Saturday, September 30, 2006

Toot toot toot.

A little of the old blowing ones horn today. If I don’t who will eh?

This is not in the category of the Arar family battle, but it has effected many hundreds of people across the north.

My battle with Bell ExpressVu through the CRTC seemed to be in flux, that being my fault for taking a little break to do other things. But I did send our MP Todd Russell a back grounder of the issue and asked him for assistance. It being summer, and not hearing back from the MP’s office I called twice to ask of their intent. I received assurances that Mr. Russell would get on it and put something together.
Last week I received a copy of a letter Mr. Russell had sent to the Chair of the CRTC. The letter was accompanied by my e mail to the MP and asked the chair to look into the problems out lined in my correspondence, as well as other complaints from dissatisfied ExVu customers.

So Wednesday the 17 I receive a call from Telesat Canada, the same person who earlier had told me I had to deal with ExVu to fix the problem, and was asked if I would be available to monitor a tweak of signal strength the following day. No problem with that I told him.

So Thursday he calls and it takes about two hours total, with him calling me back about 6 times and Telesat doing at least three tweaks to boost signal strength on the eight problem transponders. They got signal strength up between 18 and 23 % without overly affecting other transponders.

I felt pretty good and vindicated after that. I also sent an e mail to Mr. Russell thinking him for his input.

This morning it was tested with rain and misty cloud early. I checked the system and all transponders were at acceptable levels. Before Thursday we would have lost some of them with similar weather conditions. The signals are still not up to past levels, but we should be OK in everything except heavy wet snow.

So tenacity, hard work and not being afraid to take on the system can pay off, take note all you folk out there in Nunatsiavut and elsewhere.

On the weather front; we almost broke the official day high yesterday, came within a smidgeon of the 50 odd year old record of 16.7, although we got over that at our place with 18.6.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Anyone spare a couch?

Did any one hear the interview Cindy Wall, of CBC Goose Bay, did with the premier this morning? I do not have any medical degrees, but from life’s experience I have come to the conclusion that Danny needs a break, at least some sort of medication to help him calm down, or get back to reality.

I would like to see a transcript, or better yet hear a re-run of the interview, hi WJM. Actually I think all of NL should hear it so they can hear/see for themselves that we are in a very bad situation with the political leadership.

From memory that interview was the most incoherent, rambling, bumbling bordering on the insane interview by a political leader I have heard since Brian Peckford. Danny really needs a break when he comes out with stuff like, “The Quebec Government, I like the Quebec people, but the Quebec government is laying claim to Labrador”. I’m paraphrasing, and this statement only days after he said, or was it minutes, that he had no “worries about the boarder issue, it was a done deal back in 1927” or what ever. Danny went on to say that “Quebec is taking everything out of Labrador but not putting anything back in, things like social programs and infrastructure. They [Quebec] are taking it all out while WE [Govt of NL] are putting hundreds of millions into Labrador and getting no return”. Or words to that effect.
Danny was talking so fast, and so incoherent, that not much made any sense at all, or maybe I’m just slow.

He made a major foe par; he was in Labrador, when Cindy asked about his stand on no private wind power development in Labrador. Danny said “the government is developing a comprehensive energy plan yada yada yada, and wind power will be developed in the Province of Newfoundland…………and in Labrador”. Oooop’s.

Bogie persons under the beds, behind spruce trees, under the dust of the TLH, dragging themselves out of the lakes to plunder and rape the riches of Newfoundland in Labrador.

Weired x two, plus.

took some time off to watch RCMP commissioner Zaccardelli in parliamentary hearings and his press conference yesterday. This whole Arar affair/debacle is becoming more bizzaro by the day.
The commissioner says he takes full responsibility for what happened to Mr.Arar and his family. He says mistakes were made, the buck stops with him. Yet, he says he will not resign, no one else involved in the case has or been asked to, no one will be admonished, transferred, demoted, narda. In fact some of the officers involved in handling the Araar case have been promoted. Talk about the big blue machine closing ranks and protecting its own, man oh man.
Zaccardelli said that he will handle things his way, the people who made mistakes have had a talking too, my favorite is “operational guidance”.

Mean time Mr. Arar has a 400 million buck law case against the Canadian Government. Well bugger that, I think Mr. Arar deserves compensation, but not at Canadian tax payer’s expense. I think any financial compensation should come from the antagonists of Mr. Arar, let the buck stop where it should. A percentage of the nice little retirement packages of some of these cops, any politicians and bureaucrats who can be identified should anti up to compensate for there mistakes or incompetence. The Government stands behind the RCMP on this, well let those who make these statements/decisions come up with the money, if any is awarded, see how they stand behind the RCMP then.

Then last night on CNN they had this nuter Musharraf of Pakistan all over the place. I kept skipping to something else then coming back hoping he would be gone. But one flick back did provide some very funny stuff. Seems Musharraf has a book coming out soon, so CNN took his book to the streets to see if any ‘ordinary Americans’ could identify who this guy is. The usual parochial answers abounded.
But one bloke came up with a beauty. When asked if he new the author of this book, the guy hesitates, hums and hars, then says, “Yeah, I think he is related to Moo Sheriff”. This takes the reporter back a bit; she then asks the guy “who is Moo Sheriff”. “I’m not sure” says the guy, “but I think it is a cow with a lot of authority”.
Either a plant or one guy who can think on his feet, either way it cracked me up.

Came across this recipe the other day, thought it different, for us, and looked easy and only one pot used, so yesterday being busy decided to give it a go.

Pork chop, cabbage, potato. Turned out tasty, I have no baseline German cooking experience to compare it to, but I think it is on German lines, be good with dough boys [dumplings], and may try them next time. I served this with a carrot parsnip puree, mashed we call it.

Did not get below 11c last night, man that is warm for this time of year, in the evening, will see if we can break the record today, looks possible.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

adscititious to last post.

This was the sunrise just after 7, was working away when CBC morning show in Goose Bay mentioned the sunrise, so I took a look.

Life as it should be.

Busy with sprucing up the house the past week. Have nephew outside scrapping and painting the Eves, plus other odd jobs.
After doing a bit of preventative maintenance on the furnace I have been painting the kitchen walls and the kitchen cabinets. Just the top cabinets to do, it’s a slow job, what with so much stuff on the walls to remove and put back, doors to remove and sand, get it all cleaned up each day ready to cook, but it is starting to look great.

Had the little family up for their anniversary on Tuesday, cooked up my second last leg of lamb, did the usual Oz style roast potatoes, had some Oz beans and peas, washed it down with my home made piesporter, very nice indeed. Oh yeah, had Nain blue berry cobbler and cream to finish it all off.

Picked some of the pansies and a poppy that are still miraculously blooming in the front of the house, made a nice centre piece for the table.

This is a picture of my mother in law, Verona Winters. We are not sure of the year it was taken, but it shows where Fran’s good looks come from. Verona is on the right. Picture is from the late Bella Lyall collection.

I see Alex Baumann is being brought back to Canada to work on developing the Olympic program.
One of the few positive things coming out of Ottawa these last years. Why they let him go down under years ago is beyond me, Canadians do not correlate intelligence and common sense all too often in developing elite athletes, of foreign affairs for that matter. Alex has a little bit of an Oz twang, hope he keeps it, it will remind the powers that be of their past follies.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Aimee.

It's Aimees second birthday away from home, her first with no family, but with freinds, so it wont be too bad.
Have a good one, we wish we could be with you, Love grandma and grandpa.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


There is a rumor that the steel workers local on strike has reached a tentative agreement with VBNC. If it is true then there is to be a vote on Tuesday to ratify the deal.

One rumor that had been going around for several weeks finely came to fruition today. Over a dozen pieces of heavy equipment came in on the Astron destined for Voisey’s Bay, some sort of road construction. Guess they held off till the blockade was over.
Most people are under the impression that the Astron is dedicated to bringing freight in for the coastal communities, or at least it was.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Drink milk; well the kids can now, if your in school that is.

Below is a copy of news release by the Labrador School Board.

It’s interesting in that the cost of shipping fresh foods into coastal communities has been an ongoing issue for many; some are trying to deal with it, with varied success.
The federal Government department of Indian Affairs has a ‘food by mail’ program that works to a point. That point being, trying to get all the players on the same page, and run the program to its fullest efficiency.
The province also has a program to supplement the federal program, but it only operates in the winter, plus it is continually under threat of not enough funds or being cut completely.

This summer Nain went without milk or severe limited supply for three weeks. The rest of the time milk and dairy products were available in a spotty manner, parts of weeks etc. Main culprit for this was the deplorable way the province runs the coastal boats, but the airline that carries the food by mail was also at fault. After some lobby efforts the air problem seemed to have been corrected. The problems with the marine shipping are still in question, I’m not sure if it has been addressed but will check on it.
Any way, kudos to all involved in getting milk to the children in the schools, especially Andrew Battcock who seems to have been the mover behind it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What chance the proleteriat ll

This baby was in harbor this morning, nice rig. Seems it has been in the area between here and Voisey’s Bay for several days. Been some air traffic of RCMP fixed and rotary outfits too since the weekend.
Maybe there are illicit substance runners in the area, or maybe something else was in the wind and the Mounties arrived late.
Back to the illicit substance runners for a moment. If that is what they are after then the machines are overkill, any blind, dumb and deaf person could figure out who is selling drugs or alcohol in the communities, but very very few people get busted.
If all the rigs were to protect the shipping lane into Voisey’s Bay, then that would be called overkill too.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What chance the proleteriat?

The Nunatsiavut Government is working on a partnership, or has one already, with Fednav. Fednav own or operate around 70 vessels all of bulk cargo type, they operate the mv Arctic and many ships with Federal in the first name of them. These are the vessels that are removing ore, and will be in the future from Voisey’s Bay.
I mention this just to point out the hypocrisy of the leadership at Nunatsiavut. The leaders are saying that they will stay neutral on the strike at Voisey’s Bay by many residents of Nunatsiavut.
It puzzles me how you can be neutral when you are in a business arrangement with one of the companies that is helping to break the will, not to mention ruin many people financially. It’s like Danny Boys government saying they are natural all the while making stements that the strikers must be hurting financially, and the finance guru says the strike is hurting the provinces coffers.
Politicians eh? Best I not say what I really think of them

Take back the night 1

I attended the annual “take back the night march” last evening. First time I have attended, thought I should support my wife and all other women.
Only 16 souls took the time to participate in what I consider an important event, more on that later. We meet outside Moravian church, walked around the central part of town down to the woman’s shelter. We lit up candles and had a minutes silence followed by two short speeches.
Short but fulfilling.

Our poppies suffered some frost bite yesterday morning, down to -3 at the house overnight. Surprisingly most of them perked up once the sun hit them and looked quite sprightly later in the day. Sort of reminds one of what a lot of women go through.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


The concentrate is off to Europe some place it seems. There is a clause in the VBNC/NL Government agreement that allows them to ship OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Upertydate strike info.

CKOK radio interviewed five strikers on today's AtjiKangitut show.

From different communities one woman and four males gave their views and thoughts on the eight week strike, in two languagess yet..
One said they supported the principal of the strike but was finding it difficult for them as well as the family financially. They went on to say there is thought of finding another job and even contemplation of leaving the area.
All four others said it is difficult financially and physiologically for them and their families, all added, when asked, that they strongly believe that they are being treated unfairly by VBNC with the wage and benefit package being offered and vow to see the issue to the end. One said his job at the site is the most money they have eared in their life, but fairness takes precedence over personal gain. Wouldn't it be a great world if that could rube of on others I can think of?

Oh yeah, seems an RCMP chopper is flitting too and fro in the area, now that is an anomaly.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thar be evil deeds afoot in that thar bay.

The blockade by the strikers is over, for now. The two vessels that were anchored off until this morning are free to go about there evil deeds.

Could be two ship loads of copper and one of nickel at the loading dock; be interesting to track where they end up.

I’m waiting, with baited breath, a pronouncement of support for the strikers from our fearless leader Danny. He did say he would not get involved with side taking, but then went on to say he was worried about the fincial situation of the strikers and their families. Batter up Danny boy.
In a totally unrelated matter, the concentrate taken out in the next couple of weeks could be worth up to a quarter million bucks. Scrooge McSullivan, minister for money, must be salivating in his jeans knowing all that provincial revenue will be on its way to his coffers.

The president of the local is on his way from the north to St.John’s for meetings with his people and VBNC. Word is that VBNC did not want to meet with the union in Goose Bay, too many strikers.

The president of the local wanted all to know that no laws were broken while the blockade was under way; the ships captains respected the picket lines by not crossing them.
Wonder what the other workers at the site will now do? Very delicate situation indeed for future negotiations in the compensation and binefit area.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Slumber broken.

CBC radio Happy Valley Goose Bay is on the job. Two reporters from that bureau were on the regional ‘on the go’ show this afternoon. One interviewing the President of the union local on strike, the other giving a news brief.

Latest is that the blockade of the VBNC site is still in effect. The president said that the strikers have not been notified in any shape or form of any court injunction ordering them to cease and desist. So until they do the blockade is in effect.
The mv Arctic is still sitting about 6 K from the dock, another vessel is due in today the mv Osula. The third vessel on the way, according to the VBNC shipping schedule, is the mv Danbue. I can’t find anything that fits that description. Could be a typo on the site, it could be the mv Federal Danube, a six hold bulk freighter, or the mv Danube Princess, a 54 cabin river cruiser, maybe the board of Inco are coming in to take a geek.
CBC reported a VBNC spokesperson as saying that the company had not made a decision as to if it will load the stockpile of concentrate at the site. Yeah right, and it don’t rain in California in the summer time. I’m told there is about a shipment and a half of nickel and two shipments of copper concentrate in stock.
Also reported was that the talks between the company and union are not going that well from the union perspective. If the concentrate is allowed to be taken out it will just prolong the strike and further hurt over 100 odd strikers, as well as others who will be caught up in the stand off.

Time for the local politicians to step up to the plate and show who/what they are.

Nip in the air this AM.

Temperatures are dropping since early this AM. More like fall weather with fog out over the harbor and that usual in wind.

CBC St.John’s have a ling up to the court injunction on the Steel workers local.

Rather strangely, CBC Goose Bay had nothing on it this morning. Well I don’t find it strange, but given the mandate of CBC one could perhaps challenge why there is little to no coverage on issues that concern people of the North Coast of Labrador by the NATIONAL PUBLIC BROADCASTER. Especially out of the Labrador bureau.

Yogi said.

Afghanistan today reminds me of some of Yogi’s sayings. One is; déjà vu all over again.
Why am I reminded of this saying? Well it’s the 15 Leopard tanks that Canada is readying to send to Afghanistan to protect the troops from the so called terrorists. It sounds like a good idea until you put some thought into it.
I have visions of burnt out Soviet tanks, downed helicopters, hundreds of Soviet mothers with pictures of their dead sons.
Seems to me if the aim of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan is to rebuild and democratize then sending tanks is not the proper way to go about it, tanks destroy things.

Another saying was; when you come to a fork in the road, take it. Seems to me the west is ignoring this advice in Afghanistan and speeding head long straight over the cliff.
Take a look at the history of the place at Does this look like a place that will accept invasion, forced democracy and other western ideals and culture, not bloody likely mate.
The fighters who today are being called terrorists, insurgents, Muslim extremist are the same people, or their descendents, who yesterday were freedom fighters fighting the good fight against the evil Soviet invasion. They are using the same tactics in the same environment against similar military strengths and weaponry, only the weaponry is more sophisticated today. The Afghani weapons look very similar to 20 years ago, only funded by a different source one would hope.

Wake up and smell the camel shit folks; you will not tame this fierce wild place with weapons.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Some times the law is an ass.

CBC Radio NL regional news is reporting that the Supreme Court of NL agreed with the VBNC appeal or whatever, that the union local was in breach of some sort of law. The court ordered the steel workers local to cease and desist in its blockade of the VBNC loading facility at Anaktalak Bay.
CBC reported that the cargo ship was held up about 6 K from the loading facility by two speed boats. The RCMP and the coast guard would not come to the aid of the multi national company and remove the pesky blockaders, [well gee whizz] so VBNC went to court.

More and more CBC radio is an ass as well.

Several times CBC has reported that a a "cargo ship" was held up by the strikers. Well it does carry cargo, but it is more a bulk carrier . So is this . The VBNC shipping schedule web site states that both vessels are due in soon. It also has only two vessels scheduled; CBC reported that three vessels are due into Anaktalak in the next several days.
That's a lot of freight to be brought into a remote mine site, that is not producing anything, by large bulk carriers, am I right or am I right?

On the strikers themselves. I wonder if anyone in the community of Nain has thought of perhaps doing a fund raiser for the strikers, at least for the ones who have stuck to the principles of being on strike and manning the picket line here. A number of so called strikes have been working at other jobs since the walk out, presumaby with the locals permission, not kosher IMO.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The sun rise was quite spectacular this morning. Sun was one big reddish orange ball. This shot does not do it justice, tried various settings, digital does not allow as much freedom as SLR, but any way you get the general idea. At first I thought it may be related to the storm hitting the east coast of the Island, but then I heard that smoke is coming into Labrador from fires down in Ontario. Good on ya Ontario, take our resources and send back smoke.

It was up to 21c yesterday, getting up that way again today, good for the little flower garden out front, still lots of buds to bloom. May the pollen of peace, happiness and good will touch all. Boy do we need that, but it will take more than my little garden patch to produce the material needed sure.

Seems the predicted arrival of heavy equipment for Voisey’s Bay on the mv Astron was a no show. The ship came in last evening with nary heavy equipment on her. Nary of much else for that matter, just par for the course unfortunately.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Uperty date on VBNC Voisey's Bay strike.

Thanks to Okalakatiget Society [CKOK] we have some news on what is going on with attempts to get ships into Voisey’s Bay mine/mill.

Union local representative said they have a couple of camps set up on Islands that cover the shipping track to the mine. He said they would stay there till freeze up if necessary. A rotation of picketers would be set up if it is needed.

The mv Arctic attempted to get into the loading dock Sunday 10 September. Union local members contacted the skipper by HF radio and explained who they were and what the situation was. Skipper responded by asking for permission to enter the narrows with the intention of turning around, this was given the OK by picketers. The Arctic is laying off waiting for further instructions.
VBNC spokesperson says that the union action is illegal, that the Arctic has supplies to repair damage caused by recent fire to concentrate storage area, and VBNC have no intention of loading concentrate.
Union people say this is “bullshit” as they have information that VBNC has intentions of loading concentrate for shipping overseas.

RCMP in Fisheries boat was observing the goings on from a distance. Union spokesperson claimed that an RCMP officer approached them later in the day and commended them for the way the situation was handled by the picketers.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I know where I was.

This morning five years ago I was laying in bed in my sister Pam’s spare bedroom in Asquith, Sydney. I was suffering from a bad head cold caught up in the Blue Mountains the week previous.
In a funk of half sleep and half awake I’d bee listening to what I thought was some sort of radio play take off of “War of the Worlds. Some over hyped on air persons describing planes crashing into tall buildings and the chaos those acts brought.

The rest of the house sounded rather quite, so I forced myself up and staggered out into the living room. The Television was on and the three others in the house were watching in silence as re plays of planes crashing into the world trade centre in NY City.

It still took some time for all of us to realize this was not a play of any kind, unless you count power play.

Sad that so many people died and suffered, then and since. Doubly sad that that day unleashed on the world so many crazed zealots with initials like ABL, SH, GWB, DR, RP, TB, JH and now SH.

PS Sydney is 13 hours ahead of us here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Results are in.

Only two of the sitting mayors ran for AngajukKâk in the 5 coastal communities, one was elected, Herb Jacque of Makkovik. The other winners are; Danny Michelin in Rigolet, Judy Dicker in Hopedale, Glen Sheppard in Postville and Sarah Erickson in Nain. Mina Campbell in NWR, Mackie Winters in GB [elected unopposed] are the two leaders of the corporations in the Lake Melville region.
Good luck and good wishes to all of them, and to the other candidates who ran.

Voter turn out was disappointing in the two predominately Inuit Communities; Nain had 51%. Hopedale only 49% bother to vote. Others were Rigolet 74%. Makkovik 91%. Postville 85% and NWR with 81%.

Seems there is a shortage of people putting there names forward for the community governments in each community, which is following historical lines.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Headachy stuff.

Seems the speculation I made about something on the go on the strike front at Voisey’s Bay did not materialize, silly me. It’s very quite on that front, long weekend maybe? Some of the speculation was just that from various sources.

Today is the first of several elections in the formation of the Nunatsiavut Government structure. We have elections for AngajukKâk [formally mayors] of the community governments [formally town councils]. This is in the 5 coastal communities of Nunatsiavut.
In the Lake Melville area there is elections in HV-GB and NWR for chair persons of the Community Corporations.
These seven elected people will be part of the Assembly of the Nunatsiavut Government, but will not be able to be Ministers.

Later this month we have elections for members of the Community governments, 6 seats in each of the coastal communities, as to the two Community Corporations I’m not sure what happens there.

Then later still this month there is elections for members of the assembly of Nunatsiavut, these elected people will be eligible to stand for Ministers positions.

The leader of the Government position will remain unelected [previously elected as president of LIA] until next year some time.

People eligible to vote today are; all beneficiaries who are 16 years of age and over, as well as residents in the Land claims area who are Canadian Citizens.
People who are eligible to vote in the other two elections is a bit of a gray area so I will have to check out the constitution.

Good thing the sun is out so I can go for a walk to clear my head.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Scans from yon days.

While BBQ'ing yesterday Fran was looking through some old photo albums. Two that came out was one of a cook out in -15 c. I did this quite a lot to beat the flies you see.

Other picture is one of how not to over winter your boat. The boat survived that winter, but the next year the owners tried the same thing just off the shore in Nain Harbor, needless to say she was broken up by ice pressure.

Another great day.

Sunday was another warm one, west wind, clouds built up most of the day, quite dark ones at times. but all moved off into the labrador sea.

The little flower box in front is finely producing some color, the pink ones are taking forever to bloom. I like the cream ones, they go to sleep and close up as soon as the sun disappears.

Down the dock there was some action, scallop boat crews doing their weekly maintenance, plant workers getting ready for the new week, crews unloading of the freight boat, quite the idyllic day. In the fish plant workers are getting up to 80 hours a week, that's a lot of scallop and smoked char.
Not sure how much freight came in, sure be nice to see some new stock and new items on the store shelves and the in the freezers.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Great weather but with a cloud.

The weather yesterday was quite unbelievable, got up to 26c, sun splitting the rocks, warm west wind. Looks like it will get up near that again today as it was still 15 at 5 AM.

Emotions are rather mixed though, Katie Dicker passed away on Friday morning, Fran had visited Katie in the nursing station just hours before, the funeral was at 2 yesterday.
Katie was very good at traditional crafts, especially seal skin boots, she made the most fantastic water proof black boots.
Our thoughts go out to her family.

The day being so nice we were thinking of going blue berry picking in the morning, with very little wind we decided against that.
Later around 6 the wind was up quite nicely so Fran asked if I would go up the hill with her. What with all the fuss over bears this year Fran is reluctant, as I’m sure others are, to go up alone.
We were only up there a short time; even with the wind the black flies gave us some trouble. On the way up we came across three people who were in shorts and t shirts, man the flies must have had a good time on them.
We managed about 2 liters of berries, they are just so plentiful and the berry bush seems higher than usual. I made a comment to Fran we almost need rakes like they use on the Island.
Fran had a big bowl of berries last evening, but still plenty for a few breakfasts.

We don’t have pancakes that often but I decided to give them a go this morning. Cooked up a bit of bacon, made the batter and rested it in the fridge for a while, and presto, some very nice blue berry filled multi grain pan cakes topped with home made bake apple syrup. Who needs fusion and reductions in high priced restaurants eh? Not that we have restaurants of any kind.

I always have breakfast in front of the computer, the slide in key board tray is handy, never had an, accident to date.

Our Granddaughter heads out to college in Goose Bay today. Aimee should not have too much trouble being away from home, she knows GB well, has friends and some family there, plus the traveling she has done with us should lighten the cultural shock thingy. The courses are a pre university year, a good idea I think.