Blogging continues to be light. Things are happening, usually so fast that I just don’t have time to write as much as I would like. Blogging right now is a little light because of my other time commitments. Things I am working on that are taking more time than anticipated. Just what am I doing?
At work, I am involved in the CEAA process for a large project. I cannot comment on the actual project for obvious reasons, but it is interesting to see how these processes work. Being in a meeting with 40+ people, with the conversation varying from extremely technical science-based analysis of potential environmental impacts to listening to First Nations representatives talk about their concerns, which are often completely invisible to those of us not raised in that culture. Then there is the fun of trying to eak out the politics of the room and understand where people are coming from. That part is just a fun aside, though, as my role is very technical. My main task is to wade through several thousand pages of technical documents just to be educated enough to be able to provide summary info to the public and to senior management. Challenging, yes, but quite rewarding, as I am learning both technical material and about legislative processes. Love my job.
We are ticking down to the end of the Live Smart energy audit time, so we are doing a few last-minute upgrades at home, now that the windows are done. I will finish up the story of the windows (and why, in the end, we are not going to get any credit for them on our energy audit!), and will write about the wonders of furnaces and air-source heat pumps. For now, we are scrambling to get things done. Do first, write later.
It is also a busy time for the NWEP. We are trying to get our volunteer garbage-tracking project rolling out, we are finally updating the webpage, the transportation group is all over the MUCF issue and the UBE is looking to rear it’s ugly head again. There are potential changes to GreenDrinks coming along. A lot of this is not visible yet, but expect to hear more from the NWEP in the next few months.
The Curling Club board is also taking a bit of time these days. We are in the middle of a bunch of energy-efficiency changes. Long and short of it, a curling rink uses a lot of energy. Making ice involves taking a lot of heat out of a lot of water, which, thanks to a pesky thing called Thermodynamics, takes a lot of energy. The Royal City Club was built in the 60’s (they just celebrated their 45th anniversary), and although there have been many upgrades over the years, energy efficiency is not always priority #1. But with utility costs being a major expense in the club, and increased awareness, this is changing. I will blog more on this, but short version is that in the last year the club has dramatically cut its utility cost by installing a water recycler for the ice plant, replacing lighting fixtures and furnaces for the non-ice area, and are currently applying for grants to replace on-ice heaters and dehumidifiers. Being a member-owned and -operated club with no direct municipal funding, the budgets are shoestring and grants to help fund these efficiency programs are helpful. Grant application writing, however, is no fun.
Civic Committees are back up as well. I served on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee last year, and have signed up for a second year. It will be an exciting year to be part of this group, as this is the year of the Master Transportation Plan, and we have a new Senior Transportation Engineer coming to the City, so changes are afoot! I also signed up for the Emergency Advisory Committee this year. I actually have some training in Emergency Operations Centre systems, and I figured this group would allow me to keep that training refreshed, while helping the City plan for the “ifs” that are really only “whens”. Having taken part in Exercise Gold last year, and being a work coordinator of the BC Shakeout this year, I seem to be getting more and more involved in Emergency Management. Don’t panic.
So, a long winging post explaining why I don’t have as much time these days to write my regular long winging posts. Typical.