Mountain Man – now in town…

I have been in my new place since the beginning of the month.  I didn’t move the big stuff in until Saturday, July 6 though.  I asked a friend of mine in Calgary if he’d be willing to help me move, and although I sort of expected a “hell no” type response, he said sure.

TO arrived on Friday evening and we went to the Rum Runner for dinner.  They have some of the best burgers you can get (IMHO).  The dogs had been dropped off at boarding just outside of town for a couple of days.  The find moving stressful, I suppose we all do.  They also tend to get in the way.

We headed to Pincher Creek to pick up the moving van from uHaul.  Unlike the last time I got a van from uHaul, this one wasn’t a deathtrap, it was a pretty new truck and everything worked.  I figured it was going to be two loads of large items from my old place to the new place.

We loaded up and headed into town.  I only moved 8km in total so it wasn’t far at all.  When I turned onto my new street, I swore.  TO didn’t know what I was swearing about…  I left my car keys at the old house, I wouldn’t need them, my car was sitting in Pincher Creek where I picked up the uHaul.  The only problem, my house key was also on the key ring.  So, back to Sentinel, we go.  That forgetfulness cost me about $15 in mileage costs, oh well.

The day went pretty smoothly.  We took breaks after heavy items but made good progress.  We both agreed that we are now too old to do a move and movers are needed.  Nothing got damaged, including us but we were tired by the end of the day.  We tried the smokehouse around the corner from me for a late lunch, Limber Pine it’s called.  I had wanted to try it since I moved to the Pass but never had.  Well, I am glad I did now.  Amazing.  I had deep-fried pickles which were some of the best I’ve ever had and a bowl of brisket chili which was amazing.  TO had a brisket sandwich which was also really good.  The portions were huge and the prices were quite reasonable.  I will be back, for sure.

TO headed back to Calgary and I headed back to Pincher Creek to return the uHaul and get my car.  I wasn’t picking up the dogs until Sunday morning.  I made pretty good progress in setting up and unpacking, although I am still not done – this has been one of my lazier moves.

The new house is awesome, I will post some pictures as soon as I am all setup.  I am in town, Coleman, Alberta to be exact.  I am living in a 2 bedroom bungalow with a basement.  The basement isn’t finished but great for storage and laundry.  The bedrooms and living room have either laminate floors or hardwood, I honestly can’t tell by looking at them, BUT, I think it’s hardwood.  The kitchen and bathroom are tiled, so it’s great for sweeping up dog hair.  I have gas heat, which was a major issue at the old place and I also have cable internet.  It will be nice not to freeze this coming winter and also be able to stream to my heart’s desire.

I have enjoyed the last year in the mountains and I am still in the mountains, just with some of the conveniences of town life.

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Moving

My move is complete. I still have unpacking and organizing to do, of course. As far as moves go, this was pretty smooth.

A friend of mine from Calgary came down and gave me a hand. He’s slightly older than I am, but, we agreed that we’re getting too old to do a move.

In case you haven’t noticed, furniture is heavy and awkward. I think moving is best left to younger people and professionals.

At least nothing got damaged and we didn’t hurt ourselves. I’m sore though, lower back and feet, and I’m wiped out too, I’m sure I’ll sleep well tonight.

Glad it’s done. Remind me how much I detest moving should I ever suggest I’m doing it again. Thanks 🙂

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Staying in the mountains…

Well, I guess I have not had the blogging bug, at all this year as this is only my second post of the year and it is nearly summer.

Same old, same old really.  Surprisingly, I am not missing umpiring this spring.  I have been keeping busy with the dogs going on some excellent daily hikes with them and watching baseball games in the evenings.  I guess I miss the extra money, but I don’t miss being sore from getting hit by baseballs and what not.

After nearly a year living out in the mountains on the acreage, the dogs and I will be moving into the town of Coleman at the end of the month.  The house that I found will work quite nicely, two bedrooms, no carpeting, and a full (unfinished) basement as well.  I will have cable internet, unlimited which will be a lot better than the current expensive solution I’ve been using out here for the last year.  More importantly, I will have natural gas so we won’t freeze this coming winter, or I won’t go absolutely broke paying so that we don’t freeze.

Coleman isn’t a big town, by any stretch of the imagination.  The population is right around 1400.  I am only moving about 10km East, so staying in the beautiful mountains but have some of the conveniences of the small town at hand.

I really do hate moving, believe it or not.  I have moved a lot though, so some may have thought I was a nomad the last while.  Hopefully all will be well in the new place and we can plant some roots for a while.  Wish us luck.  🙂

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It’s March and this is my first post of the year…

Well, I have not posted since New Years Eve.  I guess that I have not had a lot to say.  It’s been a pretty low-key winter.  January was actually quite nice, weather-wise, then February hit.

Most of Southern Alberta was under a cold weather alert for most of the month of February.  We saw a lot of nighttime lows in the -30 range.  It wasn’t very pleasant.

I have decided that I will be leaving this place at the end of my lease.  Although I am enjoying mountain living, this place isn’t ideal.  It is heated with propane and if you’ve ever bought propane, you might know how expensive it is to heat with.  My calculations put it at between 4 and 5 times the cost of natural gas.

I have looked, but there are very few rentals in this area unfortunately, so I think I will be returning to the Calgary area.  I am planning on doing that sometime in June or July.

I started a different job at work, still learning the ins and outs, but it isn’t bad at all and I still get to work from home which is great.

Winter is settling down now, I am hoping we’ve seen the last of the extreme cold alerts for the year and hopefully not too much more snow.  The time change is this weekend, which I always find annoying.  Instead of being light out at 7am, it will be light out at 7pm – sure, that’s saving daylight – whatever.

Perhaps I will post more often, perhaps not.  I am unsure.  I honestly haven’t had a lot to say, but, in general, all is well.  I hope things are good for my readers as well.  🙂

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Happy New Year

Well, another year has zoomed by.  All in all, for me personally, 2018 was a pretty good year.

I moved from Calgary to Crowsnest Pass and am loving mountain life.  It’s a slower pace, friendlier community, quiet, dark at night.  There are things I had to get used to, of course.  I had always lived in a city so being a city boy and moving to a rural community in the mountains was a big change.  I think I have gotten by most of the challenges and am looking forward to spring and a full summer here.

I umpired in the Cal Ripken 70/Major World Series back in August which was the highlight of my umpiring career, that’s for sure.  It was 10 days of amazing baseball, working with some of the best umpires that I have had the privilege to work with.  It was a great trip, going to Branson, Missouri with Team Canada.  I had the honour to umpire two of their games during the World Series as well.  I made some friends that I hope to have for a long time.  I have now, at least temporarily hung up my umpiring equipment.  I figured after umpiring the World Series, there was nowhere to go from there.  I may return to it someday, if my life brings me back to a bigger city.

No other real highlights this year, I continued working from home which I love.  No commute which is great.  I hope I can continue to work from home for some time to come.

I hope that 2019 is the best year and all the best to my readers.  Happy New Year !!!

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Christmas, come and gone…

Well, Christmas has come and gone.  It was a mostly relaxing affair here.  I had a friend stay over for a few days, good food were had and some catching up as well.  The dogs seemed to have a good time.  They got some very cute little stuffed woodland creatures for Christmas.  The packing claimed they were “durable”, yeah, sure they were.

Pretty quickly, the skunk was killed.  Face and part of the head were ripped off and presumably eaten.  The body and tail were de-stuffed.  The rabbit was deaf in one ear (well, he was missing one ear) and the raccoon had both ears and all 4 limbs removed.  Apparently, Blondie and Twix are vicious, violent dogs.  I will note though, that Hera did not contribute to any of the murderings of the stuffed toys.  But, all in all, the dogs looked like they had fun.

I made a turkey breast, purchased at Costco, it was huge, about 4.5 lbs in total, I can only imagine the size of the turkey it came from.  The food was delicious and there was lots of it.  Leftovers should be cleared up today.

Yesterday, I took another friend to Edmonton and back to pick up his daughter so he could spend time with her over the New Year.  We ate lunch at a great Indian place in Edmonton, fantastic food.  I will go again, that’s for sure.

Back to work today after 3 mostly relaxing days off.  Nothing planned for New Year’s Eve, I am sure I will watch Team Canada play the Russians, best of luck.  Team Canada is currently 2-0, they are off today after back-to-back games.  I am heading to Calgary on New Year’s Day, hitting up the Calgary Hitmen hockey game with a buddy, should be a good time.

Hope you had a good Christmas.

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First day of winter, or is that tomorrow?

I think today is the first day of winter or is that tomorrow?  I am unsure.  Today is the longest night of the year though, I am pretty sure…  Starting tomorrow, days will start to get longer.  It isn’t that bad in Crowsnest Pass, we have light until after 5pm which is about 30-45 minutes longer than what it was in Calgary.  The Fall has been pretty good actually, other than that dumping of snow we got at the beginning of October.  When that hit, I was thinking we’d have that all winter.  Thus far, not the case which I am happy about.

It’s windy here though, very windy almost all of the time.  Typically it’s mild winds,  A Chinook.  It keeps the temps generally decent, around the zero mark.  It is supposed to be a bit colder for the next week or so though.  We might even end up having a white Christmas, guess we will see.

Today is a normal work-day.  Monday, the offices close at noon and then I will have 3 days off which I am looking forward to.  I work Friday and Saturday and it should be quite dead at work, I am hoping anyway.  Some down time will be nice.

Well, it’s almost the weekend, enjoy yours.

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Snow and blowing snow…

Last Friday I had scheduled myself to go to Lethbridge to the BDO office, again.  The weather forecast wasn’t bad, although there were very strong winds.

As I was leaving the house, I didn’t realize that the drift of snow at the end of the driveway was as deep as it was.  Actually, it wasn’t that it was deep, but the winds had packed it down like concrete.  So, as I am attempting to plow through it, my car bottomed out and I was stuck, tight.  I spent 20 minutes or so trying to dig it out, I made little progress.

Luckily, I have AMA (part of CAA) and called then around 6:30 in the morning to winch me out.  They were there within 40 minutes and got me out pretty quickly.  Over the next bit, I spent some 10 minute shifts shoveling the end of the driveway.  The snow was packed in for sure, and very heavy.

So, needless to say, I canceled my trip to Lethbridge on Friday.

On Saturday morning, I had to zip into town to get some Tim Hortons gift cards.  I was smart this time though and I inspected the end of the driveway.  The snow was light and fluffy this time, but was about 8″ deep, at least.  I figured I’d be able to easily plow through it, but, why take the chance?  I cleared the end of the driveway.  This time, it only took a few minutes since it was light.  I got out without any issues at all.

On the way into town, the wind and blowing snow was so bad that I decided to postpone my trip to Lethbridge, again.  I’d rather not drive off the road, you know how it is I am sure.  Sunday’s forecast was for much better weather.

I did indeed make it into Lethbridge on Sunday and did my Costco run and what not.  I met a former co-worker for lunch, it was good catching up.

I think I am going to put up some snow fencing at the end of the driveway.  Most of the driveway blows clear, but at the end there are some trees, fencing and a gate that block the snow.  Snow fencing should do the trick and make the driveway a little more accessible.

New experiences living in the mountains, that’s for sure.

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My majestic Christmas Tree…

I guess I have not had much of the Blogging bug of late.  That’s OK, I guess I don’t have a lot to say.

We are in the second week of December, already.  I put up my majestic Christmas Tree last Saturday (Dec 1) to prepare for the festive season:

IMG_20181201_094707

Yes, a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  This is about as festive as I get.  🙂  Since I have a fireplace with a mantle now, I do want to get some stockings for the dogs and hang them on the mantle, I’ve always wanted to do that.

The weather has been pretty tame, thus far.  We aren’t in winter yet, but other than the snowstorm back at the beginning of October, it’s been pretty good weather.  Well, other than last Wednesday when I wanted to head to the Lethbridge office for work.

I checked the forecast starting a few days before Wednesday and it called for clear and dry, 20% chance of 1cm of snow.  I was up early (2am) on Wednesday and checked again, same forecast.  So, 6am arrives and I head out.  I made a pit-stop at the 7/11 in town.  About 10km or so out of town, I hit an absolute wall of snow.  It went from clear and dry conditions to at least 6″ of snow on the ground and snowing so heavily that I could not see where I was going.  The cruise was locked in at 106kph, I didn’t dare hit the brakes, I wasn’t sure what was under the snow, so I coasted down to a far safer 50kph.  I couldn’t tell where the car was on the road.  The rumble strips on the shoulder and center were covered in snow.  I continued on for a bit, up until highway 22 and decided to turn around and head home.  The route between there and Fort McCleod is hilly and if road conditions didn’t improve, well, there was no way I wanted to be driving in it.

All in all, from my place to highway 22 and back is about 60km.  It took me 1.5 hours to make that trip.  At home, in the mountains, we got a dusting of snow that the wind took care of.  Not worth getting into an accident to head to the office for the day.  The trip has been rescheduled for Friday.  Weather permitting, of course.

Christmas plans are set.  A friend of mine will be coming down and spending a few days with the dogs and I.  They love him so they’ll be happy to see him, I am sure.  My buddy who runs a restaurant in the Pass is closing and returning to the UK, so he’s having a closing down party on the 23rd, we will both go.  I will miss him and his excellent food and I wish him all the best for the future.

Only 2 more working weeks until the Christmas break.  I am working during the holidays, but it is pretty dead at work as most of the offices are closed.  It will be a nice break.

Well, it’s Monday.  Enjoy your week. 🙂

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Wow, it’s already December (well, almost)…

Another weekend is nearly here.  This week flew by at work, it was busy all week.  Well, it hasn’t been busy as yet today, I likely should not have written that since I am sure this will jinx it.  We will see.

This is one of the busier times of year for us.  It will remain busy for a few weeks until the Christmas break, then over the break, it’s dead and January hits us like a blizzard.  Something to look forward to.

Anyway, it is the end of November as well.  This year has zoomed by.  Lots of changes for me.  A new place to live in a new part of the province.  In general, I am loving it.  We did get that one whallop of snow back in early October and then not a lot since really.  Temperatures have generally been pretty good too.  The next week is supposed to be cold, highs around -10.  The house appears to be well insulated though, so I don’t think it’s going to be too bad.

I am planning on going to a Christmas Artisans show/sale tonight.  Now that I have a nice mantle, I would like to get some stockings for the dogs to hang on the mantle.  I have never had a mantle before.  So, I would rather pay someone locally who made them by hand and likely pay a bit more than paying Walmart for something made in China.

Nothing really planned for the weekend.  Just going to relax, I think.  I am heading to Lethbridge on Wednesday, my laptop needs some updates.

Enjoy your Friday and the weekend.

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