Monday, March 29, 2010

all waiting to get out

When questioned by authorities this ski-doo claimed it couldn't read. Word on the street is that this means of conveyance is the 'Jim Stark' of town.

There's nothing special about this - I just like the picture

To date the only wildlife I've seen around here has been crows and ravens (and maybe a few semi-wild dogs). This nest is the first indication that there is at least one more type of bird.

The GSI Mariner. If you google the name you'll find the ship is meant for seismic research and that its area of service is 'northern waters.' This actually gives me an idea for a new take on an old tv classic - 'Snow Boat.' The show could be about a group of scientists who get a grant to do a seismic study up North. Only when they get to their research vessel they find it beached and derelict. However, because they're good at science the crew turns the boat into swinging snow glider. They travel from town to town delivering fruit, seismic reports and help single people find love along the way.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

back to the sea

A day at the jamboree. The above dog musher won the race. Unlike the competition (top picture), these dogs did not feel the need to sniff the spectators.

The plank walk is a lot tougher than it sounds. These kids taught me a valuable lesson - no one should take part in this contest if they have osteogenisis imperfecta (that's you Mr. glass) or hemophilia.

The Old Lady table. This is a tough clique to break into.

Log sawing contest. The guy in the red and black jacket was supposed to be keeping time. I can only guess that he must have a supernatural sense of time, not unlike DC comic's Temple Fugate, because I never saw him consult his watch. This didn't stop him from coming up with some very specific numbers.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saber Rider

It's Jamboree time in Inuvik. A chance for people to show their skills at skinning muskrats, tea boiling (includes starting a fire in the snow), harpoon throwing and dog sledding to name a few events. Most of the contests are open the public. Do I have the innate ability to skin and debone a muskrat? Magic 8 ball says - it's unlikely.

Here it is - Muktuk. If you missed the previous post where I mentioned this Northern delicacy I'll bring you up to speed - muktuk is raw beluga blubber. Whenever I mention this stuff to people the first question I get is "did you try it?" Up until tonight the answer was no. What does it taste like you ask? Let's start with what it smells and feels like. Muktuk does not smell like fish; it smells worse (if such a thing is possible). Sadly, beyond making a rather coarse comparison I can think of no way to describe the smell. The texture is equally unpleasant. No matter how hard I tried I could not puncture my little piece of muktuk with my plastic fork. This was a bad sign. Daunted, but determined, I pushed the blubber on my fork and, after a moment's hesitation, put it in my mouth. It tasted exactly like it smelled. My entire body felt like it was rebelling against what I had just done but I tried to keep my cool. The taste was so unpleasant that I thought it prudent to hold off on chewing until I had a chance to adapt (or at least not throw up). Chewing however, proved to be my undoing. Muktuk's texture is rather like an erasure - squishy yet surprisingly resilient. This tactile sensation sent my gag response into full gear and the muktuk found its way back on my plate, looking just as it had before I chewed it. My supervisor laughed at my reaction for 5 minutes.

I took this photo on my way home from the community feast at around 9:20pm. We'll have twenty-four hours of sunlight by Victoria Day weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

looking in

Another Thursday done. Not too much has been happening at the Learning Centre. Fortunately I still have a few photos from the trip to Jasper. But before those here's a recent inexcusable excuse for missing school:
  • Staying home to do laundry
I really like the simplicity of that one.

This is Maligne Canyon, taken from the 2nd bridge.
There's nothing special about this photo - I just like the way it looks.

I planted this tree when I was in grade 8 (that's 19 years ago). People say it has my chin.

This is the Jasper Visitor Information Centre. People from town call the surrounding green space the 'cabbage patch.' Many people like to stand around there and play hacky sack; I'm not one of them.

This is the 6th bridge of Maligne Canyon. If you start at the top of the Canyon (the first picture) you can follow the Maligne River down and end up here. The nice thing about this area is that falling off the bridge or the nearby rocks won't result in certain death.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Danced in morning

I'm now back in Inuvik after spending a week in Jasper, AB. Though the occasion was a sombre one it was nice to see both my family and the mountains again.


I took this from the kitchen window one morning; it's a fairly common sight. Many years ago my grandfather somehow conditioned a deer to come every day at 5:00pm for something to eat. There's a large fine for feeding wildlife but that didn't stop my grandfather from raiding the fridge for scraps for the deer. My grandmother soon found that bread, fruit and vegetables were disappearing at an alarming rate. Fortunately for my grandfather the deer stopped coming after a week or two.

Whistlers Mountain. You can see the top of skytram just above the clouds. This is probably the easiest way to get to the top of a mountain without actually climbing one.

Old Man Mountain. If you look at it right you can see the nose, chin and headdress of a man laying down.

During the summer the Athabasca River is a raging torrent and it would be impossible to get a reflection of Pyramid Mountain. Even a few hours later the river was flowing faster and the image wasn't as clear.

A real break down

This is perhaps one of the world's best cookies and it's only available in Jasper, AB. I brought a few back with me - maybe I can reverse engineer the recipe. The only change I'd make would be the addition of cinnamon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I do this for a living

It’s been some time since my last post and quite a lot has happened. At the beginning of March I took a trip down to the capital city for an English curriculum conference. What’s a good anagram for ‘boring’? There isn’t one. Fortunately the latter part of the trip was saved by a visit from Capital M. If I was forced to choose one highlight of the brief time we spent together it would be the Snow King’s castle. We were walking to old town Yellowknife and happened upon a mysterious castle made of snow. A woman squirreled into a small snowy room demanded $5.00 to enter the Snow King’s domain. I couldn’t determine if the money was a tribute or a tithe; either way it was worth it.
The castle from afar.

Capital M was conscripted almost immediately after we arrived. Fortunately there were no threats from rival snow castle builders.

Ahh the barracks. There's nothing better than sitting around an icy table on an old stump.
Though not part of the Ice King's admission package, maple syrup on a stick was available for those who wanted to buy some.

Hail to the the king, baby.