Wednesday, December 31, 2008

After a bout of shoveling snow and raven watching it is comforting to sit down to a rib sticking meal.
This one is of a meat pie, mashed spuds and spinach with mushrooms and a little garlic pesto.
Note the new iridescent placemat, a gift from Italy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dam right beautiful day out today, about -13, perfect.

Nice bit of snow overnight, wind still not come up, no complaints this end at all.

The three guys at right are sure enjoying the day, they are part of a larger group of Ravens that have been hanging around this area.

Usually it is the territory of just one couple but this year the bloke next door has decided that the ravens need feeding.
So at feed time all sorts of Raven sorties and skirmishes erupt. The resident pair get to feed first then retire to a tree and watch all the rest [up to 25] have at it.
Four pretending to ignore the food {backs to it} and this one doing a test swoop.
Unless I get myself some sort of blind organised I will continue to get them in flight every time I go out to get pictures, willy birds these Ravens.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Weather watch:

Sure is a nice break from the extreme cold we are having. -7 at moment up from -25 same time yesterday.
Nice drop of snow yesterday and into today, and the wind has not picked up as yet.

This is the scene outside at moment.

Took Siutik out for a run on the ice yesterday too, or rather she ran and I rode on the 4 wheeler. Had to try getting the bugs out of here, she had been driving us nuts, only going for walks does not deal with her energy build up, when there is snow she just has to be out and all go go go.

More fun in the snow today I would guess.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weather watch: Getting boring I know but my thought processor is frozen.

Yesterday afternoon the weather man pulled the wind chill warning off his site, it promptly blew like the blazes and the chills were constant in the minus 40 to 44 range, funny bloke that weather man.

One of our gifts [from Ian] included these three wooden carvings of caribou. Ross Flowers in Hopedale is the artist. The larger deer is about 5” long and 3” high at the shoulder. The antlers are cut from real antler, really nice work indeed.
They will be a nice addition to our small but growing collection of carvings.

A friend down in Vermont sent this picture of an Idaho rattler, jumping jehosaphat is about all I can say about that. Except to add it was 9 feet 1 inch long and weighed in at 97 pounds.

Friday, December 26, 2008

On the prowl for meat on the bone.

Weather watch: Not sure I want to watch it this AM, hearing the wind [guts to 81] is enough to chill de bones. -46 chill this morning. Next warmer trend is not until Monday or Tuesday.

For Christmas day we did have a sprinkling of snow and a temp of -17, alas that pleasure was short lived as the predicted, and the predictable, winds came up again and the temperatures dropped.
At right: Last to leave the table again.

For the first time in memory I had a break from the kitchen, except for making an apple pie, as we were going out for Christmas dinner. I had made up a plum pudding, with extra rum, the day before so I was at a loss as to what to do for most of the day.
Part of the time was taken up figuring out how to work the Sony S frame that Fran gave me, have the basics figured out. Then it was off for a late dinner, very good it was too.
Fran takes great pleasure in stripping the bones of wild meat bear, always the last to finish her meal. She does not do desserts so I guess that is how she stays so trim.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Peace on Earth & Good Will to All.


Weather watch: Oh joy, there are several 0 wind chill hours overnight.
But lets not get overly joyed, the forecast has that nasty phrase Wind Chill Warning in it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

So we think we are cold?

I received this e mail from an associate: Some people will find it and it's links interesting. Sort of makes the neutron monitor in Nain small stuff, but it does link into the larger scheme of things.

Hi Everyone, I've been at the South Pole Station now for about a week, and went to work almost immediately. This may be my best trip yet in terms of very few of high altitude symptoms. The South Pole is over 10,000 feet high on the worlds largest icecap. Dr. Martin Pomerantz, late long time director of the Bartol Research Institute, and pioneer of Astronomy at the South Pole, would always tell me that as he got older, the altitude acclimation got easier. I am finding out that this is true on my 20th trip. When I arrived, I helped James Roth finish up the installation of a record 38 IceTop tanks which will function as part of the 160 tank surface cosmic ray air shower detector array when finished. To date we have installed 118 tanks. These are 700 gallon tanks of pure water that our freeze control process will make into perfect cylinders of optically clear ice over the next six weeks. This ice will then produce the light trails of cosmic ray particles as they pass through the tanks, and optical detectors will record their presence. This IceTop array forms the surface component of the IceCube cubic kilometer detector. My job over the next three weeks is to monitor the operation of our IceTop freeze control system, finish details of the installation, and prepare the inventory for next season. I also have a few side jobs consisting of air shower muon runs and IceCube DOM (Digital Optical Module) deployments after the new year. IceCube is the ambitious project to build a cubic kilometer detector within the two mile deep South Pole icecap. The cubic kilometer array will consist of 80 strings of 60 DOMs each for a total of 4800 detectors lowered into hot water drilled holes nearly two miles deep. These detectors will freeze in place and will be searching for the illusive neutrino particle. The scientists hope to shed light on the origin of cosmic rays and possibly contribute to our understanding of "dark matter", that invisible substance which makes up most of our universe. The University of Delaware is interested in our project, and has established a website to which we contribute in our spare time. Here is my first blog which is basically a bio: And here are my contributions about this season's adventure: Surf around the site, there's lots more about our project: Happy Holidays,

One more sleeps.

Weather watch: Well my alleged warming was short lived, by 9 the wind had picked up and wind chills dropped into the mid 30’s. Still no respite in sight.
Did some baking most of day only broken by a trip to the shops and a run up to the oldest Grand sons for his birthday dinner.
Brian John is 18 now, his dad cooked up some mean meal of goose, caribou meats cakes, salt beef with vegetables, some good man. Sister Aimee made the cake, right stuffed we were.

Heard on CBC radio [only news brief] that Jim Lyall, president of NG, is concerned about the growing gap of fuel prices between other communities and the North coast. Well I guess there would be a growing gap if our prices are frozen and the price of oil continues to drop.

Any way Jim says he has met with PUB officials and they have agreed to revisit the whole pricing issue come next spring, well hoop dee darh doo.
What are they going to do? One thing IMO, and that is to say “do you want your prices frozen in winter months, or do you want to take your chances with the rest of the province”.

At the moment there is a 41.5 deferential between St.John’s and the coast on gas, and a 43.65 [plus taxes] cents difference on furnace oil. As I have mentioned before, we need to talk about why there is such a large difference between Lake Melville prices and the coast, and such a small difference between Lake Melville and St. John’s.

Also we need to look at the higher pro rata taxes we pay considering everything we buy costs more. Are we getting shafted? Even though we received some rebates on Hydro and cost of living adjustments on taxes are we receiving our due and just returns with services provided and from whom for what?
Open and accountable I believe is the mantra of the Danny Government, that would be a good thing if only it was true.

On more pleasing subjects: Do not forget to listen [if you can] to the radio CBC Ideas show this evening, recorded reading from the Nain church, it is podcast and the like.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Prenez garde, le chien de garde violent.

Woe betide any Perps with evil intentions on their minds entering this house. Ol Siutik will pounce before they know what hit them; we sleep well knowing we are in good hands.

Weather watch: Temps on the rise from yesterday, no wind much to speak of, though what there is has a-27 chill factor.
Could be much worse, all those snow and wind storms down south, how about that 166kp/h at Wreckhouse, man o man that is something.

Date watch: date watch is over. I was looking for some dates for Christmas cooking, not a date to be found in any of the stores, which is unusual as dates are a common ingredient for a lot of people this time of year.

Seems someone got the message through, Fran came home last evening with two packages of the elusive fruit, BigLand had some flown in from their Hopedale store.
I was commissioned to cook up a leg of lamb for supper last evening. For a change I marinated it for several hours in an oil/mustard/honey/spices/garlic rub. At cooking I sealed the meat at high heat for the first 30 minutes of cooking then dropped temperature down to 325 for about 3 hours.
I used my new baked potato recipe too, crunchy on the outside and nice and soft inside.

Weather watch: Broke the -30 last evening at the house, -30.4 to be precise. Still no sign of any reprieve in the short term, nice and sunny though.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Giving thanks, tracking Santa, Weather watch.

Last evening I was preparing the vegetables to add to the pot of “jigs dinner” when the door bell rang.
On answering, there was Sam Winters [with his usual friendly grinning face] with a large box in his hands. “Merry Christmas, here is your Christmas hamper”.

Say what I said.

The white pail is salt beef.

Sam said grab this; I have to go get your turkey. He returned from a truck with a smaller box containing a turkey.

Of course I had all sorts of questions but Sam said, "there is a card in the box, that should explain everything" and off he went to deliver more hampers.

So we have to thank all those people on the Nain Christmas Hamper Committee and all those that donated to same, and a Merry Christmas to all. Click card to enlarge.

Moving on, you can keep track of Santa here at NORAD, I guess Santa made it back safely after yesterdays bone chilling flight.

Speaking of bone chilling; how about this for a long range forecast.

Updated: 8:00 PM AST on December 20, 2008
SundayScattered Clouds. High: -22 °C . Wind West 25 km/h . Windchill: -36 °C .
Sunday NightPartly Cloudy. Low: -26 °C . Wind WNW 21 km/h . Windchill: -34 °C .
MondayOvercast. High: -18 °C . Wind West 18 km/h . Windchill: -32 °C .
Monday NightOvercast. Low: -25 °C . Wind WNW 32 km/h . Windchill: -31 °C .
TuesdayPartly Cloudy. High: -20 °C . Wind West 39 km/h . Windchill: -35 °C .
Tuesday NightScattered Clouds. Low: -27 °C . Wind West 32 km/h . Windchill: -35 °C .
WednesdayOvercast. High: -15 °C . Wind WSW 28 km/h . Windchill: -32 °C .
Wednesday NightOvercast. Low: -27 °C . Wind NW 28 km/h . Windchill: -25 °C .
ThursdayScattered Clouds. High: -22 °C . Wind WNW 39 km/h . Windchill: -38 °C .
Thursday NightScattered Clouds. Low: -29 °C . Wind WNW 36 km/h . Windchill: -41 °C .
FridayScattered Clouds. High: -19 °C . Wind West 28 km/h . Windchill: -33 °C .
Friday NightScattered Clouds. Low: -26 °C . Wind WNW 21 km/h . Windchill: -31 °C .
SaturdayOvercast. High: -13 °C . Wind West 21 km/h . Windchill: -24 °C .
Saturday NightScattered Clouds. Low: -21 °C . Wind NW 25 km/h . Windchill: -23 °C

It got down to -26 last evening, [wind chill -41] but that does not beat the 1990 record low of -37, I wonder if that is mean.

ps: Thanks for the tang..but no thanks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Note to Santa,

when it's this bloody cold try and be on

Just kidding, the kids did not seem to mind the -36 wind chills while waiting for his arrival. It was -36 official but it sure seemed like -38 to me.
The terminal [relevantly speaking] was busy with cold people going in for a warm up as warm people were exiting.

In the picture above you can actually see the cold.

On disembarking the red sled Santa did not hang about with too many ho ho hos, he headed straight for the cops sled for a quick parade around town, stop off at the Community Hall to give out stuff to the kids, then back into the sled for the next stop.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On guard.

Santa looks like getting in today, not the seniors Santa but every bodies Santa.
This is just a training run as Santa will be on an Air Labrador charter [his deer are still in the adjistment paddock] and will visit Natuashish as well.
I took these photographs Friday afternoon, as this is very early days it gives one an idea of the pressures that will come into play on the dock by the end of winter.
The tide is on the wane here, the ski doo at the right of bottom picture belongs to the guy who was out testing the ice thickness. he made it back to shore OK, that part of the ice was formed earlier than just to the left of his machine.
Holey reindeer droppings, its -36 wind chill out there. Mr. Weather man got that one right for sure.
After all it is the first day of winter, and the shortest day to boot so things can only get better from now on, right?
We have received an invitation in past years to set up a table at the JHMS Career Development Classes Annual Christmas sale. This is the first time we took them up on it.

I guess with more time on our hands, and I enjoy baking bread and Fran enjoys embroidery, we decided to give it a shot.

There were about 7 tables [the table owners pay a fee and get to keep any money you make]
set up in the gym plus tables with tickets for prizes of prints and 50/50 draws, also there was a coffee style shop set up in the music room next to the gym.

I could have taken more bread, and the cookies all sold though at a slower rate.
Fran’s embroidery was snapped up and the books I was forced to relinquish sold better than I thought they would.

The money raised always goes to good causes; hope it was a success for the organizers.

Around 8.45 last evening the heat beats of Nain residence upped a few notches, well mine did. The power went out at that time until around 8.56 or so.
Only a short outage for sure, but given the circumstances any little blip plays on ones mental well being.

I’m sure a hydro spokesperson well inform the public just what the problem was last night, again given the circumstances. Just the facts, no hoopla rhetoric thank you very much.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pattern continues 2.

After shoveling some snow from the front we took a walk down town to some of the shops.
As you can see by the first picture the harbor froze over last night.
The second one is the back of the new Northern store, and the third one is of the new Nunatsiavut building on the main drag.

By the look of that sun I would hazard a guess that some weather is approaching, so more shoveling tomorrow I guess.

Pattern continues, boring,

and bloody cold. Down to -26 overnight at the house, at moment -24 and clear, thankfully light winds giving -27 chills.
Forecast is for some snow [again] today and tomorrow then clear [again] Saturday for several days and cold [again].

The contractor on the new Nunatsiavut building withdrew their guys last week, work will resume in March some time. The original plan was to just take a short Christmas break and resume work in early January. Whoever thought that framing buildings out in Labradors mid winter was a good idea soon came to a bitter reality. The company had to seek special permission from the client to shut the job down.

The new Northern building is all closed in and the roof is on, looks like those guys have left for a Christmas break. On return they can use portable construction heaters to make work bearable inside.

JHMS had there annual Christmas concert last evening. I did not attend but grandma did. I borrowed these videos from the GD, hope she does not mind. The grandson is in a red shirt.

Another light plane accident with a tragic ending from down under. This happened not far from my parents home, and even closer to moms favorite green grocer.
We wont point this story out to Grandma for sure.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weather grinch.

We took in the ‘seniors Christmas dinner’ at noon yesterday. We had been invited previous years, Fran went on her own, I was not ready for the honor of being a senior.

Here are some pictures of the tables being prepared by the event helpers, attendees singing Christmas carols and of the helpers joining in the singing.

It was an enjoyable meal and highlighted [for me] by the hymns and carols sung in Inuttitut. I usually join in, you can get the gist from the English versions, you just have to slow things down a bit, and lots of humming and adlibbing helps too.

The grinch hit towards the end, we were informed that due to the weather Santa Claus could not get in, therefore we would not be receiving the usual gifts at this time.
I took this very badly and stomped my feet and demanded that we see Santa Clause…………… Well not really but I was tempted to see what the reaction would be.

The gifts would be forthcoming when the weather clears; we would either pick them up or ask for them to be delivered, sans Santa Clause.

A big thank you to the organizers and the helpers who prepared the meal.

So it was out into the mini storm that was predicted, lot of blowing snow, the walk home helped burn off some of the calorie intake.
I have been meaning to post something on the Nain Huskies recent big win on the Island,
it has sparked a lot of excitement amongst the youth here for sure.
So in the absence of anything from me here is some good coverage of the BIG WIN.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I theenk ve haf zee pattern,

lousy weather pattern that is. It seems to be following similar lines to last year, clear cold with wind. Next day or so some light snow and calm followed by clear cold and wind. We are in the middle pattern at moment.
Not that we are alone with weird weather, it is worse an many places, most with large urban populations.

Any way on to more kitschy gaudy things. My vocabulary of bad words could not come close to describing what I think of what is going on in the oil rich Arab states.
I have long been appaled at what is going on over there, makes one wonder where the world is heading, could be this guy and his philosophy played a role. I scored second shot, see how you all do! [Thanks Wally]

Monday, December 15, 2008

I normally don’t mention how many visitors I get to this site, don’t want to seem self-indulgent [hi anonymous].
Having said that I do get some level of satisfaction in the small but steady increase in the unique visitor stats, and the returning visitors, no matter the reason for checking in.

Any way I thought I would just mention that my stats are way way up over the weekend, mainly due to a Wayne linking to my post on the ‘Christmas carol’ reading at Puffin pub online, thanks Wayne, and from a chat room at CartwrightLabrador. Big network of people from the south coast keep in touch that way.

I have also noticed many visitors, mainly from the USofA, hitting when they Google "how to assemble a Moravian Star". With great difficulty would be my response to that question.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Yesterday afternoon we attended a reading of Charles Dickens a ‘Christmas Carol’ at the Moravian church.
It was a special event in that Paul Kennedy, host of CBC radios program ‘Ideas’ was in town to record the reading for a Christmas eve show.

So here are some pictures of the pre reading performers and readers and one of teacher Tom Mugford, whose idea it was, looking on with some of the readers.

In between readers we were entertained by various musical and vocal renditions of Christmas music from the rear balcony.
I thought I would throw in one of the window, it is indicative of the weather awaiting us outside.

The very very short respite from wind chills was short lived, by mid afternoon the sky had cleared, the wind came up, and blew what snow that had fallen away.
Back to -32 wind chill on leaving the church.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Well I’ll take -12 in a 20 K wind over the last several days anytime, and the light snowfall adds to the comfort zone too.

The PC I have is about 3 years old I guess, the slowness has been an inconvenience for some time now, especially since we have had high speed internet.
Being a great procrastinator I surprised myself by getting Norton to do a check to see what I could do to speed it up.
I thought I had 500 mb of Ram, not so, only 256…….shoot. I could boost it up to 1 GB no problem.

So I call the place where I purchased the computer in Goose Bay to find out exactly what type of card to get. I could have taken the risk and ordered online, but computer geek I am not, not one of my skill sets so to speak.

So in short order I get a call back from GB. In stock are two 512 mb ddr 333 pc2700 which I am assured will do the job.

When the price was quoted I almost gagged, but what the heck, support you local business [relatively speaking] and all that, besides the service is good, and how could Canada Post shag up the delivery being just Goose Bay to Nain.

All was aligned as the package arrived yesterday, removed old and in with the two new, Varoooom, what a difference.
Sort of like trading in your old 340cc ski doo for a 1000cc liquid cooled four stroke Polaris.

Also picked up at the same time was this very decorative box, both Fran and I assumed it was from Australia.
On entering the house I put the decorative box down to disrobe all the heavy gear. I faint ''jingle bells' tune emanated from said box. We thought it was something in the box.
Later, on further examination, we discover it was the box playing the music, and it was from Italy, not Oz.

Italian Post [or whatever their called] did a great job with this promotion IMO, mind you I would not want Canada Post to get any ideas, expensive enough as it is to send overseas parcels.

On a personal note: Today is the first anniversary of my sister Vicki passing away, thinking of you kiddo.
And lastly but by no means least, for those folks in the dark in the North east states, the heat sufferers down under and for us up here in the mild snowy north, some humor courtesy of Robin Williams.
Mind you he does seem to be looking more like a member of the Bush clan around the face, hope he can get something done about that.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Not only are our arses frozen

on the coast but so too are the fuel prices.

Now this may have seemed like a good idea [freezing fuel prices] when last winter the world oil prices were going through the roof. This year it is not so appealing with the world oil prices tanking. Mind you way paid for the freeze when it was lifted last April, who knows what the price will be come next April, but rest assured we wont get anywhere near back what we have put in during the freeze. Not to mention the extra taxes the Government rakes in.

At the moment there is 44.50 cents differential between what we pay and what St. John’s pays for unleaded self serve gas. [Self serve being relative].

With stove oil we have a larger differential of 42.51 cents, keep in mind taxes and delivery have to be added on to that 42.51cents. If some one was to fill their home heating tank up today we on the coast would pay over $400 more than on the Avalon.

What bugs me more are the regulated differentials between the Avalon and Central Labrador and Central Labrador and the Coast.
You can see them here: I would like to see the justification for these differentials. I am sure some civil servant can come up with some sort of mumbo jumbo that would bamboozle us all.

With gas Central Labrador pays 3.6 cents more than St.John’s. Coastal Labrador pays 40.9 cents more than Central Labrador.

For stove oil Central Labrador pay 3.29 cents more than St. John’s. Coastal Labrador pays 39.31 cents more than Central Labrador.

Look at the geography? Plus Central Labrador freezes up as well as the coast. Add to that the tankers go past the Southern Coast to get to Central Labrador, yet Southern pay the same as us up here. Go figure that one?

My math may be out a bit but the picture I think is clear.

Over the years I have had many conversations with a certain chap on the vagaries and what we perceived as unfairness of the regulated fuel prices, what we get for the higher taxes we pay yadda yadda yadda.

That chap is now the President of Nunatsiavut. One person can’t do it all I know, but I wonder what if any conversations are taking place on these issues that affect our daily lives. One thing that would be helpful is that the status quo and incompetence’s within Nunatsiavut is not being defended but rather being pointed out with view of a change. Let’s hope there is an ongoing battle within.

I know, my bad, but shag it.

Wow, I think the warming trend is upon is only -19 now.
Kind of bizzaro feeling while watching the news last night. We up here have not had it above -30 wind chill for going on three days and in St.John’s and Corner Brook we see stories of rain and houses being damaged by flash floods, or rather damaged by a breakdown in civil engineering oversights.

To rub salt into it the forecast for St. John’s is temps up to PLUS 12 today. But they can have the rain and freezing rain.

Speaking of it being bloody cold, I don’t know how the guys working on the new Nunatsiavut building do it, they are out in this weather framing up the second story. I did notice that most were working in the areas facing the north east though.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shortbread Klutz.

Over the years I have made several attempts at making shortbread. Every attempt has been a disaster of one level or another.
The overcooked lump at the rear of the picture is yesterday’s attempt.

People say it is easy to do, just mix the three or four ingredients and viola, shortbread, well not me.

Will give it one more shot before Christmas, will keep a better eye on the timer.

At least I make half decent bread and rolls.

Oh, and Siutik loves the burnt edges, I get the not so burnt middle.
Sticking to form the temperatures is dropping as dawn approaches, it has dropped over 3 degrees in the last 45 minutes, negative 23 now.