Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fate don't fail me now

I can't think of a better time to upload pictures to blogger (which takes forever) then when listening to the new Metric album.  Here's a quick trip down the past couple of months in Tuk.

I took this tonight on my way home from dinner with a catholic Sister.  This is first sign of Spring that I've seen and after the brutally cold weather (that's ongoing) it's a welcome sight. 

 I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation as to why this jacket and boots were placed on these tires (which aren't close to any particular home) but I can't think of what it would be.

Another inviting beach picture :)  I took this today.  There's still a lot of ice out there (which the wind delights in blowing around).  In fact, there's still enough ice that some daredevils are still using it to travel to hunting camps.  I wouldn't want to walk on it, let alone drive a skidoo on it, but hey, that's just me.

A few of my students at the end of the year completion ceremony.  I don't know who's happier for the break - me or them (collectively)?  No, I do know.  If we were to bottle all of their happiness it wouldn't match a teaspoon of my happiness extract.
 This dog needs a home.  I'd really like to adopt her.  She's almost like a therapy puppy - if my day is stressful I can go out on the steps at work and call her over and everything seems a little better.

This was probably my all-time favourite Tuk experience.  My students and I went on a little excursion to the community ice house towards the end of May.  In the times before people had regular access to refrigerators they would store their perishable goods (caribou, whale, fish, etc.) in a storage area dug deep down into the permafrost.  Some people still use it now; it smelled heavily of muktuk when we went down.

People with a fear of heights or icy ladders will probably have to sit this one out (but I'd recommend fighting the fear).  I could feel the temperature drop the further down I went.  The walls were lined with rime and under that was a slick icy sheen that covered the layers of dirt and ice.

People with a fear of small closed in spaces amy also be reluctant to go down.  There was no light save for our flashlight and the flash of my camera. 

A close up shot of the rime - life really is beautiful.

I've had enough time to listen to the whole metric album (more than once).  I definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Won't let me go

Small steps.

Now that the weather is a bit more humane I've been able to go running without fear of losing appendages, limbs or life.  On my most recent runs I've had the pleasure of being accompanied by my neighbour's dog.  I'm not positive but I think her name is Bow Wow (though she shows no recognition to the name).  After the run I let her in (or rather she let herself in) for some peanut butter on crackers.  I've since bought some dog biscuits but she's now chained up and unlikely to be joining me on my runs.  It's actually a good thing that she's tied up but I'll miss her company all the same.

This is just a shot of the ice road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk.  I managed to get a ride when I came back up north from a week in Halifax for M's sister's wedding.  This was my third time on the ice road and the novelty still hasn't worn off.  It may look kind of bleak but there's a distinct beauty in the serenity of the land.  Plus, there's something about it that inspires feelings of being an intrepid explorer. I think even Robert Peary would find the drive exciting, and not just because he'd be in a vehicle that hadn't been invented when he was alive.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Space rock

It was the week of blizzards up in the land of ice and snow.  Fortunately the hamlet never lost power or phone/internet so it was a pretty ideal situation for a snow day (or two).

I do love the sunsets up here.  It's possible to see two pingos in the distance.

 This is actually a giant snow drift.

The wind is pretty serious about making snow drifts.  Some places barely have any snow, usually places that don't require snow removal.

 Snow bike

 Can you find a boat in this picture?

A local resident building an igloo (possibly for an igloo building contest).   

Nothing remarkable - I just like the shot.

I took this during the more easy-going 2nd blizzard of of the week. 

I had to bring a shovel and dig my way to work after the 1st blizzard.

These guys had to dig more.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow day

I put together a little video of the recent blizzard in Tuk.  The photo quality always gets degraded in iPhoto but it still gives a good glimpse of the storm (that's still going).
*Double click the video to see it full-screen mode otherwise parts of the images are cut off.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Everything at once

Fortunately I was in far better shape on Jan 01, 2012 than on the same day one year ago.  The previous night did not see me breaking my glasses (which I'm still mad at myself for) and at no point did I roll around on the floor like some sort of drunken larva.  Consequently I'd say that this year is off to a better start.  This is not to say that 2011 was a bad year- far from it.  And so, without further adieu, I present to you the best (and worst) of 2011.

Best movie:
Another Earth - Just as the title implies another earth appears not far from our own.
Runner Up:
Blue Valentine- A pitch perfect story about a couple's crumbling marriage.

Best non-movie that did not come out in 2011: 
Dr. Horrible's Evil Sing-Along:  Thank you netflix!  It's a musical about an aspiring evil super villain (Neil Patrick Harris), his nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) and shared loved interest Penny (the always watchable Felicia Day).  It reminded me of Soon I will be Invincible by Austin Grossman but with songs and more emotion.

Best book:
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma: This novel is a combination of historical fiction and science fiction though with less emphasis on the latter.  The protagonist of the story is none another than H.G Wells (author of The Time Machine) and, I'm going out on a limb, by saying the omniscient narrator is Time itself.  I can't say much more about the book because it would be easy to spoil something and that would be streets behind.

Best TV show:
Breaking Bad: Season 1 -An overqualified high school chemistry teacher gets diagnosed with cancer and decides to start making crystal meth in order to make enough money to leave something behind for his family.    Season 4 - A loathsome meth producer will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  Okay so clearly I'm not suited to write promos for tv shows and I'm really oversimplifying things but watching the moral descent of Walter White (aka Heisenberg) has been some of the most riveting TV I've ever experienced.

Best music:
Purr by Dance Hall Crashers - Is it 1999 you ask?  No, but that's the awesome power of DHC.

Best more recent music that I haven't been listening to for the past 11 years:
Cape Dory by Tennis - It was Capital M who came across this husband wife duo.  It's mellow but surfy and entirely reflective of a year spent sailing (or so I would imagine).  Check out the album's title track if interested.
In Light by Givers - Maybe there's something about living up north that makes me want stuff that sounds like summer. The Givers are from Louisiana and it's hard not feel a little bit warm and dancey (or a lot) when listening to their stuff.  I'd recommend starting off with "Ceiling of Plankton."

Worst Christmas CD (maybe ever): 
A Very She & Him Christmas by She & Him:  Tinny, hollow and totally devoid of any Christmas cheer.  Definitely not recommended for men or woman living far away from their loved ones.

Best use for a hair dryer that doesn't involve hair:  
#1 Some days I don't have hot water.  The exceedingly cold weather freezes the hot water pipe and I'm left with a state of matter that comes close to being a Bose-Einstein condensate.  The solution is take a hair dryer, put it on Max Power, and point it at two holes drilled strategically behind the toilet.  Give it ten minutes and, voila, the hot water is back.  
#2 Due to lack of student interest I took it upon myself to cook the turkey for our Christmas party. I've made turkeys before so I knew what I was getting into.  However,  I was not expecting the turkey to be almost completely frozen six hours before it was due to be served.  Out came the hair dryer to the rescue.  I had to leave the dryer in a place I'd rather not mention while I went back to the school to teach an afternoon class.  By the time I came back the turkey was thawed enough to at least take out the neck and giblets.  The important part of this story is that no one (that I'm aware of) got food poisoning from the meal that was served an hour and half later than intended.

Best Christmas present (for running up north):

The Extreme Run Jacket from the Running Room.  It doesn't stop the locals from laughing at me as I plod past them but it certainly keeps me warm.  'Nuff said.

Best pre-wedding moment:

#1 It wasn't that M and I hadn't thought long and hard about what song we would use for her walk down the aisle but it wasn't until a day before the wedding that we finally committed.  We were driving in our rental car heading towards the wedding site while, somewhat desperately, shuffling through the music on my (awesome) laptop.  We settled on something from Amelie's soundtrack that ended up working really well for the big moment.  Thank you Pressure for helping two indecisive people make a decision.
(Photo taken by S. Curry) - I think the scenery also helped

#2 Seeing one of my oldest and closest friends.  Time and distance have severely limited the the contact we've had but whenever we get together it's as if we just saw each other the day before.

Best moment of 2011:

Honourable mention:
Jeff and Danielle's wedding in The Bahamas.  The weather was perfect, the people were great and the dancing - well, you can judge for yourself:

(I love this photo of M)

Thanks as always to everyone who puts up with my intermittent posts.  I wish us all a wonderful 2012.

Ps - I've added three pop culture references to this post.  Can you find them?  Good luck.