Black Bear along the Hoy Creek Trail Coquitlam BC

Yesterday was a bit unusual for me as I had back to back to back conference calls that started early in the morning and went through to mid-afternoon. The early morning start interfered with my daily walk leaving me the choice of going in the afternoon or just waiting until the evening which would make for a rather dull Friday night. After sitting at the computer for hours straight I needed to stretch my legs so I opted for the afternoon.

In behind my apartment complex there is a nice stretch of the Hoy Creek Trail so I often start my walk there, get some fresh air before going out to the sidewalks skirting some heavily trafficked roads. As I walk along the trail I round a slight corner and notice some movement on the little bridge crossing Hoy Creek up ahead. Much to my surprise a large black bear steps off of the bridge on to the trail about 10 yards in front of me and casually starts sniffing his way down the path.

Naturally I just stopped and remained motionless and continued to watch the bear ever so slowly walk in the other direction. Looking at the bear I think about who does one call to report a bear sighting in the city, do I call 911 or some other group? Upon further thought I figured that by the time anybody responded to my call the bear would have already left the path he was on and surprised whoever was at the other end of the trail. Knowing that this part of the trail opens on to a very busy sidewalk at a bus stop on the even busier Johntson Street I figured this could get real bad real quick. I thought it would better if I circled around and warned the people I knew that would be on the sidewalk of the impending arrival of the bear.

Taking a different path I hurried to the other end of the same sidewalk that the bear would soon be on and began warning people of the danger ahead. The first 2, an older woman with a young teenage girl in tow thanked me and continued on their way towards the direction of the bear. A little further ahead there was a group of 6 elderly people enjoying the view of Hoy Creek and all the little salmon fry swimming in the waters below the overpass they were on. I warned them to be on the lookout for the bear and continued up the road towards where the bear would eventually immerge. Next, a young woman tuned out with her iPod was walking towards me so I stopped her and warned her as I knew the bear had to be close by and likely in the bushes to her right.

Upon arrival of where the Hoy Creek trail joins the sidewalk I looked down the path and sure enough here comes the bear. By this time the little old lady and her granddaughter caught me up and I pointed out the bear. The young woman with the iPod turns around and comes to join the three of us as we watch the bear slowly walk towards us. About 15 yards from us the bear turns off of the path and goes in to the bush to cut across the creek. This I know will put the bear heading straight towards the group of old people admiring the salmon fry so I warn them once again and they start walking off.

Black BearSeeing the group of the old people walking away I also see more people walking towards us, I start walking towards them in an effort to try to keep the bear from coming out of the bush right on top of these unsuspecting people. Armed only with my camera, and making a lot of noise, I tried my best to parallel the bear as he went through the bushes in an effort to keep the bear in there.

Suddenly the bear charges out the bushes right between the two divergent groups of people and runs across the busy 4 lane street causing a few emergency stops and scarring a lot of people. Once on the other side of the street the bear walks along the sidewalk to where the Hoy Creek trail continues its way deep in to the neighborhood.

As we watch the bear go back in to the woods surrounding the creek the little old lady and her granddaughter catch me up and she says in her thick eastern European accent, “I have lived in Canada now for a long time and I have never, ever seen a bear.” To this I could only respond with as I resumed my walk, “You can’t say that any more.”

Summer 2014 update – Heat yawn!

So the summer is cooking along nicely and I find my that my new place out in Coquitlam BC does not work well with the heat wave we got going on right now. My unit is on the second floor and well shaded throughout the day but it still gets way too warm in here. I have had apartments on higher floors that stayed cooler than this place. When I took this place the ad read Executive Apartment but as I spend more time inhere I find that the only thing executive about this place is the rent!

I know it has been a while since my last post and for that I am sorry even though I am pretty much just apologizing to my self. I would have done it sooner but I had to remove my Feedburner account first due to the new spam laws here in Canada. No I wasn’t spamming anybody seeing as originally the people who had subscribed to my feed did so through a double opt in system but the new laws required that I seek their approval prior to July 1, 2014 and I wasn’t about to do that. Sure there might have been only a few hundred people but I just couldn’t be bothered so I had to delete the list before I posted again.

I also meant to post something about the constant crow attacks but I did a youtube.com video about it instead. Below is that video and I am also going to re-post the little blurb I did on the subject.

This morning I was out for my usual walk but with a slight difference; today I strapped a GoPro camera to my head so that I could document how I am being dive bombed by crows. I watch as other people stream by the same locations throughout the day with no attacking crows dive bombing their heads but as soon as I walk outside the crows start diving at my head. Sure I know it is fledgling season and their young birds are out in the trees but I am not going near them. In fact in the beginning of the video you can see the first crow come out from behind the top of a high rise apartment building to set up his first swooping attack. Towards the end of the video you can see how one of them actually comes in contact with my head as it jiggles the camera view.

I just moved to this neighborhood and these buggers are just outside of my apartment complex. Upon occasion they perch in the trees just off of my balcony and look in my window and scream at me while I am watching TV. Lucky for them it is against the law to kill crows here or I would do away with the little buggers as I can’t even go out to the store without them diving at my head and dropping things on me from on high.

My next post should be a cob house update.

Better late than never…

Alright. I know it has been close to a month since my last post but what can I say, I’ve been busy.

I am almost all moved in to the new digs out in Coquitlam, BC. I still have to move the remaining contents of my storage locker to the new place but there isn’t much left. Mostly my large collection of games and the required shelving to hold them and that is about it.

I have sprung an interesting spring for myself and it is about to begin. I bribed one of my kids with the building of a hobbit house up on my brother’s property in the Caribou. Nothing too fancy just a round little 2 bedroom house built of cob.

For those of you who do not know what cob is they are little balls of mud, sand and straw that you pile up over a period of time to resemble a small cottage. The nice things about using cob are that you get to sculpt your house rather than build it and it is far less expensive than traditional housing. They also regulate temperature very efficiently, making them economical to live in.

A lot of people who build these things do it because they want to reduce their footprint upon the environment. Power to them for all the difference they actually make but that isn’t my motivation. Hell, I am going to use power tools to do all of my heavy work. I am not that noble, I don’t have the time to be.

My son and I have gone over some rough plans and will be finalizing a blueprint real soon. We know the basic size of land that will be required and I am going up that way to scout out the building spot as well as secure the various equipment and supplies required to build the foundation.

I haven’t decided if I am going to make a new site to chronicle the building of our hobbit house or just make a section for it on this site but I will be documenting the undertaking somewhere.

The hobbit house will be named either Broderick Hall or Logan Manor, we haven’t decided yet. Also, the patio with the sculpted outdoor oven will also be a memorial to my sister, Shannon Romhanyi.

Scary project? You bet but it will also be a fun one for the next couple of years.

Coquitlam Bound

It might not have been my first choice but I am moving back to Coquitlam, North Coquitlam to be precise. The location itself is pretty good, close to all kinds of shops as there is quite a few strip malls within walking distance as well as a very large shopping centre. I am within walking distance of a large park and small lake, Douglas college and an aquatic centre. But most importantly I am within walking distance of where my children live making it easier for us all to see each other.

The unit I took is a large one bedroom apartment with a big balcony and I am looking forward to being able to barbecue once again. The kitchen has slightly less cupboard space than I would like due to some funky openings between the kitchen and the living room but I will make it work.

There is a decent amount of storage in the unit that should afford me the opportunity to finally get rid of the extra expense of the storage locker. There will be a few things I need to get rid of such as my window screens and the old tires for my car but that is OK as I am tired of logging this stuff around.

I am locked in for a year at this new place and I am paying slightly more than I would like to but all in all I am looking forward to getting out of down-town Haney.

Spring 2014

It was about this time last year when I decided to exorcize a curiosity by taking up residency in a small apartment above a store front. I am not sure where this curiosity came from but I have always wondered what it would be like to live over a business in a “down-town” type location. Curious no more.

Within the first few weeks of my moving in someone was murdered across the street from me, close enough to bring the police to my door canvassing the neighbourhood. It only took a few days for the RCMP to get their man, or men in this case, which is good but all the down-town living fun didn’t end there.

Before too long I started to notice the pattern of late night activity from the pizzeria across the street. Nothing too crazy unless you consider people tossing a football across a 4 lane highway at 5 in the morning to be crazy.

Any way it turned out that the late night partying in my little concrete canyon was a constant that forced my bedroom window to be closed while I slept. For most of the year this loss of fresh air at night hasn’t been too much of a concern accept during the summer.

For some strange reason the owners of this building have two exposed walls that are tarred black and not whitewashed and typically these two walls grab all of the morning and evening sun and thus, super-heating my apartment.

With no balcony to escape the heat or in which to barbecue foods I was somewhat forced to endure a rather long, sweaty and uncomfortable summer. I seriously considered moving in the fall but seeing as I already went through the worst of the year’s record breaking heat waves I figured that there was no rush. Besides my rental agreement gave me free electricity so I figured I concluded that I would ride out the winter and just move in the spring.

Yesterday I gave my written notice to vacate this my personal hell in Haney.