Well, 2013 is over in a few hours. What went on this year? Well, quite a lot actually.
I got a car again in early 2013. I went through the winter without one, it wasn’t that bad actually. It was a little bit of a pain in the ass going for groceries and getting dog food, taking the dogs to the vet, things like that. But, really, if I had lived where I am now (more on that later), I would be able to do it easily.
So, I got myself a 2007 Dodge Caliber in late January. Not a bad little car, not perfect by any means. My credit, at the time, was less than perfect. I went to one of those “everyone approved” lots and the interest rate was through the roof, almost criminal, but not quite. Insane interest. Anyway, got out of that one in July.
Nothing too interesting happened in the early part of the year, not that I can recall anyway. Same old, same old I guess. I was still living in the SE area of the city, Forest Lawn and still remotely looking for a new place.
In June, we had, as everyone know, terrible flooding. The city was devastated. Entire neighbourhoods under water. Nearly 100,000 people were evacuated at the height of the flood. I was lucky. When I moved here, I unintentionally chose an area that was on high ground. If I had found a place overlooking the river, I would have been happy with the view – happy that is until June that is. My place was high and dry. Many, many people were not so lucky and many are still picking up pieces today.
July 2, I remember because it was the day after Canada Day was one of the hottest days I have ever experienced and I am from Southern Ontario. It hit around 39C and was a little hotter with the humidity. I needed to take the train home, I thought that I would be smart and wait for an air conditioned train. The older trains have windows that open, but I thought what good will that do. Anyway, I got on the train for the 20-25 minute ride home.
It filled up, as per usual as it passed through downtown. As we pass City Hall (the last downtown stop), the train stops for about 5 minutes – odd. It is also getting rather warm. The AC on the train is out. Not good – this is going to be a hot trip. We pull into the next station and the driver announces that the AC is not working on the first car and that everyone will have to get off and get into cars 2 and 3. Yeah, right. First off, Mr. Driver, the AC is not working on cars 2 and 3 and secondly, cars 2 and 3 are FULL. We stay there for another 10 minutes or so until the driver finally locks the doors so that the idiots who are opening them can’t do that anymore – I mean, you can see that the train is packed, you aren’t getting on, but, by all means, keep opening the doors.
To compound with the lack of AC, a feature that is very useful in the winter was on for this rather warm ride home. Heat from the brakes is diverted into the cars – well, this was on today. Nice. A guy who was standing near me had a temperature app on his phone – 45C was the reading. I am pretty sure that is as hot as a sauna.
Well, after a few more stops, I finally reached my destination. When I stepped outside, dripping wet, the 40C air felt cool to me. Insane. The worst train ride ever.
I didn’t go to Stampede this year. They held it, despite the flood water that nearly destroyed the park only two weeks earlier. Come Hell or High Water shirts were selling like crazy with proceeds going to flood relief.
In late July I got rid of the Dodge Caliber and moved into a Dodge Nitro. A very nice SUV, I will admit. Leather interior. 4×4. Sunroof. Lots of room. A good vehicle for the weather we have here.
I did go to the relief concert in August. Great event and a ton of cash was raised.
Umpiring this summer was fun. This was likely the first year that I have really enjoyed umpiring. The group of guys here, for the most part, are great. The teams are competitive. I also made a fair amount of coin by doing something that I enjoy. It financed my trip back to Niagara in October. The flight was covered by work but I needed to pay for the dogs stay in their pet resort and needed some spending money. I also purchased a new bike which I really have not yet had a chance to use. I hope to ride into work, come some nicer weather. I may get back into coaching in 2014. There is a coaches meeting coming up with the Babe Ruth Calgary organization. Two of the three parks that they use are right around where I am living and the third isn’t too far north. I don’t want to do a lot of travelling – Calgary and surrounding area is fine, I just don’t want to be driving all over Alberta. Guess we will see what they have to offer and what will fit in with what I want to do.
My trip back to Ontario was great. I was there for a total of 10 days. Our IT conference for work was at Blue Mountain in Collingwood. Excellent facility and an excellent conference. It would appear that when I return to Ontario I turned into some sort of drunk. I drank just about every day while I was there. Perhaps alcohol is needed to handle being back – not sure.
Winter hit early once again. The difference between this winter and last (well, Fall actually) is that we’ve already had 4 or 5 chinooks come through where last winter, the first didn’t show itself until mid-January. We’ve had a couple of REALLY cold days, highs in the low -20’s. We’ve also had some really nice days, highs around 12C. We’ve had major warm-ups and major cool-downs (flash freezes). I am coming to learn that this is what happens with weather in Alberta. I love it. If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour – it will likely change.
Christmas was quiet. I was also sick. The first cold that I have had since moving here was one of the worst colds that I can recall. I am just getting over it now.
As for New Years Eve, nothing planned. This is NOT a big deal for me. If I don’t go out, and I doubt that I will, I know that I will be in bed an hour or two before 2014 arrives. Regardless, 2014 will arrive and I wish you all a good one.
Thanks for reading in 2013. Please continue in 2014. Happy New Year !!!