Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Brew Master & Late Nights

I have been exploring the wonderful world of brewing your own beer at home. The comforts of home. What better way to spend the holidays while awaiting for your favorite beverage to transpire right in the confines of your own home. Never having done this before, I have been extremely excited about the process. The process for the particular set up I have has been a hands off style. Not having to go through more than three steps makes it simple and so easy, 'Even a Caveman can do it'. Haha, I had to get that in there. Seriously, a caveman could do it. A self contained unit, your package of beer mix in powder form, yeast and water. There is your basic ingredients for what can yield you up to 28 beers in one shot in under two weeks.

I have enjoyed the beer thus far, I like that I can experiment with different tastes and colours of the beer. Alcohol content varies on the selection. The darker the beer colour, the higher the alcohol content apparently. That being said, I enjoy the lighter side of the mixes. The fermenting process is awesome, as you can literally see the beer create it's own natural carbonation from the natural fermentation process. In the fridge the beer will slowly loose it's haziness and become clear and bubbly and with a few shots from your CO2 cartridges, you can get that nice frothy head on a beer and keep your beer in the self containment unit fresh tasting with every pour!

On another short note life after CIBC has come and gone in my eyes. Now working the grave yard shift between the two local hotels here in town, The Siniktarvik Hotel which boasts 50 rooms (could be more) and The Turaarvik Inn which sees about 22 rooms, the management is worried about break in's. Lack of people in around the holidays working and staying at the hotels leaves it vulnerable. So for the next couple of weeks, I will be helping out these two hotels by doing late night security checks. Last night was my first on duty. It was lonely, but interesting somehow.

Lastly, Merry Christmas and have a very Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eleven days to go until Saint Nick arrives. I've no chimney here. I do however seem to have some connection with the old Jolly man himself. Apparently, sent by Santa Claus himself, I kid you not on this, check the pic below...

....I know not how he got my address. I think it's amusing however. I assure you, I am not leaving a key out for anyone to gain access while I am sleeping. I don't care how jolly they are. Saturday night was a great night here at the Burton/Dunphy residence as we hosted a UFC 107 Fight Night. The fights were great, BJ Penn vs Sanchez as expected. Sanchez was a no show. Frank Mir was monstrous in his fight against Kongo which last well under 40 seconds. Thanks again to everyone who came and enjoyed the show.

Environment Canada, your weather predictions simply suck. You have now issued a 4th warning of imminent blizzard like conditions approaching Rankin Inlet. Deliver the goods or go home! Stop warning us, and tell us when it's arrived on our door step already. Your driving my fiancee up the wall who is begging for a snow day already.

Good night...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Times

Last night I got to chat it up with an old buddy of mine I used to work with polishing aircraft for AirCanada Jazz. It was really a complete debacle but nonetheless, this is what we did. Whether or not we maintained or mangled these poor airplanes is beyond me but I had a lot of fun doing it. It was good to hear from him as he has pursued the interesting and painful world of MMA. Mixed Martial Arts. I realized while talking to him that every moment is taken for granted. Time we spend with friends, loved ones and when we have a 'moment' in life, it all will pass and time will go on and one day you may never have that opportunity to enjoy life as it is happening right then and there. Trials and tribulations are all a part of life, and taken out of my buddy's book last night, we cannot go through life pissed off with everything, just take it for what's it worth. Thanks Stranix!

On another note, this whole volunteer firefighting position is becoming fairly lax. I was told by our instructor, that if more of us are not going to show up for weekly practices, some of us are going to face reprecautions. Hello! We volunteer! Are we to be fired from our volunteer positions?! This was a pretty ridiculous statement made but then followed up with, "This wouldn't happen in the south". Well, they also get paid in the south to volunteer my dear. So perhaps looking at another solution such as paying us to show would be your only option. Now, I show either way simply because I am interested in firefighting and always have been all my life. I could care less if I am paid for this particular experience. Although, I could very well use the money.

Lastly, this is the third winter storm watch Rankin Inlet has received in a month and I am really thinking this is either going to be a big blizzard as they say, or just another light dusting with a little blowing wind. How did you guys do over there Whale Cove?

Till next time....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jolly Saint Nick It's Cold...!

I asked for it. I begged for it. Now that it's here, I am loving it. The freezing cold of the Arctic. What is the point of being in the Arctic if you can't experience the sheer thrill of stepping out into -50 weather and having your eyelashes freeze together and your nose run cold if you can't appreciate what the land up here has to offer? I have always been a stickler for the ice & cold for some reason. Although I am somewhat prone to it and do enjoy it, it doesn't necessarily mean my skin is adapt to it. I still find after a while my exposed skin on parts of my face begin to hurt or my forehead begins to ache. Thanks Old Man Winter!

I am jobless. Did I pull a wrong move by leaving the bank? Just upright left and see my way out of a possible future? In a way. At the same time I was miserable. More than the Christmas Grinch himself. I hate not being able to have a good sense of foresight on these matters. I can only hope in some way this was a better move than I thought it would have been. Without blasphemy towards anyone, I found it hard to work with an asshole. Yet we all do it, and yes, I have worked with the best of them in previous positions, this person was the worse. I wish I was able to have sucked it up and worked through it, but I have this thing for not being able to stand by and be into somebody's little puppy with outside related work duties. I do not shine shoes, nor start your truck for you. Start it yourself. To boot, I would have slapped this person silly had I seen him down talk to the women employees once more disrespectfully. Keep your chip off your shoulder when you come to work and show some respect to the female workers who actually run the bank, not just work there.

I know where my priorities lay. I am not single anymore and can't afford to be laid back with my feet up. Wedding to be paid for, talk of children next year. I do have something up my sleeve however. I always do.

Till next time...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smooth As A Baby's Behind

Ok, so after a week of experimenting with growing a beard, temptation gave in and I lost my battle to a razor. Enough said on that.

Till next time....

Monday, December 7, 2009


I have two new projects on the go. Both of which are experimental. One is a bit risky perhaps and a bit foolish, but let me be your guinea pig. H1N1; I have not taken the shot for this horrible strain of flu on the go. I also have not taken a regular flu shot against any flu in the last 5 years. I have been either really good at keeping the flu at bay or it has been really weak at finding me. I am unsure about all the reports of H1N1. I am unsure of a resistance shot that was made a year prior to the H1N1 strain even becoming a reality in the Northern hemisphere as far as I know.

I am taking a risk I know. I am young, healthy, and generally pretty careful about washing my hands when I return home, and using little of the hand creams that kill 99% of all germs. I stick strictly with soap and hot water. I do my best to not touch my face in anyway when I am outside of my home for the day. Let's see how far I can make it.

My second project is my whiskers. I am growing a beard. It is my first real attempt at it. I have no real purpose for it other than to see the reactions of others who know me and just to see what it's like to have a beard. No need to post pictures, it's just a beard lol.

Till next time....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Art Of Graffiti Removal

Interesting story, I used to once remove graffiti for a living. It was actually one of the better jobs I have had. Although the pay was moderately low, with no benefits of any kind and a lot of risk, I loved the job. I cannot name the company nor tell you about the actual product ingredients, but I can tell you the process and the tales of my experience with the company. I worked for a smaller extension of a bigger company out of Toronto, ON. Let me tell you, there was no shortage of graffiti to be removed in the city, and surrounding areas. The entire process of the actual finding the graffiti, link it to a customer, and make a proposal for removal to be done and then remove it is amazing.

It begins with training. I was hired sometime in 2006 and rode in a Dodge Ram 3500 truck fully quipped with product and equipment (pressure washer) to get the job done. I learned the process and daily routine quicker than I thought I would have. I should have taken this as a sign to come I would have enjoyed the job a lot more than I thought I would. A scout or a representative is sent out to scour the vastness of Toronto and surrounding areas for graffiti. High, low, big, small, it never mattered. We could remove it with little damage, if any ever done. Once the rep has located graffiti, the next step is to locate the customer to which property the graffiti is located. Customers of course can also locate us by calling us. Once a contact was established, the proposal can begin. The rep would discuss an appropriate time frame, date, and of course, price to which removal would be acceptable. They would also explain the removal process depending what type of substrate it was on.

Once the proposal was set, the rep would take photos of the graffiti. Back at headquarters, a work sheet or proposal sheet would be printed out and put into the work orders. One of the tech's (Graffiti Technicians) would get the work order and the instructions of best suggested way to remove it, location of exactly where it is, and a thumbnail photo is all on the work order. Once the tech has reached the location of the graffiti, an assessment would be made by the tech as do what he or she wanted to really do here. Now, rule of thumb, if on brick, we use a goop based product (sorry, no product names are given), if on a non porous surface, plastic, glass, paint, we use a different method. The 'goop' used basically restores the paint to which it came out of the can, wet, liquid state form. We brush the goop on and wait for about 20 minutes before we fire up the hot water pressure washer. I will not say what the p.s.i was, nor how hot the water got, except it would strip paint off your car with ease. It could dig into concrete. So there was certainly a skill needed here as to not damage anything.

Brick removal was the best. To ready myself to do a removal off brick was fun. I would gear up, overalls, gloves, boots and a full face mask ready....and get to it, meticulously, like a surgeon remove in strips, in the same width of the bricks, remove the graffiti.

I have edited out the company logo on my hat, clothes as to keep within the respected guidelines of the company. The removal process is a fairly easy thing unless it's a color of green, blue or red which can tend to be trouble. Once the graffiti is off, clean up is simple, as all products are biodegradable and environmental friendly. Everything dissolves with the water. No trace of us ever being there was left behind. End result, is a cleaner looking property, and a happy customer.

I miss this job at times and often wonder, were we ever really winning the battle against graffiti? The answer was no. Simply, we were able to maintain it to a reasonable level of acceptance. Store fronts, business owners who got tagged were told they now have 72 hours to have the graffiti removed from the walls of their businesses. Or pay a fine.

So what is graffiti exactly? Where did it originate from? Is it really an art or just scribble? Let's look further into these questions.

Graffiti has existed since the times of the ancient. From the Pharaohs of Egypt to the Roman Empire and Ancient Greece. Even more so, during the times of the cave man. Who would blast dried earth elements such as red, browns and other colours with saliva in the cave walls that were etched with markings of animals, or themselves, or their own hands. Ta-da, you have graffiti. The terminology used in the graffiti world can be extensive and confusing, to save myself time, I have provided a link to which you can explore the terms used here.

Here are a couple of pictures.

A 'throw-up'.

A 'tag'.

Marc Ecko is a top graffiti artist and well known throughout the graffiti world. He is the one who supposedly tagged, Air Force One, the President's airplane with his logo, 'Still Free". As seen in the picture below.

A goal of a tagger, or artist, is to be seen. To become known amongst his or her peers in the graffiti community. Everyday you can spot graffiti if you just look for it. Seems, we have become very immune to it as we can walk right by it and not even ever notice. At times it is hard to read a taggers signature. Next time you come across graffiti, stop and take it in for a moment. Think to yourself, "What did this person have to go through in order to break the law, and what does it say? What message are they trying to convey? Is it art, or vandalism?"

Till next time .......

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Too Loud!!

"Can you turn it down, it's just too loud."

I hear this a lot lately when my neighbour comes over. Can someone please tell me, in an apartment where the walls are tissue thin, how one watches their television or listens to their music without disturbing a neighbour who lives in silence. How can I constantly control the volume of my television with loud commercials, movies that are edited poorly with low talkers, and explosive dramatic scenes? I have the volume button on the remote worn out. If it gets escalated to GN, we could be asked to leave the building that we have made our home. Put our finger print on. Are we to live in silence now as well? Is my neighbour constantly going through this much torment?

Feeling frustrated........

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh Celebrities....gotta hate em.

So the latest out of Hollywood is Tiger Woods is apparently a real Tiger after all huh. After bribing, uum, I mean offering his wife, a cool $60 million dollars over the next two years to stay with him it seems nothing good ever comes out of a celebrity marriage. It seems to turn out to be a train wreck of some sort. Why is it actors and actresses cannot get it together. The normal everyday guy & gal can make it work on a daily basis, but athletes and celebs alike have a hard time with this, commitment concept. Penguins are able to stay committed to one partner for life more than any human ever could.

If untamed animals can make it work, why can't humans? Tiger, you are just that, an animal and certainly have let down fans, and your little fans alike. You are to be a role model, something you take on by not asking for, but with your status such as the one you have being a star, you should know, there is nothing you can hide in your life. Eventually, not only will we, the public find out, but so will your wife. What were you possibly thinking? Could you not have been a real man and just gone to her and tell her like it is, "I am not interested in being with you, and I feel I don't love you." That is harsh, but at least it is truthful and honest. You give us other men a bad look. Too further add to my rant about you, as good a golf player as you are, you are really shitty at being a man. Grow up, you have a family to care for and children to take responsibility for.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Progress At Last...!

Ok, so found the elliptical trainer last night. It is in Church Hill, Manitoba. Final expected delivery? 3 days to 3 weeks. My solution? Wait three weeks anyway and call Sears and have them honor their word to comp me. Not only did I make progress with the elliptical, but my alcohol finally appeared out of no where. Seems Canadian North actually had it all along. Ugh....can you seriously give me any more white hair than what I got now?

Aside from that we finally got some real curtains today. My good friend from Oshawa sent them up, I spray painted the metal rod, once green, white, and screwed on some flare on the ends of the curtain rod and this is what we came up with. Note, the living room was just painted wolf grey three weeks ago. See below.

Before those, we had some really nasty looking brown drapes up that are GN crap. Well, nothing really further to report.