perfect. But this month has been cool, especially when we just came out of an awesome May with above average temperature. Rest assured, most times in June around here are filled with rain, it is normal up here on the North Coast. SO when the cloud part, you take advantage of it.

We sat on Furlong Beach for a while, then walked around, over the docks. There were some sail boats out on the lake. The sail boaters seemed like they were having a great time too, as there was lots of wind to sail with. Lakelse Lake has some good winds on it–even the para-sailors (people riding on water skies being pulled by a para shoot) were out enjoying it as they zipped along with lots of speed.

Yes, it was a great day for dogs too, as these boaters launched away with their dog happily sitting in the middle getting a free ride. I am sure if they could get their dog to paddle, they would have. They moved quite fast in the plastic boat too–I was surprised. And the dog never flinched as they moved through the waves.

It was a great day. Glad I got out with Suz. We are counting down the days as summer nears, officially.

June means Summer is Almost here!

Yeah, June, it is here! We made it. We survived another long winter, and pushed through this wonderful spring season with teasing warm weather, and now we embark on the lazy days of summer in just three weeks. I have been told, at of late, that here in the Skeena Valley, June usually means rainy days; however, with Climate Change, the past patterns of weather may lead to obsolete thinking. So we may never predict what the upcoming seasons are going to be like from year to year. Needless to say, seeing what today looks like, I can not argue with that line of thinking on Climate Change, as the morning looked cloudy, then the sky opened up in the afternoon with sunlight beaming through.

The above image is a flower that fell on the side walk, in the evening Sun. Here is hoping for more sunny days to come, up here in the Pacific North West. Now to dig out my UV blocker sunglasses I stored from last year.

 

Swimming Pool to Flowers – Terrace Is Awesome This May 2018

For a day that started off gloomy, it sure turned the other way around in just a few hours. The sky cleared, and the Sun’s light bathed the valley floor, and covered the mountain peaks with brilliant yellow light; it was awesome. So to was the warmth the Sun gave off. The town of Terrace was awash with activity. Down below my vantage point from the Ice Rinks, the water park was turned on, and the screeching sounds of small children could heard as they played there. So far, the month of May 2018 has been an awesome one in terms of hot sunny filled days with little rain and no mosquitoes. I should point out there were very little mosquitoes biting us in the very warm air.

The healthy abundance of flowers is probably the best evidence of how great this spring has been up here on the North Coast of British Columbia. Everywhere the flower bushes are flourishing in the Skeena Valley. The air is also filled with the sweet smells of blooming flours, and their pollen. Like one of my co-workers said to me the other day, “that is the smell of sex in the air.”  He is right, there is no denying that.

The other big attraction up on the hill, at the arena, was the almost completed public swimming pool. It will be nice once that work is completed. I heard there was a large price tag for this, but I think it is money well spent. I believe people will use this more so than before.

In all, the day was rated up there, with most of the month of May 2018, as simply awesome. If there is anything that has an impact on human psychology, it is the weather, and I believe we are much happier than ever this year than from years with rainy trends in them. People around here are great, in terms of getting out and enjoying the day becuase of that.

Since this is a work day, I am tired, and I think Suz. is feeling it too. As I drove home, I watched the setting Sun, thinking how wonderful the sunset looks. This is a great ending of a great day, and I feel many more to come.

A Warm and Quiet Weekend

I finished up a bunch of clean-up and resets on my website, so much fun, spent nearly three hours doing that this morning. The last few days I have spent with my nose in over-drive as the lilac bushes spew their pollen in the air. After a short-week, the workload at my work had dropped again significantly, I am happy once again. The biggest change for this weekend has been the weather, the last couple of days have been overcast with a bit of drizzle, but I am not complaining–we needed it badly.

Outside it is raining in the form of a light misty drizzle. It feels nice, although it is cool out, a mere 12C, but still nice to be in. After such a great month of May, people here are saying that we started spring with a bang, and with the forest fire risk rising up to “High,” the last couple of days, it dropped down to “Medium” adding relief back to the land. Even the Skeena River never got that high, as far as the spring time floods goes; this year it only rose up a few metres, hardly measuring that much of a significant change overall. But around here, on the North Coast, weather can change from one extreme to another, so no one can honestly predict it with long term accuracy.

I was happy with the long weekend last week, but sadly I knew the shorter week meant cramming five days into four, and that is what happened. I got through it, and the week did fly by in terms of time, but my rest and relaxing levels were back into “normal,” throwing out all the gains from during the long weekend. Yes, what is “normal” anyway? 

Last night, me and Suz., saw the New Hans Solo film. It was great, but I was not too happy with the 3D, I felt it lacked. But the plot was good, and (as all Star Wars movies go) the eye candy was awesome. The local cinema, The Tillicum Twin Theatres, was almost over half full, being that the film had been out for three days already. It was so it nice see the turnout, I think going to cinemas is not going out of style any time soon.

Allergy season is upon me. With the flowering of the lilac bushes, spewing their pollen out into the air, my nose drips with rage, as I spend my time blowing it to keep the snot levels from plugging it up. With the running nose comes headaches and dizziness, making sleep time difficult, and daytime activities tiring. It is comforting to know this time is short, but I dread this time of year as the annual cycle renews itself. The lilac flowers look pretty, but it is a love-hate thing with me.

I have been neglecting my website. Normally I am on top of it, checking it daily, weekly, performing update, tweaking and configuring the software, but lately I have been focusing my life on other things. Today I decided that I needed to roll up my sleeves and dive in. Some software were already badly in need of attention. My spam filters were in need of updating, and spammers were already by-passing some of my earlier hacks, so this was high on my list. I only had a couple of plug-in that need the update treatment too, but those were minor. But the biggest fix came with my hosting provider which did a lot of changes to my overall website. Let just say, the upgrade are awesome. The great news, it is all up to date now–making my happy once again.

Woah, the Sun popped through the clouds, this could be another great day. And I got a free car wash too from Mother Nature! Praise Nature! It looks so clean and sparkly in the gleam of the sunlight.

The photo is my growing rock and crystal garden on top of my PC. I bought another quarts crystal yesterday at the Gypsy Lady, in Thornhill, BC, just down the road from me. Among the quarts crystals, I have a chunk (95g) of Galena (Lead Sulphide), and a few pieces of Bornite (Copper sulphide, or Peacock Ore) mixed in too. I went “black and white” for that artistic licence with the image.

Not Enough Tom

It is beginning to cloud over, with a sprinkle or two, here in the Skeena Valley, this after an awesome two weeks of sun fill days that could cause a suntan if you are not careful. It is hard to believe it is still May here on the North Coast. Awwwww, climate change, marvellous. But that is not what I am going to blog about today. No, this is my monthly round up what is going on in my little corner of the neighbourhood. This month, I call it, “Not Enough Tom” to go around. Between the needy around my place, and all four levels of Government, my hard earned money is being targeted like Mexico paying for the “Trump Wall” along the Southern U.S. border, I keep saying “No,” but the “please” keeps sounding in my ears, louder, and louder, and louder. In our free and democratic country, the need for Taxes grows ever stronger, where “asking” turns into “taking,” and like the Internet scammer, the sound has become more demanding than ever before. The root cause in my mind is, the needy get less back from the Government, so both Government and the needy turn to the Middle-class for more. I ask, “What part of NO don’t you understand?”

In my everyday routine, the to and from work part, I get asked at least once for “something” by my neighbours, in my neighbourhood. It may vary, from hard cold currency, to material items like tobacco or access to the Internet, but in all cases, the asker is someone who is either self medicating or mismanages their income in varying degrees. Whenever I enter my car, or leave it, that is usually where someone will ambush me, and the asking starts. I am an easy target here in the Thornhill Ghetto: I drive my own car, and it is shiny and black, and I have a job–a regular job–yup, paint a “bull’s eye” on me. Even the Government is asking for more, but I have been able to hold them off for now through tax loopholes and investment incentives through reputable programs, but that is still money I can not spend for myself right now. So here is the list: from “least,” to “most often.”

ONE: The Internet scammers are working harder than ever. In the last month (April 15 to May 15, 2018) My phone has logged up an impressive twenty-six callers that use “spoof” I.D. on the call displays. Yes, I screens my calls, and if it is “friend or foe,” it either goes to voice mail, or I answer it back–but “picking up” is almost a no-no.

TWO: The Taxi service out here in the Skeena Valley is very expensive. Unless you are disabled, either through health issues, or through intoxication, walking is the only true and tried method of getting around without a working and licensed vehicle, on a pauper’s income. Most do not like walking, especially if you live way out in the “sticks,” and you want to bring back that “twenty-four Pack” from the Beer Store, to your home. If you do not have money for a Taxi, then you target your buddies who own a vehicle. I get asked at least four times per week for rides. There are only three of us who have our own vehicles here in the Ghetto. I give no rides, becuase once you open that gate, then the flood begins. We have transit, yes, real actual buses that for a small fee, and it gets you back and forth from town–and it works becuase I know from first hand experience. Forget the Taxi Service and take Transit!

THREE: Being asked for money is the most often need I get asked for by my neighbours of all. Usually, it begins with, “I need food,” while they puff on their cigarettes, to “I need money for Cigarettes.” Sadly this is a reflection on the State of Canada’s economic well being, and those who made poor lifestyle choices. We are heading down the path of great economic disparity between the rich and poor. Lines are drawn between the old and the young, the Educated and labourers, all while those who are property rich cling to prosperity, and the “property poor” pay more and more to live in shacks. We have to learn to live without, and adapt to this economic change. We have choices, and drugs and alcohol are easy once to make, you just need the willingness to do it. But most of all, food should be made the first choice over Cable TV, and so on. To date, being asked to give money is by far the most often request I get here in the Ghetto.

In closing, I like say this: there is just not enough Tom. Yes, I save, but it comes with great sacrifice, but I do it. I plan, and it comes battling forces who try to disrupt my goals to their means, but I still plan anyway. For those who do not save up for their future, or plan for it and set goals, then these upcoming days are going to be your hardest ever. The poor need to ask the Government for more, not from me, becuase Government is taking so much as it is, and they make the rules. So, there is not enough of me to go around.