Giving my Notice Yesterday.

It was an awesome feeling to finally give notice yesterday, saying “Yay, keep your bug infested Compartments for the next desperate person who wants to move here… I’m out of here.” Now you can rent it out far and above what I was paying you. And no doubt you will, as the rental market is near zero here. I hope you charge the guy from Alberta triple what I was paying. Bah.

Giving my notice for the last month of rent was a “time come true,” and a moment that I waited for a long time searching for a home that I could afford. You got to love Canada, “the land of the rich and poor.” SO I move in less than three weeks. Yay–packing.  Sorry slum Lords, I don’t need you any more.

I Can Go Back to Work!

I know for some this is like saying “why?” Why would you be so excited about going back to your job? Well, it is simple. there are a few reasons why, Mainly so I stay on my normal schedule.  I would rather be at work than sit here at home 24/7, looking at these walls, and being productive. Secondly, I will be to have a normal income again, Even though I will be put on reduced hours, and days. Having an income will be nice, Since the Canadian Government’s Sick Benefits is a Joke. So happy I’m not on Income Assistance. So I go back next week, four hours per day, three days a week, for the first while to see how I perform, and how my stress levels are. I cannot lift anything more than 10lbs. He will have the work load sheets sent to my H.R. Manger, and hopefully I can have a copy of it. My Sugar levels are well under control. so I think I have this licked.

Nice to have things getting back to normal soon.

Canada Day Parade in Kitimat, BC

Yes, I am a little late, on posting this. This is all because the add-on I use for posting images in broken, and the author had not fixed it, I finally got around to fixing their code, which is broke only becuase they want you to buy their Pro package for $300.00, which is not going to happen. So, I hacked it to shreds, and got it work half ass like. So here is a slide show of 40 or so images from that day, back in July 1, 2019. 

Sadly the gallery is broken too, so there is no use pinking it to that page. Perhaps some day it will get fixed, but I highly doubt it, that will be soon. Enjoy.

Skeena Salmon Belly Gravel Burn

Is was a couple of weeks ago, when I first heard about “Salmon Belly Gravel Burn,” a derogatory term about all the all people who live in the the Pacific North Coast of Canada, during the spring season period. It reefers to a guy seeing the women as they dress for the new season and it is said that he is swimming up stream, leaving the plenty of fish in the sea, like the wild salmon, and not being able to get a mate, he then dies, washing up on shore of the river bank. They call this gravel burn.

Gravel burn, is when men say that they are not even going to try starting a relationship. They will stay celibate for the rest of their lives. This means less tax payers for Canada, but “oh well,” they say. “There will always be plenty of tax payers to keep the Government going.” No one worries.

It sounds funny when you hear it for the first time. I laughed before I thought about it, hearing it last week. When ever I see my co-worker, I ask him if he still swimming upstream? “He replies” No, buddy, I went back to the sea, the water it too low here.”

This is one of the more hilarious local colloquialism terms I heard around here so far. Romance and fish go hand in hand, it seems in the Skeena Valley.

Our Turn: The Cold Weather is Here.

It is the first day of February, 2019, and I must say, “what a mild winter season it has been so far, for us folks up in the North Coast of British Columbia.” However, this will all end, very soon, as a fidget Arctic System is creeping down on us, fast. The weather prognosticators say, starting tonight, the deep freeze will start, and will last until next weekend. But what really hits home for me, is that I saw temperatures as low as minus 14C on the chart! Right now it is minus 2, snowing, with winds from the North, gusting to 40km/h. A piece of cake, by North Coast standards. But, cold is cold, no matter how you slice it. (I wrote this part while I was on my lunch break)

So, here is where we are at for conditions. It is snowing out, although lightly. There is about 3cm of slush on the ground. It is windy out, with winds coming in from the North. So, add super cold weather to the mix, and all this will freeze. Tonight will be the perfect night to stay at home–this I can predict. So, let me talk about my commute home.

(I am at home now) So, I am driving home. The roads in Terrace near perfect: dry, and void of any snow. Once I got onto the side streets of Thornhill, BC, then is was a different story. When I left the nice and dry road of the highway, and hit the first side street, to my house, I was faced with a nice thick layer of ice on the road. I mean, it was perfect, as the setting Sun’s light reflected from off of it, I have to put on my sunglasses, it was so bright. So, I took the first corner very slowly, at about 20km/h, to make sure I had full control. When I had to stop at the first stop sign, my car’s brakes would not go into ABS Mode (Anti Braking System) and I slid a few metres past the stop sign. So, this had me worried. So I started pumping the brakes at the next top signal. Even the very large SUV, behind me, was having troubles of his own, navigating on the same road.

So the lesson here is that, no matter how good your tires are, driving on pure ice, is still a cautionary tail. You treat the road condition with a huge amount of respect, and HOPE the people driving around are doing the same thing.

 

It is now down to minus 4C, to it is expected to dip below 8C, over night. I am prepared for this. I have an emergency kit, if the power goes out. Plus I have my car, if I need to leave. But, since I have lived here, the whole place seems to be build to handle this type of weather, so I have confidence that all this will be a walk in the park. So, bundle up!

The Yearning of the Sun

Actually, when I saw the sunrise last week, it felt as if I saw an old friend again, the Sun, but really, the yearning was for the return of summer. Yes, I had that feeling of needing the good old days of summer back, as I saw the Sun rise. Here in the Skeena Valley, you have the winter position of the Sun, which is just 25 degrees above the horizon, coupled with the mountains that circle around us. This leaves us with a very short day period during the fall and winter months. Seeing the Sun sink below the horizon, as the Earth spins, (this happens around 4:30pm in the afternoon), puts the damper on daily life, when you get home from your work day.

The above image is Miss Egghead enjoying the Sun rise in the mythical Cube Land. The image is a render done in Blender 2.8 Beta.

It is normal to have weeks with overcast sky, and days with rain in the valley. During the colder months, snow is the daily routine, sprinkled with ice, as the sky is cloud filled, with moments of clearing, allowing the Sun sneak through. But it is the darkness that creeps in, making the night life some eighteen hours long, leaving some people with the “Winter Blues.” However, with seeking moments like this day, where the Sun shines, getting out and absorbing its rays, is a natural rite.

Also, one more point: This has been an unusually warm winter, so far. We have missed the full onslaught of the Arctic Vortex, but nonetheless, it is winter. The Earth spins it usual way, and nothing can be done about that. However, there is, with out any doubt, less snow, than normal. The Skeena River is still way below its usual level, and the Coastal Mountains do not look that snow packed, as compared to last year. These are just my opinions, not scientific facts. Though, I have read some articles in the media agreeing with me.

May we see more Sun, and less clouds in the coming weeks, without causing drought conditions like last year.

The Local Flu Bug Is Still Attacking

It looks like there are more sick people at my work than there were when I was sick a month ago. It sounds like at least five technicians have it now. That is roughly half the co-workers I interact with that are coughing, and complaining about flu like symptoms. I personally thought we were over the hump for this year’s flu season, but looking at these guys, it appears we just might be getting started with the flu season up here on the North Coast.

Their symptoms appear to be a little different from what mine were four weeks ago. I had full on lung goo that caused me to cough every ten seconds, shooting up flem and goo. These guys, they seem to have the sinus infection with fever, without the goo infected lungs. So, for now, I call this a different type of the flu from what I had, but nonetheless, just as nasty.

The flu bugs still roams wild here on the North Coast. Beware, and trust no one!

Happy Solstice and the First Day of Winter

As the tail goes, in the North, on this day, the Sun shines brightly over the land, and for one moment all will see it through the clouds. No matter how stormy it is, the clouds will part long enough to let in the light, to signal the return of longer days. Today, was no exception. Driving to work, I saw the Moon casting its light through the clouds, to the West, and what a sight that was. The Moon rays were like curtains of light fanning out over the mountains, and through the valley. And later on in the day, the Sun happily rose into the sky, just enough to see it over the trees, as its ark-path through the sky will be it lowest of the year, a mere 26 degrees above the horizon.

Oh yes, the photo of the day, like all the times before, on Winter Solstice, I take photos. Here is my pick of the day. It is cool out, around minus 2C, so everything outside has a frosty coating of ice crystals on it.

Today should mark the beginning of the year. Why I say this? Because the days get long after today. I never understood the logic of placing our calendar start date in January. But hey, when you standardize the calendar, fitting it to your morays and myths, then you clinch the culture that follows it. I say we should adopt Sidereal time from now on, so that no government or organization can tamper with time, at anytime!

The Moon shines bright tonight. It is damn near a Full Moon tonight. For an hour, my bedroom was flooded with moon light, as the clouds parted for a few hours in the early night. Like this morning, tonight’s Moon, is almost full, and hangs high in the sky. I can easily see the snow caps top of the mountain from my window, and the clear outlines of the hazy clouds streaking through the sky.

So Happy Solstice, and may your happiness grow with each progressive day until summer Solstice.

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.