Slush, and the 3D Printer

As the title says, slush seems to be the word of the day, as the weather warmed up to the point that we had rain on melting snow, where lakes are forming in back yards. Just messy! Also, last night, me a Suz., went to the 3D printing gathering at the Terrace, BC Library to get citified to used the printer there. So a happy and exciting day mixed in with the wet and messy outside of an early winter season. Yes, driving around was nice until you had to get out and walk on the sidewalks.

The weather has changed to the extreme yet again as we now move into rainy days, with warmer temperatures, after the 50 plus centimeters of snow from a few days ago that still sits on the ground. Now, I have to say, snow removal here in the Skeena Valley is far superior to what I experienced down in the Fraser Valley. Roads are clear, and most public driveways are completely bare from snow, with snow banks safely pushed away off the roads ways. Driving a small car through the streets of Terrace has been awesome. But, if you are a “walker,” then you might be a little disappointed, as the majority of walkways and sidewalks are either untouched, or flooded with melting snow and rain. Most people walk on the roads anyway, so as a driver, you really need to watch out for pedestrians, especially at night.

Last night, me and Suz., headed down to the public library in Terrace to get our certification for 3D printing at their facility.  The Terrace Public Library held a certification program for their 3D printer where we were given a tutorial on how to create and print our 3D creations. More or less, the theme of last night’s meeting was just to get you “up and running” with the printer. The instructor did not go into any details on using software for creating 3D objects, but rather just covering the different types of software that the printer uses, and where you can find free stuff to print from various websites. We had a short demonstration, seeing the printer work, and a bunch of 3D printed objects that were printed by it, but over all, I have a more clearer idea of 3D printing, and whether or not I want to buy one. We had a great night there.

…and I have a library card too! 

Six Months Later

Today marks a mile-stone since I moved back to the North. It was six months ago today when I undertook that move, the sixteen hour drive, with all my worldly possessions in tow, leaving the hectic and very expensive Southern British Columbia behind, and moving to the more manageable North Coast. I moved for a better life, a special someone, and less stress. All has been very damn great; a move that I should have done years before. 

Snow Storm Continued: Is It Over?

Since writing my last post, the snow kept on falling, sprinkling us with almost the same amount as the day before. We easily surpassed the 30cm mark. The snow plough guy came a second time, early this morning, to whisking away the fresh fallen blanket of the while stuff to the other end of the parking lot. I am grateful for that–awesome. Now, it has warmed significantly–the question is, will this all melt?

It is still very overcast out across the valley. I took a short walk to see how bad the roads are, they appear to be cleared and very drivable. If you need to use the access roads right now–forget it–they are not ploughed. But, everyone is doing their thing, not missing a beat, it is a typical Sunday morning, with one exception: the highway seems very busy. At least fifty vehicles drove by me in the short time that I walked to road and back. So a little snow does not slow anyone here down, even 32cm of it.

For someone who has not seen this much snow in a very long time at one time, this made for a very pretty sight. I will probably go out again later this afternoon when there is more light to take some more photos. If you are into skiing, then you found utopia. Yup, a skier would go mad if you locked them up in room with this view out side.

To put this into perspective, this is a garage dumpster, there are millions of these around the world, and this should give you an idea of how much it has snowed since Friday night. Even now, as I type this, more snow is falling, albeit at a far less rate than last night–thank goodness. But more snow is expected, even though it is warmer, say just above freezing. At least Monday it is looking good for the morning commute to work.

First Major Snow Storm This Season

The one thing you will not hear around here are the cries of “Sowmageddon, and Snowpocalypse,” mixed in with “Climate Change,” and “Natural Disaster.” Not even the electric power has flickered, as the silent storm rages relentlessly outside. I measured it, I got 21cm over night. People are out and about, and even driving in it, as if nothing has happened; a stark contrast to my days of living down in the Lower Mainland. I must say, we were pretty pampered while living down there as far as weather goes in Vancouver. But up here, this is normal, and brings with it a sense of peace and quiet that only can be seen outside of the major populated areas–it is both satisfying and pretty, and very normal.

The weather reports say that this storm will only be with us for a few more hours, then as the temperature warms up, and all this will melt away, brining with it rain by Sunday. But the funny thing about weather, it changes, and Mother Nature never lets out her secrets all the time. (Praise nature)

For me, this is a “stay at home” day, as I do not like driving in this. I have a small car now, and although it has been said that it does really well in the snow, I will forgo the driving in it. Today is a good day to catch up on all those things that need to be done indoors. With warmer weather on the way, I will wait until then, since this is after all, the weekend.

Weekend Wrap (You Can’t Eat this One)

I am sitting back, contemplating whether to post some photos, or just go with a general wrap-up of the long weekend’s activities, and the wrap-up won. I guess, since I am just too tired, and have no enthusiasm, to transfer over all the photos I shot this weekend over to my PC for editing, I am just going do a just a simple run-down text post. Clear, and cut, plane and simple, no fancy stuff in between.

This was a long weekend. In Canada, November 11th, is Remembrance Day, so since that fell on a Saturday, we got Monday off from work, as this is now a national holiday. I posted right up to then. Me and Suz., did go out, but only for a little while. I stayed home most of the day, mainly becuase I was feeling a little bit of a head cold coming on, but it was mild. A good night sleep cleared that up!

Sunday, I slept in as much as could, since I knew that the day was going to be a busy one. I finished off the last of my laundry, and did a little cleaning before it was time to pick up Siz. I worked on the Blog as well, after I found out that my Twitter Poster Plug-in was acting up. It was posting alerts from five years ago, not my current posts. So I disabled it, and will try and fix that once I get some time. I also had to work on PC, as that was acting up too.

I am getting lots of nibbles on selling my Pathfinder. I had one fellow out to day, and a couple wanting to look at that evening. There was one fellow, who posted a message to me, saying that he really wanted to buy it, but had to wait until Tuesday. I said, “Sure, but who ever brings their money first, gets the Pathfinder.” So we will see what happens. I am really happy that I get rid of it and have my parking spot back. Yay!

So, after 3:00pm meeting this guy about my Pathfinder, me and Suz., went out into town and looked around, had a coffee and sandwich before we had Sunday Dinner over at her parents place. It was a awesome night! Yes, we played dominoes! Never played it before, which made that more fun for me. We played fairly late. I drove Suz., home and got ready for Monday.

It turned out to be a great weekend after all as far as the weather goes too. It stayed quite nice, since that the weather apps were forecasting snow/rain/wind/minus zero type weather. None of that happened I am happy to report. Today (Monday) was really nice, though overcast, the temperature was a nice 5 to 8C day with no precipitation.

Monday, today, was a slow start. I guess I wanted to sleep in, but that never happened. So I did some more cleaning, and organizing around the house, and also spent some time getting the Pathfinder ready to ship out to the first buyer to take it. I am feeling stoked about that. Then Suz., came down, and picked me up in her car. We had a quiet day up town. We stopped off at the book store, then to the art gallery, and health food store, and even went to some places that sold quarts crystals, which I really like. I did buy a nice quarts crystal, and some tea over at the health food store, so I spent some money. Plus we splurged, and had a small dinner over at the A&W on Keith/Hwy16 in Terrace. Then we decided that we should call it a night, and get ready for tomorrow’s work day, as I am sure that will be action packed: cramming five days into four.

So that is the long weekend wrap-up. Hope you all had a great weekend!

In Quiet Reflection

Today is Remembrance Day here across Canada. This is the day set aside to remember those who served in wars and conflicts, and those who are now veterans defending our values and freedoms, from today, to long ago. Sadly, I am not feeling that well, so I stayed at home. Mainly it was the weather that is keeping me inside today. So I watched the ceremonies on line while nursing a mild cold, while the snow fall rages outside. The temperature is right at the freezing mark, and a storm is moving in, not a good day for me to watch the parade. 

The above shot was taken from my front door at 11:15am, shooting with my Sony A77,  across Highway 16, with a 300mm telephoto lens. You can easily see snow streaking across the lens as I stepped the aperture down to F11 to get this effect. A long with the snow, is the wind, making for a good day to stay inside and do inside kind of things.

For those who have read my blog over the years will notice that I am not using an image of a poppy in this year’s post. This is sort of a protest, but more in respecting the Royal Canadian Legion, who have a Copy-Write on the Poppy. I do not want to go through the hassles of litigation with them, so I will forgo the Poppy from here on in. I will try to find new symbols of Remembrance Day that are Royalty Free, and free from litigation.

Right now I have a warm cup tea in hand, and Cream of Mushroom Soup simmering away on the stove. It is sort of that nice comforting feeling on a early winter’s day here on the North Coast of British Columbia, as I type this out. The smells and warmth inside, while the cold and white of the snow is outside. Perhaps a nap is on order?

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! 🙂

 

First Snow Fall of the Year

Well, it happened–the skies opened up, and let loose their rage with big fat, fluffy flakes, and by morning, lay over 5cm of the while stuff on the ground. When I saw the brightness through my windows in the morning twilight, I knew it; there was snow on the ground. There was panic, as being from the Lower Mainland, any form of snow collecting on the ground was bad for any driver. But all was good, as my little car motored through it with ease, as the snow tires did their job.

On my way to work, the car was awesome as it drove through the un-ploughed roads. Being that I work so early, I was among the snow ploughs as they were getting the roads ready for the daytime drivers.  The car just went, over snow drifts, through snow banks, and on the ice. I pulled into my work well on time, thinking that I would be late driving so slow, making sure I would not get stuck.

With the storm slightly easing a bit, the air warmed, and some of the snow melted by mid-day. About 2:00pm, the snow flakes started falling again, and like this morning, I though, “OK, here we go again.” But, in all, the roads were cleared, and the car handled even better in the slush and snow drifts.

Sunset in November

Just thought I would post this really quickly becuase it looks so cool. The sunset from today was awesome, and something that me Suz., viewed together on our way for a night out, and dinner. The sunset was something unexpected for me becuase I did not think that it would be that spectacular without clouds, but I was wrong, there were enough clouds along the horizon down the Skeena Valley that made it great. The colours were just sweet.

Also, tomorrow we get to sleep in, as our clocks fall back an hour. For the record, I am totally against Daylight Savings time. I hope one day soon Canada drop this ridiculous practice with our daily lives, and leave time alone.

Getting Use to the Car: Ford Focus Under the Microscope

We are nearly at the two weeks mark of ownership now, and  still on the same tank of gasoline by the way, so, so far the car is doing great. I am getting most of the “gadgets” figured out, and slowly getting used to driving it. There are still some things that I am learning, but slowly checking off that check-list. Overall, the car starts, handles and rides smoothly. I guess I can say that I am not used to driving a vehicle as new as this one, even though it is already threes years old. But that is me, I am pretty cheap when it comes to buying and owing vehicles.

The above image is from last weekend, just off of Queensway Drive in Thornhill, BC, just metres from the Old Skeena Bridge.

I figured out a bunch of stuff, mainly on the dashboard, with all the functions. I got the trip indicator down pat. That took a bit from lots reading of the owner’s manual. It is pretty cool, as it can calculate my trip usage, gas to distance and estimate how far, and how long a trip could take. Of course, the calculator is always updating itself as you drive. This happens especially when you drive up on lots of hills. The headlights I leave set to automatic. I took the advice of my co-worker, and just leave the knob set that way I never have to worry about it. This is kind of nice. I also set the lights to automaticity shuts off twenty seconds after I leave the vehicle–another nice feature. And the biggest feature, and once that I was totally happy with, is the multimedia panel. I have the Bluetooth Hands-Free phone going, voice commands and the USB media all figured out. Now I have my own music playing from a USB stick, while able to talk on the phone while driving–legally. The stereo system is awesome!

There are two things that I still have to buy for the car. I need a spear key and antenna. The key was a bit tricky becuase a new one with the Thob and key would set me back about five hundred dollars and having to drive to a Ford Dealership to get it “programmed.” So, again, having talked to my co-workers about this, they suggested that I get just a “dummy key” instead, something that will cost only a fraction of a whole new key would cost. So I have one on order. The antenna is something that would be nice, but not critical. But I think the car would look nice with one. Playing the radio would be more inspiring, but here in town, it plays nice. 

Floor mats was another buy I had to do. When out at my work, and with a gravel driveway, it amazes me at how much stuff collects on the floor of the car. So with winter on its way, I decided to them right away. As it turns out, this was a very good investment. Within one week, I dumped quite a bit out. So, floor mats a must for a small car like this.

The ultimate achievement after buying this car: Suz is very happy to be a passenger in it. She loves it. The heated seats would be near the top of her list, and a near second, you can ride in it with style, as opposed to my rusting 1995 Pathfinder. This is a vehicle that she is happy to sit in, be driven around town in, and be seen by her peers while in it.

The Day After Halloween

It was both bitter sweet, and the feeling of being glad, that it is all over. A few “scary tails” still linger in my mind I heard from last night that made me laugh. All there is to do now is take down the Halloween decorations and put them away. During the night I could hear the sounds of fireworks going off, and the odd “out of place” noise, not nothing to get me out of bed once I fell asleep though. Then there is the carved pumpkin, now misshapen from the candle that was inside it, and that smell–rotting pumpkin. There seems to be no damage from any vandals to my property, so that is a good thing.

Since I am usually the first to arrive into my work, I spent the first ten minutes taking down all of the decorations that I put up from two weeks ago. I did not have much, it all fit into a small box, which I will save for next year. I guess it was a good thing that I did not go to “over board” on the decorations, today was a fairly busy one, work was busy and consistent.

The pumpkin did not hold up to well. When I picked it up, it fell apart in my hands. The heat from the candle really took its toll on it. It did its job; it looked scary, and cool, in my humble opinion. My photos of it did not turned that well, they were not worthy of being posted here. I felt for the pumpkin, but its seeds were collected and given away for Pumpkin pie.

Last night, for a good couple of hours, I could hear the sounds of fireworks going off. I was amazed that there were so many fireworks. I did not know that you could buy huge amounts of fireworks here in Canada, being that someone could used them against of the police, or build things that are frowned upon with them too. Either way, the sounds of exploding fireworks filled the night–and I hoped that none of them would light my place on fire. But it appears all is good, nothing happened near me.

Yesterday, I tolled the story of the “Switch Witch,” that I heard on the radio (Vancouver CKNW Talk Radio). One of the Techs has two children, so this was perfect, they were at that right age. The Switch Witch goes like this, when the children bring home candy, and they go to bed, a Switch Witch collects their candy, and exchanges it for either money, or toys. But the candy is taken away. The two little children did not like that idea, and frowned upon the idea of the Switch Witch. They said that they would not go to sleep until they were sure and good that the Switch Witch was gone. Not good for the parents. So I had to think of something real quick here to undo the damage: You put your candy in a jar so the Switch Witch cannot smell it! It worked; the kids bought it. Saved!

Anyway, it is over. It is now November, so time to start thinking about winter.  Unofficially, it starts today, and it may just do that with our first snowfall. I heard Vancouver will have snow starting tomorrow. They will beat us, but we will soon follow as we are scheduled for flurries later this week as well. Time to get the thermal underwear out, with the snow shovels! aaarg….