Thursday, January 05, 2006

Minus the redundant

The ever-charming Vicki has made myself and Cathy seem much more heroic than we actually are by living in Iqaluit. Yes, it's cold and yes, there is a distinct lacking of daylight at this time of the year. But really, it can be much colder and darker than this.

Don't believe me? Consider visiting Grise Fiord.

(You know what? I actually do want to visit there someday. If nothing else, I get serious bragging rights with my friends that I have been further north than most of them ever will be.)

Anyway, this is for Vicki, because I think she will appreciate this. We've reached the special level of cold in Iqaluit now. We've reached the cold where residents no longer use the "minus" in front of the temperature. It's just a redundant word. Really, if you're in Cuba, sitting on a beach and someone asks you what's the temperature, the don't say "It's plus-35."

So when I was standing at the NorthMart and overheard someone say, "Yeah, it's 30 today, but it might hit 35 tomorrow" I shouldn't have done a double-take. It wasn't two people talking about some massive tropical high pressure system heroically pushing its way to the Arctic Circle to rescue us; it was two people sparing themselves from having to say the obvious word when they're bundled up in parkas and wind pants.

"Minus-30 with it possibly dipping to Minus-35." That didn't include wind chill, which would have made it closer to 50. -50.


Which, by the way, makes it a really bad time to lose the remote starter to the car. But that's just what we've managed to do. Don't know exactly when or how we managed it, but it's a done deal. So right now we can't hit the remote start and stand in a nice, warm porch waiting for the car to warm up. Nope, now there's trudging out to the car and starting it manually and sitting there waiting for it to warm up.

And you have to warm the car at 35...ooops, I mean -35 otherwise the car screams its displeasure at you.

You know, for years I mocked my mother over remote starters. Everytime she got a new car, the very first thing she did was get a remote starter. I always thought they were a silly, useless gadget. A total waste of money, both in the cost of installing it and how much gas the car burned during warm-up.

Guess I owe my mom an apology. Karmic payback is a bitch sometimes....

Last 5 on iPod
1. Red light - U2 (War)
2. The bagman's gambit - The Decemberists (Picaresque)
3. Sand in my shoes - Dido (Life For Rent)
4. Too many angels - Jackson Browne (Solo Acoustic, Volume 1)
5. If I needed someone - The Beatles (Rubber Soul)


Liam O'Brien said...

I've always wanted to visit the North. Grise Fjord was one possible stop. Tell me Craig, do you ever hear tell of much activity at Eureka or Alert?

Ah I remember reading about the Perry and Greely Expeditions up that way . . . as well as the searches slightly to the south of that for Franklin (McClintok etc...) and Sverdrup's claims . . .

I strikes me as a very beautiful place.

towniebastard said...

I really would like to travel around Nunavut and I hope that through work I get the chance. Because it's very, very expensive to travel. And really, you have to ask yourself, if you get two weeks off and you've been in the cold and the dark for the last 50 weeks, are you going to spend $2000 to fly to Resolute, or go to the Carribean?

If I were a single man, I might think about it. However, I am a married man. That's why we'll be going some place very warm...;)

Anonymous said...

This winter in Edmonton has been a bit freakish - normally this time of year it is in the 30s (minus 30s, of course). But its been hovering about zero, and popping up to plus 7 the first day of January. The only reason there is ice on the ground is because the soil flash froze during a cold week in early October.

Funnily enough, people here don't talk abut it. And certainly not in terms of global warming, this being an oil province.

One funny thing is that all the incumbent Conservative candidates in the province have left for much colder Ontario to help out their brethren. These missionaries feel so secure about votes back home, the party made an interesting strategy choice that means people likely won't even see their Conservative candidate before voting day. Not that they'll mind. The weather is too good here to be talking politics.

regards, cat`