Sunday 31 August 2014

I Got Kicked Out of the Library for Being Too Eager to be in the Library

Okay, technically and in the interest of honesty, I was not actually kicked out, but I was certainly made to feel unwelcome. Here goes.

I like writing in the library as going somewhere to write always makes me feel like I am going to a job and I focus better on the task at hand. 

As well there is a particular library that I like to go to as it has wonderful architecture with lots of natural light and is spacious inside. I can go up to the top and be left alone as I plug in and write until the library closes. For me it is great. 

Treabilla’s service took much quicker than I had expected and so I was available to head over to my favourite library so I could write there all day. They don’t open till 10:00 AM and I was ready to go by about 8:15 I decided to go to the library and just wait, why not.  

The library opened up at 10:00 and in the meantime I blogged, my day was starting well, it was going good. Around about lunch time I was getting hungry and I had finished my first chapter, so I decided to go out and have a bit of lunch. So I did. When I finished lunch and was about to head back, I noticed this under Trea’s windshield wiper.

Yes, I censored it as this is about how I reacted to it and how it made me feel. The note seemed to insinuate that I had been there all night and how dare I do such a thing. I don’t mind being called on stuff that I have actually done, but I hate being accused of stuff I haven’t done. 

So I went inside to talk to whoever left this note and let them know that I was in fact here only when I was using the library. Not long after showing the note to the librarian at the counter (I was polite) I ended up talking to, whom I assume was the manager. 

They never introduced themselves, so I am only left to guess. Their attitude was one of 'why are we talking' and they started out the conversation with “I haven’t called the tow-truck . . . yet.” Even after I assured them that I was only here when I used the library this did not help.

They retorted that they had no way to know that and I was there before they opened so they assumed that I was one of the people who left their vehicles over the weekend. Apparently your local library views vehicles like unattended packages at the airport . . . they don’t mess around. 

They told me that I took up six of their spaces and if I parked on the other side of the shopping centre lot it might be okay. This library is located on a lot which is attached to a major shopping centre. The reason I don’t park in the shopping centre lot is that I want to be closer to the library so when I come out for lunch I am not walking for ten minutes just to get to where I park. 

I know it is not proper for me to park too close to the door, so I park in the most distant end of whatever parking lot I am in. Also there is the little detail of parking in a shopping centre lot that I am not patronizing. (Trust me, I patronize Walmart).

There was no apology but I was told that I was welcome to stay at the library. I decided to leave as I felt that this was something they were legally required to say. I left and needed a coffee to calm down and decide what to do next. 

I was insulted at how I was singled out due to the size of my vehicle and assumed that I had been there all night when I have never done so before. I was always polite and never have caused any fuss inside the library. The closest was the first time I was leaving at the time they close (when they say they are closed that means they are locking the door . . . they’re not kidding).

I went to another library and that one had horrific parking so I went to yet another one, that one was in a large strip mall so parking was not an issue. I was able to park in a dirt section of the parking lot and still use the library. It is essentially an unimaginative library in commercial space in a dreary little strip mall. The parking will not be an issue however, and that is important.

Call me crazy but I feel that my honour has been insulted by the other Library and I will not go back there, even if I was to park elsewhere and walk across the shopping mall parking lot. I was there at their lot for less than three hours, I can’t determine when this note was left but I am left to wonder if it was left as soon as they opened. 

Saturday 30 August 2014

If Your Truck Needs Service, Bring A Trailer

Wow, all I got to say is wow. The last time I dropped my truck (Treabilla) off for service I was stuck at the nearby mall all day . . . all day at the mall with nothing to do but window shop.

This time I had Wanda with me so I disconnected and parked Wanda across the street from the dealership. I did this so I could easily walk to Wanda and have a place to spend the day in as Treabilla is in for service. I casually mentioned that the trailer was mine when I dropped the truck off at 7:00 AM. 

I went across the road and made breakfast in Wanda and got ready to start my writing. That was when I got the phone call from the dealership at 7:50 AM! Holy crap! They said that they felt bad for me and were ‘slightly intimidated’ (humorously) with me sitting there looking at them. So, if you do need service and have an RV trailer, try this trick.

Last night I did park behind work and I was successful in not only getting the power I needed but the water I needed as well.  This proves that this will work and that I can top up my power and water as I need. I need to wait until 9:00 PM before driving over and parking behind work. The hose was long enough, and the power cable worked fine. I charged up Wanda’s batteries overnight and still left by 6:00 AM.

I am getting used to what needs to happen when as well as constantly refining and revising my processes. It is a constant process of revision and problem solving as well as monitoring your consumable resources. 

I am now parked outside the library, waiting for it to open up so I can go in there and use their power and internet all day as I write. I will do this again tomorrow but Monday I can’t as they close for the stat holidays. 

Friday 29 August 2014

I Watched TV Last Night!

Trust me, this is a big deal. I decided to test out if Ace could power Wanda’s TV. Not only could he but the TV took about as much juice as it does to power my Laptop. I thought it would take much more, it is a nice big TV and all . . . ah well.

So I sat and watched the news as I relaxed for the evening. It was nice as I haven’t watched TV in so long. When I do have AC power I am usually in some remote place where I can’t get reception. When I am in civilization I don’t have AC power. 

So I relaxed and then went to bed early. Before I went to bed I plugged Ace into Trea’s power outlet and let her charge him up while I slept. In the morning I went out to retrieve him so I could write. When I went out I noticed something . . . this.

Try parallel parking that! Seriously, my hats off to the driver. I had heard some truck maneuvering but I figured that he was backing up to the loading dock. After all I was parked in the end of the parking lot for a Big Box store. 

Had he knocked on my door I would have happily moved forward to give him more space. I drove up, drove along the curb long enough so that Wanda was straight, figured that I was about in the middle and parked for the night. 

Trust me, when I went to bed, that truck wasn’t behind me.

I did get Chapter 13 done and researched and decided what to do for Chapter 14, “War Machinations.”

Tonight I will park behind work (later, once everyone goes home) so I can charge up Wanda’s batteries and top up my water. Tomorrow Trea goes in for service so I will park Wanda across from the Dealership and wait in her in comfort while Trea goes in for her oil change/service. 

I will write as long as I can with Ace’s power and then the internal batteries within the Laptop. Sunday I plan to go to the library and steal power from them. Monday, we shall see, as I don’t think they will be open on a stat holiday, they haven’t been before.

Thursday 28 August 2014

I Laughed My Butt Off While Writing Yesterday

I was laughing my head off while I was writing a chapter in my novel, Chapter 12 “Teron-What?” I only hope that those reading it will find it as funny as I do. 

This chapter is where Brian wakes up in the Healers Station. The last thing he remembers is finally passing out while floating on his piece of wreckage. 

Shelea assumes that Brian is a Tanean Sailor from somewhere else on Tanea. Brian assumes that he is back in England, somewhere in the southeast to be exact; perhaps even on one of the Channel Islands. 

During their initial conversation they operate under their preconceived notions and assumptions about the other person. When the other person does not say or act in a manner which meets their expectations they believe that it is a fault of the other person. Comedy ensues. 

The chapter ends with Brian starting to tell Shelea of his backstory, of how he got to Tanea. I could just see how this chapter unfolded as if it was happening right in front of me. I had originally thought that it would be a short chapter, as it was just one scene, but it ended up being a full chapter (10 pages). 

I find the better I know my characters, the easier it is to write. You just put them in a situation and let them write the chapter itself. You nudge things in the direction you want them to happen, but you have to respect how your characters would react and what they would say. 

The one I enjoy writing the most is Valencia, as with her: mouth, wit, and sarcastic personality, you really never know what she will say or do. Just know that there isn't a mean bone in her body; she really is a sweetheart.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Positive Attitude Required

I didn’t call to get Trea booked in for Service but I did book Wanda in for service. It will likely take a few days and I know from previous conversations that they don’t offer loaner trailers. So it will be sleeping in Trea or on someone’s couch. I have some time to figure that out because the soonest they could book her in was October 8. 

They asked me if what was wrong prevented me from using her and I was forced to say that no, they didn’t. I can manage and I will be okay till then. From my days fixing copiers I understand what it is like to be a shop swamped and having to Triage Service Calls. 

So, I will be a nice guy and get bumped down the line. I have to be me and conduct myself in a manner in which I can live with and be proud of. Screaming and yelling would do no good in this case. 

What do I expect that they shove someone’s unit aside which is broken so they can’t use it, just to fix my sink tap and fringe door? Both of which I have found a way to live with, such is life, stuff happens. 

The lack of my ability to pay off the first card by the end of August is frustrating and has led to thoughts of how fruitless this whole experience has been. I found myself wondering what I have actually accomplished. Have I just made a big fool out of myself for no good reason?  

I do need to remind myself that it is a constant battle to choose to see things in a positive light, rather than see the negative. I need to make sure to see the progress rather than the lack of progress. 

Over the past two months I have knocked one card down to less than half of what it was. In another month that card will be gone. 

In that same time frame I have: 

Conducted research on solar charging. 
Solved a number of smaller problems.
Established a long-term, sustainable living pattern with regards to my consumable resources.
Gone on a trip to Vancouver
Gotten comfortable living in my trailer.
I can sleep just about anywhere that I will not be bothered. 

That, in itself is progress. It is true that by now in my original plan I would be a good way done my second card, but life does not go as planned. That does not mean that we give up on our plans. 

When things don’t go as planned, you: 

1. Assess
2. Learn
3. Revise
4. Retry
5. Repeat Until Successful

As far as the writing is going, it is going well, one chapter grew and split into two. I got both of them done as well as started on the next chapter. I should get that one done today and perhaps start on the telling of Brian’s story during the war. At this rate, the story may split into different books.

Hmm perhaps we can split the story into six smaller books but group two books together and sell them that way. Nobody has done that before. ;) Okay I should get back to it now, do work and all that then after that get back to the bizarre, yet funny, conversation that Brian and Shelea has when Brian wakes up. Trust me, it’s good. 

Tuesday 26 August 2014

The Expected Setback

I am doing much better this morning than I was after I looked at my paycheque then my bank account. I did some quick calculations and realized that I would not be able to pay the $1000.00 on the first card, as I had hoped, in fact the actual payment was half that. 

My initial cost estimates for this trip was proved correct and my rosier cost estimates were proved incorrect. So, unless there was some bidding war over my storage unit (unlikely) than I will not be paying the first card off until late September. I must admit that I was kinda expecting this; once again, such is life. 

In truth I am half-expecting to find out this Friday, when I visit the storage unit as to that the Unit contents did not sell or that the auction has been put off. Either that or that it did sell but all I will get is enough for a case of beer. Even that wouldn’t be so bad, as at least it would be one less bill.

I did start writing again this morning and I am now working on Chapter 10, “Home Time.” I should finish it today, and that will make it a chapter in one day, so that is progress. 

I will call and make appointments for first Wanda to go into service and then Trea. Trea just needs her oil changed, so I know that will be one day while I wait. Wanda needs some things done, so it could mean she would be in there for a few days. If that happens, I will likely end up sleeping in Trea for a night or two, I will survive, I will be okay.

Monday 25 August 2014

Back to the Grind

I am at work and even though I left Lake Louise at 6:00 in the morning I was a few minutes late for work. This is bad for me, because I am usually half an hour early for work. Here is Wanda in her usual work parking spot.

When I got here the door was unlocked and the lights were on, another oddity, as I always unlock the door and turn the lights on.  The other employee was given keys before I left so he could open the place. It was just odd, out of routine, that’s all. 

Yesterday I relaxed around the campsite yet my relaxation was periodically interrupted by a train going by. The campsite has a small “uncontrolled” crossing which nobody uses but because it has no arms to stop traffic the train must blow its whistle . . . repeatedly. 

Add to that the fact that another train goes by not long after and you have not only the noise of a freight train going by but the whistle a few times a day. I decided to try to use this to my advantage and got my camera and trotted out the short distance to the crossing and got ready for a killer shot. 

I waited with the camera in video record mode, all leveled and a mere four feet from the track. I planned to press record and back away to a safe distance, I figured all I needed was the memory card to survive. 

I always timed it wrong and gave up too soon. Each time I would pack up and leave fifteen minutes later the train would go by. In the end I got nothing but frustration . . . ah well. 

Now that I am back at work and reflecting on the trip it was nice to go and see family and nice to see the small out of the way places that typically you don’t take the time to see. That was the real gem of this trip, learning about the coal mines and settlements along the Crowsnest Pass. Leaning about Fort Steele. 

Now I am back at it, trying to get those cards paid down. I will pay $1000.00 off of the first one today, which will leave me with just over $500.00 to go. 

I will hope that the auction sold and I get at least enough to cover that, otherwise I will be pushed until late September to get that done. I am on track though and almost one card down.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Taking a Break in Banff

I got up and leisurely went through my morning routine before deciding to pack up and toddle off down the road. It was a nice drive but there was that whole “had to drive to Revelstoke to get internet” thing. I am better now.

I stopped somewhere along the way to take some pictures as the view was nice.

Then I stopped again at the summit of Rogers Pass.

After that, drove on to Lake Louise where the price of gas was the same as in B.C *gasp* in Alberta! I only got $30.00 of gas in protest; just enough to get me home.

I found my favourite campsite, the Parks Canada Campsite at Lake Louise and joined the line-up of Campers and RV’s going up to the little gatehouse. It wasn’t until part way through the line-up that I noticed the “Full” sign on the gatehouse door.

At this point there were two vehicles between me and the gatehouse so I decided to chance it. I would have to turn around anyways. My backup plan was to drive to Tunnel Mountain, failing that, perhaps something in and around Canmore, after that it was home to Walmart.

At the gatehouse I asked if they happened to have any sites left and he did have one, so I took it.

I rested up yesterday evening, had a BBQ and will have a couple today as I rest up. Tomorrow morning I will get up and drive to work from here.

As I was blogging this,  Someone from Parks Canada stole my BBQ. Here, take a look.

They will claim that they "confiscated" it because it would "attract bears" but it was off, hadn't been used since yesterday afternoon. Just because you have a nifty uniform and a fancy ticket-type-book, doesn't give you the right to steal.

I will go down to the little office, let them shake their fingers at me and tell me what a bad boy I was and that it was all my fault. That I forced them to take my BBQ in order to teach me a lesson. I will let the thieves talk and blubber away.

I know that there was absolutely no excuse for their actions. None whatsoever. thankfully there is no fee attached to this ticket, or this might have gotten nasty. Perhaps I will wait to calm down first.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Oh the Humanity!

It was horrible! Shocking, Terrifying even . . . brace yourself for some truly disturbing news  . . . at the campsite I was at last night . . . *sniffle* . . . I had no cell reception nor internet . . . can you believe it? I was actually cut off from civilization . . . but I could get one TV channel, so not quite cut off.

The day started nice enough with a pleasant last cup of coffee with my brother before packing up and a last minute round of hugs with my brother and his wife.

I was able to snag a photo with my sister-in-law, AKA my brother’s wife.

I did stop to get a few shots along the Coquihalla Highway. Here they are.

I could have driven all the way home but after stopping for a coffee break in Kamloops I drove on until Sicamous and stayed in a KOA.

It was a nice place but, as I said, no internet (well maybe at the office) and my cell reception was nill.

So I am writing this in a McDonalds in Revelstoke. I will drive to Lake Louise and stay there for the next two nights. I will return to work bright and early Monday morning.

Friday 22 August 2014

Lingering in Langley

Yesterday my brother and I went around Langley to see what the town he calls home has to offer. 

It was nice to see this town which I know well, and see it at a slower pace. I liked the one way shopping streets which contain a stretch of unique and interesting shops. 

We had a nice lunch with mother at a Mexican restaurant along this stretch. It was nice to catch up with her. 

After that we walked to a nearby park to take some photos of the three of us. Here are some that I took.

What visit to Langley would be complete without a visit to a farm. We went to Krause Berry Farms. This was not a fruit stand on the edge of their property, this was a proper store nicely situated within their property. I bought what can only be described as an overflowing berry explosion pie (in true me-fashion, i forgot to take a pic of the pie). Take a look at what this place looks like.

After that we went to the lovely smaller town of Fort Langley, so named after the nearby HBC Fort, called “Fort Langley.” This one predated the railroad and I can’t imagine the long trek it would take to resupply this outpost. Here are some shots of the town. 

From there we went back home, had dinner together then went out to Crescent Beach in hopes to have a firepit on the beach. As it turns out there is a fireban in effect and even so you can’t have fires on the beach until like September. Ah well, here are some nice shots to finish the day.

I leave to head home today and I have yet to find a “Vancouver” sticker for Wanda. Ah well, I am not about to drive into Vancouver with Wanda as she will get pinched and hit in that claustrophobic traffic or I will get stuck and cause an epic traffic jam. 

I plan to drive to Revelstoke and stay there for the night. Then tomorrow I will continue on and perhaps stay a day or two in Banff to relax before heading home, who knows.