Accounts of living in Yellowknife (a work in progress, this site and my life)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

How about that Party?

Yeah that must have been a special party.... or a special people party. I woke up about 3am to someone swearing and shouting at someone else. So, laying there I soon understood that someone two or three doors down from me was having a party. It also became clear that someone was now playing the role of a conscientious objector to their early morning noise by telling them where to shove their speakers and what they could do with themselves.

So I watched about 15 people leave out the front of the apartment - all carrying 40s of spirits or beers and decidedly native. With the quiet I went back to sleep, the whole affair having taken 20 minutes or so.

At 5:30am i was again awaken by the sound of someone quite firmly telling somone else to do things which will not be repeated here. Screaming went on for 10 minutes and soon quite a chorus of profanity was flowing down the halls of my apartment. Another 15 people left the building shortly after this.... arms full of booze. By this point the novelty had worn off and I was basically just annoyed. Then they stood and drank in the street for 20 minutes.

Today I noted that the door to the front of the apartment was smashed up..... i guess the camera and 'you are on camera' signs no deterrent to stupidity.

But whatever... Maybe I'll have a party before I leave this place and piss everyone off too. You're all invited.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

What about the dogs?

The dogs like to run. The race that I couldnt remember the name of is the Idideron... or something like that. After this run, and the other run, someone qualifies for it. Today I went back to the Carnival for to watch some events. And watch I did. Saw some motocross on the ice and some snowcross on the snow. Saw native handgames and got much snow in my boots. It was a bit colder today so not much meltwater to contend with.

Its actually a pretty cheesy event. But something to do. Tomorrow there is an ugly truck competition. I have high hopes for it. In any event here are some pictures from today.

Air. Note the oldschool bluejays jacket bottom right.

Some air.

Some of the skidoo guys roll in these things.... must be $100 000 worth of crap in this picture - let alone the skidoo costs. Bling.

Some motocross... they have studs on their tires so they can grip the ice... if you were wondering.

The handgames... drumming and im not sure what else.... basically a competition between all of the tribes in the area i think.

Cool machines - this trail groomer was doing the courese for the snowcross.

1.5 litre engine... this skidoo looks a lot like a smart car and is probably as big and expensive.

The start of the 50mile dog race

These dogs love to run.

Dogsled trucks and kids swordfighing with sticks.

A couple of the japanese tourists checkin out the sleds.

Dogs in a truck.

Why not work?

Because City employees get the afternoon off to go to the Carnival - or the bar... or both even. I did both. Unfortunately the Carnival was pretty boring when I went. So, I will be going again in the hopes of seeing something more than melting snow and milling crowds.

Its also incredibly warm - above zero kind of warm. I wearing shorts and a tshirt (no.. not really). It is usually -35C or something equally as ridiculous at this time of year. So when they drilled holes to put the power poles through the ice the holes never froze and the ice flooded. Me, I think this is one of those things that a healthy does of foresight could have prevented. So they moved the carnival grounds. I guess it would make more sense if I explained that the carnival grounds are on a lake. There's your context.

So today I hope to see some dog races. Its a mass start for a 50K race and there are three heats - one each day starting yesterday. The overall winner goes to some big race in the Yukon or Alaska. I'd like to say its the klondike race... but that's an icecream bar so I'm probably wrong. Figure it out for yourself - its breakfast time.

Pictures later methinks.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

How much of nothing can one person do?

A lot. After gorging on Guiness for St Pat's... saturday turned into sunday with out much ado.

Went for a liquid dinner at the black night on friday directly from work and stuck around untill sometime after 12. A rather tame night, the highlight being the pipe and drum band that unexpectedly turned out to be that nights st pats entertainment in the downstairs of the bar. They just walked in - bagpipes and all - and began belting it out. Knocking people on the head with the pipes and bashing stuff with the drum mallets.... pissed the wait staff off royally. Only truly sour note of the eveing were the beer prices.... its about 8.50$ a pint!! Outrageous... now you can see why i cant save any money - stupid beer.

I have decided that screaming tantruming kids and their thunderous footsteps are the worst sort of sunday morning alarm clock. Occuring with alarming regularity directly above my bedroom toddlers take out their anger at the world and mainly their parents during the early hours of the morning - meaning that I will be moving to a better apartment at some point. One not built with lumber but with cement - the most effective of noise insulators. You'd think 1000$ a month would rent you some silence.

So today is sunday and i have accomplished so much of the little i set out to do this weekend - fait accompli. I imagine I ll go to the gym today and its nice enough out that I will have to do something outdoorsy.... warmer here than in ottawa i think.

So maybe ill post some pictures later. For now, heres a map of canada Now those of you who are spatially challenged can appreciate how in the middle of nowhere i truly am and heres a link to some yellowknife maps:

One final note: the development officer at the city resigned the other day. So any planner wishing to work up here contact me and well get you set up. It is a pretty good job and pays well.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

King of the Castle or King of the Hill?

How about both? Today began very sloooowww and I wasn't planning on doing a damn thing. That all changed when I got a call from a coworker greg who was interested in seeing some sites and slogging through some snow.

We went to see the snow castle on Big Back bay near the Old Town that some artist constructs each year. That was cool. Then we drove out the ingraham trail and went slogging through waist deep snow to climb some hills and look around. The forest around here is so sparse with no real undergrowth that the hiking should be absolutely amazing (save for the bugs which will be anything but) if the snow ever dissapears.

So what follow are some castle and hill pictures. But first, here's a freaky bird. I'm off to do nothing now.

This bird was outside my window this morning. Looks like the offspring of a pigeon and seagull. First person to i.d. it gets a prize.

Some of the ice we drove on to get to the ice castle and that hill is the pilots monument. Nothin like driving on ice... you can make your own street anywhere.

This is the houseboat of the artist who builds this castle annually. Different way to live. Lots of these boats around here.

Castle goodness.

Snow wall - the best kind. Keeps the yeti out.

This would be a snow castle. I think theres some concert here next week. Costs 5$ to go inside. Screw that.

Must be some sort of egyptian castle. Crazy humanoid cat figurines.

Snow wall - circled half the castle

Chunk of ice... and what appears to be my finger making a guest appearance in the top right corner.

Snow-igloo.. is there any other kind?

The place where we parked before goin on tour had a garbage. On the ground was a porno mag and empty case of beer (not that i checked or anything).

Meet Greg's frontside. Hes a coworker. The snow is actually that deep or deeper in spots.

That is pretty much a road.

Climbed to the top of a random hill and found a ratty ass hammock swinging in a tree. Wasnt very functional unfortunately.

All sorts of footprints. Jackrabbit I believe. I'd like to make a joke using "jackass" here, but cant think of one.

Meet Greg's backside. Greg started in the geomatics department at the city (actaully he is the geomatics department i guess) a month after i started.

Some view.

Greg going uphill.

Rocks, Trees, Water, Snow.

Top of a hill looking at a lake. Not a footprint or sign of civilization to be seen in this direction.

These houses are where the Giant Mine workers were housed starting in the 1940s. Mosr of the buildings are the original ones... the mine is closed and no one lives here anymore, but the city is looking at what to do with this land given its historical value.

Sailboats are going nowhere for a while.

Stopped at the sailing club to look at the boats. You have to have some extra cash to pay to use these things only 4 months of a year.

King of the hill at the top of the world (close to it anyway).

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What are bar-scapades?

Bar-scapades are similar to icecapades except replace skates with beer, rinks with pubs, and frilly costumes with some serious goin' out gear.

I went out on friday and am only now beginning to feel better. What began as an innocent beer after work with some colleagues at place called the black night descended through various levels of sanity until the evening was held together only by a recollection of how to get home and which key opens which door. I met the guys who work at the city garage - theyre all nuts. Someone kept buying me shots but the waitress wouldnt tell me who it was. I had 5 nacho chips for dinner and enough beer to fill a wading pool.

It turned out that one of the guys at work speaks japanese. So by way of a round of sambucca he was introduced to some japanese guys sitting at the bar and turned out they were here testdriving toyota vehicles in the cold on the iceroads. We took them out to a couple other places. By the end of the evening our communication had descended into hand gestures - my japanese never was that good.

So YK pictures this weekend will depend largely on how ambitious I get tomorrow. Youll just have to wait and see.

To sate your thirst for visuals, I have included the following. I received these from Paul, one of my former Waterloo roomates - the other guys, save for teehan, were a mainstay of my university years. We basically roomed in Unit 62 for 3 years or so - factually legendary.

And speaking of real life legends, do you remember the Great Wall of China? It was built to keep the barbarian hordes from feasting on the riches of china. A worthy reason. An equally worthy reason to build a big wall is stopping people from crossing the lawn of unit 62 on the way to somewhere else.

Throughout our tenure in the townhouse people constantly cut across the lawn on their way to somewhere else. Finally, with the right winter conditions and time to kill... the following monstrosity was constructed. This wall made up for all the cutting across our lawn and trampling our grass (when we werent burning it). Sadly, I was not there to participate.

As Teehan is discovering, every great wall must begin somewhere.

The can-can on the wall-wall. Reach for the sky (nice jogging pants karn).

This would be an action shot, but no one is doing anything.

Where's that wall going? Nowhere. Teehan and his toque have got it held. Nice one.

If youre a loser and you know it, make a face - nice one mike. I dont have to pick on karn, he already knows.

No one is walking through here anytime soon.

Cold and wet Mike - everyones favorite kind.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Who's full of the what now?

Today I had a staring contest with my computer at about 2:30pm. It won. But that was before I reset it repeatedly for having 'runtime' errors -at least one of us got some exercise. So I gave up on that and started working on some report im supposed to be working on which led to the following observation:

The degree that I got from UWaterloo is fundamantally a B.E.S in planning. However, sometimes I'm pretty sure they should just save their ink and get rid of the 'E'. I may have to start issuing rubber boots for people coming near my office. Funny part is that it sure makes the lawn green. And, thats good right?

Just a general comment about some of the aspects of the planning profession, but not all. Thats all.

This picture sums up nicely.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Was that a poor 25$ investment?

So, haircuts are 25$ for a bad one at a cheap barber's. I'm not sure how much good ones cost, but maybe the bowl they put on your head is a clean one. Take a litte off translates to shave me bald in northspeak. Now the wind is even colder.

I'm going to have to start finding a wider variety of things to do while im here or I run the risk of becoming bored. As fun as walks are, they aren't much. So for today's attempt at time killing I went on a walk down the southern portion of the city and out towards one of the two decommissioned mines. Here are some pictures - enjoy (that's an order).

Yes, we have powerlines. Just in case you were wondering and too shy to ask.

This is the utilodor that goes to the minesite (the box looking thing). Basically an above ground fix for services - sewer/water/electricity. Not used anymore.

Not going very far.

These are the fuel storage tanks for Shell up here. Thats a lot of gas.

Some guy lives in that trailer. Collects old machinery it looks like - fun.

Some of the Con Mine buildings.