Saturday, January 31, 2009

The night and day of how to develop tourism in Northern Eastern Canada.

Tourism Nunatsiavut [parks Canada] decides to spend 250 grand on a fact finding trip to the tropics.

Next door Nunavik have an entirely different and pragmatic approach. Leaving aside the 3 million dollars invested, Nunavik send people to similar climates to theirs, in northern areas, to lean from established tourism enterprises.
Plus they are training people in the communities.

Night and day.

Oh, and an anomaly but non the less welcome, here is a timely press release on what the President of Nunatsiavut thinks of the budget this week.
Looking like some nice weather ahead the coming week, mid minus teens is perfect for enjoying what the outdoors has to offer this time of year.

Looks like the sewer blockage just up the road has been repaired, just as that was completed further up Sandbanks Road a water lift station decided to go on the blink.
This station pumps water up the hills to the newer subdivisions, lots of homes and apartments plus the Day Care Center are up that way.
At first council announced that water would be back on post hast, later another announcement said that water would not be restored for a couple of days as a part had to be flown in.

We are still in the dark as to any official announcements from Hydro on the status of the generating capabilities here. Lots of conflicting stories going around, I guess if you multiply those by two, add 16 then divide by 3 you may get a close projection.

Me I like to get non hyped informed accurate information from reliable sources, alas that stuff is in short supply in more areas than just hydro matters, does not bode well for the so called democracy we live in. It is more like we live in a mushroom state, “keep em in the dark and feed em a load of bullshit" seems to be the order of the day.

And don’t get me started on the codswallop that our Danny is dishing up to his fawning constituents. We looked into the mind of the Newfoundland electorate……….and it was empty.

Can you imagine what Danny would do to any member of the Williams government if one of them decided to not vote as his lordship dictated, hypocrite.

Back in my old home town life seems to be imitating art on a larger than life scale. I ran into the odd not so honest cop in my day but this stuff is getting real serious.

For a bloke who did not feel like making a post this morning I seem to have gotten somewhat carried away

Friday, January 30, 2009

People were out and about in droves and looking pleased with them selves yesterday, amazing what a calm sunny -17 day does for ones well being after all that cold windy stuff.

I spent a good part of the day outdoors catching up with some chores, going to the shops, getting the ATV stuck in soft snow. Nothing exciting, just a nice and enjoyable day.

The fresh foods arrived in town early, BigLand had reasonable choice and it was all fresh [food for the mind].

If any one was wondering what it would be like to be a sardine in a can just take a run over to the Northern Stores temporary dry goods store. Over Christmas I thought it impossible to get anymore stuff into that place, I was wrong.
Boxes both empty and full blocking the only entrance. Narrow isles blocked by boxes, ladders, clothes and other goods crammed so tight you have to struggle to free anything to check for size and price to get anything, stuff hanging from the ceiling, boxes and goods all over and around the check out counter.
As you pass down the isles things get knocked to the floor, I know it is temporary but this is ridicules, and it is all dictated by some faceless idiot who dictates what items and at what volume goes into the store at any given time. Don’t they realize the size of the place?
I pity the staff working under those conditions.

CKOK had an interesting interview with the NG deputy minister of finance yesterday. The subject was the 21 million dollar loss [decrease in value] that NG investments have taken with the down turn in world stock markets.
Some interesting information came out in the interview, far more than CBC got out of the same guy in their earlier interview.
That was followed up by interviews with three mayors of towns in Nunatsiavut on the same subject, some interesting and revealing material there too. At the end of each interview each mayor was asked what their town would have done with 21 million, no shortage of ideas.
Pity you can’t get CKOK radio on the internet yet, and they have not updated their radio briefs [at time of posting] since Monday, must be short staffed.

I have heard from a reliable source [non Hydro] that the hydro plant has only four of the five units in working order. Speculation on my part is that the downed unit is one of the mobiles brought in to supplement the two damaged units in the plant.

I guess some people are breathing a little easier today, though if things go as announced many will be breathing toxins and fumes in the Long harbour area come 2013.

Seems like Victoria decided to outdo our electricity woes, and the fires + heat [24 c at 11 pm] are something else too.
Keep those esky's full.

This just in; via CBC radio. The Sub division in Nain has either low or no water pressure, a problem with the lift station it seems, council said it will have it fixed this morning, woes woes woes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We had a little blip in the electricity supply yesterday afternoon

a two hour twenty five minute blip actually.
The conditions outside did nothing to placate as time went by, winds gusting to 68k with -32 to -35 chills.

I did not bother calling the Hydro plant [don’t like bothering them] but after the first hour I called a couple of people to see if any information was at hand, no information there, in one case not for the want of them trying.

I did not bother calling the toll free outage line that Hydro has… no help there when it is an unscheduled outage.

I then called the Hydro office in Goose Bay and was told by a friendly lady that power should be back in half an hour or so, they had a unit down and the crew was working on repairing it.

After an hour and a half I dragged the emergency generator outside and fired it up. Hooked it up to an electric heater and was in the process of hooking it up to the furnace when the power came back up.

So the question has to be asked again, in times like this and in conditions like this who do people call for information???????????

Whose responsibility should it be to give out reasonably accurate informed information? It’s not like Hydro has not been asked to get something going on this

Or do we just site back and hope for the best, in the mean time the temperatures inside homes are dropping, business are in the dark about what measures to take, surely it is not difficult to have a person and a telephone number designated for people to call. I don’t think it reasonable that the council office or the media have to be bothered with Hydro update calls, wake up Hydro management and get off your fat arses.

And I wonder when the community will get an update on how many generators are available now, that is twice in two weeks we have had a generator down with repairs needed. Is it the same generator both times, has the first generator been repaired, do we now have two generators down or are all up and in operational condition.

Sure a pleasure to see clear blue with a tinge of red over the hills as the sun rises this morning. Another pleasing sight is to see the smoke from the chimneys going almost vertical, been awhile seeing that for sure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

By popular demand I will not mention the louzy steenking windy weather we are having. Instead we will go to other topics, like culinary for one.

Cooked up the partridge soup last night as promised. Picture at right shows some of the prep work, added to that lot was some pork fat for sautéing, chicken stock, rice and then dough boys.
It is hard for partridge cooked any way not to come out tasting bloody great.

The bottom picture is of what we called ‘potato scallops’ down under, maybe not culinary but good any way. Thinly sliced spuds dipped in batter [this one is beer batter] then deep fried to a crisp crunchy outside and soft and delicious inside. Some fish and chip vinegar and salt to taste, some good boy.
Elsewhere: Not much can be found in msm or in NG public documents of the big loss [shortfall] on investments the Nunatsiavut Government has suffered in these uncertain times.
There is an audio interview here and it is my understanding CKOK will air an interview with the same NG official today.
More secrecy is evident in the talks on the proposed Long Pond Hydromet Smelter. Things could be ominous for the smelter construction and even the mine if things don’t go well in the talks.

All is not well with the outside world, some people have not come to the realization that things will get worse before they get better.
I heard an interview with a union organizer at the mine [CBC radio]; he sounded very worried that things may take a turn for the worse for mine workers if talks on the smelter go on too long.
And how about that federal budget, all the things that the PC's said they would never do they do, to save their jobs no doubt.
Big turn around from a couple months ago when Harper waffled that the down tick on the markets was a good buying opportunity for some, one super duper arse hole that guy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bloody wind has been blowing like the blazes, into the third day now, no let up until maybe tomorrow. Temperatures are constant in the -24 range with chills constant from -40 to -44.

Did another take out type meal last night, though this time the only home made was the rice, came out better than usual, even Fran gave a good review. So for that we will have partridge soup tonight, with dough boys.
Hope Wally does not drool on his computer too much, don’t want him getting electrocuted.
The partridge is a gift from the daughter, she got it Saturday, the first she ever shot, we will enjoy it immensely.

Reminds me of my first partridge. Fresh from Oz, up some brooks in fairly cold conditions with couple of people. The partridge was pointed out to me, it was sitting in some willows, by a companion.

Got it first shot, feeling very happy with myself, go forward to retrieve, straight down up to my waist in snow and up to my knees in freezing water. F---g hell says I, or words to that affect.

Companions pissing themselves laughing. “Why didn’t you tell me that the brook was there” I says.

“OH, we thought you new that the brook was hung over with snow”.

“Yeah right, how the bloody hell would I know, I spent all of my life on beaches for christ sake”

Any way we had a quick ride back to camp, lit a fire and partly dried out the boots, liners and socks. Wrapped my feet in plastic bags before putting the still damp stuff back on for the trip home.

To this day one of the companions still calls me brooker.

Monday, January 26, 2009

In opposite ends of the globe people are bitching about the weather, down under on the beaches of Victoria of course it is about the heat and what to expect this week.
Up here it is the fact we are back into the winds and bloody awful chills, -42 here this morning, colder in other communities.
Planes are on hold, classes cancelled and the like. It is true blowing snow conditions, clear sky’s down to about 500feet then visibility is limited.

Another buddy from Oz sent me this under the subject "probably" [without comment] by e mail this morning:

"Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and
more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take
more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable.
The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to
be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will
eventually lead to communism"
Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867

Old buddy used to be a card carrying union member and organizer who regularly hit the streets in support of the working man.
He has since has had an epiphany on the way to the bank. Now he is a rabid free marketer, let the unfortunate eat cake [if the food bank has any], he is anti union and more right wing and intolerant than Harper or old GWB.
But we still communicate and I am hopeful he will have another epiphany as the bank door swings shut in his face.

Any way it amuses me, all these greedy large corporations and banks who thought it OK to bad mouth anyone who had a conscious and advocated for the under and unemployed and less fortunate, and are now going groveling for tax payers money to bail them out of the hole they dug for themselves. Then gain they would not have gotten this far if the proletariat were not in cahoots and lapped up all the credit, some of the blame has to be taken by the consumer.

Later: First of the spin on the delay of the smelter at Long Pond.

Actually it more angers me than amuses, but what the hell, what goes around comes around and history always repeats itself, welcome brothers and sisters may be just around the corner.

Later later: " glory be" and "Heavens to Murgatroyd!", the weather office has issued a blizzard and wind chill warning for our area.

Now maybe they could tell us something we don't know.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I do not want to be the purveyor of doom and gloom but to my mind some politicians, both federally and provincially, may need to take a reality check on the economy, especially those economies that rely on the extraction of non renewable resources. I prefer the term ‘non renewable resources’ rather than the oft used ‘natural resources'.

Also, workers in the non renewable resource sector should start taking notice of what is going on around the world, and as a precaution start thinking of maybe the possibility some hard/harder times ahead.

The reason for this is in the news and business sections of msm and on the Internet if ones want to look.
Vale Inco may or may not have filed its plans for the Long Pond smelter, but the silence from the government is strange, then again for good news they would not want to release it on a Friday and maybe wait for a more opportune time, we shall see. I presume the local media will pick up on this this coming week, lets hope it is more good than bad.

The news from down under is not so great in the nickel and iron ore sector, nor is the news from China as it faces huge shut downs and layoffs in many sectors.

One thing that is a positive from all this down turn; the chance of a uranium mine in Labrador is diminished in the short to medium term.
People who appose or even have doubts about uranium mining should not be afraid to speak up about their concerns, they should also not feel intimidated by the pro uranium lobby groups.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another big loss

for the folks on the coast of Labrador.

Early Friday morning the Hopedale Hall was badly damaged by fire; all the contents of the building were destroyed as well.

A big loss for the youth as the hall was used as a center for activities and recreation.

The Hopedale radio station also operated out of the building, all the equipment is gone, and we know how that feels up here for sure.

There is coverage of the story here, less so here with photo, and also here with really racist writing in the comments section. Some people in the south seem to be under the allusion they live in the land of Snow White and Pollyanna.

On the Hopedale radio station front: I have it on good authority that there is replacement equipment either in and or on the way to Goose Bay. As soon as a new space is ready the equipment will be ready for shipment and will be installed at minimal cost to the radio society, if that is acceptable to the people of Hopedale.
Brian’s big bite:

After an afternoon walk in -35 chills I rather fancied hamburgers for our evening meal, simple and hearty.
No store bought processed stuff though, freshly ground meat, fresh baked buns, salad, OK….. processed cheese, man it was good.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another senior’s moment.

I wrote up a correction and an apology to yesterdays post on the power outage, I was sure that I hit the publish button, sure looks like that is not the case.

So to re hash; the power outage yesterday morning was the scheduled outage that I mistakenly mentioned would be from 3 to 4:30 pm. I dumbucked and apologize to any and all, if any and all give a dam.

Lesson leaned; read the public notices with my glasses on.

I for one will be glad when the weather warms up when there will be less likelihood of any major issues if our power does go off un-expectantly. This ordeal must be/is putting undue stresses on many people, including me.

People are out taking walks on the harbor ice lately, a sure sign of warming trends, if you consider -16 as a warming trend. Nice and sunny with not a lot of wind, very nice indeed.

Another lesson leaned these past couple of weeks; don’t let telephone company management get away with telling you that “your problem is fixed’ when you have it on good authority that it is not fixed.
It might take a lot of aggro and effort, but there is always away around these people, you just have to know how to navigate, no one is perfect [as proved above] or correct all the time.

The reason for that little rant is; after two weeks of dealing with the telephone company the radio distribution line to the rest of the coast and Goose Bay is finely back up and free of interference.
The radio technical advisor always insisted that the loss of the feed, and then a double feed when it was restored, was always a telephone company issue. The telephone company guys on the ground finely admitted that something they did was causing the double feed, but could not, or were not given the time, to track it down.

The radio technical advisor flew in and had the problem identified and fixed within an hour, all be it the telephone guys had narrowed things down. But it was still a telephone company defect; the male plug on the end of a telephone line was the cause of all the grief [an open circuit], a simple crimp and no more double feed.

The general hypothesis of what went wrong goes like this: Telephone company puts in upgraded telephone capacity into the area of town that has the radio station, radio transmitters and other business buildings.

The defective plug worked OK before the line upgrade but the new larger telephone line acted like an antenna, precipitating the open circuit to pick up RF from the transmitter site and bleed over the top of the intended radio signal. That is my understanding of it all, but then????.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

N&LH have a scheduled power outage for Nain today, 3 to 4:30 pm weather permitting. Reason for the outage; to upgrade the power plant, [snicker snicker].

Seems they had a dry run at the outage this morning. Some time around 3 am the power went out. At 4:15 I was up out of bed preparing for the day in the dark. This meant getting the candles and lamps out, placing them strategically around so no one trips over anything before first light.

Next job was to re position the generator and get it going, fortunately, while in the bathroom, the power came back on at 4:30 am.

Temperatures were in the -18 range with clear calm conditions.

Outages are on the increase so one can be forgiven for thinking that maybe things are under a great deal of stress [both human and mechanical] over at the hydro plant. We had 4 out of five generators up before this morning, how many now?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If you have time

duck on over to Table Mountains and view a letter from Traverse.

Man I sure hope his optimism is warranted and comes to fruition.

Me......... I think there are just too many evil little shits out there waiting to spoil the pudding, and I don't mean terrorists evil little shits.

Further to yesterdays big do in DC; there is picture of Terry Lyall with his comrades, link thanks to Tim Junik and the folks at Twitpic. Terry is on the left for the uninitiated.
I caught bits and pieces of the lead up to the inauguration of President Obama, I wonder if the chief justice remembered that Senator Obama did not vote for him, some old botched swearing in boy.

Any way everybody and their dog are dissecting the acceptance speech for it content and delivery.
For what its worth I thought it a tad long but the oratory was about right, he has the gift for sure, and the content and presentation seemed to resonate with all the faces that the cameras panned on.

Most of the MSM are saying that the Obamas and the Bushes seemed to develop a close and respectful relationship during the transition. What I got from the speech was that the incoming gave the outgoing a good kick in the teeth on the way out the door.

If there was a contest on the day for the happiest guy in the world then VP Biden would win hands down. Contrast that with the outgoing VP’s dour demeanor.

I did not bother much with the post swearing in coverage, just Here & Now mainly.
They covered reactions from a variety of venues across the province. One piece that stood out was this young guy with a paper hat on, when asked what it all mean to him he replied that he thought the new president would make a good role model for Prime Minister Harper [paraphrased].

The latest on the incident of the erratic driving behavior of a police officer in town is here, some think it is a non story some disagree.
There is more coverage here.

The mean and chills are still in the -20's, not a lot of wind so not too uncomfortable, unless you are out in it all day like the guys still digging at the hole up the road, or a telephone guy in and out and up and down poles.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All Obama all of the Time.

I wish the new president much success in the coming years. I just hope that the media and pundits give him time to implement change that is sourly needed not only in the USA but around the world.

Rest assured that the bubble of euphoria will not last all that long, reality will hit sooner or later, give the guy a break…… OK.
It sure is nice to see happy smiling faces around the new president, unlike the outgoing dour lot.

On the Hydro generation front: I caught a short interview with a Hydro spokesperson on CKOK yesterday, as usual information as to what is really going on was not forthcoming.

After the latest power outage on the 14th we now have 4 generators instead of the 5. Work is being done on the downed generator but no word if it can be put back on line in the short term. No word on weather it was one of the mobile generators or one of the permanent ones, basic stuff but for reasons I do not understand Hydro PR people do not do basic.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cold weather or not it was out for a walk with the dog yesterday afternoon, a short walk to be sure.
Walked into the wind on the way out, going was good, amazing how quick the cold and all the snowmobile traffic packs down any fresh now. There is an interesting aside to the walk that I shall keep to myself for now.

On our return to the house there was a war of the sky’s going on. A raven with a large piece of white food in its beak was being challenged by two other ravens.

This is a common occurrence, but this one was rather intense and went on for quite some time. A lot of other ravens in the area seemed to ignore the three; this leaves me to speculate that the two attackers were the resident pair.

The attached bird zoomed and soured between the trees, did climbs and drops and flips reminiscent of Tom Cruise in Top Gun, all the while the two attaché’s were right on his tail.

They worked there way east, then north were one of the attackers broke off leaving just the one pursuer. The two headed over the house and then west out of site, quite the display.

All of Labrador is under a deep freeze again this morning with Nain at -23 about the warmest spot.

I’d be a bit of a prevaricator if I did not admit to not handling these intense cold wind chills like I used to. Last night Fran mentioned the intensity of the cold.
[Actually I remembered later what exactly it was Fran said. She mentioned that in past winters I always wore shorts around the house, this year all long pants all the time].
I replied that it must be that we are getting older; Fran replied that she thought other winters were warmer.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stulify...or not.

Around 9:30 the temperature was -23, the sun was out and no wind, meaning 0 chill. I dressed up and headed out with the intent of doing some stuff outdoors.
Within minutes [or it seemed like it] the wind had picked up to about 65 and the chill dropped to -40 and blowing snow sort of made the idea of shoveling snow from one place to another a bit mute.
Screw this #@%* , inside I went.

Any way the Internet connection is up and running as usual since last evening, so no frustrations with that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Well that storm was not the worst we have ever had, but as time goes by any and all winter wind storms raise my antsyness.
Only the school was closed here but other communities were hit harder, in Makkovik everything was shut down.
No planes have moved on the coast since Tuesday, it is supposed to be clear today but the winds are still up so who knows if any will move today.

The temperatures are up today, -14 with -27 chills are like a heat wave relatively speaking.

So today I get to go out and start the big clean up, slow and easy is the catch word. Getting into the CBC site will be the biggest pain in the arse, have a couple of things to fix in there, think I will go over the fence instead of wrestling with the frozen locks, my fingers still smart from the last go around with them.

A follow up from yesterdays post; CKOK did an interview with Terry Lyall [who is going to the Obama inauguration], a news brief is on there web site.

We are having trouble with some web sites loading since yesterday; I think it is the storm affecting the micro wave system.
Some sites load as usual, some are slow and some just don’t load, many regional based sites are not loading very well this morning, except the CBC and CKOK.
My sympatico e mail is not receiving mails but I can send, other people are having similar problems.
Take it all in stride.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control Labrador is closing down for at least today.

Below -50 chills in the west, just above -50 chills in the east and the coast has -40 chills.
If we get the up to 10 cms of snow in the forecast for here and with these winds it will make things real interesting.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bon cop.

Word around town is that Terry Lyall of Nain is/will be part of the Canadian contingent going down to attend the inauguration of the New President of the U S of A.

Terry is a member of the RCMP, his present posting is up in the Western Arctic some place, before that one of his postings was as part of the Musical Rides team in Ottawa.
Weather seems to be bad all over Labrador this morning, school closures or partial closure's from north to south to east to west. People warned to stay off some roads, a first this winter for being so widespread.

We had a little power interruptus yesterday.

Around 9.45 am power went down, no panic this end. Power came back up 9.48, see no need to panic.
Power out again 9.59 for brief time and back on. No panic.

Power out again 10.05, by 10.15 was starting to prepare the generator for moving outside.

Power back at 10.20 to now.

According to CBC Labrador Morning the RCMP are investigating one of their own.

The detachments in Nain have had six complaints and the Nain Inuit Community Government have had 15 calls about an alleged incident in the early evening of January sixth.

The allegations are that a member of the Nain detachment was observed riding his snow mobile in an erratic manner, he was observed to be having trouble staying on the snow mobile and having trouble staying erect. The observations were on two of the main roads in Nain.

A spokesperson for the RCMP said that complaints have been received and that after some initial enquiries by detachment members that were not conclusive a criminal investigation is now under way to determine if charges are warranted.

It should be pointed out that the Nulliuks were out that night, and so was most of the town.

CKOK has a news brief of some of the allegations and CBC does not have anything up on their site as yet but may have a pod cast later. Later; CBC does now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yesterdays walk was some what shorter and under mild duress, -35 chills seeped into the joints and took some of the joy out of it for sure.
Shame about the wind really, it is so bloody nice with all that sun and pristine whiteness and crunchy snow [taking care not to look too closely at all the garbage around]

Spare a thought for the guys still digging the hole at the blockage up the road; spare a thought for all outside workers in these cold days actually.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yesterday was a really beautiful day indeed. Spent some time getting furnace oil in the morning, checking on telephone connections which meant a stint at digging snow from a gate and freezing my hands on a really well frozen combination lock. I had to get a blow torch to it in the end, did the job.

In the afternoon we went for a walk, crunchy snow, sun shinning, -20 with -28 wind chill, perfect.

I remember the first time I took a walk in that sort of weather. It was in December and I was in Goose Bay on my way on my second visit to Nain. I had a few days to kill in GB and stayed with friends of my sister. One morning it looked so nice and sunny out so I decided to take a walk. I only made it a couple hundred yards up the road before my lungs started to hurt, turned around right quick.

I digress; so we walked down towards the strip then out onto the harbor ice, came across some food sharing and Nains equivalent of the bubble in St. John’s.
Actually we are all used to our bubble, and it is only a little bubble that attracts gulls and ravens; it’s just that it had a particularly strong odor yesterday.

We had a reasonably restful day Sunday, chill’n watching television and the like. The day before while rummaging in the freezer I came across several small cuts of prime rib roasts, seems I had forgotten they were there.
Thought this would make a nice change for Sunday dinner as I have not cooked many prime ribs over the years.

I made up a rub of mustard, salt, pepper and garlic and smothered the roast with it and placed it in refrigerator for couple hours.

Pre heated oven to 450, cooked roast for ½ hour, lowered heat to 325 and cooked for another ½ hour [roast was only 1 ½ pound].
Rested meat covered while finished off the vegetables, made the Yorkshire pudding and gravy.

I had enough left overs so that we had same meal re heated yesterday [this time with cabbage instead of peas n beans], tasted just as good if not better than Sundays meal.

The tranquility of the day was some what marred by a phone call and an e mail in the morning.
Contractors doing work for Aliant have been “increasing the capacity” of the telephone service in one part of town. Seems when time came to ‘cut into’ the old lines and transfer to the new lines chaos reigned.
The guys on the ground did not have complete and up to date information from Aliant as to the existing phone and data lines in the effected area, so trial and error came into play.
The phone call was for help locating the line that carries the church services up to the radio station and the e mail was the loss of data flow from the neutron monitor to Delaware.

Subsequently I discovered the line carrying the radio broadcast to Goose Bay was also down.

So some phone calls and an amicable contact with the guys on the ground sorted out the data flow situation by Monday morning.

The radio feed for the church line was located. As of yesterday afternoon the line to Goose Bay was up but of really bad quality so will have to check on that again. I understand other customers in the area have been affected negatively with this work. Makes one wonder if dealing with Aliant management will get worse than they are now with this news.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday morning blues.

So the picket lines are up at CFB-GB, Don [blues for Don] has tendered his resignation before hearing any cases and we are in for a cool spell.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Retirement Labrador.

CFB Goose Bay is in the news again. As usual no uplifting news, just the usual battle between unions, private contractors and the Canadian Government.

It is painfully obvious that Government, either PC or Liberal, has no intention [and never did] of keeping this base open for any serious military purpose. Years and years of promises of Rapid Reaction Battalions, Unmanned Drone Training, bringing in NATO personal to do feasibly study after feasibility study were just smoke and mirrors to keep the HV-GB elites and the unions quite while the base is being slowly demolished.

The reasons for the insistence of closing the base are varied and I don’t pretend to know most of them. Just some that come to mind are; high cost of operations, high cost of operations and high cost of operations.
I think the cost of operations could be lowered but the will from local companies and unions seem to always get in the way of that.
Another reason; there is no will to keep the base operational as the population of Labrador and the Province as a whole is very low, no political clout is a sure way to get ignored.

I am no military strategist but it would seem to me that CFB Goose Bay is ideally situated geographically for it to be useful for some sort of military purpose. If we are to have military, and we intend to defend the northern environs from friend or foe, then Goose Bay seems to be ideally situated, at least from an air defense perspective, and perhaps for deployment of troops too.

Any way the main purpose for this post is to offer up an alternative, for the homes and barracks, if it is to be abandoned for military use.
Why there has not been a larger effort to utilize the buildings for civilian use is a mystery to me [local developers lobbying aside].
I understand that some civilian use is in operation, but there are many many homes and apartments that site idle, and have been for years.

So why not utilize some of the area for non profit retirement homes and living?????????????

It is not like you are inventing the wheel, Retirement Miramichi is a good example of what can be done on an old military base if the will and the need is there.

I know the need is there, not everybody wants [or can afford] to retire to PEI or NB or Nova Scotia or even the Island.

Some I am sure would like to stay closer to their roots, family, quality of life in the great outdoors.

So why not? The picture from Google Maps shows one small area that IMO would be ideal; it looks very similar to the Miramichi complex. There are other service buildings on the base that could be used for recreation etc. It is close to shopping, outdoor activity, trails and the like, why there is even a small golf course on site that could be taken over for the purpose.
No brainer or what?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Weather is cooling down somewhat, supposed to get down into -20’s next several days.

The warm spell sure made it hard on travelers into the country; many snow mobiles broken down after hard slogs through slushy conditions and some running out of gas because of the extra work load. Sort of a catch 22, save money on heating your house and blow the savings on extra gas and parts for the snow mobile. For most here it is a no brainier about which is the priority.

Outside Hopedale there are many open water spots I here, it makes getting to some favorite hunting and camping places difficult, hopefully this cooling will help freeze over the trouble spots.

In an earlier post I mentioned a water line leak. Turns out it is a sewer line blockage.
The NICG issued a health warning on radio asking children to not play in the water running across Sandbanks Road. Thinking this unusual I made inquiries.

So a couple council workers have been at this hole all week, they are digging down stream from the blockage. Quite a bit of frost still to go by the looks of it.

Down in Southern Labrador/Straights people are up in arms [when aren’t they] about the fuel price freeze.
From what I can gather I think maybe they have a point. It is hard to keep up with the pros and cons and he said she said, but as this radio interview indicates, you have retailers buying fuel from a frozen zone, trucking into a non frozen zone and selling it for prices way lower than whence the fuels came from.
To add to the absurdity, the consumers in the frozen zone then travel the 80 odd clicks down to unfrozen zone and buy a whack of fuel at the lower cost and bring it back into the frozen zone from whence the fuel originated.

Let’s see if and how that one is explained.

Up here the fuel freeze is more cut and dry, no fuel in or out until the ice moves out. That is not to say that the PUB pricing does not need looking into, it does have lots to explain as I have mentioned before.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that some fresh vegetables arrived in town yesterday. 15 days between shipments, not bad considering the holidays and the weather we have been having.
Northern continues to push the sale of apples in their store. Nothing wrong with apples but it looks strange with shelves full of various types of apples and nothing else. Sure there are the staples of root vegetables and cabbage but the purpose of the food subsidies, I thought, was to provide a variety of healthy fresh foods.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Seemed like more rain than snow yesterday, none the less there are several inches of white stuff to move this morning, very pretty scene it is too.

Don’t think too many people complaining about this mild spell, except maybe people who want to go hunting and wooding, things will get quite sticky for those folk if another cold spell does not come along soon.
Mean time down under it is getting really hot, +39 where my folks live and 41 in areas around there, good thing they invested in an air conditioner.

Further to yesterdays post, seems some people are talking about suicide, came across a face book site Inuit Regions fighting Suicide Rates, some interesting stuff in there.

Monday, January 05, 2009

So some good news is we have made it through the Christmas New Year period without any power interruptions.
Actually the last longer outage was way back on November 16. There were several short interruptions since then, the last on 18 December.

So congratulations to all the people involved in keeping the plant up and running.

[Any one want to buy a little used mobile generator?] ;-}

There have been no major water line breaks like last year [touch wood] but I did notice some sort of leak just up the road from us, not sure what the problem is. Also the council workers started a hole at a curb stop a little further on than the leak, looks like work to continue there.

Some bad news is we have had two suicides over the last three weeks or so, the latest just this weekend. Both young guys with what most of us see as plenty ahead of them, seems they thought different.

I have conflicting emotions and thoughts on why there continue to be suicides but being a neophyte in this area I will keep them to myself, besides it is a subject that people do not talk about publicly. I will wager a small amount that these two do not even warrant any mention in the media, why this is so beats me, it is more than ‘out of respect for the families’ that is for sure.

We had some wind up to 93 KPH last evening, some wet snow as well, wet snow does not blow easily so no big snow banks around.
Milder temperatures are forecast for most of the week with some cooling down by Thursday.

This unsettled weather has meant we have not had any fresh produce in for some time now, before Christmas was the last if memory serves. Still lots of other stuff to eat but after awhile some fresh crunchy salad or greens comes in handy for the well being of the body and mind.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

An oldie but a goody.

An old mate from Oz sent this along yesterday. Appropriate for what is going on with the weather for sure. I think If I lived in urban Canada I may have ended up the same way as this guy……….. maybe still will/have.

Diary of a Snow Shoveler...

December 8 - 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9 - We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12 - The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. l don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14 - Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish l wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15 - 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska , after all.

December 16 - Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, Which I think was very cruel.

December 17 - Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20 - Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Goddamn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snowblower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22 - Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

December 23 - Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

December 24 - 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plow I'll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the goddamn snowplow.

December 25 - Merry fucking Christmas! 20 more inches of the god damn slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think shes a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wondeful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26 - Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27 - Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze, plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me 1,400 to replace all my pipes.December 28 - Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29 - 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30 - Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver he is now suing me for a million dollars not only the beating I gave him but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31 - I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8 - Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

The only consolation I have is that the old mate is suffering through 30 to 38 c temps at times.

Spring in January????????? WTF.

Well that was one strange day yesterday, and it seems more to come.
Officially it got up to +3 but at the house I had a reading of+7.8.
Wind to 78 and rain and fog, sure spring like to me.

Contrast above with same day last year.

We ventured out for a short walk to the store, but really, it was not fit for mad dogs or Victorians.

It would not be bad news if we were to keep getting these temperatures, with months of winter ahead the odds are that extreme colds will hit again. This warming just drives the frost deeper into the ground and ups the odds of water line freeze ups down the road.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

La tempête de neige qui n'a pas produit.

Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for the alleged blizzard to hit, I thought it a good idea if Siutik and I partook in a little exercise.
So after harnessing and hooking her up to the little Komatik away we went to the gas station for ten gallons of stove oil.

Bloody hell did I get the exercise, she pulled like the devil all the way over, my weight and strong arms come in handy some times.

Then on the return Siutik came into her own, she did a great job, with my assistance of course. She stopped and sat when I asked her to; I needed several deep breathing breaks.

The photos show us on the return, Siutik is somewhat more subdued than on our departure, and I am what you could safely refer to as knackered.

Any way the alleged blizzard never did eventuate. Some snow, freezing rain and some wind gusts to 65 does not a blizzard make, still no complaints this end.
Maybe Ryan needs to consult models other than the American and Canadian for future Northern Labrador forecasts.
We now have a snow fall warning, after the rain that is……….. Well it is raining; snow on top of that should make for interesting snow packs.

So after all the buggering around I did not feel like doing much in the culinary department, so Wieners mit Käsemakkaroni it was. Or if you prefer Wieners avec les macaronis et le fromage, whatever the language it was very good, especially with the extra cheese I added.
An added bonus for me, [Fran had mustard pickles] was the two relishes on the side. Home made red berry and walnut is the darker one, cranberry the lighter. The cranberry has a sweet orangey twang to it, gets better and more complicated to the pallet as it ages.

Friday, January 02, 2009

We seem to be in for a little weather, even maybe some rain or drizzle tonight or tomorrow. No complaints about the temperatures this end, it is snowing at the moment and -6.

Maybe some snow will cover all the garbage scattered about in some areas of town. One street looked weird, every house had a garbage drum outside their residence [curtsey of summer student programs], some had lids on, yet garbage was scattered up and down the length of the street, four loose dogs may have contributed but non the less it looks like people are waiting for some one else to pick the garbage up, like town employees.

There goes the garbage ski doo and Komatik as I speak.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Yesterday afternoon the Ravens were feeding in a large group, so grabbed the camera, took two steps from the backdoor and all took flight.
Some hung around in surrounding trees, hydro lines etc, one brave one did a quick swoop and landed at the food but did not stay. Later maybe.