A Little Update On the Job

A couple of things, first, it is now one month since I pulled into town, and second, today is the day I went solo at my work. But before I will go into all that, I just want to take a few moments on our weather. Terrace, British Columbia is notorious about it’s weather. It is either too warm, or too cold, and it rains here a lot, but it is known to have its dry spells as well, for the most part, it is mild year round. The one thing I can say right now, there is no danger of forest fires here. We did get up to “Medium” rating, but we were far from any “High” rating, or super hot weather to cause us any warnings of forest fires. So, that being said, it is currently raining, lightly, and is 16C according to my window thermometer. 

So, today was the day that I went solo at my work. Normally, employees who under go the training, will get at least two weeks training, with a few more weeks of guidance. Not me. I got two days of getting all my paper work done for my personal data, with employee processing. Then I got four days of training, sort of the rush-avalanche of everything I need to know, then thrown into the deep end to run an entire warehouse all by myself today. Oh sure I had my managers to call upon, and the lead supervisor to ask for help, but in general, it was just me.

The tasks I have for the job are very straight forward. Like every other warehouse I have worked in, this place is no different. The logistics are the same. Inventory is the same. And the shipping and receiving are standard. The difference with this place are, the hugely complex procedures, and multiple systems that have to be used. It is just horrendous. If it were not for my background in software, computers and online networks, the mountain may have been to steep to climb. In essence, there are six main software, and multiple procedures to follow, to get the basic job done.

To more a box from one end of the warehouse to the other, you need to run three pieces of software, and do about twenty minutes of procedural work to do that job.  On top of that, there are about ten different categories for freight earmarked for general uses. And with a small work force, this complex system is riddled with mistakes and errors. Then there are the daily, weekly and monthly reports; each with its own special flavour of needs and details. There is always something to hand in, or audit.

I will not get into the mobile equipment, but hold on for some funny tails later on.

I can say I am loving it. The job is very good, only becuase it is a low volume location. Most of the workers have been there for well over two decades, so most everyone knows their job well. And the pay is awesome. I think I will do nicely here.

Howe Creek and Tree Park Trek

We were out for a Sunday walk in the park, heading along the bottom of what they call “the Bench” here in Terrace, British Columbia. We started along Sparks Street, right at the soccer field, and followed the creek to the Howe Creek Tree Park at Lanfear Drive, at the bottom of the hill. The length of trail that we walked was about three kilometres, in one direction; we also walked back on the same trail.

The trail itself is in really good condition, very well maintained, and highly recommended to walk. I would say we passed somewhere around ten to twelve walkers and joggers, plus one mountain biker rider. Some of the passer-bys where also walking their dog, and one lady he three leashes and many more dogs following. But the trail was big enough that all of the traffic was not a problem. I think my camera attracted a few stares and comments, all was good.

There were about eight well maintained bridges that we walked over. Most of them seemed like they were just built. The path was we groomed and has crushed gravel throughout. There was two places where there were tree falls that the roots dug up the trail, but they seemed fix enough to not cause any problem. There was one muddy part, but it was dry enough to walk threw.

One we got to the Western end of the trail, we met the Howe Tree Farm Park, in dedication to Mr. Howe, who grew exotic trees during the turn of the century, and passed away in the 1980s. A park was erected that contains some of those trees, plus many more that were planted since.

These photos, above, were some of the plants that were growing in the park. What was amazing about the park, was how well it was maintained. I saw no signs of vandalism, and it looked as if they just worked on it. 

I would highly recommend an afternoon to walk it!

A Weekend From Lakelse Lake to the Exchamsiks River Park

This weekend was wonderful, although it tried to rain, and cloud over, me and my girl friend seemed to drive around the bad weather and stay in the great stuff. Actually, the holes in the clouds seem to follow use, showering us with some really good sunshine while the rain stayed on the other side of the Skeena Valley. Only when we went inside for dinner, or driving down the highway, it poured like cats and dogs. We travelled from Lakelse Lake to the Exchamsiks River Provincial Park, and stopped off at many places in between. When we went to the lake, we travelled down toward the Beam-Station, on Beam Station Road, to the North end of the lake.

Again, like I said in the previous post, it was many years since I was on this spot on the lake. This place also changed a lot. What really surprised me were the size and scope of the houses that are here. This is a rich persons place to live. Most of the homes are in the $800,000.00 dollar range. A little to rich for my blood and wallet. This was our first stop on our road trip.

Our next stop, after the Lakesle Lake, was the Lakesle River, which took us into Old Remo, my old neighbourhood. My girl friend said that she had never been here before. Then off to the Exchamsiks River!

And like everything else, this place changed a lot to for me. Year ago, the park was laid out differently than it is now. There used to be a large parking lot just off of the highway, and some cleared areas for camping. Now, there is a smaller parking lot, about half the size, and no room for campers that I could see. However, now, there are walking paths, and of course, you can still get to the river.

Even with the cloudy weather, the river and huge cliffs did not disappoint the eyes. It was awesome. The water was a beautiful green colour, and the sand was the usual red colour. But the trees were huge, and numerous. Also, were the mosquitoes. Sadly, once they got a taste of our blood, they called their friends, and the next thing we knew, a swarm of them surrounded us, and the feeding frenzy commenced. They were pure evil. So we left faster than we came.

The Lakelse River

Today was an actioned packed day for travelling around and sightseeing. We first went over to Lakelse Lake, though this time we went to it Northern most tip, a place called Beam Station Road, where the navigation antenna sits for the airport, then over to the mouth of the Lakelse River, where it meets the Skeena River. So the mouth of the Lakelse River is where I am going to start. First, a little history from my point of view, then the sites.

Way back during my youth, about thirty years ago, (yup, I am old now) I used to come here to the mouth of the river and fish. I was a, what you would call, a hard-core fisher. Almost every opportunity, I would start here, then make my way up the river, towards the lake. Since then, today was the first time I have been back to this very spot, in over thirty years. And I must say, it had changed!

The campsite is smaller, and the river has changed its course as well. Then there is the high water level, as I never remembered the river this high. But the biggest change would be the bridge. A totally new bridge, from the old wooden one from thirty years ago.

But, part of the environmental problems of almost every river and water way in British Columbia is, low fish stocks. As of today, some of those fisheries were opened today. So for the first time since I have been here you can now fish.

The above shot is where the Lakelse empties into the Skeena River. Even this area has changed a lot since I last seen it. The sand bars and trees have shifted a lot, and made this area wide open since the last time I was here. Before, you could have not seen the other side of the valley from all the trees, but now, it is wide open from the flooding and erosion. Once, you could drive all the way to the other side on the Skeens River side without ant effort over the sand.

Then there is the Bridge. This is whole new bridge compared to what was here the last time I was here. Wow, metal. Better than the old wooden trestle type one that here from before. The old wooden bridge, we could sit above the water and fish from there.

So, the main fishing from here are the rare Steelhead and trout. Also, there are fresh water clams too. Other types of salmon are caught here to, but the Steel-heads are the sought after fish that everyone wants.

The get here, you travel along Queens Way Drive, and turn off onto the Old Remo Road, about eight kilometres, then turn left on the White Bottom Road for another eight kilometres. Be careful, right now it is a active logging road, so be mindful of the traffic, as the road is fairly narrow and gravel once you turn off of Old Remo Road.

First Full Day On the Job

Today marks my first full day on the job, and I could not be more stoked about it than any other job I worked on. It was one of those days with all training and paperwork for the first bit, but the last half of it was spent actually doing the job, so I felt like I was a head of the curve. A lot of the job I know, just names and learning new software, were different from what I use to. In fact, I was say, if it was not my previous experience, I would not be as far I as I am right now. I have lots of keys, and several passwords; oh the responsibilities I have now-gosh. Anyway, the job is a low volume location, but very steady. We will see what the future brings.

So I get up out of bed, at six, and at work for seven am, and home by three-thirty pm. Not bad, since I have no train tracks to cross, little traffic to deal with, and the distance to work from my place is seven kilometres! This morning I saw only four or five other cars on the road; is was awesome dealing little traffic. I get to work way before the rest of the regular staff do, so this makes first couple of hours quite pleasant, and when I can most of the bulky tasks done. Once the rest of the workers arrive, I am usually in the office by then, which is prefect becuase that is when the questions start. So for an hour, I deal with those.

The teams I work with are awesome too. There is a very laid-back attitude with all of the staff. There are those who are very professional, and those who want to get the job done with as little hassle as possible. But, for the most part, it is a low key atmosphere to work in. As long as you stay on top of your duties, all will go well, for me and everyone around.

Of course, learning a new system, comes dealing with minor hitches in time and an efficacies. I am slow on the scanner, but only becuase that is totally new software that I have to learn. Then there is the Inventory software that seems to be a mesh-mash of ten pieces of software welded together. It has its moments when it decides not to work. But everything else is routine and common for me to do.

The hard part will be working alone. A large part of the job is working solo. So keeping myself busy, and setting up a schedule is totally upon me to do. There are “Check Ins” and other means for head office to track me, but there will be no one to physically keep me company. They say, there will lots of days with boring times to deal with over the course of this employment. This will be a shock to deal with for me, coming from a place with over two hundred and fifty employees, and working full-out at one hundred and ten percent-none stop–flat out. Am I ready for this. LOL

Looking Back to Canada Day

Right now I am killing time becuase I am waiting for my Criminal Record’s check to complete, so I thought why not type something up real quick while I am waiting. Looking back in my photo archives (or Expansion Drive), I could not help but stop on my July 1, 2017, folder. There, inside that folder, sits 173 images that I snapped that day. There were several that are blog worthy, but with time and space, there is just not enough of them to go around. So this image stuck out for me.

It is not the best one out of the lot as far as photos go, but I remember how nice it was when we were out on the lake, laying back, watching the sail-boats sail by. So the photo invokes nice memories. It was an awesome day, even with the clouds, it was just right, and the temperature was perfect.

Here, I was shooting with 300mm telephoto lens, looking West ward, while we were on Furlong Beach, on Lakesle Lake. Surprisingly, the beach was not full.

There is British Columbia Baking Away, and Then There is the North Coast

As you already may have heard, we are in the heart of forest fire season, and ninety percent of British Columbia is stuck in the grip of a nasty heatwave. But we here in Terrace, and the surrounding area are “blessed” with clouds and rain. The entire North Coast region sits under cool cloudy weather, while the rest of the Provence is “baking away” from the hot dry weather trapped down there. One would say it is awful that we have the clouds and rain, but think about it, I would rather have the clouds than the scorching heat of the Lower Mainland, where I just came from.

I just heard on the news that the little town of 100Mile House has been evacuated, and along with it, a number areas around it. My heart goes out to those people.

I could not live in that heat. I never liked it, and as a twist of luck as I moved up here, I left on the first couple of days after the start of the heatwave back on June 21, 2017 in Langley Township. Here, in Terrace, it has been awesome as far as the weather goes. We are very mild compared to the rest of British Columbia, and for the next week, we have rain on tap to look forward to. No threat of forest fires here. In fact, right now, there are no camp-fire bans. The parks are wide open.

Anyway, we all know that all this could change, as Mother Nature (prise Nature) can change on a dime, and we may face a heatwave. There is plenty of summer left for 2017. So fingers crossed.

UPDATE: The Government of British Columbia just issued a Provence wide campfire ban as of today (July 10, 2017), until October.

A Job!

Very good news: I GOT A JOB! Well, not just any type of job, but one that I know very well, and I am very experienced at. I found a warehousing type job, but this one pays in the order of over twenty dollars an hour, and on top of that, nearly full benefits. I just found out about it on Friday, and then the flurry of paperwork started afterwards. In all, I am very happy with it. I run the warehouse, doing everything from shipping and receiving, ordering, inventory control and more. Also, they told me that there is no over-time period. That is music in my ears! Of course I will not disclose the company’s name here on my weblog, but let us just say they are well known in these parts.

Another point I would like to make, all the resumes that I sent out, I have got replies back–all of them. My girlfriend said that it is my experience, becuase most people here do not have the opportunities like I had from being down South, and the number of years at it, like I did. Also, most of the jobs that I applied were low wage jobs–I want to stress that. Then there are my “custom resume” ways of doing things. Every job, I type up a tailored resume and cover letter, in the hopes that the would-be employer will see what they want to see as opposed to having one that is a bio of my life. Regardless, there is work here, and some good paying jobs at that.

I start next Tuesday. I just did my criminal background check, and then start the processing for my employee identification. That nearly took an hour to do at lightening speed. Photographed, scanned and signed my life. And there is more to come!

Not bad–two weeks here and I found work. How sweet is that.

My Back Yard – Welcome to Thornhill, BC

My back yard. My location is right next to Terrace, BC, but not officially right inside the city. Thornhill, is actually unincorporated under the Regional District of  Kitimat-Stikine, and has a population of about 4,500 people according Wikipeda. I live by the main highway, HWY 16, and I am very close to Terrace, BC, the near by city. My commute into the city (town) is about seven minutes.

A few block from me is the Skeena River, the main rive that flows through Thornhill and Terrace, on the East side. The funny thing about this sign is, about three months ago, there used to be a “Welcome to Terrace” sign right in the same spot. The head guy, from the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine that this area is part of his jurisdiction, not the City of Terrace. So the sign was taken down, and this was put in it’s place. I have photos of both.

I was about two kilometres from my place when I took these three photos above. The Skeena River is a little high, but well from flooding. Sadly, there is a fishing ban for the whole river due to low fish stocks. I am not sure why, but this seems like the very first year that all fishing has been cancelled.

The above photo is the Fishermen Memorial Park. right where the Kitisumkalum River flows into the Skeena River on the West side of Terrace. I was standing on the First Nation Reserve is of the river. Normally this place is teaming with boaters and fishers, but not this year due to the fishing closures. I only found a couple of boaters near the boat launch.

The Heart Farm – On The Kitsumkalum

Our Next stop was a special place called “The Heart Farm,” a few kilometres from Redsand Lake. The campsite sits on the Kitsumkalum Lake, and road was even worse. We used to go to this place as kids during school outings, I remember the road being a lot better then. The last time I was at this place was way back when I was Grade Six! Yup, that was a long time ago. The place has changed a lot since I was last here. The buildings and caretaker at gone, and the wide open spaces are gone from all the trees and bushed growing in. But the place is still a camp site. I was surprised to see some RV camping there. There a few tents too, but the place was far from full for the long weekend.

I am not sure if this is still a private came site, or a pubic one, but we had no troubles getting in. I saw no gate.

The beach was a little disappointing when comparing it to Redsand. The sand was the same, yes there were holes and fire wood mixed in with the sand. I guess people have camped right up to the beach. But the water itself was beautiful!

The view of the mountains from the park was nothing short of awesome. I used my 28-300mm lens on these shots with my Sony A77. The sun did follow us, as the clouds seem to break off, but there were showers very close by.

But the day was not over be stretch!