Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boy I sure wish I could get digital copies of some of the photographs I saw this morning.

They were of the inside of containers that LCM send freight up the coast in, plus some of the trailers the containers are on.

Not even good enough for the third world, but good enough for the Labrador coast.

Rusted roofs that let water in on top of freight. Huge holes in the wooden floors; the leading edge [at the door] of one was rusted away, tires coming off the rims of wheels, rusted unsafe wheels.

Where are the overseers of marine safety for Christ sake?

This has led retailers to up their usual 11/2% markup for damaged goods to 4 and sometimes 51/2%.
Our politicians know this, yet the marine shipping continues to deteriorate.

We are all milquetoasts.

The Bond is due in here Monday morning. Officials want the boat unloaded in 8 hours. There are some containers but most of the freight is on pallets.
Sir Robert Bond
ETA Nataushish 7:00 AM, November 1st, en route to Nain.

Over 100 people in Nain have freight on board, some retailers have near 100 pallets alone; boy is it going to be KAOS down at the dock.

We have a young engineer from Quebec here for several days. When unloading all his gear [a bloody lot] I remarked that he travels heavy.
In his heavily accented English I think he said someyhing about “being prepared for unforeseen circumstances”.
Not sure this comes under the unforeseen category, it sure is the first time I have come across some one who travels with their own boot dryer.

He made it himself so we don’t want to be too critical do we, besides he is a nice friendly guy, and double besides, he plans on spending 3 months in Brisbane leaning English.
I guess we could come up with lots of funny stuff about that, but not as funny as if he intended spending time in St. John’s leaning diplomacy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oh look! Mein Name auf Deutsch.

So we have a confirmation that a container was indeed lost overboard from the Astron last week [see prevous post].

So where is the MSM? Where are the hue and cries from people in the know/politicians who are from the north coast and who were elected to represent the people of the north coast.

As my anonymous source suggested; "if this was on the hIsland and a truck full of fish jack knifed or some such it would be all over the media". Not the fish, the story.

My theory is, and it is an educated theory, is that many of the local politicians have put themselves in a compromising position. They are too hung up on bowing to business interests, especially one particular business, that the interests of their constituents play a secondary role.

If there is evidence to the contrary then I am more than willing to hear it out.

So it looks like all the i’s have been dotted and all the t’s crossed by the Nain Inuit Community Government in its up coming ban on plastic shopping bags.

Not long now for the ban to come into effect. To promote and to help people adjust to the new by-law NICG is giving out free reusable bags [5 in total] with the help of two stores and the Nunatsiavut Government.
One package per household, all you do is drop into the NICG office and pick them up.

The photo shows from bottom; NICG bag. Blue one is NG. Black one is BigLand and the voucher is for two bags from Northern.

On a personal note we have been using re usable bags [back pack for me shoulder bag for Fran] for longer than we can remember, others in the community have also been ahead of the curve with more and more back packs and soft re usable more evident each week.

Of course this is just a small dent in the plastic bag plague, small steps big results sort of thing. Second of course is that plastic bags have there role, just have to use them wisely and miserly.

I had an anonymous tip of another f—k up concerning the mv Aston.

The allegation is that on the last trip south a container [reefer] containing crab and turbot from the Makkovik fish plant was lost overboard off Black Tickle. The estimated value is over 100 grand.

No news of this in official MSM or even a whisper on the street, then I am not privy to most whispers anyway.

Also on the last trip south by the Aston, this one has been confirmed.

Remember the photo I posted with the broken down crane and a container under it.
Well boys and girls that container was full of freight for Nain, no prizes for guessing what happened to it next.
That’s right. Once the crane was back in operation it promptly picked up the container and put it back into the hold, full, of freight, for Nain…………..You can’t make this shit up.

So with all the delays since then the intended receivers of the freight in that container are still waiting for it, hope it does not slip off into the deep blue void before it gets back to Nain, even then there are no guarantees is there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kowabunga, the new camera arrived yesterday. Received an e mail saying the package was ready for pick-up around 4, was down and back before 4:15, this fella can moved fast when motivated.
That is how the Canada Post is supposed to operate, with efficiency and some degree of speed, mind you the retailer picked up most of the postage cost.

So a couple of last photos on the old digital while the battery on the new DSL charges, and I go through the basic functions [in three languages].

The meal I dished up was quite good and off the cuff. Sautéed spicy lime/ginger/pineapple beef with a plain garlic fried rice, very tasty.

The new camera is very light and feels good to hold, time will tell how much bother it will be to carry the two lenses around, especially in the winter, lots of things to figure out yet.

The windy weather has slowed down marine shipping the last several days. The Astron has been held up in Lewisport for; the Northern ranger was late leaving Goose Bay and is now crawling its way up the coast.
I heard that there were 11 meter seas in places on the coast, a good reason to be anchored in some bay. Then again the Astron seems to have trouble dealing with 1 meter seas.

I hope people in Nain are not looking to do some early Christmas baking; the selection of ingredients in the two main stores is, diplomatically speaking, bloody lousy.

No nuts to speak of, very poor selection of raisins and dried fruits except for dates in Northern, only one type of cooking chocolate. You’re OK for white marshmallows in BigLand and for coconut in Northern.
So it looks like dates and marshmallows in a coconut crust of some type.

In general the empty spaces on the shelves are increasing, especially BigLand.

I have a correction to above post: They do have some nuts; they are in a rack at the far end of the isle that contains the baking goods, but not in the baking goods section.

Little bags of Planters nuts. Two types of walnuts and whole and sliced almonds. 75 grams of walnut pieces and chopped for $4.89, the almonds are over 5 bucks.
I also purchased some chocolate chipits, 300 grams for $4.89 which is cheaper than BigLand by about 3o cents.

I should mention that Northern is in the middle of a three week promotion and customer appreciation events. Specials on different days, draws for prizes with any purchase and some draws you have to send x amount to enter.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A nice dollop of snow has fallen over the last 24 hours or so. Nothing serious but enough to give that lovely wintery feeling.

Siutik sure appreciated it burying her head in any accumulations while doing her sensing schick, and leaving long lines in the snow with her nose.

With the past weeks events no forgotten I will be a bit on the apprehensive side this week. Back on the 17th Fran dropped her guard in a moment of weakness; I saw the opening and jumped at it.

I was just doing searches for prices of DSLR cameras; Fran noticed this and asked “what are the prices like now”. I answered that I had not come across any deals on the one I wanted, they seemed to have evaporated.

“Oh” said Fran, “you should think about getting one soon”.

While checking out Henry’s site……. BINGO. The bundle I was looking for @ 160 bucks off.

So I ordered it, on the Monday I had a notice that my purchase had to be brought in from another branch and it would delay delivery by 3 to 4 days.

True to their word the bundle was shipped late Thursday.

Canada Post had it in St. John’s by Friday morning, no update since then, not an anomaly as some times there are no further updates until one receives the items.

So with the weather unsettled and Canada Posts reputation I will be some what on pins and needles for a while. My old digital is hard to operate with the rubber band around it, plus one set of rechargeable batteries are just about on there last legs.

Lets hope things do not go like a recent package sent to me from Toronto via Purolator, the courier arm of Canada Post.

It made it to Quebec City in good time then became lost in the never never land of packages some place for 11 days. It miraculously re appeared with a new tracking number and continued on its merry way.


Turning out to be a nice day, on the windy side but that is the norm after some snow.

People are out for the first time this season shoveling walk ways and drive ways [well some are], council working on clearing the roads, mounds of dirty snow just like the cities. Oh well only till the last boat runs.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Old solders never die, they just fade away…….

The schooner of beer at the wake/reception] is an RSL tradition, boy could I do with one of those about now, or anytime truth be known.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A founding member of the Liverpool sub branch of the RSL and the J E VC Memorial Clubs passed away on October 20th 2009 at 2330 hours [0930 Labrador time].

A. E. [Pat] Williams, oldest member of the aforementioned clubs at the time of passing, was interned with full Retuned Services League Honors [demobilized Warrant officer 1] at the Liverpool Cemetery on Friday October 23rd 2009.

My dad was 95 years and 8 days old when he finely succumbed, not without a good battle though, he was in it right to the end I am told.

Known as Ernie to some and Pat to most my dad was a real anomaly in my younger years. A real gentleman with lots of decorum and manners, but like a firecracker with a short fuse when it came to people he thought were in the wrong.

I remember more than the odd time the fuse was lit when young blokes full of piss and vinegar received a quick left right combo after a brief argument with dad. No man was too big, nor position in life deterring.

Dad did calm down in later years, I think the last bloke that hit the deck was a football playing officer of the law, and dad had to pull a few strings with that one.
Little difference of opinion at the side of our house of ‘did dads car wheels come to a full halt at the stop sign up the road’.
I had a ringside seat at the dinning room window; end result was never in doubt and no charges were pending from either side.

Dad worked hard, sometimes at two jobs, to make sure we were comfortable. No luxuries, but a comfortable home and well fed and clothed.
He finished his working life with a good civilian position with the Australian Army, so Mom is well taken care of.

Most of my thoughts the last several days have centered around my younger years, around 5 to late teens, some good times and some hard times, I/we worked hard too creating and maintaining gardens and lawns.
A well rounded life’s education I would think.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The overnights are getting lower and the day highs are getting lower, must be winter finely making its way.

Greg Flowers the minister of Finance for the Nunatsiavut Government announced his resignation last evening.
Flowers gave personal reasons for his resignation. There was no one available for comment the president of NG is expected to announce a cabinet shuffle as early as today.....or not.
Flowers will stay on as the ordinary member for Hopedale.

Maybe that is the reason that I was left high and dry by the vis president of NG yesterday morning.

Hmmmm, NG names new finance minister, good choice one would think. Alas it shows a shallowness of depth in the government, or maybe politics is in play? That would be an unusual event eh, politics in play by politicians.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Gypsy Life has had a small re fit since its arrival in the port of Nain. Hunkered in at a remote site winterizing has taken place with the installation of a wood stove in the stern section as well as…….well it looks like a stockade but lets just call it a carnivore barrier for want of a better description.

It sure has a lot of people looking at it and scratching their heads, especially if they don’t know the intentions of the owners.

There was some really nice looking asparagus in Northern this morning, fresh and the size of my index finger, looked very inviting.
At $10:09 for maybe a meal and a half Fran “said we don’t like them that much”. So it was snap peas instead at $3:45 for about two meals worth.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We are having a break from all that sunshine, light snow this morning; I can deal with that OK.

As Pathfinder pointed out in comments we on the coast are not the only ones troubled by the vagaries of the mv Astron.
Of course the trip is much shorter and they only had it for a backup ferry. We on the other hand are totally reliant on it.

A friend in the states sent this, apparently it is an old series, it would take some patience to look at the 4 parts but it is worth it, the friend shows it in his social work classes.

Puts a different shinning light on the whole assimilation issue don't ya think?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There’s lies, damn lies,

and there’s Labrador Coastal Marine.

This from the LCM official vessel update; updated October 20th 2009-0.6:32 AM.

At Nain loading. Ports to Lewisporte

The facts are; the Astron has been broken down since early Monday Morning. For the umpteenth time the crane has stopped working, or broken a cable or some such.

Why the media have not been on the continued deplorable state of freight shipping into Coastal Labrador continues to puzzle me. If this was the HIsland or central Labrador or the Gulf service all hell would be to play.
Because Coastal Labrador is considered the third world of NL and does not warrant the same scrutiny, that is why.
Not a wimp out of our wimpy politicians as usual, nothing from anyone officially. And locally all the buzz is about the potential that the mv Sir Robert Bond may or may not do one or two runs up the coast at the end of the season.
Who gives a rat’s arse about that, not this fella. What about the deplorable service we have received to date, how is this going to be corrected, more important IS it going to be corrected for next season.

Do people understand that all these inefficiencies are being added to the price we pay for stuff in the stores. All the damaged goods that arrive in retailer’s warehouses are not claimed for from the shipper, they are added to the price we pay at the check-out.

Then there are the goods that have been ordered and have been sitting at a dock for 5 to 6 weeks and are still not on the way.

Just this week a shipment of ice cream had to be shipped back because it arrived on the Astron in a melted state, more cost, more inefficiencies, more we go without, it’s f-----g crazy man.

Just a couple of pictures from the dock late yesterday afternoon; if you think those containers look in a sorry state you should see the really bad ones.

Then there is the old rust bucket itself.

Its propulsion system is in bad repair too as it has trouble docking in any sort of wind, the usual excuse is; oh there is a new captain, new captain my arse.

On a brighter note: Fran took a visitor from Quebec up the hill berry picking on Saturday. The days have been sunny but the wind is kind of brisk. That did not deter the pickers as Nain hill looked like there was a need for a traffic cop there were so many people up there.

Photo by Carol Froimovitch.

Down the dock this morning the Astron was finely loading and making ready to sail, most would hope into the sunset never to be seen again, alas no such luck.
From conversations around town the consensus seems to be that the best place for the Astron would be at the bottom of some bay where it could serve a more useful role as a reef and dive destination.

While I do not wish harm to anybody there must be some place better suited for some of the people who are employed by Labrador Coastal Marine too. The largest store in town did not have one little ol piece of freight come in on the Astron.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It was bread making day at the hacienda yesterday. It was also sea food day. Nothing to do with any religious beliefs, it just happened that we had some local smoked char, local scallops and some cod tongues, origin unknown; non the less they were bloody good.

For hors doeuvres [or as my pappy is want to say horses doovers] I thought we would have some bagels with cream cheese and the smoked char. One store did not have any bagels and the other had some but I was not sure of there freshness, so I hurriedly made my own, we were all glad I did.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Granddaughter [GD] is a little upset at some goings on back in her old home town.
Coincidentally Fran was going through old photographs [of the paper kind] to put in yet another album.
This one [bellow right] is one of a series I took of the two grandmothers and GD playing rolls for a video Okalakatiget Society did back then. The video was of a tradition on Christmas Eve [hope I have that right] of children taking a tree and small gifts like cookies and candies on a tree to the person [midwife] who had delivered them when born. Neat little tradition.

The person who played the role of mid wife was Miriam Brown, since passed away, who was in real life a midwife, it was a great little reenactment.

I would think the tradition has petered out as there are no more births in homes hence no more midwifes.

Then I came across this old photo, circa London town 1979. I had just arrived for my first look and stay in London.
I had arranged to stay at a friend of a friends place, let’s call him MJ. MJ was not home when I called so I left a message.
MJ caught up with me several days later and we became good friends and went on several interesting trips together over the intervening years.

The reason MJ was not home at the time I called was that he had been detained by the Old Bill for disturbing the peace and not ‘moving on’ when ordered too.

MJ was a shop steward for the NUJ on Fleet Street when Fleet Street was the hub of London newspapers.
Rupert Murdock had just started to move into English Newspapers and wanted to gut the traditions of Fleet Street and move the printing out to dock land and gut the union’s powers.

Long story short; many of the Fleet Street junos went out on strike with MJ leading the pack. After some days of protest and agro the Old Bill were ordered in to clear the riff raff out, this picture was taken just after the Old Bill had accidentally hit MJ’s head on the gutter as they carried him towards the waiting Black Maria.

When the strike was over MJ and several other junos were black listed by Fleet Street, they subsequently started up their own co operative community newspaper. This went OK for awhile but was eventually put out of business by pressure from you know who.

In the WTF category:

While I do not agree with all this me-too-ism about honoring Wally Andersen, especially the fund raising stuff that is/was going on, I sure as hell agree with their right to do it.

Not sure what this is all about, need more information for sure, but it is in line with what Nunatsiavut Government is all about. being ready to govern in a common sense fair and democratic way.

Ooops, The other side on the above WTF. CKOK just read a news brief stating that NG did not issue any cease and desist on fund raising for Wally Andersen. "What employers do in their free time is their own business" was quoted from a NG PR person.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ve are here in zee nature far from ze civilization, over.

The Paul’s are doing all they can to prepare for the Labrador winter, lots of unknowns for them but if determination is a factor then maybe they will be OK, I wish them luck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh joyous of joys, mister shinning light ministry is back in town and directing unloading at the dock, uninvited but doing so non the less, like the little Inuk’s cant do and think for themselves.

More joyous is the fact the Astron docked some time early this am, lots of building materials, beer, food one hopes and beer.

And triple joyous; the ugly vandalized garbage box has finely been removed from across the road and gone from our view. Praise the lord and the NICG. [not necessarily in that order].

I think I may see the light of conversion some time soon seeing as the week is off to such a great start.

The Northern Stores sure know how to give thanks, like thank you for your money ya turkeys. Another miss -labelling this time in Nunavut.
Of course there are the obligatory uninformed and racist comments, goes with the territory.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Mystery of the mv Astron continues.

Yesterday afternoon the toll free marine shipping updates had the Astron “diverted to Postville due to high seas” [or was it weather] Diverted from Makkovik one would presume.

Now this morning it is saying the Aston is due into Hopedale at 7 am. Is it back on track per regular schedule?

So what was this about it being held up in Southern Labrador for 3 or 4 days, then having it routed to Makkovik then ports to Nain via Rigolet and Cartwright?

Did the cargo shift and it had to re route for safety and re position the load reasons?

If there was freight already aboard for north coast communities why have it routed back to Cartwright from Makkovik before heading north again?

Inquiring minds want to know [well one does], after all it is a public service paid for by public funds.

Moscow has the mystery of the halo , but we have the mystery of where the f—k’s my freight and why does it take so long to get here and why in hell is it getting worse and why in hell cant the politicians do something about it and do they really give a rats arse?

OK.the answer to the last question is obvious but I thought I would include it anyway.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

There was the Portuguese white fleet, and then there is the Nain fleet. No comparison I know, but what the heck, it is all we have.

I had to take the picture as it is rare that all four boats are at the dock like this. Only one partakes in commercial fishing these days, the one on left.
‘What’s Happening’ partakes in the crab fishery off Makkovik, and in past years did some sealing, low prices have curtailed that.
The two other long-liners do mainly charter work in the area, and the pleasure boat does pleasure, when it is not broke down.

On the other side of the dock is this locally owned barge and tug, she brought up some heavy equipment and a rock crusher.

On our way to the stores yesterday we ran into the Vise President of NG. I asked if he had any news on the goings on with the mv Astron. Reply was that to his knowledge the Astron had a full deck load of freight for Makkovik, with the big seas it was thought prudent and safe not to proceed until calmer waters prevailed.
Safety first is a very good thing, but it still leaves a lot of un-answered questions, whether these questions have been asked I do not know.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thought I would take this shot before it all melts.

Does anyone down the south coast have any information as to why the mv Astron was “storm bound” in the St. Lewis area for 3 days?

I had heard some rumblings that when the Astron got moving it was going to go as far as Makkovik then back to Cartwright.

Here is the transcript from the automated 866 number for Labrador Coastal Marine, updated at 6:20 this morning.

Mv Astron; ETA 8AM Makkovik Sunday the 11th ports to Nain via Rigolet and Cartwright.

Does it take 26 hours to steam from St. Lewis to Makkovik?

Something fishy going on here, it is more than evident that the operators of marine shipping are totally out to lunch, and it is doubly obvious that the Astron has had it’s day, it is just not up to handling the volumes of freight that are being moved in to the North Coast, both in volumes it can hold and in the state of disrepair the ship is in.

So my guess about what caused the power outage Thursday was correct, fuel ran out. This from CKOK news briefs:
"regards to the power outage, this morning we contacted NL Hydro’s Labrador Regional Manager Bill Nippard.

He says the reason for the power outage, was once again, the automatic refueling tank did not refuel the tanks.

So the Hydro workers were forced to refuel the tanks manually".

Ironically the power outage prevented a phone interview with a Hydro official:
"Because of the brief power outage here in Nain yesterday, Senior Communications Advisor Karen O’Neill was unable to reach us via a telephone update".

The SCA sent an e mail with an update.

Also in the 'as mentioned before' category; Mitchell has been studying journalism at CONA in Stephenville for a couple of years. He has come along nicely, last summer break he spent time at the Labradorian in Goose Bay.

Prior to journalism school Mit worked at CKOK for several years.

Later update:

It is snowing, big puffy white flakes, wont hang around though given the temperatures.

Nunatsiavut Government has released a Presser, their second, on the Voisey’s Bay strike.

Stronger language used this time “enough is enough” should get em shaking in their boots down in Brazil, not to mention the bothers and sisters at Steel Workers Union HQ.

I feel for some of the strikers, though I always felt that it was really bad timing in walking out when they did what with the world economy at the time, then again I am sure there were other issues that played a role in that decision.

Why I say some is; there are some strikers who have acquired other employment and some who have not.
It is possible that the ones who have taken other jobs may not be going back after the strike ends, and I am sure that some of those just could not survive on the strike pay, having said that nor can the ones who have not taken other work.
It’s a complicated business being dictated to by employers and unions, but that is the reality of working in high paid remote sites.

One wonders how the worker to worker relationships will be once the strike is over.

Friday, October 09, 2009

What is the real reason?

For three days now the ‘official’ marine report has had the mv Astron delayed due to high seas on route to Makkovik ports to Nain.

In the same time frame the mv Northern Ranger has completed a run up the coast and down the coast on time and is due in Rigolet this morning en route to Goose Bay.
The mv Sir Robert Bond has been on its regular schedule from Goose Bay to Cartwright and Lewisport.

The Astron is old and its owners do not spend a lot of money in preventative maintenance. The operators of the marine service, the provincial government, have had a series of Island based ministers who do not give much thought to the fine folk of Labrador, the most recent minister recently resigned from politics.

The Premier just this week shuffled minister portfolios in answer to another Minster jumping ship but did not see the need to appoint a permanent Transportation and Works minister.

So who do ya go to with ya concerns?

No good going to the bureaucrats in the department, from experience they are as useful as tits on a bull.

The minister for Labrador Affaires Hickey, well he is silent as a church mouse on any issue.

The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Pottle, ditto on the silence, plus she should be aware of what is going on with transport as her business interest rely on shipping for all their supplies.

The First Minister in Nunatsiavut Government who handles the transport file Tony Andersen? No good there, may as well talk to a 6x6x12 foot lump of lumber.

President of Nunatsiavut Jim Lyall. Approached lots of time on many issues, turns out it is always someone else’s file.

Nain Inuit Community Government. Not there mandate, plus lots on their plate as it is [That is not criticism, just my opinion that others should deal with this issue] .

If folk in the south think democracy, openness, accountability are under threat then just come up here to Northern Labrador too see what it will look like when it has totally disappeared. Bloody scary mate!

Mean time life goes on, had another power outage yesterday afternoon of 70 minutes duration. There was a shorter one this past Friday.

With yesterday outage there was a first attempt at restoring power at about the 35 minute mark. There were at least 8 more attempts before power was restored fully. Not good for our appliances and other electronics one would think.

I suspect that the outage was caused by fuel running out. Once the day tank or the outside tank runs out it is a big job bleeding the fuel lines. Not sure why all the failed attempts at restoring power, many reasons for that I guess?

I’m sure there is lots of good news stuff going on, alas I am in funky mood of late, more and more I have this feeling I am living in an Anarchist state. I just wish the power brokers would come out and declare it so, then I can have at it with abandon.

Not that I believe in Anarchy, my preference is democracy by and for the people, alas as I mentioned before, that is not what we have.
I also believe in even playing fields, another thing alien to the power brokers.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

On my morning walk the east winds [in wind] were moderate and quite warm for this time of year.

In the afternoon I had to go to the dock to pick up some freight [the Ranger was in]. The wind had picked up and switched to ENE and was decidedly cooler.

Conflicting reports about black bears. One unconfirmed report of a dead bear at back of some houses, then reports of maybe 2 to 3 bears in area. What is it that the politicians say………oh yeah, due diligence.

Speaking of politicians: Boy did Danny’s lot cover them selves in do-do yesterday.

First Oram with his pathetic tirade at the media [right out of Danny’s play book], then brings his children and wife into the reasons he quit, what a limp dick.
The local MSM may not be perfect but what the hell would happen if they were not on the job? Oram as a back bencher was OK accompanying his wife when she was on business trips. Then as minister for business he did not declare conflict of interest. Then as minister of health he had to be dragged screaming and kicking to declare conflict of interest. So yeah, good for the media outing these arse holes.
Oram would have faired better just sticking to the health and family excuse, no one would have believed him but he would have had a little respect left. He does look like a candidate for high blood pressure, but others before him have taken leave or had a few days off, more to his departure than meets the eye.

Then Orams replacement in health Jerome Kennedy has at it. When asked by reporters if the health portfolio will add added stress to his life Jerome answers; “well not really, when I practiced law defending people who’s lives were on the line was stress, so this health portfolio is no biggie in the stress department” [paraphrased].

Well, the last time I looked there was none, zero, nadah death sentences handed out in the province for any crimes, nor in Canada for that matter.
But the last time I looked many people were dying and suffering in the health care field every day.

Makes one ponder if there is any correlation between common sense and intelligence there, assuming that one has to have some level of intelligence to become a lawyer that is.

I had a call from a student newspaper based in the west of the Island of Newfoundland. They were looking for opinions of the sentencing handed out to Wally Andersen, our disgraced former MHA.

I have some opinions on that, most are contrary to the posts on ‘honoring Wally Andersen’ on facebook and the calls from Labrador to talk back and feed back on radio shows.

I have no brief against Wally. My dissenting opinion comes from having a different experience with Wally while he was an MHA. Maybe if all the others had been dealing with issues that had no personal gain but were for the benefit for all in the Torngat region then maybe their opinions would differ.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Not a nice day yesterday, cloudy, foggy, rain and snow.

The black bear is back, seems rubber bullets only run it off in short term.

I wonder what the protocol with animals is, I would have thought that conservation officers and wildlife officers would be involved, but with latest bear incidents the cops are the ones carrying the ball.

Seems like a plethora of Robin Hoods popping up in the North American continent. The one down south has many close parallels with our own Hood.

If I was to dig a hole straight down through the earth I would end up in the Southern ocean between Oz and the Antarctic Continent. Oh well, I will have to save more and go conventional travel.

Paul Oram, Minister of Health for the province is leaving the health portfolio and resigning his seat for family and health reasons.
Initial reports state that Oram is blaming unreasonable media pressures as on of the health reasons.

Yikes, while the good ship Danny is riding high in the poles there must be a leak somewhere up there close to the bridge.

Late and breaking [emphasis on breaking]: Kennedy to health, Marshal back to finance, Felix Collins to Justice with Beth Whalen acting as Transport minister as well as her Municipal role.

TM owes me 5 bob!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

There is a black bear whose time is numbered, depending on the authorities hunting skills that is.

Sunday evening saw it down on the dock of all places. A bunch of kids were harassed [or the other way around] until the bear was chased off along the shore. Late last night it was on a back porch of a house about 300 meters from our home. The clock is ticking.

Came upon a neat business while checking out northern bloggers. I shop 4 you seem to be filling a void, not to mention giving people the opportunity in minimizing using Nunavut based retailers.

Boy do we need something like that in Labrador. In the past I made a habit of using local business for a lot of our dry goods and fresh fruits and vegetables. Not so now, I am feed up with the negative attitude and disdain the two larger retailers have for the residence of this town..

Any opportunity to avoid using them would be welcome. So if any enterprising folk want to set up a similar business in the Lake Melville area let me know.

Why could the Nunatsiavut Government not become involved in something like this too? A joint venture or run it themselves on a cost recovery basis or small profit.
It is not like the precedence has not been set. NG is in partnership in a pharmacy in HV-GB. This allows anyone in the area to avail of lower cost drugs and over the counter items.

So why not do something for the people in Nunatsiavut, the people who contribute to the NG tax base. The NG beneficiary population may be larger in the HV-GB area, but they contribute 0 dollars to NG tax base.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Some would describe the weekend weather as large in the big land. For me it was just a beautiful fall weekend for walking in the hills and picking some red berries.

Scarce and small as they are it is just too tempting not bend the knees and back and bring some of the juicy sour morsels home. OK, the truth is that Fran insisted that she pick berries, so in it would not have looked right if three blokes were standing around jawing while a lady did all the work.
Both days we had the company of two St.John’s ittes, one was a champion berry picker for sure who, if had not been along, the pickings would have been very poor. I made up four jars of jam and we had pancakes with red berries for breakfast yesterday.

One interesting bit of information was garnered from the townies; Sunday’s weather of 6, sunny with a nice cooling breeze is more likely to happen in mid November in St. John’s.
So we are about 6 weeks ahead, or behind depending on you view.

So after the weekend this morning’s weather is a bit of a let down.

The Media Center [OK Society] is slowerly but surely being vandalized and being picked to bits on the outside. Kids are constantly playing around the building and getting up to no good. Not all do the vandalizing but enough do so that it is taking its toll.
Over the weekend someone spry painted black paint over the lens’s of two of the surveillance cameras [over the windows where the cameras were located]. Not sure what skullduggery they got up to after that if any.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Awhile ago I mentioned that I had assisted in re wiring the local church for new mikes.

Well two new mikes, mike stand and boom arm finely arrived and yesterday they were installed and tested.

Left: choir's eye view of the three mikes now in place.
Below: Bruce from Oodnadatta doing a sound test.

So now the fine listeners of church services on CKOK can hear every scrape of the feet, every cough and every little baby crying. Not to mention a clearer [finger crossed] broadcast of the sermons.

Friday, October 02, 2009

From the people who gave us the infamous $55.00 watermelon:

12 tenderloin steaks [small I think] for $71.99 last week. Same package this week going for $41.99.

There is a story that goes with this: Last week, in conversation with a couple of visitors to our fair town, it was mentioned by them that they had noticed steak in said store going for 77 bucks.
I mentioned that maybe they had been mistaken, oh yeah said the visitors, “what about the 55 buck watermelon”. That melon will stay with us to the end of our days it seems.

Anyway back to the meat of the story. Next day I go down to the store and have a look in the freezers. Sure enough there was several vacuum packets of something that looked like meat, it had been thawed and re frozen.
The only labeling was a hand written sticker with “12 tenderloins steaks” “$71.99”.

While in the store yesterday I checked again, same labeling and going for $41.99.

I wonder if that is a 40 buck mark down or was the original price a mistake.
In my humble opinion the meat should not be on sale, it looks gross, not to mention unhealthy.

Also mentioned before several times. The selection and the condition of the food in the freezer section of the two main stores is bordering on the abhorrent. There are dribs and drabs of fresh supplies, but nothing of substance all summer and now we are into the fall.

I continue to ask why this is so, I continue to receive the same replies, “the orders have been phoned in”. I am sure this is so in most cases, and I am sure that containers continue to be routed incorrectly, left behind or just forgotten about.

But surely this can not be the only reason?

I asked the manager of Northern about who he/we can go to in attempts in getting this sorted out. His reply was, “no one, it will not do any good”. Bloody great in it?

Hmmmmmmmm, 15 months! 15 + 9 concurrently = 15 - ? = ?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

We have become partial to fresh asparagus of late, mainly because Northern is getting it in regularly and it is usually reasonably fresh.

Surprisingly, I had to be in Northern Canada before I got to taste fresh asparagus. Having grown up [some debate that] in a land of abundant fresh vegetables and fruits I never did get to try it.

In my pre teens we got to go on a couple of holidays into the country, I remember seeing hundreds and hundreds of acres of asparagus growing on farms near Cowra. One trip my father stopped the car, got out, jumped the fence of a farm and dug up a couple of spears, we had never seen the real thing, just in cans.
Not that there is anything wrong with caned asparagus, I love it and often have it on toast and some times with grilled cheese on top, a great start to the day. The fact is I have it less frequently as, surprisingly; the fresh asparagus is cheaper here than the caned or bottled.

In this picture the asparagus is not the highlight, that role goes to the slow cooked braised beef finished off with a beer roux. Boy it was good; the only improvement I can think of is to use caribou next time.

Looks like Wally will be heading for the Klink, ironic that he may be room mates with people he claimed to have helped with the illegally gotten funds.
I am sure Wally did help some people who were in need, but I still have trouble believing that Wally did not benefit, there are many arguments to support this hypothesis but I wont go into them at the moment.
Plus there is the little matter of only pleading guilty to 90 grand’s worth of fraud when the auditor general had a figure of $344, 465.00 that was illegally garnered.

In this whole spending scandal there are still many more questions than there have been answers for.

Yucky ol weather boy, RDF yesterday and into this morning.

How many wabbits in a hat does it take to elect municipal officials in Newfoundland and Labrador? ........................... You cant make this shit up.