Life Goes On–Blue Skies Ahead

Great news, if you are living on the North Coast, we are at the leading edge of a possible week’s worth of awesome, but cool, weather! The snow seems to be behind us now, as a nice high pressure area parked above us, and will hold for a while. But enough about the weather, let us talk about life, mainly my life. It is going good. On all accounts, I would say, things are moving along quite nicely. The job is awesome, I am meeting new people all the time and the money is good. The leaps and bounds I have made here are impressive comparing it to my time spent down in the Lower Mainland–life is good.

In typical North Coast fashion, the days are getting longer quite noticeably. Already, at 7:00am, I noticed the sky getting lighter, and by 8:00am, it is practically daylight. I remember the spring seasons from my younger days, and spring hit with a bang. Though at least three weeks behind South, the spring season erupts with explosions of green as the trees ignite their buds all at once. I am waiting for that moment—with camera in hand.

With my holidays booked for the year, it seems that this will be the very first job in which I get mandatory vacation time within six months blocks. When I asked to submit my holiday time, I had only a a couple weeks to figure what times I wanted. The only caveat was that it meshes with the person who flies up North to cover my time away. Other than that, I had free rein of choosing when, not by some complicated formula on a calendar.

Before I forget, the computer is better than what I expected. The faster RAM and CPU are awesome. My rendering times for 3D Graphics are a lot faster. In a way, I should of done this earlier when I was doing simple animations. The image in this post took less than fifteen seconds at 500 samples in Cycles on Blender at 1080 pixels.

So, to wrap it up, today is looking great as I start the weekend. Once the stores open, I am going to do some shopping and perhaps buy some lamps for the apartment. It needs more light.

Cold/flu, Broken PC and Snow Storms, What is Next?

Actually, I am doing not too bad, when I compare my life from just last year when I was living in Southern British Columbia, catching a cold today is nothing. But yes, I have the local flu that is going around, and my RAM has still not arrived, and these last two days of sunshine are awesome, but come with night time temperatures of -17c. So, I am dealing with the flu a lot better then I was this last year, but not having a my PC working has been hard to deal with.

The flu hit me back on Thursday, and hit its peak on Friday. I whole heartedly attribute me catching the flu from being stressed, and from lack of sleep. Most of the last two weeks Terrace was getting hit with a bunch of storms that brought with them, anywhere from 10cm to 48cm per dump, and so where I work, the demand to deal with keeping the workers supplied and stocked with parts, meant that I have to be there at all hours. So you can only imaging with a little car, driving through 30cm of snow, what is was like. I did get stuck, but thankfully I carry a snow shovel with me, so I never had to call a tow truck. The road clearing crews here, I must say, are awesome. Without them, the town would grind to a halt.

My RAM will be here on Tuesday, though actually it is in town. Sadly, Monday is a BC holiday, and I have to work it. Apparently, this is a BC Stat Holiday, and as such, Employers can chose to contract its workers out of it, and make it a regular working day, such as for Federal workers. So, oddly, Canada Post will not be delivering the mail on that day, so my RAM sits in Terrace, for an extra day. I do not care about the holiday, but I do care about getting that RAM.

Funny, after dealing with 48cm snow in one day, the next storm will bring with it another 10cm, and that does not seem anywhere outrageous. In fact, outside, it is minus nine, and that seems nice when comparing it to last week. Also, the Sun is noticeably staying in the sky longer. The morning rays just started to reach my driveway now this morning, so this is a great sign, before today, the sunlight would completely miss my building until noon. Spring is just over five weeks away!

Time to go. Need to drain out my nose. Personal Blog Out. 


The Day After the Five Dumps

As the title of the post says, since my last post, we have had about five storm systems move over us since January 29, and finally today, we are getting some rest. Yesterday, the storm left us with 48cm of snow up at the Terrace Airport, so that is 48cm in 24 hours. Before that we were averaging about 20cm per storm. My little car has managed to get through it all, with only getting stuck this morning, twice. Overall, I am glad to finally have a nice day, and we hit plus  1C too.

The snow storms from last week were brutal also. Each system bringing with it anywhere from 5 to 20cm of snow. But the worse part of it, we hovered around minus 11 to minus 8C throughout it all.  Being that I start work very early in the morning, there were some trips where snow removal was not started yet, so driving through snow banks was my nail biting experience getting to work. However, I still say Terrace, British Columbia has some of the best snow removal on the coast. Highway 16, was always awesome to drive on.

I wanted to get a video of today’s drive home from town, but my camera mount for my dashcam broke. I guess I will do it again tomorrow, if I can get this thing fixed.

My DDR3 RAM is coming from Ontario. I was hoping that it would arrive from Vancouver, but they seem to be fresh out. So, my PC sits broken until I get it. The wait time is around February 13. The reason why I need it is because of the hard drive. All my photos are on it, but I do have back ups, but the hard drive has them nice and organized. Also, my PC will be many times faster than this lap top that I am working now.

What Keeps You Up All Night On the Lily-Pad

For the last four days, sleeping has been a bit of a challenge. Mostly, I wake up in the middle of the night, usually around 3:00am, then drift off around 4:00am, then an hour and a half later, it is time to get up for the work day. This is stress induced from mostly from my work, as inventory is this week, and partly from the weather, as it is freezing out, and very dry. So, add these all up, and sleeping becomes impossible.

I envy the Sleeping Mermaid I bought a few weeks ago, she sleeps through anything. She does not care about anything, as she sleeps on her lily-pad, so peaceful and happy. To sleep like that, I can only dream about it, well maybe not dream, but I envy her nonetheless.

Anyway, hopefully after Friday, it was all change, and my life will go back to normal, and I can sleep again without any stress. Most of my paperwork is finished, and to my knowledge, most of the outstanding issues are corrected at my work. And for the record, almost all of these corrections are what I inherited when I took on this job.

The best part of the week was when I had dinner out with Suzette. We went out yesterday for dinner, and of course, I took her out, but we went in her car. Nonetheless, it was awesome to spend an evening with her, not worrying about anything else in the world, including the dishes. We did Chinese, stuffing ourselves full, and believe it or not, I was still full the next morning. Must be the weather.

Maybe I need my own lily-pad to sleep on…

What to Do On a Nice Sunny Day In Terrace, BC

Well, what do you do on a nice sunny day in Terrace, BC? Simple, if you are like me, you go on a drive, and take your camera along becuase days like this, when you have it off from work, you go out and enjoy it. Off I went, camera in hand, stopping at very rest area I could, and start shooting. When I was done, and feeling the cold, I headed back home, and started going through them all. I picked these three becuase they best represent the view of the landscape along the highway I saw.

I guess I should point out that for the last week, the North Coast has been under an Arctic Outflow Alert, which is weather speak for, “You will freeze your begonias’ off if you are not dressed for it.” We are hovering around the -10C to -9C mark getting down to -15C during the night. But the days have been nothing but sunshine, so “ya”. OK, the above photo is a classic shot of Thornhill, BC, or as the locals like to call it, “Lower Thornhill.” This is looking North, at the Northern Motor Inn, and the Copper Mountain, that big piece of rock sticking out in the back ground.

This next shot is along the Old Skeena River Bridge, but on the Terrace, BC side, right along Terrace Mountain. These are the little water falls that trickle down the rock faces, but being that it is so cold, they turn into icicles, or just blobs of ice. These ones are small, but the good ones to photograph require me getting out of my car, and hiking up trails to get pass the trees. I stayed very near my car becuase of the cold, so shooting only the small ones near the road was as far as I wanted to go. Nonetheless, they look neat, especially when they are clean, white, rather than full of dirt and yellow.

At the end of my drive, I went back towards the Copper River Subdivision, and took this shot. This is looking North, along the Skeena River, just passed Thornhill. By this time the clouds started to move in, so I headed back home.

In all, I took about seventy shots. Later on I will post some more from this batch because there are some really good shots along the highway going towards Prince Rupert, BC. So the whole trip was, starting in Thornhill, then the Rupert Highway, then back to Thornhill towards the Copper River.

With what little time I have left of this looong weekend, I have to cut it short, and call it a day–it’s late. Sadly, I must head in to work for Wednesday, so tomorrow is the last day off freedom. It has been a wonderful, awesome weekend; a must needed time off–I must enjoy these last twenty-four hours of it, right down to the second.

I had x-mass dinner over at Suzette’s folks’ place, where we had the feast, and then watched a movie. It was really nice. A very action packed day.

When Snow is No Longer Fun

Since a week ago, we have been getting a bit of everything, but not a lot of the good weather. Way up here, in the North Coast, we have been diving into winter head on. Even the folks who have lived all their lives here in Terrace are saying that so far, for November, the snow has been unusual, making this year stand out amongst the others. For me, the novelty of seeing so much snow in one place has worn off already, and I do not need  to see any more.

Today while I was at work, I was keeping an eye out on the skies. To be honest, I thought today was going to be your typical November grey kind of day, but as it turned out, it changed every hour. When I first got to work, it was slightly snowing, then turned to rain. I though that was good, and paid no more attention to it until I had to go outside an hour later–it was snowing so thick that I could only see a few metres in front of me. When I got back inside, the snow stopped–and rain was falling. I was glad that I bought some good boots that are water resistant and made for the wet snow, over the weekend.

I went online to see the weather reports, and sure enough, we were back into a Snowfall warnings and Winter Alerts, with estimates of up to twenty centimetres. “An’t that lovely” I sad out loud. Some of the guys who were also watching laughed at that. Even those who are hard-core skiers were a little taken back becuase the snow was too slushy for them to any fun with. Yet the weather changed again–back to more rain, then snow again.

I think it is about time that we have some sunshine. I do not care if it is minus ten coleus, I want the snow and rain to stop. The novelty of seeing the huge piles of snow have worn itself away in my mind. We are not freezing to death, but we are sure soaked to the skin. Oh well, maybe this will be a two-season year, summer and winter only.

Snow Removal to Air Plants

Where to begin? First I will talk a little about the snow removal issues that are going on in my little corner of the universe. There has been lots activities on that subject over the four days–to say the least. Second, me and Suz., went to the various local markets, to see old friends and see what lurks in the deals department, or anything that might “tickle our fancies.” It was a win-fall for Suz., as she won a huge basket of goodies in a draw that we entered. Lastly, I finally bought an air plant. Yes, a plant lives in the air, and has no need for soil. How cool is that!

The topic of snow removal has been a hot, yet muted, issue here in the sleepy little town of Terrace. We have been bracing for cooler and more wiled weather, since the weather scientists have been overwhelmingly predicting such. So far, for the this month, they have been right on the mark. So too have the snow removable companies, as they gear up for the bonanza of business. With my case, the snow plough company has been very aggressive with their efforts of make sure we have spotless yards, free of snow, before we start our day. However, with the lull in business over the last few years, they want their share of the pie, and when you are main game in town, it goes hand in had with modern day thinking, to want it all. So any way possible, to charge extra for work, especially when you do business for a large corporation, is oh so natural. At my work, the battle rages, as the snow removal company wants more money for there services, yet at the same time, wanting to leave the contract the way it is. I say, get some competition in this town.

My hat goes off to the very lucky Suz., as she won the huge basket of goodies today. It was kind of amusing, we were eating at the Golden Star Chinese restaurant, when she got the call. The women that called her is also named Suz., so it was kind of funny to know that there are Suz. One, and Suz. Two–they worked that out for themselves. It was Suz., Two that called to let Suz. One, know she won the door prize. Tomorrow, Suz. One will collect her prize.  Yay!

I finally got an Air Plant! I have it sitting on my old lamp by the window. This is a short term solution until I get something more permanent for the plant. The lamp “arm” seems to be a perfect spot for the plant for now, as it is right by the window, and easy enough for me to spry-water it. This was something that I always wanted for a long time (since I heard about them on Twitter, from a contact).

Four-Way Stop at Keith and Kenny

This post is kinda of for those who actually live here, and experience the routine commutes in and around town of Terrace, British Columbia. Since the beginning of time, Keith Avenue was hindered with the two-way stop at the intersection of Kenny Street. Over the years, as the industrial area grew at the South and West end of the community, and the road pattern did not. With larger transport trucks now populating the roads at that section, their use of Keith Avenue grew. Those who used Kenny Street, had unfettered access over Keith Avenue, with the exception of the double railway tracks that lay just before you turned on to the highway to go through town. Today, this all changed as the intersection is now a Four-Way Stop. Oh the shock for those who commute on Kenney Street.

It was on Wednesday, November 8th that I saw Suz.’s Tweet that she re-tweeted from the City of Terrace’s Twitter Feed. It simply said “Beginning Friday, the intersection of Keith and Kenney will be made into a 4-way stop to improve safety and wait times for Kenney traffic.” I looked at the tweet with bewilderment and dismay. WTF was all that I could say, when on of the Technicians saw me reading off of my monitor at my desk, and then then the news spread. Of course, now that look back at it, I asked myself why would those who drive on Kenny Street have their wait times hindered, when it will be Keith Avenue that will greet the boon of this new change?

So, around noon today, the Stop Signs were reviled, along with white lines painted on the roads. I had to see it to believe it. It has come–no more waiting for the hordes of traffic at Kenny Street, while sitting at the intersection waiting for them to pass before it is our turn to go. Now, we all wait, though only for a fraction of the time as we all obey the Four-Way Stop procedure. Words can not describe it. I really mean that.

Just the first time passing through the intersection, on my way home from work today, made me laugh out loud. A lady, in a white car, came screeching to a halt through the intersection, totally forgetting that there is now a traffic pattern change. Even with all the signs and street markings, she almost went through the intersection, as she did probably a thousand times before. The look on face, pure embarrassment and discuss, all wrapped up into a ball, as she backed up to position herself behind the white line, while an eighteen wheeler was already going through the intersection.

So, here is to a great day for one half of the little town of Terrace, and a big change for other half.


First Snow Fall of the Year

Well, it happened–the skies opened up, and let loose their rage with big fat, fluffy flakes, and by morning, lay over 5cm of the while stuff on the ground. When I saw the brightness through my windows in the morning twilight, I knew it; there was snow on the ground. There was panic, as being from the Lower Mainland, any form of snow collecting on the ground was bad for any driver. But all was good, as my little car motored through it with ease, as the snow tires did their job.

On my way to work, the car was awesome as it drove through the un-ploughed roads. Being that I work so early, I was among the snow ploughs as they were getting the roads ready for the daytime drivers.  The car just went, over snow drifts, through snow banks, and on the ice. I pulled into my work well on time, thinking that I would be late driving so slow, making sure I would not get stuck.

With the storm slightly easing a bit, the air warmed, and some of the snow melted by mid-day. About 2:00pm, the snow flakes started falling again, and like this morning, I though, “OK, here we go again.” But, in all, the roads were cleared, and the car handled even better in the slush and snow drifts.

The Day After Halloween

It was both bitter sweet, and the feeling of being glad, that it is all over. A few “scary tails” still linger in my mind I heard from last night that made me laugh. All there is to do now is take down the Halloween decorations and put them away. During the night I could hear the sounds of fireworks going off, and the odd “out of place” noise, not nothing to get me out of bed once I fell asleep though. Then there is the carved pumpkin, now misshapen from the candle that was inside it, and that smell–rotting pumpkin. There seems to be no damage from any vandals to my property, so that is a good thing.

Since I am usually the first to arrive into my work, I spent the first ten minutes taking down all of the decorations that I put up from two weeks ago. I did not have much, it all fit into a small box, which I will save for next year. I guess it was a good thing that I did not go to “over board” on the decorations, today was a fairly busy one, work was busy and consistent.

The pumpkin did not hold up to well. When I picked it up, it fell apart in my hands. The heat from the candle really took its toll on it. It did its job; it looked scary, and cool, in my humble opinion. My photos of it did not turned that well, they were not worthy of being posted here. I felt for the pumpkin, but its seeds were collected and given away for Pumpkin pie.

Last night, for a good couple of hours, I could hear the sounds of fireworks going off. I was amazed that there were so many fireworks. I did not know that you could buy huge amounts of fireworks here in Canada, being that someone could used them against of the police, or build things that are frowned upon with them too. Either way, the sounds of exploding fireworks filled the night–and I hoped that none of them would light my place on fire. But it appears all is good, nothing happened near me.

Yesterday, I tolled the story of the “Switch Witch,” that I heard on the radio (Vancouver CKNW Talk Radio). One of the Techs has two children, so this was perfect, they were at that right age. The Switch Witch goes like this, when the children bring home candy, and they go to bed, a Switch Witch collects their candy, and exchanges it for either money, or toys. But the candy is taken away. The two little children did not like that idea, and frowned upon the idea of the Switch Witch. They said that they would not go to sleep until they were sure and good that the Switch Witch was gone. Not good for the parents. So I had to think of something real quick here to undo the damage: You put your candy in a jar so the Switch Witch cannot smell it! It worked; the kids bought it. Saved!

Anyway, it is over. It is now November, so time to start thinking about winter.  Unofficially, it starts today, and it may just do that with our first snowfall. I heard Vancouver will have snow starting tomorrow. They will beat us, but we will soon follow as we are scheduled for flurries later this week as well. Time to get the thermal underwear out, with the snow shovels! aaarg….