This photo I found a little interesting, in the middle right hand side of the photo you can see they started a fire right beside that discarded fuel tank... I can assure you no one checked to see if the tank was empty.
The newest fire chief shield his eyes from the intensity of the blaze.
All the snow is mainly gone and that leads the town to clean-up time. The snow has been hiding 8 months of garbage and dead grass. This week they started burning the grass to promote the new growth of grass and these photo's depict the events of day one. Now, I know this type of controlled burn technique is used in many communities, however I was surprised that the community would rush to do such a dangerous activity before the ferry was in the water. If anything bad had happened the towns single fire engine would have been the only help available. Air support would have taken so long to arrive the town would be ashes before any further help arrived. Everything went well but man, something in me just screamed this isn't safe. Break up is mainly over and I'll post some photo's of it tomorrow, the river is free flowing with only ice left around the landing area's of the ferry so maybe another week. At least the town smelled like a camp fire for a couple of days.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I really don't want to know what this raven is eating.
The mail on final approach.
This is Martina loading up this weeks mail. Okay, Actually the guy loading the car isn't Martina, she must be the person hidden behind the helicopter.
Here we watch Christopher pondering if this is the puddle worth the trouble the trouble he'll get in for jumping into it. Turns out it was worth the consequences.
This is the back of just about every vechicle in town, looks like the muddy season has definitely arrived. I just had to order some rubber boots online, as I've made it this far without them, however it seems they'll be essential from here on in.
I went to the school to take some test pic's as it appears I'll be doing the school photo's this year. He's one of Christopher.
Another week of break up is completed. The river moved 5 feet or so on Thursday morning so things seems to be progressing as expected. The town has been fairly quiet until the ducks and geese started arriving later in the week, then the town was awash in plans for hunting through the long weekend.
Something I had never noticed in our years up here is that the birds up here don't follow a day/night schedules anymore, Once the sun fails to set they seem to make their own hours, I can't believe I didn't notice this earlier but last night I was on the balcony at 2:00 am and you could still hear all the birds around singing. The snow in town has mostly thawed except for area's with large drifts. This afternoon I'm going to have a BBQ and tomorrow I hope to get out on the town and see what we can get some photo's of.
at 10:47 AM
Friday, May 09, 2008
On May 19th of last year I briefly discussed my first experience with Northern dentistry, with somewhat disappointing results. Now let me tell you about my week. We've been waiting for the dentist to visit this town since the day we arrived, however it seems when the dentist has time, the town can't find a place to put him up and as such he has never been here. The tooth mentioned in the beginning of this sentence has remained unchanged till approximately a week ago. Last week it cracked, not all the way just about halfway down. Last weekend it split all the way down and again quartered itself, conveniently upon the start of break-up (sarcasm). It was interfering with my sleep and was causing considerable pain, it seems our intrepid dentist from last year failed to complete her first task, that being the root canal. This left me alone in the store on Monday tired, in pain and grumpy. I called Melissa upstairs and asked her to bring me some needle-nose pliers downstairs, I believe it was at this very moment that I realized I may have been in the north too long. Home dentistry seemed to be my best option.
After twenty minutes, 4 Tylenol and some truly excruciating pain I gave up, my only success being in removing the back of the tooth and the base. Time to come up with a plan B, I called the health center and asked the nurse if she'd pull it out for me. It seems that when your yanking on your very sensitive tooth your hand not only sweats a lot but also has this annoying habit of releasing the tool causing this sensation. Damn the concept of a dry town, some liquid fortitude might have helped, it certainly couldn't have hurt.... more. The nurse said she's call me back in twenty minutes. She told me the hospital in Inuvik would be waiting for me at 6:00, a quick call to my district manger to explain why I was closing the store, then a call to the schools principal to see if I could borrow his car and I was ready to race to Inuvik for a quick extraction and back by 9:00, in theory. Now, the road has been hazardous for a week now, but I thought if the bootleggers can still make it, then so could I. Melissa and Christopher tagged along to offer emotional support, or maybe it was a chance to go shopping and eat out at a restaurant, I'm betting on the emotional support aspect though. We're off to Inuvik in the principals new Yukon. The road wasn't as bad as I expected but judging by the whiteness of Melissa's knuckles and the incessant giggling from the back seat, I may have been biased by the pain.
We arrived in Inuvik right around 6:00 and I dropped Melissa and Christopher off at the restaurant and went off to my appointment. Now in my haste I really didn't go into details with the nurse but I had made some assumptions. Since I made it clear that I couldn't close the store for a day, she knew that I wanted it done fast and loose so I could get back to work. When I arrived at the emergency room and was immediately identified by the nurse as the tooth extraction from Tsiigehtchic, it seemed that my assumptions were right, after filling in my paperwork and she immediately told me that my room was on the second floor my assumptions came crashing to my feet. I explained that I would prefer this be done ASAP and she explained this was ASAP, I explained that my wife and child came with me, she explained they could also sleep in the room. Okay, she wins, looks like I'm here for the night. I explain to her however that my five year old son, locked in a hospital with sick people and many, many machine's might just lead to the death of several of those aforementioned sick people, we decide that I will stay in the hotel across the street and return for my appointment in the morning, now if I'll just wait to speak with the doctor we can arrange for a pain management program for the evening. He'll just be a moment.
It seems the doctor was actually in surgery, and a hour later he was back in emergency. There where three patients in emergency at this time, none of us critical. The doctor arrives and sits in the office doing paperwork for about 30 minutes. He then rises and meets with another patient for about 4 minutes, returns to the office and does paperwork for 40 minutes. Again, he rises, meets with the other patient, 5 minutes later he's back to paperwork for another 40 minutes. finally I am moved to a waiting room, he visits, tells me my tooth is real bad, see the nurse for some pills and I have 5 minutes to meet my wife at the Northmart before the store closes. I really hope the doctor was de-stressing after the surgery or playing video games or something, if not I find the concept of his having to do over 30 minutes of paperwork per consultation to be a extreme waste of valuable time.
As I rush from the hospital a orderly tells me my wife is getting a cab to the hospital, now Inuvik is not a large town and I'm already half way to the door so I rush to the car and get to Northmart about 4 minutes later, I rush in the western doors just in time to see a cab leaving from the eastern doors, Double Damn. I follow the cab and meet my family at the emergency entrance to the hospital. I explain that we're spending the night and have to get a room across the street. Now we've been around the north a bit and the cost of hotels up here can really make a person shudder all the way to their wallet. I explain to the clerk that I need a room for two adults and a child, she explains to me that they have no rooms left other than single bed rooms, they have also misplaced their roll-away beds and can't find them, they've been looking for a week. I ponder to myself as she offers me a brief glimmer of hope, "we do have a executive suite available with a separate bedroom and a fold out couch", I reluctantly ask the question that sends fear into my heart. "How Much?", and I couldn't get my wallet out fast enough when she told me the room was $129.00 taxes in. We have a lovely room with 2 TV, 2 fireplaces,a full kitchen and all the related accoutrement. A very nice evening ensued from this point.
Seven in the morning arrives like a unwanted guest and without much sleep, I shower and trudge over to the hospital for my 8:30 appointment. I arrive around 8:05 and the nurse asks me how I slept and how my tooth is before asking me to take a seat. She makes a couple of calls does some paperwork and we make eye contact again and she asks me why I'm not at the dental clinic across town... "Umm, should I be?" I query. "Yes" is her reply as I grab my coat and dart for the phone. 8:28 and I'm waiting at the dental clinic across town.
Now, I'll spare you the gruesome details of the actual procedure other than when the tooth was removed a severe infection was found under the tooth and "we had to cut back the gums and scoop out quite a bit of dead tissue". She hands me a script for pain med and I'm rushing back to the hotel to get to work. I forgot to ask about antibiotics and she forgot to prescribe. Eleven o'clock and I'm rushing back to Tsiigehtchic with strong hopes that the road hasn't deteriorated too much in the last 24 hours. It had and we got bogged down about a mile from home. I had packed my parka and Melissa hadn't so I set off walking back to town to arrange someone to pull us out, I'm dizzy, sick to my stomach, in pain and swallowing enough blood to make a vampire gag but there I am walking through the slushy, crappy remains of our ice road. About half a mile from town someone drives past and I explain to them the situation and they immediately take off to rescue my truck, leaving me standing in a puddle in the middle of the road, wet to my knee's watching him drive off. My mind struggles to grasp the basic facts of this situation as I start off back to town, frequently looking over my shoulder as if he is going to realize he could take me with him at any moment. Just as I crest the large hill into town, and 100 feet from my house my wife drives up behind me honking the horn and almost making me slip back down the hill in the sudden fright. I opened the store and so ends my story.
at 9:53 PM
Sunday, May 04, 2008
We are entering that time of year where we once again become a island upon ourselves. Our ice road has become soft and there are frequent call to save vehicles from the slush and snow that are bogging them down. The store is done with freight for the next month or so, with one small exception, our bread didn't arrive in time. This means we're flying it in fort MacPherson, then I'm going to have to figure a way across the ice to go and get it to return it to my store. It just figures that the one time the bread shipment is late is when it can't be late. Our last shipment came in on Friday, I was notified on Wednesday that Canada post is refusing to use the ice road so we're back on a fly in schedule of once a week. Our store is a little better stocked than we were for freeze up as we rented the office next store and now actually have a overstock area larger than a closet. My FT employee has left town for break-up and is working in Inuvik so for the next month its me, all me. I have lots of work to do sorting and organizing the 6 tonnes of freight that I currently have stacked to the ceiling in the back room.
Break up will last till somewhere in the first week of June, at least it was on schedule to fill this requirement before our last cold streak, on Thursday we were on 48 hour notice of closure but now with the cold snap we may have time extended till Wednesday thereby pushing back the date when the ferry can hit the water.
at 10:43 AM
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Christopher at the Kids Jamboree today, unfortunately our camera wasn't behaving itself so not many pictures.
Sorry, I promise last posting for today. Today was the jamboree and Melissa and Christopher were able to partake in the events. Games like pass the orange, balloon bursting, penny races and baby bottle were played by all the different age groups.
at 5:46 PM
I've been looking for a text book from my educational years to read to my son. Its was a collection of short stories and poetry by Canadian authors, it contained such gems as "The Fatalist", "The Jersey" and "On laying in Bed" as well as many other fav's. Does this ring any bells out there, or anything else that contains these stories?
at 1:44 PM
Well Its been a month and after a couple of problems and crisis of varying nature I have returned to the on-line world.
Things have been fairly quiet here since we last spoke, but the media has continued to annoy me to no end so I guess I'll start there. Did you know that the video game Grand theft Auto 4 was released this week rekindling the media frenzy of violence in video games spurring violence in societies adolescent population. This debate has been going on in one form or another for the last hundred years that we can verify. It began with cheap paperback novels being available to adolescents, this was causing children to engage in sex and violence brought on by the evil writers of the time. Next came the introduction of comic books during the 40's or at least the gaining popularity of said medium causing our youngsters to become more violent. Also during this time the introduction of radio serials caused similar reactions by society and the media for the same reasons. Next would be TV, followed by music, followed by Internet, followed by video games, followed by Utube and similar media formats. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here? Video games can be very graphic and disturbing to those unfamiliar with the medium, but the concept of a form of escapism that doesn't allow the person to escape their personal limits doesn't seem to be a concept that will fly either. How the game the Sims ever took off is beyond me, but somehow I'm still playing it. Regardless, It amazes me that with all these cumulative negative influences anyone is able to survive their teen years, at least that's the impression that the media is impressing upon me. I do have some startling facts that some people wouldn't at first believe. For example, did you know that for the last 15 years straight youth violence has decreased to the point where it is now at a level approx 40% lower than in 1993. Strange because that's not a fact that I would have guessed. Did you know that the coverage of violent acts on the evening news has increased from 12% of the average broadcast in 1991 to approx 60-75% that we see today? Did you know one of the indicators that a child may be capable of the terrible acts we've seen recently is that they don't play video games (such as the person who enacted the violence at U of V). When I was a child I was violent, not a bully or anything like that but give me a stick and a bunch of glass pop bottles and I would quickly show you a hundred ways to make one hell of a mess. Same goes for those other children I grew up with, we caused some trouble and inflicted some degree of destruction upon the town we grew up in. I know one of us had a Atari at this time but the acts that we were violent in were not game related, they weren't music related, they weren't even related to TV. They were the imaginings of our own childish minds, those pop Bottles could become the boogy man in one second and in the next they were hordes of Nazi's pouring out of the trenches. I think if I had the games that we do today, my town might have suffered a lot less pain and suffering than it did standing against my imagination.
Now, I may have a bit of a conspiracy bent to my very nature, but it is of growing annoyance to me how we are being spoon fed our information by the media in a format that leads to mis-interpretation of the facts. So my final thought for this post, is please don't believe me, check it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.