Snowed In

Thursday, January 31, 2008
Well, not exactly snowed in as in my house is under the snow somewhere's .... but the road to the airport has been snowed over (by blowing snow), thus making it impossible for anybody to get to or from the airport. And, well.. there is no need to go to the airport as it is closed due to the snow too! And to top it off, most flights that we would get in aren't even in the air because their airports are snowed in. Nunavut has been under a blizzard warning for a couple of days now (except for Arctic Bay and two other communities), and everything has pretty much grinded to a halt.

So with any luck, the plane will land tomorrow at 1:00 so we can get out mail and food mail ... if not, looks like Saturday, (although that doesn't look very hopeful either looking at the weather forecast) ....

I Dream in Technocolor

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Polls are closing soon .... get out there and vote!

The polls for the "Nunies" are closing soon! If you haven't already done so, go vote!!!!

More Arctic Bay

Sunday, January 27, 2008
Out and about again today with my camera since it was a little warmer out.

Early Morning Camera Work ... er Experimenting

Thursday, January 24, 2008
Yet again, sleep has eluded me, and I found myself awake at 5:15 am .... wide awake. So what does any sane person do in the Arctic if they find themselves awake at 5:15 am? I'm not too sure, but I went outside with my camera and tripod and took a couple of shots of the moon over the mountains.

Now, I'm not exactly sure what went wrong (I have my suspicions), but instead of the sky being black-blue, it's orangy-tan (or sepia I think it's called). My theory on why this has occurred is that I have a feeling that I was "soaking" in the "light / color" that was projecting off of my house, as the flood light was still on. But still, pretty cool pictures all the same. They were taken at varying apertures and exposure lengths.

The Nominees For Best / New Nunavut Blog Are ....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

As many of you may already know (and if not, you are finding out now), Clare from The House and Other Arctic Musings created a Northern version of the Oscars for us Nunavut Bloggers called "The Nunies", [insert drum roll here] .... and I have been nominated for "Best New Nunavut Blog 2007" (along with several other great Nunavut Blogs)!

[insert nomination speech here] "You like me! You really, really like me!... I'd like to thank my computer for always turning on .... and my roommate for putting up with nonstop typing in the wee-hours of the morning .... and Starbucks, the provider of my caffeine....." [end nomination speech here]

Other categories in the 2007 Nunies include:
"Best Nunavut Blog"
"Best Blog Post from a Nunavut Blog in 2007"

Head on over to Nunavut Blogs and cast your vote! While you are there, check out some of my fellow Nunavut Bloggers that have been nominated: Jen of Nunavut, Way Way Up, Townie Bastard, A Journey Northwards and The Northern Chirp to name a few!

If Life Were a Soundtrack

Monday, January 21, 2008
If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.

Here we go .... this may be scary ... I am putting my faith in you iTunes.

Opening Credits: Endless - Dave Gahan (Hourglass)

Getting Up: The Party's Crashing US - Of Montreal (The Sunlandic Twins)

First Day In School: The Importance of Being Idle - Oasis (Don't Believe the Truth)

Falling In Love: My One and Only Love - Chris Botti (To Love Again)

Hurt: It's a Good Life if You Don't Weaken - Tragically Hip (In Violet Lights)

Fight Song: The Mark Has Been Made - Nine Inch Nails (The Fragile)

Breaking Up: Your Next Bold Move - Ani Difranco (Reckoning)

Prom: Step on my Old Size Nines - Stereophonics (Just Enough Education to Perform)

Life's OK: Rough Around the Edges - Teitur (Poetry & Aeroplanes)

Mental Breakdown: Hold On - Sarah McLachlan (Fumbling Towards Ecstacy)

Driving: Porcelain - Moby (Play)

Flashback: Sentimental Scar - Iris (Awakening)

Getting Back Together: Time Stands Still (Tonight) - De/Vision (World Without End)

Birth of a Child: Little Things - Chantal Kreviazuk (Color Moving and Still)

Wedding: How My Heart Behaves - Feist (The Reminder)

Final Battle: Fearless - Matthew Good Band (Last of The Ghetto Astronauts)

Death Scene: Pie Jesu - Sarah Slean (Universe)

Funeral: Always Remember - Train (For Me It's You)

End Credits: Rebel Rebel - David Bowie (Diamond Dogs)

Not a bad Soundtrack to life! Good thing iTunes knows me so well (but with over 23,000 songs, I wonder how it does that so well?).
I challenge you, the readers to do the same. What is your Life Soundtrack?

(Thanks for this idea Corey!!)

A little Tour of Arctic Bay (Part 1)

Sunday, January 20, 2008
Today being Sunday, I thought I would head on out with my camera and start taking some photos so I can take you, my readers, on a little tour of Arctic Bay. I only got about half-way through the town as the winds up here today are ferocious and quite bitting at any exposed skin (-33 and with the windchill it's at least -40). So enjoy part one of the tour, and I will post up part two when the weather warms up a little more so I can get the rest of the pictures needed.

My Corner of Town

Qamutiiqs on the Ice

Crack in the Ice

Houses and School in the Background

Building resembling Traditional Housing
thanks for the info Clare!

The Health Center

The Northern (our Grocery Store, Bank and Post Office

RCMP Detachment

This Week in Arctic Bay

Saturday, January 19, 2008
This past week in Arctic Bay has been a crazy one at times. School is going along as usual, other than the occasional power outage that sends the kids into crazy mode. I've begun teaching with my coffee in one hand and a flashlight in the other that way when the power does cut out I can quickly put a light on the "trouble" makers.

Also this week in Arctic Bay it has been ikki (cold)! The winds have picked up here over the last couple of days, and boy-oh-boy is it ever hard to walk up the hill to school when the wind is pushing you back down the ice covered road. We even had indoor recess this week - a first!

My classes are going along quite well. In my ESL classes we have been spending alot of time singing songs and reading stories and doing fun work (since we no longer have a working photocopier, I can no longer do worksheets ... so songs and stories it is!). The kids seem to be enjoying themselves.

My high school media classes are well on their way in the animation module. Most are beginning to work on their cut-out animation project (think South Park animation style).

And my kindergarten kids have been providing me with much amusement as I try to teach them Left and Right. We know we have a Right hand and a Left Hand. And a Right foot and a Left foot, but not that the Right hand and foot are on the same side and vice versa. I'm going to have to bring out the color coordinated socks and gloves I think to teach this little piece of info (lol).

This weekend I have spend most of it curled up on the couch watching CSI, NCIS and Stargate as I'm fighting off a rather bad cold/flu right now (why is it that teachers only get sick on the weekends??). With any luck, it will break before Monday as I would rather keep my sick days for real illnesses.

Back to my series watching.

Kristina and Jay - You ROCK my world!

Monday, January 14, 2008

WHEEEEE!!!!!!! My care package from Kristina and Jay arrived today!!!! (I have a feeling, it's more Kristina than Jay, but I'm sure you put your two cents in too ;-) ).

And it was FILLED with tons of GOODIES!!!!!! Coffee (Starbucks at that!)!! Green Tea!!! Oooodles of Green Tea! Chocolate .... lots of chocolate (drooool), Christmas Lights! (can't wait to get these up on the walls), neo-citran (I will be able to sleep! Must get rid of this cold!), Lip butter (my lips thank you), a wonderful spa foot care set (my feet thank you), some pepermint lotion (my skin thanks you), and a ton of incents!

This care pack ROCKS!!!!!! THANK-YOU!!!!!!!

Playing with the Camera

I was bored early this morning .... ok... i couldn't sleep .. so I started to play with different shutter speed settings on my camera ...

Queit Saturday Morning

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Two shots between 1:45pm and 2:20 pm .... had to hang out of a window to get these :-)

Things are gonna be getting stinky...

Thursday, January 10, 2008
Well, it is official. We only have one working water truck AND the water has to be pumped manually into it as the electronic pump is frozen. To make matters worse, there is a massive backlog of people who need water, and for some of us, its not that we need water, its that we need our sewage tanks (or poop-tanks as some of us bloggers call them) emptied and then we would have water again.... because, if the poop-tank is full, the water tank shuts off.... and if the water tank is dry, the poop-tank shuts off. Darcy, from Way Way Up, has captured all of our feelings very well in his poem "Ode to a Sewage Truck"

Fortunately for myself and my roommate, we have not completely run out of water but we are sure that we are EXTREMELY close to it. It's been the week of conservation - no laundry, no cooking things that need a lot of water, no long showers (yeah for sponge baths!), and we have slacked off on doing dishes (although I did have to break down and do them tonight, as I had no more coffee cups left).

However, it is only a matter of time before I head the dreaded "click of death" as Darcy calls it. The moment when the tanks shut off, closing their valves of any chance of anything entering or exiting the tanks.

Being the smart person that I am, (or maybe it's neurotic....), I filled several jugs at school with the precious scarce liquid just so I could make sure that I would be able to have my cup of coffee in the morning and to make a thermos of it for the rest of the day..... as I think every one knows what happens when Kennie doesn't get her CoFfEE in the morning.


The Trials and Tribulations of Living in the North

Wednesday, January 9, 2008
We may or may not be under a water conservation notice. Now I say may or may not be as today I was told when I called for water (since I've been waiting for a water delivery since Saturday and I would really like to take a shower - conserving water really sucks), that it will be a while before the truck gets to us. Ok I said, and dared to ask the next question... when exactly can I expect water?

Not knowing what exactly is wrong, whether it's a pipe that's frozen at the water lake or a truck that is not in commission, I set off to make sure that I had enough filtered water in the fridge for morning coffee and brushing teeth for a day or two in the event that my water tank does run dry (it's not fun when you run out of water and your tank goes dry ....). But as long as I have coffee water and water to brush my teeth, I am a happy teacher.

On the flip side, today was the first day back for high school classes. My ESL class yet again this term is small (three students registered, one that attends). This is a good and a bad thing at the same time. My media classes are heading back into full swing, with us starting our Animation module. And I was also told today in my media class that I expect too much out of them. I laughed.

I also have a new kindergarten group this term too! Bye Bye to my afternoon kinders from the fall (as they now go to school in the morning). This group is a very bright group too like the fall crew. And now that I know what I'm doing with kindergarten (it's a big mental shift going from teaching adults and university students to kindergarten students; even though they do have many similarities ....), I'm feeling a lot more confident in teaching this crew.

Back at it

Monday, January 7, 2008
Today was the first day back at school after the Christmas break. And it was a long day. All of us, staff and students, were walking zombies at certain points of the day, all of us trying to get back onto a normal sleep pattern again. My time today was split between helping with high school registration and my usual teaching assignments. The students were glad to be back in school and happy to see all of their teachers again.

The Kendra Initiative

Sunday, January 6, 2008
I don't know whether this is errie, amazing, or just a glimpse of what is to come in the future. Stumbled onto this blog post by sheer luck ....

What is it: Kendra Initiative - fostering open market space for digital media

Heard about frustrated users ... and content owners?
Good news: Somebody is exploring this!

Kendra Initiative: Kendra Initiative is an international media, technology, academic and industry alliance. The mission is to foster an open distributed marketplace for digital media (including films, music, images, games and text). The initiative researches, recommends and develops enhancements to the digital media marketplace that facilitate interoperability between and revenue generation for content owners and service providers; to enable consumers to use any device or application to browse, search and purchase content from any content catalogue, seamlessly. The cross-industry stakeholder group is currently investigating content description, search, visibility, discovery, delivery and payment whilst developing and trialling prototypes and promoting support.

Kendra Initiative

Is it scary that I studied these issues in my Sociology of Media classes? And is it even scarier that I wrote a paper along these lines?

Hope to See a Little More

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The reflection of the Sun in Arctic Bay at it's highest at 1:03 pm. By 2:30pm the "sun" was gone and we were back in the dark.

All is Quiet in Arctic Bay

Friday, January 4, 2008
My vacation time is winding down now. Only the weekend left before we all head back to school. Am I ready? Nooo, not really. I have an idea of what I am going to teach on Monday (mostly games, review and trying to get students back into 'school mode').

Right now It's -37 outside, and there is a nice wind ... so it's really cold out there today, and I am not venturing outside at all .. unless I really have to, but don't see any reason why right now.

Currently, while I am typing up this post, I'm watching the Canada vs. USA World Jr.'s Semi-Finals .... score is 0-0, and I think Canada has finally gotten into it's groove.

** Update: Canada won, 4-1 against the USA ... moving on to the Gold Medal game tomorrow (Saturday) @ 2:00 pm on TSN **

Kennie's Northern Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, January 2, 2008
This is Kennie's Northern Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, also known as "my brown sugar has turned into a huge-ass dry sugar mass" Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup of butter (or shortening, or margarine)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 pack of Cream Cheese.

I thought I was going to have a fun time making cookies tonight... not so. My brown sugar is a large dry mass of sugary goodness (reminder for next year's sea lift - small bags of brown sugar, not one 15 kg bag ... what was I thinking??!!). So, I wound up digging myself out probably around a 2 cup chunk of brown sugar, put it in a ziplock bag, and outside I went with a hammer. And I pounded that block of sugar into smaller chunks of sugar that made it a little easier to work with.

To make these cookies, in one large bowl, put together the baking soda, salt, butter, vanilla, almond, eggs and white sugar (and just leave it for a moment). In a smaller bowl, add the pack of cream cheese (cut into cubes) and the brown sugar. Place this mixture in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Take out of microwave and stir together. If mixture is still lumpy (or if you still have huge chunks of brown sugar), put in microwave again for 30 seconds.

Once the cream cheese & brown sugar mix is smooth (you might have to break the sugar chunks with a spoon now that they are soft), spoon this mixture into the large bowl with the other ingredients. Blend on low with a mixer until you have a creamy and airy mixture.

Add flour a half cup at a time while mixing together.

In the end, you will (or should) wind up with a "fluffy" cookie dough (it won't be as stiff as a normal cookie dough).

Take mixture and make small balls out of it for your cookies, place on a cookie sheet and cook for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch the cookies, as the tops don't brown up like a typical chocolate chip cookie. They are done when they can be easily scrapped off of the cookie sheet with a spatula.

This recipe makes about 6 dozen small cookies.

New Years in Arctic Bay

Tuesday, January 1, 2008
New Years here in Arctic Bay is quite a spectacular event. Before all of the fun started, we teachers all gathered over at Aletha's waiting for the big event and to ring in the Eastern New Years, as most of us are from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick. As soon as we saw some community members leaving the church service being held at the gym, we started to gear up and to get the skidoos out from underneath the house.

Around midnight everyone headed out onto the Bay (way out to Ulukson Point, well.. I guess It's not that way out, maybe 3km? 5km max) on whatever "wheels" they have (skidoo, 4-wheelers, trucks, cars .....) and we all line up way out on the Bay. There must have been at least 100 skidoos, 20 4-Wheelers and 30 Trucks / Cars out there all on the Bay.

Just after midnight (and after a lot of "Happy New Years" going around, we all revved up our engines and started driving back into town, snaking across the bay in a big "S" shape. Once we made it back into town, we all did a parade around town on our machines for everyone to see. Now, it's a little hard to imagine that many snowmobiles driving around town, but it was an amazing sight to see.

Pictures don't do this event any justice. I would have snapped more pictures, but it was -36 degrees last night out there, and we all know what happens to camera batteries when the temperature drops below zero ... yes, the dreaded frozen battery. With any luck, some of the other teachers will have gotten a couple of picture as well, so I will post those once I get my hands on them.