Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fine Again


The weather-folk are gracing us with a wonderful week of warm, calm weather for us to get outside and enjoy the sunshine without the burden of heavy parkas, scarfs and fogged glasses and most especially without the fear of frost bite. It won't last, not yet, already the 7 day forcast is promising seasonally bitter weather early next week, but its been nice to get out and get some wonderful pictures of the stunning sunset last night. After months of wind chills consistantly in the range of - 30 C or colder, - 7 C is a treat that I appreciate more than I would +10 C in other times and places of my life.

The other obvious difference is sunrise. Granted I slept in by my standards, but it was actually light out when I got up at 6 am. The sun might not have been above the horizon, but I could see where I was going. Again, after of months of coming and going from work in darkness, the longer days are cheering.

Coming out of a long trudge of a winter of semi-brain hibernation, I am concerned to note that we are heading into an election and worried a bit at my own relative apathy (generally I follow elections with some degree of ferocity), but this time I feel as though investing myself in this process will only set me up for disappointment. I'm sure I'll come around, I care too much about my country not to find hope enough to care - maybe a few more days of long sunlight.

In other news, today is the last day of foodmail - so its a good thing there is a bout of good weather to temper bitter sweet thoughts of never seeing foods like parsley, basil, peach yogurt, low fat chedder cheese, or crimini mushrooms again in my kitchen and paying dearly for grapefruit, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, peppers and squash.

But its life - it changes - sometimes in good ways, sometimes in poor ways and oftenest in ways that don't exclusively qualify as good or bad and on that note I should do something useful with my morning.

Working from a Different Perspective

Well, it would be wrong when it is so nice, not to take advantage of the day and go for a walk. (You know you've been living in the north too long when you think -18 C with no wind is warm, but hey, what can you do?) We did the sewage lagoon-graveyard loop. While this may not sound like a scenic tour, the graveyard has a spartan, solemn and thought provoking kind of aesthetic, although it is hard to visit without a touch of sadness. The sewage lagoon used to be the best place for seeing hare, caribou and siksik - although the latter is wisely still napping, and the first one can still be found there, it has been a while since I've seen a caribou.

Sunday, we didn't even see a Raven, although we did see some Arctic Fox tracks. But that's okay, the sunshine was enough to make the walk worthwhile and it was nice not to have to wear snow pants.

They moved the dish for Qiniq this weekend, and while I had received an email, I'd figured they were just warning about solar outages, so I'd ignored it - and then wished I hadn't once I'd heard the service was supposed to be out until Tuesday. Its amazing what not having internet will do - for me it meant actually doing a fair bit of work - and getting out for a walk and doing a bit of knitting and cooking.

I've finally got back into knitting after hardly doing anything this year - I still have a half finished pair of baby mitts and a lace scarf I started in the summer on the needles, but I went back to basics and knitted a very boring practical pair of socks. We'll 1.5 pairs of socks thus far. However, I'm about halfway through the heel flap and I anticipate having them finished by the end of next weekend.

Assuming that I don't spend too much time outside in this beautiful weather.... and if I do... we'll all the better. In the meantime, I've been eying some quick simple projects that require a bit more skill then my socks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mad Science

Well, perhaps more like mad about science! Its been a great 2 weeks of celebrating science and young, budding scientists with both our local and regional science fairs. (Its also my excuse for dropping off the face of the blogging world recently.) I even took a took of pictures, but all of them have people in them, so not much use blogwise.

Now that it is all over, I am excited that I'm caught up with things at work and I'm looking forward to the warmer weather, so I can hopefully get outside more - already the next week has a series of days with highs in the minus-teens, combine that with light winds or calm days and lots and lots of sunshine and its hard not to feel enthusiasm and optimism.

Hoepfully there will be more frequent blogs to follow... at the very least I'm knitting my first pair of socks in a long while and although they are pretty boring... they are prettty.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Science Faired - but still here

Its been a busy few weeks with Science Fair on top of the usual stuff. It was a good year with some amazingly well done projects and some great moments. A huge thank you to everyone involved, especially the students who did great projects, the teachers that helped them to get there and the staff and judges and local talent who made the evening wonderful.

I can stay long - just enough to admit that I'm watching the situation in Japan with a kind of horror and sadness - it scale of the disaster is mind boggling, but the Japanese have shown themselves to be survivors and I have faith in them to pull themselves out of this, but in the meantime its hard to think of all the individuals suffering even as the disaster continues with nuclear reactors threatening to melt down and continuing aftershocks threatening more distruction. My heart goes out to everyone there.

It seems to be a week for tough news. My thoughts also go out to all those who've had sad or worrisome news this week.

On a cheerier note, upon checking the weather normals - there is indeed hope for April being warmer - with only 4.5 days on average with minimum temperatures below -30 C and only 7.6 days on average with windchills less than -40 C. The daily average in Baker Lake for April is -17.4 C, with an average minimum of -22.1 C and maximum of -12.6 C. Those of you reading this in the south may whince on my behalf, but this time of year, one simply longs for it to be warm enough to walk outside without a hood up or a scarf on (so that your glasses don't fog up and your have a normal field of view. I should be able to switch over to my normal winter coat any time now.

So, as things are going, there is sadness and hope and I'm looking forward to the regional Science Fair.
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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Breaking News: George R.R. Martin has Release Date for "A Dance with Dragons"

Yes! It is true Geoff (I'm totally writing this post just for you).... the next book is nearly written enough that the publishers have declared a date.  George R.R. Martin even updated his Fire and Ice Update section!  (Those who have been here before will remember that he had a note saying he was sick of writing about how he didn't know when he'd be done and that he'd post only when he had something to update about) But it is not the last book in the series... so no promises that the series will ever get finished.

Having just read the Stieg Larsson books, you can't help but worry that a premature death my prevent Martin from finishing... lets hope not... as I really wish that the next book of that other series was published and not lost in the midst of legal battles.  Not to mention the 6 that apparently will never be written.

In other news, I am still around, but insanely busy for the next few weeks... likely to lay low generally with respect to posting. Its not really interesting busy, just plain old busy.

Its a whirlwind of a week ahead, going to keep kicking and hope my head stays above water.

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