Shoddy journalism, IMHO

Okay. So generally I don't comment too much on the way the Corp runs its affairs. I'm just a piddly reporter up in a piddly little community.
But something just doesn't strike me as right about this article.

The general idea? The do-not-call list for telemarketers etc. has been over-run, the website has crashed and the phone lines are constantly busy.

No big deal, kind of interesting. But basically a general run-of-the-mill news story.

EXCEPT for the fact that EVERY SINGLE QUOTE from the story is drawn from the comments section of cbcnews.ca.




This wouldn't bother me so much if I felt I could trust commenters to be rational, sane, politically correct...or even moderately educated. But as we've seen here and here and 8 million other examples on the web....

That's just not the case. If I've learned anything over the past couple months, watching my stories get published on cbc.ca and reading the comments that ensue... it's that most of the people who comment on these forums are IDIOTS. They assume they know things they don't. They hide behind anonymity and just run their mouths because no one else will listen to them.

Now occasionally you'll get the insightful post. But those are few and far between.

So I just have to wonder what were they thinking?


Um.. I've been WHAT?!

Apparently, I have been "Farked."

Farked on Sunday.

And no, it's not near as dirty as it sounds.

And Townie? You are right. I read the comments and my brain exploded.

I promise. This is the last post of the day.

Today is not the best day

Today I feel undervalued:

  • it seems like someone is taking advantage of me.
Today I feel under attack:
  • I tried to figure out a situation on behalf of others and was rudely interrupted and ignored.
Today I feel out of place:
  • Okay, maybe not just today. This is kind of a regular occurrence.
Today I feel annoyed:
  • Someone is getting away with slacking off, and always does, and always will. And it affects me.
  • The phone at work will NOT stop ringing. And though I've been told not to answer the phone (because I am not bilingual) , no one else will do it. And the person who told me not to answer the phone is not here. So it's not like that person can do it.
Today I feel like a fool:
  • for having tears in my eyes over nothing, but being unable to push them away
  • for sending a passive-aggressive email to the person who made me feel "under attack" apologizing for being out of line (even though I don't think I was). And for not getting a response
  • for candy-coating my life in general. Though I doubt it appears that way on my blog.

The North and the Internet

The following post is something I wrote on Nora Young's Spark blog. I have been a fan of Nora's for awhile now, she used to be the weekly tech columnist for our show in Quebec City. Now she's got a show/blog/website/podcast of her own. Initially, she was asking what people use telephone books for these days (are they outdated etc.). My response was up here, they're not. I use mine several times a day. But maybe that's just because I'm a journalist. And most groups up here don't have websites. They have listings in the phone book.

She then asked me to share how northern communities use the web. The following is my response, and I thought it would make a fitting entry for people not familiar with the way the internet works "up north"



I have to admit, the way I use the web up north is much different than "down south" (south, of course, being anything below that Nunavut-NWT-Yukon belt).

To understand why, you need a little background:

Up here (and I'm speaking specifically about Nunavut in this case) we have satellite internet. Or dial-up. The satellite internet phenomenon is a pretty recent one. Each of our 25 communities has a satellite which receives and distributes wireless signals to subscribers. Subscribers are given a portable modem, which can be used in any community, to hook into. Distributing bandwidth in this way is VERY expensive. But there's no other way. Every community is a fly-in community. No roads, so no fiber-optic cable being laid across the tundra.

Because of this, the WAY we use the internet is very different. Limited bandwidth (and its costs: $60 for 2 gigabytes, $120 for 5 gigabytes, $400 for 20 gigabytes) rules your usage. Once you hit your monthly limit, you get knocked down to dial-up speeds (though the max speed on the lowest plan up here is 256 kbps).

So what does that mean?

Mostly: No downloads. Sure, you can get the occasional song/album off itunes but popular "file sharing" programs can't connect, so there's no downloading television shows, movies etc.

We don't stream videos, we don't really listen to online radio stations. We do our business, then get offline.

And what kind of business might that be?

Email, banking and ONLINE SHOPPING.

Email: well you have to keep in contact with the outside world!

Banking: most of the smaller communities don't have actual bank branches. So they cash their paycheques at the local Co-op or have it directly deposited on a bank card they've set up when "down south" or in one of the larger communities.

ONLINE SHOPPING: This one is in bold because "southerners" who move "up north" often fall victim to this one... and find themselves with a healthy addiction on their hands....

Lack of actual stores/malls/much of anything else besides a grocery store means people rely quite heavily on mail-order. Need a new pair of jeans? You could try the Northern Store... or ae.com. Did the co-op run out of your favorite shampoo and conditioner? Try well.ca!

Of course there are more ways we use the internet that are different from you "southerners" (for example, we have a very interesting Northern Blogging network) but those are just a few.

It's a strange, wild world we've got up here :)


So big news on the Jackie-front.

Actually, it's kind of old news, but not to my blogger friends nor my non-north friends. Are you ready for it? Sitting on the edge of your seat? Mouth salivating with anticipation?

Come to think of it, the only thing really in the world that makes my mouth salivate is Lays Salt & Vinegar chips. Just thinking about them, right this very moment, my mouth is just watering. Unfortunately we don't get them up here. We don't really get any "good" Lays chips at all. The occasional bag of Dill Pickle. But Dill Pickle doesn't really do anything for me. So if you all are interested in sending me a present, please send me Lays Salt & Vinegar chips. I will adore you forever.

What? You say I've strayed far off topic and left you hanging on the "big news" hook?

Ok, no more suspense.

Here's the big news:

That's right! I bought a Ski-Doo!!! And isn't she pretty? Basically everything I own is a "he" (dog, desktop computer, Ipod - with the exception of my laptop whose name is "Tabitha" because she's a TABLET pc lol) so I think this one will be a girl.

She's a 2006 Ski-doo GTX 550 Fan. She's coming on sealift (less than a month from now) just days before my FOOD sealift comes. So it's going to be a big week.

So yah, big move on my part. And pretty exciting. I never ended up getting my Honda way back when (a year ago!) but decided a Ski-Doo was necessary for the upcoming winter season.

I can't wait!


Fat puppy

Fat Dog:

Photo by: Sara Dea, who I went to school with at Carleton


Skinny Sully


My toenails feel really long today.
But I can't find a clipper.

That is all.


"Inuit balk at Nunavut gold mine's English-only rule"


I may regret this, but...

From Kent of the North's blog:

Racism II

Lots of people say that they see it everywhere in the territory. When you see it, now you know what to do. Write it up as a completely blind item, and post it on your blog. Let's see how far this goes.

A person is walking home after a night at the legion and a friend's party. When within site of their apartment building, is approached by two local men. The men taunt this person, saying they stole their jobs and should go back "down south." This person is beaten for an unspecified period of time.

A car stops by the site of the assault. People get out. Assault-ee jumps in the car, and gets in an accident.

Assault-ee is charged for impaired driving and vehicle theft.

Assault-ers are never charged.

I know you, Kent, have been giving mostly "racism against Inuks" examples on your blog. But I think it's only fair to show that this issue goes both ways.

And I agree with Kate's comment, I am routinely discriminated against for my age, gender, race and ability to speak a third language.

And it sucks.


A year ago today

I stepped off that Canadian North plane into the bright yellow airport terminal in Iqaluit.

I'm not feeling all that profound today, so I will skip the post that reflects on the past year, and sum it up with a "repost" of my first northern blog entry.

From September 25, 2007.

The eagle has landed!

Do we even have eagles up north? The only birds I've seen since I arrived yesterday are MASSIVE crows. Just when I think I've escaped the land of over-sized vermin (*ahem, Ontario squirrels)... along come Nunavutian (I KNOW that's not the right word to describe the Nunavut residents, but I can't remember how to spell it right now) crows the size of ... well... cats. Flying, black cats. Yikes.
So yes, I have arrived. And I will post some pictures in due time. At this point, I don't have internet from home ... I tried hooking up to a wireless signal ... but I couldn't get the "network address" ... so no dice.
I took this wild video of us landing in Iqaluit. You can really get a good feel for the style of housing, and the landscape. And it finishes off with a grand view of the BRIGHT YELLOW airport terminal. I had heard about it, but it still caught me by surprise.
It's interesting though, the landscape, the ground and the hills and the roads are all very... bland in colour. But the buildings, so many of them have a really distinct colour to them... or at least a bright blue, green, red etc. trim. All the houses are on stilts because of the permafrost... and Iqaluit is a really hilly town, so the stilts vary in length from one end of a house to another. I went for a walk yesterday, after I arrived and got mini-settled in my place, and saw this one house, set on a hill, anchored in the front, level to the land, and easily... twenty feet off the ground at the back, supported by metal stilts. 
Had my grocery shopping experience yesterday. It was about as bad as I expected... unfortunately the closest grocery store is about a 20-25 minute walk from my house, so I tried to hit up the convenience store next door first... and really struggled because I couldn't think what to eat... they had no meat, no produce (except for bananas). So I settled for pasta, sauce and cheese... and an $8 2L carton of milk. 
BUT then I headed down to the "real" grocery store... and found the strangest thing. Asparagus, fresh (and VERY TASTY) for $4. Now asparagus is generally REALLY pricey back home... so its funny to see it so reasonably priced up here. And cheese isn't that bad either. So I think I'll just cut out milk and get all my calcium from cheese. 
And my Vitamin C from Tang. 
I also died a little when my TWO largish-potatoes came to almost seven dollars. This is going to be the best diet ever. Only half-a-potato for supper for me! Haha, or at least till I get paid. 

Like Tropicana

I have a juicy story on the news tomorrow.

And it has NOTHING to do with politics.

My new goal in life is to do as little about the election(s) as possible. I'm going to do my little community reporting thing. Take THAT double-election month :P

Something I am currently glad for...

Corporate By-Law No. 14(3)33

(3)(a) No employee who is employed by the Corporation on a full-time basis as a producer, a supervisor of news or information programming, an editor, a journalist, a reporter, an on-air personality, or who is a designated management employee or primarily responsible to represent the Corporation in its contact with the public, may, subject to subparagraph 14(3)(b) or (c), take a position publicly in a referendum or plebiscite, actively support a political party or candidate, stand for nomination as a candidate and/or be a candidate for election to the House of Commons, a provincial legislature, the Yukon legislative assembly, the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories, or a municipal or civic office. For the purposes of this paragraph "designated management employee" means any employee who is a member of the Executive Group (persons paid on the Executive payroll) and any management employee who reports directly to a member of the Executive Group.

....and apparently this extends to all online activity, including blogs, Facebook or other networking sites.

That means if I had decided (which I didn't) to join one of Facebook's "fan of X" (X being a political party or candidate) applications, I could be in trouble. According to some, posting on a political web page is the same thing as wearing a campaign button, or posting a sign outside my house. And none of those acts of "support" are kosher.

And unless I'm wrong, that bit about "take a position publicly in a referendum or plebiscite" means I am not allowed to sign petitions either.

Somehow I am not sure if the Corp is allowed to do this. I'm not crazy-outraged because I'm not really a fiercely political person.

But my little green Martin's Criminal Code 2004 says that according to section 2b of the Charter....

..protects all forms of expression, whether oral, written, pictorial, sculpture, music, dance or film...[and] extends to those engaged in expression for profit and those who wish to express the ideas of others, and to the recipients as well as to the originators of communication....

I'm just putting this out there. If I cared enough about one political party or another, I'd probably be annoyed at this. But I don't, so I'm instead just going to project the kind of ambivalence the Corp is prescribing in the above paragraph.

All hail the Corp. 


Should I stay or should I go now?

Reader asks....

Not that it's any of my business but I do ask myself why you would move to Rankin if it's so important to be at every family function and see everybody regularly.

Dear reader:

I am not going to pretend I know anything about you, and your family. Because I don't. But I am compelled to assume by your question and the way you worded it that you and I weigh certain values differently.

I come from a small family. I have one sister, and there's my mom and dad. My dad's side of the family is quite large, but I'm not super-close with any of them. My mom's side of the family is very small, just her parents and a half-brother. I have just those two grandparents left, and they mean a lot to me.

I also have just a handful of really close friends. One who I've known since Jr. High school, and two who I lived with for four years. Live with two people for that long, and they become your family too.

These people, these nine people, mean the world to me.

So why would I move to Rankin Inlet if it meant so much to be a part of their lives?

Well, I'm young and I just entered the "job market" so maybe part of it was naivety that time off would be more plentiful (not that the time off we get is UNFAIR). Or maybe I thought the distance between Winnipeg and PEI was shorter. And cheaper. Or maybe I just saw my move to the north as an adventure, and a temporary one at that.

I think people generally move for one of two reasons. To GO somewhere, or to LEAVE somewhere. I had no real desire to LEAVE Quebec. I liked my little apartment, I liked my little job, I liked my little guinea pig, I liked my little couch - the first REAL piece of furniture I had ever bought. But this was an opportunity. So I took it. And in doing so, left some really important pieces of me behind: those nine people (oh, and that couch haha).

So I miss them. And I want to be with them, and I want to experience their highs (graduations, new jobs, long-overdue acceptances into dream grad programs) and lows (surgeries, injuries, heartbreaks) with them. But I can't have everything, and I've acknowledged that.

But that does leave me sad at times. And it leaves me feeling out of the loop. And it leaves me trying to fit everything into short bursts of vacation. But I have to remember that my life here is temporary - I just hope I don't miss too much and regret it.

So reader, I hope this answers your question. And maybe you still don't understand. But I think there are many people up here, who have moved far away from their family and friends to an alien environment who DO get it, and who feel the way I do. And we share an understanding that maybe you and I will never share.

Thank you for your question.


A rock and a hard place

I am so stressed out right now, it's not even funny.

And the worst part is I'm stressed out about something that should be a PLEASURE to think about. But it's not.

I think I'm going to just start hating vacation. It seems to make more sense.

So CBC North staff are given a stipend twice a year to help offset travel costs. That money appears on a paycheque in October and then again in April. In order to get that money, you have to sign a form. And you also get two "travel days" because, as we all know, it takes usually a full day to arrive "down south".

Pretty sweet deal.

But here's the catch. You have to use that stipend (aka you have to LEAVE the territory) before the next one is issued or it becomes taxable income. Otherwise its tax-free.

And now the complication: I had planned on staying in the North for Christmas. It was going to suck. I have acknowledged that. It might very well kill me. I had come to terms with that as well. But I have to have my "first Christmas away from the family" some time. And it looked like 2008 was going to be it.

The trade-off was I was going to try to go to PEI in the spring/late winter. A year is a long time to go without seeing your dad and your grandfather.

But my sister graduates this year. And I missed her high school graduation and prom because I was in France. I can't miss her university graduation. Her graduation is in May.

And the boy and I had talked about going on vacation in April and/or August.

And there had been tentative discussions of a condiment reunion (perhaps somewhere HOT) this year during Robyn's spring break. But those were very tentative plans.

And my mom just pointed out that while I had used up all my vacation (and even had to take days without pay) in August... the way the vacation is set up this year I would only have to take the 29-31st off to get over a week off (CBC gives employees the 25th, 26th and 1st and 2nd). Meaning I would have enough time to go home to PEI after all, with only taking a few days off.

Oh, and I've also got to try and juggle the cost of a plane ticket out of here with the temptation to use the extra cash to pay off debts and the like.

I just can't deal with all this. No matter what I do, no matter what I decide I am going to disappoint someone. And in the end it just seems like I'm going on vacations for OTHER people. And I don't have enough time or money to do all of them.

So I'm tempted to just become a hermit and build myself an igloo and live in it for the next year so I don't have to deal with any of this.


The fifth volume

So a friend sent me this link about L.M. Montgomery's death/suicide this morning.

Now, some say this is big news, others, not so much. Personally, there's no surprise here for me. I worked at the Green Gables House in PEI for 4 years. And while that was some time ago, rumblings about the way madam Montomery died were present even then.

Especially since the much-anticipated "fifth volume" was to be released around that time.

It might not come as much of a surprise, but Montgomery was an avid journal-keeper. She started her first one around the age of 15, and kept going up until her death. Right around the time she got famous with the Anne books, she started to re-write/re-pen the early journals because she knew people would want to read them someday. Maybe that was incredible foresight, maybe it was cocky. Either way, that's what she did.

So the first four volumes were edited to a degree (mostly to whittle down some of the content, she was a prolific writer, after all) and released. But the fifth volume ... there were significant delays with that one. Those of us "in the know" heard that the editors were having issues with it because near the end of her life, and the journals, her writing became quite dark. The official word was that Montgomery died of "natural causes" (that's what we were told to say - so we did) but there was always this niggling truth out there, that we didn't really know HOW she died.

So now we have THE TRUTH. But here's the thing. The information came out in an essay in the Globe and Mail. I don't know WHY that bothers me the way it does. But it just seems WEIRD. That the way the estate is telling people was through an essay. In the Globe.

Maybe I'm just bitter because it wasn't a CBC story. But I don't think that's the case. The granddaughter said she wrote the essay because she was inspired by a series about depression written in the Globe. Maybe I expected the truth to come out in a more gradual way, rather than a one-paper exclusive.

But what do I know, I'm probably just a jealous reporter.



As I sit writing this, I've got my laptop on one knee...

And my puppy resting on the other.

So Sully had THE BIG OPERATION yesterday, and of course bounced back immediately. The only thing he's been dealing with is how to sit down now that he's got a sore bum. So he kind of does this funny little shuffle thing and spreads his legs before settling down on the floor. He's been spending a lot of time on the bed I made him though. It's softer, and easier on the behind I gather.

I was told to keep the little guy from jumping around too much, but that's like near impossible... so I just try not to excite him too much. But if he wants to jump up on the couch, face it, it's going to happen.

Tonite it's just the two of us, laying in bed. I don't normally let the dog sleep with me, but I think both of us could use the company. The other boy in my life leaves for another week of duty travel tomorrow, and I'm a bit sad. The summer/fall is especially bad for him traveling, and he's leaving in a month for an almost month-long vacation. So I'm understandably missing him a bit.

This weekend was a very chill one for me. Hardly left the house except to take Sully to the vet and back. But I did manage to accomplish one major milestone....

My bedroom is FINALLY painted.

Yes. I know. This is incredibly sad. I originally started painting my bedroom in something like December of last year. But for one reason or another I never got around to finishing it. All that remained was two walls. I'd even done most of the taping at least 6 months ago. But never got down to finishing the job.

So it's done. And I'm sleeping in the spare room tonite because I don't like the smell of fresh paint. I think the only thing left for me to do is try and fashion a set of curtains/drapes. Going to be tricky seeing as I don't own a sewing machine. But hey, if I was able to make a dog bed out of a strip of fleece, I can probably do this as well.

I'll have to post a photo of the end product if/when my room is ever presentable.

Jackie: Age 37

I broke 2 mirrors yesterday.

Two mirrors in one day.

I have never broken a mirror (despite my clumsy nature) in my life. Yesterday I broke two.

The next 14 years are going to suck.


Some people call these flaws...

But no.

They're the good stuff.

I, humanoid Jackie S. Quire , am inherently flawed.

I am an emotional, (melo)dramatic fool. And it's uncontrollable, and undesirable, but a reality nonetheless.

Once upon a time, I blamed these personality traits on "being in love" - - told myself that up until that point I didn't cry, I didn't really go through the ups-and-downs... I was a normal human being.

But once I let that once emotion out, they all followed suit. Anger, jealousy, and worst of all, general, all-consuming sadness. Sadness over how inadequate a partner I was, sadness that we were never together. I can remember sitting on a set of bleachers at an unused softball diamond, crying because I was leaving.... and being utterly ashamed and embarassed because I had always (in my piddly naieve little mind) been "so strong," and I "never cried."

That seems so long ago now. To be fair, it's been 4 years. That relationship's come and gone... as have other fleeting ones... but what's stayed is what I've accepted as my inherent flaw.

My relentless "feelings."

Such prickly little things. That nag at my every thought and action. They've become all-consuming and no longer are neatly filed in categories of "anger, jealousy and sadness" - they cross one another's boundries... and have expanded their horizons.

Of course there are good ones out there too. I of course do have my happy moments. I laugh, I love, I smile.

But it seems I'll never really get a true grasp on these guys. These emotions that seem so out of control, that I can't reign in, that I've been struggling to keep in check for years, but they keep squirming out between my fingers.

It seems like if I could just get a grip, that I could actually be "normal" and live my life like all you others do, even-keel and (dare I say) sane.

Dare to dream.


From the Nunatsiaq News

An honest letter to the editor... of course "name withheld"...

But all the same, a rare look into what funding provides for some.


September 5, 2008

Free money doesn’t build better society

This letter is in response to the article "Mining windfall sparks spending spree in two Nunavik towns." As a resident of Kangiqsujuaq, I want to take this opportunity to thank our leaders in Nunavik with some of my suggestions.

I am 20-something years old, an unemployed father of two who keeps getting paid for being a beneficiary, keeps going to a free school, and receives free health care, free food coupons, and who keeps receiving free money from the mine. You all work for me. Thank you.

And every time I look for a job, I can find one very easily because of the fact that a high school diploma is not required.

We are a very lazy people sometimes, because we don't even finish high school. We don't even "need." We are rich, but poorly educated. Thank you.

I feel bad for the people who have to work hard to make a living. Every time I look out the window, I feel that something is not right.

Too much funding may be the reason why. Every time I see uneducated Inuit, who's to blame? Should I tell them myself that education will bring them somewhere? Should I be the one to discuss the problems that money brings?

Otherwise, I got a brand new flat-screen TV. Thank you.

Wake up leaders. It is your responsibility to teach us about our economy, with education being the main idea. Sure, the economy looks good here. Our standard of living has skyrocketed.

All the advantages are to be appreciated. But what about the disadvantages? What can we do to gain more knowledge of this world?

If I had a choice, I would not give away too much money. I would instead use it towards creating a better society - with better education.

Please don't show my name. Thank you.

(Name withheld by request)

Bold statement

"I want to introduce to you, the most energetic person in ALL OF CANADA....JACK LAYTON!!!"

Says Gary Doer.

See, when I heard that intro, I thought we were going to talk about an Olympian... or a really fidgety dude.

But hey, maybe Layton IS a really fidgety, former Olympian.

It could happen....

Time to check his bio on Wikipedia......

The internet is scary

Because Towniebastard lacked the enthusiasm to write about this... I am going to instead.

From what I gather, a group of snoops (wow, that's fun to say!) hacked into Sarah Palin's "personal" email account, and published its contents. Kinda.

Now, I say "personal" because it wasn't really a personal email account. According to some, it was a sneaky way of hiding information from Access to Information. But I don't know if these guys knew that at the time. IMHO they probably just hacked in, looking for juicy bits... and came across more than expected.

But that's not the point. The point is that the internet is scary. There are people out there with the time and the ability to hack into email accounts, cell phone contact lists, and god knows what else.

I used to say (somewhat jokingly) that I'll know I've "made it" when I have my own Wikipedia page. But the more I think about that, the less I hope it will ever happen. I'm obviously not scared of people knowing things about me. I have a blog. And I get a decent amount of people stopping by on a semi-regular basis. But I still can hide behind a thin veil of anonymity... because let's be honest... no one really CARES who I am.

Sure they can make the linkages... CBC, Rankin Inlet, Jackie "S"... but seriously. No one cares. So for now I'd say I'm comfortable and (maybe, naively) safe in my little online world. Where no one has the desire to hack into my personal email accounts...

But just to be safe, maybe I better dream up a more secure password.


This is why people hate the dentist...

Because it costs almost 500 bucks for a routine checkup.

And my face feels like I've had a stroke... and the drool leaking out of my mouth was totally obscuring my view on the ride home post-filling.

Things that suck about the Kivalliq Dental Clinic:
- you have to pay in cash
- they are often behind on their appointments
- they are only in town every now and then
- I now may have to rethink the dog neutering (due to small paycheque last week and the need to pay for the dental fees in cash).... which sucks.

Things that don't suck about the KDC:
- they are super fast
- I didn't have to get gross flouride
- the dentist there right now likes to make fun of the Christian Children's Fund. And I quote: "What about the Bhuddist children? And the starving Hindu kids *cackle"
- I got to catch up on my Newsworld (still don't have cable... 4 months and counting) and watch Elizabeth May (not Hay) interrupt the politico-dude.
- I get 95% of that 500 bucks back. It's just going to take awhile.

For Tina

Posted by Picasa




Freaky about the 'nomics

I don't know anything about economics, the economy... or microeconomics.
I know nothing of exchange rates, of the American real estate market or the stock market.

So you're going to have to go somewhere else to get your fill of that.

I was thinking about something the other day. How I've really not done a great job of focussing my blog. That I ramble on so many topics it must drive people crazy. I think of the (frequent) blogs I read, and I can pick out very distinguishable themes. For example...

The Hoff, US politics, Mocking Columns/Articles,
Towniebastard's: US politics, CAN politics, MUN politics, comics (and seasonally, curling)
North of 63/Matt & Kara: Family and photos
Kennie: photos, hiking, school
Jen: Pets, photos (and now...) baby

But I don't know if I have concrete blogging themes. I try to do the "labels" feature, but give up most of the time.

I have no focus. I just ramble. Like now.

But then maybe that's my thing. I blog about rambling.

Wow. No wonder you guys keep reading....:P

Punching myself in the face

Bad Jackie.

Never say you don't have a deadline.



Funny joke-u

What do you call two groundhogs wearing turbans?

A siksik!!!



I just gave this guy a "double thumbs-up.
Not just one. Two. At the same time.
Like the fonz.
How embarassing.


Jilted Jackie

Dear madam fellow Journalist.
I know everyone gushing about how great the Kiv. News has been is probably a great compliment to you, and you must be feeling pretty good about yourself.
But that's no excuse for your behaviour.
You STRANDED ME at what COULD BE the world's DULLEST discussion about grizzly bears.
It's going to take some fancy dancing to get back in my good graces, missy.
You have 12 hours.

(They always give a timeline at the end of these things.)



No, this is not really a picture of a blanket. It's kind of more like a towel. But I challenge only the strong of heart to try and find a photo that semi-accurately depicts a wet blanket. And wet towel... well that just brings back some very disturbing results.

Jackie and the all-around frustrating Tuesday

I hate Bell.
I hate television.
I hate things I do not know how to operate.
I hate coaxial cables.

I hate mittens that cost 44.00 at the Northern, and aren't even all that nice.
I hate rain that is so cold it feels like snow. Or hail. Or some other miserable wintery thing.
I hate making my puppy go out in that kind of weather, because I know it's cold, and I know he'll just hide under the stairs and I'll have to go out in the brrrr and untangle him.

I hate lightbulbs I can't change on my own.
I hate wiping the counter.
I hate taking clothes out of the dryer.
I hate taking foodmail boxes out to the garbage can. They just blow away anyways. So why bother?

I hate First Air for cancelling their flights out of here.
I hate Calm Air for not being able to offer Aeroplan seats anymore.

I hate that I just seem to have called it quits on my half-finished painting job.

I hate student loans.
I hate credit cards.

I hate the "I want, I need" itch.
I hate the remedy for feeling like life sucks is to buy things online, and have them arrive 3 weeks later.

I hate being away from my friends.
I hate being away from my family.
I hate having grown up so fast and for pushing too hard too fast and too strong.

I hate that I never took a break between high school and university, and university and "the career"

I hate that I feel like this right now, and am depressing the hell out of everyone that is reading this. But too bad. If it sucks, don't read it.

Broken spirit

One of the hardest things about living up here is there seems to be a lot of pessimistic people.

People who resist change not because they don't like the ideas or the people who think of them, and not even because they don't WANT change, but because these kind of things have not caught on in the past. And so you better not even bother.

This has happened twice in the past week. There is an idea that friends and I have cooked up, that appears to have support - because we've felt it out, asked people what they think. But then randomly someone says, usually in a really loud voice and a know-it-all tone, "Nope. Won't ever happen. Not here. It's Rankin."

It's just so discouraging. It's not like I'm sitting here, proposing we all drive on the left hand side of the road, instead of the right. Yes, that would be a fair response. No, not here. Never. It's Rankin. People do not drive on the left hand side of the road in Rankin. It's never been that way, and it never will be. Point finale.

But we're talking about something as simple (in one case) as curling. There is a curling rink in Rankin. Friends have put the wheels in motion to have a curling league. Probably, there won't be hundreds who join. Probably, we'll just have a couple, or a handful of teams who play. It's not a revolution. It's people looking for something to do in a small community, when the days get short and the evenings lonely. It's not even like it's a new sport that has never existed in Rankin.

But when it was brought up today, one person's response was out-and-out "It will never work, no one will ever do it. It's Rankin. I live here.I know."

I don't understand this out-and-out refusal to consider people doing something - not even that different - that would make them happy. That isn't hurting anyone.

Why would someone insist on being so negative about another person's pet project? And I guess I don't understand why I take it so personally either. It's not MY brainchild. I've never even thrown a rock in my life. But some friends were excited about setting up a league. And I got caught up in the excitement. But it's hard to be excited when so many people just want to cut you down.


Ode to a blogger

Dear fellow blogger.
I know you read this.
And so I dedicate this post to you. As you've given me the highest compliment and greatest honour by your gentle words....
And you will forever be remembered for you kindness.


PS, snooze you loose Jeff. Could have won my heart with one tiny sentence. Who cares if my house has never actually been clean. You could have lied :P
PPS, no, blogger is not dead. Even though this sounds like some kind of morbid tribute.
PPPS. No, there is no illicit love affair going on between THESE two bloggers. Stop being turds.
PPPPS. I just giggled at that last sentence. Because it's funny.
PPPPPS. My dog knows I'm writing about you, and won't leave me alone.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it....

Fashion designer seeks refuge in Canada's smallest province!

(Only to be attacked by hurricane Hanna)


Neutering and Stephen Harper

...but NOT

Neutering Stephen Harper. I'll leave that to Laureen.

Does this photo not look photoshopped???? It's from the front page of cbc.ca this morning, but it looks like Harper was cut out of a press photo and pasted in a pastoral scene.


Also: there's no photo credit. Hmmmmmmmm.

**update** The photo has now been removed from cbc.ca. So I am now the one and only person to have this rare photo of Harper pretending to be pastoral. Enjoy.

So now that I've got that out of the way... I have an announcement to make. The puppy is soon going to be emasculated.

That's right. The vet is in town the week after next, and Sully is gettin' fixed. I feel a little bit bad, because he's really mellowed out in the past couple months... he still eats anything and everything he can get his little paws on... but he now sits on the couch fairly content-ly... instead of bouncing from it to the armchair and floor and back again (ok, well he still does that, especially when just being let back in the house... or when he's first out of puppy-confinement [the area where he stays when I'm not at home]... but it's a HUGE improvement).

So, anything I should know about this whole 'procedure' from you folkies? I know there is a certain soon-to-be-vet who occasionally frequents this blog...

Keep in mind, Sully is my first puppy... and I....


... don't know anything about dogs. So anything you've got is helpful.

And, a photo, because it's been a long time since I've posted a photo of the pup (who, incidentally, is no longer a puppy... he turned 1 on the 24th of August.)


Adjustment period

So I may or may not have driven on the wrong side of the road this afternoon.

And when I signal to turn left or right, I always have to stop and thing if I'm going "near or far".

Not that it matters. No one in Rankin knows how to drive anyways haha.

I fit right in!

Chef Jackie

I was making my merry way to work this morning, and somewhere out of the blue began contemplating a career change.

I will become... a CHEF!

Okay. So I think I just realized where that 'brainstorm' came from. I was thinking about my ipod. And the videos I put on it prior to the UK vacation (yes, I will eventually get down to writing about that).

And how one of the movies I had already seen, but forgot.

And that I was glad I hadn't seen the other movie, Ratatouille, because it was entertaining.

Then I got thinking about how I had read that Ratatouille was supposedly a really good example of how the 'higher' echelons of the culinary world work.

And then I thought about the word 'sauciere' - the person who makes the sauces in nice restaurants.

And then I decided I would become a chef.

This kind of idea has crossed my mind in the past... but I always said I couldn't do it because my chef-cousin once told me that you had to carve up cow carcasses ... and I didn't think I could do that.

But since moving to the north, I've had the experience of filleting my VERY OWN FISH. So obviously I could handle filleting a cow.


Anyways, I think my point here is that I like cooking. I am 23. And I never really considered the possibility of changing my career ... because journalism had always been the goal. But now that I have that, I'm starting to realize that there's a whole lifetime ahead of me. And I can do whatever I want with it.

And maybe I can be a chef.

And THEN maybe I can be a food columnist.

And THEN  I would have the best job IN THE WORLD.



Note to self

Elizabeth May and Elizabeth Hay are NOT the same person.

Elizabeth May:

Blonde woman.
Green party

Elizabeth Hay:

Blonde woman.

And no. Author/Journalist Elizabeth Hay is NOT going to sue if the Green Party is excluded from televised debates.

I was just a tad confused, is all.

Thoughts on Listeria

I refuse to get paranoid about mushrooms.

If I have to die, it might as well be because I ate some tasty food.

Listeria tastes yummie, right?