Monday, April 30, 2007

Tickets acquired

Occasionally I can be a clever bugger. I have managed to procure tickets for the White Stripes show in Iqaluit even though they have not gone on sale yet.

How did I manage this neat little trick? By remembering something that bands tend to do when they go on tour. That being before tickets go on sale to the general public many bands make a limited number of them available to their fan club. So once I heard the rumours about the band coming here I joined the White Stripes fan club online and checked in occasionally to see if there were any tickets on sale.

As of last night, the only tickets up for grabs were for shows in Alberta and Manitoba. They were going on sale today. During my morning break I figured I'd take a quick pop over to the site to see if they had added Iqaluit. They had not only added the city, but the tickets were on sale now.

Some quick punching in of information and I have now purchased two tickets to see the show. I could have bought up to four, but honestly, I hadn't heard of anyone who wanted them. And while I suspect they're going to vanish pretty fast, I really can't be bothered to buy tickets to try and scalp them later. It's not like I'm hard up for the money. Oh, and for those in town wanting to go, they still have tickets for sale as of now, but I don't know how much longer that will last. I imagine there are very limited numbers.

The tickets cost about $40 US each (I have no idea why I was charged in US rather than Canadian funds) and that includes service charge. I'm guessing that works out to about $90 Canadian for a pair of tickets for a world class band in truly one of the more odd settings you would ever see a band. And apparently cheaper than you might elsewhere, like say Toronto.

It's funny, I was commenting today to a co-worker that this must be one of the biggest musical acts to play Iqaluit (not actually visit, as Madonna and Springsteen have made refueling stops on their way elsewhere). My co-worker, who has spent her whole life in Iqaluit, corrected me. Apparently there's been no big acts in recent years, but for a while in the 60s, 70s and 80s some big names did play here.

Such as? Well, she cited April Wine, which made me laugh, but she insists it was during their prime so it was a big deal. Okay, fine. She mentioned Gordon Lightfoot played here in the late 60s, and I'll give some credit to that. And, bizarrely enough, The Eagles have apparently played Iqaluit.

You know, I think The Eagles trump the White Stripes in this case. Given the various drug and alcohol habits of the band members, I wonder if they even knew where they were...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Stuck in neutral

So I'm fighting through a wee tough of the ole writer's block right now, as is evident by the fact that I'm doing a terrible Irish accent in a blog post. There's nothing much happening up here right now that I haven't already talked about previously. It's getting warming, the daylight is becoming longer and stuff is starting to melt all over the place.

And I know there was a budget back in Newfoundland, but I find myself oddly ambivalent about it. Nobody seems particularly upset about it, which is pretty much what a pre-election budget is supposed to do. Offer a little something to everybody. The only people who are pissed off are the Opposition, who really have nothing to roast Williams on.

And all is quiet in the private life. Nice, lovely weekend. Walked the dog, played some Wii, did some reading. Terrible sedate stuff. No drama, nothing to write about.

Which, don't get me wrong, is just fine with me. I'd sooner it be all quiet and happy in the homestead and have a touch of writer's block, than drama and something to write about.

Actually, now that I have a bit of the writer's block, I felt oddly compelled to go back and take a bit of a look at the werewolf novel that I started writing last November as part of the novel challenge. I promised myself that I would go back, fix it up and finish it. I don't know what I was hoping to do then...probably throw it off to a few publishers.

But it really is terrible. Several writers recommend going back and editing only after you have several months go by so you can get a fresh perspective. My new perspective is that I need to be shot in the head as it might improve my writing.

I don't know. It's not a bad idea, the werewolf in the arctic angle. It's just the rest is quite...stupid. And I'm not entirely certain how to make it work. Somewhere in storage is a copy of Stephen King's "On Writing". I really want to read that now, because I have the feeling it could help. I might just go and buy another copy when I get home this summer, if things still remain desperate.

I also have a new idea rattling around in my brain that I'm not quite certain what to do with. I have the idea (a time travel story) and the kind of world this story would be in. Which is all well and good, but I have absolutely no idea what characters to place in this world, or what their story would be yet. I've had the idea for a couple of weeks and still nothing has come to me.


I like writing, I really do. But there are times like this, when it feels like I have cotton wool in my brain, that I really wish I was illiterate.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

God bless Jack and Meg

1. Official word came down today (and Bonnie mentioned it in a previous blog post) that the White Stripes will be playing in Iqaluit on June 27 at the Arctic Winter Games Complex. Also known as the building slowly descending into the tundra because they built it in the wrong spot.

So yes, not a hoax, not a dream, not some kind of sick joke by Jack and Meg, the White Stripes are actually going to play here. I found their release interesting, actually, in that they committed to playing in provinces, territories and states they've never played before. It's a pity more bands don't make that same kind of commitment. Not that I expect many would come here. You can't get bands to go to Newfoundland because they complain about the cost. I can only imagine the cost the band is going to experience playing here.

Still, how cool is that? And the fact that the tickets might only be $40 is astounding. I can barely buy a loaf of bread and a 2L of milk for $40. I would have bet money on them being more than $100 each. They should be going on sale perhaps as early as next week. They say about 500 tickets are going up for sale and despite the mocking I read on some site about how nobody other than polar bears would be going, the tickets are going to disappear fast. There's still 7,000 people in Iqaluit and they aren't all going to fit in that stadium...

2. With the good news comes the less than good news. Got a notice today informing me of a rent increase. And I had just been thinking the other day that I hadn't heard anything. Bollocks. Anyway, the rent is going up $105 to about $930 a month. For those thinking about coming here and gagging a bit on that price, keep in mind two other factors. A. We live in a very small apartment. B. Our rent is subsidized. Well, it is until 2010, when the government ends subsidizes for employees in Iqaluit.

Still, it's cheaper than the place we had in the 6-story. Oh yeah, also cleaner and quieter. We're not complaining...much. It's still an extra $100 a month. Let's not pretend that doesn't hurt.

And no, we're still not thinking about buying a house. I still can't get my mind around $350,000 for a home where we wouldn't own the land. Sorry.

3. I've always admired Roger Ebert tremendously. This only makes me admire him more. Obviously he's not about to get back on television any time soon. I'll be astonished if he's back this year. But I do hope he gets enough strength back to start writing again on a regular basis. I miss it.

4, This story has been making the rounds. It's also been discussed on a couple of blogs. I've commented on one of the blogs already, but I'll just reiterate the point here. I really do feel sorry for them. They were put into a stressful, unexpected situation where they felt threatened. I know I would have been freaked out. I don't know if I would have handled things much better than they did. And I admire their courage in coming forward and talking about what happened to them and warning others to be careful.

However, the first thing I thought of when I heard this story (and it was making the rounds before the media reported it) was "Why didn't they contact their embassy?" Yes, there was a lot happening and a lot of pressure. But by god I would make sure in some way, shape, form or manner, I was getting to speak to someone from my embassy. Or someone was going to call the embassy for me.

Maybe they did try although the resort manager is denying it (and saying other unpleasant things), I don't know. However, it does serve as a nice reminder for both myself and Cathy. We plan on doing a considerable amount of traveling over the next three years or so. Note to selves – make sure we have the number for the local embassy or consulate when traveling in case there is trouble.

230 barrier

It occurs to me that I haven't posed my most recent weight on the blog since before I went to Ottawa. I'm not sure anyone cares (I'm not sure anyone is still reading the blog. Between the trip and Blogrolling's latest technical difficulties, I'm down about a third in my traffic), but I said I would keep doing it.

So as of this morning I'm 230.6 pounds. It's a Weight Watcher's scale. I've never really understood the whole need to get into decimal points with your weight, but I guess for the true obsessive, it's a nice bonus.

I've been having a hard time cracking 230. I suspect it's partially that I'm still eating too much crap. Ottawa didn't help, what with two trips to Wendys, an Indian buffet and actually feeling nauseous one day because I had ate so much. But I've tried to reduce portions since returning home, so we'll see how that goes. And I'm back in the swing with the gym and just renewed my membership for six months. If nothing else, that's helping. I do feel better and seem to have a bit more energy.

It's funny, but friends on Facebook have been throwing up lots of pictures of our wedding. And one of the things that strikes me is that I look quite...portly in the photos. Nothing can be done about that now. However, I do have a friend who is getting married the summer. So I shall have to try to look more svelte for the inevitable barrage of pictures to come.

Hmmmm, some anonymous person said after a recent blog post that myself and other bloggers tend to write like 14 year old girls. I fear there is nothing in this post that's going to dissuade him of that notion.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

28 days later

I did some rough calculating and figured out how much vacation time I get in the next 12 months. In the words of the philosopher – Whoa.

Understand, I'm used to really crappy amounts of vacation. I fell just shy (one month) of spending seven years with Robinson-Blackmore/Optipress/Transcontinental. If I had made it, I would have gotten an extra week of vacation, bringing me up to three weeks. Granted, I normally did get more than that. Traditionally I worked all stat holidays and rolled them into one week or so of extra vacation time. Plus I could take some time off in lieu of overtime. So in the run of a year, I would probably get a little more than four weeks vacation time. But really, it was two weeks.

Unless I have my numbers wrong, and I'm told I don't, I should get a little more than five weeks off this year. That doesn't include stat holidays or any time off in lieu of overtime. Five...whole...weeks. Or about 28 days.

I'm almost giddy. Granted, it's not the 11 weeks or so that my lovely wife gets off, but that's being a teacher for you. I've learned to build that bridge and move on.

But, seriously, five weeks. I'm honestly not sure I can use it all in the next year. I'll be heading home in August, that will take care of 10 days. We're looking at going on a Panama Canal cruise over Christmas (Cathy will be celebrating a milestone birthday, so why not do it in the middle of the Panama Canal) and that will likely kill another 10 days of vacation time.

That still leaves about eight or nine days left. It's luxury, I tell you, luxury!

I'll probably not use that time, roll it into the next year, when we're looking at a month in Italy. I'm also thinking of perhaps a week in New York in April, but Cathy is not enthralled with the idea (there's a major comic convention I'd like to attend, a Yankee's game, perhaps catch a Broadway show like Spamalot or Avenue Q). But we shall see. I have time to play with.

Occasionally, I get people ask me if I regret leaving Newfoundland and moving here, where it's cold, isolated and lacks some of the amenities that you might find elsewhere. To which I can respond that I get a salary of which the mere hint of it makes former colleagues weep, that I get a wonderful experience in one of the most pristine environments on earth, get to learn about a new culture and, oh yeah, get five weeks vacation.

Do I miss working in Newfoundland?

Fuck no...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Going postal

Some good news buried in a small blurb on VOCM. Turns out there won't be a postal strike. Now, I think in these days with so much stuff done online, I'm not sure people appreciate the post office as much as they once did. And yes, people buy things online, but realistically there are few things online that you can't buy in St. John's as well. A postal strike would have been a nuisance, but not a staggering inconvenience to most people in Newfoundland.

It's a touch different for people living in the Arctic. Canada Post is a major lifeline. It's packages from home. It's books, DVDs, etc from Chapters. I don't know if it would have impacted food mail services up here or not, but it would have been a concern. Mail is a big deal up here. An inconvenience in Newfoundland would have been a major pain in the ass this far north.

But it's also good news on a more personal level. As many people know, my dad is a letter carrier. He's been batting around the idea of retirement (I won't say his age, but he is #1 in seniority among letter carriers in St. John's right now) mainly because of the strike. I don't pretend to have all the info, but my understanding is that his pension is based on the last five years he worked. Obviously a strike that might have dragged on for several weeks not only would hurt him financially now, but for years in the future. Therefore, if the strike looked certain, I'm pretty sure he would have retired.

Thing is, he's clearly not ready to. He's in remarkably good shape for a man his age (You know, if any of his buddies at work are reading this, they're going to crucify him. You haven't seen people tease, mock and go at each other until you've hung around with letter carriers). I remember following him around on a route a couple of years ago when I was trying to do a radio piece on him. I had to trot to keep up with him and was winded at the end.

Plus he still loves his job. If the strike didn't go ahead, he was talking about retiring – maybe – at 60. By my rough count he'll have about 37 years in with Canada Post at that time. You don't do something for that long unless you love it.

My concern was on what he was going to do in retirement, especially if it came sooner rather than later. He wants to do some travelling, which is great. I imagine he'll head to Europe for a bit, and he fell deeply in love with New Zealand during his brief stay there. He should absolutely travel.

But it's a matter of what do you do the rest of the time? For example, most teachers are 30 years and out. A lot of them end up selling real estate, insurance, cars or whatever. Not that they really need the money. It's something to do and gives them a little extra pocket change. Cathy's parents have a small framing business (if you need framing done and are in the St. John's area, drop me a line and I'll hook you up). It keeps them busy and gets them enough money so they can go to Florida for a month or so each year.

Dad doesn't really have anything like that. He loves to read. And while he's never gone to university, he's smart as a whip. The family have begun to lean on him a bit, I think, to come up with a game plan on what to do once he retires. Going to university is an option, I guess. Personally, I think he should sell the house in St. John's (although that does leave me with the dilemma of finding a place to store my 10,000 or so comic books), buy a nice place outside of town and start to raise dogs.

He loves dogs and is remarkably good at training them. Just get a nice breeding stock of either Golden Retriever's or Newfoundland dogs, make sure he has the right paperwork and training, and start doing that. It won't bring in a ton of money (not that, to be honest, he really needs the money), but it'll be all right. Plus, it'll give him something to do and he gets to be around dogs.

Hmmmm, I guess I should also start coming up with things to do when I retire. Then again, according to my last financial report, I can retire at 60 as long as I die at 80. Fortunately, Cathy says she's willing to help with that problem...


It's a hard rule, the one I have about not talking about my job. And it's not for the reasons that some might have about wanting to bitch or gossip about their co-workers. I think I'm a touch too old to be doing that sort of thing. Really. I'm 37 years old. I think that's too old to be going online and complaining about my job.

Besides, I like it and the people I work with, so it's a moot point.

No, the problem is, and I suspect there are those who read this blog who can empathize, is that I learn really interesting things at work, things that I have an opinion on. And then I read contrary opinions out there in the world that I would love to debate, argue, correct errors on. Any number of things.

I can't, though. That's the discipline and price you pay for the job I have and for having the pleasure to blog.

Still, there are days when I'm bursting at the seams to vent and rant about these things. Poor Cathy will be driven mad one of these days and I think my friends probably sense these days as well and know better than to answer or read my e-mails those days.

Anyway, one of these days I'll have stories to tell. Although probably many years from now when it won't make a difference any more.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Still alive

So, I'm not dead. And no, I haven't been swallowed up by Facebook as some of my friends appear to have been. Granted, I've been spending some time there. It's amusing in the short term. But Melissa and Jennifer both point out something that I thought as well. It's nice to see a few people that I haven't seen in awhile and make sure I keep in touch with the usual suspects.

But really, I'm not sure how many more people I want to meet on Facebook. I stand to be corrected on this, but I can't think of too many more people I want to run into. A lot of my university friends are there. And as for high school "associates", well, the fewer of them I run into the better. Those who know me are very much aware of how much I loathed those three years of my life. I can probably count on one hand the number of people from that time in my life I really want to have anything to do with.

So, it's fun for now, but we'll wait and see the staying power.

So if not Facebooking, then what have I been doing? Relaxing and trying to catch up on some reading. Currently that would be Iain Banks "The Steep Approach To Garbadale", which I'm enjoying quite a bit. One of the blurbs states it's his best book since "The Crow Road". High praise, as it's one of my favourite novels, but it's holding up well 121 pages in.

I'm also trying to read some of the magazines I bought in Ottawa. Ones I can't get here in town like "Seed", "The Ryerson Review of Journalism" and a couple of others.

And while this hasn't happened often, it's just of these occasions where I haven't had much to blog about. I tend to go through fits and starts on what I'll blog about. Sometimes it's personal stuff, sometimes pop culture, and recently it was Newfoundland politics. But none of that is grabbing me right now. It'll likely change in a few days. I imagine the Newfoundland budget will provide some topics worthy of comment.

But you'll forgive me right now for the brief lull in the proceedings.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Face the Face

So I've done what all the cool and trendy kids are doing these days and signed up for Facebook. I resisted a good long time, but finally enough of my friends were sending me e-mails telling me I ought to join that I finally caved. Peer pressure at 37. Shocking. Ah well, at least it's better than the piece of shit that is myspace (and you will never convince me otherwise, Dana.)

So how is it? Ehhh, not bad, I guess. It's a relatively simple thing to set up and maintain. I've only been at it a few days, so I haven't had the "Oh my Christ" moment yet of someone I hadn't thought of in years pop up and say hi, but I'm sure that's coming. Some of my friends are becoming massively addicted and spending hours each day on Facebook, but I don't think that's happening to me.

Why? It's not that I hate the site or that I'm anti-social (well, OK, I'm a touch anti-social). It's simply that I do not have the time. Between work, spending time with Cathy (who will likely be joining up this weekend as she is somewhat intrigued) and Boo and all the other things I enjoy doing – reading, blogging, trying out the new Wii, going to the gym, enjoying the warm weather now that it's here – where am I going to find the time to do a lot of stuff with Facebook? There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Besides, I suspect a goodly number of them partake of Facebook while at work. Not an option for me. Let's just say my employer is progressive in terms of what sites it chooses to block. Myspace, Flickr and, of course, Facebook. So it's not an option for me to waste hours playing on the site at work, unlike what I suspect some of my friends are doing.

I also suspect Facebook might be one of those Internet fads with my friends. The fascination tends to last a few months and then fade. It happened with several of them and blogging. It may well happen with Facebook. Time will tell.

In the meantime, if you are on Facebook, and you know who I am, feel free to add me to your list of friends. What the hell…

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A ban won't do the trick

I've been reading Geoff Meeker's commentary following the shootings at Virginia Tech, and in particular the way media should or shouldn't cover such an event. I won't get into the gun debate because that's a massive argument all on its own. I don't like guns. I never have and have only handled them a few times in my life. My conclusion? That I should never handle guns. Would that more people felt the same way.

Anyway, there are two points that Geoff is arguing. The first is that we should pay more attention to the victims than the murderer. For the record, I agree. There are, sadly, dozens of stories to be told of the people who died on Monday. Each of them has a story to be told. I hope each of their stories are told and given the depth and compassion they deserve.

But never doubt for a second those are unbelievably hard stories to tell. Others may debate the point with me, but I can think of few jobs harder as a journalist than the long walk up the steps to a family's house, knocking on their door and asking if you could please have a few minutes of their time so that they can talk about what happened.

It is a brutal, brutal job. Journalists beg not to do it. I loathed it on the few occasions I had to do it. At best you feel like a ghoul. Some families welcome the chance to tell what their loved one was like. It's cathartic. Helping to talk about it gives some shape to the grief. Others will revile you, call you a monster and slam the door in your face.

I've always been envious of the journalists who are good at that part of the job. And there are ones who are truly gifted at being able to get family and friends to open up when they are grieving and don't want to talk to anyone.

But there is a reason when people wonder why there aren't more stories about the victims of these types of crimes. It often takes years, if ever, before family and friends can talk about what happened to them.

Although I find it interesting that with the advent of social networking sites like Facebook that you can now learn more about those who were hurt and died. Friends and family have always gathered to tell stories about their loved one after they've died. But before they might do it behind closed doors; now they can do it online.

It's a good thing. You get to hear stories and voices that might not have otherwise been noticed. I just hope it doesn't get abused.

The second argument is that we shouldn't show pictures of the murder, give his (or her) name or discuss what motivated them to commit such a crime (or at the very least minimize what is said about the murderer). That by doing so, it might "give oxygen" to other people who are contemplating committing such a crime.

It's an interesting argument, however it's also an utterly moot point. With the way today's media is structured, with so much information available online, it is absolutely impossible to bring about such a ban or even limit the information. Individual media outlets can make that choice. That's their call. But people will find out the information.

Trying to ban information like this effectively came to an end during the Bernardo trial. I'm sure others will site different cases, but it's the first time I remember clearly that if I wanted to know what was being said during the trial that the media weren't allowed to report, well, there were newsgroups I could go to that would give me all the horrific details I could stomach.

And there is nothing wrong with wanting to know who the person it is, for the record. It's a human reaction to want to have a name and a face to such monsters, to try and grasp at some sense for why they would do such a thing. I think not knowing the name, not knowing what they look like or their reasons is a far scarier proposition. Even during his talk on the Globe and Mail's website yesterday, Dr. Eliot Leyton admitted there's still a lot we don't understand about drives people to commit such acts. Concerns that such a person becoming "famous" might inspire others to commit such acts strikes me as a touch simplistic. Much like the arguments that violent videogames, movies and comic books are the reason certain violent acts. I think the more we know, the more we can eventually hope to understand, and prevent, such things from happening.

Are there better ways to cover these events when they happen? Always. And those discussions are important and should happen. But suggesting the murder's name and photos should be banned isn't the way to go. Suppressing information for the good of the general public is never going to be one of those things I'm going to be 100 per comfortable with unless it's in extraordinary circumstance.

And as terrible as it is to say, what happened at Virginia Tech simply isn't a good enough reason.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The melt begins

At some point when we were in Ottawa, the weather in Iqaluit shifted. When we left on April 8, it was still very much winter. The temperatures were hovering around -20, which is obviously a damn bit more comfortable than the -40 or so we had been enduring in the previous weeks. But let's face it, that's still a brisk temperature. We didn't take the BFCs (Big Fucking Coats) to Ottawa, but we did move briskly when outside in our light spring coats getting to the airport.

When we came back on April 14, it was -8 and you could see melting starting to happen around town. By today, the temperature is hovering around 0 and it seems like the whole city is melting. Truly odd. I'm not saying winter is over. Far from it. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised by another blast of snow or cold. If memory serves, a Newfoundlander died just outside of Iqaluit a couple of years ago in a blizzard in late April or early May.

Just respect the weather up here. End of discussion.

Still, the melting is doing its usual wonders around town. Iqaluit really is quite pretty in the winter. It's all white, and you see little of the grime that you can get in other cities when the snow hits. They don't use salt for the roads here, instead opting for a bit of gravel to help with traction when it gets a bit slippery.

But with the warm snap, the snow is disappearing. It's in no danger of disappearing up here anytime soon. I imagine it will still be sometime in late May or early June before the ice is gone from the bay and most of the snow is gone from town (it's no probably to still see snow in shaded areas or higher altitudes well into late July). However, it is starting to become a little…grimier.

This is not meant as a knock against Iqaluit, by the way. Very few Canadian cities handle spring well. Lord knows St. John's doesn't. I've always considered spring the most depressing season in St. John's, between the grime, dirt encrusted snow, foggy weather, emerging garbage and shattered shopping carts.

But the snow is taking a hit on the roads and working its usual magic. Only a very small percentage of the roads in Iqaluit are paved. Melting snow + gravel roads = one big mess for drivers. It's the beginning of pothole season in town, where even if you have a four-wheel drive, you can fear for your vehicle's health.

I'm hoping it won't be as bad this year as last. We live in a different spot and don't have to travel over so much gravel. Also, there was a gravel shortage in town last year which has since, I think, been fixed. So hopefully the city will get the potholes covered more quickly.

Oh, one more thing people might find amusing – we've been leaving the windows open in the living room for several hours a day since coming home. The sun has power up here now, and we have lots of windows as it doesn't take much for the apartment to get stuffy. Remember, these are very well insulated apartments. Even when it was around -50, we rarely had the thermostat above 22C. With the temp around 0, we have the heat off and the windows open. By the time summer comes around and the temperature starts to approach 20, I might need a fan.

Yeah, it can be weird living up here sometimes.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Twenty years down the drain

I am, if I do say so myself, a not bad driver. Few people who have ever been in a car with me have freaked out by my driving skills. That cannot always be said of people I've driven with. I think Dups has scared me once or twice (his ability to stall a car in the middle of traffic was a touch disconcerting when we were in Edmonton) and I think I prayed to God one time when I was in a car with Chris St. Croix, who achieved the memorable feat of doing 110 km/h up Torbay Road in the middle of the afternoon.

So I'm a good driver. Aggressive, sure. But never stupid. I think that's back up by two facts. One, in 20 years of driving, I've had two accidents. Both of them were mild fender benders and both of them occurred within six weeks of getting my driver's licence (It's worth noting those accidents were a big deal at the time as my father was contemplating killing me).

I've also never had a moving violation. Never. Not a single speeding ticket, nada. In fact, I've only been pulled over by the police once in my life. That was during a routine enforcement by the RNC coming up from downtown one night. I wasn't drinking, but my friend Chris Myrick, sitting in the passenger seat, was. The conversation with the officer went something like this:

Officer: Good evening, sir. Have you been drinking?
Me: No, I haven't...
Chris: But I have, officer! Quite a bit really, which is why this nice man is giving me a ride home.
Me: Chris...
Officer: Because I can smell alcohol in the car...
Chris: That would be all me officer! I've drank quite a bit this evening, which is why this nice man...
Me: Chris, shut the fuck up...
Officer: Would you mind breathing on me, sir?
Chris: I would, sir, but I'm that drunk I think the fumes would make you drunk.
Me: Chris, for the love of God...

Anyway, other than my breath being less than minty fresh at 3 a.m., we escaped without harm. And so the streak continued.

Until Ottawa last Friday. When I failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. In a fucking mall parking lot. That's right...20 years without a moving violation and it's down the train because of not just a cop, but a mall parking lot cop.

To say I was pissed off would be a mild understatement. I'm pretty sure I did come to a complete stop, because I spotted the cop a few seconds before. But really, I was hoping that he might just give me a warning and I figured I had a better chance if I didn't argue.

As it stands, I didn't get the $110 ticket and lose three points that such a violation normally carries (Nunavut has no points system, so I'm not sure how that would have worked) and instead got a $35 ticket.

It's only $35 and lord knows I spent enough money in Ottawa, still, not amused. Furthermore, between a stop at a store and a movie, he was still there when we left about three hours later, and had pulled over a couple more people. Jesus...

The car we rented the week in Ottawa was a Nissan Sentra. But although we rented it at the airport, it had Quebec plates. I was warned by a friend that might make me a bigger target by the cops. Apparently, he was right.

Oh, as for the car itself, not too bad. Nothing remarkable, but it was certainly good on gas. I figured we put about 600 km on that car in six days and it still had a quarter tank of gas in it just before we returned it. That's not bad, really. And the rental fee was reasonable.

That was until I had to pay the ticket on top of the rental fee.

Fucking parking lot mall cops.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wii are amused, so far...

When we got home yesterday, it was mostly a day of sloth. We were up early to the airport, then travelling. All we wanted to do was relax and play with the dog a bit (who didn't seem to suffer any lasting psychological damage for our absence and forgave us readily when we gave him new toys).

Today, however, was when he had to do some work around the apartment.

So that meant setting up the bookshelf we bought in Ottawa. One of the many stores we hit when we were there was, of course, Ikea. There was little doubt we were going there, but there was considerable doubt on whether or not we would get anything there. A combination of little room in the apartment and whether or not we could get the airline to fly it up without gouging us had that in doubt.

Turns out, with a little bit of drama we could get a bookcase up to Iqaluit. The drama was that the first case we were looking at was too large to transport in the rental car, but we managed to find another. The second drama is when the box holding the bookcase partially shredded while flying up so we had pieces falling out. Miraculously, they all made it to Iqaluit.

Anyway, through the jigs and reels, we managed to get back to the apartment and Cathy put it together this morning. It is lovely. You've never seen a bookcase make a woman quite so happy. And it is much needed after all the books and comic books purchased.

The next thing set up was a Wii. Yes, we managed to get one. No, it didn't involved prostitution. Through a thoroughly bizarre set of circumstances, an old friend of Cathy's reappeared in her life after being AWOL for a year or two. And, as it happens, lives in Ottawa and works at electronics store. We met him and his girlfriend a couple of times for supper. We mentioned that we might take a poke around for a Wii when we were in town. He wished us luck, which we knew we would need.

And then, the next time we met, he said his store was getting a shipment in, and he had one put away. Were we interested?

So tada, we have a Wii. Feel free to envy me. We got it set up today, with remarkable ease and began playing it. Cathy is having a few challenges playing Zelda. I'm having a blast with Rayman Raving Rabbids. I anticipate us having a lot of fun with it.

Oh yeah, we also did a ton of laundry and bought a lot of groceries. But really, the bookcase and the Wii are the highlights.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

We now resume your blog, already in progress...

So we've returned safe, sound and considerably poorer from Ottawa. We returned after Ottawa kicked us out having sucked us dry of money. I appreciate there are cultural and tourist things to do in Ottawa, and we certainly tried to do some of that. We went to the War Museum on the same day Vimy Ridge ceremonies were happening in France, and that was interesting. We also went to the Museum of Civilization and that was...quite franky a touch disappointing. A lot of the exhibits were closed, in preparation for the busy summer season I guess. But really, there's only so much excitement that can be milked out of the postal exhibit.

Although the First People's exhibit was quite interesting and it was good to see the Inuit well represented. We also got a good laugh out of the price being charged for carvings in the gift shop. Probably about triple what you would pay for here in Iqaluit.

But yeah, we were crass consumerists and hit a lot of stores and bought a lot of stuff. It was funny, I was sitting in the hotel room reading a copy of Mother Jones (not easy to get up here) and there was an article talking about how economic growth wasn't necessarily a good thing for the planet in the long term and how things were changing and that perhaps money was no longer quite able to buy happiness (I'm greatly simplifying here) at the same time I was look at all the loot from that day's shopping expedition.

I admit to feeling a touch of guilt over that. But we so rarely get to go shopping. I'm not sure if a once or twice a year binge is such a bad thing. It just always looks a bit strange when you do about six months of shopping in the space of a few days.

I'll be doing more on our adventures in Ottawa in the coming days. No sense making this one huge post for people to slog through.

So what did we miss while we were away? I didn't have a computer and aside from catching the odd headline in the newspaper and the National a couple of times, I am deprived. Any good news or gossip?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ottawa here we come...

So we'll be leaving on a jet plane tomorrow around lunch time. Myself and Cathy will be taking a much need little break and spending a week in Ottawa. The original plan was to go to the Caribbean for a week, perhaps going to St. Lucia or some other nice, warm place. However, the car's transmission put an end to that.

But we're not mourning too much, to be honest. Yes, sitting on a beach would be very nice. But there's also something nice to be said about a quick jaunt to Ottawa. Where we can go to a few museums (the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum), the art gallery and anything else we can think of educational. There will be some shopping, a few restaurant fixes (Indian, Korean, Italian) and lots of movies. Turns out Young Triffie is playing in Ottawa, which will be nice (we currently love the promotion on CBC about the movie, where you can win a trip to Halifax. Which is typical for a movie set in Newfoundland, I suppose).

Basically, it will be a nice, relaxing week. We've got a rental car. We've got a hotel room for a couple of nights. One of Cathy's aunts lives about an hour outside of Ottawa and we'll stay there for a few nights.

It's not that we didn't enjoy our time back home over Christmas, but it was so hectic, with so many commitments, we hardly had a chance to relax. That's what Ottawa will be all about.

We've got someone house sitting for us, so it will be curious to how Boo does while we're gone. I think he'll be okay. He's going to have to be. This won't be the last time he's going to be abandoned by us.

I won't be taking the computer with me, so I may post on Sunday, but then the next time you'll hear from me will be next Saturday. I hope you can all cope with the withdrawal.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Off for repairs

So back in January my lovely wife went and bought me a new camera, a lovely and much desired Pentax K10D. I did a lot of research before I decided on the camera and I considered this the best option for me over similar Canon's or Nikon's.

And I've been enjoying it as much as possible over the past few months. The camera has held up remarkably well in the cold, but still, I didn't feel like pushing it, just in case. And there are only so many photos I can take of either Cathy or Boo before they start getting annoyed.

Which might explain why it took me so long to find the glitch. Yes, my new toy has a glitch. Cathy is unamused. Several weeks ago I noticed that when I popped up the flash to take a picture, the camera wouldn't work. Not only would the flash not go off, but camera itself wouldn't take a picture.

I puzzled over this for a week or two, figuring I must have done something to one of the settings. Then I began to worry I might have fried the camera with the exposure to the cold. Fortunately, one of my co-workers has a slightly older Pentax and told me to bring mine in. He was sure he could figure it out.

Turns out he couldn't either. However, he must hit better photo websites than I do. A search found out that there was a flaw with the early run of the camera. Turns out the circuit board controlling the flash had the bad habit of burning out in some of those early cameras after being used 20 or 30 times. Anything with a serial number starting with 22. Guess what the first two numbers are on my camera?

Fortunately, it's covered under the warranty and the camera is less than a year old. The bad news is that the receipt is gone. I can't believe I'm typing this, but we're pretty certain the dog ate it. However, we still have the box it came in, the Visa bill that says we spent an ungodly amount of money at Arctic Ventures and, if worse comes to worse, I believe I have photos on my hard drive of several of the staff at the store. Turns out they decided to play with the camera a bit before selling it and forgot to remove the memory card.

So I'm pretty certain I can get them to take the camera back and send it away for repairs. I believe it has to go to Toronto. It means I'll be without the camera for probably a month or more. Which is annoying and disappointing, but at least the camera can be fixed.

And most importantly, it's not my fault it broke. However, for the upcoming trip I'm back using the Sony DSC-F717. Glad I didn't get around to selling it yet...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

People are surprised by this?

I'd almost think my predictive skills were improving or something, except I failed to win $38 million on 6/49, so my time in Nunavut continues. (It's not that we don't like it here, but let's face it, if we won $38 million, we would be moving some place warmer).

For example, I was wondering the other day when channel surfing why the hell the History Channel was showing CSI: New York. As best I can figure, it's a procedural drama and has nothing really to do with history.

Then I find out that I'm not the only one wondering. The CRTC has sent a letter to the channel's parent company telling them to pull the show. The reason why CSI: NY is considered historical, according to the company? That it has a character dealing with the aftereffects of 9/11, an important historical event in New York.

I think I speak on behalf of most Canadians when I go, 'That's seriously fucking weak, guys."

But the real psychic moment I'm proud of came from watching the Brier. Yes, it's curling again. Fucking deal. I was watching the way the team was playing and noted that Jamie Korab wasn't shooting the best. It was around the low 80, high 70s in terms of percentage, if I recall. And for a lead, that's not great. An average lead has to be hitting the high 80s at that level of competition.

Lead is one of those positions where if you're doing well, no one notices or cares. If you're not, then people notice in a big hurry. And Gushue notices these things. He's turfed players before and with those numbers I wondered what was going on and if there was going to be a problem down the road.

And lo, here we are, at the end of the road. The Telegram reports that Korab is gone for "team chemistry" reasons. The Telegram has also begun to allow people to post reactions to their stories. And in typical Newfoundland fashion, since Gushue is now doing well, it's time to tear the boy down and put him back in his place.

Ego is mentioned an awful lot in the posts. People saying that fundamentally misunderstands the situation and Brad Gushue.

I don't pretend to have inside information on what happens inside the St. John's curling club, nor am I familiar on a personal level with anyone on the team or the current circumstances. But from interviews and scuttlebutt you hear, this is what I do know. Gushue is quite possibly the most driven athlete in the province. I would dare you to find me another person in any sport played in Newfoundland that has his desire to succeed.

Least we forget, back in 2001 he said his goals were to win the Olympics, win the Brier and win the World Championship. People laughed. Hell, I laughed. Newfoundlanders don't succeed at that level. It was a foolish dream.

And yet, he won the Olympics. He was on the wrong side of one bad shot call from quite possible winning the Brier. And given the level of play I've seen at the World's this week, he'd probably be on the verge of winning that as well if he was there.

I'm not sure if many of us can understand that level of drive or commitment to a sport. But it has consequences. Yes, you can become quite successful. However, it alienates people. They will become envious and will never understand you. And the ones that cheer the loudest when you succeed will also be the ones quickest to whip out the knives when they feel you're getting a bit too big for yourself.

Gushue isn't liked in Newfoundland curling circles. Despite all the nice things said last year, he hasn't been for years. That level of success and willingness to win despite high costs doesn't get you many friends. It earns you respect for your skills, but it also earns you a heck of a lot of people who don't like you very much on a personal level.

Anybody who curls with Gushue has to know the price. This is, and pardon the crude analogy, like the Beatles. Gushue and Nichols are Lennon and McCartney. As long as they're getting along and the team is competitive, they'll go through as many Ringo's and George Harrison's as they want. Sorry to be mean, but leads and seconds are disposable. And it's been made very clear by Gushue and Nichols that if the lead and second aren't doing the job, well, they'll find someone who can.

It's also worth noting that Nichols had to agree with that decision. If he said, "No, Jamie stays" that I doubt Gushue pushes the issue (for all we know, it was Nichols who suggested it). However, since Gushue is the public face of the team, he takes the good (most of the fame) with the bad (all the shitting on for being a raving egomaniac).

Yes, it's mean. Yes, that's perhaps not a very friendly thing to do to someone who helped you win an Olympic medal. And it's definitely not all that loyal. But that's sports. Meaner things happen than what Gushue did in hockey, basketball, soccer, etc every single day. He's hardly getting too big for his britches. Both he and Nichols want the same thing – they want to win ("Why do we play the game? We play to win."). And they don't just want to win a Brier and a World Championship. They want to win several. They want another gold medal. They want, when it's all said and done, to be viewed as some of the greatest curlers in history.

Sure it's ego, but Gushue has had a large one for many years. You need one to have that drive and to want to call a game and shoot skip stones. I bet you his ego is no larger today than it was before the Olympics. And if you didn't know that, then clearly you weren't paying all that much attention to Gushue in the first place.

One final thought. All the people sniping and bitching at him today will be the same ones cheering when he finally wins the Brier. The general public is a fickle bitch….

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Random Wednesday thoughts

1. One thing I forgot to put in my post from last night/this morning on Plan B (which was a touch rambling, I confess) is what happens if Williams partially succeeds in his grand plan? Not so much in ousting Prime Minister Harper, because I don't think that will happen. But what if he actually manages to convince the populace of Newfoundland to not vote for a Conservatives and then that party goes on to form the government.

Well, won't that be an interesting spectacle. Newfoundland would likely experience something like what Nunavut got the other day. The federal government wanted to announce some money for airports in the territory. However, since the territory's sole MP is a Liberal, they actually had a Conservative MP from Alberta fly up and make the announcement.

Boy, won't that be fun if that happens in Newfoundland. There would be a delicious sense of the absurd if the MP representing Newfoundland came from Alberta. If you could make that MP an ex-pat Newfoundlander – who moved to Alberta because there are no jobs in back home – it would be perfect. He could fly in every couple of months to make announcements on behalf of the federal government. Especially if it were something staggeringly ironic like money for a job creation program.

My God, I almost hope Williams succeeds now, just so I could witness that particularly bizarre spectacle.

Yeah, this whole "I want Harper gone" scheme is a well thought out piece of brilliance, isn't it?

2. Is this a sign that Loyola Hearn is getting a bit fed up federally? I really am curious to see if he's going to run again. I suspect he doesn't want to, but might anyway.

3. Sad, but not entirely unsurprised, to see that Greg Locke has packed it in, given up on Newfoundland and is heading west. This isn't a dig, by the way. I'm out west, well, north-west, so who am I to criticize. Besides, Greg dropped me a line several weeks ago wanting to know what it was like working up here. (for the record I'm always happy to answer questions about living and working in our small part of Nunavut).

His idea of photographing and doing a documentary on the Newfoundland diaspora, by the way, is dead clever. I wish him luck with it and look forward to seeing his pictures. Pity he isn't come up here, though. I was really looking forward to bugging him for photo lessons.

4. Is this, or is this not, the greatest headline so far of 2007? And how many of us, upon reading the story, went, "Well, of course you did. You're bloody Keith Richards." Frankly, I would have been more surprised to discover he hadn't done it.

And sadly, it appears he didn't. Then again, it is producing wonderful copy, like this lede from The Scotsman:

IT'S NOT where most people would hope to spend eternity - up Keith Richards's nose - but in an interview with NME the Rolling Stones' lead guitarist suggested that this was the unfortunate fate that befell his father Bert: Richards cut his ashes with cocaine and snorted them.

Funny, funny stuff.

5. At some point in the next couple of days I will have the 50,000th unique visitor to my blog. By coincidence it will fall about 18 months after I started using Statcounter to keep track of who visits the blog. Fifty thousand in 18 months isn't setting the world on fire, but I'm quite pleased. Especially since my numbers have been increasing steadily. Thanks for coming.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A night of TV infamy

This one is going to ramble a bit, so hang in there and I'll get to the point eventually.

I didn't watch much of the Junos Sunday night because, quite frankly, the first hour didn't wow me that much. When I first flipped over to the channel there was a band screaming at me. Now, I like to think at 37 I'm not that old and that I still have fairly decent, open-minded and diverse musical taste. But let's be candid here, the band was screaming at me. I've heard other bands scream at me, and they can be entertaining done in the right context. But no, I had a Canadian band (I think it was Alexisonfire) screaming at me in a rather boring, unoriginal and irritating way. A way that says "We are too cool for fucking words, standing up here screaming at you, suckers."

So I flipped that station. Came back a short while later and Nelly Furtado was accepting an award. I've always thought it was tacky to have the host of the show be nominated for a single award, let alone the small farm that Furtado was nominated for on Sunday. The speech was boring, flipped away.

Flip back, Furtado was doing some kind of pre-taped segment that was supposed to be funny. It was awkward and dull. Flipped away.

Came back again and there's the Tragically Hip mutilating a song. I mean, there are no other words for it. I like the Hip quite a bit, but they were clearly butchering something hideous. Become exceedingly depressed watching the Hip suck, and flip over to the Amazing Race All-Stars on CBS. There was a racket last week about how CTV (which airs the show in Canada) was considering tape-delaying the Junos and showing the Amazing Race first because it is a much bigger rating draw than the awards show. Guilt and fury from the Canadian music industry caused them to change their mind.

Given the ratings the Junos received perhaps they should have considered sticking with the original plan. It might also tip them off that next year's show should not have yelly people, sucky Hip songs or be in Saskatchewan.

But anyway, I flipped over to the Race at 8 p.m. I haven't been following the show as closely since Rob/Amber got eliminated. Plus, a list of who gets eliminated next leaked online and it's been spot-on. Let's just say that every aggravating and annoying team in the race is right there to the finish. The thought of watching some of those teams for weeks on end fills me with a deep and abiding loathing.

Still, in a toss-up between the aggravation of the Junos and the horror of some of the Race contestants, horror won out. Besides, just because you know how it's going to end, doesn't mean it's not interesting to see how the got there.

So the Racers go to Poland and one of the stops is Auschwitz. Now, just looking at it on TV gets me a bit emotional. Going there would probably devastate me. Going there in the middle of the night would quite possibly leave me a wreck unable to function for several days. This doesn't make me a wuss. It makes me a normal human being.

I'm not criticizing how the players handled that. However, if you were the producers and you're zipping around Poland and you've just done Auschwitz, how would you follow that up? I have no idea, but may I humbly suggest that a big sausage eating contest might not be the way to go. Especially when you have a scene where a beauty queen and a little person get to vomit all that sausage back up in order to make room for more. All the while everyone is making suggestive remarks about how hard it is to consume two feet of meat. I'm not 12 years old and seeing sexual innuendo in innocuous things. You'd have to be an idiot not to catch on, it was that blatant.

If you think it can't get any more tactless than that, how about the final challenge where people have to dress up in a suit of armor and lead a horse to the final pit stop. And once again, the little person is in armor (and likely still sick from eating and puking all the sausage) and does not one, but two, face plants.

Dear lord. I mean it, dear lord. The sausage and the face plants would have been bad enough on their own, but right after Auschwitz? Somebody needs a smack in the head for that bit of programming. You hate to say it's a new low for reality TV programming because, really, there have been so many lows over the years. But that episode of the Race might deserve a place in the Reality Show Hall of Infamy.

When it got to be a bit too much, I occasionally flipped back to see if there was anything still going on at the Junos. Sadly, I appeared to have missed the couple sitting in a convertible in the front. What couple, you might ask? This one.

Now, let's say this is all a big misunderstanding on everyone's behalf. As soon as Farley Flex says they've won the car, that's game over for CTV. Dock it from Flex's pay if you must, but you have to give that couple a car. Going up to them later and saying "ooops, sorry but Farley made a mistake, you didn't actually win this shiny new convertible that we're making you sit in" is a bit too late. Because you know they're not going to be happy. And you know they're going to talk to the media and complain.

Besides, someone clearly didn't crunch the numbers. A Solstice is about $27,000 to buy. There are going to lawyers involved in this now. Plus, there are the heaps of bad publicity that CTV and likely GM are going to get over this. I guarantee you that adds up to more than $27,000. If someone was clever, they'd find out how much the goodies in the loot bags that all the performers and presents receive costs. If it's more than $27,000 each, and I'll bet it is, then it's going to start looking really bad. "We'll give the pampered rock stars gifts, but not you lowly people."

Look, bite the bullet and give them the damn car (I'd pick yellow as a colour). Sure it'll be painful for the suits. But hey, it could have been worse. They could have watched a little person puke sausage and then doing a face plant in a suit of armour.

Where's Plan B?

There's a quip you often hear at the curling club - Plan B. When you're dealing recreational league curlers you can call all the wise strategy shots you want, odds are the players can't make them. However, more often than you might think, the person making the shot does something weird, odd and just plain fluky and the shot works out. You wanted an opponent's stone removed. You thought a straight take-out would do the trick; your second believes it would be more interesting to remove that stone via a double angle raise take-out. But hey, it got the job done. Plan B.

Getting down to Plan C or D is also not unheard of.

So when I read this quote from Premier Williams, I got curious:

"My solution is to get rid of Harper."

Which is lovely. Great Plan A. However, this is politics and yes, there are some players of local skills in Newfoundland, but you just know that Williams can call that shot all he wants, odds are it's not going to happen.

What am I talking about? Well, last time I checked the prime minister was flirting in majority government territory in opinion polls. Some have him around 39 per cent, which is really, really close to getting a majority. And regardless, it certainly seems to indicate that his government is in no danger of not being in charge should another election be held any time soon. Barring some epic collapse or scandal, Harper is still going to be prime minister at the end of this year, even if it's another minority government.

Yes, things might change. It's the reason why we hold elections. But it's not looking likely. And if Premier Williams believes he can sway the rest of Canada to his opinion and oust the prime minister, well, that's showing a level of delusion I quite frankly find a touch alarming. Because I can call Harper many things - ego-centric, a touch cruel, more than a bit cold. But the one thing I wouldn't call him his stupid. I think he's got Williams figured out pretty well. He watched what he did to Martin and learned from it. It isn't happening to him.

So, Plan B. The Hail Mary shot. I'm assuming there's a Plan B for when Harper is still prime minister. You know, the plan where the province could perhaps move forward on other very important files such as Churchill Falls, the fishery, and financial issues. Where everything works out despite the fact that Harper is still prime minister and Williams is still premier and these things still need to be taken care of despite the giant egos involved.

No? No Plan B? Nothing at all? No angles or bit of flukery possible so we don't end up completely screwed?

Well, damn...

On an unrelated note, the weekly weigh-in came in at 232 pounds, up one from last week. And with the two of us off to Ottawa next week, cracking that magic 230 pound barrier is apparently still a couple of weeks away.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Rejecting false idols

Just a reminder that Canadian Idol will be in St. John's on Wednesday. As per this manifesto last month, I'm calling on all reasonable and sane Newfoundlanders to boycott the show. That means starting with the tryouts. The fewer that show-up and try to get on the show, the better.

I stated that fighting the influence of Canadian Idol is an important step to regaining some provincial dignity at the national level. I still believe that. Perhaps it's not up there in importance of the current battle between the premier and prime minister, but there's little that can be done on that until there is either a provincial or federal election. Here's our first small step towards some semblance of provincial sanity by ignoring this show.

If enough people come to their sense about Canadian Idol, who knows what other revelations might happen to them. Perhaps they might even come to reject other idols in the province as well.

Dare to dream.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

On tour in Nunavut

Now here's an interesting tidbit tucked away in the last issue of News North, one of the two main newspapers in Nunavut. Quoting off a press release about the White Stripes, the band says they plan to hit "all 10 provinces and three territories" with their news record before hitting the United States.

The News North article isn't online, but here is a copy of the press release. And while no dates have been set, if you read this release right the band is apparently considering coming to Nunavut to play. Assuming it's not just big talk about how large their tour is going to be.

I'm not the biggest White Stripes fan on the planet, although "Seven Nation Army" is one of the great rock songs of the past 10 years. Still, Fred Eaglesmith is about the biggest name I've seen play in Iqaluit since I've been here. If the White Stripes come to Iqaluit to play, well, clearly I'm going to have to buy tickets. That's something entirely too strange to pass up. And I'll also need a tour t-shirt with the dates on it.

Of course, there's no guarantee that they will play in Iqaluit. Back in 2001, Rankin Inlet hosted the rock spectacular that was Trooper, Sass Jordon, the Stampeders and a few others. Tickets for that went for around $100. So perhaps if they do end up playing in Nunavut, they'll go there.

Also makes me wonder how much the tickets will go for. I imagine $100 might be cheap. Still, it would be fun. If it happened.