Saturday, February 27, 2010

As a follow up to Team Canada’s on ice celebrations [not that there was anything wrong with it] I give you

Having purchased some reasonably priced cod fillets at Northern I was in a bit a quandary on how to cook them. My choice would have been battered and deep fried, but seeing how CBC Here & Now is putting the fear of some one or other up us with their series of healthy living and how much salt is in our diets I decided on a Mediterranean style dish.

It was OK but in future I think I will forego the healthy thingy.

Yesterday the school had a parade around town in support of Canadian Olympians.

I only caught the tail end and can only assume that it is more in support of the Hockey team/teams than all the Olympians in general, as I said, that is just an assumption.

Back to high overcast yesterday and light freezing drizzle this morning, not supposed to last though, mostly sunny in forecast for next week.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fran insisted I take this picture of her 'gastronomic delight', caribou bones are by fare Frans favorite cooked food. I even forgo the marrow in deference, unless I sneak some that is.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some photos of the crowd, participants, judges and the school brass band at the Inuktitut speak off Tuesday evening.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you El Pizza Magnifico, truly certified by a NYC pizza expert as the best pizzas they have tasted for a long time.

The ingredients shall remain in my domain; I will say there was not a hint of tomato sauce, or salami or pepperoni.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yesterday was a great day for catching up on some rays.

. It was also a great day for a picnic; alas the picnic tables are still indisposed as yet, so we took to the harbor for a stroll.

So did others, some walking to the airstrip and others just tooling around enjoying the day.

In the evening we joined a rather large crowd at the school gym for the Seventh Annual Inuktitut Speak Off.

The speak off had been postponed twice in the last three weeks, a spot of crappy weather you know, so it was great for everyone involved that the show finely given a green light by mother nature.

Two students from each Nunatsiavut community competed, except for Postville for some reason.

Fran, along with John and Wilson Jararuse were the judges and Fran also the gave the welcoming speech along with AngajukKâk Sarah Erickson.

There were certificates and prizes given out after all the students gave their presentations.

Third place went to Germaine Onalik of Hopedale [50 bucks]. Second place to Alicia Dicker of Nain [iPod] and the winner was Mary Andersen also of Nain [laptop].

The popular and culturally important event was organized by Sarah Townley, the school board Inuktitut programs co-coordinator, and Joan Dicker of Nain.

The JHMS brass band gave a short recital and the Nain Community brass band played a farewell hymn at the end.

PS. I was joking about the picnic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My little François was interviewed on Labrador Morning. I sure hope they can find a spot for the song labraorimut composed and sung by Sidney Dicker, be a shame if they can’t.

Click on "the end of the road for labradorimiut means a new beginning for Tamanevugut" to hear.

Is this where the heart and soul of NL is holed up recuperating from our heart operation I wonder. Looks like it could be.
This is what it was like for most of yesterday, there are many of building hidden in that thar fog, the fog lifted around 3 PM.

Several planes circled town during the day, not sure if any made it down.

This link was sent to me; boy some people have their heads so far up it boggles the mind. Imagine the brain size of people who would rather drive to the next state in preference to paying 5 cents for a plastic bag, most likely drives a Hummer too, nutters. Ban plastic bags outright, it works.

In the comments section; I disagree with ‘westsideshay14’ attitude on banning plastic bags, but they have it spot on with the packaging issue. The packaging is way out of hand and has been for a long time, time for the consumer to take charge and demand reductions.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It was great to be able to go on a walk and re charge the batteries at the same time yesterday. Nothing like a bit of sun to shake the old cobwebs out is there?

There is nothing remarkable about these photographs except the snow and ice conditions are representative of conditions around the end of April and not the 21 day of February.

There were half a dozen guys on the chopper; it just stopped to refuel on its way to Goose Bay.

The guys were glad to be on their way home, a three day maintenance trip to the radar site at Saglek turned into twenty one days due to weather.

The twin otter and the caravan landed just minutes apart, both were full of mail and freight, catch up time.

Later in the morning; Thought I would substitute the lack of rays with some vitamin D supplements, now they are held up some place within the System of Canada Post. Oh, and the fog is socked right down to the ground again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It is trying to clear a bit, cloudy to flurries to sunny patches, we may get a sunny break or two this week, mean time this video may cheer up some, or not.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday 20 February.

Well we had several pleasant surprises yesterday, the sun broke through the clouds, the planes arrived, people were out smiling and waving, life is good again.
The bubble burst at 13 days.

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Mind you the roads were more suitable for sea doos rather than ski doos, but you go with what you have.
Still, I can’t help thinking that sea doos may be the order in a decade, lets hope not. Perhaps our produce section will look like this an a decade or two too, OK, I admit it, the weather has gotten the best of me.

It must have been a slow news day down in Sin City, CBC radio and TV had stories on our weather and stories of drum dancers finely getting out and heading for the Olympics. Also interviewing people on the state of stock in the stores and photos of people out on the water covered ice. Click on photo #10 to view.
All good stuff for sure, perhaps some one has finely recognized that it is not all alcohol related negative news up this way.

Bye the bye, the weather-vane's fur was dry early but since the fog has dropped in lower with that list misty precipitation thingy.
Finnish sour rye bread, or some rather large bagels as one wag quipped.

In keeping with the latest trend the fur on the weather-vane was moist with added white lumps this morning. Whats this now, 14 days with no planes if we get through the day without.

That little food cost controversy in Hopedale I mentioned yesterday; the item in question was a box of Honeynut Cheerios [I know, crazy in it], the asking price was $14.99. Seems they were flown in but I am not sure of the size of the box.

At BigLand in Nain a 320 gram box of the little morsels costs $5.49 which were most likely shipped in via boat during the summer.

The facebook post received 38 comments from up and down the coast all expressing incredulity at the audacity of the store management.

My comments on the post was followed by a call from a government members constituency office, my bad.

Uppity date:

Up a lazy river where the robin’s song
Wakes a brand new mornin’ as we roll along
There are blue skies up above...and as long as we’re in love
Up a lazy river, how happy we could be
If you go up a lazy river with me

Substitute the slushy mushy roads for the river and I guess you would get an idea how most people think this hour.
Not sure if these patches of blue will last but there are good signs that it will all break soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My canine weather-vane informs me of light precipitation this morning, nothing new there, it will be 13 days without a plane if none arrive today and I would bet the house on that.

Took a stroll up the dam way yesterday, got some photos in before the weather came down………really, it got worse.

The two sleds contain kids from the Day Care out for some fresh moist air.

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People in Hopedale are complaining about high food prices on Facebook, I find that encouraging.

We are all used to paying more on the coast but when people see that the situation is being abused then some speak up.
The abuse is that stores are flying more and more staples in over the winter months instead of bringing them in via the cheaper freight rate in the summer.

Some of these items are covered by the two freight subsidies and some are not, the ones that are not will naturally cost way more, the ones under the subsidies not so much more, and how do we know that the consumer is getting the savings passed on? We don’t.

I know, I have harped on this before, and I will continue to harp on it until some lazy barstard within some level of government deals with the issue.

With elections for some NG positions coming up this year I thought this little fable appropriate:

A Pheasant's Tale

A pheasant was standing in a field chatting to a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of yonder tree" sighed the pheasant, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."

The pheasant pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch...And so on.

Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Where upon he was spotted by a farmer who dashed into the farmhouse, emerged with a shotgun, and shot the pheasant right out of the tree.

The Moral of the Story:

Bullshit might get you to the top....but it won't keep you there.

Maybe our Provincial politicians need reminding of this fable too.

Earlier in the week I noticed some packets of salt beef in one of the stores [BigLand]. Nothing unusual about that in this province, salt beef has been and still remains a staple in a lot of diets.

The unusual thing about it was the price and also there was little to no fat on the meat and not a bone to be seen either. Anyone trying to reduce fat and salt in their diet should steer away from jigs dinner.

Any way I cooked up the beef in a form of jigs dinner last evening. I added a white onion parsley sauce to the meat before serving, much to Fran’s discontent, but hey, there are other palates to please, and I think I know dear wife’s likes and dislikes by now.

Actually the meal reminded me of the boiled brisket and white sauce that we had often as kids. Mind you the brisket was never as stringy as last evenings but the taste was similar.

To top this off I made a date walnut cake, this too reminded me of my youth, we often had a date walnut role in the day.
There seems to be a pattern forming, must be the weather, though it sure does not remind me of my youth.

I have been using Siutik as a weather vain of late. I don’t even have to look out the window to see what’s what, I just let her out for her morning pee pee and feel her fur when she comes back in, wet it inevitably is.

CBC Here & Now had a piece on the weather in Labrador last night, video of planes loading up with goods for the coast, the coast everywhere but Nain.
Still down in fog and precipitation could be for a few more days yet.

This story from down Sydney way reminds me of the controversial application to take Environmentally Protect Land [public land] and use it for private purposes here in Nain.

The applicant here is not a property mogul as such, but he sure is working on it.
CBC is reporting the cancellation of Cain’s Quest snowmobile race for this year, unsafe conditions is cited.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Canarys on the picket line, Sudbury.

CANARYS on the Picket Line from Stuart Cryer on Vimeo.

Having a long union history the folks in Sudbury know how to do strikes and come together as a community.
Stuart had short stint as a TV trainer up her some years back. He help OKS put together a video on the joint Inuit/Innu protest over at the Voisey's Bay site before it was released from the environmental process. Back in the day eh?

Made up a small batch of bread yesterday and with the left over dough did up two pizzas, had them with a salad.

With the continuing shitty weather fresh vegetables are becoming a premium in the stores. If history is any guide it will be a while after the weather clears before fresh supplies are fresh.

We are still to received last weeks fresh that has been sitting in storage in GB, that lot wont be much good when it arrives. So we have to wait until the following week for a new batch to arrive into GB then flown here.

Put in perspective with Haiti or Somalia and the like it is really no big deal, but in isolation it is a big deal.

Two weeks ago today the temperature was -27 with wind chill of -38. It has been +2 steady for four days now.

Update: Planes only going everywhere except Nain seems like, still socked in in fog and light rain.
There is a lot of pretty blue out there though, the water on the ice has some amazing colors.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kind of reflects the way most of us are feeling what with this prolonged and too frequent bad weather patterns this winter.

Sunshine, my kingdom for some sunshine.

It seems there are many flooded basements and storage areas around town.
I bet that has never happened in February before.

And [Danny] God Created Newfoundland ...

God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day.

He inquired, "Where have you been?"

God smiled deeply and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."

Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God and I've put life on it… I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a place to test Balance."

"Balance?" inquired Michael, "I'm still confused."

God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Over here I've placed a continent of white people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all things.

God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."

The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to an island and said, "What's that one?"

"That's Newfoundland, the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, and plains. The people from Newfoundland are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous, and they are going to travel the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace, and producers of good things"

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, "But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance..."

God smiled, "Close to Newfoundland is Ottawa . Wait till you see the idiots I put there."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This is the 14 February 2010

and it looks like April, rotting snow, pools of water, rain fog and fishtails.

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Seven days and counting without a plane, seems like lots of reoccurring posts about long weather delays this winter eh?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bloody hell, we are finely getting the blunt end of a storm front.

After putting up with moderate ceilings and very little precipitation all week, yet still resulting in NO planes, we now have rain/wet snow, winds to 82 KPH with snow and rain predicted all weekend and into next week. This type of precip always has me on edge; it can play havoc on hydro distribution and communications towers.

Pity the folk who are stuck in GB and the folk who are stuck here and can’t get out for their planned mini break in Montreal.

All this crappy weather is coming back on us from the north and north east. If that big dollop of warm water was not sitting out there in the North Atlantic Europe would be getting this stuff and not us.

Pictured at left is Silvia of the Gypsy Life; always with the smile is Silvia.Photo by Henry Bloomfield.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Here are two videos of the stern of Gypsy Life and of Harald Paul doing what he does well.

The video was taken yesterday by Henry Broomfield, Henry and pastor Charley had gone over to check out how the Paul's were doing.
As you can see Harald is quite the character, that fur cap he has on he made himself, his original cap was blown away in the winds. Cap is made from beaver and raccoon and took Harald a couple of hours to make.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The last time we were planning a trip down under there were documentaries on TV describing the world’s most deadly animals, the majority of them being in Australia.

Fran has all but overcome her fear of poisonous spiders, snakes, beautiful but deadly sea creatures and the like, not to mention sharks.

So I was thinking that our latest planned trip down under would not be too stressful. Alas after some deep delving around the

intertubes I came up with some disturbing information that may well put the kybosh on the trip from Fran’s point of view.

Seems there is a some sort of a cover-up by certain sections of the Antipodean society but as is the want these days the truth usually surfaces, I just hope I can keep the bad news from Fran at least until we are on the plane over the pacific.

I present the Drop Bear.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Looking like no planes today either, a mission plane made it in Monday morning but that has been it.

Most of the snow has been south of here while our weather has not been that bad, except for this morning with light snow and blowing snow.

One of the main talking points around town is the lack of good ice for traveling. Some people can’t get to their cabins; some can but have trouble getting there or have to travel on land.

North up around Okak and Hebron areas there is open water in many places, something unheard of in modern times.

The photo is of a recent trip inland undertaken by some Hopedaleimuks, fairly typical of almost anywhere in Labrador this year, which makes one wonder what the conditions will be like for the big Cains Quest ski doo race next month.

Photo by Elizabeth Flowers.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The price of a piece of fruit has the locals spitting seeds again. Though I would not recommend trying to spit a mango seed.

Highlighted below is from someone’s facebook, there are 13 comments to date all condemning the prices of foods, especially the nutritious foods. One person commented that a mango in Ottawa would set you back a dollar to a dollar and a half.

was going to buy a mango at the store earlier, but I refused to pay $8.49 for it, crazy .....

$8.49 for a mango is along way from $55 for a water melon, and the circumstances are different too, but it does highlight what is wrong with the system we have up here, as I have pointed out frequently there is something rotten in the system and it needs weeding out.

Trouble is no one will address the issue, I am still waiting fro a response from our MHA and the minister for Labrador affairs [sent last November] on my request for information on what the government is doing as far as openness and accountability pertaining to the food mail subsidies.

A cynical person could be excused for thinking there is some sort of protection racket going on.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Not much sun lot of wind but very little snow for the weekend. The only blizzards in evidence were on all the American TV channels. Oh yes, St.John’s got hit pretty bad with high winds and tides.

Still, we have a winter storm watch and it is not looking all that great for the week. Still again, it looks like Hopedale will get the brunt of the snow…….. time will tell.


I was/am feeling lazy, can’t find much in the MSM news that excites me and locally I have not been paying much attention to what is going on if indeed anything is going on.

Then this morning I thought, “I have not checked out the Troubadour lately” so I did.

Front and center is an article on uranium mining, Aurora Energy and its interests in Labrador by Mitchell White.

Mitt is a Labrador lad attending College, I hear through the grape vine that Mitt will be returning to Okalakatiget Society come April. Going by this article, and others he has written, he will be a welcome change for the OKS and its audience.

Back to the article; it is balanced, presenting two sides to the story. While it does not get into any in depth stuff it does give the reader a sense that it is just not the corporate or government agenda that is interested in what is happening.

As to Aurora Energy and its claim that they have good turnouts at the community consultations, this may well be true, what they don’t say is what brings the people out.

Is it that they all have an interest in uranium mining and any pro and cons this brings, or is it the fact that Aurora advertises openly that there will be door prizes [like iPods at one I attended] and food and refreshments [not alcohol] available.

As to the so called; ‘independent economic assessment of the Michelin project’ what a load of codswallop.

The company is not going to pay anyone or company to give a balanced assessment of any project that they have invested money in.

You just have to go back to the Environmental Assessment of the Voisey’s Bay project to understand that concept, and that was done under the federal government’s assessment guidelines, this independent assessment was done outside any guidelines, except for the corporate guidelines that is.

It is true what Ms Lighfoot is quoted as saying, any information that is not pro mining is presented by individuals and or groups with limited or no funding whatsoever, and who have their back against the wall, while the corporations have bundles of money [shareholders money one presumes] and hirers who have little to no social, cultural or environmental conscience.

IMO there should be an open and frank debate about the pros and cons of any uranium mining anywhere.

There may be an argument that the mining can be done reasonably safely, but not under present legislations and not only with corporations doing self regulating on themselves.

Then there is the matter of who will be the end user of any product and if it is used for power generation how will the spend fuel be contained and where. Lots to discuss sure.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

According to Ryan we are in for some weather the next few days.

And here is one for EJ. A meat pie, or duff, single layer pastry with half and half ground pork and beef. It was very good, how I could tell it was very good was there were no leftovers, much to my disappointment.

Torngnasok Cultural Center and the Moravian church in NL held a two day Heritage workshop mid week. Representatives from all the Nunatsiavut communities plus North West River and Battle Harbor attended, as did some resource people.

I did not attend but from what I hear there were some good exchanges of ideas and processes to follow when working on preserving heritage buildings, as well as tourism and how it can benefit the communities without despoiling the culture and heritage.

Nain would have the most to learn on the Heritage front, all other communities have at least one working heritage building and some communities have several.

To date Nain has one designated heritage building, just recently the Church received status but there is still work to do in raising funds to begin restoration.

Several other buildings IMO should be saved and restored as well; one of these was partially restored on the outside by Okalakatiget Society some 20 odd years ago. Since OKS moved to their new building that structure is being used by a construction company for storage and office. It is in dire need of repair and restoration.

Aimee from Them Days magazine also attended the conference and staid back a few days to gather stories. Aimee put on an exhibit of old photographs yesterday afternoon at the NG building.

I have tried to give an overview of what was there; photographs dating back to the early 1800’s in Killinik [the northern most tip of Labrador] and Hebron and Ramah to about the 1930’s in the communities of today.

Two photos of Fran's grandmother [below] one at a window and the other with Fran's Grandfather years later. How about the snow fall in Hebron? that is snow steps down to the ice for water gathering.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Yesterday was much more pleasant on the weather front. Sun shone on the snow with some misty background made for an enjoyable walk on the ice. I could even take the camera out for some shots without freezing my little pinkies.

As we closed in on the airstrip end Siutiks casual play buddies spotted her before she spotted them [busy sniffing in the bellicaters], when she did it was play time all out.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Crystal blue skies and crunchy pristine snow has been the order all week. Mind you it has been a tad on the chilly side with temperatures from -21 down to -28. These temperatures are not too hard to handle, it’s the wind that takes the edge off. -35 to -40 wind chills make the walks a bit of a challenge.

On Tuesday the two of us headed out into the wind [Fran busy with a Heritage conference].

From the get go Siutik decided to do the lead sled dog role pulling all out. No command deterred her; she just turned her head back and gave me that, “this is what I bred for so shag off” look.

Giving in I jogged slowly with her a short distance then let her off the lead; she took off like a greyhound out of the box at Wentworth Park.

On return home it took awhile to thaw my face out, Siutik was all keen to go further, “shag off” I told her.

Yesterday while out on the ice I noticed Harald Paul in the distance, he was just coming from the gas station. Harald looked on the lean side, camping out in the middle of the county will do that to you, even if it is in a boat frozen into the ice.

Things are supposed to warm up with some snow after today leading to a projected 0 temp by Sunday, the break will be nice.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I thought this story and video was hilarious, and it is but then I came across this video, damn genius it is, goes on a bit long but the ending is to die for.

I called NL Hydro customer service this morning, a friendly lady took my questions and responded with a fuller explanation of the billing.

I am still a little confused but the light is getting brighter at the end of the long tunnel. The lady said she will pass on my request to have the revised bills for October, November, and December sent out to me.
That way it is all in front of you and should be easier to compute.

Why it has not already been done is a mystery and will remain one I guess.

Also; on that video of the Fortis building, I received another one this time featuring the strike by Vale/Inco workers.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I have received the revised NL Hydro bill as promised, I assume others have received same.

If they are all like mine there will be a lot of hair pulling trying to make sense of it all.

The figures below did not format very well in transfer, but it gives an idea.

The top figures are troubling; they may make sense if you have other figures at your disposal but as they are it just does not compute:

The $513.87 previous balance as per previous bill is OK.

The Adjustment figure of $613.56 credit is one I can’t compute. I assume it is the previous consumption figure before any discounts but for the life of me I can’t arrive at that figure from any stats from previous bills.

The Forfeited discount of $2.94 is puzzling as the bill was issued two days before the discount cut off date.

So we have 513.87 minus 613.56 plus 2.94 comes to Balance forward of $259.78. WTF sort of math is that.

JAN 27 2010

The only problem I have with the rest of the figures is that it is not what I thought we were promised, a detail of the previous 4 months usage, it’s costing and the like.

****2,017 KWH 241.42
DISCOUNT 1.5% 3.85CR


Electric service charges this month 207.55