Friday, November 30, 2007

Refreshing X two.

We have light snow with more in the forecast and temperatures rising. Happy days says us all, caveat being long as the wind does not follow.

Take a look over at today’s post at Labrador, some info on a refreshingly honest caller to yesterday’s radio noon phone in show.

I made mention of the show in yesterdays post, but being a little busy and not having much time for Joe Goudie [see, refreshing and honest] I sort of listened but did not, I’m sure many have done that before.

I was especially distracted with my own thoughts at the end of the show when the mentioned caller was on. My interest was piqued when the host said, “those allegations are serious”, by then it was too late.

So good ol Labrador saved the day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Well I like it.

So do most, only had one not so enthusiastic comment and that was, "it's dark".

Once she be finished and the construction stuff removed it will not look too bad.

Cold out there for the guys, but they stick at it all day, until dark. -13 steady with a westish wind up near the 50 clicks at times.

Excitement time.

Had a call from a very excited granddaughter last evening, she had completed her first solo earlier in the day. We are all very excited and proud.

Seems that getting up and down was the easy part, a combination of excitement and nerves had granddaughter having trouble parking [or whatever it’s called in the industry] the plane, almost clipped the wing of another.

All going well there will be another solo today, sounds like they work on the incentive plan down there, do well in theory class and you get to fly.

"Does Newfoundland take Labrador seriously?"
Well no, but there will be other input as that is the topic on today’s CBC radio Noon’s Cross Talk at 1 pm Labrador time and 1.30 the other fellas time.

Also being reported today: The Nunatsiavut Government has announced that president William Andersen III has temporarily stepped down for personal reasons. First minister Tony Anderson will step up as interim president.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

mid week musings.

Temperatures are on the rise after a somewhat cooler day yesterday, it’s up to -8 this morning.
The guys doing the siding at the NMC were on the west side, prevailing winter winds are from the west, glad it’s not me. Even inside the building it is uncomfortable working all day in those conditions.

The roads and walking paths are becoming increasingly dangerous, the roads are very slippery and the walking paths slippery and rough. The most common greeting now is, “when are we gong to get snow”? Or “ugly ol roads boy”

At the construction site meeting for the NMC yesterday, held off site, heating was one of the issues raised, not only for the workers comfort but for practical protection of the building. It was promised that heat would be forthcoming as soon as all the eaves and other possible air leaks are sealed. It would be a foolish soul who predicts how long that will be, hoefully it wont be too long, lets hope the warmer weather [hi Dogbait] holds, especially the west winds hold off.

There was a small clip of an interview CBC did with Mary Adams on Here & Now last night. The minister of justice and a spokesperson from the RCMP were also in the clip.
Mary was asked who she thought should be held accountable; “the justice department” was her reply.
People can make up there own minds as to who is responsible or what government policy and attitudes lead to this type of treatment of people. One thing is clear to me, the minister in his not so long ago former life, would be jumping all over the system if he became involved as a lawyer, it’s a strange world.
Also clear was the RCMP spokesperson spoke true words when he said that he, could almost guarantee that this sort of thing will happen again, with no prejudices to race or gender. I wont touch that one for now.

One could ask what level of commitment and professionalism is applied in the province when it comes to large development projects and the protection of the environment in Labrador.
If they cant get the little things right then how the hell are they going to handle the big things. Things like large scale hydro dams and uranium mines and other non renewable resource extraction.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Still constrained.

There is not much on line coverage of the latest known incident involving a woman held naked in the cells of the RCMP detachment in Happy Valley- Goose Bay.

CBC radio in HV-GB had a long interview with Mary Adams yesterday morning, it was replayed in part on CBC Radio Noon and a news brief was aired on CBC On the Go.

This is not good enough, Paul Piggott [the reporting covering the story] is good at his profession, alas he does not get the appropriate support from the top brass at CBC.

This story highlights the whole sorry mess that is policing, health services, social services in this region and province; all need a good cleansing and purging. The to be sworn in Minister of Health should be promptly replaced for starters.

Where should it go from there? Well some place other than the status quo for sure. For those with a social conscience, and an urge for reform of the political system could make the effort to procure a transcript of the Mary Adams Paul Piggott interview. In it Mary states that she has walked out on her job within the system, she figures she can do a better job of working towards change from without, how refreshing and bloody honest.
Maybe there is an rss feed? I'm not into that stuff yet. CBC Labrador Morning will be having more today I just heard. The story needs regional, national and international coverage.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Now for the bad news.

I finished my chasing up quicker than anticipated, all my stuff has arrived and stored away, 1 box out the shipment of 15 was missing, before I could go down and ask about it the delivery people dropped it off at the house.

Now I have to air freight 3 of the boxes of the second shipment to Goose Bay, where they should have gone in the first place but for reasons unknown they were addressed to Nain. All this unnecessary handling is not recommended for large delicate electronic equipment. The only up side is [and the reason for going to GB in the first place] is the equipment will be checked for workability before being re shipped and installed in the NMC. Not sure that makes a lot of sense to some, but it does to others.

Now to the bad news: So I go down to the dock this morning to see what’s what with my stuff [see above]. The Astron is sitting high in the water, 1 container to come off and all is done, but containers can’t be brought off at certain tide levels as I mentioned yesterday. Seeing as empty containers would have to be loaded I guess it’s no big deal.

Looking over at the lay down area I notice a bunch of people standing around the rear of an open container, something seemed to be amiss judging by the body language of the bystanders.
So I go over, there was a large boat battery and a wooden crate about 5’ x 4’ on the ground. The battery was busted through the middle with liquid all over the ground. The crate contained a large double glazed window, through a gap in the packing you could see both pains of glass were shattered.

The owner of the battery was there, he elaborated as to what happened. They went to open the container doors as people with freight are wont. On releasing the closures on the doors, the doors swung open, and crashing down to the ground went the crated window and the battery. No one hurt luckily, and more by luck than good management.

From this one can speculate as to why this needless breakage occurred. The large heavy narrow [about 8”] crate was loaded at the rear of the container, other general freight was in front of it, and the battery was between the crate and the door of the container.

One could speculate as to the intelligence level of the people who loaded the container that way. After all it was going onto a ship that was heading up the Labrador Sea in November, but the poor barstards are most likely having a hard enough time of it as it is, so we will move on.

Why am I ranting about this common enough incident here? well because the bloody broken window was for the NMC. It was the window that goes between the radio control room and the interview room, a vital bit of stuff.

Seeing that the marine shipping season is closed some smuck is in for a large air freight and replacement bill. Then there is the battery, plus untold other stuff damaged over the season. I would not like to be paying the insurance bill, or maybe we are. After all it is a provincial ferry service run by a third party, one of those dodgy P3 deals.

There is some good news from my perspective. I am not an aboriginal woman being held under the provincial mental health act.
See you after the break as Wolf say’s. Or you could listen in to CBC St. John’s this afternoon, another horrific story is breaking, history repeating, I would write more but I am so angry, it has not subsided since first hearing it early this morning, I have to impose mental restraints on myself.

First the good news.

The windows are in and the eaves, siding etc is going up on the NMC. I’m happy with the choice of siding material and the color scheme. It’s called Hardie Board, way better than a wood product and the colors are way better that certain people tried to ram down the clients throat. The siding should not fade for some time, trim is a wood product so not so sure of that on fade, all in all not bad at all.

Oh the bad news...........................that will have to wait till I have more time.

History to repeat itself

Or whar?

CKOK has a news brief about arts/crafts, The Rooms and Bill Ritchie.
CBC’s Weekend Arts Magazine [WAM] had an extensive interview with Bill yesterday morning.

Bill Ritchie first came to Labrador as a young artist back in the late 1970’s early 1980’s. Bill was a sort of Artist in residence with the fledgling community craft councils program. The program eventually failed for various reasons, and I’m not saying Bill had anything to do with that.
Id say Bill helped some people improve their skills in art immensely; I noticed a vast improvement in some people skills from my first visit in 1978 to my second in 1980.

The Provincial government of the day funneled lots of dollars in funding crafts councils in each community [Federal funds]. The department handling the file had many name reinventions over the years, one being Department of Rural Agricultural & Northern Development [RAND]. My favorite, appropriate for the day, was LSD for Labrador Services Division.

Some communities on the coast ran their craft councils quite well and professionally, some not so.
I became a member of the Nain Craft Council for a couple of years, it was a constant battle, change was not received well by some. There were efforts to improve quality control, workshops on new crafts, efforts to introduce a type of Co Operative arts and crafts movement.

This brings me to Bills interview on WAM. He spoke at length about the Co Op movement in other parts of the north, it’s successes in the arts area and it evolving into all parts of the service and supply industry in those areas.

Bill also spoke of the efforts to introduce Co Ops into Northern Labrador through Memorial University Extension Services, and the efforts failure.
My view is. It failed for various reasons; some being crafts people protecting their turf, not enough effort put into educating the public, the leadership of LIA not supporting the Co Op movement ergo not educating the public.

Bottom line is Bill Ritchie wants to try and introduce discussions on Co Ops with Nunatsiavut Government. Good for him and good luck with that. The same old parochial, protectionist for some, don’t give a shit for the proletariat bunch are still in charge of the successor to LIA.

On a very sad note: Reverend Sigfred Hattasch passed away yesterday afternoon. The Reverend was leaving Nain when I first arrived so I did not know him well. I did have the opportunity to have some good chats with him a few years later when he came into Ottawa to see old Inuit friends there on a visit. While waiting for the friends to come back to the hotel I kept him company, some good ol stories boy!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Top of de marn’n to ye.

Areh wouldjabe look’n at dis den? I wee bit od de trut for a change.

Having lived and worked in Dublin for 11 months back in the early 1980’s I have always considered this Irish ness con job put on by NL politicians as a load of bollocks.
There are some similarities with today’s St. John’s and Dublin of the 1980’s, many of those similarities is something that maybe people should not crow about.

The folk/arts scene may have similarities; but then there are similarities between Australia folk/art and Irish folk/art, same in England. There are no similarities with the Pub scene; you would have to experience both to fully understand.

My blood lines run deep with Irish ness with a wee bit of the Welsh and the Scottish. Some of my ancestors were on the first fleet bound for Botany Bay.
I hold some pride in all those facts, but It’s no big deal fer christ sake, cept if you have an agenda in the political or artsy fartsy world.

As I always said to me mates on departing the pub, 'Sláinte go saol agat,Bean ar do mhian agat.Leanbh gach blian agat,is solas na bhflaitheas tareis antsail seo agat.'
And that folks is a load of bollocks.

A chartered twin otter came up yesterday to do a fly over inspection of the sunken barge up to the mouth of Hebron Fjord, be interesting to see the update on it's condition etc.

Our temperatures are consistent, -12 ish for the lows, -7 ish for the highs, we missed the crappy weather that hit south of here.
Thing is most people are hoping for some snow, the getting around conditions, particularly off the road , are very slippery, rough and hazardous.
But then we still have at least three more freight boat runs to come, conundrums conundrums.

It’s KAOS time.

The mv Aston should be to the dock by 11.30 or so, an hour later than scheduled. But hey, it’s here.
Now the fun starts. Wait for the crew to have lunch, wait for the right tide so reefers can come off without scrapping the arse out of em, wait while the movers and fork lifts slip n slide all over the place, n that's only alf of it. I wouldna given a tinkers arse but I have to go get stuff, I know some it on board, have to yet discover if the bulk of stuff is also.

More boring shipping updates.

Went down to the dock at 1.30 [hmm, could there be a song or a movie in the making?], kind of slow as things just getting in gear from a meal break. Had to hang a bit till people started converging again.
Notice about 5 reefers loaded with wood from Postville, lots of ice hanging off everything so the story about storm bound seems confirmed [ya just never know]. The crew were removing ice from the deck so they can get at the stuff below.
As to my stuff, it’s all there, some where on board, but the fact that I know its there is a load off, plus it might keep a certain gentleman in GB off my back for awhile, at least until it’s off.

The only action of interest while I was there is; a couple kids had snuck on board and stolen a crew members CD player. No security or what? Or is there more to it? Tune in after the commercial.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm still here n kick'n.

I have not written any posts here the last several days, which does not mean I have not written. E mails and notes to file up the ying yang, and my ear is swollen from telephone pressure fatigue.

Things are a little on the tense side between parties on the overseer of the construction of NMC, at least from the client perspective.
It’s nothing to do with the crew on the ground; any one who has ever been in construction knows that ‘issues’ arise. Why I have seen lots ‘of stuff’ in several counties over the years, but this is the first close up and personal look at the management of architects, project management, contractors. Maybe I’m old fashion, none the less I am shocked.

On the ground the construction proceeds, a little slow while the foreman was out on his break, I foresee a pick up in pace now he has returned. There is an awful lot of blocking work, strapping and little fiddly bits to do on a building of this size and type.
Outside; the bottom windows one side are in, the eaves and soffit have stated so the siding can start. So by next week some color will brighten up things.

While the siding type and color is what was ordered by the client, the application was changed from vertical to horizontal siding. It should end up looking alright, but some in the industry seem to thing the clients [the one with the money] have no say in these changes. We shall see about that next week. Still I don’t hold out much hope in changing the ‘industry standard’ in this province, some people are just too stunned and entrenched.

I had the experience of chasing up the code regulations for the instillation of fire and smoke alarms in institutional buildings. Whoo boy, not a good experience.
Thinking I was cleaver I called the fire Commissioners HQ in St. John’s. Not a smart move. I got diverted from there to volunteer fire fighters in Nain and Labrador City. I received helpful information both places. From Lab city I called Municipal Affairs in Goose Bay, more helpful information but still no cigar.
From there I was referred to FC HQ, "no bloody way" I said, so it was suggested I try the regional FC offices.
The memory hole kicked in then, I had received good information from there a few years back. I call Deer Lake, some good info but had to call Corner Brook as they handle Labrador files.
Left a message, chap called back, after some persistence by me and recollections by him I garnered the information I was after.

Actually I already had the information; in between phone calls I had accessed the FC web site. Clicking on what I was looking for sent me to the House of Assembly site. Darn said I, something’s wrong with the site. Me wrong, the helpful chap in Municipal Affairs in GB directed me through the maze and I found the relevant Legislation.

It’s incredulous to me that an office building of the size of the NMC, or of any size for that matter, is not REQUIRED to have any fire or smoke alarms installed. Silly me thought that by making all these phone calls that some one some place would say, “oh that’s a mistake, you have to have them”.

The building will have them, no thanks to the regulatory bodies or the consulting engineers.

It’s Election Day down under; actually it’s counting time down under, boy I hope that Howard takes the big dump, and his party.

Speaking of rat bags, how about this one. The author must have spent all his time in the company of navel gazing townie sycophants [hi Mr. Architect]. The upside is he seems to have not made it to Labrador, or even heard of the name, thank yee for small mercies.

Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? Let’s shut down rural towns and regions, pump all the subsidies into mining and non renewable resources, every thing is honky dory. Until ya start dying off from tainted food from some off shore country, your rivers and lakes start drying up, you can’t eat the fish caught in the local fishing spot because it is contaminated from poisoned tailings or some such.

To finish off my rant; I could not agree m0re with the state of democracy statements in this article. The same lack is clearly evident in the Nunatsiavut Government, it’s very autocratic and top down too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Broken record, or whar?.

The scene down at the dock lay down area was some what comical while at the same time typical yesterday morning.

Typical in the since that these things are common, break downs of equipment, icy slippery conditions, locals going about the business of unloading there own supplies from containers, the one lone wharfinger worker doing his best to do what he can.

The Aston was kind of slow unloading the containers due to equipment breakdowns, I’m told it has been an ongoing problem this last trip or so.

These series of photos show one of two prime movers {PM} used to move the reefers and containers. The PM had power to its drive axle but no steering.
The forklift had to maneuver the front of the PM in the direction it wanted to go, and then the driver of the PM gently hit the accelerator. Even with chains on rear wheels the PM invariably slid side ways bumping into containers and generally not cooperating with the driver, but doing no damage.
It took quite some time to maneuver the PM to the ramp of the Astron where it slid into the left rear of superstructure as shown. I gave up on the show after that, I presume the PM was eventually loaded on board and the second PM used to finish the loading.

Breakdowns are inevitable in any operation, but the problems with equipment failures with this service are legendary, you can see the age and condition of the equipment, that says a lot in itself.

The picture of the container shows freight loaded loose and fairly tight to the top, nothing wrong with that. Or is there?
The rational of using containers and a Ro-Ro vessel was to minimize the handling of freight at the same time minimize potential damage to freight.

Generally freight is loaded on palettes, palettes are loaded into containers. In this instance there could have been a couple of reasons to load without pallets. One would be to maximize the container space, another could be the customer wanted to save money. There is a charge of 20 to 40 bucks for each pallet, depending on the type of pallet.
Considering the extra labor involved in loading and unloading then loading and unloading who knows how many times it would be debatable which way is the most economical. The workers at this end don’t mind I would guess, more for them to do.

So this may seem like a broken record to some, but it is part of life on the coast of Labrador, and this blog is about one of those towns.

I have not been as zealous in tracking what has gone on with shipping this year as in past years. After a series of meetings with all the player last year there were promises made of improvements. So in the interest of fairness I gave it time for the improvements to materialize.

I took the occasional photos in the off chance some gentle person makes statements down the road that that may not be quite factual.
Update: This sun rise was unusual if only for the blue hue, sort of aqua. It was this intense for only a moment, click on picture to enlarge, but you new that.

Lost, or what?

Walking back from the dock this morning [don't start me] and noticed this little fella pitch behind the daughters house. Took the camera out, snuck up to get this shot.
I was approaching for a closer shot when he/she took of over the fence. Looks like a snow bunting to me.
The crunchy slippery conditions made sneaking up near impossible so I'm happy with what I managed to get.

Pulling out all the stops.

Aurora Energy Resources have gone high tech PR in its consultation process on its proposed uranium mine in the area it would seem.

The phone rang last evening. On answering this woman all bubbly effervescing with a whinny southern twang to her voice proceeded to ramble on non stop [don’t let em think for a second] about how Aurora representatives will be having an open house tomorrow evening at 7 at xx there will be people available to answer all your questions please feel free to bring all your family there will be refreshments [the magic words] can we count on your presence.

I offered a brief response and hung up the phone.

CBC HV-GB this morning is reporting that a large portion of the population surveyed in Makkovik is against Uranium mining in the area. Click on the interactive map on AER web site and you will see why the concern.
Of those that responded to the survey 70% are against any mine. Of the youth survey, 32 responded, out of those 72% were against the mine.

According to Aurora this 'consultation' process will take about three years before any decision is made to mine or not.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Roller coaster

temperatures wise. Got up to +7 yesterday, now it is down to -10 with wind chill of -20, no wonder the dog is confused, wants to be out one minute, in by the heater the next.
I don’t mind really, only thing I worry about is these types of conditions drive the frost deeper into the ground. Now that we have regular snow clearing of the roads [only until the boats stop one hopes] this could cause freeze up issues in the water and sewer lines if we do not get some good dumps of snow before it gets really cold. Then we don’t know if it will get really cold do we so why worry, carry on, nothing to worry about here.

On the transport front the mv Northern Ranger is going to do an extra run north according to the Marine shipping update, leaving Goose Bay at midnight tonight. The mv Astron went straight to Natuashish from Cartwright, it was still in Natuashish yesterday afternoon so it could be there or here now for all I know. I am led to believe that another trip is scheduled for her as well.

While on the subject of not very well organized operations; a couple of things on Canada post. It looks like the folks down south are getting a taste of Canada Post ops that we get year after year. It took 15 days for me to get a package from St.John’s NL recently. That is standard, perhaps a little fast. In the past parcels from the states or the other side of the country regularly get here quicker than intra province, but according to this things may change.

I do not support NATO ops in Afghanistan, but I do support this petition below.

Dear Friends,
I have just read and signed the online petition: "SupportOurTroops" hosted on the web by, the free online petitionservice, at: I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and considersigning yourself.

If by “Remembrance day is fast approaching” they mean 2008 then it could be a doer.

Cartwrightlab [at right side bar] has some very nice photo of the day pictures on a regular basis. The latest chatter in the sound board is voicing concerns about the state of the NEW ROAD down that way, wonder what it will be like in a couple of years?

It's breathtakingly beautiful out. Like literally breathtaking walking into that -23 wind chill after the + 7 yesterday.
The Astron is in, not overly chaotic, the new office furniture for the NMC seems to be on board, the radio studio furniture does not seem to be, the #$@^%$)(*! ers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mush mush.

And it’s not the dog; it’s the weather, in the plus’ overnight and predicted to get up to +8 with rain showers, yuckeee boy!
Added to all that crap it looks like the mv Astron will get in either late tonight early tomorrow morning, be messy down the dock way with all that traffic.

Okalakatiget Society has an update on the McNally Olympic situation re printed here.

There are discussions being held between McNally Olympic, Nunatsiavut Government and Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans regarding the barge which ran aground near Hebron.
Larry Crann is with the Environmental Response Section of Canadian Coast Guard.
He says McNally Olympic of Hamilton owns the barge which ran aground in October while transporting diesel and waste fuel from Quebec.
Crann says the discussions are about the possibility of conducting winter monitoring of the barge.
They are in the midst of scheduling monitoring surveillance.
He says a fixed wing aircraft would conduct an aerial survey starting December 03rd, 2007 until the spring of 2008.
Crann says there will be monitoring of wildlife and ice conditions, in conjunction with DFO conducting their own surveillance with Transport Canada.
By spring, Crann says they should have a complete site assessment.
They should also have a better idea what should be done with the barge.
All three parties will continue to meet over the winter months and assess as they go along.

Now CBC is reporting a tug has sunk on the Churchill River, the tug seems to be sitting on the river bottom, in white water, just below Gull Island Rapids.
Some more pictures of the Muskrat Falls, some way down the river from the rapids here, alas photos do not do the falls justice, I have been both at the bottom and top of the falls, something like this more closely portrays the feeling one gets.
NL Hydro is doing work in the area related to the proposed lower Churchill River hydro development.

With all this going on, plus the prospect of a Uranium mine near Postville, what chance is there in retaining the wild pristine environment that has lured, at times frightened away, generations of people.
To answer my own question; sweet bugger all chance if we continue on the same apathetic path.

Ops update. I first wrote that the barge was at Muskrat Falls, not so it seems, so I corrected.

Friday, November 16, 2007

They be dancing in the streets

in every community on the coast on this news, not.

And ya know what, I just noticed something that might have negative connotations for people up here, we was talking to the wrong government representatives all these time.
We were talking to people and elected members of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, now I learn we should have been talking to the Williams Government people.

And hold the phone, maybe I’m the government, maybe I should have been talking to myself. I better have a good look at myself, with luck things could really start to change for the better, not to mention the back dated entitlements, Look out Hawaii, here I come.

Nice warm day with light snow and NO WIND, touch wood.

Glad it's Friday, most times days just role into each other, this week has been busy and some what stressful towards the end. I hate having to take people [companies] to task, but one has to do what one has to do, the little guy [non profit] cant be shagged around all the time.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Me Mom

laying a wreath at this years Remembrance Day Ceremony, City of Liverpool, NSW, Australia.

Little sister sent the picture scanned from the Liverpool Leader.

Mom was a long time president of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Liverpool sub branch of the RSL [Returned Services League]. The RSL club is affiliated and part of the same building [or some such] with this club.

Some may not know that Remembrance Day in Australia, while not forgotten, plays second fiddle to ANZAC Day held on 25 April.
The Northern Ranger made its last trip into the dock for the year this morning. Was expecting a package shipped out of Goose Bay and specifically requested to be on the Ranger.

As the contents was a new table for the radio interview room of the NMC it may be well it was not on board. What bloody chaos the holds of the ship were, and this is the last stop.

Light snow and just below freezing today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mid week ramblings.

One very observant reader pointed out that the TV transmission tower was sticking out of the roof of the NMC.
This picture shows the new location.
I wonder if any other observant and or curious can tell what the strange buildings are for.

I had an e mail from a friend in Quebec, here is an except from his missive At the same time, I work for a non-profit, non-partisan organisation for the promotion of heathy public debates on various topics such as... "reasonable accomodations," a popular term in Quebec these days. I am in charge of the "Aboriginal file."

After reading this I thought, wow [X] is either working with the poor or even street people to obtain affordable housing.
After Goggleing ‘reasonable accommodations’ I come up with this, Dorh me eh.

Then some one in Dublin Ireland Goggled “ Nain Ireland”. This peeked my curiosity, so I Goggled Nain Ireland. This is what came up.
I thought it was a town at first, but no. It is a vegetarian restaurant and Guest house, looks nice.

On showing Fran the link she offered up “ If I had to eat there I would only order dessert”.
Sun is out and -6, very nice indeed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NMC update.

View of exterior this afternoon. Weather has clouded over and warmed up to about -7 or so, better for the workers relatively speaking.
Shingles are all done, now building will be wrapped, insulated, battened ready for siding.
Inside work goes on in inclement weather and when it gets too dark in afternoon.

The ice man cometh.

The clouds cleared out yesterday, clear and crisp this morning too, temperature down to -18.2 at the house, official -14 down by the water, soon to be ice.

Matthew came up again yesterday, but the lead musher’s were aching and stiff so he had to be content with constant pandering by Grandma, a little by Grandpa, but Grandpa had things to do inside and out of the house.
We did a little ski doo run around 2 pm, I had forgotten how early the sun disappears behind the hills this time of year, our house location gets sun longer than homes just a short distance up the road.

The evening of the 17th will see the annual ‘community greeting’ being held in the school gym. I have been asked to bake up some cookies [like 12 dozen] and 30 baguettes. This event is to welcome all new arrivals into the community, food, entertainment, a welcome gift basket for each new arrival, stuff like that.

I’m not surprised by some events down under. This one was predicable; this one is just part of the continuing story. Cabblog has an interesting phone video of the scenes, some things just never change. One thing that has changed is that with modern techniques they get more coverage.
Notice no outcry to close all the booze outlets in the city. It could be any city in the western world, no outcry. Low n behold if those pesky aboriginals get pissed and act out their frustrations, all hell breaks out.

The Black Tickle story is getting some coverage in MSM and Blogs. I would not have taken much notice but I like Wayne’s small town resident perspective and WJM has the usual political view, I especially like his condemnation of that dip stick Lock, he should stick to taking pictures for money.

I usually don’t take much interest in these stories of the demise of rural towns, not because I am not interested; I am and live in one. It’s because I don’t see the point in my interest until society gets the inevitable wake up call and reverses the trends to globalization, bigger, faster, more is better, lets all grab what we can now attitude.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Matthew brought an extra body to the team this morning allowing me to get some pictures on the fly.

Grandma did not last much longer after the rest stop, we continued up the hill a bit than back to meet her on way home.
Another grand day like yesterday, sure beats the hell out of 30 degree heat and flies up your ying yang.

Sorry to disappoint

no big old belly laughs.

The much anticipated first dog sled excursion went off rather well.
We had a couple small entanglements before going 10 ft. but after a few adjustments and strategizing with lines all went well.
Grandma and Matthew took turns riding, assisting pulling, or holding back on the down hill.
Going was mainly hard packed or road except for the lap around the sports field [Matthews’s idea] that was soft and sinky. We were all about knackered after that, even Siutik did a full belly flop for some minutes.

The weather was amazing for outdoor activity, has been for some time too. Highs of -3 to -4, partly cloudy to overcast, light snow flurries off and on, just has a clean fresh feel and look to it. Let’s hope those annoying winds of the last several years hold off a little longer too.

Sore joints and muscles, even Siutik is doing more than the usual amount of stretching this morning.

Some one in the comments section asked about price of Turkeys up here. $75 was mentioned; I thought “surely not that much”. In Northern yesterday a large turkey was prominent in a freezer, so I checked the price, 11 Kg Turkey for 77 bucks.
Not sure how this compares with southern prices but it is cheap compared to further north. Then further north does not have the weekly summer shipping we have here. I will get into food prices in more detail later.

For now I will take a little time to remember them, especially my Dad, who at 92 can’t get down to the RSL on special days like he used to, but is still the little battler.

Happy 600th post to me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Let’s have a real big belly laugh then.

For Oldbrooktrout; the whole episode went like this.
I walk around the back to see Siutik with the chewed harness hanging around her arse end. As soon as she sees I have the leash in hand she goes bananas, jumping all over the place like a 42 pound jack rabbit.
I attached the leash to her and take a firm grip of the other end. I then proceed to unhook the harness from her back end, all the time she is straining at the leash. I have my back to the direction the dog will be going; as soon as the entangled harness is released she puts it in low four leg drive and takes off. I go arse over on my back, all the time bawling to her to stop and hauling back on the leash.
On arising from the snow I notice a flattened frozen doggy doo right where my back was.
So yeah, I needed a physiological harness myself at that moment.
We did the discipline 2201 for 30 seconds or so. Siutik gives me the old ‘not me boss, I’m just a cute little ol pup’ look.
15 seconds later, after my ‘lets go’ command we are doing 40 kph as we hit the road.
Coincidentally, I had a bloke offer to buy her today. Selling her never entered my mind, even after the bloke returned with his wife and asked again.
To Michel: Thanks for the words of wisdom, I will need them and the patience you mentioned for sure.
On the weekend I hope to try out the new sled harness on her, should be lots of fun and ammunition for a great big laugh of a blog post.

Coincidence, telepathy, or……….

I had an e mail from my contact at Telesat [cat] yesterday morning asking me to do a signal strength check, Telesat had tweaked some transponders on Nov 1 and were wondering if any change.
I could have told cat that there was no discernable change. None the less I waited for the weather to be mainly clear, I was half way through the 32 readings when the phone rang, it was cat on the other end [see post header] asking if I had the next half hour free. Telesat was going to do another tweak and cat wanted me to monitor for any changes.

So I finished my readings and waited for the return call. While waiting I was checking the signal strength now and again, I could see the problem transponder signals going up slowly.

So in the end the problem transponders increased strength by between 8 and 10 %. They are in the high 60 low 70 % while other transponders are between mid 70 to 100 %.

I must thank cat, as well as my contact in Goose Bay [cigb] for his technical input into this exercise too; he has all the equipment and the techno jargon that helps in these situations.

So Bell ExpressVu subscribers can consider my efforts a public service. Bell ExpressVu corporate can send me $5.00 per Labrador subscriber for my efforts. Ho ho ho and cows can fly.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lessons leaned, I hope.

After waiting for this harness type lead device for some time, this is what it looked like 20 minutes after I put it on Siutik.
I had the intentions of going for a walk, but something came up and I had to go out for a short while. So I just hooked her up to the usual line out back and took off for 20 minutes. The step in harness was just grabbing her rear end and almost off on my return. She was too excited to notice my not so friendly demure as I had the leash in my hand.
My fault, at least I have the fitting to do a home made job now.

conundrums of marine shipping.

As Anonymous said...
hi a guy i know shipped something to the coast from goose bay and it got left on the bond and it ended up in much for labrador marine

things can get a bit bizzaro with shipping goods on Labrador Coastal Marine.

While the two orders of furniture for the OKS NMC are not required urgently it is imperative that the customer knows where the shipment is, and that it will not be damaged on arrival. Being the end of the shipping season makes it impossible to get in replacements if there is a need.

So after some checking [by interested parties] it was discovered that the large order of office furniture coming from the mainland is still in Lewisport, this after it was promised it would be in Nain on the last trip of the Astron.

Then the shipment of two lifts of radio control room furniture, accepted at the LCM terminal on the 29th Oct in Goose Bay, is still in a container in Goose Bay.
This after it was arranged that the furniture would be on the Northern Ranger on its arrival in Nain yesterday.

So now the radio furniture will go to Lewisport on the mv Sir Robert Bond, off loaded onto the Aston and head for Nain on the next Astron. Or that’s what was promised, but as every one who has ever used the LCM service knows, promises mean zilch.
I will add an over rider here. One of the latest promises came from on high in the LCM hierarchy, so we will see what we will see.

After all the meetings and promises over the past year not much has changed with marine shipping. Some small changes have been achieved, but it still has a long way to go towards any modern 21 century professionalism, both at the shipping end and specifically the consignee end.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tis a grand day to be

working inside sure. The latest on the NMC, bottom floor. Things are going full tilt with framing, blocking, windows being cut in etc.

I spent a good part of the morning shoveling snow and tamping snow down to make a road into a storage area for some radio studio furniture. It was supposed to be on the mv Northern Rangers arrival today.

No such luck, add that to the fact office furniture was supposed to have been on the mv Aston yesterday one can be excused for thinking negative thoughts of Labrador Coastal Marine, but we wont, yet.

This is the second good dump of snow in 5 days, nice mild temperatures though, hovering around 0.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

In light of being busy.

I offer up these two youtubs as educational material. The second one is particularly for the f..k wits who are speeding around town on there big pulsing skidoos......wave the little finger at them, eh.

It is a time to take great care as there are a record number of 4 wheeled vehicles in town, along with the snowmobile and the usual shanks pony traffic things get quite chaotic at times. The community government ploughing the roads is helping keep a reasonably wide track for all, but it is not a bloody race track, even when taking care accidents can happen, so take double care folks.

McNally Olympic McNally Olympic ha ha ha just dicking around.

Not Guilty.

Three men who were charged with mischief for setting up a marine blockade of the mv Umiak during last years strike at the Voisey's Bay mine mill were found not guilty yesterday at court in Nain.
More later.

I'm guilty too, enjoying the sunshine and mild temps while going back and forth to the dock. Our winter order is in and it takes some time to get 26 containers off, one never knows when your stuff will come off, and we don't want any thawing do we. As I said, it is nice out so it's enjoyable for a change.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Post weekend storm.

We got hit with a little bit of the storm that raged through the Maritimes. Wind up to 87 K overnight and about 20cm snow of the wet variety, maybe more, can’t rally tell with the new measuring formula.

About 8 last night we had a power blip of milliseconds, oh oh I thought, here we go. But no more problems after that

Snow warning has ended but the wind warning still on.

A couple of shots up back of the house yesterday afternoon and one of ‘the snow trap’ outside the back porch at 5 AM. I’m going to have to re think this thing now, what with the dog n all.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It’s not the end of the world…..

but is it prejudice?

I have been mulling this over for a number of weeks. It may take some space and bore the hell out of you, none the less here I go.

The facts:
It is legal to purchase alcoholic beverages in licensed establishments in this province.
It is legal to consume alcohol in licensed establishments, in the privacy of your home, at special licensed functions in this province.

It is socially acceptable to consume alcohol at above mentioned establishments, with some provisos. Why politicians in the past have purchase large amounts of alcohol, no big deal until it was discovered that it was tax payer’s expense [expense account].

The NLLC puts out a glossy magazine called ‘Occasions’, it has recipes for alcoholic drinks, alcohol in food, new products and the like.
Why I hear that NLLC has one store with a new ‘wine tasting’ machine. You insert a pre paid card into a slot, put a glass under a selected wine from a list of 15, press a button, plonko, you have a sample of said wine for you tasting and enjoyment. Provisos are that you can only insert the card 4 times in any given hour, if you insert it a 5th time it cuts your card off for the next hour.

So why is it that when you live on the North Coast of Labrador one may feel like some sort of pariah when one enjoys a pre dinner drink at home, whether it be a beer, sprites, wine?
Why should people feel guilty because they enjoy a nice wine every now and again? Why should people feel guilty if they become slightly inebriated, as long as they obey the law and do not annoy others?

What’s the big deal some may ask?

This may partly explain what the big deal is. In the past, if I, or any one else, wanted to make a purchase from the NLLC store in Happy Valley [and I did not want go to the expense of the 800 buck return flight] all I had to do was fax out my order.
On the order fax would be what beverages I required, the number and type of credit card, my signature and a request of how I wanted the order to be delivered to me. Here there are a number of choices. 1. You could get someone you know to pick the order up and take it to the airline of your choice [two of them]. It would then be delivered to your community either COD or you may have an account with them, or the friend would pay up front. 2. Ask the NLLC people to contact the airline of your choice to pick the order up and deliver as described above.

I and tens and tens of people have been ordering from the NLLC this way for a long long time.

So on making a small order this week I received a call from the NLLC store immediately after. No surprise as they often call back with questions or informing you of out of stoke items. I should mention that the staff at the NLLC store are always accommodating, helpful and friendly.

What was a surprise was the request [lets say] that to fill this order and future orders I was going to receive a form by fax.
The form had to be filled out by me, signed and faxed back to NLLC and would be kept on file.
The information required was my name, community, ‘I authorize NLLC yadda yadda’.
Then at the bottom I had to place a copy of a driver’s license or MCP card or another type of card with my signature on it as proof of my age.

After some not so subtle words [not aimed at the NLLC staff] I hung up the phone, did some deep breathing, walked the dog, went about my business.

I did comply with the request next day, the alternatives are just either too expensive or would require some form of self imposed prohibition.

There would be differing opinions as the above request by NLLC being discriminating, or prejudice, also that it was any big deal for that matter. People in remote communities get used to going to extra efforts and cost just to garner goods and services that are taken for granted in larger urban areas.

But, we now get to the crux of the matter. Several weeks ago the NG finely got around to releasing [in the form of a public forum] to this community the report on hearings held on the abuse of alcohol and drugs, its findings and recommendations.

Some media outlets picked up on the story, several front line workers in the addictions area were either interviewed or quoted, that’s fine, it is a difficult field to work in, as well as it being a difficult subject for many to talk about and more so to deal with.

In the next day or so the president of NG is interviewed, his statements and announcements of how to deal with the decades old problem of addictions were as usual general while at the same time ambiguous.

The president did not seem to want to take control or responsibility [as governments are supposed to do]; rather he was more interested in asking others to deal with the issue.
The president said he had asked the head of NLLC to reconsider its selling and delivery practice for North Coast communities.
The president went on to say he had approached both airlines and asked them to reconsider their pick up and delivery service of alcohol to the North Coast.

There was mention of bootlegging, but no mention of targeting or dealing with bootlegging, no mention of getting to the soul of the addictions and its devastating affects on some people and some families.
No mention of how to target the drug dealers.
Just generalizations on the whole, really playing to the prejudices that already exist and totally absolving himself and the NG hierarchy.

The next day a spokesperson for the NLLC was on air saying the NLLC would co operate in any way it could to address the issues raised by NG.
Also a representative from one of the airlines said similar words as to addressing the issue. Both interviews were very general and leaving a lot to interpretation and speculation. The other airline made no statements to my knowledge.

Things then went quite, well color me surprised!!!! No nothing from no one no way.

I asked around if any policies had changed, “no, have heard nothing” was the response.

So I made my order.

So while everybody on the North Coast has been painted with the same brush some of the leadership of NG goes on its merry tipsy way [note I said some].

To deal with the addiction problems will take strong pro active leadership, not wishy washy statements with an eye on reelection. It will take many people to face up to the problems, to talk about them, not with the aim of blame, more to the aim of looking back and what can be done in the future to limit the excesses. Not to say “I don’t care what people think” [unless of course its election time], but to think of the future, and to think of the people who the leadership is elected to represent.

In the above mentioned report there is a lot mentioned about role models [not my favorite term]. There are identified problems with a section on recommendations on whom, what agency, what communities could do to address these problems.
There is a section on leadership and how it could/should get involved. The are no recommendations or comments in this section.

Well color me surprised.

Before posting I took a walk in the hills with the dog. Came back soaked, its obscure in wet snow and just above freezing. I even did a little jogging with the aim of wearing the dog out. No such luck, my jogging abilities are limited, usually have to get my hip back in place after, but of late it has not been too bad as long as I don’t overdo things. And boy do I feel refreshed.

The above problems are close to home too, I have to deal with them often, to not talk on the subject is just not an option IMO.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Drying day.

Surprisingly the concrete pour only took about 11 hours. The guys finished about 6.30 last night. 11 guys on the mixing and wheel barrowing, two guys in to do the finishing. Just short of 300 bags of cement, some sore muscles and joints today I bet.
Now they wait for it to dry sufficiently.
Strange weather to day, started out clear early, about-5, as the sun started to come up it dropped to -10 and clouded over, it has gone up to +1.5 this afternoon. Wind came up for awhile then dropped off, it feels eerie, like we are in a holding pattern waiting for something to happen.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's mixing time.

The concrete floor pour got underway this morning [to the surprise of the consulting engineers, makes one wonder at times].

Weather mild for it, in the +1 or so range, industrial heater on warming things up inside so should be no freezing issues.

All we need is for the snow to melt off the roof by say Monday [so contractor doesn’t have to remove it] and the shingles can be finished. Maybe blood pressures will lower now, or not.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Nice out

but not conducive to roofing work. I was overly optimistic in my
last lost, the shingles are only 3/4 finished, some intricate work up front and weather slowed things.

I took these shots down by the water this morning, the dog keeps hogging the screen but I did manage a couple without her.


I have been busier than a ferret down a rabbit burrow at Easter time the last few days. Man I hate doing spread sheets, never have managed to handle them without getting as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. Always afraid I will hit the wrong key and bingo, all gone.

Any way battled my way through with a couple of dog walk breaks a day.
Sure makes one appreciate the fresh air and environment we have after sitting in front of a computer, and working.

OK, most of the work was pro bono, but some one has to do it. I mentioned a time back that the Bell ExpressVu signal has been playing up again. I sat back and waited for it to either fix itself [that never happens] or some one some place would decide that the ExVu customers were getting a raw deal and it would be fixed, or a rebate would be offered on the monthly bill [not bloody likely].
Another scenario would be that some one some place would pick up the ball and take these bastards on. I can understand the reluctance in getting involved, it is almost a full time job with no guarantee of success taking on a company with one of the worst corporate responsibility records in Canada [from a consumer perspective].

So the other day I bite the bullet and call a chap at Telesat. I advise to the on going problem [not that the chap was not aware] and we go over what I know, what he knows [which is a lot technical wise], he asked if I have contacted ExVu, I replied in the negative.

Chap asked if I had any records of signal strengths and weather conditions over a given time frame. “Well it so happens that I do” I replied, “going back to about last March”, which took him back a wee bit.

So I had to put all this down and e mail it to the chap [at his request]. He did not make any promises, but said he will contact people in the right places and see if they can come up with a fix. The chap’s problem is that Telesat and ExVu are all under the same company umbrella
[or not], He does try under those constraints, so he gets points for that.

I guess a caveat on the above would be; the last time I took these yahoos on it was not until I went to my local MP, and he got the chair of the CRTC involved, that it was fixed, temporarily as it turned out.

The exterior of the NMC is coming along nicely, shingles are on, some siding at top of front, inside has been readied for concrete, and three large industrial heaters are being used where needed. Concrete finishers are supposed to come in today, weather permitting [light snow at moment], keeping fingers crossed.Will have picture update soon; don’t want to bore overly with sameness.