Over the Wednesday Hump-Dump

On the mend now. Today at least, I am feeling great. Almost all my body parts are in the green. I still get those pesky coughs that swell up from my chest, but remarkably, the pain is gone. Every once in while, my nose starts the drip-cycle, but some fast acting little brown pill kick in when that starts up.

The weather outside is currently raining, but there is more snow on the ground. The snow this year, is nothing to what it was last year. There might be 2cm on the ground, but it seems to be melting faster than is accumulates. It is quite mild outside: maybe plus 3C.

When me a Suz., went into town, I bought a LED Grow-Light for my plants. Being how dark it is, this time of year, I felt my plants need some extra light to help them out. I will set it up on a timer, and give them a 18 hrs photo cycle, daily. To this day, my little Air Plant is growing like crazy. I must be doing something right. I hope the Grow-Light gives them what they need.

We feasted on pizza at the Hut. It was nice to dine out, especially on a day like today. The down town was nearly dead, so driving around, sitting the restaurant, was a treat, if you do not like crowds. Parking was breeze, and the service was fast–I like that. Once finished, I dropped Suz., at her home and then I headed home. At nearly 10:00pm almost all of my neighbours were up, outside, having their cigarettes and booze. I keep forgetting that they sleep during the day, and play at night. Their chueques must be in the mail, I can feel their anticipation. I crept through my door, and quietly went to sleep, happy and content, burping on pizza.

White, Wonder and Wimpy

Short post. Still very much under the flu’s grip, laying in bed, using the laptop. I took a quick look outside, wondering why the ambient light coming through my blinds was so bright, and to my surprise, there on the ground was a layer of snow and ice that was melting. I would mark today as the first official snow of the year — and we are well into the first week of December. That is in contrast from what we were getting last year. The great news, the snow will be gone in my guess by tonight.

As for the Flu, well, I am still dealing with congested lungs, a pounding headache, and fever. I am getting better, though you would never know it by looking at me, but I can sleep better, and I am not coughing as often as I was last night. I am still in bed, only leaving for water, or to get rid of it. This is my weekend.

OK, weak now, back to sleep.

Home: Nice to have the Car Parked at the Airport.

Made it home, great flight, 7:00pm and nice to just drive home without having ti wait for someone. There is no great advantage of going to, and leaving from an airport, then to drive up to it, and then away from it, at your own free will. It is just an awesome feeling. And that is what I did. I stepped off from the plane, walked through the departure area, straight outside, and drove away. Terrace, BC, yes; Vancouver, BC, no. I could not have done this in Vancouver with out just as much hassles as waiting for a Taxi. I would still be there–waiting. Anyway, I drove right to Suz’s house, and we had dinner.

During the flight, there were no could in the sky. Along the horizon, all I could see was a band of deep red, stretched along the ocean. It was pretty much pitch black out, halfway through the flight, but the weather was identical to Vancouver’s, except the temperature, which was cooler by a degree or two. It was awesome to see a sunset like that from twenty-thousand feet in above the Earth.

Sadly, I sat in by the isle, so there was no point in bringing out the camera. I think the fellow sitting in the window seat would not of approved a 300mm lens stuck in front of him. This image I will have to keep in my memories.

Oh, This is East Surrey, BC, Not Cloverdale.

If you really want to have some fun with people who call Surrey, BC home, just tell them they live in Surrey, not Cloverdale, or Newton, and so on. Anyway, I should not pick on these people, as most of them are fine folks, just like the rest of us. So, here I am, standing at the corner of 176 Street (aka Hwy 15, or Pacific Hwy) and 64th Avenue, in what is known as East Surrey, or more commonly know as, Cloverdale–looking South West at my hotel. It is weird standing here, looking at the traffic, knowing  that just a mere few hours ago, I was standing in Terrace, BC, seeing the same thing, but with no traffic. The sunset was awesome however–a worthy photo.

The flight in from Terrace, BC, was eventful–in that it was noisy. Among the aircraft’s noise, nestled inside the cabin were at least eight very young kids, with their parents of course. As the we ascended into the air,  and the air pressure thinned, their tiny eardrums were causing much pain. As we leveled out, the chorus of at least three screaming voices in unison called out, to stop the air from pushing out their ears, although they could not speak, the cries were deafening to the point. One child, did this throughout the trip. It sounded like a torture chamber inside. The poor kid.

As I got into the YVR terminal, and out to Departures, my ride was at little late, but I waited only a few minutes. We drove into the Surrey, making it in good time, for the Lower Mainland standards, and I got to my employer’s head office. From there I booked into my hotel, and then I went off in search of a place to have a meal. This is when I took the photo, above.

I headed off to bed early, knowing that tomorrow was going to be action-packed, full of training, and meeting people, kind of day. Good-night!

Still No Snow, and it is December in the Skeena Valley.

Continuing off from my last post, me and Suz, were heading out to see some of the various craft fairs in town, and I took this shot from George Little Park in down town Terrace, BC., looking towards the Sportsplex, up on the hill, to show that not one flake of snow has fallen on the ground. So we made it to December, and still no sign of snow. They say (Environment Canada) we will get a arctic outflow starting in the new week, but it will be clear up and give us sunny skies. No snow in that forecast, just some freezing temperatures. I will take it!

Now, for the record, I am not complaining one bit. These are posts are full of “joy and happiness” that I do not have to shovel. I know the wildlife, and the trees, will suffer if this continues, but for having such a “cushy” season, hey, I am not complaining one bit. But you do need to wear a toque if you my kind of hair style–near shaved off.

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.

Upgrading Down Hill

Yes, it is that time, time to do some house cleaning on the old PC, get rid of the ever growing directory of “spent off files” and drivers, and start with something that resembles shinny and new. Yeah, well… Somehow, the best laid out plans can go into the black hole pit of doom, leaving a quick regress to the back-up “save my butt” revert button. It worked, and yes, I did have to use the old backup tool: to save my butt.

First, let me stress the importance of creating back-ups of all your data. Especially when you are one hundred per cent sure that the upgrade will according to plan. Never skip this step–or you will be sorry one day.  I was thankful I did not skip it–really.

My main goal was to upgrade openGL on my graphics card so that I could maximize my 3D software. All was going well until it was apparent that my card was at almost dinosaur status, and I will need to buy a newer version before to long. As I going through the upgrade process, I notice my graphics resolution get bigger and bigger. I run Linux, so the results are far different than other operating systems, but when you see this, it usually means that you have graphics card problems, and best to run away, far away–to the hills. I went ahead and put my faith into the programmers that I would come out victorious! I am such a fool…

I installed and upgraded to the newest Kernel, 4.54… something, and things got worse. Reboot after reboot, going into recovery mode, my plummet into the pit of doom crossed the event horizon. Sadly, my fall now meant that must wipe out the drive, and start from scratch: a clean install. Something I should have done in the first place, with hind sight being twenty-twenty.

Fortunately in Linux, installations times are short–ridiculously short when comparing it to those other guys. Moving up to the last-greatest Linux Mint 19, proved futile. The hardware was buggy, and I zeroed it down to the graphics card. So back to Mint 18.3, and setting everything back to what I had prior to upgrading.

For an investment of nearly five hours, there were no fruit to bare on this tree, just me licking my wounds, still seeing the image of my monitor burnt into the backs of my eyes when I close them. I see now that I will have to buy another monster graphic card to keep my artistic juices flowing at peak capacity. Time to shell out a bunch of clams for the privilege of using the latest greatest software for 2018/19.

Silhouettes on Lakelse Lake

Me and Suz., went for a quick hike down to Lakelse Lake, just South of Thornhill, BC, where we walked the Gruchy‚Äôs Beach Trail, at the Northern end of the lake. We choose this trail because it is quick to walk back and forth, and just long enough to get a workout on. But, there was the lake, so I took my camera along. With just some high altitude cloud, a setting mid fall sunset, and just the right amount of ground fog rolling in, it was a picture perfect day–so to speak.

The lake itself was almost perfectly flat, as there was no breeze on the water, and the light reflecting from off of it was a beautiful yellow and blue colour. The above shot was an unexpected opportunity of playing around with silhouettes in amongst the reflections from off of the lake, with two women, also photographers, and their dog, in the mid-ground of the shot.

I like the shot a lot, and will keep it for my main photo album for 2018.

ADDED: I should throw this photo into this post too. I shot this from Gruchy’s Beach, using my 300mm telephoto lens. Because of the low light, I used a soften filter on the image to keep that dreamy look that I saw when looking at it with my eyes.

I love the colours, and the way they reflect of the calm lake.

 

A Cup of Golden Tea, On a Lazy Morning

I thought I would change things up a bit, switching to tea, rather than coffee. So, this morning, I hauled out the electric kettle, and made myself some Earl Grey Tea, which I bought the day before. In three letters, I would describe it like this, “mmm.” Yes, it was that good. Not as good as some of the teas I have sipped on from various restaurants, but very close.

It was such a great morning that I sat by the window, watched the snow clouds move down the valley from the North, and absorbed the winter’s sunlight, as it filtered through the North side window of my compartment. It was peaceful, and not even the cranky neighbour, down a door from me, could alter the moment. First sip, a wash of goodness over my body. Second sip, bliss. Third sip, the cup is now half empty. And then I let loose a relaxing sigh that melts away the soreness of my muscles, as I sit back in my comfy chair.

No, nature has a way of taking back what was once hard fought for; the heat soon cools, and the cup no longer lets the long stringy columns of steam wash into the air. In minutes, the tea tastes bitter, and the flavours tainted. I let loose another sigh, and declare it is time to start the day.

Driftwood on the Beach of Douglas Channel

We went out to Kitimat for a little day trip. We went down Alcan Road, to a place called Hospital Beach (I think is the name) just to see all the LNG stuff that is taking place there. We saw the dredgers out in the harbour, and the property where the workers are going to stay while they build the LNG facility–it is the same place as where the RioTino worker were housed.

But while we were there, I took some photos of the beach, and to my surprise, the photos turn out awesome. The driftwood shots turned out great. Well, gotta go and start the work week. The photo was taken on November 13, 2018.