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.

The Terrace 2018 Zombie Walk

At the top of the Arena Hill, in Terrace, BC, Zombies meet for their annual march through town. All walks of zombie gather here for this event. Young, old, weird, and not so weird, they gather, and prepare to walk their best through the streets of Terrace, showing their pride and glory of the dead. Some have spent days getting ready, while other just got up and joined in. In all, you could tell that they loved it. They marched with class and style that only zombies can muster in their quest, so they can fill their appetite of yummy brains from the un-dead. And, we now know they hate the Public Library, as they marched right by it, with out stopping. 

As they marched, they drew crowds of onlookers, gawking at them with amazement. It was a sight to be hold, as people murmured among themselves, probably wondering what it would be like to be a Zombie, and walking in public without the fear of being hunted for just one day out of the year.

As the old and young Zombies walked by, you could see how much work some put into their costumes.

I loved the variety of zombies there were. Most of the local occupations were covered, and some interesting ones too that I could only guess. I think there were a couple of doctor zombies too, and one patient who obviously did not make it from his surgery.

When I was following them marching, I tried to get that urban city feel in my shots. Most of these shots were taken right on Park Avenue, just before Kalum Street. At this location, they walked right in front of an underground parking entrance; the perfect backdrop for a Zombie invasion.

And how could I not forget the families of zombies who marched too. Some of the makeup ideas were awesome. I liked the “Beer Can in the Face” look, and his four daughters around him. There was one, who had the prosthetic of half of her face ripped off, just hanging flesh–truly an all night preparation for the march. And, I can only assume that the people dressed in military costumes (cos-play) were Zombie Hunters. I guess they have right too in a Zombie march–to keep things in check.

Snow On Top

We had a good size low pressure weather system move in over top of us yesterday, dumping at a good amount of rain on us, which we needed. This, with a cold front coming in from of the North, it caused the tops of the higher mountains surrounding the Skeena Valley to get their white tops. According to some, who have lived here all their lives, say that the snow might be on time this year, after undergoing such a long period of dry season.

Normally, in the Skeena Valley, the mountains get their dusting of snow in late September, to early October. This year, the tops got it over the last couple days, or late October. Here, on the ground, snow usually arrives at the beginning of November. Now that the storms are moving in again, and it is getting cool enough at night, we might just get our regular scheduled weather back.

Looking at the Skeena River; however; the water level is still super low. With the rain storm we had, only the local tributaries have good flowing water, as the weather systems never made it far enough inland to add water to the river up stream. So, the river might still be in critical condition all winter season long, probably going into next sripng’s run-off season.

Looking Through the Weeds

I did a bunch shots while me and Suz., were at the lookout on the Bench at the top of Skeenaview Drive, in Terrace, BC. In the park, there is a raised flower bed that sits right close to the side of the hill. This is where I took this shot. I thought it looked kind of neat, sort of some trick photography, where I was using a Macro lens, and cranked the F-stop all the way down to f22, to keep everything in focus. The effect is that the weeds, look like trees, towering over the valley below. These weeds are only twenty centimeters tall, and I was shooting about ten centimeters away from them.

I was shooting with the 30mm Macro lens, that has an amazing minimum focal length of only 5mm. With this lens, I can get right up close to an object, and shoot at a ratio of 1:1. The other cool part, this is the cheapest lens I own. It is a Sony lens, and I think I bought for less than $50.00 on line. You cannot beat that.

I know, the censor on my camera was dirty.

Suzette’s Ghost Says, Ten More Sleeps to Go!

Like the titles says, only ten more sleeps until Halloween, and according to Suzette’s ghost, time is getting short. I was looking for more materials for my Halloween costume, as I am almost there with my idea. But, ya, I feel like I am on a race against time. I better get my act together.

Of course my costume will be my little secret, as I do not want to be copied, or outdone, when I go to work with it on. So I have some more work to do on it. But like Suzette’s ghost says, “only ten more sleeps to go.”

Some Raking Anyone?

I just had to post this shot. I took just after we headed back into town after our drive on Kitselas Road, and there was still some daylight left in the evening. I saw the maple trees in the Uplands Elementary School grounds, as the Sun was setting, and asked Suz., to stop and let me take the shot–I was a passenger. I grabbed my camera bag and jogged over to the trees, as the light was disappearing quickly.

I got about thirty shots, so it was hard to choose only one to post. There are about ten huge Maple Trees on a row, along the main road. And the Sun was almost forty-five degrees off to left from where I was standing. The light was great. It made the colours really stand out. I used my 30mm Macro Lens, at f 2.8, for this shot.

So, who is going to rake these all up, I say. LOL

A little fact: I did my Grade Two Class here as a youngster. This is going back a long time.

A Drive Down Kitselas Road

Since it has been over a year since me Suz., drove down Kitselas Road, we thought it would be a great opportunity to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I taking the opportunity to shoot more autumn tree shots of the Skeena Valley, so we headed out to go for the drive. We do not get to spend that much time on the West side of the Skeena River, and it is a less travelled area, just outside of Terrace, BC. Since it was a fairly sunny day, it did not take much of an excuses to go for the drive. So off down Kitselas Road we went.

We got into the valley at just the right time, as the Sun was setting. The yellow leaves looked an extra orange, from the filtered light. The other weird thought I had, was how calm the wind was here, where just across the valley, where I live, it was gusty. The Western mountains must be protecting this part of the valley from the wind.

Not sure what the names of the creek was, but it is the second bridge you cross before you get to the end of the road. I would say, Kitselas Road is about fifteen kilometers long. The colours of the creek looked awesome, even in the shade of the mountain near by. You can tell it has been a dry summer, by looking at the creek. Last year, this was about a metre high, and looked like it was standing water from the Skeena River near by.

It was good drive; loved it. Now the weekend, and the holiday, are over as of tomorrow. Sigh…..

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.


Doing Some 3D Work at Home

It has been a while, leaving my rendering and animation hobby sit on the shelf for nearly a couple of months now. I was not too busy for it, but I did have other “likes” I wanted to pursue first before I jumped back into doing 3D art work. So, being I was talking a one week holiday, this week, from my “real job,” I made it a week of rendering on my 3D software. And rendering I did.

So I completely recreated it from scratch, again, my Egg Head character, but this time making it as a female. So, her she is, Ms Egg Head.

Those first few steps were hard. 3D Blender is not an easy piece of software to learn on. Setting up the rigging for the mesh, I had to go right back to my help files to relearn the process, as I completely got stuck with the Inverse Kinematics settings on the armature. The other issue I had was setting up the mesh, so it matched the armature the way I wanted it to–that took a day to get it the way I wanted it to go. But, I was pretty happy with my results. The mesh, and rigging, took less that an day, and I was doing basic animating the next day. The stuff I am doing here is “kindergarten” stuff to what the software can do. You can do Motion Picture grade work with 3D Blender–it is everywhere.

Anyway, I am currently rendering out a small “Dance” video. We will see how well that goes. More to come.