Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend Update

A morning update?? As in writing an update BEFORE my mandatory 7.5 cups of coffee? Are you sure?

Well my mind is saying yes, my body...well, not so much.

I thought it would be a good idea to write it down on the official record of everything (uhh..the internets people!) that I'm driving to Yellowknife this afternoon! Partly for pleasure...partly to drive a poor, disadvantaged foreigner who doesn't speak English to the YK Airport. Hey, it's alright, I don't need any praise for these acts of's just who I am! Others, well they might feel like contacting the local news media to gain recognition of something this unselfish...but me? Well I just call it Friday.

In completely unrelated news, if I'm found on the side of the road mauled to death in a koala bear-like fashion, I'm going to guess that my friend Dave took exception to me calling him a poor, disadvantaged foreigner. Hey, I'm just tell it like it is! And you DON'T speak English, you speak Australianese. It's a fact. And seeing as how this is my blog, I can factualize whatever I please!

I should also mention, there's currently a moderate sized storm hitting Simpson right now, and it's expected to carry across to YK through the day. So...if I time things just right I can get to drive in the midst of the snow and winds all day. A guy can dream can't he?
In summary, here's hoping I don't die...or crash my truck. But more so the not dying part. But...then I do love my truck...hmmm tough call.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please don't let the lack of insulation in my house have any bearing on your judgement of my character...

It's no secret in Fort Simpson that the units of housing I live in aren't world-renowned luxury apartments. There are many nicknames to describe them, some more humorous than others, but all are pretty much spot on:
"The projects"
"The slums"
"Behind the Manor"
"The fourplexes"
etc etc etc

the one thing all these names have in common (besides the location to which they refer) is that telling anyone you live there is almost certainly going to be responded to with an "oh.....nice".
Hey, at least they're trying to humour me.

As far as I can tell, these spots were built in the (early) 80's...and then skip ahead 25 years...and boo ya! hello modern day. Apparently, back in the 80's, far-flung technologies things such as "insulation" and "working light switches" had not yet been devised.

I kid you not, I spend a good 30-40% of my waking hours flicking light switches on and off trying to turn the lights on. The other 60-70% of the time? That would be spent curled up in a ball in the corner mumbling something about "it flicks the light switch up or it gets the hose".
Examples? Well, despite my errs in judgment in the past about posting slightly less than flattering pictures, I'd rather not show you the "incoherent fetal position" Alex just yet. What are you doing next week though?
ooh right, getting back on track, examples...yes...well here's my front door...the inside of my front door:

(note to you: if ever trying to escape from my house, make sure you wear gloves)

At the posterior end of my place, have a look at my back door:

Unfortunately that snow isn't there because of regular gravity...that door stays shut for the most part. That snow enjoys candlelight dinners, animals, and migrating into the house past the other wooden door that is supposed to stop it.

Lucky for me, the furnace has been kicking in nonstop to keep me company. Unfortunately, he seems to have a heating fuel problem though...I'm thinking an intervention might be necessary...

In unrelated news, there was a hockey tournament in Simpson last weekend! Yippee!:

The hockey tournament itself wasn't that blurry. At least not for me. I can't speak for all the fans in attendance though...

The wrap things up for today, for those of you thinking to yourself: "Well shoot, if I can't judge Alex based on his lack of insulation, what can I judge his character on?"
Ask and ye shall receive! Check out the awesome:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More from Ripley's Believe It or Not...

My roommate's tires are really big:

Sittin' on 24" rims indeed!

Okay so maybe a slight exagerration was conveyed in that picture but they are rather large. For those wondering how the hell he could drive around in the nonstop snow and ice of Fort Simpson. can't. Hence why they are sitting in the living room and not on his truck anymore.
And for those other people who are wondering why the hell I'm posting about tires, I'm hungover. Maybe I'm alone on this, but when I'm hungover (once a year, only on a special occasion, and there was lots of supervision last night...I promise Mom) I notice odd things while laying around the house in a generally useless manner. So while I was sprawled on the couch downstairs this morning I couldn't take my eyes off of the tire in the living room. It looked big. Really big! So I just had to tell someone about it.
This mindset is the same reason how I noticed the way the light was shining in my room last week kinda looked like a dog on the wall. Kinda. But nobody was home for me to discuss this with. So here we are!

uhh...want your 2 minutes back? Well you can't have them! They're mine! MWAHAHAHAHA

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I've been told it's cold.

After last weekend's little burst of hell like weather (why do we always have to associate Hell with the bad? hmm? Next time you wanna go somewhere warm, instead of blowing $2k on going to Mexico just push that old lady down that's crossing the street. Hellooooooooo savings!), Simpson is back to the cold. Yesterday it was -36C and with the windchill it was -46C. Unfortunately, I was not the eager beaver that I usually am when it comes to checking the weather first thing in the morning. So out the door I went to work. End result? Add one more notch to my bedpost!

hmm? Wuh? Really?...oh...sorry, I was under the impression that you use that phrase to refer to the number of times you've received frostbite. To clarify: I did not have sex on the way to work yesterday.

But yes, the tip of my nose is now host to a nice nickel-sized patch of redness! Although it could be frost-nip...I'm still not entirely sure when which is which.
I could tell is was a bad idea walking to work that day once I was gritting my teeth together and quietly moaning as I neared the 1/2 point of my 500m journey. "ooohh, yeaaaaahh, shit shit shit shit shit, yearrrgggggg, damn!"
(hey, come on, we're talking about the walk to work. Get your mind outta the gutter! And my eyes are up here! Thank you.)
I had to laugh at myself later on though: I was drinking in the lounge of the curling club last night (it's okay, other people were there too) and when I went to wash my hands in the bathroom I caught a glimpse of how rough my face is getting. Red scar on my forehead, red patch of frostbite on the end of my nose, small scar under my eye from sledding in November, and that's all in addition to the regular red hue and dry skin (don't forget about the blushing!) that accompanies yours truly on a daily basis. It all adds up to the dashing figure that stands before you textually. (picture taken PRE-frost nippery!)

Ladies! Ladies? Hellooooo?
What? You're shampooing your hair tonight too? Huh, well I guess you gotta do what you gotta do...

I still love the cold, despite that fact that it has now back handed me on several occasions now. I actually got a pair of trekking poles in the mail a couple of days ago. This acquisition will surely allow me to better maneuver the obstacles upon which Mother Nature has presented before me in this season known as Winter. Just kidding! They make great anchors for my camera to hook onto when I am snowshoeing solo. Who likes terrifying family photos??

No! Hey! It's just me! Stop crying...see! See it's just me...Alex!
Sorry, I'll try and refrain from doing that anymore.

Anywho, I'm off to go jump about to and fro outside in the lovely sun.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Confessions of a beard grower...

Alright so I better just come out with it. Despite what I have fought tooth and nail to deny on a monthly basis to all those around me (including myself I think), I....Alex Campbell...want to grow a beard.
There! It's out! Damn, that feels good. Not good like my attempts at growing a beard though. Because those hurts. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. For one, it itches! But not in a good "I want to scratch you like a turntable so that it makes a funky beat and the people wanna dance" itchy, more like "someone please kill me now! I will pay you money" kind of way.

Any attempt to grow facial hair have provided benefits that are moderate at best. It was my understanding that I would gain the respect of men everywhere, the dates of women nationwide, the awe of local teenagers (who would be jealous to no end no doubt. I can hear it now..."I want to be like that guy when I grow older"), and last but most certainly not least, I would hold the ungodly beard-wielding power of being able to make babies cry with a mere glance.
Instead, although I think this may have something to do with my lack of beard growing ability (see: it always looks like I was rubbing a glue stick on my face and then I fell into a pile of hair at a barber shop, except that I did I horrible job of applying said glue to face), I just become the ridicule of teenagers, the scoffing subject of men in town with real beards, and I make babies pleasantly content with their lives. Not the effect I was going for!

Let's take a look at the attempts to date so far (or the ones that have yielded to the power of photography anyway):

Now...that....just doesn't look good. What's next?

Okay...okay...I see what you were going for there...yeah but no. Not good. Hmm, I see the beard growing is taking a toll on the rest of your face as well. I think we might have one more to look at...

Hey! Yeah! Lookin' good! You pulled it off! WOW. Completely WOW!...but hey, wait a minute...that's not a beard! You knew the rules! I don't care how dashing and utterly masculine you look there, that is NOT a beard. No dice, chico.


But I am definitely up against some stiff competition, so it may not have been the best idea to start attempting to enter the world of beards while living in Fort Simpson. You want beards? Kick ass beards? Come up north! You'll find a bunch of rough looking guys who grow beards that make disguise kit designers stop on the street and go "heyyyyyyy!"
After all, the north is synonymous with beards. Snow, cold, and beards.
In fact, until very recently the word "north" did not exist. There was merely "beard".

But getting back to me (because we all know I don't do enough talking about me) just ain't happening! I mean geez, my dad's nickname growing up was even "Bushy" cause of the kickass sideburns/beard he had. When is Alex's turn to have a facial hair related nickname?? *sigh*

Hey...I wonder how tough it is to get a "being awesome" related nickname? Hmm....

-and Project: Be More Awesome now begins...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A passing comment...

Okay I won't go as far as saying I never thought those pictures of me-errr I mean David Hasselholf- jumping on the bed with no shirt on would come back to bite me in the ass, but I definitely didn't expect it to come up during a teleconference call at work. But unfortunately for me, Megan made my fears come back to haunt me today. Touche, touche.

Ice. Ice? Ice! ICE. (Doesn't look like an actual word after a while does it?)

Greetings from the tropical Northwest Territories!
After a sustained cold snap of -40C (and below) for over 2 weeks, a chinook hit Simpson last Friday, blasting the area with unseasonably warm air and temperatures until Monday evening. But enough of the facts...what am I getting at? It was hell damn ass hot here on the weekend!

I have experienced stints of warm weather in the middle of winter before (I am from Nova Scotia after all) so I didn't really expect much other than less layers when I heard about the chinook coming. Well kiss my grits, cause I was wrong as not being right can be! Apparently when there is a shit-load of snow on the ground and massive amounts of ice everywhere, things can get messy quick with unexpected warm temperatures. I'll come back to this later.

Anywho, this weekend turned out to be great. FANTASTIC even!
The original plan was to go with a couple others down to Nahanni Butte (that's "bewt", not "butt") and hike up Nahanni Butte Mountain from there, but at the last second things changed and instead I was presented with the opportunity to skidoo out to Cli Lake with a couple of people to their cabin. What's a Cli Lake you ask? (and I thank you for asking so nicely. Those other little bastards always be asking out of turn!)
Cli Lake is on the eastern edge of the Nahanni National Park and is wedged into the Nahanni Range of mountains. Look! (as always, click on the picture for a bigger version)

We drove about a hour north of Simpson to the Wrigley ferry landing and then skidood (skidooed? skidoodoo'd? hmm...) a little over 3 hours west to get there. If you can't already tell from the picture at the start of this post...if "God" were to create a place that he would skidoo to for a weekend...I can say with no doubt in my mind that it would probably be just like Cli Lake. On with the pictures!

The lake is hardly ever fished, almost entirely undeveloped, and has been known to quote Shakespeare with impeccable timing.

As amazing as it was to be able to walk around with a t-shirt on, the warm weather made a lot of what we planned to do not possible. Take the lake for example...which was supposed to have been ice, was in fact water. For those not aware, skidooing does not mix well with water. (too salty!)

As a result, we weren't able to explore around the lake or check any of the fish nets. Bah!
Anywho, I really enjoyed the scenery out there, and I learned a lot about the land to boot. The 2 guys who's cabin it was are as knowledgeable as they come when it comes to being in the bush, so it really was a privilege to get to spend time on the land with them. Of course it's not all glamour and good times out there...witness the horror!:

Just kidding! I bet you thought that marten was dead huh? Well I did too, but once John got me to remove myself from a sobbing fetal position, he explained to me that Mister Marten was merely playing a nasty trick on me and was actually sleeping. Shame on you Mister Marten!

So that was the weekend at Cli Lake.
ummm so I know this is a bit unrelated, but Mister Marten sure has been sleeping a long time! He's still napping! Go figure.

Right, so getting back to the start of this post, and the title of the the time we got back to Simpson on Sunday night the whole village was a complete mess! The chinook melted a good chunk of the snow around town, and then as the temps starting dropping a bit all of that water turned to ice. (I KNOW! Whoda thunk it??)
The entire village is basically one giant skating rink. True, one of my lifelong passions is to secretly laugh whenever someone falls on ice (oh come on! I usually stop laughing if they get gravely injured), but I've also been having a lot of issues getting to work and back. Turns out I'm a "laugh-faller"! What I mean is that I let out a big "HAH!" as I have a near-miss slip on the sidewalk.
You really learn a lot about a person when you see how they handle a public slip or near-slip on the ice. You see those who, without shame, let out a girlish scream as they slip. You see those who get flat out pissed off at the world when they slip. And then you see those, like me, who let out a big burst of nervous if to exclaim to those in witness: "HA! Gotcha! I bet you thought I was gonna fall there!" or, if an actual fall takes place: "Ha! See how I fell? I did that for your amusement! Good times...good times."
As I've told several people already, my dream is to see someone walking across the road holding a huge stack of loose pots and pans and then take a dive. Hahaha! I can make myself laugh every time just thinking about how hilarious the sight and sound of that would be! Ohhhhh one can dream can't they?

By the way, if someone can make this dream possible I will pay money.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today's has been been brought to you by...

...the verb: JUMP!

and the cliche: "don't trust anyone"

Goodbye kids! Eat your vegetables!

WOOOOHOOOOO!! It's warm out! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Who likes guessing games?

Here's your challenge!:



Give up yet?


That's right! It's a scar!

For those that have been following this blog in the previous weeks, this scar is the one remaining visible remnant of my beloved altercation that occurred during my holidays in Nova Scotia. Oh sure, it may not seem like much of a scar, and it really isn't, but folks have we learned nothing from our Real Estate talks? LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
The location of this scar? Smack dab in the middle of my forehead!:

Kinda makes it seem like "more" of a scar doesn't it? To make things worse, this scar seems to enjoy becoming more red, and hence, MORE visible when I'm in the cold. Guess what? It's cold in Fort Simpson. Bah!
Ah well, it has at least created some entertainment for the Fort Simpsonites (why not?) since I got back last week. Some of my favourite comments have been:
"Do you know you have a huge red mark in the middle of your forehead?"
"Woooooooooooo! Hickey!"
and my personal favourite...
"Ah ha! I see you have the push-start feature."

What can I do really? I just stick with my tried and true reaction to everything, which is to laugh and blush. It's kind of what I do. Laugh, and then blush. Even if I'm not blushing and someone asks me if I am blushing, I blush! WTF body?! Cut me some fricken slack would ya!

In other news, yours truly was featured yet again in this week's territorial newspaper, the News North! Hmm? Ah? You' week's News North?...ah...ha. Okay so maybe I'm not being completely honest. Yes I wasn't exactly "featured". But there was a mention of my first name, and I promise you it was referring to this Alex! Lookie here (and clicky here to make the image bigger/readable):

Doesn't look much like me behind that coffee mug does it? Well that would be because it's not. Learn to read captions would ya!
The lovely Megan of Snow Covered Hills may have scored the picture, and the story, and the first place designation...but who was noted as being "amusing"? That's right. ME. Not you.
You've still got a long way to go Megan. Take notes.

Oddly enough my phone hasn't been ringing off the hook since this recent episode of media frenzy. No no, I already checked with phone company, the line seems to be fine...I thought that's what it was roommates maybe?? Yes that must be it. They've been keeping the messages of adoring fans from me to try and keep me grounded. Of course! Oh those wily roommates of mine!

Moving on...take a look at the cover of the above mentioned copy of News North:

What?? This attractive looking woman isn't a multiple time Stanley Cup winner that you recognize?? Yes well you're not the only one. Turns out she's a teacher in Paulatuk and that the actual Cup winners who were there were Bryan Trottier and Al Conroy. Shame on you News North for misleading me by putting an attractive female on the cover!

(Note to self: Move to Paulatuk and go to the school)

I was half-afraid to write that one paragraph about Megan. I'm terrified of being ripped on by her! Her grammer are much gooder then mine! Ah dammit! I mean grammar! No no, I meant than! No no! Not are! eeek!
(make that fully-afraid)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Believe it or not...

Even when the 'Hoff isn't present I have been known to dabble in the ancient art of the Bed Jump. And you thought you knew me!
And now, for our feature presentation...


You didn't really think I was going to stay in a hotel and not take pictures of myself-err have a friend take pictures of me- jumping on the beds did you?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Goodbye South...

As I expertly predicted, my vacation and time in Nova Scotia did in fact come to an end.
Let's summarize the break, shall we?

3 weeks vacation:

2 major storms:

1 sucker punch:

2 root canals:

2 many nights of drinking:

1 supersized donair and serving of Street Meat:

5 pounds gained:

(see above)

countless amounts of money spent (at least it seems that way):

*picture confiscated by Revenue Canada*

and last but not least...
1 long overdue reunion!:

Was it tough heading back this time around? Well, sort of...but it definitely is easier each time I travel south. Sure, it's awesome to see family and friends, and it's great to get away for a bit, buuuuuuut after going for 3 weeks with no routine whatsoever AND being separated from my daughter (a very hairy and gnaws on her paws for fun daughter, that is) I couldn't wait to be back!

Plus, as an added bonus, when I got back it was a wonderful -40C outside and that whole "dark outside all the time" thing still seems to be the norm.

...hello darkness, my old friend!

In other news, I was happy/surprised to find out last week that I placed second in the "Best Overall Blog" category in the 2nd annual NWT Blog Awards! I was still in NS at the time I received this honour nobody around me really seemed to comprehend the magnitude of this information! Most of the congratulatory praise I received was along the lines of:
"What's a NWT?"
"Stop making up things. If you're gonna do that it should at least make sense"
"Why haven't you left yet?"

Congrats to Megan for her 1st place finish!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Awards Night!

All your favourite stars! Who was wearing what? The exclusive after parties! Shrinkage! Frozen eyelashes! Swag bags from the Northern!.......wait what? Just what kind of awards show was this?

Why the 2008 NWT Blog Awards of course!

That's right ladies and gentlemen, while you were getting drunk and offending your relatives, I was apart of an elite panel of judges assigned with the task of reflecting on the ever expanding world of NWT bloggers! I was asked by Megan over at Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills to pick the Best New NWT Blog for 2008.

When Megan asked me if I would be interested in being a judge, I naturally asked "How much does it pay?"
After a lot of arguing, insults, defamation of character, and crying, we came to an agreement that I would do it for free. She did hint that it should (or was it could?) get me some chicks at some point down the road. Regardless, I'm putting this sucker on my resume!

As you may have noticed, I'm a bit late it getting around to actually releasing the results of my judging. See the thing is, when I agreed to do this, I kinda forgot that I would actually have to do this. Damn Megan and her literal requests!

Anywho, moving on to things that are relevant...the judging!

I had a tougher time than I thought in picking a winner, especially so since one of the blogs that was nominated I was new to, and, more importantly, I do not speak French. err....
To make up for this, I called in a favour with an old friend called Babel Fish and was able to spend some time with Sur les routes de l'Asie
I really enjoyed the photography on display here, but for the most part, the blog is detailing their travels throughout Asia. Looking into the archives I found the NWT content, but whereas it's not really an ongoing northern blog I didn't feel that I could really include it with the others. Despite my qualms, they have definitely found themselves a new follower! (with the assistance of babel fish of course)

Next up was On the Tundra of the North. This was a tough one (hell, all of them were!) for me to judge because I know the author personally and I found many of his posts to be that much more interesting because of the local subject matter. However, this blog is particularly new, and as a result, there's only so many posts on display. For anyone looking for a blog containing a very intriguing writing style (and a great taste in music) be sure to check it out.

Moving on we have Cynthia's Arctic Adventure. Again, this was another blog that I wasn't too familiar with, but I did really enjoy the content as I used to live in the Delta area. Her blog definitely has a following of friends and family which is always great to see, and I could see this being a good blog for anyone who wanted to see what the life of someone living in Inuvik would be like. Great to see the pictures of Inuvik, especially so since I don't have Inuvik Phil around anymore to get my Inuvik fix! So while I enjoy your blog Cynthia, I didn't chose it as the top new blog.

And now, the moment that will define a generation, our generation, *drum roll please*


Ferry Tales!!!

While all the nominees were worthy of praise, I really felt that Laura has carved out a great blog with a strong following in a short amount of time. This one has been around since March of 2008, and in the time since then, Laura has been updating very frequently and consistently. Posts covered everything from photography to daily events, and even personal reflection. Best of all, there is definitely a Yellowknife flair to it all. (Not that this is necessarily always a good thing mind you! Speaking as a non-YK'er, there is always a certain level of resentment toward the "big city"! But I digress...)
Congrats Laura!

And that concludes tonight's over worded awards ceremony...a thank you goes out to all the nominees for your continued involvement in the northern blogging community! Most notably, I would like to thank Megan for allowing me to get on my high horse (if only for several minutes) so that I may bring others before me in judgment. If it wasn't for her arranging the NWT Blog Awards how would we know who to hold in high regard and who to look down on?? I LIE.

Congratulations to all other winners in this year's blog awards! Be sure to check out the contest page to see who won what.

Until next year...