Wings, New Yorkers, Dogs, and a Jolie

Yeah. There hasn’t been a post here in a while. We’re well aware of that. Truth be told it’s been an unholy combination of not much to report with a dash of not feeling like writing anything. I’m not a traditional blogger by any stretch of the imagination. I’m an angry blogger. My most lucid work comes as a result of mounds of stress. When we were trapped in a studio apartment at the Capitol Suites with no set destination slated at the end of our tenure – I wrote a lot. When we finally locked down a temporary place but had to move all the stuff we had on hand, plus the Wonder Twins and get prepared for the arrival of the rest of our belongings – I wrote a lot. However, as we’ve settled in and are getting quite familiar with our surroundings, the pace up here and getting used to the general mellow vibe of northern living we’ve grown increasingly complacent.

That’s not so much of a bad thing per say. It’s bad for the people who are waiting to hear fascinating updates on here. For that we apologize. It’s far more relaxing than I could have ever anticipated and while I can’t say it’s not stressful up here, it’s just a different type of stress. So different, in fact, that I haven’t had the proverbial chip on my shoulder for quite a while. It’s usually that chip that speaks to me and prompts me to write here or on my own blog. Without him I struggle in justifying what is “post worthy”. Who wants to hear about everyday dribblings from a web designer in the arctic? It sounds like a bad CBC special.

In any case, I’ll fill you in on some tidbits to keep you up to date…

Ian the Weather Man

In such a small township it’s almost impossible for me to fly under the radar like I normally do. Case in point, I was heading to the Post Office a few weeks back during one of our cold snaps. It was about -31c or so without the wind chill. Maybe -40c with. Basically it was eyeball freezing cold. Yes. I said eyeball freezing. If you walk into a steady breeze for a while on a day like that you can literally feel you eyeballs start locking in place. Anyways, as I get to the steps I’m intercepted by the local CBC reporter. I can’t remember her name for the life of me. I was kind of stymied having a camera pointing at me for the first time ever not to mention the fact that I suck at remembering names anyway. She kindly asked me if I’d like to announce the local weather. I stared blankly at her through my perscription sunglasses and sheepishly blurted out “Uhh.. okay. What do I do?”

She told me that all I had to do is say my name, where I was and “Here’s your local weather”.

I was a deer caught in the headlights. I held the mic and stared through the cameraman waiting for his signal. When he gave me the green light I quickly snapped back into reality and rattled out “Hi. I’m Ian Etheridge and I’m here in Iqaluit… and it’s really cold! Here’s your local weather.” With a point of my finger I shot it back to the studio… or at least that was what I was envisioning in my mind. The cameraman snickered and told me it was perfect. They both thanked me for my participation and let me be on my way. I have no idea if I made it on TV or not. I told Suzanne about my afternoon experience and we tried to catch the local news but finding that in Bell’s array of non-sensical programming is near impossible. We tried to catch it online (since they archive all their daily news shows) but alas, we were again thwarted by the Internot. If you’re interested in trying to find me go to the CBC News North website and try checking out their archived local news from January (possibly the 18th but I can’t recall).

The Iqaluit Humane Society

Suzanne and I decided to put our selves out there by volunteering at the shelter. I don’t know if you can quite call it volunteering in the traditional sense since neither of us are doing any kind of animal handling but we are volunteering our services to help them on the communications, advertising and marketing end. Sub-par communications is the greatest adversary of virtually every business and/or government branch up here. It’s even more rampant in organizations that run off  volunteers who do what they do out of the kindness of their hearts. When Suzanne first told me that she’d been in contact with some of the people who run the shelter I was stoked. It’s no secret that I love animals – even more so than people at times – so anything I could do to help I was in for. That comes in the form of re-inventing the shelter’s image and making it more of a prominent visual figure in the community. That’s where my web design skills come in handy. I’m in the process of reconstructing their website and enhancing the way volunteers communicate with one another. It’ll be one tool of many to help put the IHS back on the map. We’re even going to establish a Facebook presence to keep people up to date with local events and fundraisers. Social media and net presence will help the IHS reach the untapped resources of the net community. It’s not an easy task to undertake, especially pro bono. I’ve got pay-projects already on the go so there’s no set time-table for when everything will be completed but we are making headway. The only downside to all of this is that I run on New York time and everyone up here runs on Iqaluit time so things only get done as fast as I’m given information. Nevertheless keep checking back every so often. You never know what you might find.

Wing Night in Iqaluit

Last Wednesday Missy decided to treat Suzanne and I to a time-honored tradition here in Iqaluit – Wednesday Wing night at the Storehouse. I’d heard much about it in the couple of months we’ve been here but haven’t had an opportunity to check it out till now. Wing Night is a raucous event. Not because the wings are so spectacular, but because the prices are so good – even for up here. 10 wings for $5. That’s a deal you can’t even find down south without digging.  Now you match those prices up with the fact that it’s WEDNESDAY Wing Night (meaning Wednesday is the only time you’re gonna get some good priced wings in town) you have the makings of a lineup that rivals that of one to the bathroom at halftime of a hockey playoff game.

Since The Miss is our go-to Queen of All Things Iqaluit she got us there early so we wouldn’t have to be waiting in line for the entire night. While standing there conversing amongst ourselves, I hear a voice faintly ask one of us something. It sounded like Are you from New York?. I looked down at my chest and realized I had on my circa 1950 old school New York Giants sweatshirt so I looked around and saw where the question had come from. A parka clad gentlemen in front of us smiled and asked the question again, to which I replied “Yup… well me at least.”

He quickly retorted with a “Me too”.

Go figure. I find a fellow New Yorker way the hell up here in the arctic. Two New Yorkers walk into a bar in Iqaluit. Sounds like the start of an awful joke, eh? We immediately welcomed him into our group as we marched in with the second wing night wave of people. All of us ended up hanging out by the fireplace, scarfing down wings and trading stories for a few hours. Brad is an awesome dude and I promised him I’d post about the utterly random encounter. What I didn’t tell him was that I was going to shamelessly promote his business as well. He and his wife run a Wedding and Event Photography business called Gold Sky Media LLC. It’s based in New York (obviously) and they do really awesome work. I highly recommend you check out their site and take a gander at some of their work.

It ended up being a really enjoyable night full of surprises and firsts. It’s moments like that you can’t make up and end up talking about for the rest of your life. Not to mention the fact that I got to spend the night with Angelina Jolie.

But that’s another story… ;p

The Jolie even thew up gang signs

 

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The Roof is on Fire!

There IS a tree in Iqaluit!

Sunday ended up being a lazy day for us. We did get some local lurking done thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, but for the most part we didn’t get much further then the boundaries we’ve already been to. We did get a chance to get a peek inside The Source and pick up some batteries for Suzanne’s pump. I’m actually surprised at the selection of wares they have available. Once again I underestimated the resources available here. Unfortunately one unavoidable necessity of life ends up being laundry. We’re limited in what we can wear until the bulk of our clothes arrive with the rest of our stuff so we ended up using the laundry machines here at the Capitol Suites. Sunday has always been D&D day at AC’s for the past few months – meaning Dinner & Dominoes (not the roleplaying game… although at this point I wouldn’t mind that too much either) so it felt kind of vacant as the evening hours rolled around.

We need to corrupt some people as soon as we get a place…

We ended up having a pretty good dinner at The Navigator Inn. I’m loving being in a place where fish is bountiful. Down south if you get something like salmon it’s usually ridiculously expensive. While it may seem idiotic to say that something is “cheap” up here in the land of expensive living, seafood tends to be one of the cheaper items on any menu in town (and in the grocery stores) so I’m a happy camper. Char is the equivalent of salmon up here (I have been properly corrected by our local biologist buddy Missy that char is salmon – just a northern breed) and is plentiful and the shrimp are the size of Mrs. Fields cookies so if you like seafood, you’ll be in heaven. Suzanne had finally succumb to a couple of the local artisans and purchased some rather nice authentic Inuit crafts. It’ll be awesome if we had a place to put them.

Just kidding. She got them as gifts for others. We have a rule. No purchasing stuff for ourselves until we have a place to put it.

After dinner we came back to the hotel to chill. Suzanne is battling a bug that’s trying to creep up on her so taking it easy for the night seemed to be the best course of action. I was happy that my Giants finally won a game so I ended up rounding off my first football watching day in Iqaluit by flipping between the Grey Cup and the Colts/Chargers game. As much as it pains me to say it (being a devout NFL fan and all) the Grey Cup game was far more entertaining than the Sunday Night NFL one. The Walking Dead prevented me from watching most of either game. No they weren’t banging on our windows or anything. Just referring to the TV show. Not that I’m complaining. That show is so engrossing that I, the king of all things football related, doesn’t care about missing games in order to see the new episodes when they debut. Regardless I did catch the end of the Grey Cup game after the show ended. Nice finish. Congrats to the Als for the two-peat.

I guess I kind of gooched myself by saying I wouldn’t be blogging unless I got snowed in or had something remarkable to tell. Suzanne was bad and stayed up late watching crazy Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness. I caught the beginning but passed out shortly after it started. I think she must have conked out at around 1:30am or so. As luck would have it, we celebrated our first week here with a good old fashioned abrupt wake up call at 2:27am. We were awakened by the very piercing sound of the fire alarm going off in the building. As we scrambled about looking for socks and cats, I thought foolishly to myself “This is a rather odd time to be having a fire drill”. Thank goodness Suzanne had more of a head on her shoulders than I did because she quickly got the Terrible Twosome into their carriers. By the time we got out into the hallway, a couple of other weary guests were just starting to appear from their rooms. Everyone looked confused. We smelled no smoke in the hallway and no one was running for their lives so we calmly made our way to the lobby where we encountered some other guests who were sitting around in various stages of dress. The noise from the alarm was deafening so we made our way to the foyer where it was quieter. Someone needed to let the firemen in when they came because they locked the doors after 10pm so it seemed like a good a place as any to wait. The snow was starting to come down and neither of us (or the kitties) were quite equipped to be outside the building at this point in time unless we absolutely had to.

A pair of fire rescue personnel arrived on the scene in a few minutes. One went upstairs to inspect where the source of the alarm was coming from while the other monitored the board next to where we were waiting. After about 10 -15 minutes they declared it safe to go back to our rooms. Apparently someone had discharged one of the fire extinguishers on the 3rd floor. That was all the information we were able to wrangle from them at the time. To be honest I didn’t care that much so long as it was safe. My head was pounding and I’m sure the cats were a bit rattled by the sudden evacuation so I was just happy to get back to our room. That makes me 3 for 4 with fire alarm situations now. This goes all the way back to when we lived on Waterloo campus at St. Paul’s. I had the privilege of dealing with an evacuation there. I later had a repeat performance when we were living on Vanier drive. I don’t think we every really had to evacuate at Courtland but we set off the smoke alarm there numerous times because we had no exhaust ventilation for the stove so basically whenever you cooked something – anything- it’d go off. I guess it’s just fitting that I kept the pattern alive by having yet another evac in our new stomping ground. I must just be a magnet for this craziness.

Anyway after a wonderful two and a half hours of sleep I found myself walking Suzanne to work once again. I decided to skirt the airport on the way back to the hotel so I snapped some photos along the way. The falling snow, a pair of rather ornery looking dogs and a flock of mutant ravens prevented me from lurking too much. Oh well. I’ll get some more photos eventually.

Please note that there were more photos in this post but thank you WordPress, Internet Explorer and the “Andrea theme” for screwing that up completely. If you would like to view any of the images that were linked to this entry please visit the photobucket dumping ground. Any photos I take of Iqaluit (and any neighboring areas) are originally posted there so if you want to stay up to date just keep checking there every so often. Sorry for the inconvenience.