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….

 

Halloween!

Finally, Halloween, the night has come, and none to soon as I went all out getting the decorations all up at my work. There were a couple little hick-ups, but in all tonight should be pretty good. My costume did not work as I planed, and I decided not to go out tonight. But we had fun at my work, so that makes up for staying home to night.

I decided not to go all out on the candy at the work gathering. I am staying completely away from any candy today. I was tempted, let me tell you, but I resisted. There were plenty of opportunities, and some were very tempting, but I resisted to the very end. No candy–period. And I took none home with me, just to let you know.

My costume was a complete failure. I decided to go with something that I could use at work, and still be completely safe while in it. The problem was, I had some prosthetics that I could glue onto my head–fake rubber spikes. They look real, but are very light; however, you needed this special glue that is safe to wear on your skin. The glue was old, and no longer had enough “stick” to hold the rubber spikes to my skin. So there went that idea.

I set up most of the Halloween decorations up at work a couple a weeks ago. I started small, a few rubber bats and some plastic skulls, then bought some lights and added things like rubber bugs and other props. At first no one really seemed to notice-or at least I heard nothing. But then a few people thanked me for doing it, so all was good. But I wish I could have done more–hard to do when you also have a job to do. I made the time, but shopping on my own time was harder–I just did not have a lot of my own time that I wanted. It was a challenge to go as far as did.

Almost everyone had training to do today, so everyone was scheduled to stay in the building. This made it possible to have a little mini Halloween party. Towards the end of the day, everyone was having a good time. Most stayed afterwards, passed their quitting time, enjoying the gathering. I resisted the temptation of candy and soda-pop, I gotta watch my figure.

Tonight, I am taking it easy. I closed my window blinds, and will probably watch a movie later. I also need some good sleep too–these last two days meant I had to do my Month-End Reports and Audits, and handing in a pile of paperwork with it that is all normal for the end of each month. All part of the job, but it makes for a little bit of stress, cramming everything in on the last day, and making sure everything is right, but all worth it in the end.

Halloween is So Close!

Well, October seems to be flying by quickly for me. One moment it was October 15, then now it is October 28, where did the time go? But fear not, it was all good times. Remember I bought a newer car, and passed my three month review with my employer, and straightened out my financial issues that have been festering for the last six months. I would say, it is has been a pretty good month for me. But best of all, Halloween is fast upon us.

I am sitting here, steaming hot tea in one hand, and keyboard under my other, deciding what would be a good scary story to tell that would be fit for Halloween. Not much comes to mind. Actually, I got nothing? But it is Saturday morning, and the day is young, so something will pop up–I am sure.

Well, anyway, the neighbourhood is very quiet. I think it has something to do with some of the guys who live next door getting their “Government Cheques” yesterday, and they are currently away “taking care of business.” So everything is still in bed, or away–it is kind of nice to have the peace and quiet. I like it.

It is currently overcast, with foggy patches over head. It seems kind of cool outside to, but I have not been outside to confirm. It is hard to tell if the Sun will make an appearance today, or not. Terrace and Thornhill do not disappoint with weather surprises this time of year. My weather icon on my Desktop says it is only 1C, while my outside thermometer says it is 4C. Who to believe?

I am not sure if I will go to any Halloween parties this weekend. We have some events at my work on Halloween day, but that is it as far as I can tell right now. Who knows, something might come up at the spur of the moment that will change the course of the weekend–I am sure of it! For now, this weekend is devoted to cleaning and organization. It looks like I will be in this place for another six months, so I might as well unpack more of my moving boxes that I brought up from the Lower Mainland with me from my last move.

Here is, to a nice and quiet morning. Cheers!

PS

The Sun just popped out from behind Copper Mountain. The day is looking more and more awesome by the minute! I am not out singing in the streets of Thornhill just yet, I might pass on that, but I am taking notice. 🙂

Some Local Flooding In the Valley and Beyond

After three days of a good dump of rain, it finally caught up to those who live along the rivers and creeks that go hand in hand with the mountains and trees here in the Pacific North West of British Columbia. They were greeted with a couple of roads under water in the Jack-pine Flats area in Thornihill, and the area called New Remo had several homes with high water, or close to it. Also the highway going out to Rosswood and the Nass Valley also had flooding and roads washed out. In all, it looks awesome today with the sunshine, but the rives now have to carry the water away from the storm.

When I drove over the Skeena River yesterday on the New Bridge, the water looked a light chocolate brown with a few pieces of wood in it, but this afternoon on my way home from work, the river was a torrent of dark chocolate coloured water, with entire trees floating down it. The river had also, it appeared to me, to have risen a metre since then. The water is almost up to the tree-line alone Ferry Island, in Terrace, BC.

Today, the clouds parted, and the Sun came out shinning, heating the air, drying off the fields. Right now, outside, it is awesome, and nice 13C at my work. It seems like we are back into late summer/early fall. A nice, but down right weird feeling; my body was getting used to the dark skies and torrential rain.

So, with all this nice weather now finally upon us, comes the second threat to the flooding problem. Yes, all that snow that was dumped on the mountains, is getting it’s chance to melt off. Like a delayed effect from the 300mm of rain that fell down in the valley from three back to back storms, now the dump of snow on the mountains with flow down to the rivers and creeks, adding to the existing flooding when it melts. It is going to be interesting, to say the least.

I live is the safe-zone as far as flooding goes. My place is in a good spot. I should have no troubles with the flood waters, to and from my work either. So all is good for me. Some of the people I work with, could be a much different story. However, I think the water will quickly pass and the local flooding with end very soon, probably by this weekend. Remember, this is the Wet (West) Coast.

Ten More Days, And It Is Snowing!

First of all, it is snowing here in Thornhill, BC. It is coming down with the rain, though I do not think it will stay, they are the nice thick fluffy snowflake, just enough to stick to the wind shield of your car. All the parked vehicles have that ominous coating of slushy goodness on them, but I highly doubt it will stay. So, with the snow, comes ten more days until Halloween! Could it be a white Halloween here in the Skeena Valley?

I think I am going to go simple this Halloween with my costume being it will be at work. I have to think of safety and whether I can work in it, as prime factors. So, I might have some simple prosthetics with fake blood, and just wear my regular work cloths for the event. Keep everything simple. But I am excited!

I just hope it does not snow to hard on that day. The bad weather came early this year. Wow! We are on our fourth nasty storm of the season already, and they say more is to come yet for October.

The Couch Out On the Skeena

Back on Saturday, (September 30, 2017) I took a walk down to the Skeena River, just off of Queensway Road, on the Thornhill side, across from Ferry Island, and Terrace, BC, and came upon a couch laid  out on the sand. Call it what you may, a  sofa, settee, or chesterfield, I call it a couch, it made me laugh, sitting on the shores of the Skeena. You can see it from both the old and new bridges. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Some would say this is an eye sore, and some would laugh at it, but the question my girlfriend asked was, “I hope they made it so it won’t pollute the river when the water starts to get high.” She is right, this garbage that should not be on the river’s shore. This is like throwing out your garbage out, and worse, putting it out into the public view so everyone can see it when they cross the river into town.

Many who go down to the river’s edge, like to make camp fires, and either fish, or do it for other recreational activities.  The couch, it seems, was for such people who would want to sit in the lap of luxury in the middle of the wilderness, but ask this question, would you sit on it after a day’s rain?

First Day of Fall

If there is one time of year when no one wants to hear when the season changes takes place, it is today. As of 1:02pm this afternoon, the autumnal equinox takes place, and the fall season kicks in. So, in the office, as I greeted everyone, “I said, happy first day of fall,” and some cried, other said “Boo,” while most seem sad. Perhaps no one wants to see winter, or the cold weather, but the fact is, I am looking forward to it. As a photographer, I am itching to get out in the “bush,” as the locals call it, and shoot some photos of the trees as they change. Around here, the change is quite dramatic. So, I want to capture that. Unlike down in the Lower Mainland, in the Vancouver area, the trees are hard to find that are good to shoot with a camera with fall colours.

Anyway, the atmosphere was glum at my work, and I fear there might be some unhappy people for a while as we transition into the cooler weather. Hey, think of  ski season! Did I make it worse? Snow… Oh dear.

So, from here on in, the days are going to get shorter, until mid December, so get your winter great ready to wear. Buckle up, and brace for it. Who knows what is in store for us. I heard a rumour that we might get a carbon copy of what we had last year. So, lots of snow in Southern British Columbia, and hardly any at the Northern end, but colder than normal. It will be interesting to see what climate change will bring us this year.

Awe, I guess it is cold and flu season too. Already a few people at my work are showing the signs of sniffles and runny noses. My poor girl friend said she is feeling it yesterday when I saw her at her work, as I saw the box of tissues by here desk. I am hoping we can get out this weekend, not stuck at home tending the cold.

So, here to fall, the Autumnal Equinox, twelve hours of day, and twelve hours of night, happy first day of autumn!

The Old Terrace Drive In Theatre – I Found It

For the last few weeks I have been asking various people where the old Drive In Theatre was located. Everyone has a general idea, and could give a location somewhere down Keith Avenue, but most were only guessing. It was not until a truck driver was stopped at my work making a delivery, and out of the blue he said that where I work, “this is site of the Drive In Theatre.” Not only that, but my work building is, was the where the parking and projector building was, and the lot next store was where the giant screen was. I was blown-away!

The same day, I told the building mechanical maintenance guy about this, and of course he knew, and he said that I should go to the front of the lot, right by the road, and there, I will see a couple of poles used to hold the speakers from the Drive In itself. So naturally I grabbed my camera after work, and found these–the two poles–just like he said. I could not believe that I worked on the old site location, and that there are still traces of the Drive In Theatre still there today.

When I moved back to Terrace the second time, this was sometime around 1990-94, I remember that the giant screen was being torn down. I should have taken photos then–wait, I was not into photography like I am today. The theatre then was long abandon, and the land was sold for commercial uses.

However, I do remember being at the theatre when I was very young. I think, though not positive, that somewhere around 1973-74 that my parents took me to the Drive In. Back then, this was way out of town, a huge drive, that I remember my Dad complaining about that. Today, it only takes me seven minuets to drive Thornhill to this location for my commute to work. But anyway, I am guessing that the Theatre closed down in the Mid 70s.

You probably want to know the location–right? Well, it is right across from the BC Hydro building, where I took these shots. This would be where the parking lot was located. The lot further West, would be where the screen was.