Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nice little chicken meal last evening.

Herbed roasted chicken, stir fried vegetables with potato dumplings in a mushroom celery sauce.

 I am always on edge when cooking dumplings dough-boys Fran being a conasuir of hard dough boys like her mom made.

Though the insistence on hard seems to be softening and softer fluffy ones dont receive the same disdain any longer, Fran actually liked the potatoes dumplings.

Finished off with a nice moist red berry carrot cake in a pool of cream.

Everything in moderation eh?

After a weather delay a ceremony to recognize a local guys dedication to his community took place yesterday afternoon.

Rod Pilgrim received the Queens Jubilee Award, a well deserved honor. Rod is the go to guy for almost anything that needs fixing in the mechanical, electrical, furnace area, even boat captains seek Rod out.

Later: I thought it would difficult to find a stunder minister than the former minister for Works Service and Transport, but I was wrong.

This McGrath guy is way stunder than anyone could imagine. "We just wanted to invite people, stakeholders that will be affected by the development of the project," 

I think that is code for "people who will benefit personally and financially from the project".

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am wishing all my friends down in the path of Sandy safe tidings.

Cooler day, + 6 but in wind made it feel cooler yesterday, but warm trend hit again last evening, +3 and light winds this morning.

Update on a scrape or should I say Pissing match between two executives of companies within the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies.

Being part of the one company, and being professionals, one would think a more amicable approach to this taking off of a plane from a marine dock could have been worked out before hand. 

But no, people get set in their ways and rules are bent at times. I have no inside knowledge of what was said and by whom to whom before and during or after the plane took off, but reading between the words I suspect there is some bad blood between the Air Labrador executive and a person within CIA Nunatsiavut who is not the Manager in the incident.

Now if we here in Nain had been standing down at the edge of the airstrip as close as these people were during the take off last Friday I dare say cops would have been called, and most likely the pilot would have had something to say to us.

I know it is a 20 year tradition but it looks to me like  there are rules for some and rules for others. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm back on the beef after a respite of several weeks. Well ground beef, ground myself from stewing beef.

Made up couple meat loafs, some for last night, some for sandwiches and maybe freezing. 

Rather a warm balmy weekend, nice for walking and going off in boat, which many did. yesterdays high and low of 5.8 and 3.2 respectively is at odds with the norms of 0 and -6 respectively.

There were some troublesome loose dogs around yesterday, couple little crackies that were very aggressive with other dogs. Noticed them giving one dog hell just up the road yesterday afternoon. They did not come near us when out, just other vulnerable dogs.

Then this morning (via Facebook) I find out that a small dog was mauled to death by some strays. Wonder if it was the same bunch I had noticed.

The relief dog catcher was riding around Saturday but did not notice him Yesterday. Some people seem more concerned in giving dog owners with well behaved and controlled dogs hell rather than looking where the aggression is.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My pictures of pizzas before and after caused some chatter on Facebook, so I superimposed them over multi grain dough I used. Not all the dough mind you, just what was left over after 12 baguettes.

One wag wanted to know what the yellow strips were, bloody cheese snobs who have access to white aged cheddar drive ya eh. Then another mentioned El Greco pizza of Goose Bay in the same sentence as my pizzas.
I offered to make one next time they are in Nain. No one can say I'm not a pizza snob.

Now this news brief states the bloody obvious. Anyone with half a brain and with a minimum of observations skills would know Inuktitut is in bad shape among the Labrador Inuit.

People can say what they like about the Innu of Labrador, but they cant criticize their zeal and dedication in retaining their language.

Inuktitut is in bad shape not because of the dedication of a very small group (mostly older folk) who work hard within skills sets in language to retain and promote the language. But their limited political skill sets are a set back, or rather their Inukness is a set back in this white mans way controlled government.

No, Inuktitut is in bad shape because the elected members and the civil service responsible for culture within Nunatsiavut Government do not put enough emphasis on enshrining and protecting Inuktitut under the self government regulations.

If half the time put into promoting tourism and building the proposed so called Cultural Center was put into language then perhaps things can turn around.

Whats the use of a Cultural Center if the language goes out with the first high tide.

I am not sure if this is a given or not, but word is that we are stepping back in time yet again in the marine shipping file on the north coast of Labrador. Dont get me wrong, any help the lone ship can get at this late stage is a godsend, maybe it is the work of the new minister for WST, or maybe something has been in the works for some time.

But anyway word is the mv Trans Gulf may step in to help get freight to the coast in what is left of the shipping season.
The Trans Gulf has worked the coast before, it was taken off because it was not suitable for our needs, but now beggars cant be choosers can we. Why we are beggars in this day and age continues to be a  conundrum for many.

While we are at it, the mv Astron had some mechanical difficulties in one of the ports on its latest run up the coast, two old burnt out vessels is better than one eh.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nothing like baking some bread to get one back into the groove of things.

Two more batches like that before Sunday and I'll be doughed out.

One small reason why Fran is now a O.N.L personThe audio link is in two languages but worth the listen.

Despite not being employed by Okalakatiget Society for several years Fran can still take the time and make the effort to go in and say some really nice stuff about them on their 30th anniversary.

Some may attempt to follow in Frans footsteps but few if any will reach her heights of humility and caring for others without any private or political agenda.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nice to be back in familiar surrounds and sounds. We left GB an hour late, word was that Wx was marginal, we traveled in the clouds most of way until just south of Nain then the ceiling was couple thousand feet, no trouble landing.

I was a little uneasy I must admit, there were two people on the plane who had spent 4 hours flying around yesterday heading for Hopedale, they ended up back in GB after couple unsuccessful attempts at landing in couple communities.

Only five of us on the plane, three for Nain and the two for Hopedale, rest was freight, two boxes for us that we shipped yesterday.The plane filled up here with people for Nain and Natuashish, volley ball players from a weekend tournament.

Then we had call that the freight we shipped this morning would be here at 4:30. Some times things work out nicely some times they dont. 

Now to play catch up with many things.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Leaving for home this afternoon, all things and Wx (weather) being equal and allowing.

Even before we get there we know there is no milk in town, young mothers are begging and borrowing from others to feed their children some body building milk.

There is some GranPre expired last February milk, it is discounted but I would not feed that to a dog, goes right off as soon as you open it.

The roads should not be that dusty what with the weather we are having, one thing I have learn't getting around Goose Bay is that the roads may not be dusty here but they are just as bumpy and rough for driving. 

Of course the foods will be more expensive at home, we all know and expect that and all know and expect that nothing will be done about it even if much of the excessive expense is on the backs of the less fortunate and the disenfranchised.

Even with all the negatives there are way more positive to living in remote communities to my mind.

Regular power outages are a big issue in Goose Bay (along with inadequate internet service and many other issues), just had one for half hour and on our way out to sin jawns had one for several hours. But lo n behold the water goes off when power goes off.
Guess all those pumping stations around town don't have back up power source.
 But it is OK, the mayor and some councilors and at least one staff are on the job promoting and in conflicts of interest from benefiting from the proposed Muskrat Falls development.

Still at Goose airport waiting to leave for home. Plane landed back from coast half hour late, gone over to pick up freight then back to pick us up I hope, still don't know why ground crew cant inform passengers of these delays, some things don't change eh Nunatsiavut Group of Companies and Air Labrador?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Carter bear

pretty eyes and happy faces.

Weather been lousy with rain and fog since we arrived back in Labrador. Have to admit it, the weather while we were in St.Johns was quite amazing, it is the first topic of conversion on everyone's lips. Of course they add that it is not expected to be like that every year.

For those familiar with the French language you can read, and see, what the Yacht Taravana went through in the wind storm at Cartwright a week ago.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back in Goose Bay: Carter bear very busy with his toys and looks cute (as usual) and different with his hair cut.

Our parting breakfast in St.Johns included bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions and tomatoes with scrambled eggs. Bagels we picked up (in Smart car) from the George Town bakery.

We both had a ride in the Smart car, though one at a time.
For town driving to work and shops this car makes perfect sense.Why pay 30 plus bucks for one weeks gas in a large gas guzzler when you can pay 30 bucks for gas every three weeks.

One of our unfulfilled objectives in St.Johns was to have a feed of oysters. Now I did try to book a table at a couple of the very few restaurants that serve them, though I must admit my enthusiasm at seeking a table at a reasonable hour was some what dampened by the $40:00 a dozen charge.
We did have several plats of fresh mussels and some good feeds of fish, one of which was a fine meal of halibut with green sauce at our hosts (for three days) table.

Any way back to oysters, seems word got out about our fondness for oysters, a long time friend of Frans and her family offered to drive us to the airport Saturday morning, they arrived with some fresh malpeque oysters  in the shell.
After some hurried packing in a box with freezer battles we were off to airport. Now most would be intimidated by airline check in people and airport security while trying to check fresh oysters packed with freezer gel packs, not Frans long time friend.

In short order she had them taped, checked in and after personally carrying them in behind the security area onto the plane.
Not sure if it was coincidental or not but the oysters were the first thing onto the conveyer belt at Goose Bay.

Half hour after we arrived at Carter bears I had them opened and consumed, large succulent morsels of decadence.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

We did a spot of shopping on Water St yesterday morning, or rather Fran did and dragged me into half the touristy shops in town.

We stopped for a coffee in Atlantic Place and Fran ran into a lady she had not seen for many years, so a brief catch up.

The afternoon saw us out at a Dominion store where I did partake in some shopping, but not as much as I would have liked.

 After that a nice walk in Bowring Park before back and another nice meal prepared by our lovely and kind hosts for the past three days.

We leave for Goose Bay this afternoon, it has been nice to feted and to spend some time here, despite all the cheap shopping and meeting great people I still feel more at home and comfortable in the far reaches of Nunatsiavut.

 That *non Rev* I mentioned from PAL for shipping two packages home, well they have arrived already.

Stephanie must be right proud of her mom because she has opened the package with Frans O.N.L. certificate and put a picture up on face book. The excuse for opening it was *to check* to see if PAL had broken it or not.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Names Bond, Sir Robert Bond, ensconced behind barbed wire topped fence her in St.Johns dry dock instead of carrying much needed freight to the fine folks of the North Labrador Coast.

The Russian tall ship is still in port and down at the end of the dry dock is our old fried from this year Newfoundland Mariner. She looks the worst for wear sitting there with a big hole cut in her bow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Did a run out to Cape Spear for some fresh air, our driver minder reminded us to open the door and hold onto it tightly cause it might blow off its hinges.

OK so it was not that bad but I can imagine it could be.

Prior to that we took a run out to the big box store area, yuk city. But we had a mission as I was looking for a new printer fax copier, my old ones had conked out. Found one on sale at Bestbuy but they dont do mail orders. So I took it anyway with intentions of mailing it, but then our driver minder suggested we head on over to Provincial Airways as it was in the area.

Good idea, and we had Frans rather large boxed up O.N.L framed certificate so we could send that at the same time.

When we mentioned that the freight was going to Nain buddy behind the counter asked if I minded if he opened the packages and inspect them. Silly question really as he had his box cutter in hand and walking to packages before I could answer.

I thought this strange so had a couple of joking like comments, but he and the lady behind counter took it all and said it is Transport Canada Regs yada yada.

Then our driver minder said be careful with that brown one as it is for a special person, this lady was just awarded the O.N.L. and the thing in there proves it. I pointed to the address label to show him the O.N.L after Frans name.

So after a bit more tooling around and buddy filling out the bill of lading I pulled out my debit card to pay. Buddy says put that away, we will send them non rev (non revenue).

Must say we were all surprised, pleasantly so, I shook buddy's hand and we took our leave. Heading for the car I mentioned that that was the first privilege under the new O.N.L that Fran had received.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not a lot of good photo opportunities at the investiture ceremonies yesterday, did the best I could under the circumstances.

There was a good contingent of Labradorian s there, two invited by Fran, one did not make it out of Nain due to weather, and three others who were invited.

 Ended up a nursing school buddy and school buddies from North West River and our local MHA.

Tom Gordon the mover behind Frans nomination attended as well.

 Fran was proud and stood the pressures well, I must admit to a little choking up of pride when Frans name was called and she went up to hear the little spiel and have the medal hung around her neck.

The bottom picture shows the present and past LG with Fran.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

St.Johns, 15th October 2012.

Before dinner with Lieutenant Governor and the other 7 recipients of the order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Some pics from our walk along the Outer Battery yesterday.

Its a crime what the council is trying to do out there, no bloody clue some people. Wanting to pull down all the old fishing stages and twin lofts, no urge to restore and preserve the history of the place. The walk along these roads and trails attract over 80 thousand people a year, who would want to do that walk if it was all concrete. Not so many one would think.

There are quite a few homes of various state of repair for sale, would imagine for a nice oh price too. A B&B is for sale at 2.5 million. Looks like a fixer upper too.

Update: Bad news for the yacht Taravana badly damaged in Cartwright due to heavy winds.

Fran and her nursing school buddies.

Pity the sun played havoc with the light and causes a game of musical chairs as it moved across the sky. But it was good of them to come in and see Fran, some had to drive some hours too.

One of the buddies took Fran shopping after the brunch, will have pictures of the results later.

Last evening we took a stroll along the almost deserted streets of St. Johns.

Stopped in at the Duke of Duckworth for some OVB 1892 and to continued on with my quest to discover who has the finest fish n chips in this city.

I had already tried the fish here at the hotel in Rumplestilskins. It was fair and passable. Now to see if the Duke was up to its reputation.

The Dukes fish flesh was white, moist, delicate to the touch and  barely held together as the fork lifted to the mouth, this is a good sign of its freshness.
The taste test was one of pure enjoyment with the batter being light and crispy and barley holding the flesh together.
It was crisp to the touch but almost melted in the mouth.

Id say it was up there with the best battered fish I have had here. Of course non compare to fish n chips back in Australia were the choice of fish in batter can be come overwhelming, but the battered flat head has to be one to beat I would think, 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Something you dont see everyday (and may never see again), Fran returning with bags from a dress shop yet.

Crazy arse runners in the Cap to Signal Hill 20 k. The climb starts just after they pass this time check just down from our hotel.

We took a more pleasurably approach with a walk along Outer Battery Road but the wind was too strong once we hit the outer part of the trail so we turned back. Ran into Chris Brooks on way out and stopped off for some tea at his house on way back, some crazy arse homes out that way boy.

Fran having brunch later with some of her nursing *class of 69* girls.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eating berry yogurt 2201.
Boy the weather back home has been brutal since we left Wednesday, rain, very windy and some snow. Good thing Fran always insists on getting out days ahead of time.

Due to leave for sin jawns this morning, looks OK weather wise, lets hope all else goes as planed planned.
It has been 27 months since my last trip outside Nain, seems like just yesterday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Drive up to Pine Tree lookout, not ideal for picture taking, dark clouds and light rain n all. Other two of Carter Bear enjoying our company.
Rain and then very windy in Goose Bay last evening and early morning.

So in keeping with the weather I shall write something about a guy who is most likely the biggest buffoon the province has ever had in the WST portfolio. If he is not a buffoon the the rest of us must be clowns.

I speak of course of Tom Hedderson, minister for Works Services and Transport.

He was interviewed on CBCHV-GB about the situation with the Northern Ranger again this week. Tom Boy is either miss informed by WST staff, incapable of telling the truth, or has a leaning disability. My pick would be a combination of the first two.

How he can say with a straight face that the Ranger has been maintain to the highest standards is just plain and simply incorrect. As I have mentioned before, just pull the maintenance records, or interview former crew or ask any one on the coast about the dozens of mechanical breakdowns over the last ten years.

Why Tom Boy has not been taken to task by local politicians is very troubling for what little democratic process remains.
In this sham of a democracy we live in everybody is too busy covering their own arse for personal reasons rather than getting up and speaking in defense of the people who voted them in.

In the remainder of the interview Tom Boy shows little concern for the plight of the people of the coast, it is all just the same oh rhetoric that Tom Boy thinks he is good at.

The fact that Tom Boy maintains that the *boat planes* are carrying passengers at levels similar to historical levels of the R|anger is another nose enlarger. A closer inspection would tell them that passenger levels are up on the *boat plane* over the more traditional boat boat mode of marine travel. But I doubt that anyone involved with this fiasco would admit to that.

Then Tom Boy says a doozie, he claims that the Sir Robert Bond was not used to move backed up freight at the end of the season, the year of 2011. That Tom Boy is a lie, there is just no other way to put it given all your other lies and half truths and incompetence on this WST file.

Then he goes on to say that the Ranger is out for the rest of the season, now this I believed.

Then to muddy that water there is an interview that CKOK did with a spokesperson for CAI-Nunatsiavut.

That spokesperson has the Ranger coming back on line in a few weeks or less.

Updated with corrections from CKOK radio on speculation when the Ranger will be back in service. . 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I figure this interview between CBC HV-GB and Fran deserves a special place on the blog. 

A busy morning with gran and I taking Carter Bear for a walk locally, the intent was to visit an electronics store to inquire about cell phones, but alas it was closed due to a power outage in the area, affected Carter Bears house too.

We then drove around and round and back and forward to banks and shops and back to the house because we I keep forgetting things.

Sheldon and another guy from Nain went bird hunting and came back empty, now grandma has gone for her haircut.

Updated the new revised little Francois. 

Carter Bear and co at the playground yesterday, Grandma getting her hair cut today.

Our plane arrived an hour late but the trip south was smooth (except for the usual bumps over Grand Lake) and for the most part below the clouds. 6 on board plus a rescued dog whose crate would not fit into the baggage cargo door.

This dog is luckier than the pup found stuck in mud along the shore, it was pulled out but was under intensive care at the local dog rescuers place, hope he makes it.

Carter bear was at the new terminal to greet us, I did not get a chance to look around the terminal but it sure is much larger than the old and lots of natural light.

Carter bear had some fun at the playground and is sticking to Grandma like glue, we eat out at Maxwell's, in the evening, took all sorts of toys to distract Carter Bear, but Grandma came up with the ultimate distractor, an old envelope and a pen, he drew all out and would not let dad interfere.

Maxwell's was packed by the time we finished, anyone wanting to come to Goose Bay for a gastronomic experience, forgetaboutit.

All the eating establishments in Goose Bay are on a par, and the bar is set low.
At times in the past Maxwell's had some good dishes and the cooks paid attention to presentation, well the dishes are still on the menu but the cook is the pits, everything over cooked and no attention at all to presentation.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Handsome devil g grandson Terrence and his mom and dad dropped in for a bit yesterday.
Hansom devil has a really polite way of getting his way, all you have to do is keep saying no until he goes ahead and does what he wanted in the first place. Unless of course the things he wanted are out of his reach, hence I win.

We had goose for dinner Sunday, with enough left overs for three on Monday.We have been beef free for over a week now, partly a silent boycott over the e coli fiasco and partly because or winter order of last year is depleted and there is only the local stores to purchase from, and the quality as a rule is not that great.

Which leads me to another dilemma, the shipping season is drawing to a close, I have not made our winter food order yet, main reason is the deals we used to get dont seem to be deals any longer, leaving aside the quality of the meats.
Then there is the uncertainty of the marine shipping, with only one vessel doing the work of two it is just one big unknown if and when your order will get to you.

I know many are thinking the same thing about the shipping, and unless you have the capacity to shop out in a large center, say at a Costco or some such I am not convinced any longer that we save money.

But the logistics of shopping at these large centers takes planning and money for travel etc, at least for the average Jane and Joe. Those with government funded travel can avail, but the rest of us have to prevail.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Not a too bad sort of a weekend on the weather front, bit breezy out on the water at times but temps in high single digits.

The golden hues of fall are prevalent but as Fran mentioned yesterday the reds the seem to be not as brilliant as usual.

The cloud formations and the fog dissipating over the hills added some mystique to the views that I never tire of. 

this morning something woke me outside the bedroom window around four, looked out and the northern lights were sure putting on a show. No photos.
 I arose again at five and the show was still going on both west and east, though in a more muted form.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Some aquatic action in Hopedale Harbor yesterday.

What appears to be a young beluga whale stopped by to entertain the locals. Amazing how belugas are so friendly and inquisitive.

If it had of been a few miles outside the harbor (muktuk any one?)

One  (of the many) nieces Teri gave permission to use some of her photos.

You may remember my little blurb on the travails of Long Dicks Sausage Emporium a little while ago.

Seems others have been keeping an eye on Long Dick as well. Some Twitter tweeted that "it is your move Long Dicks Sausage Emporium" with this photograph attached.

Ouch, this could get awkward.

The fall coolness sure hit hard yesterday, brisk in wind put the shivers up the body.