Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Labrador Winter Games 30th edition starts on Sunday in Goose Bay. Its a big deal for many and I hope all goes well for the athletes and the organizers.

Originally the athletes from the coast were to fly in on Saturday, this has been brought up a day due to a pending winter storm moving in.

Still nice weather here, we could get some snow and flurries out of the pending storm but as usual will miss the brunt would be my guess.

Interest is growing in the where a bouts of the Orlova.  What puzzles is why Canadian authorities have not been taken to task for letting the ship drift off into the North Atlantic, seems very irresponsible.

Here is a spot me of the Innu walkers who left Makkovik this morning.  Can get regular updates from there.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Some Innu from Natuashish are starting a walk from Makkovik to Sheshatshiu this week. An eclectic group of 20 + people of various ages and sex, several Inuit will be joining them.

The walk is in support of Burton Winters and the efforts to get changes to the search and rescue set up in the province.

No bent band member's or elected politicians, just happy fun loving people who still know how to live on the land like their ancestors did.

I think they leave today for south, hope the weather co operates for them and safe journey.

The first two pictures taken by Air Lab pilot, the third by Lori Dyson of Makkovik.

A large crowd turned out at the airport to greet the Innu.
Couple of meals made this week, not in the mood for anything labor intensive: one a chicken pot pie (mini) using small puff pasty shells, turned out very good.

Last night I had (Fran was at banquette) szechuan noodle, chicken and shrimp, bloody hot, but then it is supposed to be eh.

If anyone can get there hand on the Winter 2013 Inside Labrador put out by Downhomer magazine there is a little blurb about Fran. Story written by Micheal Johansen and titled *A Rich Life* with some photos. .

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another fantasmagorical day in the offing, a week of sun sun sun and mid - teen temps, oh when will it all end.

Pity I have been restricted with my movements, this shoulder is getting me down. So much so I visited the nursing station Friday.
Ended up seeing the Doctor first thing Monday (on the one week a month rotation visit), got bumped up the list due to high blood pressure.

So after blood work and some rest my BP was down a bit, doctor recommended (one of several) a needle in the shoulder to see what happens, thinks its rotor cup issue.

While injecting the needle my little Francois came over to see how things were going, she was at a conference near by.
Walking into the room Fran looked at me and asked, have you seen the doctor yet? Not wanting to make any sudden moves I sort of indicted with my head and eyes that said doctor was behind me sticking a sharp object in my shoulder.

Doctor chirped up with, that's me, and laughter all round ensured.

Doctor is young and female.

Fran is a presenter at a women's conference this week, plus doing the MC duties at a banquette this evening.

NG status of women (Annait Ilitagijaugutinganut are the promoters of *Advancing Inuit women: Empowering Choices Energize, Inspire, Support*.

Another polar bear was taken outside Hopedale Sunday evening, a young 20 year old shot it in company with his step father.

Friday, February 22, 2013

So it looks like we can relax a little concerning our power supply.

The third engine, you can call in new (but you would be wrong) or call it second hand or refurbished (right answer), is now up and operational.

Great work by the crews and lets hope the management at NL Hydro learn some lessons, but we wont hold our breath.

 A new and potentially important job opportunity is in the offing. I say potentially just for the fact it has three funding *fingers in the pie*, these can be problematic if not handled correctly.

My guess- the success of the job will depend on the person who is selected for the position. It is way past due and much work to be done.

The FSN has had some projects on going in Hopedale for some time, I just hope not too many meetings between outside *experts* have to be re convened as it seems like a lot of work can be carried over to this regional position.

Regional Project Coordinator
Job Opportunity The Food Security Network of Newfoundland & Labrador, in partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government and Inuit Community Governments, is seeking a Regional Project Coordinator to coordinate a food security project in Nunatsiavut.
The Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador is a provincial, non-profit organization that actively promotes comprehensive, community-based solutions to ensure access to healthy food for all.
Engaging Communities food security project
aims to increase access to healthy food in Nunatsiavut communities by completing Community-led Food Assessments, implementing community food action plans, and developing a regional food security strategy.
About the Regional Project Coordinator Position: Reporting to the FSN Executive Director and the Project Team, the Regional Project Coordinator will be responsible for the overall coordination of and support for project-related activities in Nunatsiavut, including:
 Providing oversight, support, and guidance to Nunatsiavut communities in completing Community-led Food Assessments, and implementing community food action plans;
 Coordinating a Nunatsiavut Food Security Network;
 Liaising with various Nunatsiavut Government Departments in developing recommendations for a regional food security strategy;
 Organizing project-related meetings and events;
 Maintaining detailed records of activities
 Assisting in the completion of required project reporting and evaluation
 Other duties as required
Post-secondary training or equivalent experience/skill set
 Experience with project management Knowledge of community-based food programs and understanding of hunger/poverty/food system issues
 Ability to work independently and as a team player
 Strong organizational skills
 Ability to multitask and meet deadlines
 Strong interpersonal and excellent communication skills
 Ability to work flexible hours and willingness to travel
 Extensive experience using computer software including Microsoft Office (word, excel, powerpoint, outlook, etc.)
 Ability to communicate in Inuktitut is a strong asset.
Terms of Employment: The Regional Project Coordinator position is a full time, temporary position running from March 2013 to January 2017 with a 6 month probationary period, and annual performance reviews. The Coordinator will be based in Nunatsiavut (Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville, or Rigolet). To Apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter by March 8th 2013 to:
Via Post: Food Security Network NL (Attention Hiring Committee)
44 Torbay Rd. Suite 110 St. John’s, NL A1A 2G4
Via Email:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Magical weather here at moment, not so magical south of hear with planes delayed again, and of course St. Johns to be hit with another winter storm. Some chaps from here came back with a bear yesterday, big one of about 8 ft, but it is its mouth and paws I would be worried about if still alive.

I hope they dont mind me *borrowing* the pictures, I did enhance them a little for clarity. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Back in my youth there used to be a lot of hawkers who used horse and cart to peddle their goods and services (called wares) them days.
One such peddler was a guy who sharpened scythes, knives, axes, lawn mower blades (non motorized), scissors etc.

I tell you this as a segue to the next story, the second bluntest knife in the cutlery draw known as Goose Bay.
The bluntest being the buddy who got booked for DUI in the RCMP parking lot.

By chance I came across the present location of the Northern Ranger. She is filling in on the Island south coast run, short and not suited for a ship her size.

Boy that Hedderson guy sure did leave the transport ministry in a bloody mess, wonder what state the environment portfolio will be in after he has been at it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Again  we are basking in relatively nice weather, though on the warmish side (+1 yesterday) while Goose Bay gets hit with another winter storm. Almost everything was shut down there yesterday. Now this morning Hopedale is in another blizzard and flights are on hold to the coast.

237 years ago today the first Labrador Inuk was Baptized into the Moravian church. “Kingmingosi, a shaman, was given the name of Peter after the baptism.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Had a nice Valentines meal with my Valentine at the Atsanik Lodge last evening. Tables all set up nice and decorations on the window, nice quite crowd too (at least until we left).

I had sent a tweet to N L Hydro asking how the replacement new ish engine is coming along. The reply was- Crews are currently on schedule to restore spare generation in the Nain diesel plant next week. ^MK 
 I think the engine block arrived about a week ago so the rebuilding must be in progress. 

We are not the only ones with chronic engine failure issues, Natuashish is another one.

An interesting interview with the N L Hydro spokesperson on the Natuashish issue, Ms King uses the same talking points and the same *we feel your pain* points as she does with all towns facing these break downs.
I agree that the crews are working hard to address the problems, but what Hydro does not seem to get is their failed business plan and failed planing and implementation departments.

Nature in the wild taking place as normal, belugas must not hold the same awe with some as say killer whales, no big hullabaloo with the belugas getting harvested by bears and humans.

This interview with caribou scientists just ads confusion to the stew me thinks, be nice if he just came out and said in plain language what he means without all the waffling around.

Did ya get all than then me oh son? Clear as mud bye. I wonder if that rumor of the Northern Ranger breaking down on way back from Ontario repair job.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Temperatures are warming up, people are feeling good about that, why yesterday there was hardly any wind to speak of, but people did anyway saying *great to not have any wind*.

The ban on hunting caribou (for some) continues to be controversial. The Innu of Labrador and Quebec continue to hunt, though alegedly under some sort of regulations self imposed.

People within Nunatsiavut are not very impressed with this increased hunt, and people are not saying *why not us* but rather are against the Innu hunting for conservation reasons.

Here is an interview with Deputy grand Chief of the Innu Nation from CBC Lab Morning

The alleged 150 to be taken by two communities seems like a lot of bullshit to me. Over 100 have already been taken by people from Natuashish. And the chief of Natuashish keeps repeating that they will take 300 animals. 

Then there are the people over in Quebec, I still have not heard what the Inuit intend doing, the Innu are resolved to keep hunting

Here is the interview with the Quebec Innu chief on CBC Lab Morning. Not a very convincing argument he puts up. He wants to see the evidence that the herd is low, how about he produces the evidence that the herd is sustainable to hunt at the level the Innu plan to.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Great couple of days in row, starting to get more spring like with temps in the mid to high teens, still get that breeze that drops it into -20s, but we will have to get used to that.

I have been trying (unsuccessful to date) to post a short video from Facebook. It is of one cute arse Carter kissing his moms pregnant belly.

Meantime grandson Brian helped his team win the annual hockey tournament in Nain this weekend.

Friday, February 08, 2013

It was breathtaking while out on a couple short walks yesterday, literally breathtaking walking back into the -40 wind chills.
But the sun and the rugged undulating snow covered roads makes for a feeling of contentment and comfort. Until some idiot (and there are many) on a ski doo comes blasting at high speed past you only a foot or so away.

Apparently the trail groomer the council has needs a part before it is operational so the roads can not be leveled, but more important, widened.

Personally I have not trouble with the roads left to accumulate the snow. It is usually in short order that ski doo traffic dampers down a trail that gets progressively wider making walking easier.

But these past years with the introduction of bigger and faster snow mobiles (which seems to induce a lack of common sense in some) life has become more perilous for people walking around town.

I notice that the price of milk has gone up province wide. An increase of :48 cents seems to have people complaining.

We purchased 2 liters of 2% yesterday at BigLand grocery. The price there has increased by :70 cents, up to $5:99 from $5:29.

I guess the extra :22 cents increase over the rest of the province is for sundries. Or is it because all our milk and dairy products come in from the mainland.

Still, at 5:99 it is still cheaper than at Northern, who as of yesterday had not hiked up their prices on milk.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Well it was nice to have one day with no weather warnings, today it is wind chill warnings, sunny and -45 out there and will be all day.

Managed to get bathroom break area cleared at the back of the house for Siutik (thanks to the Nephew).

I gave clearing front window a half arsed attempt but the pain in my shoulder put paid to that quick. Fran finished it off, so now Siutik can see something when looking out instead of staring at a wall of snow.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

After the snow and blizzard from the north subsided, a brief hiatus ensured (very brief) then the wind swung around from the west and hit hard last evening, and still is gusting to 98 this morning.

There is a quite and warmth inside the house which tells me that we must have a very good snow build up all around the outside. 

Our meal last evening was not what one would normally have on blizzard y days,still one has to use up what is in the fridge. Nice salad with canned salmon.

Which is a segue to what I realy want to write about. Can you guess?

Those that said food prices, in this instance cucumbers and cherry tomatoes win the prize. 

Last week I purchased an English cucumber among other things. I did not checked the receipt until I arrived home. The cucumber cost $3:99. I thought that was a bit high but let it slide.

Then Monday I attempted to purchase a similar cucumber, this one was very small. The price tag on the shelf said $3:99.
Not wanting to get ripped off further I had it price checked, it came up $3:99 on the till. I questioned the validity of this with co manager, she said it seemed steep and said the other type of cucumbers are :99 cents. She added that she would have to check with HQ in Winnipeg about the 3:99 one.

So yesterday I go down and lo n behold the English cucumbers are priced at $1:45 on the shelf.

Got that sorted out-then right after I had to question the $7:49 I was charged for plastic box of cherry tomatoes.
There was no shelf sticker  with that price on it, with no management available it takes a little longer to sort these things out, but I was determined.

The closest thing on the sticker prices was $4:99 for cherry tomatoes, so that is what we went with.

Just on these two items I prevented a rip off of $5:04. This is not an anomaly with other items being miss priced in the computer, bags of potatoes double what they should be, many other items I'm sure overpriced but who has time to overseer this very troubling issue full time.

Northern stores should be ashamed of themselves. Not so much local as the HQ in Winnipeg where apparently all the pricing is done before entered in the computer. It has been on going for years with no correction in sight.

Under normal circumstances I guess an argument can be made that it is *customer beware*, shop at Northern at your own peril.

Alas this is not normal circumstances is it. NNC provides a subsidy of $2:50 a Kg on freight for perishable foods. This is paid to the retailer to ensure affordable nutritious foods for all northerners.

As is clearly the case in this instant, and many many others like it, all the subsidy is doing is padding the margins for the retailer Northern stores. Northern is owned by The North West Company.

Boy O boy, the storm has been worse than I thought  64 cm of snow and winds to 113.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Well that was the biggest storm of the season. Strong northerly winds from 10 last evening to 2 or so this morning constant gusts in the 100 K range with high of 106. Snow and blowing snow (naturally).

Siutiks bathroom door at back is three quarters blocked with snow, so out the front door.

Side ways view of back door,  three quarters blocked. Siutik looking at me as if to say, get to work boss.

Not bloody likely says I, my shoulder been causing me excruciating  pain this past week. Took couple go but she got the message that its the front door pro tem.

Everything shut down in Goose Bay, at least for the morning and the small school closed here as well.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Bit on the chilly side of late.

The past 24 hours the high at the house was -21.5 and low of -28.1.

Wind chills have been high of -36 and low of -45.

Nice and sunny out at moment but the winds are picking up.  Go and check the oil tank level eh?

Friday, February 01, 2013

A healthy beef burger and egg on a bed of herb salad and home made creamy dressing.

A little more on NL Hydro meeting here Wednesday evening. You will see a comment on the previous post, I know their name but was asked if I used the comment to not post the name.

I post the comment because it is very important as it runs parallel with what others are saying as well as to what Hydro is saying, but who still operating on a status quo basis.

I will add firstly that the larger unit in Nain is now a caterpillar, brought in after the fire a few years ago.

By operating with this business model (if you can call it that) Hydro are putting most of the communities on diesel power at risk for power outages and units coming off line unnecessarily. Hydro transmissions and operations know they operate in a very backwards kind of way by not using the best equipment available.

I don’t know where it all goes whacky in the system they have, is it in planning?, in another department? Does the fact that Hydro has to go to the PUB for permission to upgrade?, is it the public tendering act that dictates that inferior quality but cheaper units are spread throughout their diesel network

An example relayed to me is this; the cheaper engines are purchased, parts are way cheaper than a better quality engine so Hydro buys a whole lot of spare parts for the inevitable break down. Then lo n behold that engine has a catastrophic failure and has to be taken out permanently, so the stock pile of parts is rendered useless.

Penny wise and pound foolish seems to be the modus operandi of NL Hydro. Why someone has not picked up on this is troubling, huge amounts of money can be saved if changes to buying, planning and operations were made. It is also known that most of the diesel plants are running on inferior engines and in a band aid state, all the stop gape measures to keep these engine operational must be costing large amounts of $, one cant help but ask, why? Is there any reasonable rational to explain this behavior, or is there something a little on the sinister side going on here?

 Goose Bay gets a lot of its power from Churchill Falls supplemented by the old diesel units on the Goose Bay air base. Lately the power from Churchill Falls has become unreliable and tenuous at best. Yet there is no plan to supply Goose Bay with power from the upcoming Muskrat Falls power line that will go very close to Happy Valley.

A couple of other towns are operating in a tenuous way similar to Nains. One of the operating units in Nain has gone way past its major overhaul time because of the issues here, when will it give up the ghost?

The meeting with Hydro was useful but not reassuring, when are the powers that be going to become more pro active and demand that Hydro change its operations to better meet the needs of the customers, and not least change to better meet the financial responsibility it should have towards the tax payers of the province.

It should have been known but pointed out any way by Hydro that the 20 diesel plant customers in the province are subsidized by the other customers to the tune of about 70%. Imagine what we would be paying if not.
If not for the obvious bad planning, blatant waste, incompetence and whatever else is going Hydro could reduce that 70% to closer to 50% I am sure.

 This has gone beyond a *little more*, much more to say but will give it a rest.