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Aug. 5th, 2013 | 07:04 pm

I've decided I'm too much of a morning person for this weekend schedule that Tash and I currently have. She works nights, which means we're up until past midnight. She then wants to sleep in until 9 or 10, but then she is back to work at 2:30. This allows us very little time to do anything. I think that starting the next weekend which we have good weather for, other than next weekend seeing as we're camping next weekend, I'm going to try getting up at around 8am and going for a bike ride or taking Luna for a good long walk or hike. I can't stand staying in bed so late and wasting away the morning. By the time I take Tash to work at 2:30, I can't motivate myself to do anything around the house.

It's weird, because it's different during the week. I'll work until after 3pm, then come home, and a lot of the time will just be lazy. But if I come home in a productive mood, I can keep working until 9pm no problem, and go pick up Tash from work after. But once i've been lazy all morning, I'm destined to be lazy the rest of the day!

Hopefully I can follow through with this plan and go for early morning bike rides. I need that!

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working and hiking

Jan. 11th, 2013 | 10:21 pm

So, I've finished day 5 of 19 days of straight work. I'm trying to get a project for the Jawls wrapped up, as it's Friday and furniture is being installed on Monday and there is still so much work to be done. Even if there wasn't furniture being installed, the fact is that there is a different Jawl project I'm working on which is supposed to be complete for next weekend, and I've hardly done a thing there! On top of this, Dave left for Cambodia and I've been left to clean up his mess. I've got to get a TV up and running in an office downtown by Wednesday so it can be used. This may seem easy, but it involves running power to a floor box under a table and running wires from the TV down the wall, through the concrete floor, and up under that same table with the floor box. Currently, there aren't enough hours in the day. I haven't worked 19 days in a row since we were working on The Atrium...

In the other part of my life, I love taking Luna for hikes in the evenings for the sake of getting myself some exercise, and for the sake of her loving the woods and hikes. I don't mind hiking on Mt. Doug at night on my own, or anywhere I'm familiar with for that matter. I'm cautious...take my whole SAR kit with me so I'm well prepared, and I've got in the habit of letting Tash know that I'm going in case I don't show up to pick her up or something. After tonight though, I probably won't go hiking at night on my own any more. I took her up the side of Mt. Doug from Blenkinsop Road. I'm familiar with that side, though not as familiar as I am with the side from Cedar Hill Rd.

Anyways, I'm hiking up the side of the mountain with Luna off leash. She picked up on a scent and started searching for it. That's normal, and she always comes back so I don't worry about her any more. She came back and we kept going, though she didn't stop sniffing around as we were walking. I stopped at one point to adjust my headlamp and was able to hear branches cracking from being walked on by some animal in some bushes down below us...probably 150' away at my best guess. I stood on a rocky hill overlooking that forested area and scanned around for eyes reflecting off my light. I found a pair, but they were through some heavy brush so I couldn't see what type of animal it was. It turned away from me and I could tell it was starting to move to the right a bit. Typically it's just a deer or raccoon. Luna was pretty agitated though, and eventually came and stood by me also looking down in the forest where I was shining my light, occasionally growling. I grabbed on to her harness and put her back on leash. I then gave her a command which sometimes makes her howl. It worked, and then there was eyes looking back up at me again. They had moved a bit and I moved a bit to get a better look through the brush. It looked away from me and walked to the right again. It was tough to see perfectly clearly, and my eyes could have been playing tricks on me, but I could tell it was brown, and the legs looked much shorter and more muscular than a deer, and I thought I saw a tail. I was pretty confident at that point that I was looking at a cougar through the trees. Then there was a second set of eyes about 10`away from it looking up at me. That made me think I was probably mistaken and it was probably a deer, seeing as I don`t think Cougars typically hang out in pairs or groups. I did google that when I got home and found that they sometimes hang out in pairs when they mate, or when it`s a mom with her offspring, but those are the only exceptions.

Regardless of what it was, it had me pretty nervous and I decided to walk back down to the truck, constantly checking over my shoulder. At one point on the walk down when I stopped and scanned around, I once again saw a pair of eyes looking at me. They were a bit closer this time, on level ground to me (I no longer had any tactical advantage over them) and if it was the same animal, it had moved quite a bit closer to where we were coming down, as though it was moving to intercept or stalk. Again, it could have been any kind of animal, and could have been a completely different one from the first two. Fortunately, we were only about 100`away from the truck at this point and just kept moving until we got to it.

I really want to go back there tomorrow with a second person and without the dog, and look for tracks or other evidence of animals in the area where I saw the eyes looking back at me. If I could prove that it was just a deer, chances are I could handle taking Luna back up Mt. Doug on my own at night. I hate that I`m too nervous to now.

Anyways, Tash should be home from work soon and I should wash some dishes.

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Dec. 13th, 2012 | 09:28 pm

I love that I still have a livejournal.
For all of the times I enter anything in to a journal.

I only come back to this thing when I have something to bitch about.

Work is stressing me out. We (the service guys) are being incredibly over-worked. I've felt quite loyal to Belltech for a long time, so when we're super busy and they ask me to work extra hours to get things done, I usually say "no problem". Lately though, it's just getting to be too much. I'm probably only averaging about 4 or 5 hours of overtime per week, but just the fact that I can't remember the last paycheque that didn't have overtime on it. There's also the fact that most of my 8 or 8.5 hour days on my timesheet usually end up being 9 to 9.5 in reality. It's difficult, when work is so busy, to take the time to go to the office and do some paperwork. It means I end up staying at the office late, which I generally don't mind, but sometimes it just becomes too much. Also, I find the jobs I'm working are suffering. Tasks get pushed back and pushed back. I need to do a job for the Mustard Seed, which has been on our books for probably 3 weeks now, but I haven't even bought the materials for it. Haven't had time. I forget to order things I need for jobs, or forget to call clients to inform them when I'll get there.

This has got to be a great definition of a "first world problem". I have too much work. I know that this is a temporary thing. A couple of our bigger clients are doing lots of work right now and it's keeping us all really busy. Once these projects end, it should slow down a bit. I can't wait for that time though. I'm sure there will come a day when I am thinking back to all the overtime we were getting and I'll think to myself "I wish I was getting that overtime right now".

It's really taking a toll on Reserves and SAR though. I had to miss a training day last month which now pisses me off to no end. I can't really say anything about it on here, but the things I missed are things I really hate that I had to miss. And it was because I had a project on the go which had a deadline the following day, so I couldn't miss that one day of work, regardless of how far in advance I requested the time off. I sometimes imagine getting a SAR callout at some point in the day, any point in the day, and wondering "How could I possibly respond?". I can't leave work in the middle of the day. I can't miss out on sleep or I might as well not even go to work the next day. Hopefully the next SAR callout we get is on a Friday night...

On a slightly different note, I'm going to the doctor on Friday finally to ask about the heartburn I regularly experience. I had Norwalk virus way back when (year and a half ago? 2 years?). Ever since then, I've had serious problems with heartburn. I go through a lot of Pepcid AC. I'm hoping the doctor can recommend something more permanent than a pill which only lasts 12 hours.

Tash and I are looking in to real estate now. We went in the other day to try to get pre-approved for a Mortgage. Still haven't heard anything back about that. Hopefully tomorrow.

Speaking of Tash, I need to go shower and get ready so I can go pick her up. I'm feeling so unmotivated tonight. Haven't done much of anything since I've got home.

I'm exhausted, as I always am.


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searching & school

Jan. 29th, 2011 | 01:54 pm

So a couple weeks ago I got called out by saanich SAR to help Juan de Fuca SAR on a search for a missing dog-walker out at china beach. I was just sitting down for class on Monday morning when i got the call. It's pretty exciting getting called out...I really wish we got more of those! It worked out well that I was in school, and that I didn't have a test that day. Unfortunately I was kinda sick at the time so the day definitely took a toll on me. I was pretty tired to begin with, and search conditions/terrain weren't the greatest. For the sake of the possibility of loved ones or friends of the gentlemen we were looking for, stumbling accross this, I'm not going to post many details of the search. We completed our tasks to the best of our abilities, management of the search was great, especially considering it was the junior managers on site and it was their first time running the show entirely. They did a great job, everybody did. The outcome of the search wasn't a positive one. All I'm going to say is, the subject didn't want to be found. And he certainly made sure he didn't get found...

As well as a physical toll, it took a bit of a psychological one as well. I had trouble sleeping for the next couple of days, but after 2 of those nights it was much better. I couldn't shut my mind off which made it challenging both getting to sleep and staying asleep. I also felt kind of nauseus for a day or two.

This doesn't deter me at all from going on similar searches. I'm disappointed I didn't get called out to Cowichan/Duncan to help look for the missing teenage girl. They did request Saanich's help, but requested only GSAR-certified volunteers. I have most of that course complete but still need to finish a few of the testing requirements so although I have the knowledge...I don't have any actual certification.

On a happier note, Tash and I got invited to Dean and Alana's wedding in Vegas this October. We're both excited about that.
Tash and I are both wanting to move in together still, but finding a suitable place which is possible for us to move in to is proving a challenge. One of these days though...

Along with Vegas, my mom invited Tash and I to Maui for next christmas. That should be great as well!

Oh right school...I'm in 4th year school right now, almost done. We got Ron as one of our teachers. I've began posting quotes of his on Facebook. I hate that guy...most of us do. He's treating us like little kids, punishing us for being late or missing class. He uses University students as an example...claiming that in University if you miss a test or anything, you have no chance of rewriting or anything. I can't think of a University student who has been punished for missing class or showing up late though. The guy is a control freak. He's probably had a hard time gaining respect of colleagues in the past and takes it out on us, demanding respect. He loves me though...when I go called out for the search I didn't see him before class started so I phoned his office line and left him a voice mail (as a means of showing respect). Since then he has told me he's "glad there are people out there like me."

Regardless of Ron, school seems to be going alright so far. Starting week 6, on the friday (Feb 11th), I have a test every friday for the remainder of the course. That's going to be a tough 5 weeks as far as studying goes. Especially because I've done such little studying so far, so it will be tough to make myself study.

Tash and I went out to the Rathskeller restaurant last night with Andrea and her boyfriend, drank beer from a glass 1L boot. I had 2 of them. So as a result, we're having a lazy day.

Anyways though, Tash is sitting on the couch behind me so I should probably get off of here.
Hope all is well in the lives of anyone reading this.


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Good news

Oct. 19th, 2010 | 10:02 pm

I realized a long time ago that I used this journal to post mostly bad news...upsetting stuff. It's a way to vent or whine. Figured I should change it up a bit.

First an update:
-been working at the Atrium since March. It's been a really neat project and I hope I get to work similar ones in the future. It's disappointing that it's coming to an end, but I look forward to what challenges await me.

-bought my second motorbike in August...following a ton of overtime which pretty much made me miss summer...but oh so worth it. My 2004 Honda CB 599 is amazing :)

-probably going to Edmonton in a couple weeks to do some work on my sisters place with my dad. It is all going to hinge on if I can get the time off work.

-I'm going to Vegas in a few weeks for my first time ever.

-lastly but probably most importantly, I have an amazing new girlfriend...Nitasha. Things are going super well with her. I hope that keeps up but I cant see it not.

I'm sure there is more but I'm tired of typing for now.


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so far this week...

Mar. 8th, 2010 | 10:39 pm

This week got off to an awesome start. I came down with a wicked head-cold over the weekend and didn't feel up to staying in class today. I left after lunch started. Ordinarily that would be no big deal, but my final exam is on Thursday and all we're doing in class is review for it.

That's nothing. Hell, that's the good news. I took my car in to the mechanics shop this morning. It has had a check engine warning light coming on and off for a while now. That, and for the last year or so the brakes have been squeaking intermittently. It's been pretty annoying. Anyways, last week the car started rumbling and running really rough when I started it cold. Figured it was time I finally take it in there. One of the cylinders is leaking...needs the gasket replaced. It's leaking fuel in to the coolant system and coolant system is leaking in to the cylinder. It means the gasket needs to be replaced, and the coolant and oil needs to be changed. $600 labour...$800 parts. $1400 total. And seeing as we're talking almost 1.5 thousand dollars, what's $300 more?! The brake linings used on that car are metal...they are supposed to be Ceramic. Apparently that's what's causing the noise. Most likely tomorrow, possibly Wednesday, I will go pick up my car from the garage and spend roughly $1700 on it.

We'll see if I feel up to going to class tomorrow or not.

On a good note...I'm done school on Thursday and hopefully back to work on Monday!! Can't wait to be done with this year.

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Juan de Fuca trail

Sep. 21st, 2009 | 06:25 pm

Last Tuesday, Drew gave me a phone call to invite me along on a hike of the Juan de Fuca trail. The plan was to do the whole thing. The catch...was the plan to do the whole thing in 1 day. 47 Kilometers, starting early morning in Port Renfrew, ending at China Beach. The hope was it would be between 12-14 hours. We started as a group of 8. Drew's roommate Kyle was supposed to come along. He is how Drew got invited; Kyle knew one of the other guys in the hiking group, whose name is also Kyle. Roommate Kyle ended up not coming. Kyle who did come, along with 5 of his church friends, and Drew and myself, all started our hike in Port Renfrew at 5:20 AM. We were slightly delayed when we discovered the parking lot at China Beach, where I was to leave my car at 4 AM, had been brutally rampaged by burglars. They demolished any parts of the cars there which stood in their way. Windows, trunk locks and tailights, back seats, dash's. Whatever. I didn't want to leave my car there, in case they were still there hiding in the bush. We took my car up to Sombrio. Two people in the group were only intending to hike to Sombrio, so their car was there already. I parked mine by theirs, and when they arrived at their car mid-day, they drove my car back to China Beach and parked it there so we had a vehicle waiting for us at the end of the trail. Luckily, I had 2 keys with me.

When we began our hike, I don't know that I have seen so many stars in the sky in years. It was a beautiful morning. We hiked with headlamps lighting the way for the first 1.5 hours or so. We got minimally side-tracked on the beach until I noticed a sign up in the bushes, indicating a trail was nearby. We bushwhacked for about 30 feet and found the trail, continuing on our way. The morning portion of the hike was easy and fun. We talked, we joked, took some pictures...we had a good time. Some of us were faster than others. We often split in to two or even 3 groups, but would wait at a particular point, usually with a nice view of the ocean, for the others to catch up. When we arrived at Sombrio, we were somewhat ahead of schedule, or so we thought.

The two who were planning to leave us at Sombrio did so. A third, Aaron, who we called 'Everest' because with all the gear he had, he looked like he was ready to climb Mt. Everest, decided to leave at that point as well. He said he was sore, and didn't want to be limping the last several hours of the hike, slowing us down. It was smart of him, I must admit.

Like I said, the hike had been easy until this point. We sat on the beach for about 20 minutes. We ate some food, dried our feet and changed our socks, then as soon as we were able, continued on our way. We stopped to refill our water bottles in a creek, and hit the trail. This is where things got interesting. The afternoon portion of the hike was far more difficult than the morning. It was also far more difficult than we expected. Drew's strength started to give out quite quickly. The hills, the switch-back trails of the river valleys, were grueling. My strength lasted, but I could start to feel the strain in my knees from the pressure of the downhills. The 3 remaining others: Richard, Mason, and Kyle, were able to keep a pretty strong pace ahead of us. I hung back with Drew. It's not like anybody was going to leave one person behind. We arrived at a point where we were supposed to get there before a certain time in order to beat the tide. I'm under the impression that we arrived on time, but Aaron, who was in charge of figuring that stuff out, was wrong. We got to a point on the rocks where there was a 6' drop down to the beach, which was covered in water. We had to wait for just the right moment, between the waves, when the water was most shallow, to jump down and then run up further on the beach where the waves weren't reaching. I landed in ankle-deep water, soaking my feet. Drew thinks he did worse, as his shorts got wet. We took a short break at that point to try to dry out our shoes and socks.

It got really difficult after that, even more-so than just before. Drew's strength continued to fade, and my knees continued to worsen. By this point it was probably about 2PM. We knew we had to maintain a steady pace of at least 3 km/h to reach the car by 8. That was a goal which we would not make. When it got to the point where we only saw the other 3 every 20 minutes or so when they waited up, we decided it was best that they keep going without waiting for us. I gave them my car key. That way, they could drive down to Renfrew and pick up their cars, and come back to China beach to wait for us. This would eliminate the need for them to wait at China beach for possibly an hour or more, then still need to drive the hour round-trip to get their cars with us. 

I ended up carrying Drew's water for him, minus 1 bottle so he could drink when he wanted to. He was slowing down more and more. I could fly past him on the uphills, but he was able to overtake me on the downhills. My knees slowed me down. At about 5 or 6 kilometers left, we needed our headlamps on again. It was just Drew and I in the dark woods. No other hikers were foolish enough to be attempting the trail at this hour. At about 3kms left, I took Drew's bag and carried it for him. He was succumbing to such extreme exhaustion, to a degree that I have never witnessed in any person. He began passing in and out of consciousness while walking, almost sleep-walking. He collapsed once or twice, and took much encouragement/yelling to get up. We passed by some campers on a beach at the 2km mark. They knew us by name, as the other 3 had told them about us and asked to pass along the message that they will be there waiting at the parking lot. These people were kind enough to allow us a seat by their campfire, and give us some water as we were running low and did not want to stop to purify more. They were impressed by what we had accomplished, and encouraged us along our way. The next 2 kilometers probably took us more than an hour. They were easier than the previous bit, but still difficult in their own sense. I kept Drew ahead of me so I could keep an eye on him and encourage him along. Many times we had to pause to make sure we were still on the trail. In the woods at night with only LED floodlight headlights, it was difficult to tell what was trail and what was just bare forest. I had a more powerful flashlight I would bring out occasionally to have a look around and make sure we were still on course. The last kilometer was the longest single kilometer either of us had ever walked. Drew started to question me about whether or not we were going the right way. There were obvious signs that it was the proper trail, but I too began to question it simply because it seemed to go on forever. We eventually saw a sign, facing the other way, reminding campers to pay their camp fees before embarking on the trail. This was a sure sign we were near the parking lot. We then saw another, warning people that they would be ticketed or towed if they did not pay for parking. Then there was the trail map, which was typically located at the beginning of any trail. Sure enough, just behind it, were the boulders preventing people from driving from the parking lot on to the trail, and then the parking lot itself. Several broken-into vehicles still remained.

My car wasn't at the parking lot when we arrived. None of the cars were. In the message passed along to us by the campers on the beach, they had mentioned a second trail option, one that would take us out to the highway faster. I was not about to go hunting for a different trail in the woods at night, nor was I going to skip out on the last measly kilometer of a 47 km hike. We were going for the whole meal deal, and we did. At 10:05 PM, 16 hours and 45 minutes after departing Port Renfrew, we had finally arrived at our destination. Drew and I pulled out our warmer layers and put them on. I swapped Drew's hat for a toque, as he had collapsed against a boulder and almost immediately fallen asleep. I purified a water bottle which I had filled in a creek at the 2km mark, just in case. 40 minutes after arriving at the parking lot, a convoy of 3 cars pulled in. It was an awesome sight.

After dropping Drew off at home around 11:30pm, I came home and immediately hopped in the shower to scrub myself down. That transitioned in to a hot bath, in which I managed to pass out pretty quickly, but only for a few minutes. Went to bed, and woke up the next morning barely able to walk. My right knee is still bothering me, but I was hobbling pretty severely yesterday. Today is a significant improvement.

It was one hell of a hike, and as I said before the hike "even if we don't make it...it will be a hell of an adventure". It definitely was. It's something I never intend to attempt again, but am very glad I did it this one time. And as Drew and I agree..."we gots some braggin rights now"!


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Great Aunt Dorothy

Jun. 15th, 2009 | 06:43 pm

My Great Aunt Dorothy passed away this evening.
Though I have not seen her for a good year or two, she was a wonderful woman with such a kind heart.
A pack-rat to the extreme, my dad loved to tell the story of when he was visiting her once and she asked "well is there anything you need for your new house?". He replied "Well, I still need to get a Tea Pot". They both looked up above her cupboards at the extensive collection of tea kettles that she had, more than 20 if memory serves, and she looked back at my dad and said "I'm sorry, I don't think I have any I could spare". Though this story makes her seem selfish, she was not. She simply had trouble parting with belongings like that.

Her quality of life had deterriorated immensely over the past couple of years, so in a way this comes as a blessing. While no loss of life is a good loss of life, and no loss of a loved one is a good loss, one can be sure that she is in a better place now.

Rest in peace, Great Aunt Dorothy.
You are loved and will be missed.

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Mar. 1st, 2009 | 12:19 pm

I decided on Friday that I was going to start using my livejournal to bitch about someone at work who has been driving me bonkers for the last few months. However, later on that day when Dean brought our paychecks, he mentioned that two weeks from now I will be going to a different site, working with different people. Don't know where yet. All I know is I will not be forced to work with this same guy any longer. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That really helped balance out the negative blow which was the paycut we got. These next two weeks are going to suck, me thinks...


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Jan. 26th, 2009 | 06:36 am

So for the past week or two I have been fighting off a bug. My throat has really been bothering me but it had not developed in to anything. Last night I looked at my throat and it looked like I have Tonsilitis, but there are other more cold-like symptoms along with it which are unusual for Tonsilitis, so I'm not sure what I have. All I know is I have pretty much been awake since 3am from a sore throat.

Happy Monday!

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