The Bleeding Hearts Survived!

I am totally amazed! Once upon a time ago, when I first moved here, at my humble abode, the previous occupants had a really nice flower bed right by where my back door is now today. It was a really nice flower bed. But sadly, the day before I moved in my land lord moved a bunch stuff around, like the patio deck, and as a consequence, that flower bed was wiped out by the heavy equipment. Today I noticed some flower at my back door, actully a bunch, and saw these growing up from between my deck and back door.

To my surprise, these are Bleeding Hearts flower! What a surprise.

With all the rain in the last two days, I fear that this batch of flowers might not last long. They will get very little sunlight, and rain water usually pools right in that spot now.

If I have the energy and time, I might try and transplant a few of them for the front garden, but I fear this might be a long shot if I did. They sure are nice to look at.

I Saw the Sun!

Wow, but typical. Monday, and the sun is shining–go figure. One of the benefits of working afternoons is, I get the mornings to myself before head in. Right now I am outside on my patio, with a glass of orange juice and my laptop, typing this power out. Sadly, in a couple of hours I will have to start my work day. Right now, the sky is clear, and breeze is warm and the Sun feels so nice on my skin.

As much as I am looking forward to the short week–yes I get Friday off as a Stat. Holiday. I know it will be chaos at work as I know my employer is going to cram five days into one. It is the way of the beast, as my co-workers always say. Actually, two of them will most likely say, “it is what it is…” I find that one a little ambiguous, and often used like a phrase of defeat. But, who cares; I am happy! If my employer wants to load us up to fill the weekly quotas, then “go ahead,” as I only work so hard for my few bits of money per hour. I have been looking forward to this short week for a while. I have plans, and so much to do. Bring it.

My taxes were done over a month now, but I have received two letters from Revenue Canada since. The first one was to let me know that they will be holding off on my assessment until they have had more time to look over my maths and deductions. The second one was asking me to send them more information on two separate incomes I claimed. So last night, I spent five hours franticly organizing and documenting the requested data they wanted. I felt foolish for the amount of work I put into this, been that I balanced my year end taxes. I believe that they are more interested in the people I worked for than little old me. Oh Big Brother. LOL

Well, off to work I go. Let us see what kind of week it will be.

Gloomy Spring, But Spring Nonetheless

I guess we will right-off this spring too, as it is pouring outside, as I type. We had hail a few hours ago, and a big purple colour storm could is hovering over top waiting to dump its load of rain on everyone, so the weather is quite “moody” today. But it is warmer, and I think we are going back to our normal weather. Hummm, “normal,” is that really a word that can be used with the word “weather” any more?

Well, regardless, work is chugging along. It is getting busy now, as people are starting to do their spring type stuff. Though, items like lawn care products and outside garden tools are way down from this time last year, we are slower as far as sales go due to the weather (so I am told). But, it will warm up, and with it, the buying frenzy as people want their crisp green lawns this year to bolt up the value of their homes. The turf farm down the rad from me is still sitting idle; the rain is doing them no justice either.

I saw this before, last October, when I had to go in for my arm. Yesterday, I saw a little baby girl in the clinic at Langley City who had her ear lobe infected from unclean earrings. I see the new fad is implanting ear rings into babies so they do not have to endure the pain when they are older to have their ear’s pierced, is all the rage now. I was in the clinic to deal with some bladder infection issues, when I saw this little girl, maybe a year old, with her mother. The kid’s left ear lobe was all red and oozing white puss, but the right ear ring was still in the ear. I felt sorry for the kid, pain and mutilation for fashion–really? …and twice in six months now that I have seen this–gross.

I heard on the news that this year has been the gloomiest of all time. So far, for April, we are way low on sunshine, and February was bad too. We are chalking up more rainy days then ever before, according to Environment Canada. It shows too, outside my window, as the rain beads down it. but I am happy not to shovel it.

Some have probably noticed that I have been spending much less time on-line, especially on my Blog. Blame this on work. I am spending more overtime as a result of under staffing, and hitting the busy season. Yes, we are having problems finding workers to fill the vacant positions. I think I know why, but this is only my opinion: we do not pay enough to actually afford to live in Vancouver, with the way housing prices are going up. I can testify that you need at least a job that pays $25.00 per hours to scrape by. Good luck getting a job here that pays that much.

Well, time to enjoy my weekend. Maybe I will swim to the Post Office and check my mail.

Caught One, Rats! (Warning-Gross Image)

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps along with shock value, this image (below) speaks volumes to my plight. If you have been following my weblog, I have been battling with these vermin for the last four or five months now. They have cost me, in the pocketbook, a sum of around $1800.00 now, by replacing the damage they have caused. Chewed wires, holes in plastic containers and isolation, these rats have been nothing but trouble to both my home and vehicle. So I took action, and I am getting results!

Let us look at the above photo for a moment. This is the first rat caught while on the motor. I check my engine almost every day now. You can see the socks places under the wires. Those socks are filled with Mothballs, and since I have been placing them in the engine compartment, I have not had one wire chewed since.

Besides the Mothballs, I have been laying poison near my vehicle too. I bought some Rat-A-Way pellets, which did wonders on the first couple of days I set the traps. The first twenty-four hours three rat bodies were found underneath my Pathfinder, and the following day, four mice and one rat. Since then, the bait had been nibbled at, but no more bodies near my vehicle. Though, near my front door steps, I caught three more rats along with six mice in the last month.

But my main concern has been my vehicle. I now have proof that the Mothball method works!

To all those deniers and self-proclaimed rat experts (you know who you are) look-at-the-image. And “no,” I did not place the rat there and staged the whole photo–that is just gross!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Already, and so soon, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. I’m all geared up for it; wearing my green, and on the hunt for any leprechauns that just happen to cross my path. Tomorrow at my work, we are having Pot-Luck dinner and celebrating anything green. Of course there won’t be any green beer, or pot-rolls, but there might be some green punch at the cool-aid cooler.

So wear green and enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day–even if you’re not Irish–just do it, for fun.

New Worlds – The Trappist 1 System

How cool is that, the discovery of, not one, but seven new worlds around a dwarf star that is just 30 light-years away, and one or more of those planets could have Earth like conditions. When NASA made the announcement back on February 22, 2017 I did a search on-line once I got home to browse their website for all the information I could get. This was great news, a star with possible Earth like worlds, only 30 light-years away–wow. But I was so busy with work, and home projects that just now, that only this weekend I have been able to sit down and do some serious reading about the Trappist-1 system. I am blown away with all the data I see about this star system. 

A few cool things about the Trappist-1 system is that the star is an “ultra cool dwarf star,” which sounds weird and unappealing, but even with such a small star, the planets are close enough to it that they may sit in “inhabitable zone” for life as we know it to exist on. The dwarf star will out last our Sun, in terms of life expectancy becuase Dwarfs Stars burn their fuel more slowly. And something that I found really interesting, becuase the planets are really close to each other, all seven planets’ orbits would fit inside Mercury’s if compared to our Solar system, so you would be able to see the other planets really well if you stood on any one them. They would appear very large in the sky from your vantage point because of the small distance from one another.

On the down-side, becuase of the planets’ size and close proximity to the star and one another, all seven planets maybe “tidal locked” which means they would all have one side permanently facing the star. Read the Wikipedia page for more information.

The astronomers who made the discoveries, never actually seen the planets themselves becuase they are just to far away. They used the dimming effect of the objects passing in front of the star to spot them. So the images of the seven planets are artist’s who just guest at what these worlds would look like. Though, it helps to sparks the imagination.

Please visit the NASA webpage about the Trappist-1 System.

Yay-It’s March!

Finally, and about time too I must add, it is March. It is here, at last! And this means that it is about Twenty days until spring, or the Vernal Equinox! Officially the Vernal Equinox, or first day of spring, will start on March 20th, at about 3:29am PDT on the West Coast. Yes, do not forget about that stupid time change too. But any way, we are slowly creeping up to spring, whether it means we will really have a spring, judging by how screwed up our weather is, or not. Last weekend we had snow, and Environment Canada is forecasting snow for next weekend, when will this madness stop.

Regardless if we have snow up until the first day of spring, I am just happy that the days are getting longer, and soon it will be spring. Either way it will warm up.

The other side of this screwed up weather is, could this also effect our summer too? I mean, will we have a super scorcher summer, or will the cool weather follow us into the summer months?

In my flower bed, at the end of my driveway, the sprouts are popping up. With so much snow, and frosty nights, the normal February flowers have not made an appearance around my place yet, but the regular summer ones are trying to grow–trying. I see the lasting winter weather is making its mark in my area–it is still really cold at night. Though I did see some Snow Drops, but they were flatten to the ground by all the snow we had three days ago, but still exciting to finally see them. So a disappointing season for the early flowers.

Cube Land, a Story of a Friend Boxed In

Without naming names and keeping the innocent anonymous, I will just say a friend who lives in a condo taught me a thing or two about why you should always do your homework before buying a home. At just 23, my friend bought his condo in Langley City, which at the time was a really awesome deal. His mortgage was just a mere $250.00 per month, and his work was just a 5 minuet commute away. On top of his monthly payments were some maintenance charges, and of course his yearly taxes and insurance payments too, but all well within his means. All was good for my friend, and his life was one to envy.

It was a dark and stormy day back in the fall of 2014 when my friend’s life changed. Cube Land (the condominium), as I called it, hit a sudden snag for him. The building had a large crack along the under ground parking floor, and it grew day by day, suddenly spewing water and causing flooding, forcing some of the owners to park outside along the street. A broken water main that ran underground beside the building was the blame, and the repairs had to done at once. The inhabitance of Cube Land rejoiced as the repairs were completed, and all was normal again. But not until a yellow envelope was found pushed underneath my friend’s door that dark and stormy day, did his happiness ended, and his world imploded on him.

First his girlfriend wanted to move away from there, then he decided it was time to leave too after months of resistance, but the cost of those repairs was half of what his mortgage was worth now, and together his young family found there was no way out unless giving up all that they had worked for. His debt now nearly doubled, and his upgraded monthly payments dug into his living expenses, so he took on a part time job on top of his regular work to help pay for life in Cube Land. His girlfriend, now his wife, also took on extra work to help. They now found themselves struggling to keep a float, and each day brought new horrors of higher costs and extra fees that they had to pay.

Cube Land, once utopia, now became known as The Blight. It instilled all that my friend hated in the world. Selling was not an option, as there were rules and obligations in place that made it next to impossible for him to do so. It was a tragedy.

In this strange world of Cube Land, unexpected events happen that catch you off guard. It took an act so devastating that it changed my friend’s fortune, unexpectedly, to the good. A fire broke out in the unit below his, and caused enough damage that my friend had to move out. One would think this to be the ultimate of tragedies, but not so fast. With the help of Lawyer, and his insurance company, he managed to take his losses and turned them into a gain. He was one of the lucky ones.

Today, he now lives on land, a solid foundation, a house with a back yard, in the little city of Chilliwack, BC, now a 30 to 40 minute commute to his job. Thanks to the buy-out, his family has a new lease on life, pardon the pun. Cube Land still sits unrepaired and empty, “cursed,” as my friend says. Never again will he set foot there, never again.

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.