Saturday, January 27, 2007

[insert shame here][insert much more here!]

Here's the picture I've been looking for since I came back from treeplanting last summer. I don't think much more need to be said, except that one person in this pic must have been quite ashamed to have been this close to the other...

Tupperfan, proud member of the mustache club going the extra mile, and Erika, probably one of the most tolerant person ever! (Not only did she have to endure the guy's antics in various situations, but it took three months before she got her tent back!)

That night, at Timmins' classic (and classy) Club 147, a fellow planter actually thought I was a local...I sported this look for a week, until I saw myself in the hotel room's mirror, six days later! And, while on the hotel room subject:

Classic day-off morning...

Note how many planters are NOT sleeping in a bed. I usually fell into that category...Which in turn explains why the following happened so often:

Yep, sleeping with the hands in the pockets...Found anything in there, Tup?

All right, time to get to my luxurious bed!

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The White Shit's Back!

Just kidding...

Well, snow finally got here, only one month late! Despite my appreciation of nature trying to follow its natural course, it pissed me a little when my car didn't start yesterday after the very cold night we had (About -35 celsius). Happily, I was not going to work or school, but it still cost me 20 bucks to get a taxi to boost my battery, as I needed the car to start the process to get a Class-2 driver's license, necessary for my tree-delivery job.

Anyway, here's a few pictures taken in front of my home.

One interesting note about my neighbourhood: It used to be a working-class section of town, mostly specialized in food processing, tobacco factories and seaport-related industries. After most of the factories closed down, a lot of people ended up on welfare., in the 1970-80s. So Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, as it is called (It's an amalgam of an old neighbouring town, Maisonneuve, and of a bourough of Montréal, Hochelaga), became a poor and rough section of town where the white trash was concentrated. It became a hive for criminal business in the 70's and its here that the Hell's Angels grew (Until about 3 years ago, when the police hit them hard, they were a major criminal force in Québec with the Italian Mafia, who was itself hit pretty bad last fall) and recruited. It has been settling down in the last years, and there was revitalization of some streets, but it remains poor and tough.

So, to help you fit in as if you were a local, here's a few introductory tips to Hochelaga:

-When you go buy stuff (ie: Beer, chips and pop) at the corner store (called "dépanneur" in Québec), you have to pay with change, dimes and nickels preferably. You'll be fashionable if there's a cent or two missing.

-Yell at your kids from the window or the balcony.

-The sports card store a block away from your street is a front for drug dealers. So are the ebay-selling place, the dollar-store, the pawn shop, the toy store and the church.

-Steal a car radio even if the CD player doesn't work and it's the only thing remaining in your Pontiac Sunbird 1994. Leave the tires for the next person, please!

-The local tavern has really cheap beer. A lot of it. If you don't like the place, try one of the twelve other bars on the block!

-Feel like going to the restaurant? Yay! Well, there's a greasy fast food joint on every corner. They offer the most employment opportunities, ranging from waitress to cook to delivery boy. Wow! (There's also a very nice Tex-Mex place in the opposite direction)

-Feel like meeting nice girls to start something serious? What about a head start? Walk around, there's plenty of pregnant teens to choose from!

So that's about it for the little tour. Of course, this was a little exxagerated, but the basics of the joke are well fixed in the concrete of reality. And contrary to what you might think, I actually love my neighbourhood as its colourful and pretty close to downtown, which is really useful when you're drunk (That state of mind also helps you appreciate the place). My home is also really close to a metro station, making most interesting corners of the city easily accessible!

So, time to go apply for a city tour job and be quickly dismissed!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007


Following my own suggestion to this post on Charlotte's blog, here's a little drawing I did using the basic Microsoft Paint, inspired only by my imagination. My brother says it looks like my maternal grand-father in his youth. Weirdly enough, he's not wrong.

But wait, it gets better. If you reduce the image by half its size, then resize it to 200%, thus making it the same size as the original, it creates an interesting effect, blurring the pixelization and making it look more hand-drawn:

That's it, time to go to the damn bed!

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Brain in the pants, head in the bush...

Happy new year!

Well, here it is, my first post of 2007. And I can't find a better way to kick the new year than with a treeplanting post!

So, again, people sick of reading me going on and on about treeplanting should ignore this post. All the people landing here after a treeplanting inquiry on en search engine should read it, but it's actually not that informative. And I edited it a little since my first draft was written at 4AM last night, coming back from a bar and was therefore a little long and confusing.

This one time at treeplanting...

Not really though. This is a post about the exciting season that slowly shows the tip of its nose, in a little less than...4 months!?!

I've been confirmed as a tree deliverer. Which means that I'll be paid about 200$/day to drive pick-up trucks and quads all day, delivering trees to the planters and doing long-distance errands like moving camp and getting water, gas and food. But the down side is that a day might easily last from 5:30AM to 10:30PM. Mah, I'm ready for that.

Last year, I trained for this job and, thanks to that training, I was able to help when we had a situation that required a third tree-runner for a few days. In total, I worked as a deliverer for about 5 days. This year, I'll be part of camp's management and full-time tree-deliverer. You don't know how much I've dreamed and worked for this job and I can't wait for the season to start. Which I guess is a little obvious when you post about planting on January 6th!

We also lost the contract I worked on for the last three seasons. I did other contracts, but this was my first and main one. It was also Outland's first contract about 22 years ago. We got underbid, but the good news is, we got a better contract, with better tree prices. I must admit a change will be welcome. A decent change, as a lot of people from our old contract will make the move, as well as a lot of management with whom I'm used to work, either as my previous crewbosses (or foreman), as coworkers, or both.

So, it wsn't too bad, was it?

Time to explore 2007!

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