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Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Big River Ice.

A river chock full of ice.

Up close and personal.

Monday, May 29, 2006



Aklavik: Downriver from us.

Lousy Picture of the ice. We did get closer, but DHM hasn't downloaded them yet, and his camera is at the office. That red thing on the ice... that's a fuel tank that somehow got dragged along by breaking ice. All the water in the foreground covers the intown airstrip.

Arctic Red (Tsigitchic): these buildings are about 30' higher than the river.. well not right now, but normally you have to go down quite a slope to get to the ferry crossing.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


The other great flood.

It's been quite exciting here the past few days.

A small community downriver was evacuated due to flooding. A community upriver situated on a ramparts of all things, is not under water but the water level is extremely high, and our little burg had the very rare treat of seeing big river ice jam, grind, tumble and then move along at a fast clip when it finally broke free.

It's break up. That time of year when our ice road-closed down due to thin ice- breaks up and is replaced for a few months by the east arm of the Mackenzie River. I've lived here over twenty years, and I've never seen ice like this. It was really something to see.

I'll try and post pictures tomorrow of the three communities. We got quite a few today of our town, the department of highways sent one on Friday showing the high water of the town up river, and a friend took extensive photos of the evacuated community. They seem to have escaped unscathed because none of the houses appear to be under water, although there's water everywhere.

I guess this seems pretty boring when you can't see it for yourself... but yikes it really was exciting today. The river full to the gunnels of blocks of ice and ice floes. Watching huge chunks toss tree trunks stripped bare like itty bitty cabers.


Friday, May 26, 2006


Of Scotch and Women

K, not a song title but it should be.

I think better under the influence. Unrestrained by trifling details, like morality and, well reason. I can come up with the most outrageious solutions to any problem.

There's a saying in the writing community KISS (keep it simple stupid)... under the influence I boil all of the worlds problems down to its simplest form.

So there's been much discussion in the last week about our community's future... where we'll be in 50 years. There were some fairly grandiose visions, and there's nothing wrong with that, but when it comes to municipal planning you really don't need to project modern advancements so much as you need to stick the basics of urban human needs (KISS). To that end I put the kybosh on facilities for electric cars and a mega mall (with a proposed population of 10k). People need, (we're talking urban here), a transportation facility, (roads). Water (preferably potable). And sewer. If you plan those three things well, the growth of the town will rarely have major impact on the quality of life. In other words if you plan well for a population of 10 thousand in the year 2050, it really doesn't matter if you reach the goal or not. You've accomadated for the growth in your plan.

Many didn't want to hear this mundane approach when they were hip deep in hover cars, and vertical parking (as if???) and yet, it's nice, in the scotch buzz, to be right every now and again.


Friday, May 19, 2006


Chicken Dance, or (John's Chicken Paprika)

Sunny Lyn suggested the name change (don't wanna mess with my theme)

This recipe is legend and passed down the family (and now into my family). It was first made for me by an older hungarian man who couldn't seem to cook a small batch of anything. He taught me how to fish, and I fell a little in love with him. Every time we eat it we have to tell stories of John and his twisted english. This meal takes some effort to prepare, a wonderful meal to cook with friends during an afternoon, drink some wine while preparing then sit down and watch a movie whilst it finishes cooking.

Now I can't do all the fancy stuff like Doug does, and I don't have the actual recipe written down anywhere--this is from memory, so I'll try to bold the ingredients as I go.

You'll need a large, heavy bottomed stew pot.

On medium heat melt 2T Butter, add 2 Lg White Onions, halved and sliced thin. Add 1 Lg Red Pepper, 1 Lg Yellow Pepper.sliced as per onions. (this is flexible, red or yellow, it matters not so long as you have two of them.) Add 2 Lg Cloves Crushed Garlic. While that is saute-ing slowly. Slice 3 Med Tomatoes, add to pot. Stir and add Paprika. (Now this is tricky, the Paprika I use is called Spanish Paprika, it's a deep dark red, and a little spicy, I use at least 2T of it... at least. Depending on the size of the pot you may want to go as high as a 1/4 C).

Okay where were we? right .. Paprika. By this time the Onions and Peppers should be very soft and reducing nicely, stir and cover the pot. While you're waiting get the chicken ready. Now you know your guests best, and what else you'll be serving, but this recipe will feed six, nicely, so I'd probably put in 6 Chicken Drumsticks and 6 Chicken thighs. Trim off the excess skin and fat, ignore the slight burning smell coming from the pot, (turn the pot if your burners cook unevenly). By the time the chicken is ready, so should the pot. What you're looking for is a blackened bottom, but not charred, I slight nuance I know, but so long as the burner was on medium the whole time, this shouldn't take more than 10-20 minutes.. the amount of time it takes you to prepare the chicken, see?

Move the onion/pepper mixture out of the way and place the chicken pieces, skin side down, on the blackened bottom. Cover chicken with the onion mixture, add 1/2 jar of hot pickled peppers(without the juice, we're saving that for later) and replace the lid. You can add more, or less peppers here, depending on your palate. Add some pickled jalapeños, red chilli peppers, up to you. This is where the heat comes from.

Saute, covered about 5 minutes, check to see if the skin has taken the colour from the bottom, if it hasn't, cover and wait a few more minutes. Never scrape the bottom. When the chicken has good colour to it loosen from bottom. Add, 1/2 of the juice, from the pickle jar. 1/2t dry Dillweed, 1/2t Salt. Stir, cover, reduce heat. Simmer gently for an 1- 1 1/2 hours. Just before serving stir in 2C sour cream, add more salt if needed... gastronomical orgasms to follow.

This is not a weight conscious meal. Indulge yourself. Homemade egg noodles are divine (hunt down a recipe), John's son, (the heir to the recipe) serves it with creamy cucumber salad, also divine. Trés easy recipe there, slice a cucumber realy thin, let it soak in some of the pepper pickle juice or barring that, vinegar, jalapeno, tobasco and pepper, just before serving drain off vinegar and add whipping cream. You'll lick the bowl I promise. Another idea is to serve with fresh crusty bread. The sauce over the chicken is--well I can't say enough about how good this sauce is--don't be shy about dipping a slice of bread in and sopping it up.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Hard Days Night.

K, I'm back in the saddle after nursing my red wine hangover yesterday. It wasn't as bad as I deserved, just enough to make me lethargic, and useless for the day.

So what exciting things happened in my world today? er, the snow is off the roof. The leaks should stop shortly, and then it's the monumental task of fixing the deck. Blech!

What else? The Spawn finally cracked his times table matrix in under three minutes. Yay, kid. When he gets it down to under two minutes, I get to mess with him and jumble the numbers.

In plant news, every thing but my flower seedlings are doing well. Herbs, check. Vegetables, check. Flowers, not so much. I'm quite despondant about them, I'm not quite sure what I've done wrong this year that's different from other years. I get sprouts, but then they die, or a nasty yellow fungus covers the soil. I so wanted them to be a success this year, sigh, guess it's going to be another expensive sale for the greenhouse. Maybe next year I'll do better.

Well that wasn't very exciting. I could link you to a audio file of a CBC broadcast that casts a slightly different view of the 5 Chinese detainees released to Albania, but that would take time, effort and commitment. Meh.


PS if you really want it I'll dig it up tomorrow. too tired now.

X, again

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Thank You For Being A Friend.

I had the best night.

My two favouritist menfolk in the world came over and cooked me dinner and entertained me royally tonight.

I've said it before, but it can't be said enough--I have the best friends!!!!

Chicken paprika (hungarian, and hot), creamy cucumber salad (also hot), and noodles that sadly turned out to be dumplings due to grabbing the flour in the wrong cannister (self-raising instead of plain flour) but it was all good. Copious amounts of wine, solved all the socio-political ills of the world, and still managed a card game.

Is there anything better?



I So Clever.

Look what I did!

Isn't it purty? This is what I've been doing the past few days.

This bureau was DHM's Grandfather's. After handling the piece for the past few days, I have a feeling this was hand made (not by a mastercraftsman). A school project perhaps? beginner carpenter? Best I can age it, without phoning the MIL is 1920's-40's about.

I started the job on Friday, stripped off all the ghastly green paint (why is furniture needing to be stripped always green?), and sanded the wood down to a lovely smooth surface. I didn't remove all the dings , but that's part of its aged charm. Then, because I couldn't sleep last night, I got both coats of staining done. All I had to do today was oil, and oil and oil. On Monday I have to run out and get a buffer, but it be done.

And another project is crossed off the list.


Thursday, May 04, 2006


The Great Flood of 2006.

I've sprung a leak. Well, several really.

You may recall that last year we did some renovations to our house. An addition, the roof, and the siding. There were some teensy jobs we knew we still had to do, but gosh, the lions share was done, and summer came, and long story short they never did get done.

That decision has come back to bite me in the ass. The deck, which was supposed to be resealed after the siding was put in place, was merely patched. (Mostly my fault, I'd been under construction for so long, and it was summer time, and I wanted to have one place that wasn't a work zone. I wanted to put my flowers out and enjoy the sun.) We did a quick bandaid job, and thought we'd got the areas that needed work (and only those areas). Not so. Well I'm paying for my indulgence now.

There's pooling water due to rapidly melting snow covering the deck. Being water, it's trying to find the lowest point possible. I've got water everywhere... okay buckets, but if it weren't for buckets I'd have water everywhere. There are three rooms downstairs that are affected, and are directly related to the deck. All I can do for now, is keep emptying the pans, and shovel as much snow as I can.

Sigh, sometimes life isn't a bowl of cherries.

On the plus side though, the sun is shining so brightly and the temperature is rising. If it keeps up like this all the snow should be melted by the end of the weekend. And with the sun coming back, so has my energy levels. I'm a freakin' whirling dervish around the house this week. Projects that have been sitting and waiting for months to get done, have been accomplished in days. So far there's no end in sight to my burst of activity.

Ciao Bellas


Wednesday, May 03, 2006


How Many Times Can you Watch A Movie Before it Gets Old?

I'm an unashamed movie fiend.

Love them, love them, love them. And I don't require much of them, only that they entertain me for a couple of hours. I've even started a DVD collection, gathering together my favourite movies so I can take them out and watch them whenever I want. (You'll hear my scream if they defunct DVDs any time soon). It's this collection that has brought me to the realisation that there are some madcaps out there that don't share my enthusiasm.

Dearest Husband of Mine, is one of them. He doesn't see the point in revisiting a cinematic experience, (I know, it boggles my mind too.) The good news is he can never remember what he's watched, and he is incapable of remembering a title, so more often than not I get to watch my favourites, and he doesn't even realise until about 45 minutes into the movie that he's seen it before.

But there are some movies I can't stop myself from watching. Some I don't even really like, and yet every time they're on I find myself tuning to that channel. So here is a list, with no particular preference, of movies I've watched over and over and over.

The Net

Practical Magic

Speed (k guess I had a Sandra Bullock thing going)

Starship Troopers (I honestly don't know why this movie holds such fascination for me)
Pulp Fiction

The Ref

The Craft



The Andromeda Strain

The Last Starfighter

Jurassic Park

Absolutely ANY gladiator movie that used stop fram animation ("Release the Kracken!" Best line. Evar.) Plus they have those perfectly dreadful voice overs. Pure gold.

Long Kiss Goodnight.

Army of Darkness ("Give me some sugar, baby.")

The Day After Tomorrow

Toy Soldiers

The Breakfast Club

Beverly Hills Cop

Okay, now I'm making myself ill. LOL. If only half of these shows played during a single weekend I'd have an anxiety attack trying to decide which ones to watch. After looking at the list, I can only see three movies which would make my top 10 favourite list.

And no I'm not going to tell you.

A girl has to have some mystery after all.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I Swear I Love You.


Got your attention didn't it? I've had a few discussions with friends lately, regarding swearing, cussing and profanity in books and our own writing. How much to use it, when, why. That sort of thing. It made me mentally analyze books with varying degrees of swearing in them.

Here are a few examples that came to mind.

One character, a bit player in the story, never opened his mouth unless 'God damn bitch' (or whore, or a variation thereof), came out. He was a belligerent, unpleasant person, and his cussing (toward the heroine) merely reinforced my reasons not to like him. But he shared maybe three scenes with the heroine total, and two with other players. As I recall, the heroine in that story didn't swear. A few other characters did, including the hero, but some of it was internal monologue. Does that count? Over all I didn't think the story was filled with 'profanity' and when it was used, it worked well with the emotional impact of the scene.

Then there's Nora Roberts' 'in Death' Characters, Eve and Roarke. Eve swears far more than Roarke, but her Idiot! can come across harsher than a well placed fuck. Roarke swears when he's really pissed (usually at Eve). These books are my first real experience where the heroine cusses on a regular basis, and is in fact part of her character, for me it works. It emphasises her impatience with the rest of the human race.

I know when I'm writing an intense scene (probably an argument) my characters will use God damn, and dammit every frickin line... Happily I clean it up during second and third read-throughs, but to get the impact down initially, yeah they swear like troopers. However, if, after several read-throughs, I still found an over-abundance of swearing, my anal retentive bean counting personality would insist that I limit the amount of cussing done to a finite number. Like six per character. Then I'd have to pour over the scenes to sprinkle the swearing in the most crucial places. Seriously, this is how my brain works.

But the point... yes there was one, just took me a hell of a long time to get there. The use of swearing in books does not bother me so long as it works for the character and the situation. It actually bothers me more to have 'gratuitous' swearing in movies... er, except the movie, 'The Commitments'. Somehow, fuck you coming out of everyone's mouth (in an Irish accent) all the time didn't seem out of place at all. In fact I came out of the theatre trying to imitate exactly how the characters pronounced it. Sort of a fook yer.


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