Archive for the 'General' Category

Moving to Edmonton

I’m moving back to Edmonton (well, Leduc).

It is easily the hardest decision I’ve had to make it my life so far. I have tried for a year and a half to be a successful technology entrepreneur in Lethbridge, but there just isn’t enough work. This is due to many factors, which I won’t go into here. My health has also played a major role, though I believe I am finally gaining control there.

I am tired of living month to month barely scraping by in some cases, and certainly having very little extra money.

My family is still in Leduc (20km south of Edmonton), and I have talked to a colleague in Edmonton who says there is plenty of opportunity there. I don’t intend to be in the Edmonton area forever. In fact, I prefer Calgary, but I need to save up some money, and I’ll save quite a bit on rent and expenses by living with the family for a few months (likely until September).

Professionally, it’s the right decision for me to make. Personally, it truly breaks my heart, and the thought of leaving Lethbridge brings me to tears, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have a life here, I love this city, and have many wonderful friends that I don’t want to leave behind. Sadly, I don’t have a choice. I’ll still keep in touch via Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and by any other means as often as I can.

I’ll make new friends, too, and visit Calgary as often as I can to visit friends there, which I will hopefully be able to do more often as I’ll be making more money.

In time, I want to move to San Francisco and be a technology journalist there, but I need to save up first.

Getting Ready to Move…

I grew up moving in different places around Canada, as my Dad was in the military. I ended up being in a different school nearly every year, and it felt like we never got to really settle down anywhere until I went to high school in Leduc, Alberta. I spent all three years at the same high school, and I loved it, if only for the regular routine and the same group of friends. I never did fall in love with the city of Leduc for various reasons. After ten years, I decided it was time to move, and I chose Lethbridge. Mom and I did a scouting trip, but the moment we drove into town, I fell in love with it. It honestly and truly felt like home and where I belonged. Not even kidding when I say that.

Due to various situations with roommates and landlords, I have lived in 5 places in the span of 4 years. It was an adventure, but a costly one. I have lived in my current place for just over a year. Never did fall in love with it, but there wasn’t anything better available at the time, and I absolutely refused to move again. It’s a basement suite and has all of the amenities, except the washer and dryer, which are upstairs. The kitchen is small, but the private bathroom is nice, as is the decent sized-living room and futon. The furnace is out in the open, which isn’t very comfortable if a friend is staying the night.

My bedroom is nice and spacious, and part of it serves as my home office, since outlets are all taken up in the living room. There are two picture windows, which merely serve as fire escapes, since window wells block any kind of view.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for what I have, and my landlord/housemate is the best I’ve ever had. It bugs me the basement needs work, but he’s usually up on the rigs, and I can’t knock a guy for making a living. That being said, I’m usually the only one home, which makes for some very lonely days since I work from home most of the time. I don’t blame him at all. I knew what I was getting into when I took the place. At the time, I wanted peace and quiet compared to what I put up with at my old place.

So, I finally made the decision at the beginning of January to move. Not an ideal time of year, but I’ve done it before. I want a place on the southside, since it’s super easy to get downtown and to the stores along Mayor Magrath Drive, and bus service is excellent.

I took a look at one place on Tuesday. It’s nice enough, but I wasn’t thrilled about it. It’s an older house on a very narrow street, but the room is a decent size, and another guy rents a room, which is also on the main floor. The bathroom is decent, but the shower is cramped, as is the kitchen, but it’s certainly acceptable, though shared by the two people downstairs as well. The living room is huge and has nice furniture. The washer and dryer are downstairs as one would expect. Parking is on the street, but to plug the car in requires at least as 50-foot extension cord.

The place I looked at tonight is very nice, and I get a good feeling from it. It’s merely a couple of blocks south of where I used to live when I first moved to Lethbridge, so I’m already comfortable with the area. The rent is less than what I’m paying right now, and includes TV and internet to boot. It’s a basement suite, but has big windows in each room. Laundry is downstairs tucked away in a room, along with a massive freezer. There are two closets I can use, and some room in the garage for storage. Parking is available behind the house. The living room is massive, with nice leather sofas, and a unit for a TV and whatnot. There is a very nice full bathroom downstairs. The basement has a seperate entrance as well. There is one other person renting a room, which is fine.

She is offering another room upstairs for the same price, but it’s much smaller, though the main floor is incredibly nice. Either way it’s a year’s lease.

There is one more place on the southside I may look at on Saturday. Haven’t decided yet. The guy said I can have a main floor room, but will likely need to move to a downstairs room by late Spring, as his mother will be returning from her winter home and will want the main floor.

This is the nerve-wracking part about moving…choosing a place. The moving part is easy, especially just across town. It seems that the only places I really like that are available are basement suites, but at least there  will be more activity in the house.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post. Sometimes I do that, “think out loud” as they say.

I Start Monday!

I had an interview scheduled for this morning (Friday) at 10:30am. However, I woke up feeling sick (bloated and a little nauseus). I had one of those 24-hr bugs, and am still feeling the effects of it. So, I called the company up and rescheduled for Monday at 10:30am. Moments later, they called me back saying I might as well start work on Monday, and they’d get to know me through the course of the day. Awesome!

The company is CB Constantini. Odd name, but who am I to judge? They are wholesale grain dealers, and apparently do business across the Prairies. The job itself is un/loading grain and seed from trucks and railway cars. Though they admit some heavy lifting is required, there is equipment and machines to ease the strain (forklift, front-end loader, auger).

The hours are very good. 8-4:30. I’m not sure if that’s Monday to Friday, but I’ll work whenever, so that doesn’t bother me. I don’t care about benefits, since the college still takes care of that. They have told me the pay is about $12-13 an hour, but it’s negotiable. However, I have no experience, so I won’t be arguing it. Plus, I’m not in the position to be choosy. That wage also seems on par with the rest of Lethbridge, in the industrial park anyway.

There’s no guarantee of long-term work yet, it’s a trial period first, see how the job suits me and if they like me. Fair enough! They seem like a great bunch of guys, and I’m very excited to start working!

Working at the Tiger

As previously mentioned, I started working full-time at Services Inc. last week. Although I’ve only been employed there for just over a week, the job has proven to have quite a bit of variety. One of my biggest pet peeves is repetition, although I put up with it when I have to. The basic duties around the shop are sweeping, mopping, and cleaning. Aside from that, washing semi trucks and trailers is also a regular part of the job, and the part of the job that makes time fly by. The only real downside to washing the trucks is when the water or mud splashes back in my face as a result of the high pressure. They do supply a clear plastic face mask for this, but it’s not easy to see through all of the mud and water sometimes, therefore, it is often easier to get dirty and clean up afterwards.

Other then working in the shop, we have been clearing out a decent sized warehouse near the shop, as they are in the process of moving things up to some new buildings north of Edmonton in . For now, the materials are being stored wherever they can find space, which includes a place east of called , thus resulting in two road trips so far. We’ve been taking down scaffolding (steel beams) and plywood, and removing tires and boxes as well. I am told the warehouse work will be completed tomorrow.

I was originally hired on for a 4 days of 10 hour shifts rotation, which I am told will return next week. However, I have been asked to work 5 days this week to help with the workload being generated right now. So for this week, I’ll be putting in a total of 50 hours, including overtime of course.

Honestly, this job is hard on the body sometimes, especially the sweeping, and sometimes the washing, but I figure it’s a good thing, as it’s forcing me to get into shape and feel better about myself. That said, being stiff and sore is no fun, but I’m putting up with it. I’m making sure to take breaks when necessary and to not overexert myself.

New Job

I quit my job at Withers Trucking yesterday, for a few different reasons. Suffice to say, I wasn’t satisfied with the working environment. I applied via fax that same day, and had an interview today at a company called Tiger Calcium, and was hired as a Shop Hand/Truck Washer. The shift runs 4 days a week, 10 hours a day, starting tomorrow. It pays pretty decently, too. This will hopefully be the job that lasts me until I start college in January, as I’m sick and tired of "job hopping", it’s not my style.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A few months ago, I began to develop symptoms to what is referred to as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. At the time, and up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t take it seriously. The pain came and went, and I know it’s associated to how much I use computers, specifically the repetitive actions of typing and using the mouse. When I first realized I may have CTS, I went to my doctor, Dr. Abel, a wonderful doctor. In fact, she’s the best I’ve seen in recent years. She’s down to earth, easy to talk to and relate to, and knows her stuff. She’s somewhat of a ‘looker’, too. Anyway, she told me at the time try some exercises and come back if the pain persisted. Truth be told, I’ve done some of the exercises when I’ve remembered to or when it occurs to me. However, with other issues taking place in recent months, I didn’t make it a priority to go see her. I’ve been able to type and use the computer just the same, but I’ve definitely felt the CTS, some days a lot more then others. It’s gotten to be quite bothersome, and I’ve finally decided to do something about it. I’ve been doing online research, learning more about CTS. On Tuesday, I’ll be going to see Dr. Abel about it.
 
I know, I’ve been ignorant and stupid when it comes to this. Ignorance is bliss, what else can I say? I, of course, have been wondering what may come of my computer career goals, since I have CTS, which doesn’t feel very good, and I have lost sleep over that. I just hope to be able to correct my CTS, as I do not want to give up my career goals. That being said, my health comes first.
 
Here are some links that I have found useful:

It's Been A While…

                 It’s been some time since I have posted to this blog.  I’ll admit, I gave up on it for a good part of the summer. Every time I thought about updating it, I procrastinated on it.  That being said, I intend to start posting entries regularly again. However, I’m trying to get away from computers moreso and do healthier things more often then I have in the past. I’m working on being healthier in all aspects of my life, but of course it’s not going to happen overnight. I’ve spent year not living nearly as healthy as I should, and I’d be fooling myself to think this won’t take a lot of effort on my part over time to get better at. I’ve definitely started, and that’s the first step in the right direction.

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