What I Miss About the South (& A Few Things I Don’t)

Unless you’ve been under a rock, or maybe just don’t read this blog regularly, you’ll know that Ian and I have won a round trip ticket for two on First Air from Iqaluit to Ottawa.  So we’re coming down for a vacation in August to visit all our friends and family in Ontario.  It’s made me start to think a lot about the things I want to do when I get there.

It’s also made me really start to consider what exactly I’ve missed since we’ve moved up here.  Obviously I miss my family and friends, so none of you are on the list.  😉  But you’re always thought of, so don’t feel left out.  But I thought I’d give it a go, and see how matched up to other bloggers from the North I am in regards to what they miss about where they came from.

What I Miss

1)     Cheap anything – The cost of living in Iqaluit takes some getting used to.  Despite the fact that I already know a couple of small bags of groceries is going to cost me around $50, and I likely need to save half a week’s pay cheque if I need to buy toilet paper and laundry detergent, I will still never get over the fact that I remember how much things used to cost when I lived in the south.

2)     Trees – Another obvious one perhaps?  But, I don’t miss them as much as I thought I would.  Iqaluit has its own brand of beauty, even in the winter when everything is covered in ice and snow.  Still, it will be nice to see a thick stand of trees when we visit Ontario.

3)     Southern Internet – I don’t even have a problem with the speeds…honest!  Yes, it can be annoying to have to wait for uploads and downloads, but what’s more frustrating are the horrible caps in place and the outrageous pricing.  We pay more money a month for 10 GBs of data than I’d like to admit, and there aren’t many options available.

4)     Choice – Don’t get me wrong!  There’s a lot of choice up here, you just need to know where to look.  But it’s limited.  Let’s just say that when we visit Walmart…or Zehrs…or anywhere down south, we’re probably going to have a brain malfunction with all the stuff we have to choose from.  Restaurants too!  I mean, really, all I want more than anything in the world right now is Mr. Sub!

5)     Public Transit – I never thought I’d miss the bus…especially after my experiences in Kitchener.  But I do.  Sometimes it’d be nice to have the option to get across town in bad weather without having to pay $6 per cab ride.  But at least there are cabs.

6)     Recycling – We came to Iqaluit just as the recycling test project was coming to an end, so now we have to either throw all of our recyclable goods out, or stockpile some of them and carry them down with us by plane to dispose of when we get south.

7)     Darkness in the summer – Oh my lord, if I don’t get some normal sleep soon, I’m going to go completely bonkers.

What I Don’t Miss

1)     Traffic – I can’t tell you all how much I hated having to drive the 401 every day.  That highway is a nightmare.  And Kitchener Waterloo traffic at rush hour is no picnic either.  Up here, rush hour is literally about ten minutes, and it’s due to the four-way stop at Four Corners.  I can handle everything about traffic in this city.  Well, maybe not construction delays.  😉  But even they’re not so bad.

2)     Isolation – I’m living in one of the more isolated cities in Canada, but I’ve never felt more connected.  This city is incredible for bringing a person out of their shell.  Between work, volunteering and just getting out there, we’ve made a huge number of friends and acquaintances.  It’s just something that doesn’t happen so naturally down south.  You really need to work at becoming someone’s friend in the south…whereas here, it just happens.  It’s a great feeling running into everyone you know at Ventures or Northmart.

3)     The heat – I HATE southern Ontario heat.  The humidity is probably going to destroy me during our vacation.  Don’t be surprised if you see me sweating into a pile of my own goo over the course of the visit.  I’ve been getting very accustomed to the temperatures up here, and I start getting very warm even around 15 °C.

4)     The pace – Things are very laid back up here.  Life isn’t all about “go go go”.  It’s important to not only stop to smell the roses (or perhaps saxifrage), but to really smell them.  Things get done…usually on what’s known as “northern time”, but they do get done.  There’s a lot of really good productive people up here, but the pace of life is relaxed.  It’s wonderful to live in a place where people don’t expect miracles, but just reasonable responses.

5)     Blackberries.  Yeah, that’s all.

Hope to see you all in August!  🙂

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Techincal Difficulties – Not a Nunavut Post – BEWARE (resolved)

EDIT: Update – The issue with this theme not showing images in tables properly has been resolved by the theme creator (with the help of WP support)  due to my steadfast persistence in badgering the powers that be. This post will eventually be removed or archived to avoid confusion.

Warning – If you’re here expecting a post that’s about a wonderful story or photography centering around the Iqaluit experience, this is not a read for you. This is a pseudo-rant / demonstration about the technical difficulties revolving around a  previous post of mine, this WordPress theme and the notorious Internet exploiter (aka Internet Explorer).

It was brought to my attention the other day that the post I made – The Roof is on Fire! – had some issues with the images that were being displayed or more rather, weren’t being displayed. I rarely use the storage space allotted here for images. I typically upload my images to Photobucket.com and link them to my posts. I’ve never encountered issues doing that here in the past until now. It seems to be that there is a perfect storm of events preventing certain coding tricks I use on here to not work in this particular blog. The first element of this freak event is Internet Explorer.

As a web designer I hate Internet Explorer. It’s the bane of my existence. It’s garbage and has it’s own set of rules and restrictions regarding how web elements are displayed. Most other browsers (such as Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and even Safari) follow along a similar programming model that displays everything the same way using web standard coding. IE uses Microcrap programming that forces you to employ exemptions exclusively for it. Bitching aside, the short of it is I use Firefox more often than not to not only post here but design as well. When I first posted the article, all of the images showed up properly in the editing module as well as the preview in Firefox. I use HTML tables to display my picture elements because they’re easy to manipulate here with some CSS and keeps everything nice and tidy. WordPress’ gallery option isn’t very customizable so I use this method in my personal blog often.

Here comes test #1. I checked my Mental Wasteland page in both Internet Explorer 8 and the latest version of Firefox. The images I have displayed there are in CSS manipulated tables. The pictures of my artwork are hosted on WordPress servers. The two pictures of the sink faucets way at the bottom I just added today and are linked from Photobucket and are in a table as well. Everything shows up fine in both browsers (for me at least).

Below are the exact same two picture of the faucet in the same table model I used over there. I only copy & pasted coding folks. no additional tweaking:

If you can’t see the table with the images above that’s probably because you’re using IE. I was logged into WordPress in both Internet Explorer & Firefox while writing this just so I could preview changes in both browsers. While Firefox displays the table with the images just fine, surprise surprise, Internet Explorer didn’t. Now I could be totally wrong about all of this which is why I would appreciate it very much if people would chime in with their visual experiences to all of this. My professional conclusion is that there’s something buggy about the theme we’re using here. It’s called “Andrea” by Lucian E. Marin. The theme used on my blog is Modularity Lite by Thad Allender. Considering both blogs are using the same exact piece of coding it leads me to believe it’s something to do with the CSS styling written for this particular theme. Like I said though I could be wrong.

Anyways let me know what you come up with so I know whether I have a legitimate complaint to bring forward or not. I prefer to exhaust all of my avenues of testing before I get to complaining. My reason for posting this here and not in my own blog is because my dang images work there. I just feel bad that people who were expecting images in this blog couldn’t see them properly because they choose to roll with an inferior browser so my apologies. The sooner I get this sorted out the quicker I can find a workaround for all you Explorer users out there… that or we’ll be ditching this theme.

Thanks.

PS…the spelling error in the title is intentional.