Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Inuvik furniture sale! Everything must go!

Here's another great thing about living up north: People are always moving away, which means good deals on furniture. (There isn't a pawn shop here.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Stencil project at skate park

There are some interesting stencils at the Inuvik skate park. I think they were part of a school project at some point. (The reasoning goes: kids are going to vandalize, so at least let's make it look nice.)

Pictured here are: MAD Magazine's Alfred. E. Newman, Bob Marley, and the Weekly World News' Batboy, whom they often claim has escaped.

Colourful mini-artwork

I found these old slides in a filing cabinet.

Aklavik's hockey team...from the future.

"People of 21st century earth...I bring you a message. Hockey will be very different in the year 3000!"

Views from around town, pt.2

It's getting nicer outside, since we have a lot more sun. It's been about -30 all week though, which means you can see the heat escaping buildings and cars.

Corn on the cob at -40!

It's surprising how many canned foods Northmart carries. You can buy corn on the cob, pictured above, or even a whole chicken squeezed into a can.

[LATER NOTE: Once boiled, the corn was pretty good. A little bit too soft, perhaps, but still pretty impressive. I give this product a B+]

Well, now you know it's scientifically proven

From the Inuvik Regional Science Fair. The homemade glue project won 3rd prize.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The town clown

Here's another summer picture from Tsiigehtchic.

Am I spending too much time thinking about warmer temperatures?

Using black space as a framing device...

Quick photography post: I really enjoy these two photos, since they have a lot of black space framing the doctor and pilot. (The first shot is through the ER door.)

Please note, the patient in the first picture is an actor. He was covered in fake blood during a presentation on dangers of drinking and driving, which was held for high-school kids.

You are here (well, I am, anyway)

I have become very interested in maps lately. The walls of the office are starting to resemble a centre for military command.

Summer leftovers, pt.5

Looking through my photo archives has me thinking...it sure would be nice to travel the communities on dirt roads again!

(These photos are from Tsiigehtchic, pop.150, and Fort McPherson, pop.900 approx.)

Who is this kid? It's written on his forehead.

Here's another local tradition: Kids' hats with the names written in the stitching.
(This photo was taken in Fort McPherson a while ago, which explains the visible grass.)

Baby photography is a tough business.

This is an outtake from a birth notice photo shoot. We ended up getting a good picture, though it took a while.

Collaborative session on the high-school newspaper

Here's a session of planning for the youth newspaper, The Bomber Pages. It's a colourful little magazine, which -- although regrettably short of actual, you know, articles -- is still enjoyed by the kids who create it.

About the title: Here is your guide to Inuvik slang. "Bomber" means cool here, and if something particularly great happens, kids will say it's killer bomber. (Why? Who knows. Kids are mysterious.)

Hockey tournament last weekend

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation sponsored a 31-game hockey tournament last weekend, which brought teams from all around.

One cool fund-raising idea was selling McDonalds hamburgers, which had been flown in a large box from Yellowknife that morning. (They were cold and $8, but the novelty alone made it worth the purchase.)

Certainly, it's the biggest sports event to happen here all year, and it was great fun.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Squash vs. arcade games

Inuvik has two full-size squash courts which are available to rent.

Having tried the sport for the first time, I was reminded of the arcade classics Pong or Brickles, only 3D.

Some random shots from around town, pt.1

Here's the Esso station, and what I wish I were driving...

Not much happening here...

The community greenhouse is dormant, for now.

You have my sympathies, sir.

It was -30 outside today and this guy was riding a bike.

Since he was carrying a jerry can, I don't think he was exercising.

Don't lose your mitts...Michael Jackson!

This mannequin at Aurora College displays a good idea and local tradition: Keeping your mitts on a string.

A lot of people do this here, since it keeps the big fur mitts accessible after you use your keys, gun, camera or what have you.

It's a good idea!

Very cool Land Rover

My brother Jean-Leon will surely appreciate this, since he has a similar truck.

Looks like this one's got some mileage!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's a long road to Edmonton

Being a trucker is a hard job, especially here. Firstly, there are long hours: You work in a team of two people -- hopefully with someone you like ---- and sleep in the cab. One snoozes while the other drives, and it's a combined 40-50 hour workweek for each.

Since Inuvik is a long way from Edmonton, it takes 40 hours to drive down and another 40 hours to drive back, carrying big screen TVs or fresh fruit or Pirates of the Carribean licensed velcro sneakers or whatever people are buying.

These two guys told me they drive down once a week, during the summer.

Summer leftovers, pt.4

Here is an old photo of Inuvik's volunteer firefighter team. Looks like a fun thing to do, though it assuredly has risks.

Very significant historical portraits

Inuvik's library has a small museum section, which displays artifacts and portraits.

I especially like this large angular painting, which is credited to "Father Brown." It is called Delta Whaler and portrays a traditional hunter.

(Note, also, the 1950s haircut on the man in the smaller portrait, as well as the traditional tattoo lines visible on the faces of those pictured.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tough audience..

Here's Nunakput MLA Calvin Pokiak and a friend looking quite unimpressed, as they listen to a recent presentation by Shell Oil in Inuvik. (And also the hand-wringing reaction by Shell's representative.)

The oil giant was hosting a consultation on the Kulluk oil rig project near Tuktoyaktuk, and was looking for audience reactions.

(Note, of course, that these pictures show how easy it could be to manipulate a story. I could have just as easily have caught both players smiling during a lighter moment of the conference, and the whole narrative would seem different.)

Building class at Aurora College

Aurora College trains people in carpenty, plumbing, electrical work, etc.

They have an interesting warehouse full of projects, and have been building a small-scale home as a class project.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What's going on here?

Here's a fish-eye picture of Zoe Ho, the editor of Tusaayaksat. It's a really interesting local magazine, which publishes interviews and news about Inuvialuit people.

She recently wrote a profile about Dez!

This was really a nice surprize!

Here's a picture from the Joe Greenland elders' residence in Aklavik.

They taped an article of mine on the window! It was a story about resident Anne Benoit, who is the eldest person at the centre.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Healthy food vs. fast food

Food is comparatively expensive in the north. This is not surprising, and it's not something to get upset about either. (Think of the distance crossed.)

For instance: You might pay $7.99 for three red peppers. Or $7.99 for a jug of soy milk, $2.99 for a can of soup or $5.99 for one of those prepared salad bags.

But here's the weird part: Inuvik's KFC has prices which are pretty-much identical to those down south. While you might pay $15 for the ingredients to a decent salad here, but you can get a crispy combo for $7.99

What does that mean?

The Inuvik Youth Centre, pt.2

"Okay -- let's get you off the table, so the pool game can continue."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fort McPherson's sun sign

Good advertising here. "Focus on the positive."

Lindsay travels the information superhighway

While we're on the topic of computers: I have to say that internet shopping makes "northern isolation" much easier.

If you can buy almost any album, book or movie off itunes or ebay, what does it matter if your town has an independent record store?

(Note: this photo was taken with a fish-eye lens being rotated, with slow shutter speed. It's not photoshop!)

{ERROR ////my MAC IS BusTED///}

Apple computers are not a good idea up north. What are you supposed to do if it breaks? The closest technician is in Yellowknife, which is a plane ride away.

Looks like I'll have to fix this myself, or just write it off.

Interesting house in Aklavik

This seems like a fun place. I like the owl decoy.

Oooh, that's cold!

When it gets to 30 below (and beyond) as it's been here all week, metal objects become the enemy.

Funny story: I briefly got my face stuck to a can of Coke, which had been left in the car overnight! (ie: I'll just have a sip...ooh, my lower lip is caught...)