The End of Spring Mini Heat Wave

When I moved away from the Fraser Valley, to the North Coast, thinking I would leave the long days of heat filled summers behind, I am starting to think that was bad thinking. Last year, after I moved up here to Thornhill, we only had a week of 30C plus days, and that was fallowed with mild days for the rest of the summer, that were comfortable, in my opinion. But so far this year it has been “Lower Mainland” hot, and to the point that my Air Conditioner had been running half the day for the last three days. Yes, the one thing that I almost left behind, and I was happy I took my precious air conditioner. 

When I woke yesterday for work, it felt like I was living in Vancouver again. It was unreal as I drove to work, at 5:30am this morning, turning on the A/C in the car, to keep the mugginess out of the air–yes I had the A/C on, driving through Terrace, BC!

What was posted on the Environment Canada’s website, has not been what we are getting as far as temperatures and humidity goes for the down town Terrace area. When they say we should have 30C, we are getting 36C. When they say, “Rain and Thunder Storms,” we get a sunny day. Even our rate of rain has been very low and spotty at best over the last few weeks of the spring season, even raising the Forest Fire Rating to “High” in just a couple of days, after it was set to “low” for a week before. 

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, and we are already ahead in terms of above average temperatures as we end the spring season. It is looking like we might be in for another very bad forest fire season. I would even go as far to say, “the North Coast will suffer drought conditions,” as we go into the last half of 2018. 

Car Show in Terrace, BC at the Heritage Park

Another hot and sunny day, with the prospects of breaking heat records throughout the up coming week; and hey, why not head out to see a car show. And that is exactly what we did.  The show was up at the Heritage Park up on the Bench, from town. I guess there were about thirty classic and hot-rod type cars up in the show on display, and there was enough chrome you could probably see it from space. I was impressed at the verity of cars and trucks that there were. Everything from the vintage turn of the century types, to very modern, so there was lots to choose from to suit your fancy.

The Sun was pretty harsh for taking photos, so out of the 140 images I took, I have about fifty good ones that I would post. These five were just a sample of my short list, and I might throw another gallery of them soon on the website. The hard part was trying to wait for people to get out of the way so I could get a good shot of the cars, so patients was the name of the game. I only used my 30mm Macro lens, so I would not scare to many people with my camera. But still, it did not matter with the crowd, as I got a lot people any way.

Did I mention there was lots of chrome? This was when I discovered that I needed to be out of the Sun’s light to capture good shots of really shiny objects. The gleam look great in some shots, or if that is what you are shooting for, but it became a bother depending where I was standing. People here like their chrome on their cars!

Like I said, there were some really cool looking vintage cars to see here. The owners sat close by, watching people admire their works of art and hard work, and of course, everyone knows everyone here, with the few exceptions, so you could here old friends talking shop talk about their cars next to each other.

Obviously some the cars here were street legal, and a lot of them were heavily modified for street racing, so they drove themselves here. I could not tell which ones were one hundred per-cent classics, or not, but it did not matter.

Anyway, it time to go, as we only stayed for about forty-five minutes. It was only about 1:00pm when we left meaning that there was still lots of day left. I thing our next stop after this was some ice cream over at The Chill, along the highway in down town Terrace. I think I git a wee-bit of a tan too.

A Day of Awesome Cloud Formations Over the Skeena Valley

As the day chugged along, I noticed the clouds above us over the valley–they had a really interesting pattern to them as they slowly moved in from the North. There seemed, at first, to be about four layers, and all of them were high clouds, so there was no threat of rain. We drove up to the area hill, along Kalum Street, to get a better look, and of course I had my camera with me. Here is one of the shots I got from that moment, around 7:30pm.

I took several shots from different directions from the hill, but we also drove into Thornhill, BC where we had an even better vantage point looking over Terrace Mountain. I asked Suz., if she would be willing to come back with me during the Sunset, as I had a good feeling it was going to look awesome.

We parked up at Crescent Drive, on the Old Lakelse Lake Road, where there is a lookout. We waited for almost a half an hour there. It was looking bad, as it got darker, but no amazing Sunset. The clouds started to change to an orange colour, but in general, it was starting to “suck” as we waited, fighting off the flies that were biting us. Time went on.

Then within about Ten minutes, we were greeted from this:

The sky lit up like a giant field of burning ambers. It was brilliant to see, as the light from the Sun slowly moved across the sky, casting its shadows and lighting up clouds red, yellow and orange. It was worth the wait. In the above shot, the tree line is from the top of Terrace Mountain, looking from Upper Thornhill. Two other people stopped by to take shots as well of the light show. An awesome end to a great day!

The 75th Anniversary and Grand Opening of the New Section of the Terrace-Kitimat Airport

We headed out to the airport today to catch the Grand Opening of the newly refurbished Northwest Regional Airport. Suz., wanted to go their becuase she worked there for a few years, and I too, having great memoires of the place from youth and as a passenger going in and out of the facility. The new section of the airport is quite impressive, with a brand new Departure area that holds a lot more people than is did before. And you cannot beat that brand new smell of new building.

So this was a dual event, both being the seventy-fifth anniversary of the airport from it’s beginnings as a World War Two air base during the Pacific Campaign, and as a civilian facility, with a newly expanded terminal to deal with the ever growing numbers choosing to fly in and out of the region. We were here mostly for seeing the new section of the airport terminal.

We just spent our time walking around the airport, not really taking part in some of the events, like luggage throwing, free fire truck ride, the bouncy castle, and so on. We just walked around, me taking photos, and Suz., trying to stay out of them as much as possible. When we got there, I estimated about 100 people were there, but we arrived a little late, so we probably missed the ribbon cutting, and the crowds that wanted to see that. It was a family event, as the kids seemed to love it too. Sadly, there was a huge line-up for the free fire truck ride.

The kermode Bear is the mascot and symbol of the City of Terrace, British Columbia, so it would make sense to have a stuffed version here at the airport. These are really black bears, just with white hear instead of black. They are also referred to as Spirit Bears around these parts. I am OK seeing a stuffed one up close like this, but not a real one out in the wild. 

The new section of the airport has that look of a larger metropolitan feel to it now, but above all, badly needed space and expanded areas to handle the flow of people going in and out now. And I should point out, the bathrooms are in a great location too, and are large enough to handle a plane load of guests. The is smart thinking!

To Fill a Lake, One Grain of Sand at a Time

They say if you throw enough rocks into a lake, it will become just a flat field. If you keep throwing rocks at the same place, a mountain will appear. On one side, after a long time, and with enough rocks, you could build a mountain in your life time where the lake once lay. On the other, if you just leave it to the countless generation of rock throwers, the lake will get filled, and then a mountain, if they kept on throwing rocks. You could also just let it be, and enjoy the lake as it is. You have choices, goals (and survival) whether to throw the rocks or not into the lake. Metaphorical speaking, or physically applied, replacing anything with something else, is something we do really well.

While I was sitting on the beach, I was contemplating these thoughts as I saw a family throwing rocks into the lake, skipping them along the water’s surface. Oh what silly things the mind ponders on a hot spring day as the ripple of the water dances along the shore in the Sun’s light. I challenged my thought experiment by adding in that the possibility of another Ice Age creeping in, and carving out the valley again, before we could get the last stone that fills the lake in, is vary likely.

A Day Out at the Lake After a Long Rest

It was a long week due to the stomach flu, but I got through it. Actually, I was well enough by Thursday, but I had to play catch-up on the all my chores that I neglected while I was under the flu’s spell. So, once caught up, me and Suz. went out into town, and off to the lake to bask in the sunshine, to work on our tan. But it was cool out, with a threat of showers, depending on where you were in the valley. But in all, a very nice day to spend at the lake, on a Sunday afternoon–the place was all most void of people–it was awesome!

This was almost the shot I waited for, our feet planted in the sand by the lake, but as you can see, it was cool, so we wore our shoes–better than nothing I guess. Nonetheless, It was a warm sunny day, so we sat by the water’s edge, collecting the Sun’s rays, perhaps working on our skin cancer, but it felt good. There was a bit of wind too, which made for chilly moments, but still just nice enough to sit and enjoy the lake side. So here is the shot of our feet in the sand. Oh, and that is Furlong Beach Sand at our feet!

Work went well to, although I had some over-time towards the end of the week, but nothing too drastic. It seems to be getting busier, in terms of more appointments and orders, but nothing I could not complain about. I can still manage everything by myself, with time to spare at the end of the day. My work is going well, and I must say, I enjoy it. I wish I found this employment years ago. Maybe I found Utopia?

Anyway, back to the day at the lake. In the morning, there was a few rainy periods in some areas in the Skeena Valley, so I guess everyone though it would be a bummer day at the lake. When we got there, around three o’clock in the afternoon, Furlong Beach had only a few people around it, so we were almost alone where we were. It was great–sunshine and beach–it was almost perfect. But this month has been cool, especially when we just came out of an awesome May with above average temperature. Rest assured, most times in June around here are filled with rain, it is normal up here on the North Coast. SO when the cloud part, you take advantage of it.

We sat on Furlong Beach for a while, then walked around, over the docks. There were some sail boats out on the lake. The sail boaters seemed like they were having a great time too, as there was lots of wind to sail with. Lakelse Lake has some good winds on it–even the para-sailors (people riding on water skies being pulled by a para shoot) were out enjoying it as they zipped along with lots of speed.

Yes, it was a great day for dogs too, as these boaters launched away with their dog happily sitting in the middle getting a free ride. I am sure if they could get their dog to paddle, they would have. They moved quite fast in the plastic boat too–I was surprised. And the dog never flinched as they moved through the waves.

It was a great day. Glad I got out with Suz. We are counting down the days as summer nears, officially.

Under the Weather

It started back on Saturday, with just a little fever and stomach ache, and I did not think anything of it. By Sunday, it was turning into a full on stomach flu, but the fever went away, so I thought I could get through it without any problems. By Monday, it was still there, I went to work, but it was tough, as my stomach “pinged” with pain, and by that afternoon, the fever came back. When I got home, I just went to bed. Tuesday was pretty much a carbon copy, but the fever was gone. Today, I can say I am through the worst of it.

I was sort of relieved that I was not an isolated case, as a few other co-workers were experiencing the same thing as I was. For them, most took Monday off, and came in the next day for their work. I guess I am “sucker” for punishment. No, wait, it is the money. LOL

Right now, I am feeling a lot better, but I am staying put at home. I did work the last three days, so I never took any time off, which is great news for my pay cheque, money is a good things, right. So no loss in the pocketbook. I hope this is a last of it. This flu bug was nothing too major, but a huge inconvenience in my daily duties.

The Machine Heart (Years of Neglect Catching Up)

Well, this is shocking. I just learned today that one of my neighbours just had an implant put onto his heart a few weeks ago, and he just got back to his home on Friday. Sure, I do not really know the guy, and I perhaps talked to him once or twice since I have lived here, but I see him every so often, so that must count, I guess. Anyway, he looks to be about the same as when I last saw him, but he does show his discomfort. I guess what really jumps out at me is his age–the man is only in his thirties. That is quite young to have heart implants, you think?

So this got me thinking about my mortality, and lifestyle. My poor neighbour’s lifestyle choices are poor one, from what I have seen in these last few months. He is over weight, and stays inside his compartment almost 24-7. I hear he plays video games–a lot. I know he smokes, and I hope he has quit by now, but I am sure his past has caught up to him. And I know for sure that he does not do regular exercises. And I I have seen the pizza delivery service at his door on numerous occasions. So I look at my life. I do not smoke, and I try to get out as often as I can, and I try and eat healthy. But I am also in my fifties, so I feel I have lead a good life, and I am on the “home stretch,” as it were, in my life.

Anyway, I am sitting here, thinking about this, having just received the news, so I thought I would compose this Weblog Post.

Singing the Big Buggy Blues

The result are the chopping carts strewn all over the parking lot, and the issue is that it one less parking space you can use until the carts are placed back into their designated areas, but the problem is in the hundreds of customers who are too lazy to take their carts back to the staging area so they can be collected. I can only compare beautiful Terrace to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, so my sample group is very small, but nonetheless, I believe there is a trend here. 

There is a stark contrast between the two areas that I have shopped at between the customers, the workers, and environment. For the customers, I call this the “level of aptitude,” as the main difference, in general terms. And to be honest, I know that there are differences in the structure of the Northern facility, as compared to the Southern ones, so I am taking the availability of labour into account. So mainly it is the customers’ attitude that I believe is the focus of this issue. There are signs posted in numerous locations, and the drop-off sites are numerous also, so there are plenty of opportunities for customers to deposit their carts at these locations. One would believe that abandon carts in the middle of parking stalls would be few and in-between. Sadly this is not case.

But between the Terrace and the Lower Mainland areas, the environmental differences are huge. Apart from the weather, there are a quarter of a million people in the Langley Township area alone, compared to Terrace, with just  twelve thousand inhabitance. One would be lead to believe that the level of deviance would be higher in the Lower Mainland: no it is not. My experience, having lived there for Twenty-five years, has been that customers embraced returning their carts, and of course there are a handful of holdouts–it is not perfect. Here on the North Coast, the non-returned carts are numerous, significant higher. I call this the “high level of apathy,” among shoppers here in the Skeena Valley. For the newly arrived customer, this posses a problem of finding a parking spot that is not inhabited with an abandon shopping buggy, here in Terrace.

Maybe the answer is in applying more shopping cart return sites in the parking lot. I would suggest policing it, but that would be a huge cost to the proprietor who operates this facility. In large part, I believe the answer lays in education, perhaps a more rigorous level of enlightenment, geared towards the customer with incentives, could be created. Something like coin returns on the buggies? Money is a great motivator, why not use it.

June means Summer is Almost here!

Yeah, June, it is here! We made it. We survived another long winter, and pushed through this wonderful spring season with teasing warm weather, and now we embark on the lazy days of summer in just three weeks. I have been told, at of late, that here in the Skeena Valley, June usually means rainy days; however, with Climate Change, the past patterns of weather may lead to obsolete thinking. So we may never predict what the upcoming seasons are going to be like from year to year. Needless to say, seeing what today looks like, I can not argue with that line of thinking on Climate Change, as the morning looked cloudy, then the sky opened up in the afternoon with sunlight beaming through.

The above image is a flower that fell on the side walk, in the evening Sun. Here is hoping for more sunny days to come, up here in the Pacific North West. Now to dig out my UV blocker sunglasses I stored from last year.