Things Are Looking Up

It is early Saturday Morning, and I decided to get up, rather than sleep in. I figure, if I had a good week, then getting up early on a day off is well deserved, especially since I never physically worked that hard. So, in this post, I want to talk about my job. As you may have guessed, I do not reveal where I work, and give out the name of my employer here on my blog. Let me just say, it makes life less complicated by keeping these personal. To sum up everything thus far, I would say things are awesome. I would have never of dreamed of capturing a job of this quality, up here in Terrace–ever. Believe me, my sites were set low, based on my past experience as a kid growing up here. But then, life is full of surprises.

When I first moved to Terrace, I thought I would land some low wage job, say in retail, that would get my by for the next year or two. My sites were set that low. Hey, I see Canada as the land of two worlds: one that is really doing well, and other half in a constant state of struggle. Perhaps I landed on the side that is really doing well? Anyway, the level of employment was a surprise based on my initial research before I moved up here. I plotted jobs, went through the cycles, and watched the trends. From the Lower Mainland, Metro Vancouver, area, all pointed to employment being largely comprised of low wage jobs in the retail market. Things change when you step on Terrace Soil, and being here is not the same as not being here.

I learned quickly that services are run different, and that employers, and the locals, use them differently than those in the Lower mainland. The local news paper charges a lot for ads, so that gets used only when the job is either hard to fill, or come from deep pockets with imperatives, usually from outside the local economy. The Internet is a powerful tool, and slowly it is being embraced, but largely, human networking is the way of things here. Sure, I found my job on the net, but it largely hinged on being here, as a local.

It has been two full weeks now working for this company. For the most part, I have ninety percent of the job learned. Running a warehouse has its basics, and all models run the same way, only the means change are differ from one to another. I fell quite nicely in the grove, and the fit was almost perfect.

Amazingly, the wage was the shocker. I never bothered to ask what the wage was. I just assumed, based on my experience from the Lower Mainland that the job would be somewhere around twelve to fourteen dollars per hour. My heart leaped out when my trainer said seventeen for training, then twenty, once I passed. Later it was reviled that I would be making eighteen for my probation period, then twenty there after. And somewhere down the long path, the job had the potential of reaching thirty-two dollars per hour. We will see.

The pace of this job is way below from where I came from. If fact, I would say the job interactions are less than five percent compared to my last place of employment. Let me give you an example. Here, last Thursday, I had three parcels to receive, comprised of fifty-five pieces of four items. May last day from my last job, I received over four hundred pieces, of over three hundred items, on three full shipping containers/trailers, and half of that was unloaded by hand and sorted. So I went from a physical labourer environment, to a manager style job. Not bad.

Well, everyone is starting to get up here in my building complex. I better close this off, and start my day.

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.

Ah, The Old World Has Not Changed One Bit

Life here in Terrace has been pretty laid back so far. No major stresses or outstanding worries, and most of the people here out in town have been very friendly. But my apartment block is a whole other world! So far, I have met about eighty precent of my neighbours. Out of that, maybe half have a job, and the other half, I am not sure. The little old lady who lives three doors down from me is another story, but I will type a little about her in this post. The new boys next door, well, it had only been five day since they moved in, and already I am thinking about getting out of here, as they drew the line for me. And the smoking, and begging…!

It has been hot here for the last week, so naturally I have been leaving my windows open. I bought some good screens to keep the flies out, and I have a fan blowing clean air from the back bedroom window. So far, today, it is 24C inside, and 28C outside. The weather has been fantastic, so say the least. I got up about 8:00 am, and made some breakfast and coffee to start the day with. I also have my computer set to watching the news, live streaming it, so I catch up on the day’s events. Then all of a sudden a face presses up against my front window–it was the little old lady from two doors down. She poke her head in as far as she could, and asked, “How are you. I was wondering if I could barrow $20.00 dollars from you?” I am setting in my chair in disbelief, “You are kidding” I thought. I replied, “No.” For several seconds she stood there, looking at me, then she got the hint and left. I am still a little freaked out about that. Nothing is private any more.

But last night took the cake. The two boys that moved in next door to me, well, they were drunk. They sit outside, smoking of course, and talking to each other about how the world owes them, and why they deserve so much more. I was totally caught off guard when one of them asked me if I had Internet, wifi, and if I could share it with until he got hooked up. Before I could answer him, the other fellow asked if I had booze of my own because they needed more. Rather than answering them, I just got into my truck and drove away. Long story–short, I did not get anything from the store–their Interact/Credit machines were out, so I came straight back home. The boys were just walking out when I pulling in. They asked me if I could give a lift down the road, and I said no, becuase I am going home and probably going to bed after that. After some obscenities, they waved me away, and kept on walking towards town. By this time, they could barely walk on their own from being so drunk. Yes, the wild West, or something.

Sometimes I think I am the only one that does not smoke cigarettes. When I took this place, the landlord specifically said to me that these apartments were none smoking. I think everyone here smokes. This is why I have the fan blowing air inside from the back room as opposed to having it in the front room. Sometimes they sit outside in front of their apartments to have their cigarettes, so the smoke drifts into my place if I have windows open. It is tolerable.

The one saving grace is there is hardly any noise, like partying, fighting, and music. So far, the place has been awesome for being quite. I hear the odd bit of noise, but in general, it is very quiet.

Like my girlfriend said, you expect this sort of thing for the rent money you are paying. I can say, with all honesty, I picked a low income area to live, for the value that I am paying. Well, the options were slim to say the least at the time before I moved here, but yes, I see another move in the near future.

Happy Canada Day!

The Canada 150 flags are everywhere, and almost everyone is wearing red, with the Canada 150 logo on it. I am not wearing red, but I am walking around with my camera on one side and my girl friend on the other. It is quite the festive atmosphere. I my highlight will the fireworks. I am hoping to catch those. The draw back is, being so far North, it does not really get dark here at night.

It seems the action is in Kitimat, BC, about a half hour drive South from Terrace, BC. They will have fireworks and street parties. I am sure not what all Terrace will do for events, but we had a look. Rain is the threat today, so travel will be limited becuase of that. But it is warm out.

Repost: 10:00pm

So, we started the day in Terrace, then drove over to Kitimat, BC were the real festivities were being held. Sadly there was not much happening in Terrace. We missed the pancake breakfast, and the first half the events at the Heritage Park, so we just spent the first part the day at the down town park checking out the Farmer’s Market and some performers. We then decided to head off to Kitimat, about 30-40 kilometres South of Terrace.

Below is one of the performers in Terrace, BC who was singing at the George Little Park by where the Farmer’s Market was being held.

Then it was off to Kitimat, BC to take part in the Canada Day festivities there.

When we got there, we just made it to the singing of the national anthem, “Oh Canada.” It was sung by a local young woman who sang it pretty good. Plus, there was a good size crowd there too.

Then it was off to the Douglas Channel, were we saw lots of stuff in the harbour. It was nice to smell the saltwater. But these people on the huge tree root just killed me from laughing. I thought, “what a great a shot!” You judge for yourself?

I took the above photo with my 300mm lens, but by the time a got around to get a better shot, they were all gone from the giant tree root. Yes, it was super low tide, normally this is under water. Reo Tinto is just on the other side of the bay.

We stopped off at Lakesle Lake, and there we found the break in sky where the Sun shone threw. So naturally, since we were by Water Lilly Bay, I got a great shot of some Water Lillies at Furlong Bay.

And that concludes the day’s event for me. I had dinner at my girlfriend’s place, and then off to home, where is was nearly 9:00pm when I got in. Phew, it was a long day, but it was fun.

I am Connected!

Feels great to be in touch with the world again. I am back on my PC, with all my links, bookmarks and updated files. Yes, I am connected! I think I was going through Internet withdraw too. Anyway, that is all behind now. I have so far spent the entire day updating and catching up on everything. So many emails, and just about two hours reading them, and another replying back. Also, I have the phone, which has not rang yet, but hopefully it will.

One of the first things I did was update my job search. Now that I have new phone number, I had to change everything on several job search websites. That took about an hour. I managed to send out a couple resumes too in the process. It is so nice to check whenever I want as opposed to whenever I can a hot spot, or friends.

If I have not contacted you yet, fear not, I will get to you.

Update on my Banking: Still no word on when the transfer has taken place. I think I am going in tomorrow, at least I can update my stuff now. I should of taken my money with me. LOL Hindsight is always twenty/twenty, eh?

Light Rays Over Thornhill Mountain

As I sit back in my comfy chair, and I look out the living room window to see the sunlight spread out through the sky, it like watching a movie slowly unfolding. It is like fingers raking the clouds in the sky, rays of sunlight beam through spaces between. An awesome sight indeed. It is about eight in the morning, and people are busy going about their way, either to work, or driving around. The sounds of an owl lurks in the near by bushes, and a crow flies overhead, probably in search of food. The air is fresh and clean, I feel reenergised from it. It feels nice, and looks awesome.

In few minutes I have to go into town and see if I can get connected to the Internet. I have two choices, Fiber Optic, or the old copper cable. Because I rent, permission is needed before I can have the Fiber put in, but copper is currently hooked up, but more expensive. It is fast coming up to a week now that I have been unconnected. It feels wrong without the Internet. More than anything, I need a phone, and I need the Internet too, but the phone is essential around here. I cannot work without it.

Seeing the old with the new is like watching time stand still. So many here are not connected. They do not want it. So many here are computer illiterate, and have little concept of cyber space. I guess why do need it if you cut trees or haul rocks for a living. Yet computers are everywhere. But at least I see the cutting edge technology here also, but few understand it, or use it. I met one really knowledgeable “Geek” who spends most of his time gaming on-line, a couple of days ago. Not surprisingly, he is only twenty years of age, and was from California, USA—a move that started from his parents, and he stayed behind from his teenage years. He told me that he could spend half of his time working on other’s gear, but thinks he is wasting his time. Most PCs here are old and out of date in these parts, he told me. Not surprisingly, Linux is a foreign concept here, right up there with “Open Source.” Window$ XP and Seven rule the roost around here.

I just got back from down town metropolitan Terrace. Still laughing about the commute times. Everything is so close together here—seven minutes—half hour round trip.

The good news—I get connected this Thursday, first thing in the morning. I cannot wait for that to happen. Soon, soon I will connected again, and a telephone number to boot!

The bad news—still no word on my switching my Banking up to Terrace. Or it has not happened yet. Sadly, only the five dollars I put in there still sits.

A little old lady lives two doors down from me. She seems nice, but either lives on assistances, or collects a very small pension. She met me yesterday before I ventured out onto one of my forays into town. She ask if she could have some bread, and that has had no money for food. What made it even grimmer, she held a lit cigarette in her hands while she was asking. I wanted to say, “quit smoking, and you will have more money for food,” but that would have fallen on death ears.

On the other side of me, in the next apartment, the occupant is sitting outside on his chair having a cigarette too. Not sure if he works or not. I see no vehicle parked in front of his place, so it is hard to tell if he is employed. He seems like a happy fellow. But he is sure laid-back.

To funny… The owl is “Hooting” like crazy right now. Must have found something to eat, or a mate. LOL

I sit and look up to the mountains towards the East, the Sun peaking over top, and light rays peering across the sky like a giant fan. With only a few clouds to tell that daylight is upon us, the sky itself is a brilliant blue. Summer in the North West is beautiful!

Made It! I Am In Terrace!

I am here; made it! The trip took over seventeen hours, and nearly four hundred dollars in fuel, but it was worth it. The DriveBC web site was the most accurate as far as times go. Google and MapQuest were way off in calculating time for the trip. I still do not my own Internet, nor phone, but I should hopefully but hook up with the week. I got into town Thursday afternoon, and I was snuggled into my apartment by the evening. Oh, and I forgot that the Sun sets way later here.

The trip it’s self was uneventful. I drove most of it at night, which made a lot better in my opinion as far as traffic goes. I saw only one deer and as few other drivers on the road. It was once going threw Smithers that encounter lots of people, but that was because it was 8:00am by then.

I fueled up four times along the way. Hope, 100mile, Prince George and then in Smithers, British Columbia were the fuel stops. The moving truck I had only gave me a half tank of fuel to start with. Yes, the truck was a hog on fuel. Next time, I will pack lighter.

My transition over to Terrace has not been what I thought. My Banking will be at least a few days, as they do not have near the services that Vancouver has. And my Internet will be the same, though I will fiberoptic. Only my car insurance was flawless–and I got a refund from doing the switch. Insurance is way cheaper up here than the Lower Mainland.

Right now, I am using my girlfriend’s Internet to do my stuff. But until everything straiten out, I will back more often.

I have photos, but right now I am on my laptop, and that takes to long to process them, so soon I will post them here once I get up and running.

So, ya, I made it! I am here. 🙂

Updated: July 3, 2017

The above image is me leaving Fort Langley, BC. I am all packed up, and heading out.

Seventeen hours later, and an hour to unhitch the trailer, I crashed, and did not get up until 9:00pm. This shot below is taken around 9:45pm! Damn close to the land of the Midnight Sun.

Now to get my life back to the “New” normal. LOL

Calculating

I decided to check how long, and how much fuel I need for the trip up to Terrace, BC from Langley, or Glen Valley were I am living right now. I got a couple of different answers. And on top of that, I am not sure how much fuel I will need for the trip. So for the mean time, I have my previous trips from Terrace to Vancouver, BC, roughly twenty hours. So I just took a couple of hours off of that, somewhere around nineteen to seventeen hours, I figure.

According to Google Maps, I am looking at roughly 1318 km to Terrace BC. Map Quest estimate I might do the trip in seventeen hours, while Google says about fourteen. I think Google has got it wrong. Again, I am leaning towards nineteen hours for the whole trip.

The last time I drove this route, I was looking at roughly $250.00 in gas cost, in a 1979 Ford 150 pick-up truck, back in 1995. Now gasoline was somewhere around fifty cents per litre, and the truck was on it’s last legs as far as it fuel economy goes. The truck went to the bone right after that trip. So, I figure it might cost me $245.00 in today’s dollars for the trip. Perhaps even $300.00, based on towing a trailer with a ten foot U Haul truck. The U Haul website was no help either. To bad fuel was included in the rental cost too?

Now I did a trip to Alberta, near Rocky Mountain House, about seven years ago, and that took me about thirteen hours, and burnt about seventy litres of gasoline, roughly about eighty dollars, in a small pick-up. Again, Google says about one thousand and four kilometres, and about ten and a half hours to drive it. Maybe Google speeds?

Relax – The Calm Before the Storm

Who knew packing with boxes and packing blankets would be some much fun. I am not being sarcastic, but for real. I think I was a tad bit over prepared for this. I am at the eighty precent mark based on my good judgement in terms of packing everything into boxes. I have some large item that are to big for boxes, and can sit by them selves on the moving truck. There are just a few shelves I have not touched yet, but I figure I should have those packed away too by the end of the day. There some things will go last, like my computer and television, and the dishes and cutlery I am using to eat with. Other than that, everything should be pack and ready to go.

Finding relics from the past has been fun too. I threw out a couple of loads of old paperwork last night. But before I let them go to the land fill (recycling heaven) I went through them. There in one box was a five year chapter of my life all in bills, letters and receipts. It was sort of heart wrenching to look at some of those papers. There were two letters that got me the most. First was my war with the HSBC Bank, from when we went to court, only to it have it reset back to negotiations twice. I was very fortunate that the Judge, the second time, ruled in my favour. Second, was the purchase of my trailer, the one I paid for with a huge down payment, with a five grand financing tagged on the end that cost me more nine thousand before it was mine.

Finding old parts from stuff long thrown out, was another fun find. I now have a one gallon pickle jar completely full of nuts, bolts, and screws from draws and cupboards. It amazes me how much stuff has accumulated over the years. Some of this stuff dates back to 1999, and 1995 when I lived in Langley City. I do say, this is a very good way of de-cluttering my life. Just unbelievable.

At the very least, I have to thank “The Monk” for the night out. We went to theatre to see “Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2,” (2017), in Langley at the Colossus Cinoplex. If was fun. We shook has after the movie in parking lot, he thanked me for the time we worked together, and we parted ways. I was also low on gas, so he followed until I got safely to the gas station. And that was it; a good night out. It was nice to take my mind off of the move for a couple hours.

Well, must get back it. The boxes do not move themselves.

One More Day to Go

Well, this is it. One more day of work here in the Lower Mainland to go before I move away up North. Funny, everyone at my work seems sad to see me go, but they are also just realizing that I have just one more day to go before it is over, and they are saying that I did not warn enough. Even funny-er, I have. I have been counting down since I gave my two week notice to anyone that can hear me. Time marches on, doesn’t it.

I decided that I would not slack off from my job duties. I would keep up the paces unit my last day. So far only one fellow employee has noticed. He said that I should, but I say no. My reason is simple. I want them to know next week after I am gone. I want them to feel it. The new guy, or actually he has been that before, will look like a newbie after I am gone. But I also want to set some standards, hopefully, after I leave. But I highly doubt it.

I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. I am leaving that up to them. I mean, I will go into work, do my job, but I have no idea what kind of a day it will be? I never look at the schedule, or care to. I just want to show up, do my work, then leave. I want to leave happy, knowing I did a good days work.

Yes, I will miss a lot people there. I made some good friends there, and I knew a lot of people in those three years in the store. Not only that, I learned a lot stuff at the job too. I know what bead-board is. But looking back, I never thought I would work in the Hardware Business, but I did it, and I am good at it. Who would have thought three years ago? Yes, I will miss it.

I have been announcing my count down every day I go into work. Last week, I told everyone in the lunch room that I was leaving. I guess they had “selective hearing” on at that time? Maybe they forgot? Oh well. No one can say that I did not tell them that I was leaving there. I gave my two weeks notice, and all heard.

Anyway, time to move on. The North calls. I have a partner there waiting for me–that feels good. Time to leave this place.