Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Google Meme

I've been tagged by Clare over at Arctic House with the following "Google" Meme. Here goes!

Darcy needs...

1) to know
2) more friends (ouch! that's harsh!)
3) help against Reichert (I guess that's why I need more friends then :) )
4) turkee (yeah I could bear to put on a few pounds I suppose)
5) a vehicle to defy the laws of physics (well, I do plan to go skidoo shopping in the near future)

Darcy is...

1) a fictional character
2) always correct (wonder what Mom would think about that one)
3) a great Netroots candidate (huh?)
4) just one of many who've been influenced by "Jane Eyre"
5) bland (ouch!)

Darcy likes...

1) everything (so much for numbers 2,3,4 and 5 on the list)
2) stop motion animation
3) to operate (hmmmmm)
4) to show students an old issue of Science magazine
5) household surfaces to be free of clutter

Darcy wants...

1) the Global title (egomaniac that I am)
2) to be Europe's Ryder Cup captain against the USA in 2006 (ha! like I can golf!)
3) to talk about having kids (hope Mom doesn't read this)
4) to marry her (good thing we discussed the children issue first)
5) nothing more than to be a reporter

Darcy gets...

1) engaged to a handsome rich man (but only in Canada, Massachusetts and San Fransisco)
2) a lot of letters from girls
3) fed up with her(!) husband (because of all those letters maybe?)
3) fired for non-delivery
4) a job at a local vets office
5) into all the best clubs (social butterfly that I am)

Darcy says...

1) thanks
2) the alliance provides a great benefit to his firm's clients (woo hoo!)
3) AnA! AnA! AnA! AnA! AnA! (as I get locked in the nice padded room)
4) you don't look too feverish
5) that soccer has made a huge impact on his life (well, coaching it sure has)

Too funny! I'll do my best to tag a fellow blogger after I stop laughing here!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tales From The Arctic

The Arctic Bay blogging scene is heating up...and really who can blame it? This is a truly unique part of Canada. The newest blog on my sidebar is "Tales From The Arctic", begun by Kendra, one of the new teachers on staff at our school.

It's always refreshing to get a new perspective on things. I find myself not always commenting on things that I know I would have commented on had I had my blog back in 2003 when I first set foot in Nunavut. I suspect this is simply because to me certain things that might catch the attention of a new-comer no longer seem that "strange" to me and I consider them to be just a normal part of daily life. (or perhaps I'm just entering a stage of early senility) Anyhow, between Clare's blog, Kendra's blog and my own ramblings, one can get a pretty good view on the daily workings of our fair little town.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Battle of the Flags

I had an opportunity yesterday to show off my northern "know how" to some of my new colleagues. Monty, Nick and April had been talking about heading up King George all week and I went along with them to show them the route up. It was a bit muddier than last time I had climbed it but I did want to show them the great views from the summit before we all got too busy with work.

Aside from the views, another incentive for Monty to summit was that we had heard from one of the narwhal researchers in town that there was a Newfoundland flag sitting up in the large cairn at the top. As a Newfoundlander, he just had to go up for a peek.

As an Ontarian, I couldn't let this go unchallenged.

A view of Arctic Bay from the summit of King George.

Heading down is oh so much easier!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rough Day

With all the new staff at our school, I can say I've really been feeling the extra pressure this week as we begin the new school year. High school registration began today and was a bit of a nightmare. (Student transcripts are typically full of clerical errors when they are sent from the office in Pangnirtung. Add to this the fact that the high school schedule that was drawn up back in the spring left much to be desired along with the challenge of trying to explain all the ins and outs of registration, course codes, scheduling etc. to my new high school colleagues and a new principal at the same time and.....well, she sure was a ton of fun.) I'm sure it will all get worked out eventually. It always does. Its just a bit more chaos than I'm used to so early in the school year.

At any rate, a tragic event yesterday really put things in perspective. A small baby passed away. Makes my worries seem like a big farce in comparison. My heart really goes out to the family as I have gotten to know them quite well in the time I've lived here. The young mother was a student at our school and the baby's grandfather was one of our Student Support Assistants (a wonderful man whom I consider an Inuk father figure). I went over to the house yesterday to pay my repects. I was at a total loss as to what to say. Not having children myself I can't even begin to imagine their pain. The only thing I could do was just give out a lot of hugs and let them know I was there for them.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Victor Bay

I took advantage of yesterday's fantastic weather to head up over the hill with my new housemate Monty to see Victor Bay. It is one of my favourite places to visit that is within walking distance. It's a place I don't get out to as much as I wish I could and with the day's warm weather and a new school year just around the corner I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to get over there.

Victor Bay is a favorite local camping spot. Canvas tents, qamutiqs and skidoos that were brought over during spring hunts for seal and narwhal lie scattered across the beach.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Getting Back in the Groove

Its been a pretty busy past couple of days with all the new staff members arriving, which partially explains my lack of posts. The other reason is that my old laptop up and died on me earlier in the week but this finally gives me the justification for getting a new Macbook. (Thank goodness for new housemates with Dell laptops!)

As I mentioned we have a number of new faces so the past few days I've been helping to get them settled in and oriented before we hit the ground running on Monday. There was a major communication foul-up somewhere in the food chain so no one seemed to know which housing units the new hires were going to be going into. I won't get into all the details since everything has now been ironed out more or less and I do want to keep at least some of my hair intact.

On a brighter note (quite literally), we've been experiencing from pretty nice temperatures since I've returned. I've had my living room window open for the past several days to prevent my house from becoming a furnace.

Time to head out and introduce myself to a couple of teachers I haven't met yet and to enjoy a bright sunny day.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Arctic Port in Nanisivik

There's been a lot of buzz in Nunavut since the Conservatives came to power over the whole issue of arctic sovereignty and how it would be addressed by the Prime Minister. I had been hearing plenty about northern military bases and arctic ports but as with most things when it comes to government, I tend to believe it when I see it.

Today in Resolute Bay, Harper announced future plans for a military training facility in that community, along with a port facility over in Nanisivik. The buzz around town was that Harper might put in an appearance in Nanisivk but I haven't heard anything further on that.

I'm glad to see that the port there will be used for something now that the mine is gone. Construction is due to start in 2010 and finish in 2015. Of course, this is government we're talking about here but at this announcement is at least a step in the right direction. It's high time Ottawa starting doing more to promote its northern presence. I recall seeing poll after poll growing up which asked Canadians what cuts should be made in order to pay for all the other government largess. Time and again, cutting military spending came up. I guess now we bear the fruit of enlightened Liberal Party "intelligence". Canada is so far behind nations like Russia, the U.S. and Sweden when it comes to being able to operate in arctic climes. Finally, Ottawa, and much of Canada, has woken up.

Construction Boom

A short spurt of construction has been underway with the short arctic summer season. Building supplies arrived on last year's barge for some badly-needed new units.

Here are the piles (stilts) on which a new housing unit will sit. The piles help support the weight of the structure in this land of permafrost. If memory serves me, the units that will go here won't be built until next summer.

A new 6-plex taking shape on the road behind my unit. I'm not sure why its red. It sure does stand out against all the surrounding blue houses.

One step forward, one step back. This duplex burnt down shortly before I returned. It's down at the end of my street. Seeing it reminded of when the house next door to where I grew up in Campbellford burned to the ground. Fortunately, in this situation, no one was hurt.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Back Home......eventually

After a small delay with my flight, I arrived back in Arctic Bay last night. I landed in Iqaluit Monday but was delayed a couple days due to back weather at Nanisivik. Yesterday was a loooooong day at the airport. A 2:30pm flight was continually pushed back throughout the course of the day because of "mechanical problems". Eventually after close to 9 hours of waiting in the terminal, the flight took off just before 8pm which meant I got in the door here just after 1am. I found myself thankful for the near 24-hour daylight and the bit of jet lag I still had from my Europe trip which nicely tricked my inner clock into believing it was early morning. A quick nap early this morning and I was peachy fine.

Next week is the first day back for staff so we expect many new faces. I decided to get back a few days early to beat the rush of new teachers and get myself organized for what will be a busy year I'm sure.

On another note, I managed to get all my Europe photos safely onto the old laptop without frying or melting it. If all goes according to plan (and if my flight back is any indication, who knows) I hope to get some pictures of my trip to the Czech Republic up and linked to my blog starting this weekend.

In the meantime, I can say it was a great adventure. Highlights included being able to see the 3 largest castles in the country, nabbing a pretty nice hotel for just over $26CDN for not one but two nights during my stay in one small Bohemian town and attending a performance of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni in the very theatre that saw its 1787 premiere. Oh yes......the food was pretty amazing too.

No matter how much apple strudel I ate (and it was quite a bit) I don't think I gained a single ounce during the entire trip.

Yeah, I know....taking pictures of food......but it's all part of my master plan to inveigle my parents into a trip to this fantastic little country.