Record Snow – 2017: Update

Since I last posted here, so much has gone on weather wise that I thought I would dedicate this post to just the weather. The top story is the amount of snow we got here in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver area, but like with typical weather in British Columbia, you only have to wait fine minutes for it to change into something else. The rough outline of events: it is said that we got over 62cm of total snow dumped on us since the beginning of last week when the storms hit us. We also had below normals temperatures in that period of time too, along with a sharp warm-up that started on Wednesday (February 8th). On February 8th, we had a mini ice storm, which I drove home in, which was the most hazardous time of diving I experienced all this winter season from the black ice on the road and freezing rain sticking to everything including my wind-shield. Now, we are dealing with snow melt and rain, along with plus 5C weather, but the good news, it is melting.

The above image was taken on February 7th, 2017 showing the day after of the snow storm. This shot shows the highest amount of the snow that fell this last week. I took this shot before I left for work. That same night we had the ice storm. It was a struggle to get back into my driveway. Ice was everywhere, as the rain hit every frozen surface. Branches from near by trees were snapping like toothpicks.

In the above image taken today, one of the many trees that had its branches snapped off during the ice storm back on Wednesday. Some of the branches were nearly 10cm in diameter! This is why we have some many power outages here.

According to the weather prognosticators at Environment Canada, we should see a steady increase in daily temperatures, well above freezing, along with night time lows as well. So, it could be conceivable that all of this snow will be gone by next week. For now, we are dealing with pooling water, and the odd road that has not been cleared. For me, it is my driveway, the snow bank left by the grader is my biggest obstacle, but my 4X4 SUV can handle that.

I have to hand it to these guys, they are tough as nails. While it was minus 11C out, with the blowing wind and ice pellets on the snow, these guys kept on going, as if nothing was wrong. They have the advantage with their wool coats. LOL Though, they do look a little pissed in this shot, but as long as they have straw, hay and water, I think they keep to themselves. They snuggle up to each other in the covered area when it really rains out, so they do use the shelter from time to time.

Snowpocalypse: The Dump Continues

I think this is the best word to describe it: “Snowpocalypse.” It seems to sum up it best for me. I measured it on my patio table, and I got 42cm of powdery snow. I also noticed that underneath, a layer of ice, about 2cm think, is everywhere too. I did a little drive in my SUV, just down the road a little, about 4km and back, and I seem to have had no troubles with getting around, but I was driving slow. But the weather prognosticators are saying that we will see snow weather systems for the next five days here in  the valley! Umph.

We must be breaking records around here with all of this snow and cold weather? I do not think I have ever seen it this bad in my time living here. Oh well, we have to live with it, no matter what. I hope the melt will be as fast as it got dumped.

I spent part of my afternoon shovelling out my driveway, for my morning commute tomorrow. I figure at least I should have a clean driveway so that I will not get stuck there. I just hope the Township has its snow removal gear out by tomorrow, or we will be in a Snowpocalypse for sure, as chaos erupts everywhere with crazy motorists on the roads going to work.

Another Dump of Snow

Say it ain’t so…, yes, it is another round of snow, brought to us by the freaky weather anomalies of climate change. Since yesterday, the snow has fallen here almost uninterrupted, with an accumulation of nearly 20cm of it. Driving on the roads here is almost a joke, though it is possible, it would be rough going. My little stretch of road just got ploughed an hour ago, and is was only a single lane that got cleared; so if you have to pass another car in the on coming direction, one of use would have to drive in the snow bank. 

I decided not to go out today. Even though I have lots to do, I elected to stay put. I am not going to stress myself out attempting to drive in all this snow, knowing that road chaos is out there. I will survive as long it takes until the roads are good again.

Fortunately the power has been pretty good. I only notice a couple of small interruptions, mainly just flickers of the lights, so hopefully our lick will hold. Though I am prepared for an all-night power outage, candles, water and a propane heater. But I would by grumpy.

The weather people say this could last up until Monday when the snow may start to melt away, as the rain eventually starts. So, I guess, this means my whole weekend is shot to hell. Luckily, the freezing rain did not start. I am sure the power would be out for sure if we got what Eastern Canada with their ice storm. But we are warmer then the last time we had a this type of snow storm. Maybe it will melt faster.

So, it is a good weekend to stay indoors, and off the streets. This is what I intend to do. I think some badly needed computer maintenance time is on my agenda at home.

It’s a Rat in Your Engine, Son. Part 2

OK, I finally got set-up with my “real” mechanic, who scheduled me in for Thursday to fix my broken Pathfinder. He looked at it, and told me that this really was an easy fix, and could not understand why the first shop I went to could not fix it. The problem was the computer that controls the engine was shorted out. A small cost of about $300.00 to have it replaced. However, there is labour involved, so the final bill was close to $600.00. But, now it runs better than it ever has since I bought it!

But it was not a quick fix. Apparently, Nissan only made the one computer for my make and year of vehicle. Meaning that older, or newer computers will not work on my truck. So, there was a day wait as the replacement computer needed to be shipped in from Abbotsford, BC–about a 40k trip away. I had to go a extra day without my main mode of transportation. 

When I took the truck home this evening, I was super impressed with how well it ran. Although I spent a small fortune of my savings to fix it, the smoothness of the engine, and how well it runs seems all worth it. In the end it is a bill of over $1400.00 to fix the damage done by the rats.

All is good for now. 🙂

It’s Rats In Your Engine, Son. Part 1

I started up my Pathfinder Monday morning, as usual, and when the engine turned over, something distinctly wrong happened. That smooth sound of six happy cylinders humming away was replaced with a “chug-chug-clank-chug” sound, that was not the sound of a healthy engine. Thinking it was the cold weather, I waited for the engine to warm up a bit, and gave it some gas to see if that would take the put it back to hum of the sympathy of cylinders back on track. Not a chance.

There was something wrong, and it was bad. I popped the hood, and could not find anything that stuck out with my eyes. The engine was running rough, and no matter what I tweaked, it made no difference. It was as if I was having a major timing problem, or I blew half my spark plugs. But from what?

I drove it to work. I made it, but it was a shaky ride. It was like riding on a sled, on a road full of large rocks, with no spring or shocks on the wheels. My back was sore from that first ride, but it seemed to get a little better on my way home, but just a little.

On Wednesday I took the Pathfinder a far as Langley City, were I found a shop that was close to where I work. I hoped they would let in without an appointment—they took me in. I left the truck with them and went to work. Later that night, I went back to collect my ride, and was shocked to find out that they could not fix it—this—after a $800.00 Bill! Sure, they got to run a little bit better, but the engine was still broken.

They told me that I had a rat’s nest in the plenum, and that they chewed all the wires around the engine block. The wires, and injectors tubes and other hoses had to be changed.

So I took it home, angry and insulted, and thinking what to do next.

Stay tuned for part 2.

New Year. Do I Need My Emergency Kit?

Looking back, most of the day was spent without Internet, Cable, Phone and access to my street as five cars that could not make it up the hill, huddled in front of my driveway. It was not the snow, but drivers that made my day a stay-at-home one. The power lines were lined with trees that were leaning up against them from the weight of the snow. Last night’s snow fall was nearly 14cm according to my measurements on my patio. Up until 10:00pm, I was so grateful that the power held, although at multiple times my lights dimmed and flickered wildly for several minutes, until it finally switched off for four hours. However, my Internet was connecting for a few hours at a time, I did have partial contact with the world.

The highlight of the day was listening to the trees bend and break through the early morning. When I walking outside, I was awestruck at the sight I saw: winter. The night before, I took some night shots of the forest, and saw huge green flashes of light, as trees were touching the power lines. But even during the daylight hours, I saw one flash that almost made me jump out of my clothes. Then it struck me: we are not done yet with this weather.

It seems that most weather forecasters get it wrong for my area. When they say I should see 5C, I often get ether something higher, or a lot lower. So when the Snow Warnings were issued, and temps were forecasted, my area was deemed minimal, more inline with the City of Vancouver. Even Abbotsford, the city to my East, was given higher values than what I received, so I had a misguided sense of security with my environment. So I got more snow, and it was far colder then what I thought we would get. Sure, I dealt with it, but under protest.

Tomorrow, the forecast says were are going to have clear skies, but with wind. WIND! Oh, great, there goes the power for sure. Trees bent over from snow, and temperatures well before freezing, now being mixed with wind; all for a recipe for power outages, bad roads, and a long night sleep. I am thinking I should have my Emergency Kit handy–better safe than sorry.

Happy New Year 2017!

In just a few hours from now the new year will kick in, and with it, a three day long weekend! Now that is something to celebrate! The very end of 2016 has been (or still is), well, shitty for me, to say the least. I am ending the year off with the worse flu I have had in years. I even took time off from work becuase of it–that is how bad. I am not going to let that dampen my mood tonight as the old year draws to a close, and we switch over to 2017, I will stay up and celebrate it!

The only worry I have tonight is that we are being told to watch out for some bad weather. It is snowing at the moment, and it should start to clear up tomorrow, but then stay well below freezing for the next ten days or so. All should be good if the roads are free of snow before the freeze starts. If not, then we will have ice everywhere after that. And so much for the heating bill too.

I am planning on staying home, like the last five years, to celebrate the New Year moment. I will watch my clock as it moves from 2016 to 2017, and then wait for the neighbourhood to erupt with fire works (gun shots) and horns to mark the calendar change. Then slip quietly back into bed. Actually, last year, if I remember correctly, I think I just stayed in bed: woke to the noise, then fell right back to sleep.

ADDED:

It is about 9:30pm now, and the snow has not let off. There is one thing worse than having to deal with 15cm of snow, and that is power outages. Already, since 7:00pm, I have had 5 short outages, caused by trees touching the power lines. Luckily none have lasted longer than 10 seconds. The forest sounds like a war zone from the branches breaking from the weight of the snow. No doubt it will get worse as the night goes on. I think I am OK as far as a tree breaking on my home though, but I do have large ones not to far away from me. Tomorrow we are expecting to be well below freezing, so if the power does go out, it will be a chilly one.

I just looked outside to check on the falling snow, and it is still falling at a fast rate. No matter what, I am staying inside tonight; staying far, far, far away from driving on the roads today. OK, signing off. See you next year…

The Rush, the Rude and the Screwed

As promised from one of my earlier posts this month, I compiled a list of moments when acts of rudeness (only becuase these surpassed acts of kindness), and not surprising, most were motor vehicle related. With the Holidays, everyone here in the Lower Mainland and Metro Vancouver were out rushing about to get shopping done, preparing themselves for those lavish family dinners, and stocking up on general stuff. The big box stores were packed, and most Malls too, as people crammed the last minute shopping for gifts. But then there are screwed, like myself who was stuck in bed with a bad flu, which seemed to make the whole thing mute as I had no enjoyment for the next three days.

Acts of rudeness. By far, and way ahead of the rest, the number one spot on my list of rudeness happened back on December 15, when a woman, in her 30’s tried to hold a Handy Cap parking stall for here husband, while a legitimate Handy Cap driver was trying to park in it. In the Walmart parking lot, front parking stalls are always sought after, simply becuase you do not have to walk far to the store. I brushed up on my Handy Cap permits in British Columbia knowledge a while back, and have learned how to tell the difference between the fake ones. The fellow who was trying park had a legitimate permit. However, the woman refused to surrender the stall. Even I told her that she cannot hold a parking stall like this, “it is first come first serve.” She ignored me, and the rest of the passer bys as well. Finally, when I saw what her husband was driving, a rather large black SUV, he had no Handy Cap permit! His truck was to big to properly fit in the parking stall anyway. Maybe this was poetic justice?

The rest of my list is just small stuff; I will type not out a comprehensive list here. There is just no point to do that. I will just point out the highlights. Drivers driving to fast, or trying to cut in front of other cars to “get there first.” Leaving garbage in front of your driveway, or as in one case with a friend, in the back of his pick-up. Stopping in the middle of an aisle in a busy shopping store to talk on your cell phone, while others are also trying to shop down that same aisle. How rude. Coughing straight into the air, or into a crowed of people in a public place, with out covering your mouth. Leaving your shopping buggy right in the middle of the parking stall becuase your are to lazy to return it back to the special shopping cart drop-off centre. The list goes on and on, but I will stop here.

Then there is me, the Screwed. I caught it on Friday. When  I got home from work. It had progressed into the full-blown symptoms of a flu. I already felt like I wanted dive right into bed when I walked in the door. So far, this is on nasty little bug. I have a full chest infection, and my whole body is going through the chill, and fever cycles every couple of hours. The worst; the coughing. I cannot sleep becuase it. I think next week will be hell if I cannot rid myself of this.

Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice! Another astrological event is upon us, the shortest day of the year, or longest night of the year, marking the start of winter, yay (or not). But look at it this way, all we have to do is survive through the next three months of this, and then it will be spring. You just have to hang in there; it will fly by fast, I guarantee it. But anyway, we get about 8:11 hours of daylight here in Vancouver today, which is quite a bit compared to, say, Terrace, British Columbia, which will get 7:16 hours. The good news, each day will get a little bit better each time from here on in. I can see you smiling already.

As for the weather, well, here it is quite cool. In fact, we still have snow on the grown from the storm last week before the week and a half long freeze up, but it is raining as the temperature is hovering above the freezing mark.

A side note: I did get my water back on line. The water line finally thawed out enough. I am not taking any chances now–heat tape on the water line–and I am leaving the water run just a little bit to make sure the line does not freeze up again. Life without running water–sucks.

OK, now I am going to do a little cat nap. So tired. I love the holidays! 🙂