Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today is an outstandingly nice day, bit of wind but what the heck.

Yesterday was in the strange category, not as strange as previous days but squally and changeable non the less.

I took these photos while out walking yesterday; three are of the old dam and two out on the harbor ice.

If these warmer temps persist it will not take long for things to get quite messy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Carter Happy.

I have had a picture of a polar Bear [Matthews first sighting] as desktop background for some time, I decided to change it yesterday.

Image by Aimee.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another overcast day, wind has dropped a little from last few days, temps blow zero so that will be good for travel.

There is one confirmed and another possible polar bear been taken, Nain has three licenses for the annual polar bear hunt.

We had a brief chat with Noah Nochasak yesterday; Noah is planning on starting a walk to George River [Kangiqsualujjuaq] in Quebec on April 1st.

Noah you may remember is the young guy who kayaked [in home made kayak] to Natuashish this past summer. Noah also completed a walk to Natuashish this winter.

A quite unassuming man Noah does these challenging things for his own gratification and self worth, and without any financial or outside support networks. Except for family and elder knowledge passed on to him that is.

I bet Siutik would love to go in this race, as long as she could sleep in a comfortable warm space at night.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The little man {Carter} was not feeling all that well yesterday so he missed Great Grandmas birthday bash.

Add Image

He has the cold with stuffy nose and rattling chest.

Still G Grandma and mom made him get up a little smile.

Siutik was not feeling all that well either, usually when I go for my camera to get a shot like this she rolls over as if to say- ha, fooled ya.
Not this time, she was sound asleep.

Of course I was joking about Siutik being sick, just tired from a walk in the hills, all that battling the soft snow wore her out I guess.

Weather was wonky yesterday, rolling patterns of snow, sleet and sun repeated through the day, very strange indeed.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Animal instincts.

It warmed up a bit yesterday; to -6 but the wind is constant keeping the air on the chilly side.

Siutik and I took a walk in the afternoon, Fran being busy with luncheon with the judge, translating for some elders and visiting Carter.

We headed out on the ice and over around the ball park and then on around to the little bay below the power plant. This is where the ice is coring into the bay from the brook that feeds from Anainuks pond.

It looked a but iffy for walking as the ice comes right up to the shore but I followed a beaten ski doo trail hoping for the best.

As I was half way along the underfoot was getting a little wet and mushy but no big deal.

I looked for Siutik, who usually is ahead and doing dog things. No Siutik, so looking back here she was a ways back and standing still.

I urged her on, no movement, urged her again and she gingerly made towards me with head down.

Hmm, what’s this about I wonders.

As it looked like this was going to take awhile I decided to turn back, Siutik immediately took off too doing her big looping runs and rolling in the snow.

So what better way to replenish lost energy than a repast of breaded butterfly shrimp and cod tongues with some steamed mussels accompanied by slivers of baked potato and yams?

Today we await some forecasted snow and high winds over the next few days, no snow yet but the winds are there.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nice spring like weather happening at moment. People are doing spring like things such as going off to cabins, camping and soon ice fishing. No caribou to speak of though, some people heading north as far as Hebron so maybe?

It seems there is a rumor making the traps in Goose Bay of a new operator for the north coast run of the Provincial ferry service.

At the moment the province owns the vessels mv Northern Ranger and mv Sir Robert Bond. The province contracts out the operation of both vessels to the Woodward Group at moment.

The same company owns and charters the mv Astron to government for freight only runs to the north coast. The same company acts as wharfinger in all the ports.

The unconfirmed reports are than the change will come into play this shipping season, it has been known about for some weeks but no official announcement.

Strange that no reporters have pursued the rumor, then knowing a little about how things play in politics and business [one and the same thing] maybe it is not so strange, just disappointing.

The new configurations of boats and schedules should be interesting. One change bandied about is that the Bond will take over one of the runs to the coast, most likely freight.

This would be a vast step backwards in the never ending effort to improve shipping services. Beside it being too bloody old and decrepit the vessel is too large for some ports and too large capacity wise for the amounts of freight shipped to the coast on a bi-weekly basis.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The next action hero ??

Princess Leila and her erstwhile [but slightly eccentric] handler Jamie on there recent ski holiday in the Alps.

Unfortunately for Leila Jamie neglected to pay the ski lift dues, and when the operator asked for unpaid dues Jamie told said operator where to shove it.
Photo enhancement by Robert Snow of an original photo taken one summer in Nain.
The cops don't bugger around in the Alps as you can see by the photograph at left.

I have it on good advisement that both Leila and her handler managed to escape the wrath of the Alps cops and are now back safe and sound in the city of fog and lousy winters.

Great to see the trail groomer out knocking the bumps down.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RIP Jim Anderson.

Uncle Jim [as he was known to most] had more than an interesting life, from fisher person to business person to photographer to video ographer to musician to great supporter of the Moravian church.

When Fran was with Okalakatiget Society Jim would call frequently at nights and weekends with encouragement, and when the church services were not on air complaints as to why not.

In later years he would call just to chat, as he was feeling lonely at times.

On the more pleasant front; Carter and his mom coming in for 5 days this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A novel concept, elected members holding a public information meeting with constituents, when will this openness and transparency end?

And it does not end there it seems. Horror of horrors; the NunaKatiget Community Corporation actually produce a newsletter with all kinds of information for the NG beneficiaries in the Happy Valley Goose Bay area.

Monday, March 21, 2011

After a beautiful day what is better than roast caribou to finish it off? Not much would be the answer.

In this case it is roast caribou down under style. Chard roasted vegetables, mushrooms broccoli and gravey.

Lets hope the council can get the trail groomer on the go today. Those bumps are playing havoc on my back.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


is a bit of a superdud in this part of the world. A thin layer of cloud was covering the moon every time I looked.

The first two shots taken last evening at 9:30 ish.

First one 100 iso and the second 800 iso. Both at 600mm.

With the moon at mid height in the sky there is nothing really between us and the moon to make the shot interesting.
Only thing was the hydro mast of house opposite, or hydro lines and poles.

The third and forth shots taken this morning at 4:50 ish.

Top one 800 iso at 600mm. The bottom one 400 iso at 300mm. This morning it seemed though the moon had a thin haze around it as the rest of the sky was clear.

From checking the social media it seems most people in Nain [those that take notice of these things] were expecting something more spectacular, bit of a downer for the majority.

Later: Don't know about supermoon but we sure have a supersun here this morning. Need welders glasses to look at it so no pictures.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Three months late we have our first decent snow on ground, and it feels and looks good. Siutik sure is loving it as well, shown here cooling down after a training run.

After two days of light snow and no high winds as predicted [Hopedale got the wind] it is looking like the snow will stick around a bit, this series of pictures taken early afternoon Friday.

Friday, March 18, 2011

By far the most snow fall on the ground this winter. Light fluffy snow and it will be a pleasure shoveling it later.

Wind picked up last evening, gusts to 63 clicks, still there is lots of snow around, can imagine the time the ski dooers are going to have in the powder, long as it is out of town that is.

Top right taken 6:30 last evening.

Bottom left taken5:30 this morning.

It's a good thing this 'Harper Government' crowd espouse good christian values. Imagine the hanky panky and skulduggery they would be capable of if they espoused atheism or paganism, god forbid.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg, time to wake up Canada, these guys should go the way of the previous Liberals Government, which sort of does not leave many options, does it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Broken record; light snow overnight, blowing snow warning in effect.

At least the topic of conversation on the street is "nice to finely have some spring weather". Lets hope we are not all speaking too early.

Later: at right [8:30] after snow stopped and started again. That is about the most precipitaion I have seen on the ski doo cover this year, see what it looks like after the wind comes.

Afternoon: Light fluffy snow all day, still waiting for the wind. Magical walking in falling light fluffy snow with a crunch underfoot.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The ice man cometh!

Nice clear day with a great sunrise this morning.

Yesterday was overcast for the most part with some very light snow late in the day.

With the wind down I took the opportunity to grab some shots of the some of the spots of ice coring around town.

The first collage is of the brook that runs into the bay just south of town. This brook is a popular place to gather water for those who like a break from treated town water.

Under normal winter conditions there would be rocks visible and snow covered rocks allowing for reasonably easy access to either the brook running or a hole dug down through the snow.

Not this year, the whole area is just one big sheet of ice. The ice has even reached the shore where it rises up sharply to the hill above.

The below collage has one picture [top left] of seepage above the pond that has two outlets, one to the east that runs to the ice sheets in above collage. This pond has a number of brooks and seepage's that run into it all year. The other three pictures are at western end but outside the pond, this is a water fall in summer and runs into a brook that runs out the western end of the pond and runs down into the towns dam. In all my years here I have not seen the height and mass of ice in this spot like this year.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yesterday was a beautiful day, except for that pesky wind that made things uncomfortable going into it. Clouded over this morning with temps rising and little wind.

Well at least one other person in Nain is rattling chains on the prices of food in general and the subsidy programs in particular. He has for some time but this is the first time it has been picked up by the media. First time that any coverage of substance has happened since the Nutrition North Program [NNP] was announced.

The NNP being in total turmoil only adds to the confusion as to what is subsidized, to what extent and is the consumer realy benefiting, or is there a big ripe off by either the retailer or the wholesaler or both.

Because both the Feds and the province do not make public any spot checks or audits they claim they do then the consumer will stay skeptical. And as I just said to our MHA, it is the public that puts you guys there so they are owed that information and I am sick of this “internal use only” mumbo jumbo, or words to that affect.

Politicians became involved in this issue up in Nunavut because the public became involved, changes happened but it is still too early to tell if they will be to the consumers benefit.

Politicians of all stripes have been publicly silent to date here in Labrador:

I have had several e mail exchanges with our MHA over the past years. I have spoken to her more recently and there seems to be a heightened interest [is this an election year the cynic in me asks] in dealing with both the NNP and the provincial program, especially finding a way to get the message out to the public.

The cynic in me says that this should have happened some time ago, the so called experts are employed and paid well by both levels of government so why should it be up to me or others to come up with the ideas.

But public involvement can work; we just need more of the public to be involved.

Over the years in talks with bureaucrats and politicians I get the sense that they pick out one or two items and say, “look these carrots are the same price, or cheaper than in Goose Bay” therefore they seem to assume that all other items are the same. Or at least it seems they use this as an excuse to do nothing.

It seems little use contacting the provincial Minister of Labrador Affairs, others have and have had smoke blown up their arses with out of date brochures and a spiel defending the other players sent by some low level functionary.

Ditto contacting the Member for Labrador in Ottawa. I am sure he is aware of the federal issues, yet we hear nothing, he is in opposition after all, but if we were in southern or central Labrador you can be sure he would seek out the closest microphone.

Then we have the lowest on the totem pole; the always silent members representing their constituents in the Assembly of the Nunatsiavut Government. One would think that there would be more interest shown by these under worked and over paid politicians in helping the people who can least afford nutritional and affordable foods amongst their constituencies.

Well one would be wrong in thinking that going be the deathly silence that emanates out of the bowls on the NG bunkers on most issues that affect everyday life.

I also don’t like what I am hearing about who will be applying to NNP to participate on the wholesaler front.

It seems that none of the larger wholesalers have shown interest to date. This leaves just the two little guys operating out of Goose Bay and everybody on the coast knows the problems dealing with those people.

I also would like to know if any of the retailers in Goose Bay have shown any interest. To that end I asked the NG representative on the NNP advisory board to find out what is going on there. No information has been forthcoming to date.

Don't watch this video if you are on the queezy side. But you can chalk one up for the chubby guys. The little bloke got what was coming, only a little extra, he was lucky he did not land on his head. Maybe his parents need to give the guy a good talking, and a cuff under the ear could have perhaps prevented this incident, one never knows for sure.

Upertydate: This just came in on Twitter, more news from the North but little still from Labrador.

Monday, March 14, 2011

We have cleared off after that mini blizzard. Well mini for us but other stations south were hit harder. Yesterday afternoon was really nice, enough snow on the roads to allow for more enjoyable ski doing, though those speeders need an infusion of brains.

A Natuashish woman perished on a ski doo trip from Hopedale to Natuashish, the lady was traveling with one other when their machine got stuck in deep snow Friday evening. The two started walking, got separated, one found OK the other not so lucky. Sad.

We had one of our favorite meals last evening. Ground beef [thought caribou is better] in a nice lightly spiced and herbed gravy with pastry on top [they call it duff here], I like to brown the pastry just before serving,

I am not called a connoisseur of culinary arts for nothing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some light snow fell yesterday, nice. Then the wind picked up near dark and blowing since, north'ish winds blowing snow back south'ish.

Bit of snow to shovel at back and front of house but wont give my aging joints much aggro.

Many racers in Cains Quest off course and slowed down, probably due to weather conditions and night time.

Or could it be that the earths axis has moved, the island of Japan has moved 8 feet to the west and GPS co ordinates are all out of whack due to the latest quake.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A smidgen more than a dusting would be the best way to describe the precipitation yesterday.

Forecast is for maybe 10 cm today and tonight and there is a blizzard warning, we will wait and see about that.

And we sure need some snow down on the ground, many stories of high cost of basic ski doo parts like ski rods, track slides etc and the number of times they have to be replaced.

I changed the ski rods on our machine yesterday, there was virtually nothing left of the old ones. Some people have gone through 2 or 3 sets of rods this season alone so some snow down will be welcome.

I am becoming quite proficient at knocking up souvlaki, had some again last evening with greek potatoes and a greek salad. I had never tried making greek potatoes before, which is strange given my 10 months on a Greek Island some decades ago.

I did receive high praise from our dinner guest who thought they were as good or better than any he had tried on the Danforth, which I am told is an area of Toronto with many greek restaurants.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I am on a roll with getting things shipped into our town of late.

For some time Fran has been hinting at a new chrome dish rack. Now for most this is a no brainier, just got to the local big box hardware store.

Up here little things become a big thing. I checked out several on line sites, plenty of choices in style and type and price range.

As usual the shipping was the bug a bear.

Then I came across this site in the US. Good price and the shipping was cheap, so I thought I would go through the ordering process just to see if the shipping would be as quoted at check out.

I little extra was added but still on the cheap side, so I ordered the item, but to be honest did not expect to ever see it.

Silly oh me, it turned up yesterday, nice model too.

Ordered 28 February and arrived 10 days later [even being side tracked] via courier, bloody amazing I say.

You can track it here. Quite the ride for one little oh dish drainer.

At supper one evening; somehow the abomination masquerading as a parliamentary democracy in Ottawa popped up.

I offered up that I could not understand Canadians who voted for Harper and his government and the polls having the PC’s in the lead.

After a little silence Fran offered up that she did not understand the dominant society.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

THursday 10.

Is there an election in the wind? By the look of this there sure must be, unless the Nutrition North program is just too bloody make up as you go.

Another clear day forthcoming, temps on the rise, perhaps a chance of flurries next few days, not confident of any significant precip, been months now since any real snow fall, no that's not correct, we have not had any real snow fall this winter.
This past Monday was ‘young women’s day’ within the Moravian church. Like other Church festive days there are church services and a day of eating and celebration for the participants.

No pictures but the 15 or 16 young ladies sure did look nice when they came out of the town hall in single file and headed up the road for a short [it was – 35 wind chill] parade.

All dressed up they were in colorful Amautik, kamiks. In this weather most had slacks or long dresses under their Amauitik, two brave soles had short skits.

Yesterday the wind chill had risen to about -25 or so, ideal for taking some pictures, not.

None the less I managed some. This series is of kids sliding on the ice wall on the down stream side of the old dame. Note: The kids were not truanting; there was a teacher in service it seems.

Won’t be long and the ice will be at the top of the culvert if these conditions keep up.

Fran wanted one of her and the dog besides the Inukshuk, had a time getting Siutik to stay still.

Then later this shot below taken from the ice of Northern store.

There are two types of transportation in that picture at right that would not be there in past years. We have had so little snow that the council has not had to plow, bulldoze or even groom the roads this winter. I think most people have given up hope of us getting any large volumes of precipitation, having said that.

Yesterday being 'International woman's day' sees an event here today in the NG board room to celibate the event.

Fran, among others, has been invited to give a little presentation of some sort.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Okidoki, time to get the clicking finger oiled for the Kraft Hockeyville 2011 competition starts tomorrow.

Forget about Cain's Quest. Hopedale needs, and deserves, your support in their efforts to obtain a better skating rink.

Can you imagine recreation skating very long in these temperatures?

Still bloody cold, it is the wind not the temperature, which is reasonable at -20.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hankering for something different but light for evening meal.

Leek and yam soup with cheesy scones fitted the bill OK.

Then for breakfast this morning; warm cheesy scones with Bavarian bacon and poached egg.

One of the things Northern does well is bringing in some really nice bacon. This latest lot is in the one piece, you slice it as thin or thick as you like, great taste and very tender.

One thing Northern does not do so well of late is keep up a good supply of deli meats. Then they are not alone on that front.

Mostly sun into the near future with cooler temps again, just keep the wind down OK?

Meanwhile down in the capital the same oh same oh.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

More clear sparkling days, wind chills are still an issue being close to -30 for days but you can sense something warmer is in the offering.

My money says that we will again miss this snow that is heading to Labrador, more south of us if recent history plays a role.

A short power outage last evening; which followed a half hour outage on Thursday afternoon. The situation at the power plant is still very troubling. I figure if we were privy to the truth of what is going on there then we would be troubled a lot more. Things have been in disarray over there since the new engine became operational, very troubling IMO.

I sure hope Labrador Grenfell Health has a good supply of proctologist on duty in the next 40 days.

With the dribs and drabs of information coming out of the Lower Churchill environmental hearings it would seem lots of people will have to avail the services of afore mentioned proctologists what with all that smoke being blown up their arses. This Gilbert Bennett is a smoke blower extraordinaire so busy times at the emergency department.

CBC HV-GB has many more audio clips, they seem to be the only provincial media covering the hearings, which is strange given the Island stands to gain more [power wise, job wise tax wise] than Labrador.

Little Peter Cowan is doing a great job twittering the hearings, not the best way disseminate information but one does get a sense of what is going on.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Thanks to nephew Andrew we had some nice partridge stew/soup, rice and dough boys, 6 good meals out of that lot. Well there would have been 6 meals only for Fran hogging the bones and dough boys.

Then a less traditional meal of schnitzel, soured cabbage and tatters.

Guest blogger: Day in the life of a dog.

Winters mid morning sun creates some great relaxing spots.

Then in the afternoon it was down to the store to haul back 60 Lbs of flour, this is my Raison d'ĂȘtre, I am at my best doing this stuff, it brings out the alpha in me.

Trouble is my owner cant keep up with me these days, he was buggered when we got back to the house

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

House of Commons standing committee on Aboriginal affairs and Northern Development FROM FOOD MAIL TO NUTRITION NORTH REPORT. CLICK ON REPORT 4 THEN CLICK AGAIN.

Like I been saying; a badly thought out program and a work in progress.
Monday was a flat day, in the weather sense that is. Officially it was light snow but the reality was it was more like a grainy fog, no precipitation of consequence.

As luck has it I took the camera and the big zoom with me on a walk down the northern point way. As we past the airstrip I notice two young blokes out on the ice with a dog team.

They had trouble at first getting things in order but after a time off they went heading out, I presume to get a load of wood, or it could be just a practice run.

Click the images to embigen.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Guest Blogger.

Not being very into blogging of late. Not that there aren’t any issues, too bloody many issues not addressed by powers that be realy and they are starting to spin around in my head making it mushy in there. It is always best to get things out but I just can’t seem to priorize in writing in a way that is fair, truthful and yet without exposing myself to libel.

Fran to the rescue; I have been encouraging Fran to do a piece on the workshop she attended some weeks back. Out of the blue there was this hand written contribution sitting on the key board this morning.

Here is an interesting story as told by Dr. Joe Solanto during an Inter Generational Trauma workshop I attended over a month ago:

A survey in aboriginal communities in British Columbia showed that the suicide rate amongst aboriginal people was 20 times higher than the national average.

Some researchers in BC found this interesting and to say the least disturbing and wanted to find out why this was the case.

The researchers went to many aboriginal communities in BC and interviewed the residents.

They found that indeed in many aboriginal communities’ suicides rates were high, but they found that in many other aboriginal communities the suicide rate was lower than the national average-and they discovered than in some aboriginal communities there were no suicides.

Then the researchers decided they needed more information on the towns with no suicides; this is what they discovered:

The aboriginal towns without suicides had their land claims negotiated, they ran there own economic opportunities, operated their own education system, aboriginal people held positions of authority, their culture was visible, the justice was run by their own people and in many of these towns woman were leaders.

The researchers wanted to find out more about towns with woman leaders. addendum:They discovered that the towns with woman leaders were more successful and thriving than those with men as leaders. The researchers discovered that the women had dealt with their own issues, emotional or addictions. They were using their power as leaders to help their people.

On the other hand male leaders had not dealt nor coped with their trauma or addictions problems and were using their power as leaders for their own purposes or use.

This is how I remember it-It’s pretty mach the way Dr. Solanto told it. Fran Williams.

There you have it, and thank you Fran, very profound, subtle but to the point.