'Tis the time of year for every well meaning, but ill informed southerner to publicly voice their personal objection to the slaughter of seals off of the coast of Canada. I really would rather appreciate it if they kept their objections to subjects they had actual knowledge of, maybe personal gains tax exceptions, maximizing personal deductions (by contributing to environmental organisations), traffic, and where to go for a really nice holiday. Years ago, 25 I believe, Jacques Cousteau (presumably a avid anti-environmentalist) asked Greenpeace and other organisations to focus their attention away from the seal hunt towards actual environmental concerns that possibly weren't as photogenic as the Harp seal but actually in jeopardy. However, the single largest money making event for Greenpeace remains the seal hunt and the publicity they derive from the annual exposure, they literally cannot afford to move on to actual environmental concerns.
In the years since Mr. Cousteau pleaded his case; the seal population has tripled. Now while I realize there are other factor involved; no one seems to ask what this growing population of seals eat, and might that have some bearing upon the declining fish populations during that same time frame upon that same coast. Rather lets just ignore that rather "Inconvenient Truth". Seals are cute. Another person who I consider a friend has laid out some interesting facts I recommend you peruse at
The time has come in our existence to quit falling for the media's push upon our minds and opinions and think for ourselves, maybe even, since we have been given this tool we call the Internet to actually do a little research ourselves rather than accept that conveniently fed sound-byte from the media and public concern groups. We were given minds long before these tools, lets use them as well, before we simply accept the truly convenient, lets just think for once.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
One of the people in this picture is stuck in the snow, the other is sympathizing, Which is which?
We all went out today, and stopped by the sign that overlooks Tsiigehtchic. Hence the nickname little Hollywood, since we're not technically on the Dempster highway the town erected this sign in a attempt to let the world know we are here.
at 1:56 PM
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
It looks like my new worker may not work out as well as hoped, it seems his enthusiam was short lived. He joined me for ten minutes yesterday, complained that zoning was too hard, asked to go to the washroom and never came back. Now thats more of what I'm used to. Oh, well, I still love him.
at 10:47 PM
Monday, March 17, 2008
Its easy to hire to fill a hole, but what you really like to find is enthusiasm, You can't teach that.
I do have to work with him however, Lift with the legs!!!
Its at this point the little man learned that he could double his efficiency by using two hands, Hell, I spent years trying to teach some associates that.
at 8:25 PM
Saturday, March 15, 2008
OK, I'm better now, and where were we. Oh yes, we were still in the airport in Yellowknife. Now I realize I may have been a little hard on this particular institution.After all I could have arrived during a shift change, that might explain the excessive personnel levels, the Winter Arctic Games were starting in two days so this may have been a test of security measures for a increased level of traffic. Whatever, I encountered it certainly had been resolved for the return trip as this time I was prepared for everything, I rounded the corner steeling myself for the experience. what greeted my was more unexpected however as the door leading to the secure waiting area (the one with the iris reader and card reader) was being held open with a brick with no security in sight. Then I realized that the extensive testing they did on the way down must have put me onto some sort of fast track list and this is why they had left the door open for me.
at 9:06 PM
Friday, March 14, 2008
The trip is over and the reflections must begin, the first of which is the joy of airports. I always believed I loved travel, especially air travel. My opinion has becomed refined since we started traveling with Christopher, travelling with children is never fun, that is my final analysis, no way around it but between the age of mobility and the age of understanding there lies a difficult period best spent away from airports and airplanes. Which is why (secretly) I was looking forward to traveling on my own as a person who could enjoy the experience. The truth that became readily apparent to me was that airports for the most part are the bane of air travel. Their existance can be compared to being in line at the supermarket but instead of waiting for the person before you, you are waiting for a "flexible" point in time, thus taking away the feeling of progress as you watch that elderly lady with 400 items who wants to pay by cheque and doesn't speak english who stands two people before you. Your waiting for the boarding call, watching a screen change and anxiously hoping you`re next. For the moment let me digress.
The airport in Inuvik is a northern airport, meaning there is no real security, no ID needs be presented, no removing everything from your pockets, body scans etc. It does have a restaurant which is a unexpected joy for northern airports, but no gift shops, book store's, etc, but it does have the "manditory" broken water fountain. Overall, a nice little airport which can focus itself towards every plane that arrives, giving you a overall feeling of progress.
The Airport in Yellowknife however is a different creature, a mean creature that strives to destroy the passing traveller with the "official" rules of air travel. Now, I must establish that I am totally unaware of the operating budget for this facility but my personal opinion is that it exceeds needs by about 500,000 dollars. The plane I arrived on was a 737 about 3/4 full, with half of those people remaining in Yellowknife. Since, we are travelling to a sourthern airport we are forced to deplane and go through security before being able to continue our journey. So forty people have to go through security, let`s say the southern average time to go through this procedure nears the two minute mark, and this airport has two metal detection gates. Yes, two gates and two x-ray machines. Seems adequate for a airport of its size. I run outside for a quick smoke then get into the line for security screening. While standing in line I notice all the doors in the airport are equipped with card readers and biometric iris scanners ... "strange" thinks I, as I await my turn at the front of the line. I don't remember ever actually seeing these devices in southern airports yet but the five doors I encounter all have them. when I enter the screening room.. eventually I turn the corner and see something I never expected, two machines, two X-Rays and 27... yes count them 27 security personel. All "assisting" with the check through procedure. So, that many people must be kept busy, I put my belongings in the lovely grey bins to pass under the inspection of the 4 people watching the X-ray machine, I have no metal of any sort on my body so I pass cleanly through the metal detector, where the first officer does the usual wand test cause the machine is probably broken, since he did not find anything, I am passed to the next officers. Since I have passed through two metal detectors obviuosly there are some real concerns about me and I get passed to the next stages, 4 officers awaiting my arrival, smiling reassuringly. I am instructed to remove my belt (which I am not wearing) and my shoes. The belt officer seems dejected but the shoe people are estatic and perform a extremely thorough shoe inspection that would make a fetishist jealous. The officer who remains convinced that metal detectors don`t work starts a extensive pat down in search of the ceramic polymer weapon he seems adamant I must have, at this point the belt guy seems to take renewed interest as he now jumps in to pat down my dorsal half, and this was a thorough pat down, to the extent that it rivaled most of my grade 9 groping sessions in the back of the library. These gentlemen, being very dissapointed that their inspection did not reveal me to be the head of the "Northern Liberation Army" start to turn their attention to their next victim while I glance towards the 4 officers studiously looking at my jacket going through the x-ray machine, still on the first item so there is little hope that I can retrieve my wallet in the near future, so I cannot offer a tip to the two officers who have just done as much as they can to make my stay in Yellowknife a pleasure. Then what I must think of as the right foot and left foot inspectors are still examining my shoes like they are made of C4 tied together with thermite cord.
My Jacket has arrived at its next stop, the trace detector, and apparently this gentleman is convinced he will discover the truth the other have failed to about my real identity. He swabbed my coat, I can't believe he swabbed my coat, now I'm having some real concerns here, I`ve used that coat while shooting as little as two weeks ago, so this guy is going to bust me down to the fifty guys who must be hiding in the basement for me. My camera arrives, my camera is swabbed, my lenses are swabbed my tripod is swabbed the case is swabbed, my lens filter are studied closely, my camera is released and the guy asks to see my jacket again. I suppose he felt dejected as he makes me remove my jacket and this time swabs the ipod and book in my pocket.
Anyways, I`m tired of this conversation and starting to get flabbergasted again, so I`ll leave this topic here for tonight.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
This may be it for the next week as on Monday I'll be leaving Inuvik for Winnipeg and returning a week later. I just now have to figure out where to eat first and how to waste 4 hours at the Inuvik international Airport, my ride leaves earlier than I do so I have to wait around, which wouldn't be bad but the airport is too far from town to walk there and back in this time frame, and I don't really want to fork over the $50 to get to town and back to the airport. Cheap bastard aren't I.
at 7:21 PM
Seems like the greatest minds in the world got together and did a bit too much thinking. Today the "Doomsday Vault" opened on a small island north of Norway as a repository for seed stocks in the event of catastrophic destruction of the lands of the earth. Seems like a good idea... Seems like, I had heard of this idea since I was in university and something about it just struck me as odd today.
Okay, lets suppose this meteorite hits the earth and send us into a nucleur winter for 6 months or so and when we crawl out of our little hidy hole, we find that there is no longer any seeds or vegetation to rebuild from. "Great" say I, I know of this doomsday vault where we can go and repopulate the world's vegetation, from there the surviving animals can start repopulating and in a hundred years everything will be good again. For the purpose of this discussion lets say I'm in America's midwest where the discussion of plant life might hold a little more hope than here in the Arctic. So here we are in Iowa, we just have to get some seeds and save the planet.... where are the seeds or this incredible place called the "Doomsday Vault"? It's located on a tiny remote island about half way between Norway and the North pole. Now, I never claimed to be a geographical genius, but should someone have built the seed vault somewhere where you could actually use the seeds? We'll overcome this little problem by walking a thousand miles to get to the coast, then we'll build a ship that harness's the power of the wind and set sail for this remote island to collect our seeds. Could you just check your GPS and tell me where exactly this remote island is as we sail through some of the roughest sea's in the world... Oh no, how do we power that handy dandy GPS?
Ok, lets presume that we reach this wonderful island in the middle of nowhere with our Canada Goose Parkas made of ash presumably(as all vegetation and most wildlife is gone, and there hasn't been a oil refinery running in 6 months). Now we just use the "doomsday vault" key that everyone was given, Oh no, I must have misplaced my key. Now we just have to get through five sets of nucleur blast proof doors. Then the easy part, all we have to do is scale down this elevator shaft 437 feet to the actual seed storage facility. Now, lets just fill our pockets with the three million species of seeds and climb back up the elevator shaft to our waiting ship wich hopefully has grown as large as our pockets and sail back to the growing land of our choice, never allowing the seeds to touch the saltwater we're surrounded by and we're home free.
Gee, thanks a lot all you saviours of the universe, I for one will sleep well tonight, thanks to our "Doomsday Vault".