lawyer, ashes, portfolio, Mother’s Day, OA

No word from the lawyer yet about Father’s estate.  I wonder how long this is going to take.  He did say it may take upwards of a year, so I wait patiently.  I called today to get an update, and his secretary said he’d call me back at 11:30AM, but no word.

Aunt Isobel is going to take Uncle Al’s ashes to Manitoba to the Johnston plot.  I would like to take Father’s ashes there, too, but I haven’t the funds to get there.  No work yet, and the price of fuel has gone up considerably lately.  It’s now $1.35 / litre.

I’ve put my portfolio online.  See one of my other webs,, to have a look.  As time goes on, I’ll put more work on and fine-tune other work.  As it is now, I’ve got Architectural and Civil work there.  There’s still a lot more to put on yet.

I gave Mom three roses for Mother’s Day a few days ago – two red for Aizlynn & I and one peach for Glenn.  She’s often said that one rose is just as nice as a dozen; it’s the thought that counts.  And, being Mom with three kids, I thought 3 roses would be nice.

OA, a coffee and college buddy, has made noises for a few months about getting his driver’s license but lacks a car to practise on.  His friends work and have little time to help him, so I’ve had him practise in my car.  We’ve gone out 3 times and need one more.  His test is next Tuesday.


no experience, necessary

Well, SA didn’t work out.  I got a phone call yesterday stating that they need someone with experience as they’re heading into a project that I gather will be a challenge.  They don’t want a newbie at the helm.

I’m continuing to work on the architectural drawings from the college (corrections from the instructors) and my own “work” to put into a portfolio.  What I showed them at SA was basically me trying to show them that I’m serious about learning, fixing mistakes, becoming more fluid with using Revit.  What they want to see, I take it, is more of a finished product.  I get that.  So back to work I go.

TB, on the other hand, is now working.  CY found employment in Calgary right away, as did K.

Kim Jung Un’s “dismantle the nukes” party and more

North Korea‘s Kim Jung Un is apparently having a ceremony marking the dismantlement of one of their nuclear weapons facilitiesUSA Today  Now there’s a reason to have a party.  He comes up with all the good ideas.  Now why didn’t I think of this.  Probably because I don’t have any nuclear weapons.  Facebook

Something else hitting the headlines is parking lines in the downtown core of Lethbridge, Alberta.  Yes, painting lines on the pavement – to assist with parking.  But not just any lines.  They’re perpendicular lines, not angled lines.  Now I know what you’re thinking – this is big.  And rightfully so.  No word on if they’ll follow civil guidelines and use white or if they’ll cheap-out and use orange like the WalMart / The Home Depot parking lot in Lethbridge.  There they used orange to separate two lanes going in the same direction.  Like a hand-painted stop sign – you just know it’s not a civil project.

They’re also adding one hundred seventy parking kiosks downtown.  No, not as big as the parking lines, but exciting just the same.

The next newsworthy article is a bit misleading. Horse owner calls for introduction of safeguards to prevent slaughtering without consent  Well, if I were in this, I’d want to have a horse’s consent, too.  To do otherwise would be unfair.

This is not something that made it into the news mainstream today.  I was riding my bike northbound on the designated bike street adjacent Mayor Magrath Drive South when a guy and his friend told me to ride on the street.  I apparently scared him.  …  He could see me coming for about a block away but told me “a guy on a bike barrelling down on me” scared him.  I said “sorry” and rode by.  Then he offered that I should ride on the street.  <sigh>  I 180ed to go talk with him (which surprised him again, I supposed).  I told him that there are signs posted all along MMDS stating no bicycles are allowed and that this, in fact, was the designated bicycle street.  In fact they’ve been there for so long that they’re faded and hard to even see anymore.  It’s always been this way.  It’s a shared-use thing.  He apologized for the misunderstanding stating that he wasn’t from around here.  I was, at that point, tongue-tied.  Too many things to say.  1) you’re in a new environment; don’t tell people how to behave or you’ll look like a damned fool; 2) if you’re new, read the signs; 3) I didn’t mean to scare you, but … I really scared you?  How old are you?  You’ve lived this long and not died of a heart attack? 4) to avoid problems, don’t stand in the center of a “sidewalk” if you see someone coming – bicycle, pedestrian, horse running away from a slaughterhouse, Kim Jung Un’s nuclear-powered trucks – anything – just move to the right of the sidewalk so as to let both oncoming parties pass.  Has the whole world gone mad?

But this did make it.


Yesterday I went with O to Sweetgrass, Montana, USA.  He had to apply for a work permit, and doing it online would take minimum 45 days.  It was a really nice drive there.  We talked politics, religion, culture.  I told him about various places to see, but he didn’t seem to interested in tourism.  Just the same, it made me want to get out on the highway again and see the countryside.

He has a Class 7 License (learner’s permit), so I let him drive about half-way there and the last 15km on the way back.  I think he needs to work on speed control.  He said he failed his first driving test because he didn’t shoulder-check and didn’t stop directly at the stop line at intersections.  I don’t think he knew about the North American style habit of driving in the left lane and passing in the left.  Pretty good though.  He was surprised I let him drive.  (I let CY practise driving in my car, too, and she didn’t crack it up.)  He drove into his yard with his homestay host mom standing there, watching him.  “You let him drive?” she joked.  We stood & talked for a while.

She’s selling her house.  She says the Realtor wants to knock it down and build again.  What a waste!  There’s already a really nice house there with fibreglass window frames, good insulation, new siding (not plastic or metal, a kind of wood), a big covered front porch, a 97% efficiency furnace, an attached garage, etc.  There’s no way in hell I’d tear down a house like this.  I wonder what she’d want for it.  What an amazing view.  It overlooks the coulee and is at the end of a long cul-de-sac. Really nice place.  O lives in the basement.

Oh, what I was going to say was that we didn’t seem to have any trouble getting through the US side of the border.  The American side officer got us to sit in the building for 15 minutes or so while he checked everything out.  No problems.  On your way.  “You know how to get back to the Canadian side?” he asked.  “Not, really,” I offered.  He explained.  Nice guy.  On the Canadian side, however, the officer was a bit of an obstinate person and acted like a typical border cop you’d see in a movie.  Oh well.  Good thing I brought my passport.  I’d still be waiting in the US!  (Kidding.)

interview at SA, Revit

I have an interview at a local architectural company!  This should happen Friday sometime if all goes well.  TB‘s been there part-time for a few weeks now.  I guess he’s found something else in the mean time.  The company?  I’ll call it SA for now.  I’ll tell you later if all goes well.  For what position?  Glad you asked.  It’ll involve using Revit, architectural drawing software from Autodesk, that seems to be replacing CAD (like AutoCAD) in the industry.  The company has been using CAD for all of its drawings and need someone knowledgeable in Revit to switch over and teach them how it’s used.

The main tasks I’m trying to master now with Revit is a) linework (various line types and thicknesses with various symbols and / or letters) and b) editing families (editing and / or creating from scratch objects useful in creating drawings, like window frames, custom stairways, paving bricks that actually look correct, etc.).  It’s not something they covered to much in class as it’s sort of an advanced level thing.  But, to create accurate drawings, it must be learned, practised, & mastered.

When I say “drawings”, usually the first thing that comes to mind for most people is hand-drawn pictures of buildings.  No, this is a sketch.  ‘Drawings‘  are more the technical specifications side of things.  Have a look.  All the red marks?  Instructor’s marks.  All the green?  Me doing my homework.  My goal is to do all corrections the instructor(s) supplied me with.  After all, I paid for these red marks!

I had it in mind that I’d try to complete as much as I could in these corrections before going out and meeting architectural people (except for Joe Matthew, that is) so as to have some sort of nice looking portfolio.  But this opportunity with SA came up!  Very cool!  So I’ll keep you posted about this.

Convocation 2018

It’s done!

I spent 3 years at Lethbridge College in the Engineering Design and Drafting Technologies diploma program.  The Convocation ceremony lasted from 1:00~4:00pm.  About 12:00 inside the “Player’s Entrance” (the back door) of Enmax Centre we gathered into groups according to program and then alphabetically.  People soon dissipated – it was obviously going to take a while.  I texted the scoreboard a picture of Mom & me and a message in case they came.  They came, but they didn’t see it.

Thanks Mom and Floyd for everything!!!  Could not have done it without you!!!

Pending application and approval, I’ll be a Technologist in Training (T.T.).  After two years of working in the field, I’ll earn my C. Tech (Certified Technologist) or C.E.T. (Certified Engineering Technologist).

preparing for convocation

Today is Convocation 2018.  It’s 10:30am.  Been keeping busy today so as not to get too nervous – doing dishes, reading the paper, doing Architecture homework.  We (convocates) should be there, lined up in order, no later than 12:15pm, so I’ll leave in an hour or so.  The ceremony is from 1-4pm.  I’ll be wearing my black gown, cap, & tassel and Lethbridge College green stole.  Good thing it’s a nice sunny day today.  It’s now 14°C and not a cloud in the sky.  My hair is cut, my gown & stole are pressed, my shoes shined.

I don’t think Mom & Floyd can make it.  Mom is pretty weak.  I know she really wanted to go, but she’s been unwell the past few weeks.  We took some pictures yesterday – Mom, Floyd, me in full dress.  The ceremony today is kind of like PBR (bull riding) in that it lasts for about 3 hours, it’s mostly sitting and clapping, and at the end of it hordes of people will be leaving.  Except this time, I’m a successfully graduated soon-to-be professional, and that’s no bull.  But I understand why she cannot go.  She has a hard time getting her breakfast and coffee down, let alone this.

I am missing my favourite formal black shirt.  It must be at Father’s house.  The last time I wore it was at Father’s viewing on Sept. 12, 2017.  It’s probably still hanging in the closet.  I’ll put on a tie – not sure which one yet – and head there early, on foot of course since it’s so close and I don’t want to fight for parking.  I’ll bring an e-book with me to keep me occupied.

I’m supposed to meet Clara there after the ceremony.  She said she’d come down from Calgary to see me.  I’m sure she has other people to see, too.  All my peeps from class will be there too, I’m guessing, except Aaron.  He said he’d not attend the convocation ceremony.  Actually, he said he’d attend as an audience member!  <sigh>  Well, maybe I’ll see him there later, along with Tyson, Randy, and my other teammates and classmates.

Gotta go graduate.  Catch you later!

quiet winter

Now I remember why I like winter.  I enjoy summer, yes, just as much as spring and fall.  But it now, suddenly, occurs to me why I enjoy winter – no loud muscle cars, screeching tyres, Harley-Davidson bikes with noisy lag pipes, and Japanese motorbikes wound up to 9000 RPM.  It goes on and on forever.  I should hear birds, people talking, kids on bikes.  I only hear 4×4 trucks revving.  <sigh>  Living in Ilsan, Korea, a 2.5-million-person satellite city of Seoul, was more peaceful than this.  By the time the world runs out of dinosaur fossil fuel and runs on something quieter, I’ll be a deaf old man.