Monday, July 31, 2006

Enough already.

A wet weekend with more in forecast.

The strikers over at VB have been taken out, court injunction issued over weekend, peaceful protest at site ended.

The workers on the coast did not make it home though, weather necessitated them flying direct to Goose Bay.

One of the strikers was interviewed on CKOK yesterday, made a good case for their demands, why they are worried about not being on site [possible strike breakers being brought in]. He wondered if any pickets up at the Nain and St.John’s offices of VBNC. Also asked for Nain residents to surround the dock area at VB with speed boats.

Just reported on CBC; seems a company official issued a verbal promise that strike breakers will not be used, this was recorded on a video camera before workers left site.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yum Yum.

It’s been a busy week in the kitchen, besides cooking evening meals for 5, keeping up bread for same, I have baked 15 loaves of bread, 120 cookies of different varieties, and 2 jumbo pizzas, all for a group going into the country next week. Beats canned food eh?

The veggie pizza for the group [at back], plus two for our consumption last evening are pictured.

It is good pizza weather too, did not get above 9c yesterday, same today with fog and drizzle. It’s been 6 weeks since we have had temperatures below 10c. One summer awhile back we were lucky to get above that all summer. That was the one we spent in PEI and NS, lucky choice for us, not for the bloke from Quebec City who was house sitting for us.

I had contact from a reader of the blog down Brisbane; reader was so a taken with the photo of the radish a flight for Paris is eminent. For North American folk, Brisbane is pronounced Bris-bin not Bris-bain

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Strike 5.

My rabid contempt for anything VBNC Inco may have led me to hastily post information that was not quite accurate. Corporations do it all the time, but I would like to think Im better than that.
There may or may not have been strike breakers at the mine mill site, information from some workers indicated that there were, jury still out on that.

Any way, tensions are high, some striking workers took the company offer of flights home, most workers at the site [40 Im told] in the striking union did not. They are being put up in their accommodations; I hear VBNC is seeking a court injunction to remove them.
A number of strikers who were not at the site picketed VBNC office in HV-GB. I wonder if any pickets will go up here at Nain office?

I hear that the gap in the hourly rate between Sudbury and VB for some categories is about $5.00. The company offered up an extra .75 cents an hour. Not sure what other benefits come into play, things like free air transport in Labrador, lodging, food, I believe VB workers pay something but not sure how much.

All this just confirms what I have been saying all along, local people negotiating with INCO really did not have a grip on who they were dealing with. This applies to the past NL government, LIA with the IBA, unions, local people with the Environmental hearings.

Getting some nice light rain this morning, suppose to be a wet weekend, no complaints, good break from all that sun, wont have to water the garden, good for the berry crop, fill the ponds.

Here is a picture of a company representative.

OK, it's not.

It is some weird kind of radish I'm producing this year. This one only 61/2 inches long, I took one out and gave it to a neighbor that was 8 inches looked more bizarrear that this one.

I just looked at the seed packet, the variety is called "French breakfast", no comment on that. They are supposed to be tubular, so that's relief.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Apropos something deeper.

A friend sent this link to me this morning give it a read, or better yet listen to it. After listening to it, and your have a strong stomach, listen to some speeches by some of today’s leaders of the so called free western world.

Will/should make you realize how badly done we all are. Talk about history reapeating it self too.

Strike 4.

On CBC; Bob Carter of VBNC, “company is in process of orderly shut down of the mine mill”. “Attempting to remove the striking workers”. “No plans to continue production”. “No replacement workers”. “Four additional security people brought in”. “200 to 250 workers will remain at site to maintain the site during disruption”. “Unknown number of contractors still at site”.
Typical PR bumbo jumbo from piss ant Carter.
Funny how he does not have a better handle on how many workers, and who they work for, imagine if there was some sort of catastrophe in there?

Strike 3.

Holy crap. CBC is reporting that the other 200 odd workers at the mine already have collective agreements, one of the clauses is a "a no strike clause", guess tension is not a strong enough word.
Depending what happens, the site that already has lots of tensions [unreported] will not be a pleasant work environment.

No evidence of cops in there is the reports, maybe some soldiers of fortune will be brought in , if any spares can be found, would imagine most are busy in Africa and Middle east though.

Getting supplies into strikers plus where to rest will be a big challenge, it's a big plus for the arse hole company. If it was up to me I'd take the land back and kick the scum bag company out. But that's just me.

Strike two.

Two twin otters landed in Nain early from Voisey’s Bay, minus any striking workers I might add. Those two planes plus a dash 8 were sent in to evacuate the strikers, once the strikers realized that strike breakers were near the site, at the old construction camp actually, they refused to leave.

The pilots of the planes were told by VBNC to go to Nain and wait further instructions. Be interesting to find out if the other 200 odd workers in there will go to work, tension tension tension.

Bring the barstard company to their knees.

Strike at Voisey's Bay mine eh?

117 workers have gone on strikes against VBNC. Now the locals will get a real taste of what it’s like to work for a large multi national conglomerate. Worse yet for them, it is at a remote site, going to be difficult to picket. But Paul Pickett of CBC is covering it, that's appropriate..

VBNC [Inco] already have replacement workers [strike breakers] at the site. Word is they are from Inco’s other mining areas in Ontario, shame on them.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Woke up this morn’ and thought I was in St.John’s.

Narh boy. Thick fog blanketed town early, nice break from this really beautiful weather run. Did not lat long though, back to sunny and in mid teens. Oh well, have to suffer through it.

Heard the Minister for Works, Services and Transport being interviewed on CBC this morning. Ann Budgell [who is spending some summer time in Labrador] asked the minister if there was any progress or chance of new construction this year on the Goose Bay to Cartwright section of the Trans Labrador Highway. “I have some good news to report” said the minister. He then went on to describe the good news, himself, three mayors and who knows who else are going to Ottawa for meetings with the feds.
If that’s good news then thank Yahweh he did not have bad news to report. Maybe it was just me; but it sounded like Ms Budgell was not all that pleased with the waffling and rhetoric that the Minister is want to go on with. Oh that’s right, he’s a politician.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Filling in time.

Two of our latest carving purchases, nice small ones, different from the usual offerings. The tall one is 81/2 inches high.

My radishes are quite large, at least to what I'v produced in the past. Nice mild twang too them.

My back has been playing up again, hence more time indoors, not that I have been idle, baking bread, cookies, into a turkey for tonight. Been watching the British open golf in between, some dry old course, very similar to some of the links courses I played back down under. Tiger is back it seems, he sure stuck to his game plan of not trying to hit the skin off the ball off the tee, that won it for him IMO, that and the talent.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Animal update n stuff.

Conservation officers from Goose Bay and Nain have been out looking for the bear since yesterday afternoon, doing it by chopper. Locals spotted a bear to the northern part of Nain hill this morning. I guess in this case conservation officer is an oxymoron.
The conservation officers did report that the musk ox is still out on the island, or near a bout’s, that it was on in the spring. Not sure how being way out there will get the bear, but guess they took opportunity to check on the musk ox.

The M/V Clipper Adventure was in town this morning. Looked like a good lot of tourists out taking in Nain. Several members of the drum dance troupe were giving a performance for them; some small crafts were on display and for sale near the council office. These visits of cruise ships usually do not drop much money in town to date. Suppose you just have to stick at it and hope things change.

After a cooler night [7] it is again getting warmer, nice breeze making it comfortable for walking around.

Politics, yuk, but ya gotta be in it..

Our beleaguered MHA was in town last week for couple days. If he is not beleaguered he should be.

Wally must have been pressed for time again; he did not get up to see me. That’s OK too; I can always send e mails of faxes, none of which he responds too in writing. He did call me maybe once or twice over the years, and he pulled his caddy up besides me as I was walking from the hospital back to my hotel in the Valley once. Each time it was to berate me for not being a good little boy for not thinking the sun shone out of you know who’s you know what. To be fair Wally did give me credit once when he introduced me to the premier of the day, Roger Grimes. It was for all the ground work I did resulting in Nain getting a new diesel generating Plant.
Any way, an interview Wally did on CKOK was aired yesterday. Wally sounded some what different, not sure what it was, maybe his stutter was not as prominent, would have to hear the interview again to pin it down. Wally went on with the usual rhetoric about all the constituency hard work he has been doing. Things like improving the marine transport, quality of fresh foods, more jobs outside the mineing area and fish plants, plus others. Earth to Wally, things are regressing in those areas, and have been for years.
One strain through out the interview did strike me as different. Wally kept giving the heads up to work the Provincial Government is doing on our behalf. Why he almost begged his constituents to be really nice to the new Minister for Works Services and Transport. I’m told that Wally is a good constituency man, and I believe he is a good party man, so it is odd that he would be tripping over himself to give the other party kudos to that extent.

Maybe Wally is just good bloke, or maybe he is just a politician.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Divers and Sundry.

Up to 30.6 yesterday, some balmy night too. Temperature dropping like a rock this morning though down to 9, light rain falling, nice.

Sad about the incident yesterday, the family had to ID the clothes, must have been very traumatic for them, our condolences go out to them.
Nothing official yet, or on CBC, so will leave things at that.
Mindless rumor mongering and inaccurate information distribution can have a detrimental effect on people, pity some mindless arsholes would not think about that before putting their mouths in gear.

Life goes on as they say. In that vain, some ‘food by mail’ made it to at least one of the stores yesterday. Charged down there as soon as I heard. What was there was in fair to good condition, things like corn, lettuce, mushrooms, celery, strawberries, cherries, tomatoes [my fav] and other items. Enough to satisfy mosts hunger for some variety and freshness in foods. People were coming in at a constant rate, one teacher remarked that it’s the first time she has been able to get to the fresh food before all that was left was the dregs, holidays are good in more ways that one.
Not sure if the other store I use had any come in, will check it out today. To be fair, there is a third store that had fresh foods come in on Wednesday, alas I do not patronize that one, long story.

I’m getting a bit pissed by the reaction by some and media coverage of the ‘evacuation’ going on in Lebanon. I won’t get into the rights and wrongs of the whole conflict, plenty of those on both sides of the issue.
It bugs me to see well fed, fit looking people bitching no end over having to spend 15 hours on a modern cruise ship used in their escape from Lebanon. Many Lebanon/western county people seem to have no thanks in them. Seems like most counties responded fairly well, many modern vessels and planes used, many military ships and planes used for defense and evacuation, even what is describes as Stephen Harpers plane brought some back. Here I was under the impression that it was Canada’s plane, but I digress.
Looking at these images and reading the stories I can’t help but think about the on going atrocities in many other parts of the world. Places like Sudan/Darfur, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Congo, the east African nations, and on and on. Where the hell is the Western Governments flotilla of cruise ships and Military might? Where the hell is the western media blanket coverage of the hunger, rapes, mutilations and murder that has been going on for years.

Angry in the great steamy north I am.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tranquility Broken.

It’s just below 30c, with a warm westish wind that must make it over 30 for sure.

We have a Quebec chap staying with us for 3 weeks, he had opportunity to take a boat trip up to the Torngats last week, blew him away. Brought back some amazing char too.
Last evening after super he decides to take a hike up the pole line that runs up to the top of Nain hill. About 8 poles up he came across some clothing and other items plus some bear spore that gave him cause for concern. There has been a man missing for about 2 weeks, hence his concern. So after talking to my wife about his find he took them down to the RCMP.
Long story short, the remains of the missing person and cloths were found, apparently eaten by a bear, not the cloths the person. Ground search and rescue and cops are looking for the bear.
Not many people will be going into the woods behind our place for awhile I’d guess, not me for sure.
The details of what/how are still to come out.

Not complaining.

Man this weather is like that battery bunny, just keeps going and going. Days have not been below PLUS 17c for about 2 weeks now, most in the low 20’s, balmy days and balmier nights. Reminds me of late summers on the south coast of NSW. Even getting the rain showers, quite heavy Tuesday, we need that for sure.

The weather is lifting my spirits; need that as it is heavy going trying to get some one in a responsible position in Government, any Government, to pick up the ball on the transportation and fresh food issues that deteriorate here on the Labrador coast.
I’m going to keep plugging away, squeaky wheel and all that, even if it is one wheel it still needs greasing. I know there are more wheels out there, just need to figure out how to attach all the wheels to the one vehicle.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Main Man.

Well OK, he jagged this one, but then don't we all at some time. One he broke rod on was larger, must have put up a hell of a fight.

This n That.

I must say I’m saddened by the death of the two RCMP officers out in Saskatchewan, for some reason I was under the impression they were badly injured but had good chance of recovery. Maybe I did not pay attention to the story, or perhaps the stories I read were not accurate, what ever, it is a sad loss.
There is a lot that can be done to improve policing and the laws that the police have to work by, but I always give officers on the ground a degree of lee way, there lot is generally under appreciated by many, me included.

It got up to 27.1 here yesterday, RDF and mid teens in St.John’s I see.

Our grandson went off fishing with his Nama and Papa yesterday, came back after 7. His mom and himself came bounding in with a big garbage bag, had half a dozen char that Matthew had caught, two over 3 pounds, he broke the rod on the largest. We were given two nice ones, be good with scrunchions tonight. I asked, “how come the fish are not cleaned”, his response was, “I just got back Grandpa”, like he was going to clean em, maybe in another year or two he will.

Some nice rain falling at moment, and about 15, good for the berries and the ponds.

Things are a bit slow at the fish plant so far this year. Only two boats doing scallops, the word is two more are on their way up. Char has been steady but not what you would call spectacular, more are coming in now, and I hear the Co Op received a large order for smoked char so this lift in char landings will help fill that.

I have many stories of the inequities of life here on the coast crashing around in my head, so many that my head hurts at times. I’m want to write about them, but I usually defer for various reasons, one of which is I like to get the facts first, and that takes time, then I like to approach the power brokers and the players to try sort things out that way. Alas that does not always work, just like the deterioration of the marine shipping and transport in general. Given time I’m going to write about some in next little while, and to hell with the local attitudes.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The heat goes on.

Up to 21.3 here yesterday. It's been 15 and above for about 15 days now, most days there is a brisk breeze, bugs sure get you if it drops though.
I hear the char are on the way in already, kind of early, but so is everything associated with the weather.

Being so hot I debated on having a BBQ or cooking in kitchen. Seeing I had to make bread anyway I decided on pizza and salad from the garden. My 12 grain is popular at moment, so did up 4 loaves with enough over for 2 piazzas. One was your usual salami, tomato sauce, 3 cheese. Other was chives, bok choi stems, asparagus, basil and 3 cheese.
The salad was bok choi leaves, spinach and the chive flowers with a honey/mustard/pepper vinaigrette.
A nice home made Bolero washed it down well.

Pity about St.John's getting all that crappy weather eh? Guess it's true, money cant buy everything.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Congrats are in order to John Hickey, and to Danny, for Mr. Hickey’s appointment to the provincial cabinet. Now we will learn first hand if having a local in cabinet does makes a difference to Labrador.
Mr. Hickey stated on CBC local this morning that he will work diligently to ensure we get a fair shake, he did waffle on about IF the Province would ‘go it alone’ on projects that have an alleged 60 million of provincial monies budgeted but await funding commitments from the Feds. Mr. Hickey also committed that his first trip would be to the coast, to asses first hand some transportation issues.
This is the third minister of transport in the present government, kind of a revolving door, any one who has an interest in improving the transportation service up here will have to go through it again.

It is interesting the growing amount of animals that are finding their way into the community of late. Last night the big draw was a porcupine; it was hunkered down amongst large boulders in a rock quarry.
Two bears that hang around the dump and other areas are becoming really tame, not a good sign. No further sign of the moose or the musk ox sighted in the spring. A cross fox is hanging around the perimeter of town, no word of rabies’, could be just looking for cheap meal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rather predictably the weather has been great since the long weekend, sun and not much wind, up to about 15 yesterday and supposed to get to 20 today. Environment Canada keeps putting the wet cold front back each day, not many complaining about that. This pic was taken by daughter on way out to Black Island yesterday; they saw lots of fish but no luck with the rod.

Our garden is now producing some nice salad vegetables, sure is great to have that fresh produce and knowing what was used to grow it, all organic maybe slower, but has it’s certain rewards.