Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Eclipsed by the City
I didn't really intend to watch the eclipse, but I woke up randomly about 3 am or 4 am and decided to check it out since I was awake. Not the best pictures, but I really hadn't been thinking about it and I didn't have my remote for my camera - so not as crisp as possible and the moon was already past the full eclipse - still I'm glad I woke up.
The book I read was "The Windup Girl" - an interesting take at post apocalypse (non nuclear) civilization. It reminded me a lot of Neal Stevenson's "Snowcrash" maybe mixed with a bit of "Heroes." I really enjoyed it at any rate.
I saw a movie with my friend from TB - Tangled in 3D. It was the first 3D movie that I've ever seen and I expected that I'd have trouble with it because my eyes don't generally like 3D - it was pretty cool though and left me wishing that I'd seen Avatar in 3D. The premise was cute - although it reminded me a bit of every other Disney movie with a princess - there was a lot of Ariel in that girl for certain. The evil woman was definitely a nice study in psychology.
Finally, my niece was born healthy and cute so I'm now an Auntie^4..... I'm sad that the holiday is passing by so fast and I've not spent enough time with anyone. That seems to be the way of Christmas.
Cheers... hopefully some niece and nephew pictures to come in the next few days....
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The View From the Other Side of the Iglu
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Northern Lights Tonight???? Finger's Crossed.
The wind speed has started to trend upwards this morning. I'm hoping it'll peak sometime after 3 pm when its dark. Even now near noon on a clear day, the sun is low in the sky and its seems semi-twillightish rather than bright. Two birds are dancing in the distance - likely Ravens, although they seem to be too fast and graceful for that, I can't think of anything else I could see that would be out in this weather.
Its been a fairly quiet weekend, which is a good thing because I'm pretty sure that the limited sunlight is messing with my energy levels and I needed an evening to putter and mark and watch the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens!! Here is hoping that they will do the same to the next 3 Canadian teams they play: Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Leaving Well Enough Alone
Adventures in Milk Buying
apartment - its still -43 C with the wind chill, so I finally decide I'll try the Co-op, since its so close (literally across the parking lot from my place). Do they have milk? Sort of - they have 1 L plastic containers of milk - but they expire on Dec 12 - even with being excited about a blender I'm not going to use up a litre of milk in 2 days. They did have ladies night though and it was packed with people and lots of gifts and toys and stuff.
So, sigh, its another 500 m down the road to the Northern.... but I did say it was "Adventures in Milk Buying". I arrive at the Northern knowing full well that it is rare that they are out of milk - but no... they are closed until 8 pm. At this point my choices are wait 20 minutes, or hike up to the FCF and hope that they have milk. The FCF is a local corner store. I figure it will take about 20 minutes to walk there and back, with no guarantee of milk - so I wait - and some other people arrive to wait with which is cool....
Okay, so far not exactly an adventure - but one of the managers comes out to tell us that its "Teen Night" and no one under the age of 20 is going to be admitted to the store. "But I'm under twenty" I ventured, but the manager wasn't buying as he rolled his eyes at me. "I spend the entire day with teenagers, they must have rubbed off on me somewhat?" I offer tentatively. Still no deal. "I just want milk" I beg, "and they don't have any at the Co-op." Finally, I negotiate a brief reprieve - I have a few minutes to race in and procure my milk and bananas and race out before the teen aged hoards arrive. Whew!!!
So, here is my final product - and it was worth all the walking, waiting and negotiating as it doesn't expire until Dec. 21st.
Food-wise I'm in an awkward spot - as I don't know if I have food-mail coming. I put in an order earlier this week, that didn't arrive Wednesday. I haven't heard that they've sent it today, so I'm not sure what will happen. I may have food or I might not. Its hard to know whether to buy groceries at the store tomorrow. I guess I'll just have to wait and see... Such is living in the north - just have to roll with whatever happens.
Friday, December 10, 2010
I've just hear the coffee maker make the final chugging sounds indicating that if I want some coffee (Tim Horton's this morning) than all I have to do is go get some... so... back in a sec.
The Christmas Concert last night was a great show of students creativity. The Junior high students were enthusiastic and looked like they were having a great time. The MC team managed an amusing banter of knock knock and other jokes - some of which took advatantage of interplay between Inuktitut and English. My favourite knock knock joke went like this....
A: Knock knock
J: Who's there?
J: Centipede who?
A: Centipede on the Christmas tree...
Anywho - hopefully my next post or so -I'll have some real pictures of the aurora borealis - have a wonderful Friday.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Green Light Green Light
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Lights at Last
Fighting the Good Fight for Prevention of Friday Night Dish Mountains
So far I'm impressed. It seems very thoughtfully designed and its much better at making smoothies that my Braun was. The instructrion manual was easy to read, clear and has a couple of great sounding recipes obviously not made in China known for producing some pretty weird sets of instructions. Its easy to clean and being able to drink out of the container that the food is made in definitely reduces the number of icky smoothie dishes. The quality of the workmanships and materials seems pretty decent - it has a pretty solid look and it it seems to work really well. So, I'm crossing my fingers I stay impressed. In the mean time, its been nice to be able to make smoothies again. It also has a juicer attachment, so I might try my hand at fresh carrot juice. My dad used to make it when were little. I can't remember if I ever tried it, but it sounds like its worth a try. Can you tell there is no movie theatre here since I'm enthused about making carrot juice?
I did finially see the northern lights. It was just after sunset and the western sky was still tinged pinky-purple, but there they were a nice arch right accross the sky. I didn't have my camera at the time (I'd just dropped it off to run down to the post office) By the time I got home, with greatly appreciated help from a friend with a very nice ride.) the sky was already quiet. But there is a coronol hole and elevated solar wind expected for this Friday, so I still hope to get a few more nice pictures before the end of the year.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Boat Going Nowhere
Its the kind of weather that sucks any desire to go outdoors out of me - I don't mind subzero temperatures, but once it hits the kind of cold that requires me to wander around without my glasses in a coat that severely limits my field of view - then I limit my time outdoors to necessary trips. So, obviously with the lake frozen until mid-July, this boat is bound to stay put, while I'm not going anywhere very far until it gets a bit warmer. This is the main reason I don't own a dog. The only type of dog that I would consider owning is a Malamute or maybe a Husky - but both need exercise which I'm not keen to be needing to provide in -42 C with the windchill. Couple that problem with the cost and stress of trying to transport animals by plane and the minimal access to vetrinary services... its just not even worth considering. Still on a calm day, it can be still nice even at -25 C, but calm days are rare in Baker Lake. The upside of all this cold is that its finally brought some consistant sunshine. Yeah for clear skys... now all I need is some northern lights to convince me to spend times in the freezing outdoors.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Trees in the mist
I don't want to downplay the charms of the arctic - the wind here has a song that has a minor key intensity as it howls ferociously over the hissing of snow grains blowing over drifts and grinding against the siding on buildings. There is the deep hum of skidoo engines and the high squeak to low crunch of snow (temperature depending) and the entertaining if somewhat tone death croaking of Ravens and the clicking of caribou ligaments. I miss these things too when I'm not here. Still quite a few of those memorable moments where I felt truly connected to life and the world, I've usually found myself either walking through the woods or sitting on a cliff admiring the pattern of colours in the trees below or occasionally watching the sunset from the windswept grasses of the tundra or admiring the tiny plants huddled on the lea side of a hummock. I guess you can love both and still miss trees independently especially their graceful silhouettes in the slowly rising morning fog.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
I got a new game called Equillibrio - its a building with blocks kind of game - I think aimed at structural engineers - I might have to try it out tonight - its not officially on the to do list. (after a quick break from writing to open the box and give it a bit of a test) I like it. I'm sure it'll be different with some competition, but it also seems to be a game that can be played with only one player. I think it would be nicer if it was made of wood and the blocks were more than one colour - but maybe that is just nostalgia for the wooden blocks of my childhood. The forestry student in me still feels that all children should have at least a few wooden toys and you really can't beat colourful wooden blocks.
Obviously my ramblings about the time, the Leafs, board games and wooden toys is straight proof that I really have nothing to write about tonight. Maybe tomorrow I'll have something more substantial floating around my brain to share.
Have a good evening.
Friday, December 03, 2010
The excitement for this evening is a clean kitchen. I have put off the dishes longer than usual this week and it seemed an insurmentable task, but I have sucessfully whittled it down and wiped down the counters. Its good that its done now, since the couch and a blanket are looking mighty tempting presently and a warm cup of Acai Berry Tea sounds nice.
Sunset Infrastructure Silhouettes
I suppose I should just be lucky to live during the computers with spelling (and grammar (formally spelt grammer)) checkers, which save me from my spelling most of the time.
As for the picture, I was impressed by the major straping keeping the stack upright - even on windy days.... can you guess which direction the prevailing wind comes from?
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Nice Ice and never shop when hungry
As for the second part of the title, I'm totally guilty of wandering through the store right after school when I was ravenous... thus somehow unhealthy non-food items (namely tin of chips) ended up in my grocery basket. I wouldn't normally buy chips, I don't particularly like them, but they seemed irasistable in light of my hunger. All I really needed was Q-tips, for which I coughed up $8.29, everything else was a result of being surrounded by food when hungry. As for the Q-tips, I'm officially declaring their price an act of highway (or high arctic) robbery. That said, my ears appreciate being clean.
Kettle says "make tea and get back to marking!"
Canmore Sunsets and sound of coffee
That said, of all the awards I ever got in school, I think I'm most proud (and shocked) that I tied for the art award in Gr. 8. I can't remember what we did in art in Gr. 8 - although I did some work that I was pretty proud of in Gr. 7. (In grade 7, I had Ms. Jaakkimainen who was easily the best teacher I've ever had and a fantastic artist and bought us real brushes and inks for doing print making. I assume that Gr. 8, Mrs. Johnson taught us art, but its been a long time to remember anything short of Ms. Jaakkimainen class.) Still, regardless of limits on my ability, my philosophy of art is that as long as you enjoy yourself then you are successful and that the only way to get better is to practice. For me, painting or drawing completely focuses me and always afterwards I feel more relaxed even if I end up with something ugly. Its part therapy, part brain workout and currently making up for a shortage of photo taking opportunities.
This sunset was taken after an already magical night of seeing the musical ride and some excellent drum dancing by the local Stony Cree Group in Banff. As an added bonus, we were able to watch to choppers dumping water to fight a fire on one of the mountains. The fires were probably the source of ash that led to the amazing sunset we saw as we were driving from the Three Sisters Exit into Canmore - filling the valley with a soft orange glow. I'm so glad we stopped to get out and take pictures although even the pictures don't really capture the full magnitude of the beauty. I'll post the photo above.