Sunday, January 30, 2011

Exams and Eagles

So that's another week done and dusted then!
Some good news, Rob passed his practical gas exam on Friday, so that means he has completed the first level in both theory and practical...two more gas to go before he is top of the league! Now he has to tackle the oil level one.

As for me, I have been training in another department at work this week, so when Arthur is away I shall be heading up the large format colour section. There's quite a bit to take in, but I am enjoying the challenge, also means I get to play around in Photoshop and Illustrator which is familiar territory to me, so that's good. I also designed a new layout for the work order forms this week, took me a while, but got there in the end, we are trialing them to see how they compare to the old ones.

Today Rob and I headed out to see the Eagle Watch, I have never seen so many bald eagles in one place before, there must have been about 50 or more of them in the trees...trouble is that's where they stayed for most of the morning, sussing out the hoards of photographers lining the edge of the field. Eventually though they got moving and came out swooping over the chickens that had been put out for them, it was quite amazing to watch them all in flight. Sadly my lens really isn't up to the job so the images I have posted here are about the best I got, and they are heavily cropped. It was a beautiful sunny day and the temperature even though it was minus 5, felt so warm.

Fly by

Claws down and ready for Chicken

Quite amazing!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On the Plus Side...

..The Minuses aren't that Bad

Well for those of your tuning in for this update you will be a bit disappointed. It's a slow news week for sure, we have done nothing all week, the weather has been all over the place. Friday was the last day we had some snow, it was predicted that we were going to get about 10 cm in the city, but it was more like 4 cm which came down fast and heavy in the afternoon, but then turned to rain at around 4.30 pm, which then turned all the new snow and existing snow into a big, slushy mess. It rained for hours and pretty much all the snow has gone now, but what remains are ice patches everywhere where the rain water re-froze.

This week we had some new fencing put up round the back of our place, the old one had been there since the ark and I think our row was the last to be upgraded. Unfortunately they cut down our tree out the back, we hung our bird food on it so that Hamish was had some entertainment, so we just had to invest in a bracket and a bird feeder just so that he doesn't get bored :o)

Today was the coldest day of the Winter so far, so of course we headed out early this morning to see how cold it really was...Tracksuit trousers under our jeans, two coats, hoods up, ear muffs on and away we went. We met up with Nancy and Cheryl to take some early morning photos around Halifax, but the light and sunrise were sadly disappointing, so we treated ourselves to a big breakfast which was definitely worth stepping out for. The actual temperature today was -12 degrees. Tomorrow it is supposed to be -15 degrees, so that should be interesting trying to get the car doors open in the morning. Having had my hood up and ear muffs on for hours, I couldn't possibly remove them as my hair was like 'helmet head' underneath, which prompted me to mention that I looked like Kenny from South Park, which both Rob and I found hilarious, as did the girl on the checkout in Canadian Tire when I mentioned it to her.

On Friday next week Rob is taking his Gas Tech 3 practical exam and on the weekend I am hoping to get out to see the annual eagle watch (weather depending), it's an early start event (groan), but supposedly worth the effort. Other than that, nothing much else planned. My winter news is pretty lack lustre, I do apologise, but I think everyone (not just us) is in hibernation mode right now.

Some more winter scenery from last weekend...Click to view larger

Halifax waterfront, taken early this morning

And finally...Thank god our roads are like this! This was featured on the news this week.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let it Snow

You will all be pleased to hear that this week saw me don my snow clobber. Big coat, boots and grippers, plus ear muffs and mittens. We had our first proper winter storm. The forecast was for 20 cm of snow, but in reality we got around 15 cm, the valley got more than us. It certainly came down though, the build up of snow was rapid and driving conditions were a tad tricky...Not that I was driving. I knew what it was going to be like and opted for the bus. Going to work was fine, very mild and way too hot for my coat. But coming home was quite another story, blizzard-like conditions, and the buses were running late, which saw me standing for about 40 minutes in the driving snow...Not pleasant it must be said. The backs of my legs took the brunt of it and were soaked through by the time I got on the bus. Even though I was wet around the legs, I have to say all in all it wasn't that bad...If this is the worst kind of weather it's not half as bad as I thought.

Nothing much to report this week, I do have amendment to last weeks post though. Rob hasn't lost any hours at UHaul as he first thought, they just didn't put him on the rota for last Monday. Rebecca (my pretty model) left our branch this week to go and work in Dartmouth branch. I shall miss her, but will keep in touch.

Rob and I took a drive out to the valley today to take a look at the ski facilities at Martock (about 50 minutes way from us). It was certainly busy. I think I saw more people there in one place than I have done all year anywhere. You can ski there all-in with rentals and passes for approximately $50 a day. The scenery all around the are was very pretty in the snow and it was nice to finally get out again with the camera as I have been in hibernation mode for a few weeks now.

Sheep in the cold

Pretty scenery in Martock

Another abandoned homestead

Skiing in Martock...No way you would get me up there!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mixed Fortunes

Sunday again and time for a weekly update. It's been a funny week all in all. Not much to report socially (thank goodness) as I am still getting over the dreaded cold and haven't had much energy. The camera club met for the first time since before Christmas and Rob and I went along. As usual a crowd of us headed over to Tim's afterwards and who should be in there (not that I knew who it was) but the Mayor of Halifax, Peter Kelly just in there having a coffee with one of his advisers. One of the members encouraged him to come and get his photo taken with us collectively. Which he was more than happy to do. After he had finished I cheekily asked if I could get my photo taken with him for my blog, he said of course and here he is. The photo is courtesy of Nancy who kindly stepped up to the plate for the picture taking. I have to say having chatted with him he seems like a very nice man, definitely a people person with a great community spirit.

I am not sure if I have mentioned or not, but we are only a couple of weeks away now from the Canada Games which is being held this year in Halifax and the surrounding area. The Canada games are much like the Olympics in terms of events. There are plenty of winter sports on the agenda including speed skating, and skiing. The skiing events will be held at Martock and Wentworth, all within an hour of here. If some of the events fall on the weekend we are hoping to get out and see some of them. A couple of the camera club members have bee selected as official photographers for the event which is quite an achievement. On the commons downtown a huge outdoor skating circuit called the oval has been created for some of the skating. Until the games being the oval is open to the public for free skating, there are free skates and helmets too. It has proved really popular and now there is talk of it becoming a permanent fixture.

On Thursday Rob found out from Metro Burners that they are willing to start paying him for the work he does there. They haven't decided hi rate yet, but it is good news and a step in the right direction. That's the good news...On the flip side on Friday UHaul reduced his hours by a day. Total bummer. But it does mean he could do an extra day at Metro Burners...Talk about mixed fortunes.

Today we have done nothing. It has been snowing all day. That's right, this is the first substantial snowfall we have seen so far. They are pretty good here at clearing the roads and paths, the rule of thumb is generally allow up to 12 hours after the snow has stopped for major roads, parking lots and sidewalks to be cleared. Other roads take a little longer. Not sure what I will do tomorrow about work, I may get the bus instead of driving in.

On the TV front, I have to say I am getting reality withdrawal! Everything I was watching all finished at the same time. Thank goodness Dancing on Ice starts again this weekend. On the plus side I have been addicted to Netflix and have been glued to the series Mad Men. I don't know if any of you watch it or not, but is great. Intelligent and classy with amazing attention to detail when it comes to clothes and props. and I have worked through series one and two and have just started series three. It's set in the 60's about Ad men on Madison Avenue. I know it was on in the UK but I never watched it then.

Mayor Peter Kelly Supports the Oval (click to view large)

Our Dustbins earlier today

Our parking area, haven't checked out our car yet!

Even the bird food has snow on it...Our back yard

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cough, Sneeze, Splutter...Here's 2011

Happy New Year!
I hope you all saw 2011 in with a big old hangover! Sad to report that we did not. I have been so ill with this cold that we ended up staying in. The most excitement I got was signing up to Netflix and trying to figure out how to get it to work through the XBox. (If you don't have Netflix you might want to check it out). I wanted to get it as the selection of movies on Cable here is very poor and very are paying a lot to have the movie channels. With Netflix I save a bit of money and get way more selection.

Had I been feeling better we were going to head over to the outside event in Halifax with local bands and fireworks hosted by the Breakfast TV crew. It looked okay from what I could see on the TV. But if I had had my choice of venues it would have been Niagara Falls where they had some seriously good music, including my favourites The Barenaked Ladies.

So what have we been up to the rest of the week. Working mainly. I worked Wed, Thurs and Fri morning, On Thursday night we were invited over for dinner with Marg and Tom. I was in a terrible state coughing and sneezing, but that aside the food and the company was lovely and we had a very enjoyable evening.

And that is about it. I do apologize that the news is on the short side, but the rest of the time I have been mainly in bed. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big Sorry to Eunice and Lisa that I keep missing your calls, we have been out on every occasion you have called. We hope to catch you next time!

Evening Glow at Peggy's

Scenes from Eastern Passage

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