Friday, December 10, 2010

The Long Game

A bitter Sweet hello to my bloggies.

So I am writing this because a resolution has been achieved. In early November 2010 I got an email for a job opening that apparently I was a good candidate for. The position was for a GIS position with a local environmental and engineering firm. A series of emails were sent back and forth as I tried to fish out the details to see if I was interested. I has barely been home from Saskewan for more then 4 days when this news fell on my lap.
It was good luck.

Well not luck to be honest. The product of the Long Game. As I was preparing to head to BCIT to get re-educated, a series of contacts were made with the intent of landing me a practicum position before classes started. Due to this work by end of summer I had gained a series of contacts who were interested in talking business. It was one of these contacts that reached out to me in early November with the lead on the job.

For once the advice form HR websites and the endless pamphlets on how to get a job paid off. I had done as they said, made a contact, kept in touch and was on their radar when an opening showed up.

That is how it should work, but in the end I lost the job to someone with more GIS experience. There is value to my geology work but my mapping work exists only in the class room. I could not compete as well as I hoped. So now once again I find my self at loose ends. I only know what I hate to do for work and have no idea about what I want to do. So now that it is the new year and I have lost one more opportunity it is time to put forward a rather lame but honest new years resolution. It is my goal for 2011 to get a job that only sucks my soul a little and lets me come home at night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Greetings Bloggies.

This post is in response to having met people I consider myself a fan of. Specifically Spider Robinson, author of many books and even more terrible puns and George Hrab, author of 1 book several albums and a similar body of puns. In generally I have not self identified as a FAN. Outside of geography, I have no affinity for sports teams, and like any non fan I only care if the team in my city is winning, the rest of the time I don't even know they are playing. Similarly, movie stars and most famous performers fail to engage my interest.

The people I am fans of have reached me in ways more personal then the players on a sports team or an actor on the big screen. Spider Robinson, has made me laugh, taught me some of the principles of truly horrible puns, I have lost count of all the books of his I have read. I have stopped reading him in recent years, I have had my fill and even when a writer is good I will over time want to move on to new voices. That said his more emotional short stories still linger in my memory and the community that existed in the Callahan's pub series made me want to have some of that for my self.

I only saw Spider briefly, he did a reading and a signing afterwards. I exchanged only a few words, enough to convey my appreciation. This limited dialog is what I expect from a content producer in the traditional media. The other side of the coin is the relation that can exist in new media, those people who have carved out a space for them selves on the internets because the old school distribution and sales methods fail for something as fringe. The best example of that in my life is George Hrab.
Some where along the line I started to listen to podcasts, downloadable, generally audio content, generally free, often amateur. Many of them simply suck. Since at the time I had a boring job that did not always require my full attention I listened to many such shows, this chain eventually lead to the Geologic podcast. Its mix of dry humor, strait up silly skits and random factoids entertained me. This precipitated an exchange of emails that has continued in an off and on trickle over the last few years.

Upon hearing that George was going to be in Vancouver, I ordered my tickets as soon as I knew the site was online. To be fair he was a guest host on another podcast which I have been listening to for roughly the same amount of time, but he was coming to Vancouver non the less. So colour me surprised when, I was recognized in as I spoke introduced myself. Two me an interesting illustration of the way the internet has opened up media.

I conclude this with saying that, within my interests I am as prone to fandom as most though I feel I am a laid back supporter. I am also glad that now that I live in Vancouver that I can indulge my fixations better as many things come to town, because of that I can start checking off personal goals rather then count missed opportunities.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Greetings Bloggies.

Its been a while since I have written. I am back in vancouver. I came back on the 5th. Its good to be back but thats a separate post. This is a post I thought up while at Rabbit lake. Stuff, we all have it especially the people who read blogs.

I would say I am not the most materialistic of folks living in industrialized consumer economy, but I have my share of stuff. What got me thinking as my aged steel toed work boots absorbed water through their partly delaminated soles was that how little of the stuff I own has really brought value or utility to my life. In this case value stemmed from devices that have helped me earn money. I could do a separate post on items of personal or sentimental value.

I'll start with the foundation. Boots. I have two pair of quality boots between the two of them nearly every dollar I have made was spent standing in them or walking in them. Acquired first were the Scarpa hikers, my third pair of proper hiking boots and the first not to fail on a poorly placed seam. They have been resoled once but the resoling left them tighter then they were originally. Many an afternoon or evening was spent tramping across naked metavolcanics in a greenstone belt. That 2.5 billion year old pressure cooked volcanic rock wore those soles out.

Boot number two the work boots. Heavy bricks of hard rubber and leather. Not much for walking but a great boot to stand in. Stand I did, looking at rock in boxes for days on end leads to standing. They had one weakness I did not know about till after I got to the north. It turns out the hard compound rubber in their sole gets piss poor traction on snow or ice, worse then nearly any shoe I have have ever owned. Despite that they have still managed to have a huge number of hours logged in them. I debate resoling them. They might be worth it but that would also be a symbolic admission that I believe I will return to the lines of work that those boots represent, something I am aiming to avoid.

Next up is the multi tool. The least used item on it is the can opener. The knife has most often been used to sharpen wax china markers. I once tried to one of the longer narrow, not knife parts to pry off a hubcap on a truck. The truck was stuck with a flat on Prosperous outside Yellow Knife. I was trying to change the tired and had never seen the arrangement that truck presented to me. There was a plastic hubcap which had on it plastic lug-nuts. In the kit was a second tire wrench sized for the plastic nuts. Never having seen a hubcap that did not just pop off I could not image an arrangement as insane as that. So I did what I thought made sense, try to lever off the cap. I failed and had to beat the tool back into shape to fit it back in the housing.

Of the items that make me money perhaps most iconic is the hand lens. When pressed I will answer that I am a geologist. This is a suitable answer to outsiders as I have not yet attained a standing in the related professional organization. After a rock hammer the hand lens is iconic of geology. The pair, a cheap 10X and a vertigo inducing 30X have often let me identify tiny specks of gold that would have other wise passed me by. The flip side is true, they have also removed false positives from my data collection.
The art to using the 30X one is to focus your eye on the target and then slip the lens between you and it, you will never find what you were looking for if you go at it half assed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Camp life

Greetings Bloggies.

This institutional life.
I am in an institution. I am sane, well on the average. The people around me seem generally normal but I can't shake the fact that I am in an institution, in this case Cameco's Rabbit Lake mine.

As a mine it has a mix of dangers and red tape. One of the first things I noticed is that almost no one walks any where and there is almost nowhere you can walk. This is a producing mine, an environment I have not worked in before, it also a Uranium mine. Add wolves and bears in the endless wilds around us, a no walking alone policy makes sense. This is not what I am here to say. I do not want to degrees into whining about the things I miss in Vancouver. The first draft of this when there and that paragraph died.

No I am here to try to describe, the character, as seen by a outsider of an institution. I have worked in exploration camps, 20 odd people or less. This camp is larger, but it has one thing overwhelmingly in common. These places are here to get work out of people. Every thing is rules. And that is how I think of an institution, a place with internal rules above and beyond the ones of society, hence no walking.

Out in the world, where people live, not just work and go into bed or the gym for maintenance, there are rules. Societies grow around rules, some rules die a well deserved death other new ones come into play and some stay the same for ages. As a law and generally rule following citizen, I follow the rules that keep me out of trouble and follow my own for there reasons or lack of. What separates institutions out here form the world out there seems to be extra rules.

No walking alone is a good example. Out here, that rule makes sense wolves and bears, haul trucks ( 500 tone), and Uranium all make going for a stroll a poor idea. I know I want to but rules, that and the fear of walking into a hot zone. Other rules, no drugs or alcohol, your here to work, and work safely. We the company want to get our 12 hours out of you and you will damn well play some other time. Also everything happens at a set time. On the other hand things are free. You can eat your fill, get your sweet tooth filled and come back for more later.

Other odd rules include no touques or hats of hoods in the dinning hall.

Signs, clutter the walls in places like this. I don't know what the lowest common denominator is but there is an assumption about it being fairly low, if the toilets have pleas flush after use signs.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rabbit Lake

Greetings Bloggies.

So, this time I will return to my more positive tone after several whiney posts. It could not be be helped, I was down and not doing the right things for my self so I bitched over the internet, a truly modern past time.

So I am working in the north again. Norther Saskatewan. Things are different here on many levels. I am working for an engineering company not a exploration company. The site is a producing mine. In this case Camico's Rabbit lake, one of this countries oldest continuously producing Uranium mines. Thats right not gold, no the soft pretty metal people dig up to hide in vaults, but the 10th most abundant element in the crust and one of the best energy sources for the future, Uranium.

Though I like the fact that I am working in a support role for a uranium mine, I am glad that my work takes place away from sources of radiation.

The differences between Rabbit lake and exploration jobs, are large, for one thing at the small exploration camps, the geologist were king, the camp existed to make sure our drilling got done and the data came in. Here we are a small subset of a huge operation. This camp can hold up to 700 and might currently hold 300. What the exact number is don't mater, I have been used to camps of 10 to 40. Other things that are different. The job I don't know how to do it yet. I am learning and have a good teacher. I know the core of many of the tasks but not the specifics. It is refreshing to do new work.

What I know of the work is that I will be doing tests on the hydraulic nature of the rock and I have a fancy tool to do it with. The tool has an odd mix of simple tough elements and finer nearly delicate elements. As I said on facebook some times I feel more a plumber then a scientist, but tools get data and without data, there is no science.

The following sentences were written the day after the bulk of the post.
It should be said, after today that there is still no shortage of drudgery as part of the job. Today I was tired and hand to log my first hole for engineering purposes. It was fairly smooth, I need to pick up the pace and fight the strain that comes from too much of the same thing.

Somethings are the same. The food is industrial bland. Engineered to not offend any one and to provide calorie rich fair to those who need it and those who do.
The question I still can't answer is can I do $30,000 or hours of work of this and feel satisfied and have the life I want. Though I am slated to be here for three weeks I don't know when or what I might get called on to do again, if any thing. How often and for how long will I have to be away. It is a question of both. Three weeks is a sane amount of time away.

So I am unresolved. I still think that gaining work closer to the city I live in and coming home at night are my long term goals. The long term keeps getting interrupted by the short term demands of money. That stuff is like crack, every time you start to run low you or you bills just keep demanding more.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rabbit Lake

Greetings Bloggies.

So, this time I will return to my more positive tone after several whiney posts. It could not be be helped, I was down and not doing the right things for my self so I bitched over the internet, a truly modern past time.

So I am working in the north again. Norther Saskatewan. Things are different here on many levels. I am working for an engineering company not a exploration company. The site is a producing mine. In this case Camico's Rabbit lake, one of this countries oldest continuously producing Uranium mines. Thats right not gold, no the soft pretty metal people dig up to hide in vaults, but the 10th most abundant element in the crust and one of the best energy sources for the future, Uranium.

Though I like the fact that I am working in a support role for a uranium mine, I am glad that my work takes place away from sources of radiation.

The differences between Rabbit lake and exploration jobs, are large, for one thing at the small exploration camps, the geologist were king, the camp existed to make sure our drilling got done and the data came in. Here we are a small subset of a huge operation. This camp can hold up to 700 and might currently hold 300. What the exact number is don't mater, I have been used to camps of 10 to 40. Other things that are different. The job I don't know how to do it yet. I am learning and have a good teacher. I know the core of many of the tasks but not the specifics. It is refreshing to do new work.

What I know of the work is that I will be doing tests on the hydraulic nature of the rock and I have a fancy tool to do it with. The tool has an odd mix of simple tough elements and finer nearly delicate elements. As I said on facebook some times I feel more a plumber then a scientist, but tools get data and without data, there is no science.

The following sentences were written the day after the bulk of the post.
It should be said, after today that there is still no shortage of drudgery as part of the job. Today I was tired and hand to log my first hole for engineering purposes. It was fairly smooth, I need to pick up the pace and fight the strain that comes from too much of the same thing.

Somethings are the same. The food is industrial bland. Engineered to not offend any one and to provide calorie rich fair to those who need it and those who do.
The question I still can't answer is can I do $30,000 or hours of work of this and feel satisfied and have the life I want. Though I am slated to be here for three weeks I don't know when or what I might get called on to do again, if any thing. How often and for how long will I have to be away. It is a question of both. Three weeks is a sane amount of time away.

So I am unresolved. I still think that gaining work closer to the city I live in and coming home at night are my long term goals. The long term keeps getting interrupted by the short term demands of money. That stuff is like crack, every time you start to run low you or you bills just keep demanding more.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Greetings Bloggies and other readers.

Well its time for me to be honest with my self. September was a wasted month. Effectively nothing forwarding my longer term goals was accomplished. I can not blame external forces. These failures were all mine. A cold that lasted much longer then I would like, gave me the excuse to slack off for part of the month. Minecraft, a game wedged it self in my weak mind and sucked up even more time (Joe, I admit it its not minecraft's fault).

I made other foolish choices. A set of decisions at the end of august or start of september put two opportunities in conflict. One was a reasonably likely geology gig in the Yukon, the other an interview with a instrument company. I admit that I want to step away from exploration geology as a career, but a 2 to 3 week job, and a chance to see the Yukon is a foolish thing to skip out on. I feel that I botched the interview, its nearly two weeks and not a peep back. The conflict was between the opportunities was of my own creation, I could have arranged the interview later, by the time I started wrangling the people to get me that interview I knew the time line of Yukon job and could have done things differently.

The interview was approached with false confidence and being under prepared, add to that I was in the tail end of the cold and life was not at its best. I did some research prior but still got stonewalled at some basic questions. One question that got me was about where I saw my self in N number of years. It was pointed out to me that I should have had a vision as to where I was going after BCIT, with the diploma form there. The truth which is I wanted an office job, to get away form the periodic exile that geology can cause so I that I could have a more balanced life, would not have fit the expectations. With greater knowledge of the prospects there it became possible to question if the opportunity was a good fit. There is uncertainty about weather my current thinking that role fit. Either I gained enough knowledge to conclude that the role was not right for me because the technical and creative aspects were above me, or I have retrofitted those thoughts on to it because I have not heard back.

When I step away from my attempts at a professional life, September was good month. By and large I ate well. I cooked some new things. I have gone out to pubs, I have started to establish my self as a regular in one or two places and have a greater sense of community. I got someones phone number but forgot to call her because well I realized I felt no chemistry, I can only throttle back my geek so for. Bike rides, kayak adventures, walks and other activities killed some of the time, at least I don't feel as much like the dough boy. As a Dough boy, the best loaf of bread to come out of my kitchen was created last week.

From the inside of my head things were up and down and backwards. The backwards was the worst. The earlier half of the month, confirmation bias a side, saw me dreaming about my ex girlfriend, some of those thoughts have leaked into waking. If living in Vancouver means one thing in my life its moving forward and the motivation to chase away that past from the front of my mind is a good starting point for getting out the funk I drifted into. To be fair there is a place for those memories and emotions just not in quantity or persistently.

Thats all for now.

In the past this would have ended up in a bound note book in an illegible scribble.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More gripes

Greetings Bloggies.

I have been delaying writing this for some time. But for some time stress has been building. I suppose its normal. I am not busy enough, nor am I getting my head in gear enough to really fix it. The cumulative effect of this is I find me self more bored and lonely then I would like. The key symptom is tension in my jaw, to the point of nearly being painful.

As I had said on facebook, the trouble with the current period of my life is that it got started with such a completely emotional decision that following up on that with rational actions leaves me second guessing things. On July 20th , when I left the Elkhart job, I was certain of what I did not want to do. The life style desired was clear in my mind the means to support that less so.

A flurry of activity to get settled kept my mind occupied for some time. But as time passed and the obvious targets for jobs came back with negative news my mood and motivation weakened. I always have this irritating thought, running through my head when ever I am looking for work. I am educated I have a couple peaces of paper to prove that I passed through some programs, but I don't really know what I can do. I don't have an clear idea of what jobs I am qualified for. Often enough I wonder if I could find a form of happy working at a coffee shop with people hipper then I. I feel that would not really work.

Right now my best prospects will take me out of town if they pan out. On a short term basis. I am not sure how I feel about that all in all. Certainly, the money will solve the problems it can solve. I just wonder how far I can go on that path. Ultimately I want to have a job in town. In the end I will take what I can get and make the best of it. Lacking a clear passion to steer me that is just how I am going to have to stumble through life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Not too Bad

This is a short comment directed to the previous post. Though I am having ups and downs at this time my life is good in several metrics. I am more confident then I have been in the past. There are more people in my life that I know and some that are turning it better friends. Evenings have been well used more often then at other points in my life and fun is being had.

Captain I am not a merry man.

Greetings Bloggies.

Yesterday I managed to compress a week an half's worth of emotional cycles into one day. I started the day in the right head space getting up earlier and doing some exercise including a nice fast walk. I was in a good mood I had gone to bed the night before saying I was going to turn over a new leaf and get my ass in gear.

I gave my self a good emote, I watched American Beauty, cleaned my room and changed my sheets. So yesterday started solid. I had the notion that I would use my walk to plan what I would do with the day. The positive mood started to get cracks in it quickly. As I walked and tried to plot out the next 8ish hours I realized I could hardly come up with an hours worth of clearly defined things to do. The day was not wasted but it was. I reviewed some technologies attached to a job I have not yet gotten, and in my current mood strongly doubt I will get. How much of that doubt is the mood and how much is real cause for not getting hired is unknown.

I do know that my history of getting past a first interview is not good. Nearly every job I have gotten I landed because there was a space that needed filled then and there. When I have gotten interviewed I never hear from the people again. So before the morning was out I was slipping down the slope of why bother.

The afternoon did not go to badly, I went for an other walk around lunch time had a few conversations, that always steers me back on the right mental track, picked up the book I wanted from the library. Laundry at least gave me the feeling of having done something. Cooking and the plans of meeting a long misplaced acquaintance from high school moved me along. The chili and corn bread was good.

I did get out on time to go to the pub, only to discover I had made a few tactical errors, I forgot to exchange phone numbers, I also did not look at any photos on face book. So I found my self in a packed Gas town pub not sure what I was looking for. In then end I left feeling down for having given up. It would have been better if there was a free seat at the bar then I could have waited thing out over a beer.

The evening was ultimately recovered when I went to my seemingly default thursday evening joint and did run into some people I knew and met a few others. My introspective mood did make me minimally social at first. Some alcohol and company repaired that. It does me good to start getting known in a place.

The song for yesterday was Phil Rossi, I Like Your Grave, I woke up with it in my head.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Denial of Service Attach

(Or Saturday Night Part 2)

Greetings Bloggies.

So, It should be clear by now that I did have a good night, good enough to come home at close to 3am, that was last Saturday. A friend who was having an evening of a similar nature but of a longer duration started texting me at some odd hour after 2am. Regretfully I was firmly on the route home with no desire loop back to down town after all the trains had long since stopped running.

On the walk home from the bus stop I received a couple more texts, this time it was raining hardish. I don't want to say it was raining hard I have not been in Vancouver long enough to be a qualified judge of rain types. Without giving it much thought I typed( a generous description of what I have to do with the damn alphanumeric pad my crappy phone has) a reply. The texts largely consisted of I am here doing this, to which I replied I am else where and had enough of doing that.

During that process my higher functions were still partly offline due to a pleasant level of intoxication. So the math of Rain + Phone = Bad did not cross my mind. It would have been slow to cross my mind sober as well. The craptastic motorola had one or two features worth having, one of which was a ruggedized latex similar sink too keep water and crap out. Unfortunately that started to disintegrate and I had pealed much of it off because it was ugly.

So step forward half an hour, my phone is on the kitchen table, I am drunkenly updating facebook. Thankfully nothing too interesting happened that night, so I was mostly just overly cheerful. After I finish with the interwebs I make for bed.
Somewhere in there I hear my phone say from the kitchen table.
Please Say a Command.
Please Say a Command.
This happens some times, it should only happen when the button on the side gets pushed. Keys or change in the pocket with the phone can set it off. All by its self it should do nothing. I do what I always do, Tell it to Fuck off and push a button to make it shut off. I am not even sure if I told it to fuck off on this occasion. After that I thought nothing of it and went to bed.

Perhaps if I had superstition I could have fished an omen out of having Telephone by Lady Gaga in my head just before bed. It was one of the last songs I recall in the club. Lacking superstition, I will go for irony in its place. As I slept my phone engineered its own robot uprising. Time after time starting at some time around 3:45 am till near 8 am it repeatedly dialed and redialed my sisters cell.

Looking at the call log, there were multiple times where the delay between redials was effectively zero. If I did not know any better my phone was attempting a Denial of Service Attack, simple hack involving getting allot of devices knocking on a door till it opens and security is breached. Thankfully the robot uprising is over.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday Night Gotta Be all Right

Greetings Bloggies.

Well the other day I did something rather rare. I went out on a saturday night, not only that but I went out to a place where the primary activity was listening to music that sounded like ....Boots And Cats And Boots And Cats. Night clubs are not my natural habitat but it was a friends birthday and I did feel like going out.

In the past most of my visits to night clubs have been in Kelowna and well it turns out I did not much care for that city or many of its institutions. On those occasions the club was preceded by hanging out and drinking at saner places. This poisoned me to any club because I was enjoying the conversational time. On Saturday night I quickly realized that the place calling it self a pub was much more a club.

A couple beer and the encouragement of an acquaintance later I took to experimenting with dancing. Now I would be the first to say I have two left feet, but even in that context I figured if I am there I might as well try to enjoy it and that is what one does in a place like that. So some how I used all the social errors in the past years to make few errors and come damn close to fitting in.

Several things happened for one thing the number of people attached to the birthday party was huge, I only knew a handful of them from before and many of them did not stay too long, but I was still part of an in-group and that is a social capital that can not be faked. For my own enjoyment I accepted the odd Zen of a dance club, if you want to have fun there you have to ignore higher functions where possible, to get in to the mood was almost a meditation. The other thing I did was make the assumption that few people there really know what they are doing. I watched the overheated masses minded my feet and aped the herd.

The odd thing about the club was the playing of the 1970's animated Lord of the Rings on all of the TVs, complete with badly rotoscoped orcs. I kept time by the scenes. I failed to notice if we had managed to prove the old saying wrong. It is well known that "one can not simply walk into Mordor", but can you Dance into Mordor?

I left sooner then I really needed too. My mistake for not checking when the last train was or the time of the night buses. I left 15 min after the last train had left water front station and half an hour before the next N9 home. Even though it was late there were sane and sober people to chat up as I waited.

Eventually I got off the bus and walked the last leg home. Durning this time I got texted a few times. In replying my phone got damp. It worked fine up until just before 4 am. Just before going to bed I heard it start to fired up the voice activated dialing. A feature I never use and the only words it has ever heard are Fuck You. I pushed the button that usually shuts it up and went to bed.

See part two coming soon

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who Am I

Greetings Bloggies.

I am trying to write here more to get my thoughts in order. Though it is perfectly normal I wish it was some other way, I wish I knew what I wanted to do for a living. What I do know is a handful of things about my self and some things I have learned I don't want.

I think I might be more social then I thought I was. Growing up I had few friends and the small town pushed me aside as I did not fit. Now that I am in a big city with chances to join self selected groups I am enjoying getting out more then I thought I would. I also know that I don't take well to being alone or by myself as well as I thought I did, I get rather off if I don't get out enough.

I enjoy being a good host. I have tested this and found that I can have good dinner parties, or at least people over for dinner and it is fun. I enjoy the creation of a menu for the evening. I enjoy fitting the cooking into my day and timing it right.

I also know that I am a science and science fiction nerd. I will make Star Trek references. I have also learned that if they fall completely flat to try to move away and don't waste time explaining.

I enjoy experimental cooking and know that the first batch of something will likely be a fizzle and will only cook dishes I have tried a couple times before on guests.

I still hate getting on the phone to do things.
I know lots of factoids. I doubt that they will ever help me land my dream job. That saddens me.

I always get irritated at just how hard it is to land work. I also get irritated at publications aiming to help you get work what they say has not changed in ten years.

I can't really imagine what my next job could be. I know I want a city based job, likely it will be in a office at a cubicle.

I know from experience that I have had my fill of bush work. Long term contracts in the boonies do not fit with how I want to live. See above about being social.

I know that exploration geology is where I have made my money in the past. I know that there are large idealogical differences between me and it. That industry hosts at least in opinion more global warming doubters then most others because its in the business of creating more.

I know customer service did not work for me. I have flipped one too many burgers.

I feel over qualified for many jobs and under qualified for the jobs I think I want to get. The criteria for jobs I think I want to get is based on, this is stuff that I have touched on in my education, I might be able to do it and enjoy it.

What I think I know fairly well about how I want to work is this. I want my job to primarily be centered in Vancouver. Shorter term field assignments are an option but not extended sustained camp jobs. I don't want to be too isolated in my work place, all by myself my brain gets weird. I want to work with people who's values are similar. I want to stay at a place long enough to start getting good at somethings. As an bonus I want regular weekends, the possibility of benefits( with my teeth and eyes I rather feel they are needed).

Other things I know about me. I like to make decisions quickly when they need made. My cooking has gotten better and also my kitchen has gotten neater as I cook more.

Lastly I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I don't have enough money to be an astronaut, the drive to be an entrepreneur, I might be able to grow into management but I don't know. I like to solve problems but I generally find I need help finding the starting point.


Greetings bloggies.

I am facing the mental struggles that in part define the place of life I am in. That is I am looking for work, and worse trying to have the work be part of a career. To get myself moving, not just in the right direction but in some cases just moving I have to remind myself of the hows and whys. How I have managed to make things work in the past and why I want do things differently now.

Firstly I always start off rather pessimistic about finding work. This is my default starting point from which I have to shake myself free of it is also reenforces by the low success rate I have in landing interviews. Of the handful of interviews I have had only one lead to a job. That was Harvey's in Kelowna where I spent some time flipping burgers. I landed that job walking in on the day someone else failed to show up for their first day. All other interviews have been dead ends. Weather it was office depot in Kelowna, MDA in Richmond, I have not gotten past that gate keeper.

The professional successes I have had have been in mineral exploration. Geology runs in the family and mining is a perfectly fine industry but not one I ever planned to get into. I knew when I was 5 I wanted to be a scientist, when I was 25 I had enough of university and did not want to remain on an academic path. Steering me off the academic path was landing a field tech job in 2004. It paid well and I had some adventures along the way. I was also hired sight unseen.

In 2006 I got wind of a company needing some aid dealing with some out of date data. My tip came from my economic geology prof who had studied with part of the management team some time back. A little aid on fine tuning the application with a friend at Tim Horton's and I had landed me the job. Once again shipped out to the boonies with out even an interview. Taking that job was a no brainer, I had $300 to my name and well little other prospects. I stayed there for Two and a half years, till I got recessioned. I admit that my motivations were weak form time to time and by the time of the layoffs I was glad to going. My attention span was expired. I also wanted a personal life and at the time of the layoff I had one that made staying up north far less attractive.

The end of my stint with Tyhee, lead to a period of decompression. Having spent more then two years working 6 weeks at a time with two week breaks tired me. I saw the flaws in that life style that punctuated equilibrium of work play work, and the difficulty in keeping normal friendships. I took some time to not think about work.

When at last I did start thinking about work I found my self stuck. I admit that basing my self at my folks place also in the boonies though not as far from any thing as the North West Territories was a poor tactical choice. It has taken me some time to want to take the risks that can truly lead to a better life ( more on that later). I found my self looking into environmental science consulting firms. I had gained an interest and respect for them when working up North.

There was something interesting and well just a little healthier about the work the environmental consultants and government scientists did. For starters the shifts they did were much shorter, a few days to a few weeks followed by returning to the office to draft reports, a far cry form the 6 weeks in the medium security installation that is a fly in camp. The government scientists caused resentment among some of the more senior camp staff, getting called lazy and such. I place that down to envy, of course you are going to not like some one who reminds you of the flaws in the choices you made, like coming home at the end of the day benefits, more paid vacation, did I mention benefits. Things somewhat lacking to a junior person in the exploration sector.

I chipped away at getting into environmental work for some time in a very half hearted manner. I think the overly long stint with Tyhee made me somewhat negative about work overall, I had too many hours logged and not enough stimulation. I would like to add that this is not Tyhee's fault for say, there are many dull aspects of the job, core logging will never be thrilling, it was my own fault for not trying to push myself into other areas. At that time I though perhaps the work world would be kinder then it was. In the end I had a bitter taste in my mouth from too many hours of the same thing and had taken that bitterness with me out of camp.

Spring came a long an little progress was made. It became clear that I was not going to get there from here. I invoked a ten year old suggestion. A geography prof back at Okanagan University College, recommended going into Geographic Information Systems as a way to get a head. I looked into and applied to two different programs ultimately going to BCIT because of the branding associated with it. I am glad I did. It broke a overly long period of irrational self imposed isolation, it let me make new friends and live in a new city. GIS is my first best hope.

Stepping back a few months. After receiving confirmation that I got into BCIT I set about doing some foot work. I knew that the program placed a strong emphasis on its practicums and I knew that the course load would be large especially considering how mentally soft I had become since the layoff. So I spent a large chunk of the summer, in between trying to teach my self the basics of visual basic, trying to land me a good practicum.

It was for me a stressful process, writing emails, and much worse phoning people, learning the art of getting past the front desk. The work did pay off in the end. By the middle of august last year I had lined up 10 or 12 firms that I was in a position to visit and or talk practicum placements. The choice ultimately came down to two things. One I liked the management at one place the most, ESSA Technologies, and that the manager had the ability to make the choice about taking me on with out having to go through too many steps. By this time last year I had my practicum lined up while some others had yet to think about that yet.

That practicum was a positive time. The people in that office were closer in ideology to myself, no global warming skeptics there. The work was hard, I solved cool problems all be it slowly. I even got a portion of my work incorporated into a software update. In the end there was not a place for me after my practicum wound up.

The end of the program brings me roughly to now. Granted I had the one job between then and now, a job that followed the pattern of the others. The capricious whims of the markets lead to a demand for geologists and on short notice, through a camp cook on face book I applied for a job. You can see how it went from previous posts. You can also see from previous posts how I ended up in Vancouver.

So here I am, in one of the best places to live on Earth and stuck. Yesterday I got a job offer kind of may by. A contact I reached out to as part of my preGIS program foot work emailed me to see if I was interested in a short term contract. There are too many ifs for me to even believe if this is going to go through, and I am not sure other then money if I want to do it. Its another geology job. Its good to make money and I can make good money that way if I can get my self to do it, but it reenforces a path I want to leave. I find my self stuck. I am too much of one thing not enough of another and every thing I know I know to a shallow depth.

There in lies either a very real obstacle or a large imagined one. I sit here with a BSc in Earth and environmental sciences and an Advanced diploma in Geographic Information Systems. I know my BSc is highly general, I did do much of the geology classes offered where I was but I was also top of the class in my freshwater sciences class. All my applied experience is geological, but there are better trained geologists out there. I am not exactly sure what I want to do, I know what I have learned about what I don't want to do. I am also unsure of what I can do. Or perhaps it would be better to say that I am unsure of what I can say I can learn todo.

So this brings me to a point like I was last summer but worse. Last summer I was wrangling practicum options, I found it easier simply because I was not asking for work. Now I have to try do define what I am and offer and then convince them to offer money for that. I know that in practice I can execute that. In fact the tentative offer I got yesterday proves the value of the long game of keeping people in touch and getting a name out. I know the value of the long game, but my finances tell me I need to play a shorter game. I also know I want to play that game in Vancouver.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The importance of food and cooking.

Greetings Bloggies.

While sweeping the floor and scrubbing coffee stains off the tiles I did some thinking. Here is where my brain when in between brief distractions from Lady Gaga. I started thinking about food, something of a default for me. In this context I was thinking about cooking and my job search.

I had just looked at a post for a GIS specialist for a geology company, a job I could do and do well. I day dreamed about the interview I would like to get. I thought about the currently empty slot of hobbies and interests on my resume. Of the thing I do the one I most likely would put on there would be Cooking/Baking.

People I know have compared cooking to working in a lab setting or working on code to those people this is old hat. I am going to explain why I think that hobby is a quality that is desirable to employers.
Firstly it simply shows initiative, to take control of a problem and solve it for your self rather then out sourcing it to boston pizza or #1 smiling noodle house.

Secondly, creativity. If you cook beyond the point by point break down of a recipe you start to explore play and come up with new things.

Problem solving, job posting always part of a job posting. A little redundant, if you did not have the problem of needed food and a house you would not need the solution of a job. But that aside, cooking represents a day to day example of that. On a nearly daily basis I balance nutrition with flavor and an constantly changing set of ingredients to keep my self happy and filled. To create food out of stuff, translates over to a workspace where the limits of the firms of departments resources constrain what can be done, and there for you have to improvise with in those bounds. Cooking saves money by not outsourcing to consultants.

I did not think of this when I started this post but the social element plays a role. Through food and entertaining, you can shape your space in a group cooking and sharing food with others shows that you play well with others. It says I may have some quirks but overall I am a mostly sane person with friends.

Food it may not say I can do the job from a standing start but it shows damn it I can try and I wont burn the water I promise.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Greetings Bloggies.

My brain is starting to itch. August was good. I had a good time moving in and getting back or in touch with people. It matches the first first level needs I left camp for. Now I find my self in a state of mind that is not quit entirely unlike the long dark tea time of the soul. At some level I have had my fill of leisure.

The shorter version is that I need work. As much as it is needed for the money I need it for the stimulation. Yet I say this I am slow to take action. As has happened before I get irritated with the doing of nothing, having cleaned the house enough. I also start to be come ashamed of my unemployed state. This can result in my hiding at home, not wanting to admit to my self or the world that I have this problem. On monday I went down town to do some foot work only to leave the key peace of paper with important addresses at home. I found that scrap today.

Thankfully the desire to do things is starting to strongly out weigh other forces. Now the part that I really hate is starting, the slog through online postings, in person meet ups and phone calls to get rejected.

I know that on paper I am qualified do a reasonable range of jobs, I can even swing a decent career out of my education and ambition but I can not say with certainty that any thing I am looking at applying for will yield satisfaction. I also know I have to accept those risks, I walked out on a job because it failed at nearly every level all at once and I know that things will fail.

I am starting to write here again because I realized that I need to get my thoughts in order, a month of slackerhood has made me soft. Now I need to put pressure on myself and clear my head. I know I will get pissed off with these ventures but I also know I will not fail our right simply because I have enough drive to get irritated with a static existence.

In the mean time I have chicken stock forming on the stove top, a utility item for later when I will lack the food time have now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

That Damned Book

Greetings Bloggies.

Some thoughts. Well its September. Now that summer is winding down I can start thinking about about life in a more serious way. I have spent too much of my life in a academic setting to not have September feel a little like the new year. August was largely a month of leisure as I spent the first two and a half weeks just getting my house in order followed by well, I am not sure what exactly. I swept the floor lots.

Today I am writing because I started reading a book I have never had the chance to finish. Last night I finished Mary Roach's Packing for Mars, a book that left me tired for laughing at few points. I would recommend that every one read at least one of her books. Having finished that and being fueled by too much coffee too late in the day I had to find something to read.

As I now have a Kindle knock off, the Kobo, sold at chapters, I have no need to get out to the library or a store for more entertainment. However I was feeling lazy so I did not want to scour the internets for my next book. On a search through the machine I found Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Me and this book have a history. I have started this book twice. The first time literally more then half my life ago, in grade 8 I had started it. Hell I had made decent progress. In waiting for the bus I got approached by what is now a human being but was then a ass with hormones. The net result of this interaction was the book being thrown on to the school roof. There was not enough time to arrange a rescue before catching the bus. I never saw that edition again.

The second loss is less clear. I know some years later I started reading it again. Yet some how in the flux of people at the parental home it got carried away by some one else unaware of the fact that I was reading it. Or at least that is my working model. Now it is being read on a computer, the text snagged from project Gutenberg. This time I will finish it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The new house

Greetings Bloggies.

By now most of you are following me on face book and this is getting less and less views.
However, there is a place for wordier thoughts. I have an apartment. I am on Nanaimo street in east Vancouver, a clean well kept well treed part of town. Commercial drive is a 10 minute walk away where I can get great food stuffs and find lots of eateries. Commercial Dr, has lots of novel shops and few chain stores which is refreshing. Some of the Hippy and Hipster sub-populations are a bit much at times. Occasionally I want do there what I want to do to Baker Street in Nelson, drive up in a Semi and give a way BBQ Stakes and Bud light.

So about the house. I would say close to twice the size of my last place. Which in a chat conversation earlier today with one of the few people to have visited me there, was described as "barley big enough to open the door into it much less live in". That is no longer an issue.

Here is what I landed from Craig's List.
A proper kitchen with a double sink, a full size fridge and stove. Enough cabinet space to stock stock up on lots of staples. I also have a bath tub.

For added goodness the floor was retiled before I moved in, and its real tile. I learned the other day that the heat is in floor.

I am happy. The compromises I was making for too long, the risks avoided are being taken or changed. Its some what scary how fast I have been spending money but I worked hard to make it and I never did try to live the life style I could support.

Now I am nesting, I still need a bed, but thats coming along and I will be sleeping good before too long. Building this home is good for me.

For years I have wanted to have people over for dinner, the Soviet pot luck of last year was one of my favorate moments and well I just want to entertain a little from time to time. I also can't help but think that I am single and young and damn it I want my home to reflect that.

The tent I called home.

The bed where I realized. We're Not going to take it No We're Not going take it Any More.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Screw Exile

Greetings Bloggies.
I made a radical action yesterday. I literally walked off a job. After several weeks of bad attitude, sub-standard and uncomfortable working conditions and just too too many things just not working right I left. Packed my things and drove out the front gate.

I took that job knowing I did not want to be in that industry. What I under estimated was just how much that industry is a life style and if you don't want to live it leave. Yesterday morning I did some math, not fancy math just counting the years spent sleeping on small beds in short term locations that went long. The number was higher then I liked. I knew I had to get out. I had spent too much time working for later.

The final straw was remembering a goal I had years ago. I was living with some roommates in a largish town house in Kelowna, still one of the nicest places I had lived. I was of the mind that I wanted to take advantage of that place and get some friends over for dinner. I never did. Since then I have not had the quality of living space where I could serve more then 1 or two. The thought that for 10 years I have failed to realize that simple goal. Realizing that though I had the income potential I have failed to furnish myself with the quality of life I want.

So some what on automatic pilot, not sure when or how I made the choice but I started to pack my things in the core shack. I had not made and progress that morning and felt down just looking at rock. I felt good when I walked away.

I am sick of camping out of luggage, of temporary places. I have taken a liking to Vancouver and I am going to move there properly. Currently I am in Nakusp it is my mothers birthday, I made crapes. The plan what passes for one at least is to pack the few things I see as key to defining my space and drive to Vancouver and set up shop. Wish me luck

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Greetings Bloggies

As I have said I am not about to start blogging the tire some details of work. I will speak freely of the circumstances around the job. So it starts with location. Due to some details of the camp running slower then expected I have spent the last ten days in the Holiday inn in west bank out side kelowna. An un remarkable highway motel on a unremarkable strip of highway.

Having Vancouver get under my skin I have really started to see the smallness of this area. Nearly every thing is 1 story tall. Nearly every surface is a parking lot. It appears that the towns measure growth by how slowly rush hour traffic moves. Having had to drive through Kelowna rush our on an errand I realized just how bad it is here. I have traveled similar distances in Vancouver at high traffic flow. In Vancouver the traffic spends much less time stopped.

To add shinny red food colouring to the injury of exile I went for a chinese buffet for dinner today. I don't know why. I was hungry from walking around in the field and at least there I could get vegetables. Nothing makes a person miss Vancouver like trying to eat out in a small town. I can't get over how impoverished the food seen seems here.

And just to remind me of why I have not missed this area much over the last 4 years, the HEAT. Good Gods I don't miss the blast furness of the miles of pavement and raw sun light.

Vancouver I miss you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rule 34 Or what camp does to a person.


This post dates from the first weeks of the Merritt job, in the summer of 2010.  The first two weeks of which consisted of wandering around a field with a GPS and hand held computer.  We were often close enough to the truck that keeping the stereo on was a viable option and in general walking around in a mountain plateau is far from the worst way to spend your time.  This combinations of things gave us time to talk.   I have no recollection of this conversation ever happening, but that it did hints at the effects of sun on my brain.

Rule 34 came up in conversation. Rule 34, the most notorious of the rules of the internet, spawned from the under belly of the web known as 4chan, states that if it exists then there is porn of it. A  conclusion was reached that implied that any sufficiently advanced culture would arrive at rule 34. This is based on the premiss that Rule 34 can only exist in an environment where there is non centrally controlled media distribution and the culture has to a healthy degree moved a way from repressive ideologies that want to control sex.

Yup, too much sun. Written Summer 2010, updated winter 2014

Sunday, June 27, 2010

BCIT Finals

Greetings Bloggies.

This will be the last time I blog from here. Here being BCIT campus residence. I have some final thoughts about these last 11 months. I came here with different reasons and plans then I am leaving. I came here to become more employable to move away from my old looking at rocks profession to take on a more settled life. I also came here to get back out in the world and make new friends. Those things seem to have panned out. I feel that I have learned lots and I know I am more employable.

I say I am more employable because I have received interest in jobs that I would other wise not have been a candidate for. Technical skills and employability aside, I have found it is the secondary things that made this trip more worth the trouble.

The 9 months of this program pushed me harder then some elements of my academic program. The condensed nature of the program built a sense of community with some students that I had not had in 5 or 6 years since Hawaii. After the relationship ended and took with it any interest in my moving back to the interior I started to look at this town and started to like it. That is the first thing I gained that did not come as expected. That I want to live in Vancouver, the size and diversity attract me. There is an energy that many places lack. I have been to too many smaller cities where there is a strip of chain stores and every thing closes early.

The wanting to live here is the first major upset to my expectations. I have put my money and stuff where my mouth is. To prove that I am coming back the excess of my stuff is now in a small 5x5 storage locker near the burnaby vancouver boarder. I am coming back. And I am not coming back to a clean slate. Thanks to the GIS program having a healthy number of local folk in it I have start of a few friendships and a network.

This program, and the time in Vancouver in an odd way was a life changing experience. For the first time I have found a place where I wanted to live. Kelowna, I was happy to be out of Nakusp and have sun in the fall, but in the end I loved the Okanagan Valley and hated Kelowna. The north was the north, too far from any where and too cold for too long. Here there is a balance, warm weather good eats and as important good people to eat with. I discovered that here I don't just have to get by but can find all the ways to enjoy and enrich life without having to reach too far.

I will miss having a summer in this city but I will look forward to coming back into town and settling in to my own place.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back in the field

Greetings Bloggies.

Well the good news is I got a job. Mineral exploration in the general area around Merrit BC. A job much like the one I had with Tyhee. This is an irony to me. I had promised my self that I would not pursue that type of work again. I also gave my self some conditions where it would be ok.

So then why am I going back into the field to look at rock again. Firstly they hired me. I had been finding few jobs related to my new Diploma and was becoming increasingly aware of tightening finances. I was getting close to looking for true grunt work. So money is good. Secondly while this geology job is not specific to applying my GIS training, I will maximize the use of that training where it is appropriate to stay sharp.

Other conditions, its a short term job, a three month contract. This means that It meets one of my conditions, not wanting to be out in the field for too long. Secondly it is in a much less isolated location. The camp can be driven to and is within a half days drive or less of places I will want to be.

Now that I have had the chance to think about it I like the idea of being in the field again. Its stirring my sense of adventure. Lastly it gives me a chance to use some old cloths as field gear and get rid of the stuff once and for all.
Not an image of the camp I am going to. But similar ish.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vancouver Things

Greetings Bloggies.

Some slices of life here. Last Wednesday I went down town. I had a good walk down Burard Street photographing my favorite down town building. The ever lovely Marine building, in all its Art Deco stylings. To any readers here who are or will be in Vancouver, take the time walk north to the water and check it out.

I also picked some berries on Saturday. Salmon berries I am told. I am not sure, what I do know is people eat them and the leaves look like raspberry plants. Generally they are raspberry like. Since Mr. Darkrooms birthday celebration was the following day and there was a planned pan cake breakfast I had a good reason to pick berries. Though honestly, I just like picking berries. Also there is something about a city where there is enough wild tucked away that a person still pick berries. I like it.

I should also not the racoon spotted west where I am, it was getting a solid Ka'ing at from some crows as I passed by. Causing me to wonder if they had fought over garbage.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sex Part III

Beetle Mania

More Vikings

Greetings Bloggies.

This is old news in the space nut world but since I was just writing about Viking 1 I should write about the real one too. Viking 1 was in the Space news loop when on May 20th the Rover Opportunity passed the 28 year old record for longest running lander on an other planet. Viking one was working on Mars for 6 years and 116 days. Opportunity has surpassed that and if Spirit wakes up in the coming spring it will have passed that record too.

Viking 1, a mock up. Not the real martian back ground.

Opportunity. Real Mars back ground photoshopped in rover.

According to one web site both the Viking landers and the Mars rovers were expected to last 90 days. My question is when will JPL start building cars.

Introducing Viking 1

Greetings Bloggies.

Back in October I made something of an impulse buy. A new Bike. I had not brought my old bike with me to Van and had tired of the cramping in the wrists and back that its compact trail oriented frame cause. So against better judgement I spent money that well I did have it to spend I might have spent else where, perhaps for better things.

Viking 1 because I name vehicles after space craft but also because it is a long bike. A Viking Long bike. Retroactively I have named my old mountain bike Zond 1 too keep the russians in the loop.

In the end I rationalized that it was my knee that needed the new ride. After having twisted it in december 2008, rather strongly, and a few more minor times before, I knew that having weak legs was a recipe for doing so again. The truth since I have started ride more regularly this spring my bad right knee has seldom been in pain. Even more importantly it has been less prone to feeling like it is going to twist out from under me.

The flip side is that I also get to explore town in away that can't be done when you need to look for a parking spot.

Science world where Yesterday Dragon boat races were being held. I boat was warming up to the chant of We Suck Less, We Suck Less. I did not stick around long enough to find out if that was true. I had to head west. I made it as far west as Jericho Beach. I stopped at White Dwarf books.

At White dwarf books at last I found a selection of Sci Fi books that was not the same old same old of the best sellers and newest books.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Procrastination 2

Good News, Every one

Futurama in Lego = WIN

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Glee: A Nothern lites Entertainment Report

Greetings Bloggies.

So it is time for an installment of my very infrequent Entertainment reports. I have just finished watching one of my favorite TV shows. Glee.

Now those of you who know me know I am more likely to watch science fiction or discovery channel. Those that know me better would know I have no love for High school culture and any thing that glorifies it. The last thing that most know about me is a general lack of interest in pop culture and the associated music. These trends make Glee an anomaly in my viewing habits.

So why glee. It came to me as a recommendation from a once good friend. Needing something to reset my brain during the fall semester I started to watch it regularly as fluff. The surreal musical numbers and lots of singing and dancing creates an appearance of fluff. Neither the show nor my self stayed in the same place. The show went away after the first 10 or episodes. It reappeared at a time when I had been as far from my normal happy middle ground as I had been in a long time. And brought characters in to parallel emotional spaces. On one occasion I concluded that I have to be the least manly man on campus, I was feeling a little down watching Glee and eating GOOD Chocolate.

So what do I get out of Glee. More all the time is the answer. For one thing I do like music, I just have tastes that are not up do date and find too much of the stuff on the air sounds like every thing else out there. So in that context Glee wins just for range of music choices. Music is not the core of what I get out of Glee. As I had said at first it was for fluff. Later the emotional depth of it was running parallel to my own and it brought both uncertainty and comfort, but its easy to bring out emotions I already have. Lately as I get distance from heart break and the range of emotions a break up can cause I have been finding Glee doing some things much more powerful.

Glee makes me feel things. Things out of the scope of my day to day. And Yes today I was rocking out to both there KISS covers and Lady Gaga covers. If there is one thing I have learned I need to do is to keep emotions closer to my day to day existence to keep them form swamping me when they get bigger. Some how a odd little show set in one of my least favorite times of life helps with that.

So Here is to the most emotionally complex show on my TV.


Monday, May 24, 2010


Greetings Bloggies.

I have been chewing on this post for a while, it started out life as a guild to going out for chinese food. Which in Vancouver is a complicated question and still worthy of a post. It has morphed into something more personal. After a 2.5 year relationship ended it occurred to me that I had no compelling reason to want to move back to the interior.

I have spent an amount of time going through the heart break that came with the territory and it sucked. My recovery started to run in parallel to a reduced work load from the program. As I went from 5 days of classes and 8 days of home work a week to 4 days of classes and 1 in the office, all the way down to full time in the office I started to have time to look around.

My practicum was in Kits just off of Burrard street. This lead to two routes home, both exposed me to the city, North walking over the Burrard street bridge to down town or strait east over Broadway. No mater how I cut it I saw a good sized slice of town.

Between the mountains the water the food and other, I admitted it I love this city.

The important thing of this is the choice. Not the choice to love vancouver, the choice to stay here not because I no longer have reason to move to the interior but because I wanted to for its own sake. Not because the jobs are here and it makes economic sense but because I have choices of how and where to spend my time after work.

In some ways this strikes me as a contrast to how I made my choices earlier in life. Looking back I am starting to think of my 20's as a period where I either acted on defaults or constraints. I took and kept what I could get because I had few choices. I made do and a chunk of honest hard work and thrift made it possible for me to afford to make the choice to stay in Vancouver.

I like this city and I will stay here not because I have to but because I want to. I have some work to do before I have a proper home in this town and there will be hick-ups along the way. Nothing a good pint at a local brew pub could not ease the pain of.