Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get the skates out

or in my case the crampons. We are due for a 26 degree drop in temperatures today, should be fun.
I have been meaning to mention the new Enviro Canada web page; it is clean, crisp, interactive and easy to navigate, much better than the old one.

I found this video over at CartwrightLab blog, it is a little piece done by the Grand River keepers, and you get a little bit of an idea of what the river [river of many names] is like at the falls. I have been there in summer, very impressive, with some vision that area could be one hell of a tourist attraction once the TLH is upgraded to an acceptable national standard. Hat tip to LLoyd for posting it.

In comments oldbrooktrout mentioned the wooden water pipes of yore. I remember seeing remnants of them in my early years here, [or maybe they were the wooden drainage pipes]. Not in use but they would turn up here and there when digging was taking place, plus some of the elders would tell stories about them.
There was at that time what was left of the summer dam up between where the new high school is and the Moravian Manse. Filling that area in for the school without proper drainage was one of the issues that led to millions of dollars of remedial work after the school was finished.
The town infrastructure has come a long way in the intervening years.

One thing I feel nostalgic about is the wooden bridges that used to straddle the brooks just outside the then town boundary. They added character and similar structures could be utilized today over some areas just outside today’s boundaries. Then again progress some times has an ugly head.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Local and regional stuff.

The attempt to fix [locate] the water main leak continues. Workers dug down, some working over the weekend, to what was thought to be the problem area, a tee in the line. Alas that was not the area of the leak, so now a hole is being dug just a couple meters away from the first, this time to locate a valve on the line, thinking the problem may be there. Process of elimination is the norm with these things, trouble is, in winter the ground being frozen adds time and effort in eliminating.

Man oh man, this is getting lots of air time in Labrador, 3 months after work complete large cracks are found in the runway, 30 million eh? I do believe it was a Quebec firm that had the contract for that job, conspiracy theories any one.

Good to see the Innu having a public meeting on the addictions problems. I do not know how the vote will be carried out at the meeting to prohibit alcohol in the community; hopefully it is by secret ballot. If it is an Innu tradition to do it other wise then that’s fine, if it is an introduced system then it’s a gray area IMO. Any one know more details on that?
Update on Natuashisch meeting: CBC radio is reporting that Cheif Prote Poker will ask the residents to vote with their feet in tomorrows plebiscite [or whatever]. The Chief will ask those who attend the meeting [being held at the gym] that want some form of Prohibition to stand on one side of the room. Interesting indeed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday on tuesday.

In lue of the Snapfish experiment not working here are some of the photos of the NMC as of yesterday.
From left to right we have one end of the radio department office; two views of the air exchanger mechanics; door of the radio control room, all upstairs; what will be the furnace room downstairs

Snapfish is great for sending albums by e mail, have not figured out if it can be utilized for here, I can send my whole set of albums, but do not want to do that.

The kindergarten to grade 9 is closed this morning, the water is being turned off for part of the town. I'm confused as to whether it will effect our road. There is a leak just 2 doors up with a hole started, but the information I have been getting indicates our road may not be effected by this shut off. I guess I will have a better clue at 9, the shut off time.

Matthew is coming up to have quality time with grandpa for this morning, or the pups. Siutik loves to see Matt, as soon as she hears his foot steps in the porch she jumps up and rushes out to greet him, no matter that pups are dropping off her teats like snow from tree branches in spring time.

Update: Matthew arrived, poor lil ol puppies abandoned.
And our water is off so that conundrum solved.
Nice day out, -13 at moment, people are wondering where the snow is that was forecast, if we get any of consequence it wont be until Friday I'd guess.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yowza Yowza Monday.

Yowza cause it's up to -12, like a heat wave compared to what we have been having.

The pups are only 4 days old today, seems like a week or more.

I'm going to try something different with Snapfish. I uploaded some photos of the interior of the NMC as of today, sort of give folks who give a hoot an idea of where she be at.
It is an album, in slide show format, I hope.

That did not work by look of it, so will try this.

That worked, click on view photos.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In other belated goings on.

Also Thursday evening we visited daughters for our first look at the new addition, great grandson Enrique, Siutik started delivering while we were out, quite the evening.

Yesterday afternoon was the second visit by Enrique to his grandmas, this time without his mom. grandma had been busy at the shops. When I arrived at the house GM and uncle were struggling with assembly of this rocker thing. So GGD helped, GGM and GGS were a little bored with our struggles but it came together in the end.

Uncle and GGD are in a struggle as to correct pronunciation of Enrique. GGD [for some unknown reason] pronounces it in a Spanish accent, this pisses off uncle no end, '"It's not Enrique it's Enrique", "that's what I said" says I.
Any way it's a rear occasion that Matthew allows his picture being taken knowingly, so something is working.

Motherhood and other topics.

OooooK, I'm ready to go back in there, view right to left.

We were some what hesitant about how Siutik would handle motherhood, being so young herself [my fault for dropping my guard] when jumped by her paramour there was room to be a little worried.

Any fears in that regard are out the window, she is an exemplary mother. Spends most of the day with the kids, feeding, cleaning, and sleeping. When hungry she rushes out to let us know. Same with bathroom breaks; rushes out to the back door and as usual waits in the porch to be hooked to the running tether.

Today she is starting to take more interest in what we are doing, keen ear on who comes to the door, wanted to come shopping with us this morning, stood at the window watching us walk down the street.
Most likely take her for a short walk later, it’s such an amazing day, -20 with not a cloud in the sky, then there has not been a cloud in the sky for some time. The difference today is hardly any wind. People at the stores are all dressed for -30 and lower wind chills, many including us were commenting on how warm it is.

On a more sensitive topic. There is nothing official that I have heard but rumblings are that the election for president of Nunatsiavut has been brought ahead from September, or was it October. Any way it looks like being some time in May now, perhaps around the 6th or 8th, those dates are just speculation by me.
Have not heard a peep as to why this would be, maybe something to do with the incumbent being asked to take a leave by the other government members, or some other rational is in play, I sure hope the people are informed soon, as usual information control down at the NG GQ is as tight as a fishes arse.

One thing I have been picking up from wide and varied sources is the need for a change at the top and not just president. The same old couple of mobs have been battling it out for control for way too long. There is an urgent need for some people with commitment to the aims and objectives of the people of Nunatsiavut, not the incompetent parochial self serving attitudes of past and present.

That should up the hit counter eh? But it is true, and one would hope more people will come out and talk about these things, and be free and comfortable in doing so. I understand why most are reluctant, but it is time some semblance of democracy and free speech was allowed to take its course.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Later that day.

Yo, look what I did.
Jo Jo the clown
All's well.

Long night for some.

It took about 6 hours once she started, all are resting now. Seven of the little buggers, showing #3 in one picture and the 7 just after the last extracted itself.

Lot of people Googling on the Skandic fire, not sure why some one in Delhi or Louisiana would be interested, but there ya go.

Down to -33 overnight. So now we have anxious times with the water line leak, go with the flow is best, eh?

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Well bummer, but no surprise.There is a leak in what looks like the main line just 21/2 houses up from us. Right at a T in the line by look of it, workers are there now in first stages of an undetermined length of a digging project.
Lots of nervous ski doo wide track owners here at moment, even ones who do not have the 800cc engine.
Had to wait for the sun to get out of the road to take the first picture.

Garboligy and Kraut.

Another group of people who deserve our/my thanks and respect are the outside workers with the Nain Inuit Community Government. Boy have they had it tough since Christmas.
Besides the water main break there is the usual dealing with freeze ups at houses and the usual picking up of the garbage and general maintenance that a northern town of 1300 odd needs. I would not want to be out in that -49 wind chills, even being out all day in -27 will play havoc with the body eventually.

I have a couple of little anecdotes regarding the collectors of our spilth.
I have been meaning to get some pictures of the guys driving around on the garbage Komatik, but it is just too bloody cold for that. Any way yesterday the GS was up at the house, the boys with the hoods pulled up across the road to empty the garbage box, so I grabbed the camera and took this picture. Matthew say’s to me, “old nulliuk is driving the ski doo”.

The other story is; our visitor [X] for the last week was getting ready to leave for home this morning, she noticed the picture on the computer and relayed this little ditty.
Yesterday as X was leaving the temporary office X noticed a guy on a ski doo, X thought to herself “that is a handsome Inuk”. X then noticed two other men on the back of a komatik, X said to self “there is two other handsome Inuit”. It was the guys in the picture, how bout them apples. OK maybe you have to know X to grasp the point, trust me it is funny.

The visitor is involved with the following too. For some time I had a hankering for some sauerkraut and German potatoes. Not sure why as the last time I had kraut I was in my teens. The spuds are easy but no kraut is available in town, so I look up a recipe and made some.

It took 10 days of sitting in the container, so desperate for something different to serve at meal time I added kraut to last night meal.

I cooked up some schnitzel for me, steak for Fran and Vegetarian for X. Did I mention X is a vegetarian, so serving interesting meals over a period of time can be arduous given our local? Along with the meats I roasted some turnip and yams. Steamed the kraut with some spices, made up some potato and onion pan cakes, all served with sour cream.

The kraut was very good I thought, as usual Fran puts up resistance; “I do not like kraut” says she. We says “how do you know, you have not tried it”. Fran says "I did years ago and I don’t like it". “Try it” say’s I. After one fork full Fran says, “this does not taste like what I had before”, plate was cleaned in no time.
Then X cleans up the plate and offers up that “if that meal was served in a restaurant then X would order it”, talk about an ego building meal eh?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Be aware, very aware.

Boombardier. The news filtered up the coast pretty fast [the old way], two snowmobiles had burst into flames in 24 hours in Rigolet. One man was burnt on the right leg, no casualties with the second.
Both machines were different year models of the Bombardier Skandic super wide track [SWT] with 800cc four stroke engines.
The injured man was very lucky, CBC picked up on the story quickly and reported that; after the machine exploded his entire snowmobile suit was covered in flames, his wife heard shouting and came out of their house and told the guy to hit the ground, this he did and flames were extinguished.
The other machine exploded while the owner was inside his house waiting for the engine to warm up.
Warming up snowmobile engines is a normal practice in extreme cold, you let it idle [after what some times can be an arduous job getting it started] before riding off into the frozen tundra. CBC Here & Now had photos of the two burnt out machines taken by the RCMP, the first one was just a black gray shell, the second was not as extensively burnt.

K to 3 classes are closed here today. I have been up since 2 and buggering around a bit, mainly surfing, the thermometer is on the desk just above eye level and it has been going back and forth between -29 and -31.8 all morning. Funny bones at the weather office is saying extreme wind chills of -47 today and cold wind chills of -43 tonight. Clear all through till Sunday with possible warming up to a low of- 22, looking forward to that sure.
I know there are some positive happy things going out there some place, please feel free to let me know of them anyone. Just kidding, about me not knowing of any that is, but they take research to do correctly and time is an issue.
For all the positive stories going on on the Labrador go to OKS, even under adverse conditions these folk get the job done, boy they will be like polar bears at an Ozzie zoo in the new building.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


and stone the bloody crows, baby it's cold outside.

It's getting colder at the official site down near the airstrip, -29 with wind gusts to 67 KPH giving wind chill of -48. Warmer up at the house at -27.4.

All the schools on the coast are closed, some grades are in, some not, in other parts of Labrador and on the Island.

Some wag at Environment Canada has a twisted sense of humor, on the weekend I was checking the 5 day forecast, for of the days one day it read cold wind chills of -42, for the next day extreme wind chills of -45.

Yesterday I did two runs to the gas station, runs on the ski doo that is. Photo shows how I was dressed, not exactly dressed for a day out at Bawley Point eh? Though, going by the forecasts for BP it seems a little on the cool side for January.

Things are toasty and work coming along nicely at the Nain Media Centre. Two more plasterers got in yesterday, so very busy down there with all trades fully at it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Nuff of the funny bone stuff

back to reality. Picture right is what surfing was all about for me, loved doing those left and right handers, tumbling under just at the right time to re-surface at the back of the wave, well most times. Many a headache was had from when it did not work. Pic from PD.

Enough of the nostalgia, given the -40c wind chills this morning the scene would be more like this one from Antarctica. Pic sent by a friend.

Not looking good for the early part of the week sure.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Humor Sunday.

A bit of humor on such a bloody cold day. Taken from here, sure he wont mind, well I'm not sure but I did tell him.
And while your at it dart a sheep.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bottom of the world indeed.

Not sure how many people get cards from Penguin HQ, for the last number of years Len or one of his associates[my clients] have been sending me greetings from down there.
Len or associates go down in the southern summer to check on their neutron monitors, usually manage to take some holidays in the antipodes while that way, lucky buggers.
This card is the most interesting to date so thought I would share. Click on images to enlarge, as usual.

So that global warming thing did not last long locally, back into the -25 range and wind chills down to -40c. Forecast is for much the same for nexr several days.
What snow we had has blown into the woods, or to Greenland, there is not much around town, the 4 wheeled internal combustion modes of transport are back out in force, well the ones that will start.

Saturday-just because.

The inevitable line up at the gas station on a Friday morning.
The low gray structure houses the two bowsers, one for gas [petrol] and one for everything else ie. diesel, heating fuel, aviation fuel [it's complicated]. The little low gray structure is so low you have to bend down to read the meter windows. The richest bloke in Labrador came in [in his chopper] to personally overseer the construction of the low gray structure. Rumor has it he wanted to make sure there was no waste of material, if correct it worked.

The other two shots are of the old dam. This is the sort of thing one does not like to see middle of January. All that water coring is sign of frozen brooks and stuff, but I have mentioned that before.

T'was a beautiful evening last night, cloudy with some light snow at times. We had a brief diversion at the bar of the Atsanik, they have a broad range of canned and bottled beer in stock. I tried a Brahma, too sweet so switched back to Stella for the next two.

Global warming has arrived, -6 early.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Terminus of the leakus we hopeus.

Pictures of the break and the repair job. Break was at one of the welded joins of the 8" pipe.
It seems the supply line freeze ups are at a minimum to date, about four. Lets hope this warm spell [-6c] will bring some much needed snow.
Credit for first picture goes to Nain Inuit Community Government.

Change of pace.

The main man [Grandson Matthew] took the school closures in stride. The other day Grandma said to Matthew "if this weather keeps up you will be out of school for a month". "So" was the reply.
Any we main man took a run out towards Black Island with his Dad, they had heard that polar bear tracks had been sighted heading from Two Mile Bay towards Black Island, so they went for a look see. No sight of bear but here are some of the tracks, Matthews Kamiks fit just nicely in one.

The water leak is fixed, pictures later, remains to be seen how many supply lines and sewer lines are frozen, hopefully non to not many.

The Nain Inut Community Government workers, both inside and outside, plus the casuals who were hired on,deserve a big pat on the back for the efforts the last week.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friday at the conservatoire.

While up at the school yesterday I noticed these windows boarded up with plywood.
During the summer vacation all the lower floor windows are covered the same way, an anti vandalism technique.

It is not the case now, the windows were vandalized, one presumes while school was open. If memory serves, the windows have been boarded up for over six months. Relying on memory again, the replacement glass was sent in but it was the wrong size. Not sure how long ago that was, it seems to me the situation may be getting out of hand, it’s a long time for those class rooms to be like that, I have to wonder how it is effecting the moral of the children and staff.

Wayne left as comment: Table Mountains said...
G'day brain, i saw your photos on the CBC news hour last evening. your keeping the province informed and aware of the situation in northern Labrador.

Thanks Wayne, always with the compliments.
The story there is; I had a call from a CBC reporter in GB asking if I had water at the house. When I said yes he sounded disappointed, that may be unfair, but it sounded like it to me.
Any way the reporter then mentioned he had noticed the photos on my blog, they had no one up here and were doing a piece on the situation and wondered if they could use them, of course I gave my blessing. Reporter did not add that they had been looking for photos from other sources all day, nothing is sacred in small towns eh if you are of a mind to find out stuff, something I only do occasionally.

The water situation is same as yesterday, though I believe things could move in the positive direction later today.

The disaffected students are still out, refusing to go back until there is adequate water pressure for the bathrooms. With the acute shortage of office/meeting space in the town the alternatives are limited.
The student strike made the provincial radio news, no mean feat in these days of navel gazing Avalon Peninsular centric media executives. Then again maybe we should be thankful for what we get. Then again that fly’s in the face of the Williams Government mantra. Then again …………………………………..

Water and school update.

Word is that the workers have located the leak in the main, with luck they could have it uncovered some time late this afternoon. With more luck and hard work it could be repaired this evening.

Pictures show the location of the work to the school, plus the length of trench dug to locate the problem area, no mean feat in these conditions.

Also on the go: The high school kids did not stay in school long, mid morning about 20 or so students were out with placards parading around town, the community government office, radio station. Some of the students were invited into the radio station to give an interview, it’s not been aired yet but one of the issues is the claim that the bathrooms are a health hazard.
I scuttled down to get some picture of the protesters, but, seems they had all gone home for lunch.

If the water line is fixed it should not develop into a big issue, then again.

The youth are out, refueled and rear'n to go. They are walking around town with some placards and chants, the group is growing minute by minute, about 40 when I passed them on my way home from the NMC, the pictures were taken earlier near the fire hall and Northern store.
I asked them what the problem was, "one bathroom for all the students and staff", stinky boy". Plus there is is very limited water as mentioned earlier.