Friday, May 25, 2007

The post that almost wasn't...

Count your lucky stars folks, I almost didn't survive to make this post. You see there was this giant, blood thi-...ah better yet, I'll just let the pictures tell the story:

It was a typical, sunny day here in sleepy old Fort McPherson.

Up was up, down was down, and powerlines crossed every whichway! Oh what a time to be alive! But that was all to change. Something was stirring in the air. Something just wasn't right.
Then I saw it.
Him.

Instantly, I knew he wasn't there to sell magazines. In a paranoid rage, I was all like, "Step off!", and he was all like "Stop looking at me swan." Confused, I shouted back "Hey man! Quit the jibba jabba! Can't you see that I am not a swan!?" He didn't respond. Already, I could tell that he knew he had got inside my head. Was I a swan? What's a swan anyways? I didn't even know anymore.
For reference, here's my head:

Soon, he had recruited more buddies, and they had formed a murder of ravens.

I'd like to say I handled it in stride and didn't show any fear, but what can I say, I freaked! What was I gonna do?! All hope was lost.
I heard someone shout out, "Won't someone think of the children!!?"
(He's being terrorized)
A BBQ was being ruined!
(Yeah...no it's being ruined, really)

But soon, despite my lifelong ignoring of them, it was to be the seaguls who would come to my aid on this day!:

As you can see, things quickly escalated from that point on. No human or vehicle was to be spared!

Some inspirational music began playing so I thought for sure we were going to be okay. I even tried to throw out some witty one-liners to demoralize the ravens, but I was so nervous and scared that nothing came to mind! Things only got worse from there, because the music had changed over to the theme song from That's So Raven.

I knew this was a bad sign.
Sadly, my best friend and guardian of the wild, Seagullian IV, was killed during the altercation.
So then it came down to just me and him. Raven. The Raven.

Oh sure he looks bashful, maybe even a little cute, staying partially hidden behind that stump. But he's a monster I tell you! Beware, for he may be closer to you than you think! He has begun adapting human characteristics, in an attempt to blend in with the humans. Here he is "celebrating" Christmas:

Looks convincing doesn't it?? But it you look closely, you can find flaws in his charade. That's right, he's sober! No self-respecting person would remain sober on Christmas Day. Nice try heathen!

So then, after confiding with my comrades and the local authorities...

...I had devised a plan. A plan so devious only Satan himself could think of something so good!
Cautiously, I gave him a piece of food. Turns out that's all he wanted anyway! He should have just asked.
And then he flew away, but not before he reared his head around and slyly remarked..."Nevermore!" and then cackled as he flew away with a strut like only a raven could.

Damn, why couldn't I have thought of that line during the fight? I think it's the only quote I know that has anything to do with ravens. Oh well, next time I guess.
THE END

(Today's post is dedicated to the memory of Seagullian IV. You've gone to a better trash pile, friend.)

-Alex

Monday, May 7, 2007

I'm back


Ok, finally I have got a pair of sunglasses and I'm back to my old (sight-abled, non snowblinded) self. As you may have guessed, not a lot has changed here in sleepy ol' Fort McPherson. Carnival (the first one) has come and...well, been cancelled because a guy died. But THEN, they tried the whole carnival thing again in a couple weeks, and it too has come and gone. I didn't really get too involved in anything to be honest. Yes, of course I played the radio bingo, and I also had my name mentioned ON that very same radio. Though I will admit, I did sound a bit out of place. "Thank you to Shirley Snowshoe from Tsiigehtchic, Charlie Charlie from Aklavik, Francis J. Koe, Francis K. Koe, and Francis L. Koe all from Tuktoyaktuk, annnnnnnnnnd Alex Campbell from Nova...Scotia?....umm for checking tonight's bingo balls."
The outdoor events were held on the Peel River for the most part, and there were tents set up smoking caribou and moose meat too.
(This pic was taken when the tents were just being set up the night before...hence there being no people to see)
Being the only white person I could see anywhere, I didn't stay down on the river all too long. Not because of fear (cause I mean, come on, have you seen me curled up in a ball? I'm preeeeeeeeeeetty tough to budge), but cause I stuck out like a sore thumb. And we all know how tough it can be to do up buttons with a sore thumb...need I say more!? (The correct answer is no)

I've also worked at the school here a couple of times, being.........ok get this.......a subsitute teacher! I know, hurts my head too. But seriously, they're very short on having... qualified *blows on nails, polishes them on shirt* teachers to fill in.

(I don't remember Alex ever having obtained a teaching degree...)

Ok, ok true, I may only have a BA in something completely unrelated, but often it'll be someone who just barely has their grade 12, and really could care less about being there to teach, so having someone who will actually show up on time is always a benefit for the school I suppose. Annnnnnnyways, it was actually pretty fun getting to be a sub. The kids are all pretty relaxed, and I don't think I could ever get sick of working 7 hour days where I get to read off a preplanned schedule for that day's class.
Hmmm what else is going on......well the rivers and ice crossings have begun to melt, thereby closing down the only road routes to get out of here. For another month or so until the ferries are able to make it through the remaining ice, it's simply not possibly to leave Fort McPherson (DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN) unless you want to pay big bucks to get a flight to Inuvik from here. Even then, the flights only go maybe once a week. Sooooooo I could definetly see myself going insane and joining a pack of wild dogs. (I hope I can get in good with the alpha male)
Before the breakup a little over a week ago I did get to drive to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway to pick up the son of one of the RCMP members who was arriving at the airport. The following is a picture aided telling of my great journey. Yes, the pictures may be out of focus, and yes, there may not be many of them, but until they invent a robot that goes with you on drives and sits in the passenger seat and takes pictures for you and doesn't grill you about how it doesn't approve of your direction in life and your friends and constantly begging you for more oil because it's hungry, these are the best pictures of my solo road journey that I've got.
So driving along the Dusty Dempster, as it's known, you have to have a steady hand on the wheel, especially when this is what you see every few minutes:

No, the road isn't any wider than it looks there, and yes, you literally drive blind for the first few seconds after passing the truck.
I soon arrived near Tsiigehtchic, and it is conveniently located at the intersection of the Arctic Red River and MacKenzie, and is where the ice crossing is. Here's the approach, and you can see Tsiigehtchic over towards the right side if you look really close:
(you might have to click on the picture to bring up a larger size version)
Next is the ice crossing in itself, which I have ever so nicely taken a picture of for you here:
(you can see where it changes from land to ice if you look closely)
And here's the ice road crossing:

It may be bumpy as hell and you're sliding all over the place, but it rides like dreeeeeeam. There were fun times to be had on the way home when I let the guy I was picking up drive home and he put us into a 720 spin in the middle of the crossing.
About 2 hours after my journey began, I had arrived in Inuvik. Lookie here!:

I like to picture that guy in that episode of The Simpsons when he says "Ennnnnd of the LINE!", only in my mind he replaces "LINE" with "DEMPSTER". Good trick huh!?
Then, what's this off to the right of the road?:

Doesn't look like much eh? Well since you asked so nicely I'm happy to inform you that it's actually a golf course. It's only 9 holes and I can't really see it being a world class venue, but like the saying goes: When life gives you lemons, make dirty, cold, rocky, barren lemonade.
So moving on to the town itself, you can see the hustle of downtown Inuvik. (Although oddly enough, there was no bustle to be found)

You might be asking what that nipple shaped building is in the background, because I mean come on, it sure does look like a huge, enormous nipple right? right?!?!

Wrong you blasphemous pervert!! Get a hold of yourself! It is of course the igloo shaped church.
So that pretty much wraps up my (not so) grand journey last week.

As you can see, I didn't really take many photos during my trip, and haven't really taken much in general over the last couple weeks. I'll try to take more so that you greedy bastards can get your fill. I keeeeeeed with you of course. Today, I leave you with a picture of some smiley, happy, and innocent children playing outside, taken just before I told them to scram and to get off my lawn. Damn punks!


Hope everyone is doing well back home,
Alex