Friday, June 13, 2014

Sealift and dumpcano

1. So I did this odd thing the other day where I wrote for another blog. Yes, you might accurately point out I'm barely writing for this one. However, it was a nice confluence of events that lead it to happen.

Finding True North has been kicking around for awhile now, although I haven't added it my blogroll because I am a lazy bastard, apparently. Anubha and Sara both run the blog and it's a lot of fun. They have a lot of energy, which goes a long way when doing these things (I think I exhausted mine around 2009) and the manage to find new ways to keep writing about Iqaluit fresh and interesting.

That's the thing about northern blogs...they always start out well, but they invariably putter off and die. People run out of things to write about. And mostly they're for friends and family to try and explain what you're experiencing without writing the same email 30 times. The difference here is, again, the energy, but both of them approach Nunavut blogging with a genuine curiosity and wanting to share what Iqaluit is like with a broader audience. They have almost a travel writer mentality about the whole thing, which is a good approach to take, I think.

Anyway, there was some chatter on local Twitter about things to write about and someone suggested that there should be a piece on the sealift. And for whatever reason, I jumped in and said, "sure, I'll write it." Which they gleefully accepted.

The surprising thing to me is not that I volunteered, but how quickly the piece came together. Seriously, first draft took about 30 minutes. Some tweaking after that and then Anubha asking for a few other things. It's not a bad little blog post and I think somewhat useful if you were thinking of doing a sealift. Of course, I can see at least two things I forgot to mention; boxing stuff yourself while at TSC and sharing a sealift with friends if you don't have a big order. Also pretty sure I didn't specify NEAS sealift, as NSSI does one as well, and that's who we normally ship with.

But I've learned not to fight with editors...;)

2. So our local city council has finally decided that maybe their master plan of waiting out the dump fire, locally dubbed #dumpcano, might not be the best long term strategy, especially since it could end up burning the rest of the summer.

I think the tipping point might have came this week, when temperatures began to creep up a bit. It hit 8C at one point this week. Those of you down south are probably going "ooooo, 8C". All I can tell you is if the sun is shining and there is no wind, 8C has some pop. Next week it's forecast to go up to 12C or so.

Why is that a tipping point? Because when the wind has been pushing the smoke into town, one of the things officials have been telling people is to stay in doors, keep their windows closed and turn off any air exchangers. Except, most houses in Iqaluit are built really tight and heavily insulated. It doesn't take much for them to become ovens. I've opened windows when it's been below 0C.

So telling people to stay inside and away from the smoke, in houses that will quickly spike past 30C (remember, people up here are not used to that level of heat. Many Inuit complain when it gets above 10C) is not a long-term viable strategy.

I'm not sure how they're going to put it out, but I'm assuming there are people somewhere in Canada that have experience dealing with these things that they can draw on. It also does call for a little more urgency in developing a proper waste management strategy for the city. The dump catching on fire every year loses some of it's appeal after awhile.

Plan A was to drown it. Plan B was to wait it out. Kind of curious to see what Plan C will be...

On the upside, at least I got a t-shirt out of it.

Outcrop (a design and production company) in town got the bright idea of making some t-shirts on the Dumpcano and selling them for $30 each. $10 of that goes to the Iqaluit Fire Department. They got them on Thursday and I think they're just about sold out. So I now own a fun little thing of a sucky little event for a good cause. I will wear it with dubious pride.

3. We're getting closer to the ice being gone, but not quite there yet. However even if the ice disappears in the next week I see that both NEAS and NSSI are saying their boats won't be in until July 11 at the earliest. Annoying. I'd like my stuff sooner than that.

Last Five
1. Living in colour - Frightened Rabbit
2. Nothing in my way - Keane
3. Shadows (live) - Gordon Lightfoot
4. Have love will travel (live) - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5. Via Dolorosa - Matthew Good

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