Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve and we have a sudden drop in temperatures. -21 with wind chill down to -32 overnight.
Clear sky’s now but more snow and temps rising to about 0 by Saturday, talk about a roller coaster ride.

I just checked the Gypsy Life web site. Seems Harald after one excursion by foot the day previous decided to push the envelope and use his ski doo on the sea ice. Not a good move.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday mid afternoon: The storm outside seems to be abating, hard slog walking to and from the shops. Have done some shoveling to allow egress and ingress both front and back but will wait a little before further snow removal.

So this seems as good a time as any to touch base on the SLM Inc/Ray Whalen slash Bill Prankard Evangelistic Association {BPEA} slash True North Aid {TNA} operations in Nain.

When the Whalen’s came to Nain some years back they decided they needed a place to stay/operate out of. It coincided with the then school principal leaving town so they put in an offer to buy that home and land.
To raise money for the purchase BPEA became involved with a big fundraising drive down south. Lots of stuff was said about Nain, some of it upset locals and they voiced their concerns in regional media. I did not become involved and the concerns raised escape me at the moment.

So the money was raised and the home purchased. It sits in a prime location with the front of the house overlooking the old dam and what is called Environmentally Protected Area {EPA} here in Nain. EPA is land that cannot be developed on, it is green space and for the enjoyment of everyone. The rear of the house fronts Middle Path Road. An oxymoron maybe but there you have it.

A couple of years pass and the next thing is that the Whelan’s have purchased, in another private transaction, the land to the right of them, or in the case from the rear to the left. This land is of triangular shape, being wider at the road end, and also has one side as well as the front butting up to EPA. The only building on this lot was a shed structure.
These properties were initially for the Whalen’s/SLM Inc work and are registered in that name with Ray and his wife as sole directors as far as I can tell.

Top right shows the house overlooking the old dam with the extra lot next door.
Second and third left show the road end of house as well as the lot next door.

Rays lot for personal home below.

A couple of more years pass, the town opens up more land in the new subdivision.

Ray applies for and is granted two further lots. These are in Rays name; one is in the residential section and is yet to be developed. The other is in the industrial section and has a 40 x 60 foot warehouse that was constructed this year.

According to this interview Ray did with CKOK Ray intends building a home for his personal use on the undeveloped lot and intends to use the warehouse as a business venture. This conflicts with what his original intentions were for this building, that being to store all the goods that would be brought in for all these give a way’s to the public.

In roughly the same time frame as the above two lots were acquired Ray/SLM Inc applies informally to council to build a 5,000 sq foot “Community Center” on the triangular land next to his home which is in a residential zone. {The one that is now his home but will be an unknown use entity when Ray builds his new personal home up in the new subdivision}.

This structure is too large to meet the local building regulations for that size lot, so Ray applies for re zoning of the land. This would entail Ray/SLM INC having to acquire 10 feet x the front width of the lot of the EPA land.

I am not privy to all the finer points, but it seems council asked Ray to submit detailed plans and a formal application for the “Community Center” so that council can go through the formalities of re zoning EPA land which I understand requires input from outside engineers/consultants and to hold public hearings and requires the applicant to pay all costs.

There seems to be a hold up in Ray responding to this request.

Rays warehouse below.

Applying for and going through the process of re zoning EPA land does not guarantee the applicant will be granted the land or the permission to build the “Community Center” in that location.

EPA lands are there for a reason, they need to be protected within reasonable bounds.
If my memory serves there has been a president set already in Nain.
A citizen applied for re zoning to increase the size of their lot into a EPA land in another section of town. This was turned down by council without getting to the hearing stages.

Ray/SLM Inc had another choice for his “Community Center”. That is the lot where he built the warehouse. Or he could have put in an application for a building that better suited the lot dimensions without wanting to despoil our EPA lands.

Once one gets approved it would be doubly hard to stop further applications for re zoning into EPA lands being sort, and triply hard in rejecting them.

In going through the writings and videos of the BPEA site there seems to be no reference to SLM Inc in Nain. Rather Ray and his wife are referenced at regular intervals. I have not given it a thorough search so maybe there is nothing to it.


Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggh. I new going through the BPEA site would be detrimental to my sanity.

If these people are not the epitome of sleaze then then I do not know who are. Get a gander at this video, no problem desecrating the memory of the deceased, their loved ones, the culture that these low life's have not one iota of deference for. It is a fundraiser video produced by True North Aid with no thought nor caring into where they are or who they offend.

Apart from the seriousness of the above, note the reference to the ARCTIC again in the accompanying videos. The little doughwacker is just up the hill within sight of the community fer shit sake.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Scene of the harbor Tuesday from the Hydro plant. Lot of open water and slop ice.
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The scene will be changed today due to the snow and winds to 84 clicks causing blowing snow. Temperatures lower at -8 with -20 wind chill.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday was sunny and temps in the minus teens. Ice was trying to form around the harbor with a decidedly different look than Saturday.

While on our walk we caught Air Labrador coming in, not much traffic on her.

We had started our walk home when Air Inuit arrived about 10 minutes early. They had come over to pick up about 12 passengers who had been over here from Kangiqsualujjuaq visiting family and friends over Christmas.
Every year Air Inuit puts on these special charters so that people can re connect. Many people who were relocated from Hebron and Killiniq to communities in Labrador have relatives in Northern Quebec, some who were relocated there instead of Labrador.

What ice we have in the harbor should take a beating as there is a warmimg trend for the next couple of days, that along with some snow and then winds to 50 clicks should do a job on it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 26th 2009, Boxing Day, water still predominates in the harbor. These two flats have been out jigging for several days now.
One guy gets out at times and stands on the ice but does not wonder far.

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The ponds and brooks have been frozen, almost thawed, and refrozen for some time. People are getting partridge and now fish.

The conditions are good for walking around town with firm crunchy snow, though in sections you have to be careful of corny snow on top of ice, all in all it is enjoyable, more people should try it. Clear sky -12 official -16 at the house this morning.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The meal and company was very enjoyable yesterday. One little glitch was I forgot the ham in the fridge, but that did not stop some from having some near the end of the meal.

Also for grandma and auntie the meal was disrupted, gust before sitting down the younger of the guests bit the finger of the second youngest of the guest resulting in a protracted crying spree. All sorts of things tried to calm the situation, in the end he wore himself out and went to sleep. All part of the fun of being grandmas and aunties.

Another disappointment for all was the grandson did not make it up for a visit. Not his fault, it is what it is.

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Photo top left shows the young goose ready for stuffing and trussing, very nice and tender it was too.
Left shows the desert selection, cheese cake was the # 1 choice, and then there is mini bakeapple cheese cake and mince meat.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all.

Have had my traditional 25th December breakfast of ham and tomato on toast with a cup of tea and am feeling good despite the threatening message left on the answering machine late last night. [Not related to any recent postings]

Get down to the cooking part later, I am reasonably organised I think, always something comes up though, as long as I do not have to go out and defend my honor at 40 paces I should be able to handle it.

Down in my birth place things are a little unsettled with the remnants of a cyclone running across the country from the North West. Lots of rain and humid but cooler temperatures down in Sydney, better than 40 in the shade for sure.

We are at -7 and I can see stars so mainly clear. There is enough snow still on the ground to give it the seasonal feeling, though there is nothing better that snow fall on Christmas day.

Later: Sounds like the Paul's on Gypsy Life are OK. Pastor Charlie based in Nain was talking to them on their Sat phone today. They are able to get to shore to replenish their wood and water supply.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A few pictures of around town: First on left was taken on Tuesday before the clearing commenced. This is a sure way to get ‘Christmas tree carpel tunnel syndrome’. Riding a ski doo with the girl friend on the back holding a tree with the left and operating the machine with the right hand adds quite a bit of stress to certain parts of the body by golly. They seemed to be enjoying it though and had stopped for a rest when I took this.

Next picture is of the Aliant micro wave tower up on Nain hill. From down here it looks all decked out for the season, just as long as the round thingy stays is clear of ice.

Finely one of the harbor making ice. After all that warm weather and one night of sub zero it has frozen over quite fast. That is the new ice in the background with the slush and older ice that did not melt in foreground.

I guess with the day fast approaching I will have to partake in one of my least favorite things. And going by this article I will have to rely on luck rather than good management and math skills in cracking the cracker.
Truth be told I have never looked on cracking the cracker as a competition, more like a chore that shows that we are in the festive mood, with everybody having their own cracker the biggest challenge is to get the darn things to crack.

As expected with this unseasonable weather the Paul’s are doing it tough in the Gypsy Life.

Hope this colder trend sorts things out for them and Harald can get ashore for wood and water. I would presume they would phone for assistance if needed.

There is so much more to say about this Ray Whalen SLM Inc and his benefactor Bill Prankard, with Christmas so close I will do a brief wrap for now.

It does not take much effort to research these folk, though there is not much to be found on Whalen’s SLM Inc.
It is clear that without Bill Ray would not have accumulated his material little empire here in Nain.

Bill is the man with the words and good PR skills. They came in handy as there must be a very high overhead with all the travel they all do plus the structures that are up and planed for the Nain outreach.

Alas the words and text are designed to create emotions in people who do not know any different. Just look at this video. To me it clearly says that without Bill and Ray the folks of Nain would not have a very nice Christmas.

That is just not true. Folks in Nain got by just fine pre Bill and Ray.

For decades people worked hard in forming what is now Nunatsiavut and the Nunatsiavut Government. It was supposed to instill self government and self determination.
It is now a reality, so where is the determination and the pride in protecting the Inuit Culture and language.

All Bill and Ray have to offer is more of the same paternalistic, colonialist, we know what is best for you attitude.

There are so many people doing a lot of things to assist the needy and older folks, sure more can be done but the people are doing it themselves, mistakes are made and the successes are many.

Nearly every “program’ SLM Inc ministry offers is already being offered by NG, or the community government or the provincial or federal government staffed by local people.

Local people are involved in volunteering in many areas. There are programs for children, youth, and elders offered all the time. Why just this week the needy and elders received a big box of groceries and a turkey and a small gift for each.
This was done locally with support from local and regional businesses and individuals.

Over the last two weeks elders had the opportunity to take in four Christmas meals at the community hall sponsored by groups like the staff at the health center, recreation department, community government and others.

Elders can go play merchandise bingo every Wednesday and partake in a meal and talk in their own language put on by the NG department of health.

Thursdays they can go to the resource center and have a healthy snack and play games and just sit around talking in their own language.
Does Bill and Ray offer that? They don’t even mention the unique culture of the Inuit or their language.

There are on going events and programs for kids and youth, special events for Christmas and traditional holidays all run by local people either in employment or on a volunteer basis.

Sure some people fall through the cracks, there are elders who need better care, people who have issues and are in need of specialist care. Things are no better off in Ottawa, Toronto, St. John’s, matter of fact they are worse.

So much for the brevity eh, these folks rattle my chain.

If some people feel the need for what Bill and Ray have to offer then start doing what the Moravian Church and other traditional religious groups do, start fund raising by having raffles, bake sales, donating your time and your own money to make it happen. Don’t sit back on your lazy arse depending on the dollars and material things rolling on from the actions of these questionable fund raising tactics.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday the sky cleared long enough for lots of planes with most of the people moved both in and out, Air Inuit got in from Nunavik too.

We were down at the airstrip mid afternoon seeing the GD boyfriend as he passed through. This was his second go at getting home to Hopedale, while there the weather started to come down again but the boyfriend made it back home this time.
Still lots of mail and freight to come in, some people getting antsy for their Xmas packages and cheques.

Back to the plane I mentioned in the previous post. That blue twin otter was the first plane to get down since the previous Tuesday, it was full of Nain people coming home for Christmas so you can imagine the excitement.

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So once the ramp cleared the plane sat there waiting, next thing comes the arrival of Bill Prankard and his band of visiting and Nain based prophets, eight in all, plus two komatik boxes full of language.
It turned out that Bill had charted the plane for the return trip, incidentally he charted on the way up too.

So a plane that can carry nineteen plus luggage only took eight people, sort of funny considering the seven days of no planes. Wonder what happened to all that love and caring for the “natives”?
Truth is a family of three also got aboard, special dispensations for connected people.

There is something missing in those two pictures. That’s right; there are no happy smiling grateful natives there to see Bill and co off. Not one, zero, zilch.

Ray Whalen of Shinning Light Ministry Inc and his wife embarked also [included in the eight], could it be possible Ray will not be here to administer to his flock over this season of giving and sharing?

So if we calculate the three thousand dollars [approximate] each way for the charters, then the return trips for six Ottawa to Goose Bay at seven thousand dollars [approximate] and a thousand dollars for accommodation and incidentals you come up with a figure of fourteen grand.

Now if they really wanted to cloth and feed the whole community [Bills words not mine] then fourteen grand would buy a lot of caps and mitts and hot chocolate. And why would it take 6 white folks from Ottawa to do the feeding and clothing when Bill has his underling stationed here, after all the claim is there was no shortage of volunteers to do the deed. It is all very confusing to say the least.

Speaking of confusing get a gander of this video Bill took while here. There are a number of visuals and statements made that are straight out of some weird PR company file.

Firstly there is Bills get up, all the while he was here the temperature did not get below -1, so Bill would be a little overdressed.
There is reference to “being in the Arctic” [may explain Bills get up]. Bill must have been behind the door when geography was taught.

Bills references “we opened up the community center” for the big give away. This could be a little misleading for some. The community center is open 6 to 7 days a week. While old and maybe a little small it is the hub of activity for youth, elders, and special events. It is maintained and operated by the Nain Inuit Community Governments recreation department.

There is reference to “making sure the entire community and every household has what is needed to make Christmas enjoyable” [paraphrased].
Off the top of my head I can think of 15 to 20 households who neither asked nor were given any of Bills largess. Why would households with 80 to 100 [not us] grand incomes be given, or more importantly accept, Bills largess? Would it not be more meaningful if a means test was incurred for this type of “give away”?

The reference to “helping the natives” could be offensive to some. Native is not a word that is used at all in my experience in referring to people in the Inuit communities.

Bill makes reference to being “at the ends of the earth”. WTF does that mean pray tell?
Could it be Bill thinks the world is flat? Has he quoted it in the biblical sense? Is Nain that far removed from Bills life experiences that he has to use that term? I find it offensive, especially in this day and age of modes of travel and communication.

So in brief I am flummoxed by Bill and companies inference that Nain is a backward half starving ill clothed bunch of booze besotted natives at the end of the earth.

I am also flummoxed why there has been no official intervention to correct the misconceptions this bloke and his band of used car salesperson's are spreading in the south.

The truth is quite the opposite; we will get into that later.

Later breaking news: The sun is not up yet BUT I can see the top of the hills, on the eight day we were rid of Bill and the fog and drizzle.

Here comes the granddaughters plane about to land.
There is a story about the plane on the ground but we will leave that for later.

Family and friends all there to greet her, the favorite being her nephew Enrique..

This is what our little tree looked like last Thursday.

Now look at it this morning, two different camera setting, one thing is not different though, bloody wet snow is falling.

Granddaughter and all the gang are at the GB airport, some been there for 2 or more hours waiting to see what the day brings

Monday, December 21, 2009

The granddaughter almost made it home Monday; she got to Natuashish before having to turn back to Goose Bay. Her boy friend who was going home to Hopedale on another plane flew over that town as well as Nain before returning to GB.

GD's plane was originally scheduled to leave GB at 11, alas it left about an hour late.
In Nain there was a brief opening in the skies around 12 to 1 or so, and then it closed in and down flat, so if it had of left on time they would have made it.
Air Labrador turned back also and a flight by Air Inuit did not make it in either.

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Bill Prankard and a contingent of like travelers have been in Nain for a week or so doing some promotion videos and spiels and the like for this so called Shinning Light Ministry. They too were at the airstrip hoping to get out; they too had go home just like the other mortals.

I am lead to believe that both heads of their own ministries claim to have an in with a higher authority. After today maybe they might want to re evaluate going by the weather and the vehicle stuck in the ditch [SLM vehicle].
Anyone who took a vehicle out in these conditions needs a reality check.

The top two photos not only shows the guy who is two forks short of a cutlery draw and his elves but the folks waiting to get out or greet incoming travelers.

The bottom two photos gives an idea of the conditions as we made our way home after the disappointment of our granddaughter not getting home.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

While were all tooling around with unusual trees and lights and making cookies and stuff the Paul's were in some difficulty getting their ski doo and komatik over to their winter spot.
Then the ice formed around the vessel but not thick enough to venture out on. With this warm spell plus the rain they must be thinking what in gods name is going on.

I am sure there would be contingencies in place. You can read about it here by using Google translate.

Still fogy with light drizzle and plus one this morning, not looking like clearing until tomorrow.
Hope our Granddaughter does not blaspheme too much and get kicked out of the airport in Goose Bay.

My mom has gone up to Brisbane to spend Christmas with here youngest brother and his wife. Wife likes a wee drop of booze but brother is into tea and bickies. I ordered a $50 gift certificate at one of the large liquor stores
[Dan Murphy’s to be precise] near by.
50 bucks gets you quite a lot down there as this brief from mom indicates.

Vodka Cruisers, xxxx light beer, two bottles bubbly and two “el cheapo”
clean skins and I even have change.
P.S. The money left over from Dans will be spent on tea bags for the T.T.

For 50 bucks here you would need another buck to purchase a slab of beer [24] with limited choice. Or you could go to the bar and get 10 beer [Canadian type] or 6 double shots with 2 bucks change.

One of my relatives finely manged to get their tree up, wont mention time or place for privacy reasons.
Not looking good for flying again today, +1 and drizzle out there, bloody awful weather, 5th day no planes.
One could speculate that Torngat is not pleased with us, all the other communities have had planes in.
One the bright side that takes the pressure off the airlines when the weather does clear, lots of people to move in and out of here plus thousands of pounds of freight to come in.
Fran assembled the new header photograph, she made up Claus some years ago and is quite proud of it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bloody great, fog this morning.

Rain all day yesterday, wonder what the ratio was in relation to rain fall and snow lose. More like early May not mid December.

Meanwhile my mom was suffering with + 41 down under. Said she is looking forward to her trip to Brisbane for Christmas, it is cooler up there. You have to live down under to understand the irony/humor in that.

More crappy weather for today and tonight is forecast, my pretty little decorated tree out front is now devoid of any snow, plus water must have gotten into the light sockets or something as it keeps shorting out.

In hindsight it may not have been a good idea, the new trail groomer did a couple of runs up and down the roads. Nature would have achieved the same result if they had waited a little, or looked at the weather forecast.

And one of Fran happily waving as she heads out in the rain to the last of the seniors Christmas [4] dinners. I stayed home baking bread.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More snowy pictures [these taken Thursday morning], but it is what it is as the forecast indicates.

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FridayLight snow changing to rain in the morning. Risk of freezing rain in the morning. Rainfall amount 15 mm. Fog patches developing in the morning. Wind east 40 km/h gusting to 60. High plus 2.

Friday nightRain ending in the evening then cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches dissipating in the evening. Wind southeast 30 km/h becoming light late in the evening. Low minus 2.

SaturdayPeriods of snow. High plus 2.

SundayPeriods of snow. Low zero. High plus 1.

MondayPeriods of snow. Low minus 1. High zero.

Hope things clear as there is a back up of folks trying to get home both in and out.

This interview with the first to travel the southern section of the Trans Labrador Highway gives a peek into the future. Road Closed Signs in stupid places, rough surfaces, some idiot workers then some very kind sensible workers.

One thing that people should remember, even if you are in a hurry this is a very long rough road through wilderness without emergency services.

These people were lucky that the weather did not dish up the worst; do not put your lives in the hands of the department of transportation and works, take your time and do your pre trip planning; it is not a run down to the local corner store for some chips and a coke.

Bit later on: Crikey, just came in from helping the global warming along by shoveling some snow and I am soaked.

Back in 06 there was a few warmer days mid December but no rain, this is an anomaly. Sensible people are ridding around on their ski doos in wet skins for Christ sake.

Bit more later on: The Christmas tree lighting is postponed till Sunday at 7 pm. Way things are going a water lilly lighting may be more appropriate.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday was one of those magical days, light snow falling, light winds, temperatures in the low to mid single negative digits.
Of course Siutik revels in these conditions, having the time with all the fresh snow, she looks extra purty with her Christmas bow on.

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Fran wanted to put reindeer antlers with blinking lights on her head, not a good idea said I, for one how do we attach them securely, and two Siutik would be hauling them off in no time. Even the bow bugged her at first but since I took the bells off she tolerates it.

Any way the magic has disappeared this morning with temperatures around zero and winds from the east up to 57 clicks. Blowing snow with reduced visibility and snow banks starting to form, maybe the NICGovernemnts new snow plow/trail groomer will get its first run?

While dropping into Northern yesterday afternoon I noticed the latest “Big Donor” sheet going up. The sixth big donor is a 5 year old girl who had a sale of old toys and donated 140 bucks.

I see the government finely got around to officially opening the last section of the Trans Labrador Highway yesterday. The announcement was made from St. John’s [well it is the center of the universe].

Straight after the opening was announced they announced its closure due to a winter storm.

Now is the irony, coincidence or has something more spiritual intervened?

Could it be the Sprite of the Torngat is not all that happy, after all in the Torngat region we have had the worst year yet with provincially run marine transport, no movement on a new airstrip for Nain.

I am sure Torngat does not begrudge the people the new road but is maybe saying, “hey you arse holes we are still up here” and in dire need of some attention when it comes to transportation needs.

Later: So guess what the main topic of conversation down town this morning is.

Yep, the amount of snow we had yesterday. As one lady so subtly put it on faceBook, "fnnnn crazy the amount of snow we had".

Lots of people digging and snow blowering out, it's heavy snow too, not like the fluffy stuff.
Northern had a bank half way up there front door, the snow blower they have is next to useless, engine is too small. But they have a contingent of young blokes there who are doing an OK job of moving the stuff.

Hard walking around to, and then there are the brainless ski doo drivers who do not slow down when approaching pedestrians.
One bloke this morning zoomed past me right close, these idiots seem to forget they have large heavy komatiks and boxes behind them , these things do not follow the track of the ski doo, rather they sway from side to side especially under speed.
You would think a guy who claims a special affiliation with god, and who started his own ministry would have better sense, but no. He will need more than special affiliations if he ever hits me, or Fran, or me dog.
It is just over two weeks now since the ban on plastic shopping bags came into effect.

The changeover seems to have gone rather well, I have noticed a huge drop in the number of plastic bags waffling around in the wind [actually can’t remember seeing any] but spring will be the real telling point.

The consumers seemed to have adapted rather well too, most people REMEMBER their reusable bags, those that don’t, well it is not far to rush home and pick up the ones you forgot, or you can buy more at the store. It will get a bit expensive after awhile and the cloth bags do not have the reusability around the house of the plastic ones.
Barring that you can purchase the cheaper brown paper bags, two sizes are available, I think Northern is going to donate some of the sales on the paper bags to the community government.

Now to tackle the pop cans, beer cans, chip bags, candy wrappers, pampers tins etc that can litter the roads.
Back in my youth the grocery stores, actually all stores, sold everything in bulk [or loose] and you took your own bags or they supplied paper bags. Talk about back to the future.
I don’t expect a total reversal but much can be done to minimize all the packaging, much of it is out of local control, some could be dealt with with local input.

I like this idea of a greenhouse project over in Nunavik. As it points out in the article there are other greenhouse projects in the north, non in Northern Labrador on a commercial scale sad to say.

Quite some years ago I mailed the town council with some links and suggestions on not for profit greenhouses. I think the one that I like best at the time was a greenhouse that used secondary heat from the exhausts from oil burning furnaces and engines. The exhaust was routed into a heating system in the greenhouse prolonging the growing season. An ideal location then would have been in the vicinity of the old Hydro plant and the council garage.

With the new Hydro plant now up on the hill above the old site who knows. I am sure with a little thought and a little more effort something could be worked out, just need s the will.

The not for profit commercial venture would work best IMO, if land could be acquired close to a large heat source then all the better. Why even utilizing the wind and sun could be a part of the project.

If the forecast reads true we are in for quite a bit of snow and warmer temperatures the next few days, so much for the harbor ice forming then.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Boy that was a quick drop in the old temperatures. Down to – 23 overnight with a -30 wind chill. Takes some adjusting after all those mild [relatively speaking] temps.

The harbor is trying to freeze; it is the topic of the day for most people you meet on the streets.

Just the weather for a nice slow cooked stuffed pork roast cooked with vegetables and served with roast spuds and yams with asparagus.

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The list of big donors is growing down at Northern. Donations by 5 families of from 30 to 68 dollar values now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

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It was a nice sunny day yesterday, yet nary a soul was out walking [besides us] mid afternoon. Maybe it was the wind that kept others indoors; it was gusting to 84 clicks when I took these shots from over at the gazebo.
I used the pillars as support for myself and the camera.

Good thing we don’t have transport trucks up here, another one blown off at the Wreckhouse.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

There are some interesting twists behind last night’s meal.

Firstly I am not positioning blame on any single person for the following:

I was in Northern on Thursday afternoon; a new supply of produce must have come in [mixed in with the old stale stuff], there was some nice looking white mushrooms next to some whole portabellas next to some sliced portabellas.

I picked out a packet of the white and one of the whole portabella and off the check out for me.

The items were weighed and scanned and the total came up. The check out person [COP] looked at me waiting for the money to changed hands.

I looked at the total on the computer and at the COP, COP looked back at me as if to say, what ya waiting for.

I said to COP, that total must be wrong. COP hunches the shoulders, as if to say that is what the computer computed so pay up.

I said, 24 bucks for 4 portabella mushrooms does not sound right. COP scans again, same result. I looked unhappy so COP scans again, same result.

Help is sought from an office person [OP] near by. OP goes looking for further help, OP take some time, I am thinking of buggering off but the portabellas looked too good.

OP finely comes back and says something to the COP puts some info into the computer and up comes the new price of $3.69. I’ll take em I says.

On Friday Fran and I are in Northern again, Fran eyes off some nice looking asparagus. The label says ‘asparagus $14.99 a Kg’. I say if you want them go see how much for the bunch.

After the COP weighs and computes them Fran wanders back with the asparagus and says they are over 17 bucks.

This does not sound right, I take the asparagus back to COP and says how much did they weigh. COP says they did not know. So I ask for them to be put on the scale, up comes .456 Kg.

I say if the asparagus is priced at 14.99 a Kg and this lot weighs in at .456 Kg how can the total be 17 bucks.

COP shrugs shoulders again, yells out for the OP for assistance. OP does some looking and entering in the computer and up comes the new price of 7 bucks and change.

So that is how we came to have asparagus, two mushrooms with spuds and chicken slow cooked in white wine, ginger, red wine vinegar and hot peppers.

It is also a reason to always be alert at the checkouts, which I usually am but others are not or too trusting.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We took in the Xmas brunch put on by the recreation department and the Martin Martin Group home midday yesterday. Thanks a bunch for the brunch.

Following the brunch was a giant merchandise bingo, this I did not attend, Fran came home with some nice stuff though.

We seemed to have missed the latest of the Atlantic storms, only light dusting of snow and moderate winds to date.

My early morning activity was rudely interrupted today. No bloody Internet. I called out and was told that a fiber optic cable was the problem crews were working on it and it was expected to be up between 6 and 8. What was it we did pre computers and Internet? I cant seem to remember.

So seeing you are reading this it must be up again, though Internet Explorer is still not working so maybe you wont.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

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So the great escape artist Upik is at it again. On Wednesday I corralled him at the post office and returned him to his latest owner. That is the third owner to date.
Low and behold he was at our back door this morning with a big silly grin and half his chain hanging off.

I have a soft spot for Upik, he is so gentle, yet so big and strong, I sure do not want the dog catcher to get him and no one claim him. Then I/we do not need the agro of another dog full time, especially one of Upik’s talents.
I will return him to the newest owners if they do not come looking for him.

Old TableMountains risks life n limb to get the perfect shot. Not really, he is just trying [ungracefully to date] to force the powers in Sin City to put up warning signs.

I have finely found a camera bag that has lots of features that make life easier, it is light and offering ample protection while not bulky.
It is carried like a back pack but swings around to the front of the body in one movement.
You then have easy access to the camera by just releasing a clip and ripping open the cover revealing your camera.
Super neat.

Showing from bottom: front, back, side, camera compartment which is at the side.
The straps are color co ordinated [for dummies].
The bag is set up for right handed users, it swings around from back to front on the left side. You can see in the second to bottom picture the right hand shoulder strap, it just slides out, clips on the bottom and you have a true backpack for longer outings.

Things are ramping up for the Christmas season, lights are appearing on some homes, and the post office is blocked every time a mail plane comes in. It is quickly unblocked once the staff process the parcels, packages of every size and shape can be seen exiting the building.

One thing missing at the moment is the community Christmas tree. The tree [well a pole with lights] has been a feature of the town for some years; no one can pin down why the lights have not gone up yet.
There is a very good explanation, but I’m not telling narh narh narh.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Gypsy Life musty have headed out with its raft in tow early yesterday morning. Hope all went well with the trip; winds were down early so all should have been OK.
Not sure when we will get to see the Paul’s next; will they wait for freeze up or do another trip beforehand? My bet would be they wait for freeze up, unforeseen circumstances aside.

Update: They made it OK.

It is the second night in the minus double digits, nice days though so freezing will take time at this rate.

So Jim Walsh has to meet his fait on January 6. It is the big house for big Jim for sure.

I think that besides jail time for these wayward politicians they should have their pensions revoked; after all they were supposed to have been toiling for the good of the electorate not for their own benefit. And in Jim’s case I believe he was on paid leave from a federal government appointment all the while the trail was on, he should pay that back as well.

Another thing that saddens me; when Wally Andersen is released from the pen he will be greeted as some sort of Robin Hood by many in Labrador.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Gypsy life did not make a move back to winter HQ, the winds were a bit high so the Paul’s are waiting for a flatter run across the entrance to Nain Bay.

The barge is all loaded up ready for the 1 to 2 knot dash.

As Harald said, “there is no rush, and it is better to be sure of what you are doing thus eliminating any possible problems”. Or words to that effect.

Clear ski’s in December mean lower temperatures, -13 with -20 wind chill early this morning.
Yesterday was a magnificent day, -7 with -13chill.
Some shots of a departing plane and of future Cain’s Quest racers.

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