Monday, May 31, 2010

Not a bad weekend overall weather wise, some cloud, some sun some wind, some people catching char some not.

Over in Apisi Bay [next bay over behind Nain hill] Saturday there were lots of people scattered all along the shore. Some fishing others enjoying the day with a fire and boil up and some even picking muscles. Pity about the dump being there but it has to go somewhere.

This morning around 8:30 we made an executive decision to try and leave today instead of Wednesday.
So we managed to get on the Air Lab morning flight out of here, rushed around then had a call from the agent that the flight would not leave GB until 10:30 or so. Then another call informing us that a reconfiguration in flights has been made, two fights have been turned into one and we will be informed when the flight is due here.
So we wait.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Some sort of a morning or what?

Ice sort of disappeared out of the harbor overnight. Lots of boats going hether and yither and yon, lucky bastards.

CKOK had an interview with a chap from the Food Mail Review Team yesterday, not much information there pertaining to how we will be affected by the new Nutrition North Program.

CBC HV-GB Labrador Morning are saying they will try and interview retailers and such next week on what they know of the new program. Given the program has just been announced I doubt much information will be garnered from those interviews at this time.

An editorial in the Nunatsiaq News points out some things to keep an eye on as the new program is rolled out. It also does not mention Labrador highlighting the fact we are a very small part of the overall program, therefor more need to be vigilant one would suppose.

Boy, I would give an eye tooth for some reporting like the NN does in our neck of the woods.

Up to +15 at the house, 12 official yesterday.

The char started biting yesterday afternoon down the northern point and Apisi, panic stations with the rods boy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Not much information to garner in Labrador from the new Nutrition North program, that’s the one to replace the food mail subsidy.

No retailers or their bosses have heard boo, nor wholesalers or airlines nor our MP in hOttawa have heard a peep as to how the new program will play out in Labrador.

No surprise really, after all we are just a little mouse alongside the big elephant of the program over all.

There are of course speculations; one is that it won’t affect us here. I can’t see it not affecting us, after all the deliverer of the present program, Canada Post, will be out of the picture.

One thing of concern for most would be the fact only one out of the three announced delivers in the rest of the north operate here in Northern Labrador, and they only have stores in Rigolet and Nain, that being the North West Company.

Cloudy early but the sun is out and we are up to +8 already.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gypsy Life made it to the dock Wednesday; she came in along the shore inside the ice.

Sunny breaks but the wind is cold and it is kicking up the dust, one of summers [brief as they are] little annoyances.

Still manage to get out despite a busy baking stint again this week, cookies, muffins and berry breads for a NG Dept of Health forum and more bread. One more batch of bread and that’s it for some weeks.

Then again I will have the use of a kitchen down under, I may get sick of all that fish n chips, meat pies and chops and snags on the Barbie.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gypsy Life is free of her winter islolation.

The guy hauling the tinny out on the ice was doing it tough. He started out wearing a lift jacket [god choice considering the ice conditions] but after a short laboring zig zag track he had stripped off the jacket and was sweating profusely judging by the amount of times he stopped to wiped his face with his tee shirt.

The Gypsy Life is finely free of its frozen sarcophagus. She moved into the mouth of Apisi Sunday afternoon. Closest it could get to Nain given the ice and the winds to date.

Nice holiday weekend weather wise, mostly sunny and if you were out of the wind yesterday it seemed warmer than the official +8, not so windy Sunday.

Sunday there were people all out down the northern point, some walking out on the ice, others taking small boats out towards open water. Others just checking on conditions and spying on the seals sunning out in the harbor, you needed binoculars to see them, not sure of the numbers but a lot would best describe.

At the same time yesterday there was nary about half a dozen down there, must have been the clouds and the cool north winds.

I was chatting with the Pentecostal Pastor [PP] here in Nain on Sunday, nice guy to have a chat with.

Seems he and his wife are heading out on the first boat and calling it quits here, going back to the Island and work on a house they have purchased.

I mentioned that it is a shame to see them go; PP replied that there is nothing to keep them here; people don’t turn out so he is taking a year break from pastoring.

I asked if there was any one slated to take his place, my last recollection was that there was a dearth of Pentecostal pastors on the island.

Not so now it seems as PP said they do not have anyone in mind and now there is a shortage of pastors and no one seems interested in a remote location.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Great sunny day for a change.

Taken from Northern Point around 8:30 this morning. The three on the ice were the early bird, while I was there people started filtering down in dribs and drabs, all with their rods.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A nice simple albeit colorful repast of salmon cakes roasted vegetables and Fran’s favorite, brussels sprouts.

We had a nice day yesterday, plus 6 with a cooling breeze, it had people out and about though. Looks like some sunny breaks into next week.

More open water appears everyday now, people working on the boats and getting their rods oiled up ready for action.

The GD had an eventful week, did a 300 mile cross country flight to Timmins Ont. GD flew out and the boyfriend did return trip. The eventful part was on the return, bad weather and lightening forced them back to Sudbury, stuck there two days before they were able to proceed.

I hope CBC North does not mind but I just have to share this comment from their story on the "New Northern Food Subsidy Unveiled".

From Ovilok in Cambridge Bay:

I grow very tired of the i'm tired of my tax dollars being used to support the north, or rednecks dictating what should be in my traditional diet etc....mentality.

The fact of the matter is that not everyone in this country lives on Young St. crammed into an apartment building. We Northerners don't need to apologise for where we live or the fact that tax dollars go to support programs here. We pay taxes too and we have the highest cost of living in the country.We have been here for thousands of years and would still be living a traditional lifestyle if outsiders hadn't interfered with it in their greed for furs, whaling, sealing, Northwest passage, etc (remember-any of that sound familiar ?) and imposed themselves upon us. Now you're paying for it. So am I. Tough. Shut up!

Outsiders reaped wealth from the North for centuries, we are your presence in the North supporting Arctic sovereignty, we have a wealth of resources which are just begining to be unearthed. Business 'Up Here" is starting to boom. We must have something good about us because God knows enough of you Southerners have no problem coming up here to work or joint venturing with Inuit businesses using Land Claim loop holes to get awarded pubic and private contracts.You use us and we use you and that is the way of the world. Live with it.

This program is badly needed. If nothing else think of the average Joe who earns minimum wage (I know you are thinking that everyone here is somehow making big bucks but our minimum wage is the same as yours). How far do you think the paycheck will go when you have to pay $4-5 for a litre of milk, $6-8 for a half dozen oranges etc....or if we weren't getting a subsidy for water paying about $600 a month for that service. Or $800 a month for electricity.

Friday, May 21, 2010

At last Northern Labrador has coped a big break: According to the new Nutrition North Program of the Federal Government we are now part of Northern Manitoba.
Works for me. Barrrh haaa haaaa.

All jokes aside [pity] the old food mail subsidy will be no more come March 31 2011.

It will be replaced with the new "Market Driven" Nutrition North Canada program.

Still lots of details to see but I like the increase in subsidies for perishables and milk products.

I am a little worried about the "Total amount each community ships" as a basis for level of subsidy.

But it looks like they will have to have proof of subsidy at point of sale, plus country food will be eligible and Canada Post has the heave ho, all goods components for sure. Also health Canada will play a role in overseeing the program, wait and see how that plays out.

An Air Lab plane sneaked in late yesterday almost emptying out the Atsanik Lodge.

We only know this because we booked a meal and bottle of wine for little François and myself.

Nice meal and good service in an empty dinning room, though the bar where we had pre dinner drinks was far from empty.

I continued on with the baking yesterday; when on a role go with it eh. Couple loaves of zucchini/carrot/walnut bread and one small batch of 12 grain.

These photos show the contrast in the capacity of the "Kitchen Aid" mixer used yesterday with the "Sun" commercial mixer used the day before, and that was not its full capacity mix.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Like I mentioned in the last post, it is snowing, must confess I did not expect this much accumulation though.

Yo soy una máquina para fabricar pan.

Some days it is not advisable to look out the window on arising. Today [unlike Monday] is one of those days, it's snowing folks! Still we are all grateful and thankful for the one sunny day.

Long day in and out of the kitchen, two batches of bread takes time. First set of pictures show some of the stages of making bread [for those who don't get the time to make their own] wholewheat/rye batch
Below is the second batch of bread, white this time and after a long day with the dough a nice repast of steak, snags, mushroom and onions was much appreciated, even if I did to cook it myself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

There is a marked difference in the amount of spring refuse littering our roads and willow ways this year.

All due to the ban on plastic shopping bags I might add.

Mind you there is still litter, mostly consisting of cardboard packaging, plastic wrap from packaging, industrial type plastic and packaging from construction sites and other general things that get waylaid on the way to the dump.

All in all a marked improvement over previous years.

Also noted by those who note things is that most of the households on the road from the airstrip to town have done a great job in cleaning up their yards and general area.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hmmm, took them long enough to come up with any changes to the food mail subsidy. Until we see the proposed changes it would be imprudent to comment. But, I hope there are allowances for Labrador’s uniqueness and I hope that direct mail orders are allowed for Labrador and that the list for approved wholesalers is enlarged.

The most important aspect of all, judging by all the criticisms across the board, was for openness, accountability and a way that the consumer could see their savings at point of sale. We shall see.

Maybe now the NL provincial government will release its long due review of their subsidy program that runs parallel to the federal one.

Sunshine for most of the day yesterday.

People out walking around and doing stuff well into the evening [fair weather walkers we will call them].

Even with my dose of rays I am still feeling mauzy, unfortunately it has more to do with uneducated uncaring inconsiderate humans than the weather, but that too will pass.


For supper I knocked up some roast port, mashed spuds with an alfredo sauce over the vegetables.

I Awoke to this sunrise today. Not literally, I had to go to the window, look out, impressed with what I saw, get camera, go out to the front door, take series of pictures.
All that when just awake takes some doing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Been feeling like the weather, bloody blah.

And someone whose name I won’t mention but starts with Fran is going to be even more blah this morning what with the Canadians on the wrong end of a 6 zip score.

But a little up tic as we notice that two Ozzies had a good weekend with Webber winning in Monaco and Scott winning in Texas.

I am hesitant to mention this but here goes anyway: There are patches of blue across the sky this morning.
When you have gone this long with gray, fog and precipitation any little ray of brightness is encouraging. We will see how it plays out later in the day.

The photo above was taken just before 6 this morning, since then it has clouded over for the most part with some curly dark clouds and the odd blue. The people that know these things say that a high pressure front is pushing into the area from the west, lets hope it has more pressure than the lows that keep pushing in from the east.

Just came in a bit from soaking up the rays, feels good man. Just spoke to GB, we seem to be the only place with sun on the coast, getting back to the good old days.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nice day yesterday, high overcast, lots of planes in. We are in a snow fall warning at moment, light snow has started. The good news for us is that the big accumulations are forecast for the Hopedale area.

Last evening had a nice [see pretty picture] schnitzel. I thinly sliced a couple of those pork loins from Northern, seasoned them before the egg wash and fresh breadcrumbs treatment.

Served with a salad and my latest version of German potatoes, I think this version is a keeper if I can remember the ingredients next time I fancy German potatoes.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the big win by Montreal over Pittsburgh last evening. I did not watch it myself but am very aware how much it means to little Francois and others in the family. Two playoff series wins is way beyond most people dreams if they are honest.

Later in de morn: Siutik wants to go for a walk but I am not overjoyed about that. Snow and NNE winds to 55 makes for very uncomfortable stroll.

I did dash down to the stores earlier. You see the store operators were speculating [or rather hoping] yesterday that the food by mail would be sent on on a pro active basis as has been the case for a couple of weeks.

No cigar this week, the produce shelves are all but empty. Wonder where the lack of pro action lays this time.


Later later around noon: Darryl Shiwak of Rigolet is the new first minister of the Nunatsiavut Assembly.

The ministers of different departments will be chosen this afternoon.

Later later later around 6:

Nunatsiavut Executive Council has been formed.

Darryl Shiwak is the New First Minister
Danny Pottle is the New Minister of Finance
William Barbour is the New Minister of Lands and Natural Resources
Johannes Lampe is the New Minister of Culture Recreation and Tourism
Susan Nochasak is... the New Minister of Education and Economic Development
Keith Russell is the New Minister of Health

Pat Ford has been named the New Speaker of the House of Assembly

There are a couple or several potentialy good appointments there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

No pretty pictures but I cooked up a mean asparagus/leek/bacon frittata last evening, served with a nice salad and fries, good as restaurant food IMO, then I would say that wouldn’t I?

After a nice mainly sunny day yesterday we are back into the cloudiness stuff again, something seems to be afoot by the smell of the air.

The NG assembly is due to meet in Hopedale tomorrow to swear in the new assembly members and I thing to elect/choose the new ministers.
One thing for sure the NG assembly does not waste time with all this house sitting mumbo jumbo, in to Hopedale today, meet tomorrow and leave Friday. Makes one wonder why such a large contingent of members is needed when the house sits so very rarely and for such short time frames when they do.

As a matter of fact I would suggest that there are a number of people who do more for the people in the area on a volunteer basis than some of these ordinary members of NG, for sure the volunteers I have in mind put more time and effort into what they do.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A strange sight indeed around 3 pm yesterday. It seemed like half the town was doing hand stands and cartwheels down the roads, no mean feat considering the state of the roads sure.

Coincidentally the SUN came out around the same time, partly sure, but came out it did.

Monday, May 10, 2010

AS good as it got!

Fogged in all weekend, nice change this morning, it’s raining [says me facetiously].

Some people off the airstrip point doing a spot of fishing through cracks in the ice, and the view of the power plant from further up the strip. Ice is very dangerous now, many parts are just several inches of pure snow, yet some folks still push the boundaries and head out on it.

The roads are starting to look like the roads of old, all those culverts that have been put in are either blocked frozen or have been lifted by frost and no longer function as intended.

Hence you have all the spring [used advisedly] run of heading down through people’s property and cutting channels into the roads.

Back to the drawing boards for the engineers me thinks.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Have a great day to all the Muvers out there.

What with all this shitty weather we have been having I was pleasantly surprised to see some fresh flowers available in Northern the other day.

There were several types in bunches but I decided to get the one rose [they looked a little fresher] for little François.

I put it in a vase near the photos and art work.

Later that evening little François was home and talking for quite a bit before she let out a big long Oooooooooooo. I wondered what the hell she was Ooooooooooooooo at until I realized she had noticed the rose.

High overcast early but now that the sun has come up [we can only assume that is the case] the fog is rolling in somewhat. Few more days of this yet.

I have noticed nothing in the provincial media covering the Canadian Constituency results put out yesterday by NG. Actually there has been little to no coverage of the assembly elections except for CKOK and CBC HV-GB in the lead up.

For sure there has been no analytical reporting on the elections or the candidates. I found Facebook a good source of information, some pages were bias to the candidate [and why not] and other pages full of very critical information from people making comments of one type or other. Problem is with no corroborating evidence these muddy the waters and become more entertainment than informative.

So as I see it the make up of the new assembly to be sworn in next week in Hopedale goes like this.

President: who is elected in a different election by all eligible beneficiaries.

Ten ordinary members, who have just been elected, see below.

  1. Canada - 2 Members (Provides representation for all Labrador Inuit citizens residing in places in Canada outside of the other constituencies)
  2. Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Northwest River and Mud Lake - 2 Members
  3. Hopedale - 1 Member
  4. Makkovik - 1 Member
  5. Nain - 2 Members
  6. Postville - 1 Member
  7. Rigolet - 1 Member

Five mayors from the five North coast communities in Nunatsiavut.

Two chairs of the Inuit Community Corporations in the Lake Melville region.

This makes a total of eighteen [18] assembly members.

I guess with just a little more effort they could have come up with a more complicated and convoluted set up, maybe they just ran out of time.

The breakdown of the new ordinary members is:

Three women.

Six new members.

Four returning members.

So with the inclusion of the mayors and chairs the new assembly will be more representative of society than the old, except of course in the area of fluency in Inuktitut.

Only two members are able to speak Inuktitut, both are representing Nain. I stand to be corrected on this as I am not fully familiar with Susan Nochasak and her language abilities. She must have some ability as she teaches Inuttut in the school there, please excuse me if I am incorrect.

I wish them all well and hope that some of the wrinkles in the NG structure and management can be ironed out in due course. Or to be more honest sooner rather than later.

Friday, May 07, 2010


That is central Arnhem Land pigeon English for we must have been unkind to the weather spirits to deserve this continues shitty weather.

Late and breaking: Results of the Canadian Constituency members of the Nunatsiavut Assembly are, Danny Pottle and Patricia Ford.

Later later: The official results.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Little snow bombs!

In case there is anyone out there that thinks we are joking or misleading about our weather this picture was taken around 8:30 this morning.

Lot of snow still on the hills and these little snow bombs are a constantly coming and going.

Update or afternoon edition: Walking down the road this morning Fran commented “the roads are nice and smooth”. They were, with fresh snow of top of the frozen gravel and pot holes.

After Fran went her way Siutik and I continued on down to the dump to look for rats.

Kidding about the rats but we did head on down that way, bloody cold n all with north wind pushing the snow and freezing rain into us. I was not dressed for this but did have my tinted safety goggles to keep the driven snow out of my eyes.

Different story with the roads this afternoon, roads have thawed and all the pot holes are full of water, plus the wind has dropped but it is rain and we snow falling.

Thursdays are usually the day the fresh food is flown in, guess what? Air Labrador [who has the Canada Post contract for these things] was pro active and got things organized to bring the Thursday shipment in last evening. What with the lousy weather of late and the last two shipments being well delayed due to weather this is a good thing for the Nain consumers. Some nice looking produce too, just have to close your eyes or ignore the price tags.

Canada Post is not co operating in the attempts in the pro active attempts I have heard. Several times Air Lab have tried to get Canada Post guys up to the airport to ship stuff to the coast outside the agreed upon hours and days. You see, someone from Canada Post has to be on hand for quility control and check that non acceptable goods under the program are not shipped. As anyone on the coast could attest, the quility control inspections are almost non existent. Just recently a freight plane arrived in Nain, when the doors were opened there was an overwhelming odor of onions that hit the people on the ground.

As the shipment was off loaded there was onion juice squishing and squirting all over.

With these continued problems with Canada Post there is apparently a letter being sent off to our MP in Ottawa and to INAC, the programs funding agency by a retailer in conjunction with the wholesalers in Goose Bay.

Speaking of INAC, it must be getting near time they released the results of the program revision that has been under way for well over a year.

All I can say is amen to that.

You dirty rat.

Wow, those two hours of partly sunny weather yesterday morning were amazing, short live but amazing all the same.
Quickly back to cloud then light snow for the rest if the day, and no sign of the golden orb in the 7 day forecast either.

Though the temperature was around 0 the wind chill was in the -10 range which made for good walking in the hills. The top crust on the snow was thick enough to hold me without the unexpected crash through up to the thighs that happens in warmer temps.

Beside the election excitement [which garnered little public talk] the other big story has been the discovery of a Norway rat in town last week.

I must admit to giving rats little thought, coming from were I do rats were a common sight. So it came as a surprise to learn that rats are [historically] not known to inhabit this area, though they must be known in other parts of Labrador.

Since the latest discovery it has come to light that several rats have been seen around town in recent times.

Now the speculation starts on how they got here, and why.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

First the bad news: Montréal lost game 3, surprisingly Fran is not overly upset, can’t say same for others.

Now the really bad news: Of the seven incumbents in yesterdays ordinary members elections for the Nunatsiavut Assembly three managed to scrape back in. Ok scrape is not the correct term in Upper Lake Melville and Rigolet.

But overall there is a clear message; NG needs to clean up its act.

Then comes the extraordinary bad news: I broke down and purchased a large loaf of bakers whole wheat bread yesterday……………….god damn awfully it is.
Oh well, the folks will just have to hold there nose because I am having a brief hiatus from baking, there is still some home made white.

My post yesterday seems to have scared the bejasus out of a lot of people, the voter turn out is quite good, the exception being Makkovik who came in at under 50%.

The rest of the communities varied from 57 to 71 % with Hopedale taking out the highest percentile.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Caribou stew, doughboys served with green beans. A nice change of plain fare. No garlic, spices, herbs, just the taste of caribou and the vegetables, some good.

As variety is the spice of life in food variety also applies in politics IMO.

Today is voting day for ordinary members in Nunatsiavut, Lake Melville and the Constituency for the rest of Canada. [If anyone can figure out the common sense in all of that please let me know].

Change is needed if the new NG government is to move forward. Change is also needed if the culture and language that was the basis for the implantation of the land claims agreement which led to the formation of Nunatsiavut is to be saved.

The two incumbents in Nain are old and stale and next to useless; Lake Melville badly needs change as well, as to the other constituencies, I do not know enough of them to comment.

Update, 2:35'ish: People should get off their butts and go vote, not looking that good a turn out as off noon. Also the mail in ballot has been extended until Friday as only 600 ballots have been received from the 1750 sent out.

I have it on good authority that if you don't vote then you cant criticize the NG government, so there.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The weekend was full of good news; the Habs winning the hard way was just one of the good news stories, brightened things up for sure.

Weather wise we managed to see very brief glimpses of the sun; just enough to reassure us that it is still out there.

Planes managed to get in yesterday despite the ever changing ceiling.

The picture taken Saturday has enough sun through the clouds to get a refection in the water on top of the ice.

Most people have their ski doos put away fro the season but some still go out, mostly hoping for a geese.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

One of the great grandsons [GGS] has taken up blogging. I believe he will be advocating for an artificial ice surface for the Husky Center and for the introduction of volley ball and ball hockey programs up at the day care center. You go bad boy.

GGS has already taken a position on anonymous negative comments on the blog.

Photos by Jane Merkuratsuk.

Another foggy morning, we have not seen the sun for about 11 days now, the forecast that said a yellow ball for Sunday has been revised, now calling for yellow ball sometime next week.
There was at least one plane got down yesterday, a charter I believe, no schedule flights and no freight or mail.