Monday, November 30, 2009

Shipping Blues

This blog is going to be negative filled with a topping of hate. The topic? Shipping in the north. Let me start by taking you back to last year when I was back in Kugluktuk, NU and the shipping was fair. Wait times were decent, the ETA on items were expected and appropriate and, and they came in one piece.

Sears can go screw themselves. This company not only charges an arm & a leg for shipping, but they also lost my big ticket item. How can a company not have a way bill number for an elliptical trainer that weighs in excess of 300 pounds and stands 5 feet tall? How does the airline that supposedly retrieved it not be able to account for it either? Are you kidding me? So let me get this right Sears; you took a customers Visa number, charged $1300, followed through with the item to be purchased by sending it out to an airline and then exchanged no papers, with no way to track the item and left the costumer dangling in midair without a hope in Heaven of ever finding it nor a care in the world from your end? By the way, to the dough head woman on the other end of my phone tonight from Sears time either take the damned gum out of your mouth before dealing with a costumer so I can understand what in the blue hell your trying to say, or choke on it and drop dead. You were as useless as Brittany Spears at a Sunday church gathering.

So while I am waiting for Sears and Calm Air to figure out where the hell my elliptical is, on to another airline. First Air. This airline sent me my first tv, an older model tube tv, earlier this year to me, scratched to hell on the glass screen. My fault, it wasn't packed right. But then sent my second tv to me, packed correctly and safely, smashed. Filed a claim on it, two months later, no progress. I am left with a broken brand new, flat screen tv sitting in the bedroom closet fermenting and growing dust like an old baseball mitt. Now, on to my third airline, Canadian North. I had first placed an order for some alcohol. Yes, I am a criminal for wanting to enjoy a drink on a Friday night after work. Anyway, placed it a week ago....nothing has ever arrived, no one has ever contacted me about it, no prayers have been answered. Come to find out, hello over there in Iqaluit, tell the liqueur warehouse I need my order processed and if they can't, to call me!!

Shipping in the north is about as smooth as William Hung's songs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tracking You!

I have stumbled upon an amazing little website tracker that tracks where your viewers are viewing you from. As eerie as it is, it tracks what street you are even on through Google Earth. As well of course it tracks what website you came from to my site, and how long you visited. It tracks your IP as well. Now you might find this a little scary, but rest assured, I have no concern what your IP is, nor what street you live on. I have no malicious intent whatsoever. I am concerned with where my viewers are in the world, and how long you stayed on my site and how many times you visit. I am trying to better my blog hits and what better way to do that than by using a stats tracker. I have provided the link here, for you to check out the site and track your own stats should you wish.

I have been subbing a lot more lately since leaving CIBC. I love it. The kids are awesome to work with and they respond well to me for whatever reason. I enjoy it a lot and yet find it difficult at times subbing for different teachers. I say this because every teacher has his or her own way of leaving lesson plans for me to get on with for the day. Most are very detailed and descriptive whereas others may not be so. I have the next three days booked with the high school, and the only grade that proves a challenge are the grade 9's. They are unruly, wild, and like to test the new subs. Little do they know, this is what I like. I like a challenge. It's a good one with them.

Rankin Inlet had it's first "storm watch". Ha, chicken little. It was a mere breeze. Nice try Mr Weatherman, but you came up a little short I'd say.

Um, ok, so what else? Guess nothing! Till we meet again...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Banking Woes

Ok, so a bit of negative news from out my way tonight, I quit my job with CIBC. Now, hold the phone, I know what your thinking, "What?!" Let me be clear, I can and did do the job. I was trained very sloppy, unprofessionally, and hastily in my 4 weeks of training. Two of which I was stuck in a room by myself in front of a computer with online courses and left to my own devices while the manager left for two weeks. Now I somehow managed to make the most out of this "Northern" conundrum by doing my 4 week training regardless. I also managed to go through a couple of test runs on till and came away doing well. The issue lies within management and how it is being ran. I will say no more other than I know for a fact how training should properly be done in order to be effective, but it never has happened in that bank with current management unfortunately. I was even offered to be Branch Manager in 6 months time. No thank you. I wish not to be thrown under the bus. So I have gone back on the sub list. Pays more, less stressful, most of all, I enjoy it. So what's the problem? Should I feel guilty, for having doing something that involves that dirty word, "quit"?

I do not believe so. I done nothing wrong so much as I have done something right. Now my timing may have seemed a little off to some, as I have a wedding to pay for in June. Fear not, subbing is abundant here, and have already scored 5 days worth of work thus far. Furthermore, I have also made myself an appointment to test for the Class 2 drivers license which will enable me to drive air brake trucks such as dump trucks, etc. I will also be going for Class 3 which would be for driving bigger trucks, more axles really, such as a firetruck.

Speaking of firetrucks; I have applied and have been hired as a volunteer Firefighter for the Fire Department of Rankin Inlet. I have been issued my bunker gear, radio and pager. I did my first training exercise last night at the station and it was very exciting. To boot, I have been asked to train for the ambulance driver in Rankin Inlet. I have also accepted this role. Tonight I went on my first ever ambulance call. I was picked up, we drove to the hospital and picked up someone from the Emergency room who was being Medivac out. We loaded the injured onto the stretcher and out to the awaiting ambulance and away we went to the airport. I find it difficult and exciting to have the radio on, and with me at all times just as the pager comes with me everywhere too. At night time I respond to a calls when I am required to.

This week has been a whirlwind of excitement, letdowns, failures and happy moments. The Burton Project has been just that, a project and continues to be an on going experiment with life in the North. Till next time everyone....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thats The Way The Cards Fall

Oh dear Mr. Atkins.... I'm not entirely sure of your methods to this madness you call a diet, but I hate it. I have fell off the wagon on Friday and Saturday night, beer, pretzels and pizza! Carbs, carbs, carbs. Yet, I am back on today. Perhaps in knowing that Thursday comes the most anticipated item Melissa, & I have purchased together next to the television and bed we bought in the last two years. Our Eliptical trainer. Yes Mr. Atkins, your diet has flaws alright...the lack of freakin carbs!

On another note much more positive, a poker game broke out last night at my place and I came away with the loot! Biggie Smalls would be oh so proud, "Gimmie da loot, gimmie da loot, I'm a bad boy"....ok, so I am making inside jokes with myself I see. Nice to see fellow blogger, Brad, swing by for a visit and try his hand at the game of luck.

I enjoy my weekends a lot, weekend warrior I suppose I am. Now on to another dreadful work week, blah.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No big news today, Atkins diet is still on the go, no new news to report. Just uploading some beautiful pictures.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Walking Experience

Today I got out for a walk in around a new area of Rankin Inlet I had never been. It was very beautiful outside today and I took advantage of that as best I could by bringing out my big boy camera, the Nikon D60 DSLR. I made sure to bring a air tight baggie with me as to make sure before I go back inside condensation doesn't build up on the inside of the camera. The air tight baggie defeats this by letting the condensation build up on the outside of the baggie. Letting the camera warm up to room temperature prior to removing it from the baggie finally. I have company sitting here now, rudely I am still blogging away simply because I MUST blog! I am attempting to put up some of my town pictures I took today. I even found an old spot light up top of a hill that is no longer in use. I thought about how it reminded me of the Batman spotlight they use to signal him at night time. I also met two local men who were caring for their racing dogs.

I took the opportunity to just stand up top of a hill, all alone with the silence of my surroundings except for the wind that was blowing cold off the Hudson's Bay. Taking in the sight of the vastness of the land and the frozen over water. I enjoy these 'by myself' moments as they are rare but I am grateful for them due to the one on one feeling with myself and the land. Today was so warm out too, just -10. It would be great if it could remain this was all winter. I know it won't :(

Monday, November 9, 2009

Prints, Carvings & an Eliptical Machine

So I have added another pound gone to my already 4 missing from my body. To wake up this morning and see 243 lbs on the scale is motivating. I have 2 new prints I bought here in Rankin from a local woman who does them, I own more, but these are the two I am posting for now below.

Also purchased not even an hour ago is this sweet carving made from Caribou bone....

Our carving collection is coming along nicely as is our print collection. I would like to have a nice collection of everything by the time we are ready to leave from the North which won't be for about another 4 and a half years yet. On another note, Rankin Inlet got some snow yesterday. Blowing winds and all. I hope it continues. Till next time...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update On Atkins

Ok, so I know I said I wasn't going to weigh myself, but I did mention I was going to blog for you all so you can follow me along in it. So, the update is three days later, since beginning Atkins, I am down from 247lbs, to 244lbs. One pound a day sounds just fine with me. I feel fine, no dizziness, although I am hungry a lot as I have started controlling my portions and removed carbs. I am still uneasy about providing pictures as I feel uncomfortable with that idea, so no pics :) I'm off to go play badminton now, see you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

3 Days Grace

Ok, so I am three days into the much debated, Atkins Diet. I have been watching my carb intake and although I am allowed 22 grams of carbs a day, I may have went over last night by double that. So Friday night may or may not have been a washout. Considering Thursday I had no carb intake what so ever, I feel I am still on track to loosing something by November 19th. It has not been THAT difficult buying foods with little or no carbs, and it's been great eating some really healthy delicious foods. Egg omlettes with green/red bell peppers, onion, cheese and mushroom, a cup of coffee with sweetener and a scoop of coffee whitener at 2 grams of carbs. Last night I had turkey stir fry. No added sauces, just plain as anything with a little pepper and a dash of salt. It was very good. I have loads of fish to eat and chicken and other meats as steak. I do find it odd when I start to crave carb foods and want to reach for those pretzels, or a slice of bread.

I will not weigh in either until the 19th. As I last saw my weight before I started this funky diet, was 247lbs, I want to see some kind of an improvement. I would be happy to see 239lbs. Though I have heard of men loosing up to 14lbs in two weeks.

On another note I had a great night playing Bingo with friends and although nobody won out of 15 of us, Lori coming within one number away from $8,000...we had a spectacular time. The game got better once our friends set up their little guy, Sebastian, who is only 4, on the karaoke machine and he began calling out the numbers after they were called out by the man on the radio. Yes, Radio Bingo.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Horizons

Today I have begun the Atkins diet. I am more curious about if this really works or not. On the 19th of November, I will have a final say as the first phase is two weeks long and is compiled of eating no carbs. This should be interesting. Although I just ate a big healthy egg omlette, a coffee with whitener powder, and a packet of sweetener, all of which have next to little or no carbs, the breakfast was good. So far ten minutes into it, all is well.

Our food mail was a relatively cost efficient order at a cost of $283.95 though the home delivery was $5, the shopping fee was a mere $21 and the Northern delivery charge was a low $41.58 as was the M&T fee to deliver it to our door, up 3 flights of stairs was $25 with total tax being $4.38. $96.96 in total charges. In essence our food was really $211.99. We paid for half an order in charges/fees alone. Is there not a better way to get this done? Shopping at the local Northern would set us back even more I would be afraid. The local stores here over charge because they know they can? Ugh. Bread & water are sounding better and better.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things Happen For A Reason

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would never realize your potential, strength, will power or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of luck. Illness, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test limits of your soul.

Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create whom you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart.

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but also because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things. Make every day count. Appreciate everything that you possibly can, for you may never experience it again.

Talk to people whom you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold you head up because you have every right to.

Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create your own life and then go out and live it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Almost There

As October has come & flew by, I realize how I am looking forward to the new year coming ahead. Not sure what really has me excited about it. Other than the fact my stay last year in Kugluktuk was such a wash out and I truly don't even like to speak about it because it sucked the big one big time, or maybe the fact it's just a change of the date, 2010. Very futuristic. Or possibly the fact that it marks my coming 2nd year anniversary being with my fiancee, Melissa. Could be there may be be great things in store for us. I am unsure what it is exactly, but it always feels the same, like washing your hands clean of a dirty piece of fruit you been handling. Or possibly this is what it feels like to finish a book. I have limited experience in that department.

I want to send a friendly hello to a fellow blogger on here who not only reads my blog, but I had the opportunity last night at a Halloween party,
(not the kid in this picture lol. This was a friend's little boy who joined us in this picture)
to meet with him by chance. Since his identity remained a mystery last night, as his entrance was one to talk about for a while here in Rankin Inlet, I will keep the shroud going with him and just say, "Hello". He knows who he is. Did that mask ever come off last night?

Rankin still awaits it's first snow blast. A storm. A white out. Temperatures have dramatically fallen as we are losing 6 minutes of light a day, now with the clocks gone back, it's an hour and 6 minutes. By 4pm, it's dark. Sun rises at 7:44. I have started to keep a personal track record of this daily happening in this part of the hemisphere. I have already broken out the S.A.D(Seasonal Affective Disorder)lighting and the vitamin D. The winter blues, can really take it's toll on you if not well prepared.

We had a flea market sale in town yesterday and it was very reminiscent to those back home in Toronto. Shoulder to shoulder traffic inside the place making it seem like your battling a raging river going against it's currents in the opposite direction. I missed a great opportunity to purchase a real Pana. This is a men's traditional snow carving knife. It's basically like a mini machete. In Inuit mythology, Pana was the god who cared for souls in the underworld (Adlivun) before they were reincarnated. Pana means 'snow knife' in Inuktitut. The picture below is of a Pana.

I am awaiting my grocery order to get in this Wednesday as I will be starting my weight loss experience for those of you that are following that aspect of my blog knows, I was to begin today. I need the right foods to get here first :) So stay tuned.