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.

So HAPPY CANADA Day!!!!

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Cell Tower On Keith Avenue

As of today, the Cell Tower is now physically built on Keith Avenue in Terrace, BC. The last major piece was lifted on top around 3:00pm today, while the base and metal pieces took almost a couple months to build, up until today. Sure, there are wires, and fiber optics cables, still left to be attached, and the power supply to be hooked up too, but that will only take a few more days, but for the most part, the big pieces are complete. You can drive by and see it for yourself, it is right across from the British Columbia Hydro Building, on Keith Avenue.

Sadly I did not have a pro camera, but my super old Kodak Camera actually did not to bad for good photos. The 23 to 300mm zoom lens worked good, and it was a partly cloudy day, so there was good light for some great shots.

Sometime time this week I will put an album together, so you all can see the series of shots I took over the last couple of months, from just a hole in the ground, to a finished looking cell tower. I might put up twenty shots, or so, for the album.

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.