Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shave Chronicles...

... and a few other things to talk about!

First, Hello from Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island for the geographically challenged. So it is week three and just over a week left. You can almost say that it is my playoff beard since the Sens have advanced this far and the only time they loose is when I trim the beard, so no more trimming for me till they win the cup!!

On a side note, I got the truck stuck in the snow at the transmitter site. Yes, off roading in snow and an hour later with a dust pan and some sand and we are back on the main road!

So Yesterday it was the flight from Iqaluit to Resolute aboard the vintage 1960s HS 748 yes, you can laugh, something that is older that I am! For those who like heat take this plane I was roasting all the way up, the first time that I've actually been warm on a plane!

I have a rant about how airlines handle problems. The flight was supposed to leave at 2:30. well I know something is up when it is 2:35 and no boarding call. Then they announce that there will be a 30 Min delay in the flight! No this is not the first time that "the mushroom treatment" (keep you in the dark and feed you shit!) has been used on me. An hour before they tell me that flight out of Halifax is going to be another three hours due to mechanical issues. Three days! Yes is was kept in the dark for three days, two years ago, that the next time I can get up to Resolute because the weather was crappy and that is after a three hours flight there, another three hours back to Iqaluit! yes they flew us up then back with out landing in Resolute! hello I'm an adult most of the time and how hard is it to tell me that it will be the next flight (three days) so I could do something other than wait around. I'm more pissed that make you wait around so that it will be easier for the airline to round you up and get you in the plane. I will snap one of these days and it will not be pretty.
Enough complaining already. I don't know what the temp is today but it is cold I'd guess -10-14C but it is a beautiful day out, sunny and not a cloud in the sky. I have ice in my beard and I'll look like a raccoon from the sun glasses and sun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Arctic Update!

I'll get back to the picture after I tell you that it was above freezing today! Yes, it was 1C, phew it was a scorcher and I might have even opened the parka because it was warm! This is the first time it has been above freezing for me since May 7Th. The down side to the great weather is that I'll be going up to Resolute on Friday and according to the weather network it is a balmy -12C.

OK , why the picture of the plane. first a little history of the air route from Iqaluit to Resolute. When the mine at little Cornwallis Island was open, First Air had a 727 flying back and forth. Well when the mine closed they replaced the 727 with this, A Hawker Siddely 748. So now instead of 3 hour 15 Min flight turned into a 5+ hour flight. oh yes, it gets better! This plane's right engine would regularly catch fire and I know of two occasions when the plane had to do an emergency lading while they repaired the engine. So other that tacking on two hours flight time the thought of dying was more of a concern! Well after a few fires First Air has replaced the POS (piece of shit) with another aircraft that isn't as old as I am! The upside, other than not going down in a blaze of glory, is that they have shaved half an hour off the trip.

The best part of getting to Resolute at this time of the year. It will be light 24 hours a day!

UPDATE: Well the news today is the plane that I've been making fun of is the one that we'll be taking up to Resolute! The guy I work with up here is all worried and he has flown in many different types of aircraft many of times! I'm case I don't make it. I should make a will!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Shave Chronicles...

.... or lack of shaving. This trip I've decided that I will not shave for the whole 30 days that I'm up here! So far after two weeks I'm ready for a shave and another two to go! I'll admit, being the earliest that I've been up here in Iqaluit it is pretty cold and the extra hair has come in handy a few times!

I'll update this site once I get to Resolute and I can't wait to get the expression on Danielle's face when she sees my hairy creation when I get back to Ottawa!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Joe Scores Again!

One of the advantages of working with the Coast Guard is when I'm up in Iqaluit is that I work with a fellow tech up here that knows some of the local soap stone carvers. So after buying a few off of the carvers up here I now know a few of them personally.

So when I arrived in Iqaluit this year I ran into Kalingo Sataa. I have a few of his pieces already and he had this gem for me today! As you can see the scale with the toonie next to it that it is a big carving! This carving will easily go for close to a thousand in some stores down south and this guy has become very well known as a good carver up here.

Here are some more of his work for the carving that I picked up last year!

This one I love, because of it's very unique. It is a dancing bear with an Arctic Char in its mouth and standing on a Narwhal.It stands about 8-9 inches tall and come all apart.

This is the third one that has been made in this style. I saw the first one when I arrived last July a Radio operator had just bought the first one and contacted Kanlingo and asked him to make me two more. I kept one and the other was for my aunt.
Narwhal with an Arctic Char swimming over the back. Sits about 4 inches high without the tusk. The tusk and the Arctic Char can be removed.

This one I didn't even want because the previous year I had already picked up a great carving of a Narwhal and wanted the above carving badly. The Kalingo explained that he needed to sell this carving to get the stone to carve the ones that I wanted. So I go him down to $90 and bought it.

So this year I swore that I wouldn't buy any carvings as I spent a lot last year on carvings and other things. It looks like I'll be getting a drum dancer soon! Argh!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

10 000th view!

I know it is not a huge number compared to some of the videos that get a million plus views, but to me it is impressive that my videos have been seen 10 000+ times. All the videos were taken with the Canon A75, that has been to Arctic 4 times, dropped numerous times and even had my ass grind it into the ground during touch football!)

The video that has taken the lion's share of the views is my NFL games last year in Baltimore vs the Bengals. With all the NFL fans down south and the huge one that I'm related to I'm not surprised that it has been seen that many times.

Keep posted as I will post some new videos from this years Arctic trip on You tube!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Back at it!

Winter is back! After a great warm weekend with Danielle, I arrived back in Iqaluit yesterday to a great sunny -7C! The soles of my boots freezing to the ground as I waited for a cab outside the airport. Why a cab, well the tech that normally works up here was away and we weren't able to tell him I'm on my way. Oh, and by the way, my supervisor tells me the Jeep is smashed and you'll have to rent a vehicle. So after I grab the Suzuki Grand Vitara and off to races I go. First order of buisness is to get my food to the apartment and get squared away.

So after my stuff is in the apertment I take a run up to the receiver site and of course the snow banks are up to the top of the truck! Go over to the transmitter site same thing! Argh! They I go and find the missing tech! The wierd thing about the way the houses their numbers are by the time they are built and not where they sit on the street. So if a building, say is numbered 4001 it will be in the South end and the lower Numbers are in the North end. So I found the missing tech and shared some beers over stories of exploding power supplies and high voltage transmitters.

This Morning it was -10C and cloudy, current conditions -5C and snowing,

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Arctic toour 2007

Well as the time is just whipping by it is time to go back up to the Arctic again! It will be Iqaluit for 13 days then off to Resolute Bay for 13 days.
The second part of the trip will be Sailing from Quebec City to Killinek/Killinq Mid June and coming back first week of July. This trip I'm looking forward to as it is very relaxing while we sail to the Killinek site!
This years trip is the last major trip to the Arctic as I will have enough to buy my house and in the future will not need to spend the entire summer in the Arctic. In the future it will be one or two weeks at a time so I can buy the hottub, downpayment on the new car, new kitchen.
Stay tuned for new postings soon!