Sunday, April 4, 2021

I have been in Coleman, Alberta in the same house for a little over 1.5 years now.  It’s a great place, relatively inexpensive to heat in the winter, the carport does a great job of keeping snow off of my vehicle.  My landlord has offered to extend my lease by 3 years in July when my current 1 year lease expires, so that is great.  Coleman, and area, are a great, quiet place to live.  Pretty much everything you need is right here.  I do have to go to either Lethbridge or Okotoks for Costco and do so about once a month.  Both cities are 150km away.  In the winter, I tend to go to Lethbridge as Highway 3 normally is a safer drive.  Going north to Okotoks takes you along Highway 22 which is set between two sets of foothills.  The winds can be insane and the weather conditions can change in a moment.  I remember when I first moved to the Pass and was driving up Highway 22 in August, we had a hail storm and so much hail that the road was 6″ deep in no time – that was freaky.  Luckily, no damage to the car.  So, I guess I will be staying here a while longer and I am looking forward to the next few years of Mountain Life.

Monday, November 11, 2019

I am still in Crowsnest Pass, but I got out of the house on the acreage as soon as I was able to.  The house was heated with propane and, although I was told that propane is cheaper than natural gas, this turned out to be completely false.  Long story short, as soon as my one year lease was up, I was out.  Actually, I was out before the lease was up, I carried two places for a month.  I moved East, about 10km to the town of Coleman Alberta, still in the mountains but I now have the conveniences of town life – natural gas for heat and high-speed internet via cable.  I have a great 2 bedroom bungalow with a full (unfinished) basement and a fenced-in, large yard for the dogs.  No garage, but it has a covered car-port.  The dogs and I are loving it, and this time, we won’t nearly freeze to death this coming winter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

At the end of July, I ended my nearly 6.5-year residence in Calgary and moved to the mountains in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta.  I figured that I would try country and mountain living, why not?  I work from home and have nothing tying me down to Calgary.  I retired from coaching 2 years ago and retired from umpiring back in August so it was a great opportunity.  I am loving the slower pace for sure.  The things that drove me nuts about Calgary don’t exist here.  There is no traffic (well, maybe some in the summer, but it’s not that bad), there is no noise and it is dark at night, there are no (or few) city lights.  I have an acreage on Crowsnest River.  The dogs and I are loving it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A year and a half since I’ve updated this section.  Since the last update, I’ve moved into a bungalow in the Bowness neighbourhood and love it.  Nice size backyard for the dogs, detached garage.  Everything I need.  Calgary is indeed home.

Baseball season is upon us.  I am still on the board of directors for Babe Ruth, handled uniforms again this season.  I am still umpiring as well so that’s keeping me busy.

I hope to stay in this place for some time, well, until I decide (if ever) to buy a house. Enjoying it at any rate.  🙂

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I see that this area has not been updated in over a year, wow, how time flies.  I am still in Calgary, still loving it.  I am currently still in the same place that I was moving to when I last updated this section.  I have loved living in the North-West part of Calgary.  I am moving, but staying put in the North-West.  I take possession of a bungalow Dec 1 in the Bowness community.  It will be great, fully fenced in the back yard for the dogs and within walking distance of the dog park that we go to daily.

I am still working from home, full time, in a different role than a year ago.  I don’t do support any longer, I do something called “Service Delivery” now.

I am still involved with Babe Ruth baseball, I will not be the Club Manager for the Rockies any longer, however.  I am handling uniforms for the Board and taking a break from coaching for a bit.  I wish the Rockies well in the upcoming season.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Baseball season has ended, although it wasn’t as successful on the field as we might have hoped, it was a great season.  I really enjoyed myself and I think the boys enjoyed it, for the most part, as well.  Fall Ball was likely one of the most fun times I’ve had coaching baseball in recent memory.

I am moving, again.  This will be the third place I’ve lived in Calgary.  Three places in just under 4 years.  Well, gotta slow down on that a bit, I guess.  I am moving to the NW part of the city, the 3rd quadrant I have lived in as well.  Found a great townhouse, it is an end unit and has more than twice the space that my current place has.  No need to be close to downtown anymore since I work from home.

Winter will be on its way soon – it is cold today but still Fall-like weather. Looking forward to the move and a new area of the city. Still loving living in Calgary.  It is definitely home.

Monday, May 4, 2015

As they say, May the Fourth be with You.  OK, yes, I will admit, I am a Star Wars geek.

Baseball season has started, both the AA and AAA teams have played two games actually.  Opening Ceremonies were yesterday in fact.  Baseball this season is different than last season and I think I know why.  I didn’t enjoy myself last year, I was used to baseball in Ontario and by that I mean I used to coach all-star and elite baseball and I had to get my head around the fact that what I am coaching now is an upper-level house league type of baseball.  It is what I want to do though, I am done with traveling.  I just had to realize it is what I wanted.  Now, instead of planning for one year, I need to plan for two teams and multiple years at a time – we need to draft players who are going to fit in the team structure.  That is a challenge, one that I am happy to accept.

I am back involved with Federal Politics as well.  I was elected to the Board of Directors for the Calgary Centre Conservative Association.  Glad to be back.

No plans on moving.  Pet-friendly places are hard to come by.  New neighbours will be moving in later this month, hopefully, they are quiet.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It looks like I haven’t updated this area in a little over a year. I am still in Calgary of course and still love it here. Still in the same place, close to the office although that doesn’t matter anymore as I work from home now.

I may seek a place somewhere in the north-west part of the city in the near future. Rents are lower as it is further away from downtown but I really don’t need to be close to downtown. I will have to see what I can find. I have ruled out the south-east or north-east. Having to cross Deerfoot to get to this side of town is too irritating. For now, though, I am happy enough here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I have decided to return to coaching for the 2014 season.  One of my umpire friends told me that if I wanted to return to coaching in Calgary that I should look into joining the Calgary Babe Ruth league.  So, back in late Fall, I emailed the President of the league to see if they needed any coaches.  I heard back from him right away and he asked me to get in touch with one of the technical directors which I did.  They had a need with one of their clubs as the club manager – I went to a coaches meeting, met a few of the guys who were coaching on the club and decided to accept the position.  We start with indoor evaluations of new players in a couple of weeks.  I am really looking forward to getting back on the field.

Before I decided to return to coaching, I had volunteered to help out with the umpires association.  I was told that my interest would be brought forward but I never heard anything so I figured that they had the volunteers that they needed.  I received a call last week asking if I was still interested in joining the board.  I got some background, didn’t want to pile myself too high and accepted a position.  I am now VP of the umpires association.  I guess if there are any issues with Babe Ruth, I will need to recuse myself.

I am looking forward to a busy summer.  I won’t be umpiring anywhere near as much as I did last summer, but will try to do a few games a month.  Should zip by pretty quickly I am guessing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ever since I moved to Calgary, or, I guess a bit after that, I had signed a one year lease, I have off and on been looking for a new place to live.  I had a couple of requirements, essentially the one requirement that I would not budge on was a place that would accept my two dogs.  I have looked on the various rental web sites and never really found anything to my liking.  I didn’t want to move any further away from the office.

I was speaking with one of my co-workers in early November, we were talking about our dogs and I mentioned that I was looking for a new place.  She suggested that I contact a friend of hers who is a real estate agent.

Well, after speaking with this agent and taking a look at the place, I moved in, December 1.  I am much closer to work, now only 3km away.  For now, it is a quick bus ride into the office and come warmer weather, it will be a very quick bike ride in.

I am in a smaller place but a much nicer place – it is the basement suite in a home in the Upper Mount Royal neighbourhood.  Has everything that I need and a two-level backyard for the dogs – they seem to love it.

I think that I will be happy here for a while.  Thus far, my record for a place is 5 years – let’s see if I can beat that.

Friday, October 4, 2013

So, a fair amount has happened in Calgary since May.

In June, Calgary and many other areas in Southern Alberta experienced the worst flooding that the area had seen in over 100 years.  Over 100,000 Calgarians were forced to evacuate and some are still not back in their original homes and many never will be.  In Calgary, most of the visible damage is gone and the city is pretty well back to normal.  There are many though that are still struggling.  In other areas, there is still a LOT of damage.  It will take time to fix and I wish the people affected all the best.  For me, I was high and dry.  Out of sheer dumb luck, I picked one of the higher areas in the city.  If I had found a place overlooking the river, I am sure I would have jumped on it and would have been sorry this past June.

I have gotten rid of my Dodge Caliber and moved into a more my style, Dodge Nitro.  It is a 4×4 which will be nice come winter, which, by the way, feels like it is only around the corner.

I am still in the same place that I was in originally.  I like it here.  I have purchased a washer/dryer and have pretty well settled in.  I am back to driving to work – found parking downtown and only 8 blocks from the office.  Much happier that way.

Calgary is becoming more like home and less like where I live.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Well, in looking through my BLOG, I noticed that I have not updated the Calgary section in 10 months or so.  Now, in my defense, I have not made a lot of blog posts since last Fall.

So, summer came and went – pretty quickly too.  Winter hit early (by my standards anyway).  We had our first snowfall a few days before Halloween and it stayed around pretty well until sometime in March.  We had a few days where we were snow-free, but not many.  The winter wasn’t too bad actually.  We didn’t really have any bitter cold weather, nothing below -25 or so and even then, it didn’t feel that bad – I guess the low humidity has something to do with that.

So, I will say that I will take Alberta cold over Ontario humid.

I am still enjoying everything that Calgary has to offer.  I am living in the same place, didn’t sign a new lease though, so, I am sort of looking for something either A) cheaper and/or B) closer to work.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Did you know that it is 6 months until Christmas?  OK, that is the last time I will mention that for months…  LOL

July is nearly over.  I have gotten used to taking Calgary Transit to and from work – not a bad ride at all actually.  The only thing that I really don’t like is NOT being able to get home at lunch to let the dogs out.  I will be heading to Grande Prairie next week and upon my return, I will be borrowing a bike and riding into work – the bike paths, etc., in this city, are quite amazing.

Stampede has come and gone.  It was the 100th edition and it was pretty good.  I didn’t have any tickets for any of the events, that sort of sucked, but what can ya do.  BP visited from Ontario and seemed to enjoy himself.  Calgary also saw 3 or 4 days of humid (to Calgarians anyway) weather.  It was actually 32 or 33 C a few days with the humidity.  Coming from S. Ontario, I thought it was nearly refreshing.  We are now back into much cooler days and nearly cold nights.  Summer is short here, I’m ok with that.  As for precipitation, I have seen more rain in Calgary than I have ever seen in St. Catharines – I am sure.  Everything here is nice and green whereas, by this time of the year, brown is the dominant colour back home.

Pretty soon, I doubt that I will use the term “back home” to describe St. Catharines.  I think I have found my new home.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I have turned over a new leaf since I moved to Calgary.  I am not eating out anywhere as often as I did in St. Catharines which, as you may NOT guess means I am eating at home way more often.  I am not buying take out either.  I am actually grocery shopping, in a grocery store, on a regular basis.  This is something that I have not done in years and years.  There would be times that it might be months between visits to a grocery store for me.  I would purchase milk and other “quick” food items at Giant Tiger or a corner store, but actually shopping in a grocery store was a very rare occurrence.

So, something else new since I have been West.  I also found another item that is more expensive here than in Ontario.  Ice cream.  It is WAY more expensive.  Oh well – not good for you anyway.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Well, I have not updated this area for a LONG time.  Anyway, nothing really to update in here (at the moment, I have LOTS of updates) but I wanted to note that I switched the order of the entries in here to newest at the top.  Then, all of my faithful readers don’t need to scroll to read the new entries.  Thoughtful, no?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Well, this morning we have a combination of wet snow/rain.  Nice weather for the middle of May – NOT…  LOL.  Oh well, what can ya do?  Apparently, people don’t plant their gardens until the May 24 weekend which is this weekend.  So, I guess that I have to get my garden ready.  Yeah right.

I am loving Calgary.  The city is enormous, spread over what seems like a thousand square kilometers.  There are highways everywhere which makes for getting somewhere pretty easy.  The people who drive here don’t know how to drive though…  Perhaps it will change after tomorrow when I have Alberta plates – who knows.  Does that officially make me Albertan?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I have noted that being in Calgary isn’t much different than being in St. Catharines really.  I mean, when I am driving around the neighbourhood that I live in, I am used to the streets and the buildings and what not and it is starting to feel familiar.  Same with downtown – I take the same route to work every morning and the same route home every evening.  I guess what I am saying is that I am getting used to living here.

I still really haven’t met anyone as yet – not anyone that I can hang out with I mean.  I have met a lot of people but no real friends as yet.  That’s ok, I have never had a lot of close friends anyway.  I do miss hanging with RK and BP and J&D as well – those are the most common people that I saw, normally at least once a week.  It will be nice to see everyone in September.

I wouldn’t say that I am homesick – no, definitely not.  The last while in Niagara wasn’t the best time in my life.  My 41st year on this planet, or at least the first half (or 3/4 I guess) was boring.  I won’t say it was particularly rough, I had enough money to keep everything up, just too much time on my hands.

At this point, I am not honestly sure if I would accept a transfer back to Ontario.  I haven’t seen a Calgary winter as yet, it might be a bit much, not sure.  People describe them as not that bad – guess we will see.  I am enjoying the cooler weather for sure.  It drops down cool at night and warms up nicely during the day – perfect as far as I am concerned.

Yes, I will say that I am loving Calgary thus far.  Right now, good riddance to the Province of Ontario.  The final verdict on that to come…

Friday, May 4, 2012

My place is finally coming together.  I still have some stuff to unpack and setup but I should be done with that tonight. My furniture arrived on Wednesday evening, nice and comfy and both the dogs and I are quite happy.

I hope to do some exploring of Calgary and area in the next couple of weeks. I am planning on heading out to the Banff area one weekend, perhaps stay overnight, not sure.  It is only 1.5 hours away.

When driving west, the mountains are something else – so beautiful.  I wish I had a better camera so I could take some good pictures.  Oh well.

So, things are getting settled.  The dogs are adjusted, I think – I am sure neither one of them likes me being out all day since I was home nearly every day for 9 months.  I do make it home at lunch though so I am sure they will survive.

It’s the weekend, my third weekend in Calgary – pretty soon I will lose track of how long I’ve been here – time is going by very quickly.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Well, I have been in Calgary for a week and a half and in my new place for a week now.  I am not completely unpacked, that’s not a surprise for me mind you.  I hate unpacking.  I hate packing the stuff up as well. Today is a “nothing planned” type day so I am going to try to get to most of the stuff that I haven’t touched yet.

I had TV and Internet added yesterday.  I went with Telus Optik TV & Internet.  The TV service is pretty cool.  I was given a free PVR rental, haven’t had one of those in quite some time.  It will record up to 3 shows at once.  The pause live TV feature is cool and works better than the old PVR that I had – one through Cogeco and another through Bell ExpressView.  The Internet connection is fast, 15mbps – the faster 25mbps service isn’t available in my area as yet.  The modem has a built-in wireless router and the interface is pretty cool.

I dropped into Rent-A-Centre yesterday.  I can’t afford furniture right now so I am renting some.  I picked up a nice leather (black) couch with a chair as well – it is a 3 seat sofa with a chaise on one end.  Quite a nice set actually, it is a light black with baseball stitching.  I am sure that the dogs will appreciate being able to sit on something other than the floor.  I was going to buy a couple of dog beds, likely still will but haven’t as yet.

I met with the President of Baseball Calgary yesterday at one of their baseball complexes yesterday (in the middle of nowhere).  Quite a nice couple of baseball diamonds, better than anything St. Catharines has.  It doesn’t look like they need any coaching assistance for this summer, they only run 3 all-star teams – Peewee, Bantam, and Midget.  I guess most of the kids play little league around here.  Maybe I will try to get involved there – I would like to coach or assist or something this summer – I will have a fair amount of time on my hands seeing as I really haven’t met too many people as yet.

Work, guess I haven’t talked about that as yet.  I am enjoying it – WAY better environment than the Niagara Region, NR can’t even compare.  The people are all friendly, which is good.  The management structure is good too, they know what they are doing. At the Region they are so overstaffed it is unbelievable.  What a waste of taxpayer money – do they care?  Of course not.  Let’s hire another 10 people.  Give me a break.  Mind you, it isn’t just Niagara Region, I am sure it is every government, everywhere.  I worked with some hard-working people who knew what they were doing, don’t take it the wrong way.  Just some people that didn’t have a clue, just collected their cheques and did as little as they could. They say (who are they?) that once you work for the government for 3 years or more you are there for life – a life sentence in other words. Well, I am lucky to have gotten out and back into the private sector.  I will not be going back, or I can’t imagine going back anyway.  The pension was nice (on the back of taxpayers mind you) but that is nowhere near the incentive to go back to that life.

I think that I will enjoy myself in Calgary – I am starting to learn the city, very easy to get around.  Anyway, I am sure to update on my move in the weeks and months to come.  Enjoy the ride.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Well, I am planning on leaving Ontario a week from today, Sunday, April 15.  I may not leave until the 16th, not 100% sure at this point.

I received an offer from my sister, JB.  She has said that if I want her to, she will go with me to Calgary and fly back to Ontario.  She said, and I likely agree, that after we travel together some 3400km, we will likely hate each other and NOT want to see each other for some time.  Very likely some truth to that.

We do get along very well though – I will admit, I bug her a bit more than I should, but, in my defense, she reacts to it, all the time.  My other sister doesn’t react to my antics so I have given up trying to tease her.  I find that annoying which I am sure is her objective.

We are having Easter dinner tonight (at JD’s place) and I am sure we will knock around the details of our trip.  I will be happy to have her accompany me and I am sure that the dogs will like having her along for the ride as well.  I am not sure that JB knows what she’s getting herself into though.

I am starting the process of organizing the move. I am having a huge moving sale next Saturday.  I am currently in the process of ripping all of my CD’s into iTunes so that I can transfer them to my iPod.  I am planning on selling the entire collection, some 200+ CD’s spanning the last 25 years.  A good collection of music to be sure.

I will be posting the story of my move here and hopefully some good pictures of places visited along the way.

Why don’t you come for the ride?

Day 1 – Sunday, April 15, 2012

Left St. Catharines at 4:45am (or so).  Joan decided, at the last minute to accompany me. We actually left the city at 6am.

So, really, day 1 was fairly uneventful.  The dogs were good.  The sister was good.  We didn’t fight if you can believe that.

We made it to Wawa, Ontario last night and stayed at the Wawa Motor Inn – the room looked like a log cabin, sort of cool.  I’ll note that when I went to bed it was 10C.

Day 2 – Monday, April 16, 2012

What the hell?  Does Northern Ontario not realize that it is Spring?  Guess not…

It was 1C this morning and raining.  A little slick but not too bad.  Gas was expensive, $1.45 or so a litre.  Leaving Wawa, the temperature dropped fairly quickly and hit a low of about -9C.  Nice.

Snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, ice pellets, and hail were the delights of the day.  The highways were bad.  I didn’t mention in the Monday update that I didn’t have any cell service at all since shortly after Sault Ste. Marie.  Nice.  My GPS needs data to generate a route.  Nice.

So, after a rather slow day of travel, we made it to Thunder Bay – that’s it.  Less than 500km today in total.  The roads were pretty bad until we reached Nipigon.  After that, they weren’t too bad.

I hope to make up some distance tomorrow and get to at least Brandon, Manitoba.

Day 3 – Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today was a pretty good travel day.  I made it from Thunder Bay to Brandon, Manitoba.  I was going to go further, but, it was a 13 hour day or so and that is enough driving for anyone I would think.

Ontario is one massive Province. It took 2.5 days to get out of, mind you, one day was bad driving and I only made 475km – pretty sad.

Manitoba is pretty flat and the roads are pretty straight.  I went through Winnipeg right at rush hour.  I took the by-pass and didn’t see any of the city but what the heck, saved some time I am sure.

So, tonight it is Brandon and tomorrow, Calgary.  We will be on the road at 7am.  I hope to arrive in Calgary by dinner time – not sure if I can get through that quickly, but I will give it a try.

The dogs have been great but I am sure they will be as glad as I am to put this driving behind us.

Goodbye to Ontario and 40+ years of memories.  Hello Alberta !!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s