Saturday, June 30, 2012

Flora and Fauna around the riviere des rats.

Tent up and tarped
We put up our tent in the dark. I had flattened the area, but I missed a spot, under where I slept. It also ended up being the spot that accumulated water. However with the foam puzzle-piece floor we put down inside the tent I never realized there was a puddle. The water came in before I tarped. 

I seemed to have  done a poor tarping job, but the tarp as put actually kept the sleeping area of the tent dry as well as cooler. We could keep the back door open even in the rain or at night and not have to worry waking up wet or over heating when the sun beats down on the tent. 

I'm about to measure my tarp. I figure one twice the size will be perfect to fully tarp over the tent.  This one can be used to put over the picnic table when there is one, or over an area to hide under in the rain :) 

Found near the shores of Rivere des Rats, flowering early July
I didn't get to sleep more then 3 hours. There was no sun at sunrise not until 10am. Then it came out, long enough to make the tent too hot. So I opened the back door to let in some air. At 10:15 it started to piss with rain, so I got up quickly and closed the back door and one of the front vestibule windows I had also opened to create wind.  At that point I gave up sleeping. It just wasn't happening. I waited for the rain to stop and went outside - big mistake the bugs were voracious.  In between several showers I tarped over the tent.

I spent part of the day collecting wood and keeping a fire going when it wasn't pissing rain. I also took a few photos of the flora and the fauna.

Camping at Riviere des Rats

Friday I left work around noon, and by 2 pm my friends had shown up and we hit the road around 3pm. We caught heavy traffic around the 640 leading to the 15, in fact we lost most of our time on the 640, thinking it would be better then the 40 across Montreal - but not this time.

A butterfly that landed on my tablecloth
After which we took the 40 to the 55 at Trois-Rivieres, passed through Shawinigan, Grand-mere and headed towards La Tuque. We made a pit stop in Grand-Mere, gassed up and picked up some groceries. We crossed the St Maurice river at Riviere des Rats and went in the Zec Wessoneau.  It cost us $35 total, that included the $10 for the bridge and the 3 nights of camping, plus a right of passage for both of us.  We camped along riviere des rats, around the 22km mark of the road.

The cliff on the other side of rivere aux rats
 I stayed up till like 7 am as I was hoping to take photo's of dawn but it was extremely cloudy at dawn. However it was interesting as the light came up, since it was dark by the time we set up our tent.  We realized that the river we were camped next to had a huge cliff on the other side, and that for all intents and purposes we were at the bottom of a big cliff.

It was extremely quiet. Other then a couple of 4-wheelers and one or two trucks per day, no one went by the road. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Interviewing students again

We've been interviewing students for the fall internship the past couple of weeks. We have 5 positions opened and we had only found 4 candidates so we were still interviewing yesterday. 

One of the 2 students we interviewed was friends with a student we had 2 years ago that we kept on part time because he was such a sweetheart, did the work well and he wanted to stick around.  The student said all the right things, seemed eager and interested and the descriptions of the job we gave him seemed to enthrall him.  So we made him an offer, which he accepted. He'd obviously also heard good things from the student who worked with us.

The other student had never read the job description. It was obvious that he was at a point where he can't take any more classes until he does his first internship and he had applied to every single job he could apply to.  He showed up at the interview not only not knowing what he was applying for, but smelling of desperation. It's never a good thing to smell of desperation. That's definitely not a good way to sell oneself! 

Of course as usual I got large piles of CV's and I had to sort first by GPA, I can't hire someone who's GPA is too low, company policy, then I remove anyone who isn't a first or 2nd year. After that I start looking at cover letters. Anyone who's cover letter is taking about a division different from the one I work for is also not going to get an interview. Either make a generic cover letter that applies to all the company or make a different cover letter for each position you're applying for and watch that if you're applying in Graphics, you don't ramble on about how much you like our Imaging division!  Especially for a Quality Assurance job.  You need to pay attention to detail, if you can't even put the right thing on your resume, how can I trust you'll find the problems?

The current interns I have are doing really well. We have one that carried over from last semester. He's a student from UQAM, who was happy to stay on an extra semester especially since his classes were cancelled. So at least he's worked, got more work experience, especially since he's an international student and in his case really improved his English. He decided to do another stage in another team and got the internship for fall. So no matter what happens with school, he's good till winter.  Great kid. 

The other who started in early May are working independently and managing their work well. One student felt she was thrown to the wolves so to speak but is absolutely loving the experience.  She pointed out usually they get months of theory and then get asked to do something, here they got asked to do something and they are learning as they go along. But she also noted it she was really appreciating this experience because it's like nothing she's done before.  Many students are first surprised by the responsibility I give them, but then by the end of the work term feel like they were truly part of the team and it gave them a really good idea of what  working will be like. Especially for engineering students, if they will be responsible for designing things, they need to be able to work by themselves.

Before I went on vacation, I gave them a list of boards that needed to be covered with the drivers and told them to divide the work among themselves and to consult one another if they found issues. At first it was the two girls working on this, and the male student was assigned to another task, and then once it was finished he was to consult them to see what he needed to test. They made their own spreadsheet to keep track of their progress, and have found a plethora of issues.  They are doing the main of the testing because the rest of the team is currently on Wind8ws since it's getting close to release. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

White underbelly cats hang out in the kitchen, while orange tabby is sleeping somewhere


Spock and Jethro hang out
Spock - Emulating Jethro!

Little Ziva the little diva lounging on the kitchen carpet

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Windows 8 another Me or Vista?

I've been playing with Wind8ws for a while now and I don't like it. This isn't new.  There isn't a new Microsoft OS that has released that I've ever liked. But some I grew to like. Like Windows 98SE that was good. Windows XP was good, and my last liked OS is Windows 7. 

Usually it takes 6months-1year after release for me to finally start getting used to an OS and liking it.  But I have a sense of whether or not I'm going to like it and if it's going to be a nice OS. This one gives me weird feelings. It's like the only thing they are planning for is tablets and smartphones and things like that. 

The whole Metro look might be pretty on a tablet but let me tell you it looks really tacky on a large 4x4 stretched layout.. Then never mind the fact that there's an 8kx8k limit to the size of surfaces we can do. 

Personally I think Wind8ws is going to end up much hated like Windows ME or Windows Viiiiiiiiista [The 64 bit version of this OS takes up enormous amounts of diskspace - more then Windows 7 64bits!!!!]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today's American children are some of the most spoiled children EVER!

It's something I've been thinking for a long time and lord knows I was chastised by my ex, his current wife and plenty of other people for being a 'bad mom' because I expected my children to help themselves.  If my child was old enough to put on his shoes and tie them I expected them to! Imagine!

I can still remember the kid in my eldest' preschool class, who's mom had asked me to take him to the class with my daughter one day, who expect me to take off his shoes! He was 4. I can understand some 4 year olds not being able to make a bow on a shoe lace, but just taking them off? A baby can take off his shoes if they are so determined!!!! I remember looking at the child and saying "Well I can wait all afternoon, you're the one missing the fun activities". In the end he took off his shoes by himself.

I was reading an article today about this phenomenon of spoiled children and it's spot on. 

I'm also grateful that I ignored all the stupid comments I received and continued to teach my daughters how to be self-sufficient, resourceful, and capable of taking care of themselves.  Because expecting others to do everything for you is going to create an entire generation of wankers!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cats missed the patio door :)

Been trying to think of a good caption to turn this into a lol cat.....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Joyeuse St Jean - Happy St Jean-Baptiste day!

I noticed along the coast of Gaspesie that many small coastal municipalities had taken all the dead driftwood that lands on their shore and built them up into huge bonfire shapes - we assumed in preparation for St-Jean-Baptiste day. We even noticed it on beaches on the New Brunswick side of Baie des Chaleurs.

This particular one is on an Acadian beach on Baie des Chaleurs
Joyeuse St Jean a tous!

Flowers from my trip - Part II

Looking for name - found in dense woods  - Chignecto bay provincial park

White version of the wild rose seen all over New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Gaspesie
An entire roadside covered in Dame Rockets - seen all over New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and gaspesie

That same sweet pea like flower - this time at Kouchibougac National park.

No clue what this is but it was taken in a field near Perce, Quebec
I know those as fleur petards from my childhood, but not it's proper name.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Flowers from my trip

Forget-me-nots seen all around New Brunswick and Gaspesie

Iris seen growing wild all over New Brunswick & Gaspesie

Wild Rose seen all over New Brunswick and all along St Lawrence

Lupin - seen in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Gaspesie
No clue what this is.... seen on Fundy shore at Cape Chignecto - looks like a form of sweet pea

Large field of Lupins

Lady Slipper - seen at Chignecto Bay.

Rafter Antigua sandals

I blogged about a year ago that I gotten some Antigua sandals. Originally I was pleased to have found them and them somewhat disappointed. The pair with the black straps were a touch too tight and it hurt my little toe to walk in them.  Thankfully, since I wore them around the house during winter while my feet were not swelled seems to have broken them in a bit, I can now wear them with swelled feet and they no longer hurt my little toe.

Also I had read on a website someone not pleased because she found them slippery on wet pavement and that hadn't been my experience with my original pairs of Antigua's. Sadly it was true with the new pair. They changed the way they do the sole of the sandal and these 3 new pairs were a lot slipperier then my original 2 pairs. 

I had been dragging my feet while wearing my black strapped pair in hopes that if the surface of the sandal sole was rougher, they would not be so slippery and made an interesting discovery. It seems that there's a form of synthetic fabric layer glued to the sole. It mostly peeled off my sandals and since then they much less slippery on wet surface.

I am now in the process of wearing down the pink and blue strapped pairs so that I can peel that fabric layer off them too.

Friday, June 22, 2012

For everyone's bitching we're the most taxed in Canada!

One of the things I noticed travelling through Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is that it's most expensive in Quebec. The price for campground is more expensive in Quebec then  the other provinces I was in. The price of wood for burning in a campfire was more expensive in Quebec and furthermore, Quebec provincial parks are the only parks I've been to so far where they charge up to $1 for a 4 minute shower! That was a Bic National Park in Bic Quebec. Most of the other provincial parks I've been to in Quebec charge 50 cents for  5 minutes. [Seen at Grand Jardins, Frontenac and Tremblant] Still though - charging for a hot shower?!?!?

None of the federally run parks I've been to [Kouchibougac, Forrillion, Fundy, or Cape Breton Highlands], charge money for taking a shower, nor do the ones in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, or PEI for that matter. 

I mean people always bitch about Quebec, we're the most taxed, things cost the most. We do expect to get more if we do pay more. Having the rest of Canada say it comes out of their pockets is suck garbage. Most of those who say that have probably never travelled to Quebec or experienced life in Quebec.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We return home quite late, of course there was construction.

Red fox and his breakfast in Parc National du Bic
We left Parc National du Bic around lunch time.
I took the 132 most of the way home. I took it to Sorel where I took the 30. 

Of course just to make life interesting, they had closed the exit off the 30 for the Mercier bridge, so I had to drive down the road to St Isidore back to Kahnawake and catch the from there. 
View seen from Cacouna, Quebec.

I can say I've driven most of the 132 except for the inner part of the Gaspe peninsula.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Driving to parc National du Bic - day 13

Sign at Cap Chat
Vertical Eolienne at Cap Chat
We drove from Forrillion National park in Gaspe to le parc National du Bic following road 132. For the most part it was grey and cloudy and it did rain buckets at some point, which was great, it washed the layers of squished bugs on my windshield.

One of the few stops we did was at Cap Chat, to see the vertical Eolienne, but it wasn't ever spinning.

Ferme Rioux at Parc National du Bic
The road follows the ocean for some time, and it's pretty scenic to see rock on one side and ocean on the other.

Bic also seems to be a popular park, despite it being the week-day, the Rioux campsite furthest from the road was half full. It's next to the old Rioux farm that was expropriated sometime in the 1980's.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Perce et Gaspe - day 12

Rocher Perce seen from the wharf at Perce
We woke up fairly early because we'd been told that we could walk to the Rocher during low tide and the perfect time to do it was between 8 and 10 am. Of course the person who told us that didn't tell us where to go to get to walk it.

Rocher Perce seen from beach under via Rail Bridge at Barachois
We went to wharf and asked one of the guys sailing the cruise boats. He pointed out the road. Once we got there, we realized the road had been made inaccessible by the authorities and by the time we figured out how we might get there, I figured we didn't have enough time between the tide starting to rise, so we never walked it. Another time I guess.

We left Perce around lunchtime and drove to Forillion National Park around Gaspe Bay. It was quite peaceful there. It was quite warm and despite being told there was mosquitos, black flies, noseeums and deer flies, we hardly got bit by anything.   However we arrived with a warning not to burn any fires because it was too dry.
In Forillion National Park

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We return to Quebec - day 11

At a Halte municipale near Carleton-sur-Mer on road 132 in Gaspesie
After packing up the Grand Vitara, we crossed the bridge, drove a few miles and we were back on road 132, which goes from Kahnawake near where I live all the way to the border of New Brunswick and around the Gaspe Peninsula.

We drove in direction of Rocher Perce, one of the highly commercialized spots along the scenic coast of the Gaspesie. The view along the coast is spectacular. I was quite happy to visit during the low season, I doubt I'd have been able to handle the hordes of tourist during busy season. Bleah.  

Along road 132 almost in Perce
The campground I'd chosen, Le Camping de la Baie de Perce, run by SEPAQ was right in the middle of Perce and we could walk from our campsite to most places in Perce.

I did a fair amount of souvenir shopping, and picked up a lighter, several fridge magnets, a grey/black stripped hoodie and a wind chime, that was made with local agates and had a really amazing sound.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 10 - Sugarloaf provincial Park - Popular spot apparently!

Clouds at Sugarloaf provincial Park
Miscou Island Lighthouse
We left Kouchibougac and headed for Sugarloaf Provincial park. Little did we realize how busy it was going to be because it was a Saturday. When we arrived there was exactly 2 spots left with electricity and that was it. We took one spot and when we got there we realized that the 2 spots were twinned together and with no separations. Around 8pm 4 kids arrived in a pickup truck, coming to NewB to mountain bike. They were extremely loud, walked through our campsite frequently to go use teh facilities and were generally obnoxious. Thankfully they were gone by 9am the next morning. 

Beresford Beach, New Brunwick

We drove from Kouchibougac following the Acadian Coast road and stopped at a couple of Beaches along the way. We figured the water might be pleasant on beaches along the Baie des Chaleurs, but it wasn't so. 

We stopped at Bathurst and Beresford Beaches, put our feet in the water and realized it was just as cold as my recollection of the Atlantic near PEI.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Driving up the coast to Kouchibougac National Park - Day 9

Today we left Nova Scotia and drove down the coast of New Brunswick to Kouchibougac National park, where we are camping for the night.  It is fairly quiet and fairly private. Apparently half of the park was reserved for a "Learn how to camp" group. It was fairly cold so there were no black flies, that were really bad at Cape Chignecto, even on the damn beach. I kid you not, the wind should have been strong enough to turn them off. Thankfully I only got a bite or two that swelled up. The rest of the bites I got I have not reacted to.

Sadly it's very cloudy here too and we cannot see the stars. There was a wild rabbit at our campsite that hung out for a while. I bet he could smell the soy sauce that had spilled in the dishes box.  I took some pictures around the campsite, but it was grey if it wasn't downright spitting. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 8 - We stay put in Nova Scotia

Road inside Cape Chignecto Provincial Park

It was a cloudy day in Cape Chignecto Provincial park. No blue sky. Plenty of black flies and mosquitoes. I woke up around 10ish and went to the office to pay for 2 nights at the campground and get some firewood.  There was so many black flies, the smaller ones that eat you alive if you let them that I build a fire at the campsite very early in the day and stayed within smoke range so I was not eaten alive.

It was incredibly peaceful as no one else was in the campground till about 6-7pm that day. Just us, a few birds and wildlife and that was it.
Red rocks at Cape Chignecto Provincial Park coast
This park is really in the middle of nowhere. You don't even hear the road. Mostly you hear wind and birds and not much else.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 7 - We head to Nova Scotia

We had a late start and drove off around 2pm that afternoon. We got to the border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia at 4pm.  We got to Cape Chignecto Provincial park around 7pm but they had their office closed by 4:30pm so we found a walk-in spot in their closed campground to a parking lot and got settled in. We were the only people in the campground that day, otherwise it was completely empty. Talk about fortuitous.

What was not so good is while I was putting down the foaming flooring inside the tent, my companion cut himself with the axe and we spent about an hour looking for the crazy glue so he could seal it. The irony is that the containers of crazy glue were in his car door, easily accessible in case of emergency!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The last of the Sunbury Bridges - The Rusagonis Covered Bridge - Day 6

Patrick Owens Bridge - 1909 - Rusagonis Covered Bridge

Patrick Owens Bridge - 1909 - Rusagonis Covered Bridge
We stayed put today since Zach was at school and Debbie had no van. After Zach came home, Debbie and I went to find the bridge on the Wilsey road in Rusagonis. This bridge was somewhat different then the other 2 we saw. It had a pillar to hold it and had a wider span. It also had ventilation openings on one side.

After finding the bridge we went to the Costco in Fredericton so she could get her heart medication so even in the unlikely event she was without her vehicle for a few more days, at least she had her meds.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three covered Bridges of Sunbury County, New Brunswic - Day 5

Bell Bridge

Today we went looking on the little back roads around Gagetown, and Oromocto for three old covered bridges supposedly all in the same general area. The bridges of Sunbury county in this area are The Bell Bridge, the Mill Settlement bridge [The Smyth Bridge] and the Hoyt Bridge. 

Smyth Bridge
This was roughly a 3 hour round trip from Debbie's in Oromocto. We managed to see the Bell and Smyth bridges when Debbie's minivan decided it had enough and overheated to the point where her van turned itself off. Thankfully we had just a touch of cell signal so she was able to call the CAA. 

We stalled on Branch road near Brisley creek. Some visibly ex-military native guys stopped to offer assistance. They thought we had run out of gas. They are the ones who told us our exact location, which was most helpful so Debbie could tell the CAA where she was.  The more native looking guy told me I shouldn't just stand on the side of the road wearing a skit. That I would get eaten alive by the bugs. Well I had put on bug spray and it worked for me.

Brisley Creek seen from Branch road - near Oromocto
Luckily the tow truck who picked us up was able to squeeze all 6 of us inside his truck, though Zac ended up sitting on Kristin's lap. The driver was pleased when he realized that my companion and I also spoke fluent French along with the English!  He told us about another covered Bridge on Kilsey road about 15 minutes away from Oromocto. 

Wild Strawberry near where minivan stalled.
The tow truck dropped us all at Debbie's and I followed the tow truck with my Suzuki to the garage so I could pick up Debbie.  I also took her to the furniture store to pick up her last end table, that she said she would pick up that day.