Just another typical Northern Weekend

Sunday, November 30, 2008
On Friday, our boys soccer team and Darcy made it out of Nanisivik ... and I am assuming to Iqaluit as we haven’t heard other wise. I am sure we will have many stories of the adventure upon their return Monday night.

Saturday ... was, well, a typical lazy Saturday. Did some phone calls, talked to a bunch of people on Skype, finished a book I was reading, then headed down the hill for a turkey supper with some fellow teachers and our two RCMP members. Turkey was yummy as usual and much banter occurred during the hockey game - some how Toronto won the game.

Sunday was brunch day as usual ... and as usual, we had a good feed and the ravens got a pretty good feed too (gotta make sure they make it through the winter ya know). After brunch, I just came home and did laundry, and lounged out ... waiting for the Internet to return.

In good ol’ Northern fashion, our Internet up here has been out since Saturday evening. No idea why it is out - could be that there is a bad storm in Ottawa, could be that when they were cleaning the snow off of the satellite in the south they farked it up. All I know, is that when and if the Internet ever gets back up, we will all receive a nice email from Qiniq apologizing for the inconvenience along with a lame-o excuse as to why we all had to live for the last two days with out Internet. But I am one grateful person for having the Internet back FINALLY!!!

Six Phases of Teaching

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This was sent to me by a fellow teacher .... I think I am in phase 5 ... although, at times it feels like phase 6 :-)


You are listening to jazz -- Your first day at work is great. Your fellow teachers are wonderful, your classroom is cute, you love your students, and your principal is the best!


You are listening to pop music
-- After a while you are so busy that you are not sure if you're coming or going anymore.


You are listening to heavy metal
-- This is what you feel like after ONE month.


You are listening to hip hop
-- You become bloated due to stress, you're gaining weight due to lack of exercise because you are so tired and have so much school work to do when you get home, you feel sluggish and suffer from constipation. Your fellow teachers are too cheerful for your liking and the walls of your classroom are closing in.


You are listening to Gangsta Rap
-- After more time passes, your eyes start to twitch, you forget what a 'good hair day' feels like as you just fall out of bed and load up on caffeine.


You are listening to the voices in your head
-- You have locked your classroom door to keep people out, You wonder WHY you are even here in the first place and WHY did I become a teacher!

Dear Canada Post / First Air

Monday, November 24, 2008
Why oh why must you ALWAYS bangle up my mail? I can understand the odd magazine getting a little bumped, scuffed and ripped. But boxes that are taped up like there is no tomorrow? Or even boxes that are nicely taped up? We pay big bucks to mail stuff from down here (and on the flip side, even bigger bucks to get it up here most of the time).

All that I ask for is that my mail make it to me undamaged - that includes the box. Oh, and can we also add the condition that it hasn't been opened by any one along the way (other than Customs?).

And can you also explain to me, how a package mailed to me from NJ USA (via regular USPS) can make it here in record time (it was mailed on the 15th, and arrived here on the 22nd) and yet an express post envelope from Iqaluit takes three weeks to arrive in Arctic Bay?

oh yeah.... I remember this day

Sunday, November 23, 2008
I just found these on my camera ... from way back on October 15, 2008 ...

Sunday Fun

Today has been a great day. It all started out with a huge yummy brunch down the hill at my old haunt with several other teachers and our southern visitor. As usual, we had more food than what we knew to do with (eggs, bacon, ham, potatoes, toast, fruit) ... and of course as usual, the ravens got a nice plate of scraps too.

After brunch, four of us set out on skidoos to go see the iceberg that is frozen in our bay [this is the same iceberg that I skidooed to and climbed last year , boated out to this past September, and watched go back and forth in the bay area here in Arctic Bay for several weeks here, here and here.]

The iceberg has changed quite a bit since then during its time out in the "wild"

And of course, what's a trip out to an iceberg without some insanity?

After the insanity, we all headed home to warm up some before heading out back across town for a Grey Cup gathering .... It was a tense game at times with most of the group cheering on the Alouette's ... the Northern Newfie decided to cheer on the Stampeeders just because some one had to. Sadly, the Alouette's lost .... Northern Newfie is loving his win.

Story Time!

Friday, November 21, 2008
Welcome to story time in the North. Sit back with your mug-o-coffee and enjoy

Once upon a time, there was a door. A nice white door. This door was very happy as he had just been installed into his new house. Everyone around admired the door and ooo'ed and ahhh'ed at how nicely it opened and closed. However, over time, this door began to feel a little short changed. It's owners were constantly slamming it shut, hitting it with hammers to chip off the ice build and heating it up with blow torches to melt off the ice. This made the door very mad. But soon, it's people were opening and closing the door nicely again. This made the door very happy ... until these people moved away. Then the door became very sad again as it was alone.

One day, a nice person moved into the door's house. She was very happy to be living in that house. She decorated it and took very good care of it, and always gave the door good attention by keeping it nice and clean. But sure enough, slowly she began slamming, body slamming, kicking and screaming at the door. This hurt the doors feelings alot. Sure enough, she also began hitting it with hammers, heating it up with a hair dryer and spraying all sorts of smelly spray inside of it's door knob that burned. The door was very mad and decided to get revenge.

One day when the nice person decided to go outside for a nice morning walk, she couldn't open the door. The door would not open to the outside. "Hmmm" she thought, "I'm frozen inside my house". The nice girl had to call her neighbors to come over and body slam their way into her house. The door did not like this treatment either as it was getting all dented.

So the door decided that it was going to be really mean one night and didn't let the nice girl into her house. "Arrrrrghhhhh!" the nice girl screamed in frustration as the door would not budge and the door knob would not turn. "Arrrrrggggg!" screamed the northern newfie from next door who also tried to open it. "Take that door!" screamed the nice girl as she boot kicked the door, "Open up!". The nothern newfie tried again. The door, feeling that he had made her suffer enough decided to open up for the northern newfie who was trying to open it.

The nice girl, was beginning to loose her patience with the door.

One night, as the girl was walking home, she could see the mean door sitting up on the side of her bridge. The door looked very rejected and sad. It had frost all over it. It glared at the new door that was being installed in it's place. The new door was very happy to be installed on the house as it did not like the smelly plastic wrap that it was covered in.

Ever since that night, the new door and the nice girl have been living happily ......

Yes everyone it is true. Kennie has finally gotten a new door! It is so nice being able to open and close my door all on my own! No more having to call next door for a kick in! (although, I do have to admit, it is pretty funny).

What's so great about paper cups?? My students make them out of empty pop cans.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
IPod Speakers Made From Paper Cups and Sticks

Next time you're down at the diner you might try out the CupSpeakers from Dmitry Zagga. His minimalist speaker design consists four paper cups, a couple of toothpicks and an iPod.

It is, as he puts it, an iPod Ghetto Accessory. There's something very right about these cheap horn speakers -- the clean white lines perfectly match the 2003 2G iPod. But we very much doubt the sound would be louder than that from the earbuds alone. On the other hand, they're likely to be a lot better than some passive speaker systems you can buy.

[source: http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/11/ipod-speakers-m.html]

My students are also quite innovative in class ... and they are recycling (kinda) at the same time - as they have made speakers using empty pop cans and earphones / old speakers. What amazed me was that a) they worked and b) they sounded half-way decent.

Ramblings of an Educator

As many of you can see, I haven't been posting much as of late ... partly because I don't really have that much to report on life up here in AB that Darcy or Clare hasn't reported on yet ... and partly because I've been working my butt off at home at night reading novels trying to decide what one I am going to be doing next term in my Eng 10-2 course.

I've managed to narrow it down to a couple of contenders: Whiteout by James Houston, Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowatt, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Crabbe by William Bell and Frost by Nicole Luiken. Now the challenge is to choose one of them and start creating the novel study (as I really don't want to be trying to make one up at the last minute).... and there isn't much to be found on the net for some of these books too. But I guess time will only tell... luckily I do have some time to decide what novel to do as I'm not planning to start it up until February.

Other than that, it's been pretty normal up here. The weather is cold, I still have heat as my furnace is running.... yet some how I am still being frozen in and out of my house on a daily basis ... with any luck I will have a new door this week some time ... cross your fingers everyone!

Nothing to get excited about: The indifferent 'meh' gains place in English dictionary

Monday, November 17, 2008
Big day for the English Language ..... "meh" is added to the dictionary.


Fun with Glow Sticks

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Moon .. more of it

We will Remember Them

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Arctic Bay @ Night

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shine on you crazy diamond ...

Thursday, November 6, 2008
How the sun time changes fast here in the North. All of these pictures were taken at the same time over the last couple of days. November 5th, 2008, was the last day that the sun made it's way over top of the mountains that surround us here in Arctic Bay.

Keep on shining sun... we will see you again in February.

Entertainment in the North

Monday, November 3, 2008
In the North, you often wind up with a lot of free time on your hands after work (and some times during work too .... but that just gives you an opportunity to get ahead and organized for the future). Many of us teachers up here are well stocked in entertainment - DVD's galore, gaming consoles of all sorts, books, and more music than what we really know what to do with.

However, I am now going through the "let's watch this season of show abc again". i don't mind re-watching my tv series up here, as there is always something that you missed the first five times you watched it. Currently, I am working on Season 4 of 24 ... and I don't have too much longer to get through Season 5 and 6 before Season 7's premier in a couple of weeks. Although I do have many DVD's (movies and show's) here with me in the north, every now and then, a teacher needs to get new DVD's to watch.

I have just finished pre-ordering some new movies and tv series ... and hopefully I should have them by the time Christmas break rolls around so I will be able to sit back, relax, pop a dvd (or 6) in the player and just zone out. So what did Kennie order for the Christmas viewing season? X-Files: I want to Believe (I am an X-Philie, I lived for this show for 9 years, and still do), Wall-E and Series 2 of Torchwood (and once the price drops, I'll probably be getting Series 3 & 4 of Doctor Who ... and once I find out what my mom is sending up for Christmas I'll most likely be ordering in CSI Season 8 ... unless I get it for Christmas).

And to make it even more awesome, Kara is going to be sending me over some Six Feet Under once she's done watching it! In return I'm sending over some Grey's Anatomy. Aren't we good to each other in the North?

And the geeks shall inherit the Earth

I've geeked out today. Over the weekend I set my computer to download Ubuntu 8.10 - and did it ever take forever to download (grumble, grumble freaking slow internet in the North grumble grumble) ... but it did download in it's entirety.

So today, I decided to Virtual Box it up on my iMac ... something that could either work nicely with no problems what so ever ... or all hell could break loose.

Well... the installation went more or less without any problems ... other than a slight kernel crash on the Mac side of things (guess I had one too many things going on in the background while Ubuntu was installing on the VM ... oh well... all is back to normal now).

And of course, pictures / screenshots of this wonderful experience for those of you who are geek inclined.

The whole process took about 40 minutes ... would have taken only 20, but with the kernel panic on the Mac side I had to do the ever so horrible power-button force shut-off (my poor Mac ... sniff, you haven't been shut down for 54 days .... now all of the sudden you freak out on me.... sigh). Later on, if it finishes downloading I'm gonna see how well Debian runs in VM on the Mac.

Oh the life of a geek.

Halloween in Arctic Bay

Sunday, November 2, 2008
On Friday afternoon (October 31, 2008) we held our Halloween Celebration / Activity Afternoon. It all kicked off in the gym with the "parade of fright" where all of the students and community members gathered down in the gym to "show-off" their costumes. There were plenty of scary costume to be seen. A great time was had by all and there were plenty of activities upstairs in the classrooms for kids to participate in too for the afternoon.

More pictures here.

The Setting Sun in the High North ....

Over the last couple of days our sun has been quickly setting on the horizon ... it won't be too long now before it will no longer be peeking over top of the mountains that surround our little community.