Not One Snow Flake.

I am just reminiscing here, thinking about this time last year when we were hip-deep in snow, and minus five to ten census was a normal day for late fall here in Thornhill, BC. Today, not one snow flake has stayed on the ground, and for that matter, I have not seen one fall to the Earth during the one storm we had so far this month. Even the snowline, across the mountains that make the Skeena Valley, seems unusually higher than normal. In fact, Copper Mountain, right now, has no snow on it that I can see, while Thornhill Mountain, connected to it, only the very tip has snow.

Down here, closer to river level, we are enjoying eight to ten plus degree weather each day. Even with our rainy days, the downpours are nothing compared to last year when we a couple of days of flash flooding occurred back then. The local news paper put out a story on how low the Skeena River is, citing that this year has seen the lowest level of the river, since records were kept starting back 1928, (The Terrace Standard: “Skeena River Levels Still Below Seasonal Levels,” November 30, 2018). 

Tomorrow will be the first day of December, and with the shorten days, and with less than three weeks until Winter Solstice, the question is: will a proper winter season set in for this year?

However, none of us are complaining too much about the snow drought. With not one snow shovel deployed since last year, and snow removal equipment sitting idle, I have not heard too much, other than the people who make their living on removing the snow. Our streets sit clean and free of the white stuff, and commuting to work is like driving on a summer’s day. And with even lower that usual amounts of rainy days, I think people are generally more positive this year.

Forget Vancouver… and its Bridges!

This morning, I was reading the CBC.ca Website, and they posted an article, that talked about the best way to photograph Vancouver, British Columbia, was through photographing the bridges, but from underneath. Well,  I have been shooting bridges, both on top, and bottom, for years. Why, this last weekend, I got a shot of the Dudley Little Bridges, but from underneath. So, here is my photo of, capturing Terrace, BC, and the Skeena Valley, from under the bridge from last Sunday, on November 11, 2018.

If you read the article, it says that the “Internet knows best how to photograph Vancouver, BC.” You photograph it from underneath. And, I have to agree, if you want to see the best side of Vancouver, you look at the bridges. And, to see the architecture of a bridge, you look at from the water and river banks. And Vancouver has some really awesome bridges.

Terrace and Thornhill, British Columbia, on the other hand, have only one bridge (The Skeena River Bridge, 1925) that has some really amazing architecture, while the other, more newer “Dudley Little Bridges, (1975)” are kind of “meh”? I mean they did things very “plain and practical” back then in the mid ’70s. So the “new bridge,” as we like to call it, was built to serve one purpose: to get cars and trucks across the Skeena River, safely, and as efficiently, as possible. As far as looks go, well, lets just say, it is a bridge. But perhaps this is the hidden beauty of the Skeena Valley?

CBC news article: “The best way to photograph Vancouver is from under a bridge, apparently,” From CBC.ca Website, on November 13, 2018.

The Local Snot Bug Making Its Rounds

With the cold weather now upon us, and the threat of snow just days away, with that comes the flu and snot bugs. This year we have a treat, a strain that I call, “The Skeena Valley Snot Bug: 198D.” As the kids go to their schools, they bring back these little gems of misery, right to their parents laps. You walk into a store, or gathering place today, you will meet a victim, as they give back to the community which they received. You touch a door handle, hand rail, table top, or toilet flusher, and then stick your fingers into any orifice on your body, guess what? You got it.

Fortunately I do not have it. I know my turn is near, as many around me have it, and are carriers of it too. With the cold weather, I crank my heat up at night, and wash my hands often. I wipe down most objects that people touch, that could potentially harbour these snot-bugs. But all it takes is just one snot-bug to get you.

My poor Suz., is currently suffering from the bug. She has it, full on. Runny nose, post nasal drip, red eyes, sore throat, sneezing, and general crankiness. Still, with her contagious state, I welcomed her at my place for dinner with open arms. I think it helped her with the symptoms. It is hard to say for sure.

Needless to say, the bug is making its rounds, and coming soon, for you. Beware, and do your best to keep it under control. This one seems like a doozy.

Halloween Day!

We made it! The spooky day is now upon us now, and to night: we roar! I got most of my costume done early this morning, using a couple of prosthetics, and lots of fake blood. Plus I am using sprite-glue for the latex bits that I have stuck to my face, for the first time. The stuff works. I may post a photo later on tonight.

Since I get off work early, I will head home to finish my costume, then drive up to Suzette’s place where we will greet the Trick or Treaters, and then have dinner there, as she is cooking something yummy. Because it is a work night, I will probably get home early for bed. I am hoping that this glue comes off with out any troubles.

So, Happy Halloween! Have a scary night!

ADDED: Spent the evening at Suzette’s place for dinner. It was an awesome meal, the best chilly in the Skeena Valley. 

It was funny to watch. As Suzette was preparing and during the cooking process, the interruptions from trick or treaters, seemed like everything five minutes. In all, from the time that I was there, and estimate of thirty kids were asking for the sugar loaded treats.

A note about the kid’s costumes here in Thornhill, BC. From what I seen, I can say that the kids are better dressed here, than from what I remember whan living in the Lower Mainland. Also, it appears that the kids here spend more time on their makeup and appliances from what I have seen. I did not see any indecent costumes, and I can say this might be in part to how cool it gets here in the evenings on the North Coast.

It was a good time. I am too tired from my busy day, so I am calling it sleep-time early.

A Night Out – The Terrace Symphony Orchestra

As part of our “culture” requirements, me Suzette went for a night out to the R.E.M. Lee Theatre to see the Terrace Symphony Orchestra, with their performance called, “Music Through Time: 1680 – 2012 – Today,” at 7:00pm. And yes, this included lots of Halloween costumes, since part of the event featured a costume parade for the children, live on stage. It was a wonderful even, and we were entrained very well. For the evening out to this event, it was very reasonable in priced, at just only six dollars, all an awesome price for some live classical music, and great entertainment. Even one of the local school choirs sang two songs, with the Orchestra backing them up. And I shot some video!

The costume that some of the folks made were incredible. All the players and musicians dressed up for this. Some were cute, and others were very intricate. I think the guy in the Red Lobster suit looked awesome, and the and Cello player who dressed up as an Elf as Santa’s Little Helper, looked the most colourfull. Oh, and cannot for get the Energizer Bunny! LOL.

The above shot is the children who sang in the choir, called “The Ecole Mountainview School Choir,” who sang two songs. The event featured an audience sing-a-long, and a chance to be a Conductor, leading the Orchestra for one whole piece.  Four young people were chosen for that, and there were a couple volunteers who really hammed it up!

The video is the Costume Parade, with the music “The Teddy Bear Picnic,” playing in the background. I posted this up on YouTube, for all to see. It was a great event to watch, and next year, I highly recommend you get out to see them play.

Voted! Civic Election in Thornhill, BC, 2018

There, the deed is done. Me a Suz., voted around 3:00pm today at the Thornhill Community Centre, where we voted for our School Trustee, and Regional District Representatives, being that Thornhill (aka Electoral Area E) is an Unincorporated community, we do not have a Mayor or Aldermen to choose from. And as always, it felt good to get out vote. I was also happy to say that we saw a few people there also out voting too, including Suz’s. folks. However, I did notice while I was looking at the lists of registered votes, few were checked off, but the day was still young, and the polls close at 8:00pm tonight.

So hopefully all of you got out and voted. The people that run your community are the ones who effect you the most, so these elections are the most important in terms of where the rubber meets the road in your neighbourhood. These guys will be controlling everything from your roads, to the schools that your kids go to, so that makes it kinda of important. Sadly, voter turn-out is traditionally low. Maybe this year, will be the year the voter turn-out will break records?

I cannot wait and see the results tonight!

UPDATE: 11:00pm

Well it appears that in my little corner of the Skeena Valley, our Regional District election, we have a new person in that seat! According to the Terrace Standard, “UPDATE: Eric Nyce defeats Harry Nyce in Nass Valley, Meziadin.” October 20 2018. Quoting the on-line news article, “In the regional district election, Jeff Hammond has defeated incumbent Ted Ramsey, 181 votes to 169.” What shocks me, is that there are about four thousand people who live in Thronhill, BC, (aka Electoral Area E), and only 350 voters came out to vote. According to my Math, I get a total percentage of 8.75% of the people of Thornhill who went out and voted. Wow!

Congratulation Jeff Hammond.

ADDED: The 8.75 percent is based on the total number of people who live in Thornhill, BC, not the total number eligible voters. This would bump up the percentage of voter turn-out by a few percent. I do not have that information at the moment.

 

Canada Cannabis Day

Happy Cannabis in Canada Day. Today marks the day that smoking, or doing, cannabis becomes legal, all across Canada. Now, for the record, I am not “on board” with this, but this is what the people voted for, so, far be it for me to impose my beliefs against the Will of the People. Instead, I wish everyone in Canada, Happy Cannabis Day, and for those who wanted to get their first legal puffs off, I guess the place in British Colombia to do that was in Kamloops, the only legal store that was ready to do so here on the West Coast. That store opened at 10:00am this morning according to CBC News. But from what I heard, there is plenty of illegal weed to feed the masses with, so there is no shortage of the stuff around here.

This is also my fourth attempt at writing this post, before I settled on this one. Simply put, I was either too harsh, or too Liberal in my statements, so I just stuck to being very neutral in choosing my words. I had some nice size rants, around the fifty-five hundred word mark, but I deleted those and went for this post instead. Short, sweet, and to the point, reining in my personal feelings on the topic.

I wonder if this will be the dawning of a new National Holiday? Anyway…

So far the people who live around me are not smoking the stuff. However, the 2:00pm happy hour started at the far end of the apartments, from where I am, so alcohol is still the choice among my neighbours that I can tell. I guess this is day one, of many to come, so we will see what the weekend will have in store for us here with legal cannabis.

As for when the Skeena Valley getting cannabis stores, I only heard from our local news paper that only four store are applying for the permits to sell cannabis in Terrace, BC, yet none in Thornhill, BC. The article did say, as of today, you can buy cannabis through the Liquor Distribution Branch–on line, so not many options for the North Coast as of yet, to get your first legal took going. Please read, “Four Marijuana Stores Looking at Terrace” from the Terrace Standard News paper for October 17, 2018, for more information on this source.

Well, that is it for me on this fine October day. Rock’n the time off from work, so peace, and chill out.

A Frost Morning In Thornhill BC

Yawn! It is not even a Friday, and this does feel like a Friday the Thirteen kind of day. Lets see, where to begin… The Septic is backing up, and the Land Lord just happen to be here doing various maintenance projects, so he is currently working on that. This is the start of some vacation time that I have owed to me from my work. I have a meeting with my Bank, and so far to, and it is not even 10:00am, five scammers have called; some are down right funny. Anyway, it is a cold one, so let me being the Post.

First thing, it is cold outside. It is just at the freezing mark, and there is some wind, but not much. My windows have no frost, but my car is just covered. I took off to Walmart around 8:30am, for some items I needed for breakfast, and I had to chip away at my windshield, as it was encased with a thick layer of frost. The last two days have been dry ones, with lost of sun, and clear skies, so it is no big surprise that the night time temperatures are falling below the freezing level. During the day, we have been getting close to 18C, so no big complaints there.

Second thing, and a real big issue, not life threatening, the septic system is backed up. I think it needs the sewage-sucker machine to come in and slurp the tank out. Thornhill does not have sewer service, so all properties must have their own septic fields. This is why so few like to live here, or own land, it is pricey to put on in now-a-days. So, my toilet started making “gurgling” sounds, and would not flush properly. This went on for a couple of days, and I was thinking that maybe it was plugged. I phone the caretaker, and he said it was the sewage tank being full, and that he will get someone on it as soon as possible. So, as I type this out, there are two guys under the crawl space of the compartment, working on the plumbing, and a sewage sucker truck outside, sucking up the sewage from the septic tank.

Third thing, I spend the last part of the day, yesterday, trying to set up a meeting with my Bank for a mortgage, or the possibility of getting one. As the housing market shots upwards, I figure I might as well see if I qualify, now that I have over a year’s time living here, and a year with my car loan. So I have a meeting set up, but the lady at the Customer Counter, told me that they are swamped with requests, as everyone wants to move here with the promises of well paying jobs on the horizon. So I spent some time this morning getting my documents ready that she said they needed to my assessment. My fear, the Bank will take too long, as the housing market slips away to unreal prices, and all the good deals are gone–leaving only million dollar homes left over that no can afford.

Lastly, five phone SCAMMERS in a row! Yes, I had some funny ones. I had, what looked like a local caller, from the Grand Forks area of British Columbia, but never bothered to answer that one. Then two from India, as it was real easy to ID the callers on the web. One was a robot voice that said I was going to jail becuase of my income tax. The other said I was in trouble by the IRS in the United State of America, becuase of goods tax not paid on some perches I supposedly made there. They left messages, at least. I do not buy from the U.S.A., as I am personally boycotting them right now. I would rather buy from China. But it was the East Indian Ascent, from the very young sounding girl, that gave that away, right off the bat. Next was a guy claiming that my PC had a service ticket issued on it, and that he was going to up-date my OS. I answered that one. Hum, let see, Oh, I run only LINUX on my machines, and there is no outside support for that OS, so SCAMMER. I was chuckling, and I hung up on him. The last one, for now, was an American sound lady, with a very sexy voice, sounding like she was from Texas, claiming that my Life Insurance Claim was being issued, and I had to give her all of my personal information, including Banking information. I hung up on her becuase I was getting ready to type out this post.

So that has been my day so far, and it not even 10:30am, on a Saturday morning.

Wow, A Lot at Once: Free Trade, LNG, and Inflation.

The start of October has been a busy one! In just these two past day, we have seen Canada settles its trade deal with the Mexico and the United State of America, and right after that, the announcement of the 40 billion LNG project for British Columbia. All of this leading to our local “Think Tank” saying that inflation is going to hit hard in the coming months now that prosperity is shinning through the mist, down the path. Of course, the North Coast is very familiar with the boom and bust cycle, so know is surprised–just look at the speculators are doing.

It was good news that Canada has signed the free trade deal with the other two North American countries. A lot of industry around these parts rely on trade with the US. We are like a Banana Republic, no one wants our finished goods, but sure as heck, our natural resources. Everything from fish to lumber, with a little bit of gold on top, get stripped away, and sent off down South. But, any how, our jobs will continue, and with it, the cost of our goods in the store will not be terribly over priced. Yes, I prefer shopping over at China, than our southern markets. But they say, (the Think Tank) that we will see inflation locally rise around 4 per cent over the next sixteen months. Yes, they somehow figured this out, not in terms of years, but nice round numbers over the course of months. Go figure.

The LNG project seems to be a done deal. Of course, around here, in the Skeena Valley, it is a “When I see it, then I’ll believe it,” attitude, which is the most common opinion. When they announced that “ten thousand jobs” would be created, I heard a lot of muffled, “Bull Shit,” being hurled. I guess from the last great mega project of the North Coast, that fell far short on their promises of prosperity lasting throughout the decades. So we wait–as anything can happy between now and the ends of time. But no doubt, we should start seeing the influx of people move in the area, hoping to catch that three year construction job that would hopefully pay off all the bill, pop-up. Which leads into my next rant, inflation.

Yes, all of this awesome news will spell out two probabilities. First, inflation will rise faster than normal in the area. Second, more locals will be displaced as a result of this. With jobs and the lure of new money in the local economy, comes rising real estate prices, trickling down to higher rents, and hyper low vacancy levels. This should completely kick out any hopes of affordable housing to the masses who need it. The (Think Tank) predictions are that by 2020, the effects of LNG on the area should increase homelessness by five per cent. I think that is a very conservative estimate, for the Skeena valley, but the (Think Tank) stresses that these are based the last mega project, and its effect over a five year period. But on the bright side, if you are one of the lucky one, and sang one of these supposed awesome jobs, then you are “golden.” You will live in prosperity, and can say, “Bonus”!

The Think Tank, are local group of some fifteen residence in Thornhill, BC, that comprise of aboriginal, and non-aboriginal, employed and unemployed, men and women, all younger than fifty years of age (between 20 to 50 years of age). These debates are held at random times, and have no set moderation or agendas, so topics are brought up at the participant’s request.

Thornhill BC Fall Fair – Part Three – Horses to Flowers Then the Veggies

Part three of my Thornhill Fall Fair visit, or, I should have said it this way, “The Skeena Valley Fall Fair.” Yes, I forgotten the proper titles of the event, my apologies. This is indeed the Skeena Valley Fall Fair, not just Thornhill’s. OK, now that that is out of the way, let me get on with the final leg of the adventure. We did the Four H Club, watching the cows and chickens, along with the bunnies, but then there was the equestrian events, which I do not fully understand, but was fun to watch nonetheless. Then we ended off with the indoor events, where art and plants get judged, and you can view the results. There were some interesting things to see.

Every once in a while, I see something that catches my eye, and these flowers sure did. I love the colours that these flowers had. It was too bad there was not enough light to capture their full essence. These really would have looked awesome with the speed-light, or just some more sunlight. This was as good as I could get with the light that I had. It was raining by this time. I know Suzette likes these too… becuase of their purple colours. It is just eye catching.

OK, first off, this building was hard to get a good shot in becuase of how it was lit. Again, I needed a super strong flash to get the right colour and quality I want. Secondly, the ladies with their horses, how could you not walk passed an equestrian event, and not have a look. Sure, if you hate girls and horses, you could walk by, but I do not know anyone like that. I am not sure what is going on here with this event. I know there are judges who ask the riders to walk the horses around, make them stop, then make them move again. Most of the time they stand still, waiting for their turn. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, and the horses seem to not care.

Sometimes you just gotta laugh out loud, and enjoy the exhibits. These carrots made me go, “awwwwww,” as I stood there looking at them. Yes, “Two Carrots in a Loving Embrace,” is what I would call this, or something “twisted” like that. This one won first place, so others liked them too. There were many other exhibits to see, and a few booths with merchandise for sale as well. Sadly, at 4:40pm, it ended, and we made our way to the car to go for a drive around town.

Me and Suz., were thinking that it would be awesome to enter something for next year. I was thinking maybe a photograph or two, and see where I stand with the judges at the Fall Fair? Not sure what she would enter, but I am sure it would awesome too. See you all next year at the Skeena Valley Fall Fair!