Tuesday, August 31, 2010
To expand a little: The new FM transmitter has been installed for some time waiting for the antenna to be hauled aloft the CBC tower [75 feet high].
That task has now been completed, along with the connecting cable of course.
There may be some fine tuning needed but from early listening the reception is a lot clearer and sharper than the AM.
The FM is a 1Kw job compared to the old AM 30 watts, it is hoped that the height of the antenna and the 1Kw transmitter will make up for the difference in sound wave travel of the FM signal.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I tried a different twist to the good old home style meal of meat rissoles. Usually I fry them in some oil, yesterday I decided to give them a go baked in the oven.
For an extra twist I had some diced up port fat sprinkled on top.
Not bad at all served with yam and potato mash and three green vegetables [one is white but you know what I mean].
The piece de resistance was of course the blueberry pie served with ice cream.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
With some luck this could be the last few days of the course and the GD will be winging it [commercial] on the way home next week.
Later and totally unrelated:
In the fog and light drizzle we made our way to the shops. In the distance, to our rear, a noise became increasingly louder, we moved over further on the shoulder of the road to give more room to what we presumed was an approaching truck.
Next thing you know a twin otter flew directly over frightening the bejasus out of us, and any one else under it’s path.
Just minutes later another twin otter came swooping out of the fog from over the harbor at about the same height, around 200 feet or less. The joys of travel in the north eh?
Both landed safely, the window was narrow as it is flat in fog and drizzle now.
I received some correspondence from concerned Inuk [CI] this week. CI was wondering if I had any interest in a press release [see below] from the Leader of the Provincial NDP and the on going strike at Voisey’s Bay and the latest war of words and legal action taken by Vale against the union.
I have been following the goings on in the media with great puzzlement and have not written about it for two reasons. One is; I was always against the mine mill opening and the second is; these union employer negotiations are complicated and unless you are directly involved then all you seem to get out of reading news reports is ‘he said she said”. The third would be; who really gives a hoot what I think.
Having said that; it is apparent that if the province had anti scab legislation this thing would have been settled long ago.
According to this report things are going swimmingly over at the mine at the moment. The provincial and NG treasury will be pleased with that, which speak volumes.
NG does not have any legal sway as the mine/mill is not inside Inuit land so the onus is all on the provincial government. You do not have to look hard to figure out their attitude to workers rights.
I will say also that I am puzzled that these days’ workers on strike can go and find work in other areas while the strike goes on. I can understand that families need to be fed and mortgages paid, back in the day that was a big NO NO in the workers solidarity movement, times change I guess.
I know of some strikers who have not been working and just relying on strike pay, but others have and are working in other jobs for almost the duration of the strike.
Sympathy from the public may be stronger if there was more solidarity and seriousness and resolve shown by the striking workers. It would seem a lot easier to say ‘we are holding out for our rights’ while at the same time you are holding down a good paying temporary job.
These are my thoughts and I hope they are not construed as support for the company who I revile.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2010
Vale statement of claim and government silence appalling
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) is appalled at the bullying tactics by Vale
towards the striking workers at Voisey’s Bay Nickel. They have been on strike for over a year
“Vale will not get away with these actions in Canada. We stand in support of the striking United
Steel Workers. They are not slandering; they are saying what they believe is true, which they
have a right to do.” says Michael.
“The statements of claim by Vale reported in the media as examples of defamation seem
preposterous,” says Michael.
Michael continues to call on government to get involved.
“Government is ignoring its responsibility to uphold the legal rights of workers to strike and to
speak freely,” says Michael. “Government is doing nothing to support workers’ rights while Vale
is ramping up its attempts to break the union by using this intimidation tactic of a legal
challenge,” states Michael.
Michael says that the Williams government is silent when they should be protecting workers; a
clear sign of where government’s priorities lie when is comes to corporations versus workers’
Matt White, Director of Communications, 729-2137 or 699-8610, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Some people around town are speculating that cell phone service may be close. Speculation for this is unknown to me; CKOK recently had a piece saying that the company trying to introduce the service is a long way from doing just that.
One of the reasons cited was a non interest from local entities in a joint venture, a pre requisite in any remote town receiving cell phone service.
Another reason for the speculation: Maybe the presence in town of a crew to erect a 200 foot tower up the back on Nain Hill.
A little bit of information seeking and the speculators would have discovered that the tower is being erected for The Coast Guard.
That said; it could be possible to erect a cell phone antenna on top of this new tower after going through all the regulatory and CG approvals but I do not see that happening any time soon.
Now for my little bit of speculation: Given the way technology changes at such a fast pace I think by the time Nain is ready [read large enough population/user base] cell phones will be passé.
It could be that voice over data lines will be the way of the future, and then who knows how long that is in vogue.
It is already possible to use a Blackberry phone over the Internet using a provider who offers that service. I’m sure the new Apple phones most likely have the same capability.
So my speculation would be that Nain has a series of hot spot wireless modems around town allowing access to anyone who wants to use their blackberry or apple phone to call home asking the partner if it was tin milk or 2% milk they were to purchase on the way home from the dock.
One thing to consider here though; while chatting over the Internet may not cost a dime the phone and it’s add-ons would set you back a nice chunk of change, at least at the moment, but who knows those prices may drop.
We had a nice complement recently. A person from out of town dropped in for a visit and mentioned to Fran they like our front porch. When Fran said it is messy and needed a clean up the person said it "reminded then of the porch in their house when they were a child". We do take it as a compliment by the way [paraphrased].
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The nights are getting longer, or is it the days are getting shorter, or is it both?
Still in the warm trend up here, quite nice at the moment, we will have to re acclimatize to the cold when it hits.
Many reasons for these drops but as the reports say human activity is one, maybe time for a rethinking on harvest levels.
Then again the turbot fishery further north contrast with what is happening on this part of the Labrador coast.
It still depresses me when I spend time down at the dock in summer months. Gone is the hustle and bustle of yesteryear [not that long ago], dozens of people working inside and outside the fish plant [some times 3 shifts], boats off loading, always something going on.
Now it is almost devoid of any activity. People site on the edge of the wharf chatting and just hanging out, some for the cool breeze, other there seeing what is going on with recreation boaters coming and going.
Some call it progress, I see it as regress, or perhaps congress.
Monday, August 23, 2010
WE headed down the northern end of town and gained some height, there was some breeze but not constant, even Siutik was subdued, no zipping and zooming in this heat.
Had the second BBQ of the season [cant remember the last one], nice steak with twice baked potato and a warm spinach salad. The ingredients for cold salad are not in the greatest shape in the stores at the moment so one has to improvise, the spinach salad turned out OK anyways.
There were a lot of berry pickers out on the hills, then lots of phone calls or knocks on the door with people selling their harvest. Had to turn them all down.
By the way there is left over steak, these ones are too big for us.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Fogged in all day yesterday but the temperature was nice in the low teens.
In the afternoon we took a walk and partook in some blue berry picking.
On the way over there was a dog fight between two ravens and a small bird of pray, by the time I got close enough for some photos the fight was over and the ravens zoomed over a hill heading for some R&R on the other side of the bay so this one was the only close shot I was able to get.
Further on the crew were undecided which way to head, that or Fran was checking for predators. Me thinks more likely the later.
After a time the flies became unbearable so we headed back with enough berries for several breakfasts. The berries are on the verge of sweetness, the red still have some time before they are ready to pick.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
If there ever was nectar from the ice spirits then this must be it.
The pros are; full bodied and mildly hoppy with an amazing deep brown color.
The cons are; there was only one bottle.
Very unlike the stuff the big Canadian breweries put out for sure.
This pictures background adds more color to the Canadian beer than the actual, I missed that while composing.
Friday, August 20, 2010
This char was from more northern waters. It was frozen and on thawing out it had the smell and feel of a fish fresh just out of the water.
On cooking it maintained its deep red color and on tasting it, well it was out of this world, just like fresh caught char cooked on an open fire beside the sea.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Dogs!, Suitik must have known this warm trend was on the way, she has been shedding for about two weeks, messy but the darker hair with the light stripes looks good on her. Hot weather sure does not agree with her, looks for the coolest spots even if it is in the blazing sun.
We had a visit from friends off the Wunderbird yesterday morning; they are on their way home from a visit to
The Wunderbird has a new crew member, a husky pup from
Suitik and I dropped by to see the new crew member but no one was about at the time.
Reports out of Natuashish [a dry community] are saying that seven woman are outwardly protesting the existence of drug dealers in the town and the apparent non intervention in stopping it.
Bootlegging is also an issue they say. Young children are being targeted by the dealers and bootleggers according to the
Another warm day and night, we will start to become acclimatized if this keeps up.
Fran and I attended the regular council meeting as observers last evening. There were two other observers and a reporter from OK Society as well.
The main agenda item tabling the results of the Plebiscite held Monday. I will await release from council on what transpires next before commenting.
One thing I will comment on. We learnt that in the past four years this council has not tabled any information or concerns about alcohol abuse being a problem in Nain.
This is not to belittle or down play the seriousness of the events of the past months, but I do find it odd that no one on council saw fir to express any concerns in the previous four years.
After all the same intensity of drinking, the same amount of legal booze being flown in from Goose Bay, the same opportunity to buy beer at the retail store, which by the way is open three hours a day from six to nine pm except Sundays. Quite a sacrifice for the owner considering the license he holds allows him to be open from ten to ten.
Then we have the illegal bootlegging and drugs, no tabling of these as a serious concern in four years.
I do not have the statistics but there have been suicides in the past four years, many alcohol related family violence charges, the RCMP put out their yearly stats highlighting these very problems. The same amount of binge drinking of young and old, people making an arse of themselves in public and annoying residents late at night with their noise. Yet not one on council has deemed it important enough to table any suggestions of how to deal with these social problems until this past month.
Better late than never one could say, or another could say, what’s up with that?
The marine shipping problems of the past continue this year despite assurances from the provincial minister of transport and the member for
Containers not fit for the dump, the freight boat not going to Lewisport where the bulk of the freight for the local stores originates, at least not the last two runs.
The operators do not seem to be able to think outside the box and try different configurations to get the freight moving. The emphasis seems to be getting freight out of
One suggestion was; utilize the Bond to bring the freight from Lewisport into
As a couple of councilors lamented last evening, it is like they just don’t care [paraphrased].
My opinion on that is. I know they don’t care.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Over half of eligible voters exercised their right to vote.
Note official but close enough results are: Voter turnout 520. Yes votes 204. No votes 318.
The answer is a resounding NO.
So now to move on and deal with the underlying problems in an intelligent and rational manner.
We can only hope that Nunatsiavut Government can overcome it's reluctance to become involved with this issue and now become pro active.
The misnomer that the tragedies of the last several months is caused by the availability of alcohol in the community has to be put aside. Get to the core issues, no easy task but why was Nunatsiavut formed in the first place but to foster a better life and opportunities for INUIT, this goes beyond employment and investment opportunities.
NG is a government now, be nice if it started to act like one. Well OK, not like the provincial one but one that uses democracy and caring as it's core values and be willing to deal with the social problems that all, not only Nunatsiavut, have.
Pictures of cloud berries or bakeapples baking in the sun, some good.
That was a hot one boy, 28.8 at the house and it is still 19 this morning, the cooling front will be welcome by most.
Bricked chicken with mash and coleslaw. Fran complemented me on the home made dressing for the coleslaw, I lucked out there I guess.
Up to 26.9 at the house yesterday [today is supposed to be hotter] and it did not get below 18 last evening.
Nain is not Pakistan with the floods or Russia with the heat and fires or even China with it's mud slides, but we do have our little inconveniences.
Saturday we were without internet most of the day and night. The phones were OK but some cable or other was cut some place south. All was back up Sunday morning.
Then yesterday afternoon there was quite a bit of interference with the satellite TV reception. We would not have worried that much but it was at an exciting stage of the PGA championships and we did not want to miss a miss hit or long drive. The length some of these guys hit the ball borders on the absurd.
Noticed on my hit meter; someone in Salt Lake City Utah googling living conditions in Nain a.d. 33 and getting my blog.
Totally unrelated: Noticed about half a dozen or so Mennonites walking around town Saturday. You could tell they were Mennonites by the traditional garb the men and women wore, or more correctly the women as the men were just dressed very conservatively.
Not sure what is going on, an older couple who are purported to be Mennonites have been coming and going for over a year and have finely rented a home, purchased a vehical and just seem to walk and be seen around town. In a brief conversation with the male I had in Goose Bay he mentioned that they were moving to Nain to see how they could help out.
Help out with what I do not know.
Around town the only visible sign I have seen of support for the NO vote [YES voters have been doing daily walks] was a hand written sign made of cardboard stuck up on a hydro pole down towards the airstrip.
In large letters was Vote NO to the Ban. Then in smaller writing, Silk Tassel is good for the mind and after work having a couple of beer is relaxing for the mind, or words to that effect.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
We checked out the berry bushed yesterday, looks like it will be a nice crop of blue, the flies drove us out before venturing too fare in looking for red.
The council chambers burnt down in Liverpool over the weekend. They are/were only a short walk from my moms, we walked or passed there often on our recent trip.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Received this photo from Oz today so I scanned it. It is from the night out with Terry and Lois Byrne at the Asquith Leagues Club.
Terry and Lois are great travelers, they have been to Nain three times on the Ranger, the last year or so they have had to slow down a bit due to aging but they still like the time for sure.
Weather not so warm today but the forecast is looking OK for next little while.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Heart stopping good, everything in moderation eh?
Beer battered deep fried cod, then potato [top left] yam [top right] and plain fried yam.
As mentioned before on this site one of the favorite items in old style fish shops in
I decided to experiment using yams [sweet potato], its OK but my preference is still the plain old spud.
The cod was OK too, not as good as fresh fish but one takes what one can get.
Down the dock last evening it was looking like a mini marina. Two yachts at the dock, [previously mentioned] one motor boat anchored off [Gypsy Life] is back and the local Spirit of the Torngat is back from a trip to the Mugfords.
Nice day yesterday, warmed up to about 15, cloudy.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In answer to several peoples questions of who they should go to for answers on the upcoming plebiscite I offered up my opinion that they should ask two of the councilors, I mention them by first name only.
Well the doo doo hit the fan. I don’t know why as a public figure is just that, no secret society running the Nain Inuit Community Government.
So today, eight days after the NICG decided to have the plebiscite, there is a release from NICG with some general information about the plebiscite, plus the fact it will be non binding and is just being used as a gauge of peoples feelings to either have a dry community or not.
But here is the kicker for me; it states that if anyone needs to find out any information on the plebiscite than they should contact the undersigned.
There is a list of the five members of the NICG who where present at the meeting last week.
Yesterday was a mauzy day compared to the days past, only up to 10 and drizzle all day.
Cleared up today and up to 15 already.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The yachting season seems to be in full swing.
Issuma has been here for several days, the yacht on the outside must have come in last night, I cant make out it's name yet.
I had an interesting weekend physically and mentally [some may say I am just mental but what would they know].
The physical part was doing odd jobs around the house; the mental was a little flame war on a facebook site [Ban Alcohol] on Sunday.
I think I handled myself adequately, a little batted and bruised but I came out of it OK.
So the emotions are over my end and we have to deal with the issue at hand rationally, that is why I concentrated on offering up possible solutions to addiction and other forms of mental wellbeing treatments.
Here are some more that I have posted to the facebook site.
“Addiction fill some sort of function-it fills an emptiness or kills pain. If you want to help people get past their addictions you have to at least understand what kind of pain they are trying to alleviate.”
‘Gabor Mate’- in an article written for August edition of Readers Digest by Susan McClelland.
Fran pointed out the article to me, reading it and checking out Gabor Mate on the internet it would seem that this is the type of treatment could be looked at for Nunatsiavut.
This is not meant to down play any of the work done to date; it is especially not critical of the front line workers and volunteers.
It is just pointing out that the leadership needs to look at more support and especially look at other ways of dealing with the pain and suffering and psychological issues that leads to all these addiction problems.
Some years ago now an innovative thinker in Nain lobbied to bring Wallis Kendal and a young first nations woman to town to have a look at the street kid’s problem and see if there was anyway Wallis’s way of treating addictions and other social issues, mainly with kids, could be adopted here.
Within an hour of the pair’s arrival they had kids flocking around them on the streets.
Kendal spent the best part of the weekend they were here with kids, mainly out on the street. “ you have to relate to the kids in a way they understand, and on their own turf” was Kendal’s philosophy.
And who could argue with that.
Well some people seemed to either not agree with that philosophy or they were afraid of something new or even maybe felt threatened, who the bloody hell knows.
Bottom line is: Kendal and the young woman gave two public presentations while here, one at the start of the weekend and one when they had assessed the situation. There was good attendance from workers in that area and the school.
When it was time for questions to be asked not one, in either session, came from people who should have asked the questions, or at least feigned interest. It was to say the least bloody embarrassing, at least Fan and I found it so.
As interested observers we both asked some questions and received honest and hart felt replies to each.
Needless to say nothing was done with follow up. Sure there were other attempts at dealing with the kids problems but nothing ‘out of the box’ like Kendal and his programs.
If this seems like a criticism to some then so be it.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Both are on their way to Nunavut for operation Nanook.
First ashore were some Canadian rangers off the Goose Bay, they were met by Nain Canadian Rangers and given a tour of town.
Then contingents from the two crews came ashore for a bit of a look see.
The town was relatively quite for a Saturday, except for some rowdy group of"YES" supporters later in the day that is, but by then the visitors had left.
Actually it was only one rowdy person in the group, but it is amazing how one persons action reflects badly on the rest.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
As this article says, all TV producers will have to switch to digital transmission on that date.
The article does give one a glimmer of hope that the final switch date could be moved to August 2012.
I have it on good authority that that optimism is just that, optimism.
There will be no extension given.
So anyone who wants to watch
No subscription, just a big blank screen.
How about them apples?
Friday, August 06, 2010
No it is not in Labrador where unelected councilors hide behind anonymity in making decision then expect others to do their talking for them.
No it is not in Labrador where regional politicians hide behind their parochialism and stundness.
It is shameful behavior, two weeks after the latest tragedy to befall Nain and not one word uttered publicly from any NG official.
No utterances of sympathy towards the community or individuals. No utterances of encouragement that they [the politicians] are on the job and are determined to get to the root of the social and addiction problems.
Narda, nutin, zilch, zero, bugger all.
I can’t fathom how they sleep at night.
After a couple of decades of the flora around our house [and community for that matter] lying almost to the point of dormant nature has suddenly had a change of heart.
The last several years have seen grasses, wildflowers, poppies, fireweed and willows bloom to almost overwhelming size and lushness.
I have an empty lot next to us; it has gone crazy with growth and extended over into my lot with the entire above mentioned flora now up against the side of the house.
So I decided to join the urbanites and buy a weed whacker, or weed trimmer to be more precise.
I decided to go with the electric job of 5.5 amps; it does a great job but balks at small trees and the willows, nothing that a chain saw can’t handle.
Temps are still warm and we had a sort of tropical like down poor yesterday afternoon.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
The last sentence in this OK society news article is very telling.
“Depending on the outcome of the vote, the NICG will determine their next step”.
One would think that in a democracy possible next steps would be offered up for debate and consideration prior to the plebiscite taking place. One would think.
Then there are others who think that “something had to be done” and leave it at that. Oh if dealing with human nature was so simple.
I’m afraid that one lonely community constable [job description yet to be defined] will have their work cut out for them if there is a yes vote to the plebiscite question.
More like at minimum of about half a dozen community constables would be needed to police the increase in bootlegging as well as the increase in drug use and smuggling of illegal in Nain but legal in the Province and the rest of
Then there will be the ordinary Joe and Jane citizen who are thrown in the slammer for partaking in a glass of wine at their 30th wedding anniversary.
I believe officialdom has already admitted that there is a dire shortage of professionals in the mental health field; three physiologist positions have been vacant for quite some time. No behavioral specialists’ positions exist.
Addictions workers are at a minimum at the moment, how many more will be needed, and at what cost, will it take to deal with the impending increase in counseling.
Or is it the intent to just say “no more drink for you” and leave it at that?
Then there is the loss of revenue for two local businesses and the parallel loss of jobs that will follow.
The airlines will feel the loss of freight traffic; ditto the provincial government with loss of revenue at the liquor store and tax revenues.
On the positive side some folk with addictions problems who are repeat offenders will be forced to go cold turkey.
Trouble is the rest of us law abiding citizens will be branded as criminals if we fancy a cold one after work or with a meal or on a special occasion.
Totally unrelated: Most of the councilors who passed this resolution have never faced the electorate.
Continuing on: I forgot to mention increased crimes against persons and property. It so happens crime has already increased and the plebiscite is not until the 16th.
What crimes some may ask. Why an attempted break and enter at our house in the early morn, but the larger crime was four pitsik that were hanging out the back for final drying were taken. Sneaky little buggers for sure as we had the bedroom window open and it is only feet from where the fish were hung.
I was woken by an unusual noise, I suspect my arising and Siutik’s, disturbed the attempted enter through the small sliding window in the living room.
The incident also confirmed what we already know about Siutik’s personality. She is a lover and a liker, not a watch dog, but to her credit she was up, waiting to greet the intruder with licks and wagging tail no doubt
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
That solo sailor I mentioned a little while ago has apparently turned back from his quest to sail the north west passage.
Discretion is the better part of valor, prudent decision under the circumstances.
Interestingly enough this quarry was originally used as a sand pit, then this bloody big rock appeared as the sand dissipated.
This area has an interesting geological history, a gorge and small brook run down from the height of land to the west. I would guess that historically ice gouged it's way down to the coast then the brook followed, larger back then, depositing sand and soil leading to a well wooded area with lots of moss and lichen and berries and many other species of flora. This then attracts birds and wildlife which then attracts humans. Oh well.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
There was a little bit of relief up in the hills and down near the waters edge, but not a lot. I'm sure it was great out in boat.
Back in the day [circa 1936] store bought food was more basic and in short supply most of the year. Country food was prominent in the diet but then a lot depended on weather and migration patterns of species for it's availability.
The menu below is from the boarding school run by the Moravian church but with a lot of help and influence from The Hudson's Bay Company.
Image via Dr. Hans Rollman