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.