Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Something borrowed, something tasty, something old.

The picture of the moose I borrowed.

Silpa Saurak snapped the moose at the back of here house yesterday, one of the last homes up in the new subdivision.
The original was rather washed out so I did some work on it, still not great but the moose is visible amongst the flora.

The picture of the bangers and chicken is because of the home made creamed asparagus, tasty too.

The cannons, well, this picture is from the Bridget Schloss collection. It was taken in early 1980's at Nain.

I remember the cannons being there when I first arrived in town. Some time prior to that the cannons were fired when the first boat of the season arrived. Perhaps the mv Harmony was the last vessel that receive this kind of welcome.

In my time here the brass band used to play on the first boat arrival, at almost the same spot as the cannons. That pomp and circumstance has been curtailed for some years now.

Sadly the cannons have since disappeared, some say they were berried under landfill.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fog and rain this morning, washing the snow off the roofs. early afternoon yesterday it started to rain with wet snow, some accumulation overnight. See picture at left.

Intended to BBQ last evening , but the weather. So did the steaks indoors, spud and onions with mushrooms with a side salad.

Not being deterred by my abject failure at last go around I made my rendition of a Labrador berry cake. Mine had blue and red berries, grated apple and zucchini. Served with cream and ice cream.

That picture of the bear on the McHuman seems to have gone viral, not my story but the CBC web site that I took it off.

CBC Labrador Morning had an interview of the driver of the car this morning, will link it when up. Later: Here is the audio of "woman stops fora look and bear climbs up on car" And better go here just for the comments alone.
The lady said she was driving home to NWR when 3 bears were spotted ahead. having a camera with her she decided to stop and take some picture.

The 3 bears came up close to the car, the lady wound down the window to get a close up when one bear headed towards the open window. Lady close the window, bear inspected the side mirror, used that to climb up on the hood. Gave lady a check out through windscreen before climbing up on the top of car.

Lady said that she had bought a cooked chicken before heading for home and it was in the car.

Lady mentioned she will not stop for pictures next time.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another nice day in the offering. Yesterday a was great one too, sparkling sunshine with a nice breeze.

Took a stole up the hills with purpose of scanning the opposite hills for the two moose reported in that area.

Lots of scanning and no moose later I decided on the old back up, she was taking her first paddle of the season.

Then there were these two kites flown by a mother and her two kids. Picked a good spot for the wind for sure.

The birds are very active in nest making, robins and several types of sparrows have been in the area for some weeks.
Very hard to capture with the camera, they move so fast and at ground level, it amazes me that the robins do not crash more often, especially into buildings and cars.

Any way there is very little contrast between the birds and the flora at the moment, flora still has that dirty brown/green bland look of early spring.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

They have changed the wrappers on McHuman double cheeseburgers.

This photo was taken on the North West River road [outside Goose Bay] by Tom Randell.

It reminded me of a radio phone in call yesterday on VOCM. A gentleman from Goose Bay, a retired wildlife officer, mentioned that things could get a little out of control this year due to the recent change in the way wildlife management will be conducted. It all sounded convoluted to me, some officers will be under the department of justice and others will remain with the wildlife division of the department of environment and conservation.

The bottom line: this guy claims that there will be less bodies to deal with wildlife issues like roaming bears.
Have gave an example. He was driving along outside Goose Bay and came upon a bear acting kind of weird on the road [could even be this bear]. The ex wildlife officers pulled over and was thinking about intervening when an on duty wildlife officer [who was known to the ex wildlife office] pulled up.

The ex wildlife officer said to the on duty wildlife officer, " OK it is all yours", I am retired and can now go on my way.

The on duty wildlife officer then said to the ex wildlife officer, "No way, not my responsibility anymore under the new structure, someone else will have to come out and deal with it".

Sounds like, durh! but that is what happened to the best of my recollection.


how they should NOT turn out.

I never have any luck with batters that are supposed to puff and rise up all nice looking.

Should stick to what I know maybe, but at my sisters urging I gave this clafoutis [silent s] a go last night, as you can see total disaster.

I was waiting for the batter to rise, gave it extra 10 minutes in over [remembering to NOT open the door].

The extra time did not achieve the results I was looking for but did manage to burn the edges and bottom.

Our dinner guest was surprised when I mentioned afters were a disaster and maybe we should forgo the clafoutis.

Guest said he thought that's how it was supposed to look and we should give it a try anyway.

Out the window at 4:05 this morning. Always amazes me/us that the moon shows at that angle in the sky at this time of morning.

Any way back to the clafoutis. This is what remained of the disaster after two people had at it.

As our guest quipped, "that is the best failed dessert I have tasted for some time".

What a beautiful day braking out there, but this takes presidence.

Carter was six months old this week, becoming quite the fella and performer for the camera, plus knows how to manipulate for the utmost of attention. That what it's all about being a kid eh?

So many cute photos of him it is hard to choose a favorite.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Due to some sorry reporting by MSM on the polar bear shot in Hopedale I will endeavor to answer questions and attempt to explain the nuances and stark differences in relation to attitudes and the hunt in Nunatsiavut.

This will take a bit of time, meantime, have a cup of tea and a bicky.


I have never come across a polar bear in the wild, could be some were close at times but I have never seen a live one except in captivity.

If anyone has issues with my muse or can offer corrections please feel free to say so.

Firstly; the populations of polar bears seem to vary from region to region and from year to year. It is not an exact science and at times science and Inuit do not always agree. Then sometimes they do.

Thirty some years ago it was illegal to hunt polar bears in this province. Not a lot were seen in Northern Labrador communities, the odd one floated down on ice flows to Newfoundland and southern Labrador.

Then Inuit in Labrador started to make noises about not having the opportunity to hunt the bears, the main argument was that all other Inuit regions had quotas to hunt bears, plus aboriginal rights arguments were used.

The provincial government eventually relented and allowed a small quota of polar bears in what is now Nunatsiavut. I think four bears back then, the lack of organization resulted in some over kills at first. Things were reorganized and now the hunt seems to work quite well. Only beneficiaries of the Nunatsiavut land claims who live in Nunatsiavut can apply for a license.

The quota varies from year to year, as seems does the population. About 4/5 years back there was a large amount of sightings North of Nain. The following year there were very few sightings. 2010 saw the quota for Nunatsiavut not being reached, hence it was increased this year.

Polar bears seem to react in very unpredictable ways, as do most wild animals. There is anecdotal evidence of some bears running away when humans are around, others of being chased by bears on ski doo and in kayaks, boats and on land. Some bears will turn and run when bear bangers or rifles are shot in the air, others wont.

There have been instances in the past where polar bears have threatened the lives of people out in cabins. The cabins are usually ones located out towards the open sea, not inland ones. To say the bears where after human blood would be far fetching it, more likely they were on the trail of food of some sort, but no human food.

So when a bear strolls into your community, makes it self comfortable and does not react to bear bangers and shots in the air what do you do? Especially, when some of the population, ignores warnings to stay away and not get too close.

This was the situation in Hopedale Tuesday evening.

Ideally a tranquilizer gun, the training to use it, a helicopter and carry sling with enough trained man power available supplied with enough resources would have saved the bears life.

Without those resources [money], trained people, [you have to know how much tranquilizer to use] helicopter, [closest one is in Goose Bay] your options are limited. Do you spend extra time trying to save the bear or put the citizen’s lives as priority?

Night is falling; no resources are allocated to get what is needed to re locate the bear, what choice do you make?

The irony is: It is possible that the smell of a polar bear carcass that had been left to rot in Hopedale harbor attracted this young female bear into that area and to its fate.

After skinning, a carcass had been left by a legal hunter not far from town. Did this smelling carcass attract the bear? Or perhaps there are other reasons the bear came into a populated area, though it is uncommon it is not unheard of.

Another augment for a polar bear quota is for the meat.

In many northern regions and individual towns polar bear meat is consumed. The reason the legally hunted carcass was left out on the ice is; Hopedale people as a rule do not like polar bear meat.

They also do not feed the meat to their husky dogs.

So can lessons be learned? Will governments supply the resources if they are leaned?

Ideally each community would have tranquilizer guns, training to use them and the authority to call in a helicopter when needed.

If the situation arises that no helicopter is available then perhaps each town has a bear trap mounted on ski’s that can be used to haul the tranquilized bear out of the area.

What other lessons can be learned?

You can see the location of the shot bear [untitled place mark] and the bear carcass [bear carcass] on this still taken from Google Earth.

Big bull moose sighted up Nain hill behind houses.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From te kitchen window; 7:50 this morning.

On the upside it is not volcanic ash.

Should start melting soon, the temps are rising.

Early afternoon: Snow all gone from the trees, still much of the 20 cm on the ground to melt yet, some mushy out there.

Mushier still down town, couple of sewer blockages had overflows from two manholes. Council crews on the job early pumping and trying to unblock.
No matter how many appeals to are mad to people to "not put large foreign objects" down the toilet it still happens.

Bit of a story and pictures of the Hopedale polar bear.

Crickey mate, we have about 6 to 8 inches of snow on the ground this morning, and it is still falling.

Any way the excitement of the week was down in Hopedale yesterday afternoon.

A polar bear decided to pay the community a visit, people got excited, and not a little too curious.

Wildlife and RCMP members attempted to run it out of town with bear bangers and rifle shots in the air, to no avail judging by this photograph by Trudy Flowers.

In the end the bear was put down.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The weekend weather held off until late yesterday afternoon before crapping out. Light snow and freezing drizzle started about 5:30.

Awoke to anther white layer this morning, just when you think things are drying out.

Had a simple slow roasted prime rib and three vegetables for Sunday supper. Nice comfort food after some work around house and a moderate walk.

Now we come to the piece de resistance.

I had some dough over from making white bread yesterday.

Decided on a pizza, Fran is not that keen on the saucy meaty styles so decided to experiment.

Rolled out dough very thin, spinach, asparagus, leeks [all par boiled and drained] three cheeses and some dried herbs [while wishing I had some fresh basil and oregano].

I gota tell ya, this is the best pizza crust I have made [to date]. The crust was crunchy and tasty yet in the mouth it felt like it was not there. The vegetable and cheeses dominated the taste and flavor buds. Fran happy, me happy, Siutik happy with the thicker rim.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Above are some close up shots of the dominant flora around town at the moment. Right and left are the common willows around here but the center two shots are of a new species, I call it the goose willow.
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During our walk yesterday we must have witnessed a couple dozen ski doos, some with komatiks, heading up Nain Bay way to ice fish, plus north and south to cabins. The center photo I have named "canoeski".

The noise some of the newer machines make is something to hear, sound like jet planes, especially in the relative quite of a Sunday.

With the provincial election slated for October social media has finely become part of the election strategy for northern Labrador.

Randy Edmunds of Makkovik is the Liberal candidate and is using Facebook to garner concerns and questions.

The incumbent member, Conservative Patty Pottle. who has not announced her intentions yet, is ramping up her friends list on Facebook as well but not much political stuff as yet.

Like others before her Patty prefers to either phone or the personal conversation. I have always thought there was a so called 'method to that madness'. Don't leave a paper trail.

Evening time: Now the white stuff is accumulating again.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Not a bad day so far, no neked people walking around heads and hands raised to the shy shouting take me I'm yours, so life may go on for awhile yet. Sister down under is reporting all well down there, it's 30 past midnight.

Now if more pitsik and nikku were to be consumed by the younger folk [and less junk] perhaps we would see less of these reports and this one.

I wish Evas Air ll the best on the new routing Gander to Iqaluit.

As the story mentions, Air Lab tried it back in 04.

I do not agree with this chap Steve Cook, the traffic was just not there. The summer months will do OK with NL'ers wanting to get back home for a visit. Many wont though as the warmer destinations beckon them for their holidays.
Plus I am not sure the Beechcraft has much cargo capacity, so with a full load of passengers and their luggage very little cargo could be carried.
Not that much cargo would be lifted out of NL, all the other airlines servicing the area use much larger craft out of Ottawa and Montreal.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taken12 hours after the snowy shot of yesterday, quite the contrast.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"I'm a little tea pot"

3 to 4
inches of fresh snow on ground this morning. The sun should take care of that later.

I fancy a wee dram, in days yon I fancied a nice semi sweet sherry or an aged port, but plonker I am not.

And I am not sure it a good idea to do the latest craze [overnight craze no less] from down under in the macho world of Labrador. But whatever turns your crank I say.

Wonder what will be next? Perhaps our resident humor guy could come up with something pertinent.

Fran has been busy with the AGM and board meeting of the regional woman's group "AnanauKatiget Tumingit".

After being elected as one of the Nain reps last week Fran and the new board has meet all this week, and into the night the as well.
There seems to be a completely new executive, Fran being vice chair, the woman leave today for their home towns.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Great grandson Carter is developing his skill sets quite nicely, he text messages all his relatives of the daily goings on of his mom n dad, no secrets in the age of social media.

Photo by Aimee.

Planking is starting to take hold again, down under it has become a sort of a fad. Authorities were warning people to take care, not long after a guy falls to his death while planking on balcony rail of a high rise, go figure eh.

Any way the craze has reached Nain. No high rises in Nain but plenty of hairy rocky outcrops.

Sean Lyall, arguably the most humorous guy in town, seems to have issued a challenge by claiming the most northerly plank. Oddly the postal code used to be beside Nain [A0P 1L0]

Photo by Sean Lyall on iPad2.

5 cm of snow predicted for today, not sure we need that at this time of year.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One of the reasons for our cloudy gritty water.

A natural brook that is taking with it silt and mud and muck from the construction of the new water line and road above the existing dam.

People shopping all out for pop, juice, going around town with small and large buckets to brooks. It's not floods or bush fires, we are lucky with natural disasters this way, touch wood.

Nain has become famous for price explosions in the past, now China has the real deal.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bear with me.

Not a bad deal; carving for our old Sony TV. A JT soapstone carving of polar bear, 71/2" x 4".

This is also a JT carving circa 1984. Husky dog from jaw bone of a sperm whale, 3" x 2". Those sperm whales sure put up a fight.

Mondays weather was cloudy to partly cloudy but the wind she was brisk, took an effort to keep on into it on our walk. Siutik does not do wind very well, she wants to go all out on the leash.
Sundays weather was very variable going from partly cloudy to flat in fog to passing snow flurries then back to cloudy later in day.

Me and my shadow [or is it my shadow and I] did not go for a walk yesterday. Instead I did some spring like activity around the house. Raking and picking up, moving winter activity stuff to storage. Still pockets of snow around the house so the work is preliminary.

The town water is really cloudy and tastes very earthy at moment, usual for this time of year though it is browner and siltier than usual due to the construction activity of new water line and road above the existing dam. The little piss ant silt barriers the company put out before leaving last year are usless.
Being not that warm and overcast I took I took the opportunity to take some water from the fast moving brook, still a lot of ice there and the water borders on crystal clear. With more warmth and sun [like today] on the brook the water will discolor.

BBQ ribs and pork loin medallions with root vegetable medley mash, spinach, mushrooms and fried onions for Sunday dinner.

Pizza porn from Friday. A traditional sauce/meat mozzarella pizza on the right. left is one made with a potato concoction, fresh tomato, leeks, mushroom, spinach and topped with Camembert.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The aftermath of the fire: smoldering insulation all day.

A fire investigator from RCMP arrived and did a thorough look through.

Line crew from Hydro arrived and in short order we had power back up, 10 hours from the time we lost power, not bad considering the logistics

Later in the afternoon 4 members of the NVFF turned up to knock down the persistent smoldering.

A little later the heavy gear rolled in and finished the job.

The selfish in me thinks a nice little open space/park for the kids would be a nice fit in the empty lot.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Have the backup generator running, switching between essentials; kettle, toaster, computer then heat.

Reason being a house burnt to the ground in the hood, two houses down and across the road. Started about 2.30 am. Unusual noises woke me up, after checking looked out window and the house [Mrs Ikkusek] was well ablaze.

Fire fire fighters turned up, managed to save the house next door, as its was starting to burn also from the heat and closeness of the houses, total lose is Mrs Ikkusek's house. No one injured, the one person in the house managed to get out.

The house had it's hydro cut off so should not be a big bother with the investigation.

Hydro lines were burnt back to the main pole on other side of road, hence we are waiting on a line crew from Goose bay.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger has been down te once, lost a post and had to re enter the Google earth Nain pic.

Had a teleconference with 5 folks from Dept of Labrador affairs this morning. Just me v the government, lonely oh battle but I think I am up for it for the time being.

Of course the subject was food subsidies, plus an overview of the provincial food lift subsidy and changes to it to work in conjunction with the federal program.

My main beef with both programs, the lack of transparency did not get very far I feel, it is one thing for bureaucracy and Pols to say " we are doing checks and audits to make sure things are running copacetic", it is another thing altogether when the consumer can not have access to that information.

Until it becomes more transparent then was just have to assume these programs are designed as corporate welfare. Show us the beef.
I will more than happy to withdraw that assessment and apologize when the programs come up with a mechanism to show the consumer [the tax payer] that indeed we are the chief beneficiary of these tax funded subsidies.

All in all the meeting was informative for myself and perhaps I gave some points of consideration to the government.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bring back the flaky.

For years I have had compliments about my pastry making skills, stuff like, “Oh you are such a clever dick, this pastry is amazing”

When told that is was from a packet mix most just looked at me as if to say, “Yeah right, pull the other one”.

Now the makers of that mix have taken it off the market. I am pissed and so are many others going by the web site Canada Only. Over 60 complements on Robin Hood Flaky Pastry Mix and same amount condemning the fact they cant buy it anymore.

I sent off an e mail to Robin Hood urging them to reverse their decision, the reply more or less told me to bugger off: {unfortunately, due to slow sales movement, this product has been discontinued}.

I still have one packet left in the larder, not sure what I am saving it for, maybe e bay in 10 years.

By the by, the Dr. Oetker brand pastry mix gets a big thumbs down by all reviewers.

Anyway a made pasty from scratch last night, it was Ok, nice flavor and texture and reasonably flaky. Thing is when a make pastry from scratch you have to be very careful when moving it, pasty always tears easy. Sure it’s easy to correct but with flaky pasty mix that never was an issue, handle it as rough as you like, no tear and perfect every time.

We have a new floor-mat, It's a bit tricky and bulky and is not always in the same place, just happens to turn up in high traffic areas when your not looking.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Finely Google earth has an updated view of Nain. It is still a couple of years out of date but a hell of a lot better than the old view.

Unfortunately the surrounding area has not been brought up to same standard.
Picture is still shot taken from Google Earth.
To the north there are some clearer views of the Torngat National Park and the old village of Hebron areas.

Nice and clear again, -4 or so and calm.

Broken record time: More reasons to be skeptical about the set up of Nutrition North Canada.

Northern store has a large poster advertising the NNC program. Nice pictures and the like espousing how it is bringing affordable nutritious foods to YOU.

Nothing to show how YOU [the consumer] is beniffting from the handsome subsidy handed over to the retailer.

It does urge YOU to check out the NNC web site to see how you can take advantage of personal orders.

On checking out that page at NNC you will clearly see that the only two companies registered under the program in Labrador DO NOT DO PERSONAL ORDERS. Durh.

Work in progress? Maybe, who the bloody hell knows with this lot.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cloudy and -10 wind chill this marnin. Revised to blinding sunshine later in marnin.

Light snow most of yesterday, real flat white day. At least two planes got in in the morning, heard one flying around in the afternoon but not sure if it got down through the snow and flatness.

The government of NL has announced changes to their Food Lift Subsidy, at least for the next 12 months.

That is all fine n dandy and we appreciate the assistance in budgeting, the big question still remains though.
How does one [the consumer] know, or even find out, that the two very generous subsidies [for Nain especially] are being passed on to one [the consumer?]

The short answer is; we dont know and no one within both levels of government are showing any signs of letting one [the consumer] in on this well kept secrete.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Fran's mothers day meal, partridge, dough boys with vegetables.

Took awhile but it was reduced to very very bare bones, after seconds that is.

After some nice warm clear weather, +8 yesterday, the town was heading for a summer look fast.
This morning we awoke to a winter like wonderland again.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Fran insisted I post a photograph of her favorite snack. For those from away; can you guess what it is?

Speaking of nutrition and more affordable foods:

It is no secrete that I think the new NNC program has failed to date in its mandate to supply affordable nutritious foods to people in the north.

Without openness and accountability and some sort of mechanism to prove to the consumer they are being subsidized {and not the supply chain} then it will be an uphill battle to convert many on low to medium incomes from junk foods to the more nutritious types.

Perhaps a look at what is happening in other parts of the world. This example down under may be a good model to look at.

Elections Canada has revised the results for the Labrador riding. Still a conservative win but the margin is down from over 200 to just 79. Not exactly a resounding endorsement for the conservatives.

Some interesting nuances in the overall voting patterns for sure.

One of those nuances is the fact the riding popular vote is almost parallel with the overall Canadian popular vote: that is 60 percentile do not fancy a Conservative agenda.

I wonder what Ottawa Wally is up to? Have not heard a peep from him since the election. Could he be loading up the old Winnebago and heading north east or surfing the Ottawa bus routes searching for the illusive el dorado? Whichever it is all the best Wally.

Friday, May 06, 2011

As mentioned in earlier post Buffalo Airways had a flight into Voisey's Bay mine site earlier in the week.

The excitement this created is mainly due to Buffalo Airways being the subject of a TV show called Ice Pilots NWT, the show is very popular up these parts.

The airline has an eclectic fleet of 'senior' planes, some flights require a mechanic to go along in case something falls off.

Photos taken and kind permission given for use by Conrad Jenkins.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Our walk [just the two of us] yesterday coincided with the morning flights landing and taking off.

Not much traffic, Air lab landed unloaded passengers and took off within minutes.

A coast guard chopper was waiting engine running at the north loading ramp, as soon as Air Lab landed the chopper took off and landed at the passenger ramp, picked up what it had to and headed up to Nain hill where coast guard has a new communications tower.

Prior to leaving the house I had made up a batch of multi grain bread dough. I usually time these things well, but taking photographs, chatting on the road and generally soaking up the sun took longer than planned.

The bread dough was attempting a runner when we arrived back.

With Fran away the meals were basic: I had a goodly amount of ground pork from a good cut I had marinated in brine for 2 days. My intent was to make sausages; Fran hates sausages of all types.

Being sausage lazy I just added some spices and herbs. Tuesday night I made hamburgers and last night I guess you could call it ‘baked pork cakes.’ served with asparagus, yam/potato mash, apple sauce and Oktoberfest mustard. I better not go on, some may think I am bragging……….Ok I will go on, damn they were good.

The marinating plus the added ingredients over time added some amazing subtle flavors.