Saturday, December 30, 2006

Joyous New Years.

An early happy new year to all, hope you enjoy it as much as this person must be.

Snagged the pic off of ‘man of lettuce’.

Post the big resignation; none of the reasons or rationales from the resign ee or the emperor makes any sense to me. Then, neither does the hanging in Baghdad.

Friday, December 29, 2006

One of the down sides to living on the Labrador.

Gracious Living Storage Tower, 5-drawer

Sale: $24.99

Here’s a good deal from Canadian Tire; unless you live in an ‘air stage’ zip code, barstards that Canada Post.

This nice little storage unit, less 35% looks like a good deal. Like thousands of other good deals out there, until you check out that is.

Canadian Tire always has the highest shipping costs, so it is not all Canada Post blame I guess, unless other companies do not charge the full freight, or Canadian Tire charges above the going rate.
Any way, the shipping on this $24.99 item would have cost $38.99, plus the taxes = $73.58. Not such a goo deal after all.

Breaking news: Loyola Sullivan, Finance Minister for NL has just announced his resignation from the Hotel Newfoundland. He is, gone, zip, skedaddle, no ifs and or butts, a private citizen, and on a Friday before a long weekend.
Wonder how the emperor will explain this one? Wonder wonder wonder are the operative words on this one

Moravian Star.

Fran received one of these for Christmas, it took me about 50 minutes to assemble it, but the results are great, Fran has wanted one of these for years. Looks great hanging from the ceiling at the front porch window.
Speaking of Moravians; it was ‘young people day’ yesterday, typically it was cold and windy.
After in idyllic several days over Christmas and Boxing Day it has really moved into winter, 3 days of chills in the low -20’s, with low of -32 yesterday, those nasty WNW winds are blowing up around the 68k range. Not unusual but it takes adjusting to after all those balmy days we have had.
It is good for hardening and thickening the ice, allowing for safer and farther travel on ski- doo’s.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

We had our first introduction to an Idog on Boxing Day. It was on a visit to daughter’s house to check over their gifts from Santa. On the coffee table was this pink plastic dog just sitting there minding its own business; what’s that I asked?
“Well that’s an idog” I was told. “It plugs into IPods and mp3 players and acts as a speaker, it also does tricks and barks and stuff”.
So there is a demonstration of how the speaker works from off an iPod, quite a tinny [or plastic] sound, I thought. A demo of how iPods work followed, kind of neat I thought, but will resist getting one.

Later we were being entertained by grandson and his dad playing the latest x box games, Fran playing jacks and card games with the younger ones. Suddenly there is this whimpering, non stop. Shut that dog of yours up some one says. The owner ignored the request, she being busy with other things. I pick it up to try turn it off, the bloody thing growled at me, so I push its tail and it shuts off. Not for long though, a few minutes later it starts whimpering again, I do the tail bit, plus push its nose, it shuts up [off] again. I put it down and a few minutes later it starts with its whimpering again.
Aimee says, “Deneka put that dog of yours in the bed room”. I say “better yet put it outside”. Fran says “put it down the toilet”.
That was probably the best suggestion, it was met with approval by most of us, but the dog was banished to the bedroom for the rest of our visit. Never did find out how to turn it off completely.

Christmas morning, 5:30 in the AM.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The weather bloke [or is it blokees] was kind; snow fell all Christmas day with temperatures getting up near 0. What a perfect way to spend Christmas, with family, friends and the white stuff falling, quite the contrast to my earlier 100 + Fahrenheit days. Truth be known I may not be so buoyant if it had of been cold, windy and snow less.
But it turned out great, meal cooked on time, no disasters [well one], good mix of wild and domesticated birds, better mix of drinks, good company, all made for a very enjoyable though long day.
I scored well on the gift front, everything from a six pack of Stella to CanadaÂ’s only single malt. Must say I was surprised with that, not the taste as it remains unopened, but the fact of its existence, a very critical taste test lies ahead.
I did receive other gifts, some nice clothes, foody items, rollerduffele and what must be the equivalent of the husband giving the wife a lawn mower; I received a paper shredder, a total surprise for sure.
Fran received some very nice clothes, lot of silk this year. A highlight was a joint gift of a very nice soapstone carving of a walrus; it will take pride of place in our growing collection.

I canÂ’t say there really was a down side, just a little hiccup to the usual routine; I was not the only one put out either. I get up at usual time, turn computer on, make toast and tea, and sit down ready for the daily surf. Whats this then? no bloody internet connection!!!!, bloody hell? I do the usual checking of settings, think the worst of a virus, check out the long distance phone lines, some work some donÂ’t.
Could be the weather playing havoc with micro wave towers some place, could be anything really, so bugger it, I get dressed and go out and shovel snow, go for a powder hit on the Polaris, check out some other peoples ability to connect, find out it is not just my connection not working, muscles relax decidedly, go home and enjoy the rest of the day.
Internet came back up some time in the afternoon, grandkids were able to catch up on the lost hours, I played it kool.

With the good snow fall I guess people will be heading off into the country in all directions today, the mold temperatures may make traveling a bit iffy in places, so hope everybody uses some caution.

Have couple of pictures of the early Christmas day sow fall, blogger is not uploading them correctly for some reason, later.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Unity Bay is all but frozen over boy, just need that wind to stay down. If no snow comes, and it is not looking good for much, then it will be one large skating rink sure.

For Fishman and others: Kuvi Inovia Nutamilu Jarimi.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Holidays.

From my computer desk to yours, hope all have a safe and festive season.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I see I have been named Times ‘person of the year’.
Must say it comes as a total surprise, not sure I’m deserved, could’na dun it with out the wife n kids support, yadda yadda yadda.
Can’t wait for the post office to open Monday to pick up the cheque.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sea monster strikes again!!!!!!!!!!

Well not really, just the unusual sight of [for this time of year] a boat having been taken out of the water, and the results of a seal having been skinned and cut up.
So far today it is up to +3, beating the old record high of +1.7 back in 1920.
Weather is all the talk all over this year; schools were closed in Happy Valley due to rain, actually rain and black ice on the roads. People are being advised to keep of the roads in Lake Melville region. Now if that warning was issued on the Island there would be people rushing out like Evil Kenevils to test the veracity of the warnings, Labradoreans are more careful.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No need to knead.

Made this ‘no knead bread’ over last 24 hours. Picked it up at I was skeptical as it had very little yeast, and lots of salt.
Any way after following the recipe, using hard wheat flower, the results are pretty darn good, very airy and crusty, would go great with a soup or spaghetti. Will try it toasted tomorrow morn, if I don’t end up throwing it at a speeding joy rider tonight.

Mr. Grumpy.

I’m not my usual happy morning self this AM. Those darn inconsiderate ski doo yahoos speeding around all evening and night. Started before nightfall, woke me up about 12 and could not get any decent sleep, so I got up around 3.40 AM for some surfing [no shorts or board needed].
The last speeder went passed the house about 5, nice and quite from then on. I am determined [for now] to not go out and try to ID these idiots, if it was day yes, middle of the night, bit hesitant, there are people who get big bucks to deal with these things.

So after bit of surfing I printed off a letter I had filed to the Community Government with cc to RCMP. It is not the first of its type, complaining about the speeders and joy riders, as well as some possible scenarios to deal with the issue.

While laying restless in bed I thought of why these noisy machines keep people awake, perhaps it is to do with the lack of excess ambient noise in the town. The lack of noise pollution, along with lack of air pollution is one of the attractions of living here. Take these things away and we may as well buy a condo beside the TCH some place, shop at big box stores, line up for double doubles and KFC. Just thinking of that reinforces my will to lobby for some control. After all we do have some rights and freedoms left, or not.

Temperatures up to -3 this morning, bit difference from of late, even the crunchiness has gone out of the walking. I’m told these warming days like this force the frost further down into the ground, lets hope we get some good snow falls before it gets down into the -20’s, if it does at all.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Any hope of the harbor freezing up any time soon is blown away. Temperatures are up around -4 at moment,the wind was still up earlier, but it is warmish, relatively speaking.

Took the first picture when the wind was still pushing the surface of the water along nicely, Kiglapait Mountains in distance have a good coverage of snow.

On the walk hope the wind had dropped, I was quite warm by the time I got back to the house.

Planes coming in like it is the big TO, this one was the Sched e vac, or the mission plane, for the un-initiated the plane that takes people from the coast to the hospital in Goose Bay.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Awesome Labrador.

Resolution not that good but this gives a little idea of what Labrador has to offer.
We just need to make getting here more user friendly. Eh?

The Low level flying one is awesome too in its own way. We have had F4’s buzz us at couple hundred feet, glade we put an end to that before the Tornado’s came on stream, noisiest jets I have come across those buggers are.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Had a little up trend [ to -6] in temperatures last night and a few cm’s of snow. Clear again today with the wind back, bummer.

Wanting to sup on something warming I knocked up my version of this great easy soup. This one is Leek/potato/yam with not quite golden croutons. I used 2 leeks, couple of medium potatoes, 1 good size yam [sweet potato], 1 red onion, 4 cups chicken stock, ¼ cup sour cream with 3/4 cup milk and of course lots of fresh ground black pepper.

Staying with the root vegetable theme, how about the Brian Tobin eh? the ex pol turned business scum bag. For a guy who has no formal qualifications he moves in some high and moneyed circles. After it being announced that Tobin is a player in a mining company that is looking to develop a mine in Western Labrador we then hear he is being appointed as a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, a right wing think tank. Not much thinking going on at the institute with that appointment. Tobin has the gift of the gab and very good at self promotion, in the business world he seems to be more like a pin ball, going from board to board, all over the map. Me thinks it is the users using the user then spitting him out when used up. Or they just wake up to the facts of the shallowness, janiform of the guy.

Moving on, I hear that we are not going to receive the NL Hydro request for an increase in our electricity rate, well not this year. The increase would have been around 19% here in the oil fired generation plant communities.
The Consumer advocate is taking credit for the change of heart at hydro.
Another school of thought is that it is due to an infusion of millions of dollars into Hydro’s coffers by the government, it will be an election year in 2007. Whatever, it is good news in areas that can not afford this type of increase, that is the argument the Consumer Advocate used in negotiations

Friday, December 08, 2006

Winter not far off.

The sun is still behind the hills when I took these at 9:30, it was around -18 with a slight west breeze. The camera batteries started to protest after about 8 shots.
The ice is trying to make, if the wind holds off maybe it will. These hardy souls have put their boats back in for one [or maybe more] crack at a seal or caribou.

The lone lady is hopeful for a rock cod, none being caught while I was there.
Attended a meeting last evening to discuss the Consultation Document for The Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador.

While planning for the future is good, it was clear from all community representatives that this thing has already been studied to death and it is way past time for more action less talk.
None the less we ploughed on and entertained the half dozen WST people there.

About 18 souls, 11 being from Nain, spent 3 hours giving a very comprehensive view of what transportation for the North Coast should look like from 2009 and beyond.

The representatives from the other communities expressed exasperation about being miss-informed about the meetings intent, they thinking that it was to be about operational issues of short term nature. The adjudicator mentioned that if those types of concerns were raised they would not be ignored, but the emphasis should be on plan for the future. My unexpressed thoughts were, ‘if you can’t get the present right what chance for the future’. Well actually I did manage to get that in but welded in on future marine issues.

It is not going to be easy to come up with a plan that addresses all communities, or even come close to it. In the Northern zone alone we have Rigolet and Makkovik wanting a road connection the TLH, most likely to North West River.
Further north marine is the preferred choice for the future. With some thinking a road gives more choice I look at the reality, unless some sort of development happens, most likely in the natural resource extraction area, then there will not be any road any time soon.
The three southern towns want upgraded snowmobile trails, already having a connection to NWR, the trails and the upkeep lack funding. Again further north there are no groomed trails, most of the travel being on sea ice with occasional land travel.

All agreed that Nain needs a new or upgraded airstrip to accommodate night flying when needed. Matter of fact the non Nainimuks spoke loudest and more often on this. Also unanimous was all airstrip support facilities are woefully inadequate for these times, let alone the future. High cost of airfares was high on the agenda [where is it not in the north], mentioned was the lack of any competitive pricing or offers of seat sales or weekend excursion fares.

New marine vessels are a must all agreed upon, whether one or two vessels was not really gotten into in any real sense. A combined roll on roll off passenger vessel was mentioned. All agreed, in a very profound and loud way that the status quo both in the physical and operational area is a disgrace and an impediment both in the social and economic development sense.

A lot was said on the operational shortcomings. We were promised a visit in January 2007 of other operational WST people to “listen” to these concerns in more “depth”. Also pointed out, not by me, was the absence of the Minister of WST, it was explained that the house was sitting there for he could not get away. No one bought that IMO. Also IMO the minister is avoiding face to face dealings with the people on the short comings of transport.

All in all a good chance to vent frustrations, we just need bigger caring ears on the other end, especially in the “civil service” and “private sector” arena, all 18 were unanimous on that.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

No wind, no wind, no wind!!!!!!!! Touch wood.

Man what a morning, -15, almost calm, mountains reflecting in the water, what it’s all about in it? Crunchy underfoot, ice crystals cooling the nostrils, really great day for walking.

I took a parcel down to airstrip with my little pull komatik [sled], I always get lots of looks, and sometimes comments from older people, when I use it.
I also get stove oil with it when weather is fine. Hauling 15 gallons gives me a good cardio and upper leg work out by the time I get home from the gas station, all up hill it is. Plus I look at it as contributing to carbon offsetting, keep fit and save the planet, chubby Al Gore has nothing on me eh?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ecol 14.

We should take a few moments to remember the women massacred in Montréal at the ecol Polytechnic.
Also to remember all women who have suffered, by paying the ultimate price, and those who are still with us.

Late posting, blogger down, was the "waiting for an engineer" a coincidence? I hope.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We be getting cold here.

Temps getting down close to the -20 means, not quite though. Chills are another thing, -26 chills this morning. It was in the low -20’s all day yesterday, nice and sunny too. Not a lot of snow on the roads, almost non in parts, but down our street you get the crunchy sound as you walk, love that sound. Forecast is for some snow by Friday, lets hope so, the cold is starting to creep up into the floor of the buildings, need some insulation cover.

There is an interesting link here .
When you go to the fishmongers for your smoked beluga ask for the cut behind the pectoral fin, it’s the yummiest.
Just kidding, never eaten beluga, or any other whale for that matter.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

After dissing the Liberal Leadership thingy and most of its participants, I/we ended up watching the final day from just after the first vote.

Must say it was kind of interesting, in a masochist sort of way, for us and by the look of the crush in the hall for the participants.

It became obvious that the establishment of the LP have not learnt much from past mistakes. Among those, how come the results were leaked out onto the floor long before the official announcements? It was really painful for the candidates, and patently unfair, to make everybody wait for the final result to be announced at the top of the clock. It’s the little things stupid.

We are both pleased with the winner, there is a faint hope that change in the party will result, though I don’t imagine the old guard letting go of the wheel willingly.
Fran met Mr. Dion when he was here for the signing of the self government deal; she offered that he “seems a nice man”. From what I am hearing that seems to be the sentiment from the grass roots across the country.

All the coverage [we watched CBC mostly] seemed to be balanced; Global had a lot of ex CBCers.

Can’t say I am impressed with this live blogging of events like this, checked them out a few times, think I will stick to the TV for now. Warren Kinsella looked right at home in the Global blog tent. A pimple on the arse of an ass is the best description I can come up with.

Over all there is hope that the Conservatives days are numbered and the Liberal hierarchy will have learnt some lessons. Or Canada comes to its senses and turfs both of them. But I don’t expect a perfect world.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snowing, so decided to do a PET.

Yesterday light snow started about mid day. It was calm our way, so took off for a walk.
Down town and onto the airstrip it was anything but calm, a brisk southerly was blowing. At least with the change of direction I got to freeze the left side of my face on the walk home for a change. Not the real freezing when ice forms under the skin, just a fresh freeze that is more invigorating than painful.

Got to take some pics of plane landing, ceiling looked about 600 ft then. 15 minutes later it was down flat in moderate snow.

PET stands for a walk in the snow, fitting really considering the yawn fest going on with the liberal leadership thingy in Montreal. Surly there is a better way, and are there not better candidates out there? sheesh. The only one that looks half decent is in last place, and a woman, god forbid that a woman get top spot, double sheesh.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two stories half a world apart.

But boy are they profound in that it shows, to me at least, how assimilation of Indigenousness peoples has gone so wrong for so many.

And we still have leaders, both in the dominant societies and Indigenous societies, who are gung ho on speeding assimilation up, John Howard in Australia for one, Stephen Harper of Canada for two, if given half the chance.

The Atkins series should be read by all. I have seen first hand the situation in both countries; I’m convinced that looking back is the real way forward for most people.

Things a quite relatively speaking here of late, one the surface that is. Things are also quite on the surface on the issue of dealing with the situation of violence from within. The Nunatsiavut Government has yet to table its report on the ‘hearings on alcohol and drug abuse’. We are told the report will be tabled next sitting, 12 December in Hopedale.

Like most things, the problem of abuse of all types has been around for decades, or rather generations in some cases. It is not and will not be easy to break away from ingrained habits, but I believe that with the correct leadership, appropriate encouragement and penalties, things can change.

Kudos to Lavinia for speaking her mind to the reporter. Many women have spoken out in the past, and will in the future, it remains to be seen if they will be listened to. Heading "Inuit women raise battle cry".

Utopia – a place where Aborigines live long and prosper.
From Bernard Lagan in Utopia, Northern Territory.
Times OnlineNovember 13, 2006

HIDDEN off a long, lonely dirt road in the centre of Australia, the scattered Aboriginal settlements of weathered iron shanties, upturned cars and sullen dogs might be expected to fit the usual description: degradation, disease, filth. But they don't. Researchers have found such clear indicators of the wellbeing of the people of Utopia — a 1,160 square mile (3,000 sq km) former cattle station in the red desert dust north of Alice Springs — that policy-makers are having to reconsider the worth of an ancient Aboriginal way of life that rejects much of comfortably off Australia's eating, working and leisure habits. Yet those healthy traditions may be under threat. Ministers in the Howard Government have declared small Aboriginal communities to be unsustainable and argued for their closure and the removal of inhabitants to enlarged townships. There, they suggest, better services could be provided. The argument does not impress Karm Saraswati, the doctor who for 15 years, together with two nurses, has criss-crossed the desert taking aid to the thousand or so inhabitants. In Utopia's 16 tiny settlements — known as outstations — infants are fed the blood of kangaroos hunted by their relatives. Old women catch and cook big goanna lizards. People wander the spinifex grasses and dig out succulent honey ants and witchetty grubs for eating. Women make batches of Aboriginal medicines from desert plants, relying on ancestral recipes. Not many people smoke, and only a few drink. Many in Utopia spend the bakingly hot days in rough shelters, alongside dogs. Houses are often crowded and dirty. Most struggle to pay for food and petrol from the single store. Yet these people are 40% less likely to die prematurely than other Aboriginals in the Northern Territory. According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, their health approaches — and even exceeds in crucial respects — that of white Australians long expected to outlive Aborigines by 15 to 20 years. The most remarkable result is for cardiovascular disease. Rates of hospitalisation for its effects in Utopia are below levels among the non-Aboriginal Australian population. Lennie Jones, a senior elder, is certain of the source of his community's health: "Out here, we live on bush tucker. Old fellows and kids still hunt. We don't have white tucker." Another, Albert Bailey, whose 76 years represent longevity unusual among Aborigines, says: "In the big communities the young fellows get on the grog all the time. Here we stop 'em. We stay on the land of our grandfathers, always." Dr Saraswati feels no need to lecture these people. He accepts the wisdom of the old men and does as they ask — especially that he and the nurses travel the jarring desert tracks to take medicine to people, rather than wait for them to come into the clinic. While he accepts that his contact with Utopia's people has aided their wellbeing, it cannot explain, he says, the vast differences in their health and contentment from that of Aborigines elsewhere. It is, he says, a result of traditional lives that involve frequent exercise to hunt and gather foods that are nutritious and minimise obesity. It also helps that the people are, by and large, contented. The hard evidence of local people's health was no surprise to Dr Saraswati: "I have always known there was something different here because I was dealing with happy people," he said. "I have worked in other Aboriginal communities and you are doing patch-up all the time. You've got craziness, grog-fights. Just trouble." In Alice Springs, 186 miles to the south, there is nightly violence in and around the Aboriginal squats — fearful places in which hundreds of itinerants who have left their remote homelands spend their days drinking and, often, fighting. There is about one murder a month — nearly always involving Aborigines as perpetrators and victims. Joanne Boyle, a 25-year-old nurse, came to work with Utopia's people after spending nine months treating victims of fights and knifings at Alice Springs Hospital. "I am never scared about them yelling or hitting me as I was in Alice Springs," she said. Simon Quilty has just arrived for a three-month stint in Utopia. In Alice Springs, violence was commonplace, and the doctor would tend Aborigines dying of heart, liver and kidney diseases at the age of 30. By the end of his first week in Utopia, Dr Quilty declared: "It's magic out here, mate."
People in Crisis - a summary:Facts & Figures about Aborigines at the start of the 21st century.
Life expectancy for Aboriginal men is 59, but 77 for all Australian men. For Aborigines aged at least 55, compared with all the Australian population: Poor overall health suffered by 55 per cent of Aborigines, 28 per cent of all Australians; Asthma sufferers — 20 per cent of Aborigines; 10 per cent of all Australians Hypertensive diseases — 43 per cent of Aborigines; 32 per cent of all Diabetes — 35 per cent of Aborigines; 12 per cent of all Australians; Smokers — 38 per cent of Aborigines; 12 per cent of all Australians Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Government plans: Reduce number of small, remote Aboriginal communities; End restrictions on non-Aboriginal entry to Aboriginal land; Withdraw some schemes for the unemployed

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

But it's a dry wind.

Sunny days after some light snow on the weekend. Nice temperatures, day lows of -10 to highs of about -6 to -1.
Pity about the insistent wind that is gusting up to near 70 clicks on a regular basis giving wind chills in the -15 to -19 most days.

Picture is from archives, not much gray hair, winter is good time to BBQ, no flies.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More on the Labrador.


Frank's Brook.

How not to winter a boat.

On the Labrador.

By demand, more pictures by Aimee.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Yesterday, Friday, was an almost perfect early winter day. Mainly sunny, temps around -4, cept for that bloody wind. Man it was insistent, mainly gusts up to 80 with occasional to 100 clicks.
The roads are now like bitumen with little rocks sticking through; all the nice snow has been compacted or blown away. It did help keep the dust to a minimum, but made for some careful walking.
The Astron came in around 6 or so Thursday evening, left about 12 hours later. Lots of mixed freight at the dock.
I checked 5 times during the day for my little lot of 10 boxes. Very slow going with only one forklift working for most of the day and about 20 containers to unload. On a couple of visits one of the store operators was using the second fork lift to unload there stuff, it did take some pressure off the one wharfinger employee.
Fran received a call about 3 pm that our freight was off, down I go again, all our stuff was there on the ground. The second forklift by that time had broken down, but the second wharfinger employee was there.
I’m told that there will be another run for the Astron, but most people have all there winter stocks. So the pressure is off now as far as getting your freight in, it’s a constant battle for most, big or small shippers, it’s no difference, except more constant headaches for the bigger shippers, not sure why it has to be so. It does seem that if you raise shortcomings to the powers that be, or suggest ways that things could be improved you are looked upon as being some sort of an imbecile.

So bring on the snow Yahweh, me is ready.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Touch of winter.

Nice crisp sunny morning, -7 with wind chill of -17. Might have to put the long johns on.

The roads have enough snow on them for ski doos; sadly it brings out the ones with pea soup for brains, idiots speeding around all hours of the night and early morning, not to mention in the day. The roads are narrow enough and hard enough for some to navigate without having to worry about pea soup brains coming at you at 50k and hour.

The ponds have been frozen for several weeks allowing people to go off wooding, hunting.

The Astron is on its way north, some say there is another trip to make, but will wait and see on that. If this cold keeps up people with things like drinks etc may be in for a few unexpected frozen treats.

We have our fuel prices frozen too. It costs $1.26 a liter for gas. Heating oil costs $096.88 a liter at the pump, plus taxes brings it to $1.1141 a liter. So a 45 gallon drum cost $228.60 plus delivery, ouch.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ronald McDonald gets the big red boot

Ronald McDonald gets the big red boot

Well bout time some one had the internal fortitude and common sense
to tell the corporate leaches where to get off. My hat goes off to this guy......
no, not the idiot being carried off.

Hu's on third?

Hu’s dat 3Rd from the left…………..Ooops, sorry, from the right.

Is that a beer bag he has under that silk, of just extra dim sums?

Young stud Peter McKay may be having thoughts of another canine outburst if he spots this nice number.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Serotine Rememberence Day.

I was a bit reluctant to post much about remembering. My father was in several campaigns in WWII, he is still going at 92. Anzac Day, April 25, is the big day to remember them days down under, I had many a good time with the returned service persons over the years. Having said that, I found this story by Kenn Harper just today, it is more in keeping with where I live today.
I’m sure Kenn wont mind me linking to it, he and his wife had a nice little visit with us this summer, I learnt a lot about Inuit history in the north in that short time.

Boonie this n that.

Pity about the trapped belugas near Tuktoyaktuk NWT.
The killing of these beautiful mammals won’t be all bad; the meat will be an added bonus to the Inuvialuit larder.

Weather here been down in cloud and or fog and or light drizzle and or freezing rain and or light snow to snow for three days. Had a nice snow fall yesterday evening, big flakes, kind of heavy and wet but it built up for an extra coverage on the ground. Environment Canada said we had 9 mm; water does not build up so we must have had some sort of cm.

The second to last freight boat arrived Thursday morning. I checked to see if any freight for us, non on the manifest I was told.
Being an old hand I wandered down to the dock after 1 pm, the wharfinger said, “There is some frozen product for you in the shed, I think”.
Low and behold there was, 26 boxes, all loaded together on a pallet with boxes for 3 other people. Being an old hand [there it is again] I proceeded to take off the plastic wrap and go through the stack sorting out my stuff. Luck had it that another of the names on the pallet arrived, with some helpers, so that made lighter work of sorting it out.
Lucked out again when the same bloke gave my boxes and self a ride up to the house.
So I have the frozen all tucked away in the freezer, just have to wait on the dry goods to arrive on the last boat.

Nice little piece on CBC Here and Now last night on Jim Andersen [Uncle Jim] of Makkovik. At 80 odd he is becoming a bit of a media star, and rightly so. Jim has been involved with still and moving picture taking for a long time, his archive is a great look back at life in Makkovik and Labrador. This week Jim is in Goose Bay at the Creative Arts Festival showing and giving talks of some of his work.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

For all my foody fans out there.

Well the 4 of you.

Had couple people over the other night, here is what we had.

Fresh home made bagels, smoked char with cream cheese and red onion.
Followed that with leek and sweet potato soup, followed by pork chop/cabbage/potato sort of sweet and sour thing, followed by red berry squares [no picture].

Other things consumed is a state secrete, but I awoke fresh next morning, how things change with maturity?

Getting better at the bagel making, the forming and making the hole is the time consuming thing, think I have it worked out after the fourth try.

Monday, November 13, 2006

C. G. Armundsen on the Labrador.

Nachvak Fiord.

Geting the sea legs.
Aimee dressed for the job.

Spy in the sky, Saglek.

Pictures by Aimee.

Dam fine two days, sunshine and in the -3 range day time, though the wind chill yesterday was around -14, just makes you walk faster.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another day, same spot as yesterday, quite the contrast.

Remembrance Day here was very quite, only one store opened.
Weather was snow or freezing rain all day until about 3 or so when it cleared some what.
The weather projected a stillness and calm over the town, at least in my mind, very appropriate for the day imo.

After baking up some bagels and a red berry squares I took a walk down to the dock, the Astron was in and a tanker was anchored off. Even there with the restricted access to the lay down area the scene had calm about it, at least outwardly.

This old timer was on a flat bed, not sure of the owners intent, but it has seen better times.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bush flying, or bush league.

Above is a link to a youtube video, looks like from a cell phone, but you get the general picture.

Its relevance is: The plane is operated by Innu Mikun, one of the two schedule airlines on the coast, plus Innu Mikun supplies all the air support to the Voisey’s bay mine/mill.

The location of the video is Otter Creek, the float plane base for HV-GB.
The plane had been on floats all summer, and had just been converted over to wheels.
Subsequently, after this very hairy take off from the dock, the plane landed at the Goose Bay air port. On touch down one of the wheel supports broke or came off from the fuselage and the plane skidded to an abrupt holt to the side of the runway.
A report on CBC on the crash only said that an investigation is under way, but no damage was done to the under carriage.

Silly me, I thought that changing from floats to wheels, or visa versa was done at the hangers at the airport, not at the dock. I understood that the floats had wheels and recessed back into the floats, enabling them to land on hard surfaces when needed.
What ever the reason for this, it sure looks reckless and irresponsible.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Transition time.

Well it’s looking like the prolonged fall is over, wintry like conditions seem to be evolving nicely. Well nicely in terms of the expectations of good snow coverage and brisk crunchy sounding walks. It has been down to -10 at night with days up to -3 or so. Winds are consistent and persistent with chills in the -10 during the day
For now it is kind of bleak, the roads dried out about five days ago, while the sun is nice it has left the roads dry as an African desert. The vehicles and the wind kick up this very fine rock dust; it can’t be conducive to ones healthy well being.
Getting some light snow this AM, so that will deal with the dust for now.

We are still waiting for our winter food order to be shipped out of St. John’s. Not happy with the situation, but the company we dealt with for years has a new owner, and in the interest of fairness to him I am putting up with the late [last boat out of Lewisport] shipment.

There will be no way I will put up with it again next year though. It is just too much stress wondering if the order will get here with all the variables.
One thing that is not a variable is the deplorable and third world like service supplied by the operators of the boats, Labrador Coastal Marine, and the service providers and owner of some of the boats, Government of NL.

There is a community welcome happening this Thursday. A service group in the community has this gathering and welcome for all the new arrivals in town each year. They do some entertainment, bit of a nosh and present the newbie’s with a welcome basket of goodies. Looks like about 30 this year.

I have heard that there is a group of young people being schooled in the art of Choir singing in Inuktitut. Twenty people involved at the moment, will have to find out more about that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Reduplicating of Fibrer optic cable.

While I agree that THE PROVINCE needs a superfilious fiber optic network to the rest of the world, the way the Danny Government is going about ensuring there is one has certain gaminess about it.
It is not my intention to smirch any one, but the whole proposal has a certain frowziness about it that should have people concerned.

First up are the very close and personal and past business relationships two of the heads of two of the players in the deal have with The Danny. It’s the perception stupid, even if there is nothing agley with the deal.

Second up is the proposed routing of the proposed fiber optic proposal. It is looking like the INTEGRAL portion of the Province will not be given the opportunity to avail of this redundant service. We on the coast are beholden to just one supplier, Aliant. Sure Aliant has improved service over the past few years, but imagine what would be on offer with another player. Let’s not forget we are Integral.

Thirdly is how come this deal is not dependent on FEDERAL FUNDING? Why, for us being INTEGRAL means that any and all projects must have a major portion of FEDERAL FUNDING anteed up before any Provincial funds are SPENT.

I’m starting to think that maybe it is best if we were taken off the INTEGRAL list and become just part of NewfoundlanLabrador. Because it sure looks like this place called NewfoundlandLabrador is getting sweeter deals from Provincial coffers than us here in NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR.

On other topic; wish I could report an improvement in the marine shipping of goods to the North Coast. Just when you think things can’t get more absurd and ridicules we get reductio ad absurdum, in spades. The only positive of the arrival of the Astron early yesterday [1am] was that it was not raining or snowing, weather was quite pleasant. Well that and the fact that FINELY some goods in quantity are arriving.
I won’t go into the details, but several people have brought the whole thing to the attention of WST, not that that has done any good these last years.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Addendum to previous post.

I should point out that the ‘food by mail’ described in the Nunatsiaq News editorial is a little different for the Labrador coastal communities.
While the aims and objectives are the same the logistics are somewhat different than described.

It is similar with the ground portion, goods being trucked into Happy Valley-Goose Bay from Montreal; they have to be brought in for there anyway.
If the goods were air lifted to GB there still would be multiple handling to and fro, people got to get there cut, so that much is parallel with the article

There are at least two wholesalers who handle the goods; they take them out to the airlines.
There Canada post inspects the product for freshness; quality, correct storage, and puts there stamp on it. I believe that the two air lines servicing the coast, Air Labrador and Innu Mikun, divide the communities between them, but I can be corrected on that.
The goods are then taken into the communities where the retailers pick them up and rush them into the shelves without much fancy fan fair.

The program is a good one, helping keep the prices of fresh produce and dairy reasonable. It works well most of the time, but for reasons that I can not figure out things do regress at some time during a twelve month period.
If no one does or says anything it will slowly get worse, things like the plane not coming in when it is contracted to. Produce clearly not fresh when it was taken up to the air lines. Items not stored or packaged correctly.

I usually give it time to sort itself out, usually it does not, and then I’m off to the races contacting the overseers at INAC in Ottawa. I get good co operation from two of the store managers here, so it usually does not take that long before things get back on the rails. They know me at INAC by now.

As to if we [the consumer] are getting the full value of the savings in the program that I can not say. I have seen no evidence to the contrary, but I have heard rumblings at times to the effect we may not be, but that is for the fearless leaders who were elected to protect the public interest.

One aspect of the INAC program that is little known is that consumers can take advantage of it also. For example; I could place an order with a supplier in Montreal, have it trucked to Goose Bay, air lifted for the same price as the retailers get. The only catch is I would then be responsible for any spoilage due to weather delays, incompetent handling and the like. Believe me there is a hell of a lot of that.

Nunatsiaq News

This from the best darn news on line in the north. Works for me in Labrador too.

Nunatsiaq News: "October 27, 2006
The food mail farce
The challenge that Canadian North airlines mounted recently against Ottawa’s latest food mail air transport contract sheds new light on one of Indian and Northern Affairs’s most absurd northern programs: food mail.
The program’s stated goal is necessary and laudable: to supply northern communities with fresh, nutritious food at prices close to those in the South, using subsidized postal rates.
Calling it “mail,” by the way, is a bureaucratic fiction. It’s an air cargo subsidy program. Under it, food is handled, shipped and stored by airlines, not by Canada Post.
It’s also a dysfunctional mess. That’s because you can’t ship food mail directly by air from places where wholesale food costs are actually low, such as Ottawa, Montreal or Winnipeg. Instead, Ottawa demands that you ship it from ridiculous places such as Val d’Or and Churchill.
For example, if you do buy cheap food from Montreal, you have to ship it along a seven-hour truck route to Val d’Or before you can use the low food mail rate. The most likely explanation is political patronage: Ottawa’s desire to subsidize the ailing economies of Val d’Or and Churchill. The greatest benefits appear to flow towards a handful of business people who operate wholesale businesses in those places, not to northern consumers.
If Canadian North’s recent allegations are accurate, Ottawa may also be using food mail to subsidize inefficient airline monopolies, such as that enjoyed by First Air in northern Quebec and many routes in Nunavut.
Ninety per cent of food shipped under the program goes to eastern Nunavut and Nunavik. If it were made to work well, it could become a vital tool for combating our unbearable cost of "

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whew, that sure is a relief.

Boy I sure am glad that Lorraine Michael of the NDP won in Signal Hill/Quidi Vidi. With all the hype from the head hypster and help from the townie media, I thought the PC’s may have taken the seat.

Congratulations to the winner. A low voter turn out again, a pity, seems democracy is on the ropes all over.

I do see it as a win for the little guy, as an advocate for the little guy all my life it gives me some heart to keep at it.

One can hold out hope that the electorate will come to their senses and turf this megalomaniac premier out next time around. From the perspective up here Danny is the worst government we have seen for some time. That sure is saying something after the previous lot he replaced. Never thought I would get to say that, but it is true.
I thank the Minister for WST for letting me use the word perspective. He seems to have a monopoly on it of late, thank you kind sir.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chopper story two.

Not so positive, but still important.

Up this way the fall out from the botched medi-vac of a badly burnt man outside Sheshatshiu last week has yet to happen, as far as we know.

Talk about one big balls up. Seems that just recently the ambulance and air ambulance co ordination for the whole province has been shifted to ‘Eastern health’ way down there on the Avalon Peninsular. That would be fine if they knew anything about the province they purport to co ordinate.

RCMP in attendance at the scene of the incident put in calls to Labrador Health to get this badly burnt man out ASAP. Following ‘set protocols’ the call goes to Labrador Health thence to Eastern health. Someone there does not know shit and says it will take at least four hours for a chopper from Gander to get to scene.
All this time there is a well known service in Goose Bay called the 444 Rescue Squadron that does this sort of operation all the time, but no one calls them.

The long short, the RCMP call in a boat and get the man to hospital over wind swept waters and a rough North West River Road, he is then airlifted to St.John’s in critical condition.

Now we have people calling in to CBC with comments like, the RCMP officer [interviewed] sounded like he was disinterested and very wooden. I can say yes he did, but rightly or wrongly that’s the way they are trained, and the protocol for those things.

The head of the Labrador Health Board was on this morning trying to explain the debacle and what will be ‘discussed’ to make sure it does not happen again. He sure sounded wooden and overly bureaucratic, until he got defensive when interviewer asked if the ‘local’ people had to answer for any short comings.

It was stated by CBC that the head of the Emergency Response for the province commented that she was “not aware of the existence of the 444 air service in Goose Bay. Bloody hell, how stunned can you get.

I say lets get passed all the rhetoric and saving ones arse bullshit, lets have some heads roll, and quick, if they don’t then lets have some head honcho heads roll.

Chopper story one.

Zoe Webb is in the media again, at least a couple of townie media outlets.
Zoe, from Webb’s Bay outside Nain was in the news some time back when she obtained her co pilots ticket to fly Cougar Helicopters out to the offshore oil rigs.
Now Zoe has obtained her pilots ticket, the only woman in the Cougar fleet to have same.

The Lady has come a long way since getting the odd ride on choppers dropping into the Webb home ‘up the bay’.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Correction on the nice weekend.

After a nice early yesterday morn a large black front came in from the east. Light rain to sleet turning to snow overnight, accompanied by winds gusting to about 70 KPH. Dam ugly boy.

Also, blogger is acting up, very strange things happening from the edit file, hence this repeat of the weather.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bits n that.

Our granddaughter Aimee should be on the Amundsen by now, she was given time off from college in HV-GB to go on this trip down the Labrador coast. It will be only a week but very good experience for her. They depart from Iqaluit and head south, do research in some of the fiords and bay’s north of here, then into the Voisey’s Bay area and on to Goose Bay.

Our daughter gave us a link to an online scrabble game a week ago Fran loves the game but gets frustrated that she can’t get many people to play with. After both of us trying to figure out the idiosyncrasies of the site for a week, and getting a few games in, yesterday evening I could not get Fran to stop playing, after all the Montreal Toronto game was about to start, and I wanted to watch a movie. Any way Fran won a lot more than she lost, even got a game with someone from Makkovik, small world eh?

Unreal day yesterday, sunny, mainly calm, looking good for today too, easy on the heating oil so far this fall.

I have been contemplating going down to the bar one evening for a draught on tap, it’s a new thing here. Kind of glad I have not yet, heard from a source that they had a glass of draught the other night; it was too warm so they put ice in it to cool it down. I’m pretty sure of what my reaction would be if that was served up to me, being weaned on nothing but chilled well pulled draught beers from a young age makes one very picky.

Update: Wow that was quick, clear sky early then a big dark front came over from the east, now snow on the ground, very labrador fall weather indeed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thanks to IGA.

The International Grenfell Association still does good work, especially in donating funds for worthy causes in the region.

In the latest IGA newsletter there is a small article of thanks by Fran Williams of the Okalakatiget Society.

In brief Fran gives a little bio of the OK society and its roll in promoting Inuit culture and language. IGA donated 41 grand back in 2001, helping to retain the newsletter Kinatuinamut illingajuk. Alas funding is hard to get for print so the magazine is at the moment dormant.
Fran’s words about say it all, “In times when Labrador Inuit are overcome by the domination of English information, retaining and preserving Inuktitut becomes all the more challenging”.

Fran goes on to mention the 15 grand IGA donated OKS this year for the re building fund. This money is much needed in OKS efforts in replacing the office, production space and archival material lost in the big fire March 2005.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Upperty date on , Fall for sure.

Since posting last I have learnt that the Northern Ranger is operating on ONE engine. So my speculation that common sense maybe in play was just that, speculation, darn. Though some common sense must have played a role in that they did not proceed into the storm with one engine.

Which brings me to the fact of; I pointed out to the Minister of WST some time back that a disaster was in the offering due to the lack of reliability of the engines on the Ranger? I gave him dates and trip of problems of one engine. Mr. Minister pooh poohed my concern and said he had no information that there was any problems with the engines on the Ranger.
Like the Inch Arran, it is reasonably fine to sail in fine weather with inferior equipment, but this is the Labrador and this is fall. Like I said, it’s the bureaucracy stupid.

Fall for sure.

This latest storm has shut down marine shipping for the north coast from Nain to Lewisport. Safety first is a good thing especially considering the age and mechanical state of the fleet; see the mv Inch Arran incident Wednesday.

I know the fleet has not been in the hands of this government overly long, but the minister for WST still is trying to have his cake and eat it, as is his want at times. He blames the former government and rightly so, but then he goes on to defend the condition of the fleet and the competence of the bureaucracy in WST, he goes further and compares the fleet with owning an old car, or having 25 year old diesel engines in hydro generation plants. They break down too he says, but then says that all vessels have been inspected therefore all is copasetic.

With the Northern Ranger hunkered down near Natuashish since yesterday I have to wonder if common sense is starting to creep into the fleets operation, there was a trip last year when the Ranger steamed right on up the coast through a worse storm than this latest.

I still maintain that all the problems with the fleet are not all political. Some where someone up the line of the bureaucracy is not doing a competent enough job IMO, and IO of others, but no one wants to deal or talk about that.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Seeing that it's mauzy out thought I would post some pictures, two taken by unknown Moravian photogs. The group one is of a Joal Ford, his wife and adopted daughter, Hebron 1909. The solo guy is my wifes grandfather Nathan Frieda, Hopedale 1916.
The colored one taken by me of the remnants of the Brass Band in Nain circa late 1980's.