Monday, December 30, 2013

Candy Cane Lane in Edmonton does not live up to the hype.

image of a decorated house on Candy Cane Lane in Edmonton.
Best of the bunch
"Is that it?" I said to a friend of mine as we drove through Candy Cane Lane.  A couple of houses were worth looking at but most were like any other house you might see driving through Edmonton.  Nothing spectacular, nothing worth the fuss people make about Candy Cane Lane each year in Edmonton.  Frankly if there was a house decorating contest across Edmonton,  I doubt any of the houses on the lane would of been in the top 10.  Most wouldn't be in the top 100.  Too many houses did the bare minimum.  There were few if any houses that made you stop and stare in awe.  Certainly wouldn't be a place I would suggest taking a lady on a date.

In no way am I saying they should cancel Candy Cane Lane.  We need more low cost things to do in Edmonton, not less.  What should happen is the City of Edmonton should step up and help motivate the people who live on Candy Cane Lane to do a better job decorating their houses.  Make it an attraction that anyone who comes to Edmonton during the holiday season will make a point of seeing. 

I don't know how this would be done.  Maybe the city would pay for the power and even provide a prize to the best decorated house.  If residents don't want to commercialize the lane with annoying signs they could commercialize the main website which likely gets a lot of hits to generate some revenue which could be used to offset the cost of lights.  Maybe even get a company like Canadian Tire to donate xmas decorations.  The point is, Candy Cane Lane is part of the Christmas fabric of Edmonton.  Each year families and friends pile into cars and trucks to experience an outing that costs next to nothing.  Instead of sending those people home disappointed which has been the case both times I have gone to the lane, send people home talking about how AWESOME Candy Cane Lane is.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Big trucks, big loads, big bags of ice, what do they have in common?

Big trucks, big loads and big bags of ice all have big and Alberta in common.  Forget ice road truckers and come to Alberta to see oil sand truckers. Semi's pulling buildings, big metal pieces of a building, prefab pipes, structures and anything else you can imagine.   Half the reason the road to Fort McMurray is so treacherous is because everyday big rigs pulling apparatuses too big for a single lane of highway are chugging down that road  leaving vehicles coming in the other direction to hug the shoulder of the road.

Nothing quite like seeing a house coming right at you to make the heart of an ice delivery truck driver beat faster.  Pilot trucks don't help much except to foreshadow something monstrous is coming down the highway which you have to move over for.  There is no share the highway, it is more get off the highway or get mushed.

The picture to the right was probably the oddest thing I have ever seen on the road.  About the length of a football field, metal and looking for a home.  Felt sorry for the guy driving the truck because there is no drivers training for big and awkward.  It is on the job learning where you take it slow and hope you arrive in one piece I imagine.

Sadly for ice truck drivers like myself sights like this are becoming the norm in Edmonton and surrounding area.  Every day you see some odd looking piece of machinery being pulled and/or pushed by trucks.  The question that always comes to mind and why I say they should have a reality TV show based on the big crazy looking stuff they haul around Alberta is what the heck is that thing for?

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

Monday, December 2, 2013

No blizzard, just freezing rain to make ice delivery in Edmonton fun, fun.

The only time I really ever experienced freezing rain was in Ohio when I use to sell software to powerplants.  I knew it got ugly after I checked in to my hotel the night before but wasn't prepared for a CM of ice covering the car in the morning.  I didn't have a scrapper, likely because they rarely needed one in Ohio. I  I had to use an old cassette player cover.  Don't ask me how I managed to find an old cassette player cover.  Likely should of held onto it as it is a collectors item.

I still don't really get how rain even exists to be frozen when it is cold out.  Seems counter intuitive that water, way up in the sky would remain water when if memory serves it is colder way up in the clouds.
Yet this fine Monday morning when I hopped into my car and started driving there was rain or sticky rain as I call it because it would stick to my windshield forcing me the ice delivery man to scrape as he drove.  Might not sound like the safest of things to do but it was safer than not seeing where you were going.  I wasn't driving the ice truck at that point.  Not many ice deliveries in Edmonton at 6 am in the morning.  I was driving my beater of a car which always has the check engine light on.  My car does not generate enough heat to melt the freezing rain as it freezes to the windshield.  I had to finally resort to windshield wiping fluid the freezing rain.  Water versus chemicals and for a brief moment I won until the rain fought back leaving me blind behind rain turned to ice on my windshield.

How was your drive to work this morning?

Ernie is the owner. They call me the Iceman.   Together we are Ernie Iceman, the people behind Columbia Ice, bringing packaged ice to #yeg and friends.  Edmonton and area for those who do not speak social media.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161
Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

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