Monday, March 24, 2008

It's the North.



Characters in this scene: Monsieur Productivity and Mr. North

Productivity: "My what a wonderful week this is looking to be! Reports to type, shipments to make, deadlines to fulfill!"

North: "Yo sucka! You best watch yo step! Ima gonna wreck you fool!"

Productivity: "Mr. North, lets calm down and be rational. I'll put on the tea and we can talk this out. I love you."

North: "Break yo self!" *BLAM BLAM BLAM*

*screams are heard, tires squealing, Monsieur Productivity is later pronounced dead*

END SCENE


Not that I mind...but this past week has been the North at its best. So the Dempster Highway (see: The only way into town from the south) was closed from Sunday to Friday due to high winds and blowing snow. To be fair, it was open for 2 hours on Thursday until several more tractor trailers were blown clear off the road.
Not only did this mean people's plans to head south were delayed, it also meant nobody was coming back up. So in a twist of fate, Winston Pennyworth VI remained here with me for an unexpected 5 days.
With Friday being the holiday that it was, it meant no school and an early start to Spring Break for the kids here in McPhoo. Shortened week, pretty slack eh? Oh no, the gods of productivity must have felt this was far too long of a week, as a sewage pipe burst (again) in the school, causing some massively unpleasant smells to emanate throughout the school. Early spring break!
And then, over the weekend the gas stations ran out of gas. Just goto another gas station right? NEIN! There are no other ones to goto you idiot! Alright, sorry, that was a bit much of me.
hmmm what else has happened...oh yeah, to top it all off, it has been COLD! (imagine that, it's cold in the Arctic, ha ha, I get it)
It was -40C everyday this past week, and right now it's still not that pleasant out (-33C and snowing with high winds)
As frustrating as this place can be sometimes (sometimes is a kind word, don't you think?), I can't help by admire the North (if I may refer to the location as a living entity) in that it never really gives a shit what your plans are or what happened to you yesterday. Sometimes you just gotta wait, and wait, and wait. You often don't really have a choice, or any other options. It might drive some people bat shit crazy, but in my opinion it really forces you to relax and not take life so seriously. Plus it's one of the few places that I know of that Campbell time and "The Man"'s time run on the same schedule. (see: fashionably late)

There's also been a huge wolf-like dog that has started fancying Sadie and Chance and has taken it upon himself to hop over the fence and start running around our yard with the dogs. I don't really mind him that much though, mainly cause he looks like he could tear my arm clean off (I must obey his every command), but also because he lets Chance hump away at him and for Sadie to make him her bitch. But then last night when I went outside to shoo (shooo shooo!) him away from the yard that big bastard ran over and grabbed one of the dogs' toys and then jumped clean over the fence with it. Now he sits across the road on top of a snowbank and gives me the most smug look you can imagine while I shake away with my fist and my rubber boots on. Maybe if I shook a pitchfork over my head it would help. Damn him! He certainly knows how to rile me up. I'm sooo riled!

This may end up being one of my last blog posts for a while because I'm just about done house sitting over here at the Appleby's house and then next week I move into my own place across town. My sister and I haven't decided on the internet situation yet, so we will see. If you're feeling Alex withdraw, let me know and I'll chop off a lock of my hair for you and send it in the mail. Keep in mind that my head is still shaved, so the envelope may end up looking like it's filled with dirt or insects (you tell me what stubble looks like, that's the best I could think of). But deep down inside, you'll know it's my hair. That's all that matters. AND KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE!


Talk to you some other time,
Alex

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In the year 2000, Alex will post pictures


I don't quite know how I feel about having such a large pic of my head as the start to this post. Yeah I know I've had pics of my face as the start to lots of posts, but I always feel just a little bit more obnoxious every time I do.
Anyway
Now that I've tamed the mighty beast that is Blogger, I am able to post a few pictures from the weekend. But it's only a few, so lets not go getting NUTS alright!? Keep this in perspective. Are you done? Good. To make this easier I'll just link to the album. In case you're confused or you never really paid much attention to what I look like in person (hey, it's quite alright, I never liked you much either), I'm the one in black, Jaksun is the one in the fantastically bright orange (haha). Unfortunately the photos do a poor job of putting the grand scale of the area and sparseness of it all. If you look closely in one of the pics you can see the tracks of a caribou (or a large fox, or a yeti, to be honest we had no real clue what the hell the thing was) that we followed up to the peak.
Enjoy:
Hike w/ jaksun



Till next time,
Alex aka Protector of the Yeti

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's so cold my sweatpants even sound like a tarp

Believe it or not my weekend was actually pretty eventful. That's right: FULL of events. Not even one spare second. Not even enough time to exaggerate a shit load like I am right now.
Ok, ok, stuff happened. That's eventful at this time in my life in my current living location. Deal?

Friday's early St. Patty's Day party at Pete's was good as was expected. I made a complete ass of myself, took off my top, and then puked in the grand piano! I'd count that as a small moral victory. Besides those things happening, it was a relatively calm night. As promised, I didn't take any pictures of the festivities. But my sister has posted a few on facebook so feel free to take a gander on there. If you have her added. If you don't....ha! You're inadequate. (In the sense that you haven't yet added my sister to facebook)

I also took it upon myself to make plans to go on a megatrek the next morning in the mountains. It seemed like the right thing to do the next morning after getting drunk. But then that might have been because I was drunk. hmm...
Regardless, I eventually woke up Saturday and slowly walked around the house like a shitfaced hungover zombie until I got the call from Jaksun that we'd be leaving in less than an hour. So I scrambled like only I could and somehow got it together in time to go. I even found the time to prepare an awesome packed lunch of tuna sandwiches (with all-dressed chips laid inside) and baked beans in a thermos. After fueling up and checking our gear, Jaksun (the school's gym teacher) and I drove out to an area close to James Creek, which, if you've been following this blog, was a hiking spot of my experiences last summer. For those new to all that is Alex Campbell, James Creek is in the Richardson Mountains and just before the Yukon/NWT border. The Richardson Mountains is the most northern and oldest range of the Rocky Mountains.
Anyway, so we scoped out a route for the day and snowshoed/kicked/tripped/slid/fell/stumbled/and bitched our way across a few small peaks. Alright maybe I was doing all the complaining, but this is my blog now isn't it? Now where was I? Ah yes, so Jaksun was bitching all day about the hike, but otherwise, it was a freaking beauuuuutiful day. Like ridiculously beautiful. The temperature seemed to magically warm up just enough once we got going, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, the sun was blindingly bright, and there was a fresh snowfall of about 10cm to jump around in all over the mountains. About the only thing that sucked was my lunch. Word of advice, do NOT pack a tuna sandwich lined with all-dressed chips for lunch. The chips get all soggy and the tastes of the chips and the tuna combined to make this weird burnt taste which can only be described as "a shitty taste when you're starving hungry". In hindsight, eating beans while going for a big hike wasn't the smartest idea either. How about that.
Being that this hike was my first somewhat long distance snowshoe, I had a great time. At the risk of sounding slightly feminine or just plain weird, about the only thing that got really fatigued were my hip flexors. It was like walking around in sand for 6 hours after all. Otherwise it felt good, and the cold was hardly noticeable minus my (facial) cheeks reaching a new level of rosiness. guh.
I did however get some great pics of the scenery from that day. But blogspot has decided to hide half of the buttons/options available to me for the moment so I can't post any pics. And I don't know HTML well enough to embed them myself. If someone reading this does know the HTML code to do that........NEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD!!!
I joke of course. Please be kind to me when nerds take over the world.

Getting back on topic, cause of the longer days, we were also able to stay out hiking till a little after 7pm before hopping in his truck to head back. Gotta love Arctic sunlight. YOU HAVE JUST GOT TO. NO ARGUMENTS PLEASE.

Sunday was rather UNeventful... and then I was back to working today (Monday) which was pretty straightforward other than there was a group of ultra marathon racers in town and they did a presentation at the school. They were in the midst of varying lengths of marathons but all of them had to of been insane. Check out the site to see just what I'm talking about. If you're wondering why I made a point to mention this it's because I scored a free t-shirt! That'll show those punk kids who didn't ask any questions during Q&A time!

On a sad note, the noble dog Winston, who has been residing with me for the past week will be heading back into the custody of his rightful owner later today. A week ago I could imagine no happier of an event than getting rid of Winston, but I gotta say I've come to enjoy Winston and his fine appreciation of 19th century muskets and imported cigars. But such is the life of a dog sitter.


Until later,
Alex

P.S.
Once blogspot smartens up I'll be sure to post some pictures. I hope I'm able to satisfy you textually until then. *giggle*

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I made a fort in the bathroom. It rules!



Hey y'all, so here I am, 10lbs lighter and all! I've stumbled upon the fantastic new "Arctic Diet". That's right, the same one all your favourite celebrities have been raving about. So here it is: spend 3 days being kill-me-now-this-isn't-funny-anymore-I'm-serious-when-is-this-gonna-stop-mercy-mercy-mercy-uncle-charlie-brown-let-me-down sick, then watch the pounds effortlessly shed away! That's all there is to it!

I thought my little head cold was an annoyance the first couple days I was here, but I guess that was really all just a tease of the full blown stomach flu that was upcoming.

Outside of being sick, I've actually been pretty busy in McPherson. I've taught at the school most days, and then spent the rest of my free time looking after the THREE dogs here now. I don;t think this is how it's supposed to work though. I was supposed to only have one dog. ONE DOG! I want people to look at me with that look of "oh how cute, that gentleman is having an adorably tough little time with his cute pooch! ha ha, that's life!" and not for them to say "oh that poor poor son of a bitch. I truly feel sorry for that individual and may his soul burn in hell for all eternity. God save the Queen."
( I don't know why they would say God Save the Queen, but it makes for a more epic sentence. Plus it was a pretty good song by the Sex Pistols don't you agree?)

What I'm trying to say is, trying to walk 3 strong as hell dogs all by yourself is not my idea of fun. I try to keep a smile on my face even though I'm sweating bullets (despite the -20 temp) while getting dragged around town. All the while there's kids zipping by on skidoos and yelling "What yer dooooing?".
Maybe I'm just complaining a bit too much due to how miserably sick I was the last few days. I guess things could be worse. I will say I enjoy nothing more than pulling a chair up to the window and watching the 3 dogs battle it out in the yard while I toss my head back and cackle away all night. Did I mention there's an eerie red aura surrounding me and umm I'm smoking a cigar and it was thundering and lightening!?!? Yeah, all those things. It happened.
Here's the dog I'm watching for the week (Winston is his name. haha I know! Makes me feel like a true chap from the old country whenever I get so say his name. Winnnnston!) along with the usual suspects, Sadie and Chance:

Unfortunately almost all the pics I have on my camera right now are dog related. (Sad, pathetic, or nice... you decide!)
So I don't have too much else to post picture wise for you for now. But I am attending a slightly early but welcome all the same St. Patty's Day party tonight, so who knows, I may have some pics with humans in them! (Humans holding dog, or getting as drunk as dogs no doubt)
Even if I don't get any pictures, I can always steal some from someone else and claim them as my own. Yeeaaargg! (I'm a pirate! Come on, stay with me)

What else what else....umm I've been snowshoeing on the river and on some trails nearby a lot. Days are getting reaaally long already. Stays light out till a little after 9pm now. Except getting up for work at 7:30, and then having it dark out for another 2 hours still sucks. If I'm lucky I might be going out for a hike in the mountains this weekend too.
If I've done my calculations right for this weekend.... drinking + recent sickness + heavy exercise should equal a good time. It's been a while since grade 10 advanced math though, so we'll see.

Anyway, I should go do something, like go outside or shower or something. I dunno. Drinking coffee and playing Xbox for a couple more hours might be more productive.

But tell me folks, what's everyone else's plans for the upcoming summer months? I hear from ye all so rarely, I'd love to see some comments. Give me peace of mind that this blog is being read by someone else other than my parents and a few select other people. (don't worry mom and dad I still want you to read it, and I don't expect you to try and figure out how to work the comments box, I'm still proud that you guys got the web address right)

Updates to come this weekend. Till then, stay fresh

Alex

Thursday, March 6, 2008

hey I'll tell YOU when I've had enough complimentary bits and bites!


I made it! As of about 2pm yesterday mountain time I am once again a resident of Fort McPherson. Glorious isn't it?
So before I get into things, lets get some math out of the way:

Sadie + Airport (anyone will do) = MEGA SUPERSTAR CELEBRITY HAPPY TIME FUN HOUR

I know I know, it's an equation that's as old as time itself, but it still remains true! I swear I was beating away the crowds when I had Sadie on hand. Everyone wanted to pet her, give her treats, see her sleep, stand, walk, talk, can-can dance, etc...
Besides the complete inconvenience of trying to transport a dog around in what is already the inconvenient experience of airline travel, I fully recommend that you all get a dog to bring along next time you're flying anywhere.

The trip back north was not a pleasant one as you can imagine. First, Toronto airport sucked as usual, I had a 2 hour wait there, and then another hour wait on the runway cause of the ice storm that was beginning as we were supposed to depart for Edmonton. Then, some guy stole my window seat for the flight to Edmonton, and then when I told him he had the wrong seat he tried pretending like he didn't speak english! I was all like "hey what seat are you supposed to be in?" "ohhh uhhh see-eat? I do not know letter?"
Me, being the completely badass nonconfrontationalist (It's a word cause I say it is) that I am, kept my mouth shut and said I didn't care, and took the aisle seat grumbling. But then to my delight, when the Westjet tvs went to turn on for the flight, the window seat's tv was all fucked up and didn't work! He mumbled something about his not working (in fine english I might add) and then looked over to me grinning like an idiot cause mine worked fine. So that was fun.
I got into Edmonton at about half past midnight, and then tried to prepare myself for a 6 hour wait until my continuing flight north at 7am. Sleeping on the floor in the airport while trying to keep an eye on your 150lbs of luggage and your dog may be, just maaaaay be, the most horribly unpleasant thing to do in the history of everything. So I might have squeezed in about 1 hour of sleep over the night, and then I boarded my flight with Canadian North in the morning.
Apparently the flight was going to stop in Norman Wells (small town of about 800 people (I think) that is smack dab in the middle of NWT but looks completely awesome) and then it would goto Inuvik. Somehow, when I boarded the plane from Edmonton there was a guy in the row behind me that was already passed out hard (and I was one of the first 10 to board) and was snoring like a jackhammer jackhammering away on another jackhammer. And this continued, I kid you not, for the entire flight to Norman Wells, the entire 30 min wait there, and then the next flight to Inuvik. I did everything I could to wake him up too! I let out countless sighs, obvious looks over my shoulder, rolled my eyes HARD, tilted my jaw to one side WHILE sighing, and last but not least I even reclined my seat all the way back without even giving a courtesy look behind me. Nothing worked! Thankfully I brought headphones with me to give me an occasional break from it all. Life can be tough.
Eventually I made it to Inuvik airport, which is something of a cross between an airport and a locker at the gym that you pay $5 a month to rent. You may have noticed there's an absence of pictures in this posting. To be honest, any free moments I had in one of the 5 airports I was in was spent carrying large amounts of luggage or explaining what times Sadie was going to be available for photos and autographs. Hence the lack of pictures. Forgive me. Please?

Fortunately I was able to convince someone from McPherson to give me a lift back to McPhoo (another 2 hour drive) and that just about brings us to the present time! Weather isn't that cold here right now, was about -15C yesterday and very sunny, and it's -14C right now with some clouds. Not nearly as much snow as there was this time last year when I was here. Sun comes up around 10ish AM I think, and then it was up till about 7:30pm last night.
When I first got into the Hamlet (New look! Same great taste!) my first order of business was to reunite Sadie with her brother Chance. That's him at the start of this post. Painfully adorable ain't he? I have a great video of the moment in action but until I get access to a faster internet connection I don't know if I can upload it. Here is some wholesome picture goodness, please hold your applause and yells of "hell ya!" and "U-S-A! U-S-A!" until after the pictures:



Except for a brief intermission of sleep and feeding, the 2 have been wrestling and running nonstop in the yard since yesterday. Sadie looks about half the size of Chance, and she looks like a sickly terminal patient in comparison cause her coat is so thin next to Chance. I tried weighing them both this morning though and oddly enough, Chance only weighs 6 lbs more than her! Will wonders never cease? WILL THEY!??!

After a delightful supper last night (courtesy of Marsha, who appears to have been reading this blog despite her loathing of all things Alex. Thanks again!) with the family and Lisa and Jacqui (I hope I spelled that right), I basically passed out. Now please excuse my language, but what a fucking awesome sleep I had last night! It was one of those 12 hour-wakeup in the exact same position as when you fell asleep kind of sleeps. I feel much more refreshed today other than an oncoming head cold I seem to be getting. How much of a pussy am I!? I'm in the Arctic for 24 hours and I'm already sick. BAH!

I plan on going for a trek down on the river with the dogs later this afternoon so hopefully I can get in a few pics. Somehow I've already been contracted into dog sitting for all of next week. Some things never change I suppose. After all, I am....THE DOG SITTER!
Anyone remember old WWF and "The Mountie"? Good times.

Take care!

Alex

PS
I tinkered with the blog's settings so it'll only show the most recent 3 posts, just click "Older Posts" at the bottom of the page to see... hardcore pornography. Wait, no that's not right. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of the page to see.... older posts.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Last thoughts before the big move...


So I'm back in Windsor for a couple days now that I've moved all my shit from Halifax into storage (see: Parent's garage) and now I'm just killing time. Oh sure, that time is supposed to be alive and doing lots of work. But I killed that sucka! Or at least I'm in the process of doing that. I still have to pack up my luggage and and tie up some loose ends before I go, but I'm more content in letting the stress of those things just build up while I drink ridiculous amounts of coffee. You might say I'm a bit of a mess.

(if you look closely you might even see dried toothpaste on my face. It has been that kind of day)

Holding Sadie's toys that she's destroyed in order to bring shame to her has also been a reliable time killer:

(Sadie says she's sorry Sue)

Unlike last time I went up north and I packed all the wrong things, this time I've made up a nice little list of what to pack before I go. Oddly, it seems that one of my roommates from the Oxford Street apartment added the item of "FUDGE" to my list of things to pack. My guess is on Ben Kerr. But you would never do that, would you!? I even had the list up on the screen of my parents' computer without noticing it. I laugh when I think of my mom seeing it, and then laugh even more cause she probably doesn't know what it would be referring to.

We had a big family supper here last night which was nice, but depressing in a way cause I know I likely won't get to eat that well for another 6 months or whenever I'm back in NS again. Unless of course Marsha feels like preparing a huge arrival supper for me on Wednesday. Marsha? You there? No? Hello? Oh. You can get back to me on that one.

Saying goodbye to everyone is a bit easier this time around. I already have a return ticket booked for a visit home later this year and that doesn't really seem all that far away. It is tough in other ways though, cause now I know what luxuries of the "south" (normal Canada) I'll be missing out on. Like restaurants, movies, stores, and paved roads. Last time I took them for granted, and then they got all independant on me and moved out. You can't live at your sister's place forever Sluxuries! (that's what I call the luxuries of southern Canada)

Funny story: I was talking to my Pop (grandfather) today on the phone and when we said our goodbyes he was all like "Check ya later"! When did grandparents start using this phrase!? I can't even pull that one off without getting a look of "man, you're so lame, stop trying so hard". But he threw it out there like it was nothing! All cool like. Damn.

Anyway, that's about it for now, the rest of my time in NS will likely be spent doing nothing while I should be packing, and then I'm planning on a good night of "drink the beer" with Bill/Joe/Corey Deaner and anyone else that is around Windsor. If I can find a computer to use in Edmonton while I'm waiting for my next flight I'll try and do another update. Thanks to anyone who leaves comments regarding this blog, I appreciate the feedback. Helps me to keep a small head. Anyway, time for my 12:00 flexing in the mirror session.

haha that's a joke! That's not even true. I do that at 2:30.

See you in the arctic!