Sight Supervisor

Published May 12, 2014 by inanortherntown

The town is growing at a rapid, some might even say alarming, rate. Since moving here 17 months ago, two new shopping plazas have opened, two new elementary schools are being built and a new subdivision with 600 homes is currently under construction.

All of the construction is near where I live and I’ve been a weekly “sight” supervisor for one particular plaza. Now that the weather has warmed up, I’ve increased my duties to a daily routine.

Reason #1
My favourite grocery store is coming there and from the outside it looks big – I’ve heard (from other sight supervisors) that the produce section will a major focus. (side rant: you can buy rotten produce here – stores don’t even blink to leave manky, slimy fruits and vegetables in the bin. I’m can’t figure out the logic, do they think I’ll decide to buy malodorous cabbage because the cauliflower and broccoli are rank?? WELL, THINK AGAIN.) Ahem. Moving on…

Reason #2
There will be UNDERGROUND parking – the first in town. This is huge!!! I will gladly get up at o’dark thirty to secure an underground parking spot while procuring my organic vegetables. Just think, when I exit the store, I won’t have to unearth my car from the snow or ice. AMAZING!!

Reason #3
Starbucks is opening up their second standalone store and it’s in this plaza. It’s within walking distance, I could take Baaj for a walk and mysteriously end up here!!!I’ve been peering in the window trying to gauge the progress and tonight my question was answered:

Walking distance to Nirvana

Walking distance to Nirvana

I know that I should be supporting independent coffee shops but there is only one in town (and it’s not within walking distance). The stand is cleverly hidden in a sports store. The barista is so affronted that you’ve found him and he has to get up from reading his book and actually make a coffee that he gets huffy. And rude. And stomps around. One time he told me that the special of the day was buy 1 coffee get 1 free but it didn’t apply to my order (I was paying for 4 coffees) because he had to tell me about it. I asked him how else would I have known but he just rolled his eyes and took my money…….That was……amusing ;-)

Do You Like ‘Em Poached?

Published May 7, 2014 by inanortherntown

In attempting to regain my sense of humour and get back into the blogging groove, for the month of May, I’m going to be blogging about the vast topic “Things That Amuse Me”….

Today’s amusement comes courtesy of my ride to work – a veritable chariot complete with wifi!

My private limo

My private limo

We moved here in January 2013 and in March, I secured a new job. There were a lot of “pluses” to accepting the posting: it was a good career move, it seemed like it would be interesting and varied and it was close to home and my daughter’s school.

It turned out to be a nightmare.

It could always be worse

My department was one of “good ideas” and no resources. After I was hired, the “good ideas” started landing on my desk and I was so! very! enthusiastic! about them. Then they began pouring onto my desk and I casually mentioned that in addition to the good ideas, I actually had a job description and duties to complete. *shrugs*

By the end of December, I was considering developing a gambling addiction for the faint hope that I might win the lottery and be able to quit.

In February, I did win the lottery…….I was asked how I felt about being poached by another company. I responded that I felt very positive about the possibility and with that and 10 days notice – I left.

I now work 30kms north of town in a very industrial setting. It’s like no other workplace I’ve every experienced; it’s high security, I have to swipe in/out of everywhere I go, there are ENORMOUS machines and huge buildings that house very important instruments. I’d totally take a picture but I’m worried that it’s forbidden and my ID badge will be taken away and I’ll never be able to leave the work site ;-) I’ll see if I can get a picture of something when I’m safely outside the security zone.

ANYWAY, back to amusing things: I’m chauffeured to and from work each day!

A large bus with big comfy seats, electronic plug-ins and wi-fi shuttles me to and from work; it is pretty much door to door service. The bus seats approximately 80 people but there are only SIX people on my bus route. It’s like a slice of heaven. No one speaks, in fact it was part of the employee orientation – “Bus Etiquette – your bus mate has had a long day, just like you. Please be respectful and refrain from engaging in conversation“. All this free time!!! I read, I play Star Mania (thanks sharechair), I stare out the window, and sometimes I do nothing. It’s like a mini-vacation every day!!

Oh, the job? It’s great :-)

Out Of This World!

Published May 6, 2014 by inanortherntown

Tonight, all three of us went out to a lecture given by COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD.

A real life astronaut all the way up here in our northern town! I was pretty excited, I had the date of ticket sales circled on my calendar for months, it’s a good thing, because they sold out at the speed of light.

His one hour lecture covered a lot of ground:

Pursuing your dreams
Preparing for failure, the NASA way
Why astronauts wear diapers during take-off
Living on the International Space Station
What time is it in space (answer: Greenwich Mean Time)
The importance of Social Media when sharing our human stories

Canada prepared for 2 years prior to his launch ensuring that we could receive the videos, tweets, and pictures he sent from the I.S.S. He took 45,000 pictures while on the I.S.S., recorded educational and amusing videos (how to wring a wet washcloth, how to clean your teeth in space)

I think my favourite tweet ever is this one:
Hadfield Tweet

He is so proud to be a Canadian, proud of our country and our way of life. He spoke about how Canada is a world leader in space robotics and of all the achievements that have happened in science and medicine following the success of the -Canadarm.

Space achievements proudly listed on the back of our new $5 bill.

Space achievements proudly listed on the back of our new $5 bill.

Following a very inspiring talk with a few pointed digs at the movie Gravity, he picked up his guitar and sang a snippet of the song, I.S.S., he co-wrote with the Barenaked Ladies and recorded for Canadian aged school children.

Definitely a highlight of my life :-)

Currently reading: An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth by Commander Chris Hadfield

Mr. Northern-Town

Published May 5, 2014 by inanortherntown

In attempting to regain my sense of humour and get back into the blogging groove, for the month of May, I’m going to be blogging about the vast topic “Things That Amuse Me”….

I would be remiss if I didn’t write about Mr. Northern-Town and how he amuses me. No one can make me laugh like he does and he puts up with me – so that’s amusing to me :-)

*He rarely, if ever, flinches when I exclaim “I’ve just had THE BEST idea….”
*He is a willing participant in my healthy experiments – A couple of years ago, I asked him to go vegan for a month to see how he felt. (Hungry, he felt hungry)


He is kind:

July 2002 was scorching hot and I had been pregnant with our only child for approximately 5 years; we found ourselves walking for miles to try to dislodge the tenant when we passed an ice-cream store. “This is perfect!” I exclaimed, “I need to use the washroom and the baby needs an ice cream cone.” We entered a very quaint old-fashioned ice cream store and I asked to use the facilities. The store clerk warned me that it was an extremely narrow room. They both watched as I entered bathroom, said nothing as I backed out of the very narrow single stall bathroom, still kept quiet as I turned around to back into the extremely narrow single stall bathroom. When I emerged, Mr. N-T had a double chocolate ice-cream cone and tissue ready to dry my eyes. Only much later did he tell me my muffled sobs could be heard throughout the store.

He doesn’t keep grudges:

Through a series of unfortunate events, I accidentally lit his head on fire and then added insult to injury by kicking him out of the way so I could flee to safety.

It’s not as bad as it sounds and I still consider myself mostly blameless.

We had made friends with a hairdresser who specialized in hair extensions. She wanted to branch out to the Caucasian market and I booked both of us an appointment so she could experiment. It was the summer of ’99, we had no kids, no responsibilities, and no reason not to have long braided hair.

The stylist gave him braids similar to this but longer:
Hair on Fire

The position that he held at the time required him to wear a hard hat which rubbed against his braids and his natural hair began to poke through. We called up the stylist and she instructed us to cut the braids up to where the natural hair began to poke out and then seal up the braid by using a lighter to melt the “fake” hair. It sounded like a reasonable solution. Armed with dogged determination, scissors and an extra robust lighter, I set to work.

What we forgot to take into account was the highly flammable anti-itch spray we had both been using because hot damn! beauty can be painful.

I sat on the couch and he sat on the floor directly in front of me. I took a deep breath and cut the first braid. Then holding the lighter in one hand and the freshly cut braid in the other, I sparked the lighter and watched in horror as his head lit up.

Ka-BOOM.

Instinctively, I placed one foot on his back and vaulted across the room before he knew what was going on. The man on fire had to stop, drop, roll and frantically pat the flames out while I rocked back and forth in the corner of the room.

Much later, when the smoke settled and we untangled the charred remains of the hair, he graciously accepted my apology and much much later allowed me to share the story. He doesn’t mind that I collapse with laughter half-way through the telling and he has to finish what I started.

He really is a keeper <3

Baaj Likes To Walk

Published May 4, 2014 by inanortherntown

The snow and ice are almost mostly

gone or not, wait five minutes – it will change, from the sidewalks and lawns and we are trying to get back to our regular routine of the walking every night.

Baaj walking

This picture was taken at 8PM. Two hours later, the ground is completely covered with snow. Whee! Every minute of every day is a new adventure!!

After dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, as soon as someone says the word “Walk”, Baaj’s ears perk up and he starts to pace.

It has always taken us forever to get out the door, we need jackets, does anyone need to go the bathroom? should I wear a hat? has anyone seen my other glove? and then finally our shoes need to go on and we all crowd around the back door. The entire time this is going on, Baaj sits at high alert, watching our every move and hoping that we are indeed going for a walk and that he is invited.

As soon as the back door opens and he hears the magic words “Let’s go”. He proceeds to sniff and spray every available tree, bus shelter, fence, blade of grass, twig……. He is a study in bliss. We try to do a loop of approximately 5kms and I’m sure he does twice that amount darting from smell to smell.

Last night, at dusk, as we stopped to let Baaj sniff ALL THE THINGS, we happened to look up and there, dancing across the sky, were the Northern Lights. It was so beautiful just to be still for a few moments and watch.

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