Monday, June 27, 2011

Now my hands are red

We all have crosses to bear, some are smaller than others
20 points. Good luck.

Wrestle with Jimmy

There's nothing to find in this one. I just thought I'd point out where people get wood for their wood stoves or tea boiling contests. It's common to see piles of saw dust along beach- evidence of people industriously cutting larger logs into something more easily carried away.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I took a bunch of pictures today and none of them really turned out. I'm sorry this one's a little blurry but it's the best of the bunch. This will certainly make the challenge harder but it's still possible. One last thing - I took this is in the library room of the Learning Centre. I'm calling these shelves the 'new acquisition' section since all of the books on it were recently donated. If you look carefully you'll see 'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen. Sara gave the book to me before she moved to Red Deer. If I'm not mistaken Sara gave up on the book and I can see why. The novel had an extremely hard start (it kind of read a like a catty script from Desperate Housewives) and characters that were difficult to like (I don't think I've ever disliked a non-villain character as much as I disliked Joey Berglund. My dislike of him was so strong that I kept reading the book in hopes of seeing something bad happen to him - nothing awful but fitting for his personality) In the end I'd have to say that I was okay with 'Freedom' - it mostly made up for the things that drove me crazy while I was reading it (even Joey).

One of these things is not like the other
(40 points). Good luck!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Neon ghosts

I have no idea what this is. It looks like something out of the "Toy Story" movies - a weird mix of human imagination and spare parts. I've never seen it in action though I wouldn't be surprised if it transformed into some sort of cool robot. It's probably an autobot - the decepticons usually went for vehicles with a little more panache.

Today's challenge will be a little different. I took this picture at the Aboriginal Day celebrations on Tuesday. Can you guess what contest is taking place in this shot?
Look carefully at the fire and the people. I'll admit that this isn't my finest effort - I'm not running tomorrow so I'll have a chance to take more photos around town. Until then - good luck. (30 points)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

None shall sleep

True or False.

There are mirages in the Arctic.

If you're thinking true - you're right. I've seen this effect 3 times since I've been here . I'll let John MacDonald explain:

A spectacular mirage-like phenomenon known as 'looming' is common in Arctic regions during the late spring and early summer. Caused by the refraction of light through layers of differing temperature, 'looming' is generally seen over open water or sea ice. Typically the phenomenon appears as an inverted, distorted image reflected in the sky a few degrees above the horizon. Such images are usually distant land or floating ice, often situated below the observer's horizon.
Inuit call this phenomenon puikkaqtuq, meaning roughly, to 'pop-up' above the level of the sea. The effect has been used by Inuit boating in the Foxe Basin to make accurate land falls at destinations not otherwise observable from their departure point. And during the open-water season, particularly in relatively ice-free areas of the sea, puikkaqtuq mirages are used to locate drifting pans of ice likely to be associated with walrus. In well-defined mirages even the herds of basking walrus can, to the experienced observer, be made out in the 'looming' ice. (The Arctic Sky, page 185).

Basically when the weather changes from cold to warm, objects that are far away may appear closer or larger than they are. It's pretty neat though I have to admit that I wouldn't have noticed this on my own. Now you know - and knowing is half the battle ( G.I Joe never explained what the other half was comprised of).

There is not wind enough to twirl
That one red leaf, nearest of its clan,
Which dances as often as dance it can
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge (20 points x2)
(I took this at the completion ceremony held at the end of May.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Iqaluit siblings finish Northwest Passage ski trek - North - CBC News

I don't think these two received much, if any, publicity down south. They undertook a remarkable journey that could probably be made into a movie (or written about by Jon Krakauer). Feel free to read about their trip (there's a link to their blog on the CBC webpage).

Iqaluit siblings finish Northwest Passage ski trek - North - CBC News

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Like a ladybug

I just like the way this looked
I totally would have been in that puddle with or without rubber boots (probably without).
Some sort of Arctic flower - whatever it is, it's nice to see signs of life up here. Update - my roommate has informed me that these are lupins. I'll call them lil'lupins.
Fredrick Fleet would feel right at home here
20 points. Good luck!


It's National Aborginal Day tomorrow - a stat holiday for anyone working in the Territories. I believe there will be a town barbecue with traditional foods and, for the less adventurous, more standard fare (the memory of muktuk still haunts me).

Curiouser and Curiouser
30 points. Good luck

Monday, June 20, 2011

I can go twice as high

Here's another, closer view of yesterday's challenge. The clue is: It's a bird, it's a plane...
The point value is still 50. Good luck.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Please don't look away

Yesterday was a special day in Tuk. There are four teachers retiring from the school at the end of the month - two of those teachers have taught up here for 25 years each. I've been here for a few months and it's felt like at least one year. (From what I understand most southerners don't last more than three years.) In celebration of the long and valued careers of the two teachers the school, the hamlet and few other organizations threw a town feast/retirement party. It was a huge fete with steaks, burgers, hotdogs, and cake. I cooked hundreds of burgers, in the rain, over an incredibly smoky fire (my bedroom now smells like a fire pit). My favourite part of the evening was seeing a dog brake free of its chain and come charging over to join the party. There were a few hot dogs that had rolled off the grate so I fed them to the dog.

No snow - no problem. Actually that's a lie, it was a problem for this guy towing a 'boggin full of wood. The would-be snowmobiler had to get off and push his ski-doo, several times, over some bushes that stopped his progress. I tried to secretly take this from my office window.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's....
I think this is probably the toughest one yet so I'm saying it's worth 50 points. Good luck.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A lot to learn

Goldilocks and the ___ Polar Bears (20 points)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Name dropper

Tuk was cut off from the rest of the world for a few hours today. Some work was being done in Whitehorse and a line for NorthWest Tel was severed. I feel far away enough on regular basis but having no phone or internet access really made me a little squirrelly.

I thought I was hard core (I mean I am, but in a different way). If you're able to zoom enough you'll see these guys are just wearing bathing suits. I put my feet in the water today and had to step out about ten seconds later.

Our shiny inn extended

This one is worth 40 points. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Come home

I took some pictures while walking along the beach after work.

It's a pretty rocky beach but it's a beach all the same.

I was thinking I could use this for the 'find the thing' game but there's only water, ice, sky and a bird - all of which are pretty obvious

It wasn't long ago that people were skidooing on the ice/water.

#1 Shooter McGavin could probably use one of these (10 points)
#2 There's a dog in this photo - can you find her? (20 points)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Just as easy as an egg

He perdido mis botas!

Admittedly, someone who lives with a Spanish speaking boyfriend may have an advantage with this one. I'll pump up the point value to 15 - that's right, 15 Katoni Points. Good luck.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


This is a very special day here at Wasiata Industries - for the first time ever there is a real, honest to goodness guest contributor. Capital M, or Marcia as she's known to the world at large, has graciously decided to take up the slack for this (and future?) Sundays. She has skillfully hidden something in the subsequent pictures, can you find it? (10 Katoni Points per picture) Here's a hint - you're looking for something with a trunk.
I'm not only grateful to have some help with this newly developing game but I'm also really happy to see pictures so full of life. I know the rest of the world isn't quite as barren as my immediate surroundings but it's easy to forgot sometimes.
Good luck!

-both photos were taken in Toronto by Marcia

sick as a bat

Sorry this is coming a little later - I was invited to dinner. I took this on my way home (at midnight) because I think it sums up the weather for the past week - overcast, foggy and cold. It has snowed pretty much every day and I even went so far as to put on pants the past two days (you know it's cold then). The persistent fog has made it difficult for planes to land which means that people and supplies can't make it in. One of my roommates was due back today after a three week training session in Yellowknife. Maybe she'll have better luck tomorrow.

The Beaufort Delta is more water than land -this may be an exaggeration but not by much. It was interesting for me when the snow started to melt because I had no idea which bodies of water were permanent and which were just runoff that would soon disappear. I still don't really know the answer because there's water everywhere.

There's something different about this scene. Can you figure out what it is? (10 Katoni Points to whoever gets it). Good luck. I'm taking tomorrow off but I'll back on Monday.

Friday, June 10, 2011

favourite sweater

There are lots of dogs in Tuk. I think this one was as weary of me as I was of him as I approached to take the picture. However, I think we were both feeling a little lonely (he's tied up outside - nowhere near a specific home) and in time we cautiously approached one another. I think he may just be the first friend I've made in Tuk.

This section of the grocery store always me makes me think of M. I threw a package of crayons in the mix - can you find them? (I don't think this one is very tough).

Tired and upset

There should be snow in this picture because it snowed, lightly, for most of the day. I took this just so people could get a better view of the antlers and the dogs.

One day while I was running I heard a horrible screeching sound coming up behind me. I turned around to look and saw a big ol'truck pulling a boat along the gravel road. I am currently nursing an injured foot that's the result of running (at slow pace) on that gravel and I can only imagine that the boat left its hull in small bits and pieces as it was dragged along. There's probably a legitimate reason why the boat wasn't secured to the box of the truck. Probably.

My apologies for the composition of this shot; I was more concerned about making sure my sunglasses were in the photo and it shows. This derelict and roofless shack is situated right along the harbour -it's possible to see the the ice through the adjacent window. I'm sure I've mentioned this before but housing is in short supply in Tuk (like many northern communities). One of my students, a smart and capable fellow, had no interest pursuing further education because he just received a house through the housing association. The chance to get off income support and learn a trade were dwarfed by finally having his own place.
5 points to whoever finds my sunglasses.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


This wasn't taken from my office window but it's the view I see whenever I look outside. One fine afternoon I was treated to a funny act between one of the dogs in the picture and a raven. I'm pretty sure the dog was bored because he seemed to be humouring the bird more than anything. The raven would land just out of reach of the dog's chain and the dog would causally trot to the end of his rope and jump up (in what can only be described as mock indignation) when he couldn't reach the raven. The raven would then fly to a new spot, just out of reach, and the process would repeat. I must not have had any students that day because I think I watched those two for awhile.
Three are three dogs in this picture - can you spot them all (5 Katoni Points to whoever does). An additional 5 points to whoever spots the caribou antlers. Good luck.

Ceiling of Plankton

You know it's bad when even the hamlet maintenance worker has given up on the only hardware store. I've never been in the place, largely because I've had no need to go but also because (like everyone else in town) I never know when the store will be open. The hours are not fixed and tend to fall late at night. Find yourself needing a shovel after a snow storm - you'll just have to wait until 9:00pm or maybe even later. Maybe the store won't open at all - how do you feel about that? That's not something any shoveler wants to consider.
I've heard the store does have a fine assortment of porn for sale. There must be some connection between this and the late night hours. In my mind the hardware store has taken on a very seedy image - the covered windows certainly don't help.
Can you find the chair in the picture? (I think this one is tough). The winner will receive 5 Katoni Points.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The story of who I am

It was -7 this morning. The air was damp from the fog and, as always, it was windy. I have to give the wind its due - it never stops. Admittedly my initial fervor to run despite the weather has been tempered by some extremely fresh breezes. Wait - what kind of scale is this? I'm upgrading that previous sentence to 'near gale' wind forces. Though when I think about it - how do I know that the wind wouldn't have broken branches off trees? Moreover, there are no tiles on the roofs up here (they were probably all blown off before). So, as I was saying, I didn't run during severe gales but I was out there for just about everything else.
Well that was tangential. There are two boats in this picture - can you find them?

Monday, June 06, 2011

My laser's blinking

Here's a glimpse of the space in between the mission house and the next door neighbour (if you look really, really hard you can see a sleeping puppy in front of the dog house). I'm starting to think that it's unlikely I'll see any unfrozen expanses of the Arctic Ocean before I leave. The ice in the harbour is nowhere near disappearing and the cool temperatures aren't doing much to speed things along. I'm going to try and take a picture of Tuk everyday (and post it) before I leave at the end of June.