Category Archives: Thoughts

Still More on Fires

Late last week, the evacuation order for Williams Lake was lifted though an evacuation alert is still in effect. Since then, an evacuation order has been issued for the community of Clinton.

There are also various reports of human-started wildfires.

I would hate to be the person who started any of these fires. I expect that these people just do not care.

This might change if any of them are identified. One such was identified about twenty years ago. The son of a Penticton firefighter started a fire so his father would have work. I do not recall the up-shot though I remember that the firefighter was not involved in the setting of the fire.

The Dying Post Office

The post office is not doing so well these days. I hardly ever have to mail anything, and neither do many others. The common wisdom is that this situation was caused by E-mail. I had occasion to think over the matter recently, and I have concluded that it was not E-mail and that E-mail was not even the second thing contributing to the decline of snail mail.

I think that the decline started with the telephone. Whereas before the telephone, one might use the mail to invite someone to visit or to arrange a visit, with the telephone, one can simply call.

Shortly after the telephone was invented, one official stated that it would never catch on, because there were a lot of messenger boys. We know how that worked out!

When telephone callers could place their own long-distance calls, this accelerated. This happened back in the 1960’s.

Still, I would pay bills by mail. The second nail was when one could make payments where one banked. I think I was first doing this in the 1980’s. I have done this for years. I pay my telephone bill and my credit card bills at my credit union.

Then, E-mail became commonplace. Sure, it has had an impact, but I think that the telephone and being able to pay bills where one banks were there with the daggers first.

More on Fires!

It is the worst summer for wildfires in the Kamloops area that I have ever seen. In Kamloops itself, we have been OK. There has been smoke fairly constantly, but we are not threatened by fire. (For some reason, Kamloops gets a lot of wildfire smoke in the summer.)

Elsewhere nearby, it has not been too good. The community of Cache Creek was evacuated, and on July 18, the evacuation order was lifted; they are still on evacuation alert though. On Saturday evening (July 15), an evacuation order was issued for the city of Williams Lake which has a population of 11,000!

Repeating from last week: The Kamloops area is not the only area suffering. If you are in a dry area, please take care, extreme care.


Summer in Kamloops, unfortunately, includes forest fires. Every so often, it gets rather bad. The smoke smell is obvious, and visibility is rather low. That is just the surface.

Kamloops This Week had several articles on the situation in its Tuesday, July 11, 2017 issue. Many of these articles are available on their Website.

From KTW: “Historically … 40 per cent of fires are human-caused each wildfire season.” The local towns of Ashcroft and Cache Creek have been evacuated due to fire. The front page story was about a trailer park being all but destroyed by a wildfire; just one home is left.

Even a tossed cigarette butt can start a fire when it hits dry grass. (Several years ago, I saw where a fire had started just off the Trans-Canada Highway. I suspect that a tossed cigarette butt was exactly what started this fire.) Operating some machinery – that creates sparks – can cause fires, too.

The Kamloops area is not the only area suffering. If you are in a dry area, please take care, extreme care.

How Much Do You Know? and Training

At my new job, I am still learning how to do things. One of my co-workers, who is a nice enough person, does not seem to understand how much he knows about the job that I do not.

He said that he had told me everything about a weighing program we use. He actually had not. I have had to fill in the details so that I can use the program effectively.

I see this situation quite a bit.

Another example is games. You have a board game that you like playing. How easily can you explain to someone else how to play it?

Some people can not explain very well at all. One can get very confused trying to learn from them.

Some are very good at it. I am in this category, because I have worked at it. One of the benefits of a background in systems analysis is that I am good with how systems work. By breaking things down into their component parts, one can make a complex system simpler to understand.

That person who does not get how something works when you know quite well how it works is probably not stupid. He could just be missing a few details that are obvious to you but not to him.

How about giving him those details?

Water, Water!

You have probably read advice many times that one should drink eight (or something) glasses of water per day. I have always had trouble with that myself.

Not now!

At my new job, I am working hard in heat and the water goes down very easily and very frequently. And sweats out about as fast.

Make sure you are getting enough water when it is hot.

Gene the T-Rex?

Well, I did get that job that I mentioned last week. I was handling rock samples today, heavy rock samples.

I am a T-Rex.

A ferocious carnivore that can rip into other animals and really chow down?


More like, I have spindly, little arms like a T-Rex. (Have you ever wondered about a T-Rex’s arms?)

Time to build up some muscle.


I have been looking for full-time work for all too long. Today, I think I finally have a position. I knew that it had been warping me, but even so, I did not realise quite how much. I have been unable to really relax for a long time.

If you know of someone who is looking for work and having difficulty finding it, please do not just ignore him. Please give him a hand.

Interesting Snack

I have lately started snacking on roasted seaweed. It is quite popular in Japan.

One of the things that struck me about it is the size of the package: only five grams. It comes in nine sheets that are about 6 by 9 cm each.

Eating it one sheet at a time, I have noticed that a lot of my eating of snack foods has been rather automatic: just stuffing it in. This is important to me since I need to lose some weight. I hope it is useful to you.