Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What do I do?

One thing I forgot to add to my first post about myself is the answer to the question: what do I do? Well I do a lot of things, but if you're asking me what pays the bills I work for a painting company here in Victoria. I've been with my company for only about a year and a half now, but I can already look at a map of the city, point to almost any given location, and truthfully say I've painted there - or at the very least I helped out by doing prep work such as power-washing or basic carpentry.
I've actually only been a painter for 2 years (I painted in Edmonton for a while before moving to Victoria), and I may not do it for the rest of my working life, but I must admit it feels kind of cool knowing that I've had a hand in making so many different projects around the city "look pretty", for lack of a better phrase.
I'd like to share a few photos of one of my favorite projects, the Ogden Point Cruise Ship Terminal here in Victoria. I've added little explanations under each one.

I took this shot in 2007 from the end of the breakwater looking back towards the warehouse on the right and Pier B. I believe the ship docked there is the Mercury.
And this shot from 2008 (I think my wife took it) shows what the warehouse looks like today. The ship there is the Radiance Of The Seas. Can you see why I enjoyed working here?

During the time that my colleagues and I were working around the site, a group of carpenters came in and built this new structure. I was asked to paint the entire thing, except the roof which was fabricated on site from coloured sheet metal.

It was actually back-breaking work standing up on a ladder and looking up all day, but I had to make sure that I got into every nook and cranny. I put one coat of oil based wood primer and 2 top coats of weather resistant paint on this thing.

I took a lot of pride in this little side project so I signed my initials (and the year in Roman numerals) way up on the top edge of one of the rafters where nobody would ever see it, but I know it's there.

There are no less than 16 of these hydrants scattered around the Ogden Point terminal and each one of them is surrounded by those concrete filled steel bollards. I don't have a before picture, but believe me they were badly beaten from the weather and required a considerable amount of effort to prep and prime them before adding 2 coats of safety red and yellow paint.

The painting company I work for was actually commissioned to repaint nearly the entire facility from the giant warehouse you see there (with the Westerdam tied up behind it) to the maintenence buildings accross the parking lot. We did all of the lamp posts, fences, bollards, and of course my bright red hydrants.

And for no reason at all, here's a photo of our company's scissor lift. They're just fun to drive.

So there you go, a look into what I'm doing when I'm not writing or playing my guitar. And if my boss should happen to see this, I didn't take these pictures during work hours.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Introductions Are In Order

Hello dear reader,
Welcome to The Wandering Oak. This is my very first posting here, so I believe introductions are in order. I don't really want to share my real name, but I will tell you that I'm a 31-year-old (32 in February) married man and I live in Victoria BC, Canada. I have no children, but we have a cat that's a real handful. I enjoy rock music and playing my guitar. I also enjoy photography and I love the beauty of Nature.
Most of all though, I really enjoy writing. I've had a few other blogs hosted by various sites before, but, aside from my personal Facebook page, I really don't use any of them anymore. I made a lot of great friends through my past blogs, but as time went on my readers soon dwindled to just those few friends so I eventually just said f**k it and jumped headfirst onto the Facebook bandwagon with, apparently, a few hundred million other people.
Nowadays the bulk of my writing has consisted of filling out those endless repetitive surveys that circulate around and I've got to tell you those are starting to get old. Whenever I do take the time to write out a note or an essay on Facebook, I find I can't say everything I want to say because, like many people, I have everyone I know in the real world on my friends list.
Lately I've been wanting to create a blog that's a little more grown up than Facebook or My Space. Something that can be taken seriously. This blog won't be a personal journal full of those "today I did this, this, and that" stories, though I may use examples and stories from my life to make a point about something. As I mentioned before I like photography so you will also see some of my photos here from time to time.
Now you're probably wondering about the title. I hummed and hawed over a title for the longest time until this one came to me. There are a few sources. I have always liked the oak trees that thrive here on Vancouver Island, so much so that I had one tattooed on my lower left leg (with one of my guitars leaning on a rock in front of it). I enjoy walking through the woods, so earlier this afternoon the light bulb went off in my head. The Wandering Oak.

I hope you will return, and join me as I wander.


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