Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Week of Mondays

Greetings, Long time no words.

So I have not been writing here, hardly ever.  It comes down to the usual list of things that took effect once I moved to Vancouver.  Not the least of which is I am connected so I don't need this medium to break my isolation. Full time work and being spent enough at the end of a day where not much has happened is the other reason.

This week I feel venting is a bit in order.  It started well enough, with  Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer's zany live show.  This ran latter than I had expected, leading to not getting home till past midnight. It was worth the cost but, sleep is a resource I do not wish to give up.  Monday started good.  I choose to ride into work despite the cool damp nature of the morning.  I was warm enough and dry enough but the streets were wetter than they looked.

I was coming up on to Gore street, at the south eastern corner of china town, I had picked up a little too much speed on the long section of low grade.  One way or an other I miss judged how far I was from the intersection. Breaking hard to stop back fired.  My breaks worked perfectly.  My wheels stopped turning, the ground was lubricated. We fish tailed. Now as it turns out I have more control over the bike than I thought I did, because I was able to pull up and out of the skid and loop around to the edge of the side walk.

Some thing felt off, checking things out on the other side of Gore, reviled a minor warp to the rear wheel.  There was discussion after the fact that if I had bailed the wheel would have been fine.  That logic is good because the recovery put a lot of strain on the wheel. Against my better judgement but in the absence of better options I rode the rest of the way to work.

Work was a slog.  Full of revision after revision.  At the end of the day, I checked on the bike, I had through the abuse of the morning broke a spoke.  I took the train home and left the bike in the builds locker. I had hoped to take it to a down town shop during the week but found my self stuck behind a deadlind for too much of the time to make it outside over lunch.

On the flip side I have a new bed and when I do get a full nights sleep I am well rested.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Not so sucky

I got a call around 1:30pm today.  The bike mechanic was able to contort the steel back into form.  I will be picking it up tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well this just sucks

Greetings Bloggies.
A warning if this post has even more typos, grammar errors and spelling errors it is because I have had several needed beer.
In July I ordered and received a new bike chosen because it would be the best fit in its class. Money was put aside over several months for this purchase.  Cutting corners was not on my mind, I wanted a frame that would last years and I wanted a good ride.

Well today the wrong part was out of true in the worst possible way.  I bent parts that should not be bent, 180 degrees from where they should sit. I am angry, numb, pissed off, worried that it can not be fixed, hopeful that it can.  If the best case plays out, the parts will be bent strait others replaced the machine will be ride again.  Should this play out there will always be the taint on this frame of it failed once. This machine was to be my long turn ride.

Healthy and ready to ride

Pay close attention to the way the parts are bent wrong. 


Its a damn good thing the frame is light, I was carrying it a ways today. 

BEER.  A few are needed on a day like today. 

Built of steel with quality parts, I spent more money than I had originally planned to because I wanted one of the best frames that could fit me.  Now it sits in the shop where it was built waiting its turn on the mechanics rack in the hope that malleable qualities of steel will allow it to role smooth again.
What little luck I had was that the fail happened near Main and 33 close enough to the buses that I had a chance to make it to Mighty Riders be for the closed at 6pm.  They say it can be fixed. Hearing that alone pushed me out of the near shock state I had drifted into towards angry.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Great Summer Days

July was gloomy I was not happy.  August is turning out much better. Its gotten hot.  My tomatoes are doing great.  There is a aphid problem with some of my plants but nothing is dead yet.  At long last a beach day was had and it was good.

These days I have the tyranny of the produce.   I am growing more than I can realistically eat.  The other day I harvested some greens from the garden only to find more of a similar green sitting in one of my planter boxes.  Damn one more thing to eat.  There has been some concern for my mental health as I found my self willingly eating kale.  This out of normal behavior has since been rationalized as a reflection on my desire not to buy leafy greens as long as my garden can produce them for me.

Work is also going well.  You have to enjoy a job where an afternoon can be spent learning how to make your job easier.  Its not easy being inside with the bright sun and I have to admit that as long as I have my projects under control I am leaving the office quickly.  To be fair if when there is a bigger work load I stay in a little longer but high summer and a slow work flow will drive me outside.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Presenting this week in Gardening

Greetings Bloggies.

Having given it some though I have decided that yes I will use this forum to tell any one who cares about how great my life in Vancouver is.
Today and yesterday I walked home from work.  Last weeks rushed rides to work left my knee feeling funny and the Seattle trip and late running
Sunday evening left me tired.  So riding has not been happening this week.
Thankfully I am only about an hour and twenty minutes from home and that is taking my time.  So it was a lovey evening and my time was taken.

On this walk I past an orchid that stank of trash or crap, I could not tell for sure, I could tell the flies loved it. I took a detour today,
it might have been a short cut but for taking the wrong path through McSpaddon park.  This turned out to have a surprise in it.
Hiding away next to the tennis court is a Community garden.  I thing I may have seen it before but thought that it was some how attached to a school.
Today I walked right by it and saw that it was green and full of future and present food.

Curiosity lead me to slip through the gate and have a closer look.  Some are over grown some are well tended some are weeded but need details
 managed like climbing things for peas.  The place is pleasant.  As it turns out my garden Annex has slightly more then double the area of the
 plots in that garden.  That garden also suffers from being overly Clayey and needed a boost in organics to improve texture.

Naturally I said hello to the one person tending to a plot.  This plot had some Swiss chard, radishes, of which a rather large bright red one was extracted.
A conversation about gardening was had with the young woman who was weeding that plot.  I explained my plan for my mini greenhouse, I was carrying 4 bamboo sticks.
I shared a home grown radish I had picked yesterday.  We both benifited from gardening advice from a later arrivel at the plot.  Tips on tomatoes were shared.

Eventually I did leave the garden but not before leaving with a new plant.  Some member of the mint family I am not positive on its ID.  I know a handful of mint family things
it is not but no certainy of what it is.  I made it home.  Changed out of work cloths put rice and the left over chicken in the rice maker and turned it on.  That proved to be a
highly successful method.  THe rice got cooked just fine and the chicken came out hot but not dry from having steamed with the rice.

The automatic dinner heating gave me time to build the salvaged green house.  Today a fellow who sublet an office within the office my company occupies was moving out.  He was switching
to a home based business so he could spend more time with his little one.  Thanks to his cleaning I found a large role of clear plastic in a recycling bin.  Yesterday I had used some
plastic bags go shelter a pair of struggling tomato plants and a pepper plant.  These were uggly and rather adhoc creations.  The plasitc presented a better fix.

So the mint like thing was planted in an empty slot left by a cucumber that was not sprouting. An A frame was cobbled together using bamboo and string.  The plastic was stuck in place with
tape aquired last year after a friend left the job.  It took lots of tape and I had just enough plastic. Its more than a little ugly, but I have easier access to the
plants thanks to the flip up end.

I also have to report that my Kale is growing well as are the potatoes, one of the tomatoe plants has more then one generation of flowers on it and several are getting close to blooming.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Garden Annex

The start of the Annex.  The two stakes
mark tomato plants from my landlord.

Greetings Bloggies.

When last we spoke I was unloading my self of a couple tones of iron and plastics. I do not regret that choice.  Somedays I think I wish I could have a car to move one thing once.  Those days are few enough in between for me to know that I am not really needing it.

Today I am going to tell you all about my accidental garden.  When last we met the garden I was offered a small corner of the plot across the alley. I accepted that offer and later that weekend tilled that plot with a hand trowel.  That is not the smart way to garden.  It was enough for me to plant the first generation of veggie seedlings some of my own and some from my sister.   I could nearly have kept things there save for the ticking biological time bomb that was the tomatoes.

Some fool thought it was a good
idea to sell me a spade.
Mr. Socks, him cat.
I was given 4 tiny pucks of dirt with tomato seeds planted in them.  I had no trouble sprouting them in the Hobbit hole but thriving beyond that did not happen here. So I did what any sane person would do.  Transplant the sad skinny things and take them to my office with its south facing windows.  That was the recipe for growth.  Within days they had grown more then they had in the three weeks they had spent in my house.  The tomatoes were quickly running out of soil too much longer in the office and a hot day would have killed them. The tiny toothpick sized things were now 30 to 50 cm tall and out of room to grow.  So I did another perfectly sane thing, I bought a spade.

The tomatoes forced my hand.  There was not enough space in the corner plot to fit them and I lacked potting soil and pots to give them the chance they needed on the patio.  Hence the spade.  On a Saturday after noon I went and got a tool.  I then dug out the whole garden.  At this time nothing had been planted and the untilled earth was getting hard.  So my logic was even if I don't plant it my self at least it will be ready.  I finished that day with 4 raised beds.  Then next day I went to my office and repatriated some very thirsty tomatoes.

The plot as of today.
I should have known I would not stop there, and I did not.  The final bed is still not yet planted. Three of the beds are planted with seed purchased by the gardens official tenants and soon I will need a hose. 

I have been making do with a bucket that spent the last 6 months siting on the side of the street next to where I used to park my car.  This will do until the cucumbers and zucchini come online. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

A wake for Serenity.

Greetings Bloggies.

I did something big this week. I became car free.  It was a long time in the making andit was the natural thing to do.  I had owned a 1999 Subaru Legacy for four years.  In April of 2007 I had cash from my North West Territories gig and was needing mobility in a bad way.  I was splitting my time between Nakusp and the Okanagan and the north. The car was needed to get me around and back to the airport.  In those days I was effectively homeless but had lots of places I visited.   I named it Serenitybecause well that was also the year I fell in love with Firefly.

I was never a car person. I came to driving late, not getting my license till I was 26.  A car is a black box fossil fuels go in momentum and green house gasses come out.  I was bad at taking care of it.  My values never placed putting money in to its up keep a priority.  Though a few things played out against it.  In October 2008 I got laid off and repairs slipped in my priority list as I clamped down on spending.  I also never took the time to find a shop.  I was absent minded about simple things like checking the oil.  Three times I drove into things costing me money to fix the bumper.  The third time cost me my signal light which I never fixed, I taped it up and it still worked, but I figured why fix it I will ding it again any way. Countless times I completely over revved when shifting and made burnt car parts smell.

In the country I loved driving that car.  Between the springs of 2008 and 2009 I made many trips over the mountains from Nakusp to Nelson and Castlegar. I enjoyed those drives, the zigs and the zags.  Put me in traffic and I my attitude goes down hill quickly.  After I moved to Burnaby to attend BCIT I used Serenity a lot less.   Once a week became the normal mode.  Then Twice a month.  Burnaby was big enough and I was far enough from things to make using make some sense.   Last august after using Serenity to drive a way from the worst job EVER, I moved in to the Hobbit hole in East van.  This move saw a major drop in usage.

Moving in to the Hobbit hole lead to a spike in driving as repeated trips to IKEA were need to make the hole livable.  That period passed and usage dropped to once a month or less.  I still live in the Hobbit hole and am planning to stay there for some time.  I know of more neighborhoods where I can find a pedestrian lifestyle and I have no desire to change that.  In some ways this is a return to my families roots as most of us have been dutch city dwellers.

After the moving in phase I knew getting ride of Serenity was a goal.  I knew from my time in Burnaby that I did not drive much in the city.  I also knew that my location was better then I had in Burnaby, I am closer to the trains and right out on two major bus routes. At first, I thought about selling it online, but got distracted by work or looking for work.  I also held the belief that once I had a steady income I would fix it up.  Time when on and I realized thats not my game.  Its sad to say but the truth is my car declined in condition because I could not be bothered.  Perhaps I would have used it more over the winter if I had not left my snow triers in the Kooteneys but thats speculation.  More recently I made a half hearted effort to sell it.  I did not want to pass a lemon on to honest people.

I reached a compromise this week.  I donated it to a Kidney charity.  It got transported from here for free.  They will make an effort to sell it and I get a tax receipt which will help me out with my plans for this year.  I was a little saddened to see the thing go.  4 years is a while.  It played a huge role in my personal life in the Kooteneys, with many a good and a few bad memories attached.  It was something I proud of at first.  It was a grown up thing to have gotten, but I stopped being proud of it as my neglect added up.  The last few times I drove it the exhaust system was getting really loud and I felt ashamed to be in it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gardening or How to meet your Neighbors

Greetings Bloggies.

And Sow it begins.
So it came to pass that on Wednesday evening I was at loose ends.  Work had left me tired and a little stressed.  The job is good, I am learning every day.  Deadlines, technology and using my brain all day do add up. So as it has become some what routine, I watched the previous nights Colbert Report and made some dinner. I need to veg out a bit.    After dinner I watched an other 20 minutes of tv before asking well now what.  Not feeling too energetic I chose a walk over a bike ride. I did not make it very far.

Five meters past the back gate is about as far as I made it.  I spotted a neighbor I had not seen tending the never tended garden plot in the back yard of the house opposite mine.  Not being shy I said hi.   She was cute.  

Dar She Grows. 
Honestly I had nothing better to do nor could I think of a better thing to do.  I took off my good jacket got my hands dirty pulling weeds.  Notes were compared in the smallness and remoteness of the towns we came from.  I believe my neighbor was from Fort Saint something.

An apparent side effect of country living is the chance to learn a thing or two about dirt.  Though I never had the slightest interest in tending the soil when I lived in the country.  It happened that I had at least a half informed notion of what was food and what was foe.

The plot thickens
The I don't know what I want feeling went away.  My hands got dirty, small talk was had.  The garden cleaned up.  It went from a over grown patch that I did not even know was a garden to a blank slate ready to make food and pretty flowers.  That simple act of doing reset my brain.

Open the pod bay doors HAL 
In my mind Gardening is slowly becoming foods little brother.  Though I had always cooked in some capacity I did not approach it as obsessively till I had lost control of it for some time.  The lose  of control came from camp life.

Out there, in places remote enough for the notion of "The Outside World" meaning, you are fed.  They cook for you in exchange for a very long days and what was to me dull work. Returning to civilization drove me to express the creativity I was denied out there.

Long garden is long. 
The same places where I was fed are also places where the ground is white more of the year then it is bare.  Places where the soil is an after thought if there is any.  Now back in a place where there is green I want to add more too it.  It also happens that you can grow food which makes the whole thing double-plus-good.

So this may come a bit late for mother's day but the thanks has go out there.  I have to thank my mother for teaching me the basics of cooking and gardening.  Cooking was a more deliberate act of teaching.  The knowledge of gardening was haphazard.  I learned about gardening because if it was between May and September/ October, if I wanted to talk to her I had to come to her and that place was the gardens.  Weather you want or not you learned to tell some plants a part, how to transplant thing and how to weed things.
The BBQ might become a planter. 

 It has come to pass that the arts of making and growing food are slowly enriching my social life.   I have said more to my land lady since I have planted my peas then I have since last summer.  Of coarse the friends that hate me for my facebook food posts will hate me even more once I start posting the dinners with the home grown greens but thats their troubles.        

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I learned from Bread.

Greetings Bloggies.

So when last I wrote I was stuck on the loose of the past narrative in my life.  Well life does not stop.  I find there are difficulties with my new job that keep me thinking.  Some work nights I don't sleep as well as I should.  I know for sure that I am not doing my work as fast or as well as I could.  Which is why I am going to write about bread.

In the spring of 2009 I was in the depths of my being laid off state.  I had not made serious progress in getting a job and was only starting the process that would take me to BCIT.  During that time in a move based on the desire of safety I was staying in the old log cabin at my folks place.  Due to the limitations of that dwelling, its lacking both internet, TV and running water, I spent time in the folks dwelling, where I would make some use of the kitchen.

At this time many days were unproductive and I strongly lacked motivation.  So I sought a way to create a feeling of having done something.  There was also a element of recovery to this, I could not cook in the camp I had spent the previous years working at so I getting back into that game was part of my return to the world.  So bread became a challenge for my self.

My early loafs were inconsistent, hard, dense and took me hours to make.  Now bread still takes hours to make there is no way around that.  In the early days I would read the recipes to the letter and measure with care.  Due care and attention and guild lines still resulted in breads that lost all their charm the moment they cooled to room temperature.  I was missing something.

A no knead bread, during the Soviet Potluck at BCIT.
In Nisgia'a D, The potluck Organizes you. 
Fast forward to easter weekend.  A point in time somewhere near the two year mark in my bread journey.  Over those two years I have made bread off and on depending on weather, employment and the state of my mind.  Progress was made, first I mastered a batter bread that needed know kneading, then i moved on to french bread.  So back to the weekend.

Sunday evening I figure I want to make bread.  I start a dough.  Realizing it was late and I did not want to stay up late enough to let it rise properly I retool it to become a yeast based pancake.  In the morning I make and eat said pancakes.  They were all right, and I was faced with a large bowl full of yeasty batter.  I had made enough for a loaf so It was a lot of batter.  I do the only thing that made sense, feed it more flour and worry about what to do with it later.

Later becomes late.  I had a short notice dinner with a friend and college.  Strange to see a friendship/business contact grow and know this is how grownup things happen.  Three beers and at even more hours later I come home to find a monster in the bowl.  Through luck a cool house and lots of flour the dough did not over ferment and develop a yeasty flavor.  Without a recipe without a plan I turned that sticky mass into bread.

The bread from Easter weekend, Made with no plan.
This worked and worked out well for one reason, practice.  After two years my fingers know what a good dough feels like, I know how to micro adjust the moisture by just wetting my hands under the tap.  Those and many more little methods turned a creation that did not know what it wanted to be into a good loaf.  It is in light of this accumulated know how that lets me know my current imperfect performance at work will end and in the future I will be good at it.  Like with bread things that were hard ant took a lot of thought will become easy and I will be able to through ingredients together in a rush and make them work.

A flat bread. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

The end of a narrative.


As I finished writing the last post I realized something.  I have reached the end of a narrative.  This blog started as a way of killing time and creating some level of connection with the outside world.  Discovery NWT, Rabbit lake Sask and Minto YT are all places remote enough to give the phrase "outside world" meaning.  I was not in the field long before I realized it was not for me.  I held on because I needed money and at discovery, the operation was more relaxed then at some the other sites.

Depending on when and how you divide up the time I was in a state of unhappy employment or unemployment for at least 3 years.  This blog has helped me vent.  For now my work is interesting but not mind breaking.  This begs the question, what is this blog for now.  I have no short term plans to go any place remote, my life does not suck.  Do you 5 readers really want to be blasted with stories of how good life is in Vancouver, because without the north controlling my life thats what this might come to.

Just to show my life is not all rainbow scented unicorn farts, I went to my favorite chocolate shop only to discover I had no means of giving them money on my person.  So I had to ride my bike back along False creek without gourmet chocolate.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I have to work and I don't mind

Greetings Bloggies.

So have made it through two weeks of work, technically 9 business days as I started two weeks ago tomorrow.  So how is this two week mark different and how am I taking to office life.  Compared to the last time I was two weeks in to a job things are way better.  I lack a roommate, there is no mouth breather smecking chocolate on the other side of the room.  Its not -35 outside.  My work day is short enough to leave me with energy to spare.  Gone are the 10 to 12 hour days I now work 8 hours.

So how is the work. Get to office around 8.  Sit in front of my duel screens of my computer work station, when I want a distraction I look down over Granville Street.  If the deadlines permit, as so far they have, I leave work around 4pm.   One of the things I am still getting used to is not having home work.  It works out that historically the only times I have had a lifestyle with semi-regular hours and or the choice to go home at the end of the day was during my schooling days.  Until now the only time I had dealings with a desk on a full time basis was school, so even with the year between BCIT and now and 5 years since my undergrad wrapped up, I secretly expected home work.  So colour me a little surprised when I am simply free at the end of the day.

Having signed a nondisclosure agreement as part of my terms of employment I am legally bound to not speak any details.  It is safe to say I make maps related to the companies operations.  My current products are simple but growing in complexity.  I am working with a software that was not covered at BCIT, however its core functions are largely the same.  I am impressed that I really did learn things at BCIT.

The people in the office so far are nice, we get along in as much as we interact.  I have the choice of shutting my door and being alone. One thing learned through BCIT, during the practicum was the discovery that damn it the way I like to work best is to be left alone with a guild line on the out put.  I have that here.  No one watches over me.  We talk over how things should be done, I make my interpretation and then I make some changes, repeat.  Its my first grown up job.  Or it feels that way.

It has its new hazards, I managed to leave my keys and wallet in my office last wednesday . I had made to Commercial Broadway Skytrain station, before I realized my error.  I was in safeway on the way to grab some eggs before I found my wallet was not on me.  Had I had my keys on me I would have headed home, I was tired enough.  As it was I did not want to beg the landlords to let me in.  I was lucky that there were still a few people about when I came back there.

That trip down town was extra interesting, it was game night the first of the play offs and the train was packed.  To make mine and a whole lot of other peoples lives interesting, the escalator going up at Granville station was not working.  Now thats a hike.

So there you have it a word salad about work in the city.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Accidentally Good Week Part 2

Greetings Bloggies.

When last I wrote, I had just spoken with some geologist and an HR person from an exploration company, with a couple other options on the table.  Last friday saw me take an interview with a larger company, one I had been in touch with for some time.

I did my best at that interview, I dressed well, I spoke well, I listened to how they described the job.  As I learned more about that job, I became reenforced in my conviction that the sleeper hit from earlier in the week was the better option.  The larger company was offering a job of narrower scope.  In an environment of few choices I could have taken it.  After all there is no doubt in my mind that I need the cash flow either way and the experience would have been good.  In the end I was honest.  I said, I had an other thing on the table and it was a better fit for me.

After a lunch I called the office of the company that was offering a job which included an office with a door and expressed my interest in taking the position. Then I waited.  After waiting some more and heading home I wrote an email reenforcing Yes Please I really would Like to Work Here.  And then I waited, some nerves throughout the weekend. The worst of them this morning, from 8am on ward, as I know the office day their starts at 8.
Thankfully I did not have to wait all day and the call came at quarter to ten and it was a firm YES.  So tomorrow I show up for work.  A grown up job at a desk.

In between these interviews, I did some research into the third player.  This was an engineering company looking for Geologists, work related to resource modeling, writing 43101 reports and all the trappings of a classic professional geologist career.  Not a bad thing, but divergent from my current interest/direction.  I wrote back and told the contact as much.

So now, I have to show up for work tomorrow.  Now I can see if this will work for me.  Now I can take the train to work and if the weather really sucks not step outside between my office and the train station.  I have wanted a job that allows for what passes as a normal life for some time.  I knew for a long time field work was not in my bones.  Now I will beable to think about having a cat.

Its a grown up job at an office.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Accidentally Good Week Part 1

Greetings Bloggies.

On monday I woke up for the facing the second week in a row where I was struggling to come up with an agenda.  The previous week was largely wasted.  Monday of this week was not well used.  I left the house to walk along Broadway, trying to look for inspiration.  I was angry at my self for wasting the previous week and was going to try to use that anger to get me motivated again.  Motivation when looking for a job is a stop and start thing.   I did learn that I should be able to get a smart phone for very little. I did do laundry in the morning of that day so it was not wasted. 

After coming home not having gained inspiration or motivation, I returned the the time killing device I have been using, Minecraft.  To make minecraft run smoother, I shut down a bunch of apps including my mail app.  So it was not until late that I fingured I might as well check the mail because I am just OCD enough that un checked mail don't sit right.  In the mail was one short email.  I saw the name of the company and knew it was legitimate.

How did I get mailed you might ask, well I was a bit nuts.  I put my resume, on Craigslist.  I stripped it of phone email and address and placed it in a category where I had seen geology jobs posted.  That was a fishing expedition.  Classed under, its not supposed to work but the risk was low enough and the cost nonexistent.  Knowing enough about the firm that reached out to me I quickly wrote back that I was willing and able to come in for an interview on short notice if need be.

The next morning, I got called and was in my good shirt and tie and in the board room less then an hour and a half later.   When questioned if I could query, I not being able to think of any SQL on the fly but wanting to show that I had comprehension mentioned Little Bobby Tables.  There was a laugh.

Things did have a hick up where I miss heard an instruction to come back in twenty and thought that I was going to be called.  Thankfully the situation was solved. I got invited back into the office again, this morning for a more in depth follow through, a skills assessment and  chance to meet people. 

In between the miscommunication and is resolution, that time frame being yesterday afternoon, two other good things happened.  I got a call from a firm I have been trying to land an interview with for some time that interview is now scheduled for friday.  I also got called by an engineering company looking for geologists, also office based and vancouver based.  That phone call ended and with in a minuet my phone rang, it was the call that fixed the miscommunication of earlier in the day.  

So now, I need to learn somethings from Fridays interview.  It is agreed that the friday interview is a good thing, I want to know what plan A is since plan B came out of the blue relatively speaking.  I want to get a handle on what the details of the post at plan A are.  I would kick myself for not finding out and loosing a possibly better job.  I know that Friday afternoon I will be close to making a choice.  

Part two will be when I sign some paperwork or otherwise take action to accept an offer. 

It has to be said there was luck in all of this.  Enough brains to see what I saw as worth while but the luck of being seen on craigslist is still luck. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The wrong stuff

My first car, a 1989 Honda Accord
Greetings Bloggies.

I have through sloth and indifference created an annoying situation.  4 years ago I bought my second car.  My first car got taken away from me for cheap days before I went to the north for the first time.  The cash was helpful as I had non then.  Four years ago a second car was a good idea.

At the time in the Spring of 2007 I had a steady job in the North West Territory and was quickly putting away money.  Spring came along I had the computer I wanted, things seamed solid with job, I had enough cash to spare and frustration with a lack of mobility. At that time my life was still centered around Kelowna, and prior to getting the car I would arrange pick up and spend time at my folks, not a way to live.  So I conscripted a friend to help me get a deal and I found a machine that was in budget and alright.
Me unloading Wessel from Serenity 

Never Ever back out of underground parking
without having coffee first. 
The car a 1999 Subaru Legacy proved up to my needs, as I was traveling between the Okanagan and Kootenays it was good on winter roads and reasonably fun on the same roads when they were dry.  But fundamentally I am not a car person, though I have a notion of how an internal combustion engine works, by and large its a black or in this case green box to me.  Fuel goes in, momentum, heat and carbon dioxide comes out.  I don't like or want to spend money on cars, I did not have any shops I trusted so I was slow to have it looked at.  I was also hard on it, it was the first standard I owned, and after all this time I still mess up more then I should.

Roughly a year and half ago I moved to Vancouver, Burnaby to be more exact.  Prior to that move the car was used often as the ability to travel to a different town was a key part of my private life.  After the move usage decreased with time.  Fuel down here was more expensive and even more critically there were alternatives.  It turns out that when faced with an alternative I will use it.
The car sometimes known as Serenity,
before I had a chance to do any harm. 

That did not surprise me.  I was late in getting into driving, not even starting lessons with my father until the spring of my grade 12 year.  It did not help that I did not think much of the available things to do in that fly speck town.  Being that I was weakly motivated, when provincial exam season rolled around I abandoned the effort.  In the summer of 2005 after hurting a foot and choosing not to take bush work and knowing that I would have field classes the following year I at last made the effort to finish the process.  So Some time after turning 26 I at last had certificate good enough.  That was too late in life for driving to be much more then a chore on all but the best parts of the roads.  Besides it being too late to get a love of driving, I had already found a love of cycling and have established long ago that if my bike sneezes I have it looked at.

So now I find my self with an ugly, high mileage car, and not enough interest or money to fix it up.  I was telling my self last year, when I get a steady job I will fix it up.  Now I know better.  I use it less then twice a month.  The last time I seriously used it was helping my sister with stuff from Ikea. I walk to the stores or ride my bike.  Nearly any event I want to go to I can get to by transit.  I just don't think about using it in any thing like a day to day setting.

So what todo.  I know it would be far too much money and time for me to fix it.  I know that is not a thing I will do.  Yesterday I established that the condition of the beast is poor enough that I am unlike to get rid of it through a dealer.  The truth I don't want to sell the car.  I would feel bad about saddling others with a bucket load of little things.  I don't want to sell the car I simply no longer want to own a car.  And no taking the insurance off if is not an option, I have to park on the street.
A Legacy of a legacy system. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Hobbit Manifesto

Greetings Bloggies.
Since I got back from the Yukon I have been trying to come up with a good entry. I knew I did not want to spout the bitter rantings I have before, that was done.  Those you know know I I know why I don't want to do that work and its been said.  So I got to thinking about my identity, and the aspects that the work I have done clashes with and what makes me happy, thus the Hobbit's Manifesto was born.

This is for all the Hobbits who never left the Shire and did not mind.

I have as my Facebook Bio that I am the worlds tallest hobbit.  Why.  Well Consider the Hobbits, not Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, Pippen, or Sam, but all the other ones, the ones who's life style was being protected by the halfling fourth.  Now we are unfortunately well into the third age of mankind and have forgotten some of the better notions.  I intend to remind people of some of them.

SLOW DOWN.  Friends people, enemies not every thing has to happen right away.  Good things take time.  If you rush you will miss out on simple pleasures. It is these simple ones that hold together your sense of wellbeing while wait or plan for the next big event.  Its good to have big plans and adventures.  Its good to want to go to an expensive opera or hockey game, but don't let that cloud you to the good cup of coffee you could enjoy if you did not have a long commute.

Modest means.  In the same vein as slow down and in part as consequence of modest means are part of the hobbiting life style. You will find your self hard pressed to achieve the life tempo of proper breakfast(s) good coffee and tea, if you try to afford the Mc-mansion in the Suburbs and the 2.5 cars to support the 2.5 kids.  So don't.  Step back.  Ask your self how much space do you need, is a neighborhood defined by a building code, lawn mowing guildlines or something more fundamental.  I am not expressly against a house in the suburbs however, any mode of living where too much time is spent in the isolating confines of a private car to a and from a private home is not compatible with the Hobbiting way of life.

A meal which was shared and enjoyed. 
Community.  Now that you have slowed down found a place you can afford and don't have to spend all your time at work to pay for it or spend all your time in transit you can start to really live.  Hobbits knew how to party, they knew how to play.  They knew their neighbors.  Yes of coarse they worked, no doubt spending long hours doing farming things but in that cartoon of village life the shire represented they knew each other and so should you.  I have the fortune of having lucked out and landed in a neighborhood where people are neighborly.  Your neck of the woods may not have this trait but you can always be the first to say hi.  Last weekend I undertook a bike ride of 15km for a cup of coffee and a chance to visit a cat.  I shared some food I had made the day before and good company of the friend the cat and the eventual appearance of my sister reminded me of what I want to live for.  Ordinary things, enjoying the view from a bridge on a sunny but cool morning and getting wired on homemade espresso shots is part of that and something who's absence is felt.  I have been there and back again too and I am glad to be here.

Food and the other simple pleasures. Now I started calling myself a Hobbit when I noticed that I was living underground with a view of a garden, and it was not a dark dank hole.  I also started calling myself a Hobbit when I became aware of the feed back from the food posts I made of facebook.  Hobbits, are known for eating, and the pleasure they take from it.  I share in that pleasure.  As with Hobbits I feel food should be made fresh, from wholesome and whole ingredients. Take the time, don't be afraid to mess up, you will but so has every one else to me its a form of play.  That it self is something that should be part of every day life. I even encourage going barefoot as once again part of slowing down and feeling the grass between your toes and getting into nature a little.

The text reads: There are the things you do
because they make you feel right & they may
make no sense & they make no money.
 & it may be the real reason we are here :
To love each other & to eat each others cooking
& and say it was good.
So as I see it live comfortably, smell the roses, bake bread share the bread.  Join your friends for beer, Cook and go for walks. Be a hedonist for the little things in life.