Monday, February 16, 2009

I Just Do What The Beat Tell Me To (Sadie Remix)

Join me as I take you behind the scenes of the latest and (likely) greatest music video ever composed:

Okay okay, imagine a big, epic build up of sound here...and then we pan to a shot of the artist/dancer "Sadie":

Then we cut to a slow motion, almost peaceful shot of her wandering about a field:

annnnnnnd then when you're just starting to fall into a dreamy lull...BAAAM! WHO BE ALL IN YOUR FACE BUT:

Cut to the "fighting all the haters at the party" scene:

then then let the DJ break it down with the record scratch and Sadie show her b-gal moves...

and then we finish it off with a cliff-hanger moment that leaves you dying for the sequel video!


I love my dog.

Squat! Press! Frostbite!

As I may or may not have mentioned in my previous one-sided discussions with you, there is in fact a weight room here in Fort Simpson. Norice I said "a" weight room. As in "you better learn to love it cause you ain't got shit else to choose from!"
Actually that's not entirely true. The RCMP detachment has a small weight room. That would be nice...but I dunno, it's either pay thirty some odd dollars a month for the Friendship Centre's weight room, or commit my life to the RCMP. No offense to the RCMP, but I think I'll stick with forking over the money at the moment.

Now before I bitch and whine, let me be clear in that I really enjoy a few aspects of the weight room. For one, it's hardly ever used by anyone, which means it's very rare to have to share the room with anyone else. Then again, I don't usually workout until 9 or 10 at night. I'm trying to keep with my image of being a loner, a rebel, a guy that works out at night! (*thoughtful look off into the distance*)
The other thing I really like is that you access it via a number coded door, which means 24 hour access, 365 days a year.

Now for the bad...
Remember how I mentioned that there's hardly anyone else who uses it? Well I'm not gonna point any fingers but it seems like nooooooobody else puts their shit away there, and every few weeks, something else goes missing. And when (yes I know you're not supposed to start a sentence with AND!) you use a rather limited weight room, when ANYTHING goes missing, it might as well be the worst day of your life. (no exaggeration here...nope none)
Like say the 10lbs plates...there's only TWO of them! TWO! So, when one of them goes missing, such as one did last week...that only leaves ONE! Weights like to work together in pairs! Best buddies! You take away one, you're separating the other from its soul mate! The agony of it all! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!

The other thing that really irks me is that the number code door tends to freeze solid when it's below -20C, so it pretty much leaves the place wide open for any Tommy Troublemaker to go in with his (or her...we'll call this theoretical female "Tabitha Troublemaker") friends and basically trash the place and leave garbage/beer cans everywhere. And sure as sugar, people do just that. So I often have the pleasure of spending the first 15 minutes of a Sunday workout cleaning up like the weight room was a pub by night.

Can I complain about one more thing? I can? Aww gee, thanks!
Now I have a good idea of why this is why it is, but the weight room is effffffin COLD. It used to have a thermostat that you could adjust at your own will, but some people abused the privilege and left it cranked all the time so that thermostat had to be cut. Now it's just left freezing cold all the time. How cold?

Now that may not seem that frigid, but when you're lifting weights it's generally considered not a good idea to be even a little cold. Pulled muscles, lower heart rate, etc etc...
Plus it's just plain unpleasant to grab the bar and actually be in pain before you've even lifted it due to how cold it is.

But alas, I am destined to remain at this weight room until the GNWT decides that it should be a human right in every community to have a fully functioning, proper weight room. I'm not holding my breath on this one.

Ooh but look in this one last picture:

A speed bag and heavy bag!
I do love that as I walk across the weight room I can throw out a blood-curdling scream and a kick as I please. Of course I've also done so and not realized that someone else had come into the room. Needless to say, there was a lot of stammering and side to side eye shifting. Sometime I just give a nod to them, as if to say "Damn right. You wanna be next? Didn't think so."

You've been warned.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Pop Quiz

At what point does one feel like they're no long an outsider in Simpson?

A) Once they have been living there for 1 year
B) Once they have a road in Wild Rose named after them
C) The day you can, with confidence, cite all the acronyms of the various organizations/offices in town
D) The day people start calling you by name and now referring to you as "hey you"
E) Once everyone starts waving to you when walking or driving around town

For those that guessed A), you're flat out wrong. You just are.

If you guessed B), thats a good guess, but there's only so many roads up there so good luck joining those exclusive ranks.

If you guessed D), lay off would ya? Some people just have really bad memory alright! (myself included...)

You would think E) would make sense as well, but nope, because in Simpson everyone will wave to you whether you've been living here for 1 day or 1 decade. Kinda nice I like to think!

For those who were waiting to fill in their blank until after they found out the correct answer...the right choice would be C)! (if you didn't figure it out you really should start judging a post by its title)

It has taken me the full 9 months I've lived in Simpson, but I can now say with confidence that I can cite the majority of local acronyms and what they stand for! Do you realize how important this is!?! You really have no idea do you?
Simpson is the regional centre for the Dehcho, and where there's lots of government, there's lots of bureaucracy, and where there's lots of bureaucratic organizations, there's acronyms!
Let's see...there's LKFN, DFN, DCFC, DRC, INAC, IAND, GNWT, ENR, TJ's, LTC, CIBC, NWTel, RCMP (duh), PR, CCC, UMAYC, TSS and MACA. I know there's many more than that, but they all start to blur together after a while...
So you can see why it takes some true skill and Simpson life experience to really comprehend the enormity of acronym...ness here.
Every other company/organization/location is referred to with one word titles which also adds to the fun. Off the top of my head: Village, Rink, Northern, Housing, Nogha, Rowes, K&K, Enbridge, Daycare, Prenatal, Bompas, Nahanni, Sub, Wok, Wolverine, Kiwi, Clinic, and then there's the 2 worders: Power Corp, Liquor Store, Hardware Store, Fedeeral Building, Post Office, Great Slave, Open Sky, and the Gas Bar.
I can guarantee you that you could refer to anyone of the places I've listed above and any true Simpsonite will know where you're talking about, most of the staff that works there, and whether or not they serve (good) coffee.

Today's Fort Simpson public education announcement was brought to you by:

Super Secret Sadie...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Become a coach, see the world

Another Sunday night come, another exhausting gone for yours truly.
I just got back to Simpson from 3 days of glamour and glory in the province of Alberta, and if you can swallow that, then let me tell you it was also very luxurious and hassle-free.
For the rest of you that are still trying to get rid of that bitter BS taste in your mouth, lemme lay it on you straight: Traveling to La Crete, Alberta from Fort Simpson, NWT via a school bus is NOT fun. Not even amusing. Not even "haha oh we'll certainly have a laugh at this one in the years to come!".
A number of factors have led me to this opinion:

1) We left at 5am from Fort Simpson
2) The school bus was packed to capacity
3) A number of the windows were stuck open, leaving a clear 1" of space for snow and -35C air to flow into the bus freely
4) There are very few places to stop for refreshments along the way. One is Enterprise, NWT...which is basically just a gas station stocked with beef jerky and Hygard Sandwiches. The other is High Level, Alberta...which is basically a glorified truck stop with a number of motels that light up their signs in a Vegas-like fashion. That's it.
5) It's a little over 10 hours of driving each way

6) I'm a big baby and I complain about anything at a moment's notice

So that pretty much sums up the traveling aspect of the weekend...

The high school tournament itself (I guess that should be the focus of the weekend) was actually really well organized and had huge community support for almost all of the games.
Speaking of the community...La Crete was...well...different. For me anyway. As many of you may already know, it's a traditional Mennonite town, with many of the residents wearing traditional clothing (ankle length dresses, head covered with a scarf, etc), and both English and German are spoken by most everyone.
(Please try to ignore the overwhelming level of ignorance on my part, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about)
It's also a dry community, and...ummm...well there doesn't seem to be too much else going on. Where else would you see EVERYONE in the community (young, middle aged, and old) come out on a Saturday night for a high school basketball game?

Everyone was really nice and welcoming, in a very Mennonite type of way. You're right, I don't know what that's supposed to mean.

The weather was downright tropical too! -7C when we got there on Friday. Coming back to Simpson tonight...not so lucky. -30C and snowing. Bad for t-shirts, but good for me to complain about! Wahoooo!

Getting back to the tournament...we didn't place too high, but we did do a lot of positive things as a team. That's one thing I've noticed in my long-standing period (see: 6 months) of coaching in Simpson is that not having any nearby competition to play against somewhat regularly really hurts the kids' ability to learn how to play as a team. (The closest school with a bball team is either Tulita, which is 8 hours north of here, or Yellowknife/Hay River which are 4-6 hours away)
There's a lot of great individual soccer and basketball players, but they just haven't had enough experience to be great team players. Ah well, I'm just happy that there's a sports community here at all!

Now to detox from my 10 hour junk food binge earlier today...

Monday, February 2, 2009

MATCO hate....of a different kind

After a trip to Yellowknife that can only be described as one that will "define a nation", I am now back in Simpson! Now I'll be the first to admit that nothing about this weekend had anything to do with modifying the Charter, or taking any photographs of an important event...but I did have a fun weekend. And I just wanted to make you think I did something really huge and spectacular. But I did not.

Hell, just getting to Yellowknife did prove to be a challenge in itself. A good amount of snow did fall between here (Simpson) and Providence (the 1/2 way point between Simpson and YK), but it proved to be no match for my barrel-chested beast of a truck. I put that sucker in 4wd and was all VROOOOOM and BEEP BEEP on that sorry excuse for a highway. Except for my heater. It didn't prove to be up to the challenge. Instead, it was all "I'm ollllllld and feeble!" and kept cutting out every few minutes. I had a good laugh about it, but my passengers didn't seem to find it as funny.
So anyway, soon after we gassed up and left Providence (well, Big River to be exact) we came upon huge waves of blowing snow which reduced visibility to less than zero. (No YOU are the one who is exaggerating!)
It didn't seem to be that windy though, so once we slowed down a bit to figure out what the hell was going on, we saw that it was actually a large MATCO (a northern moving company) truck ahead of us that was causing the less-than-ideal conditions. The amount of snow he was kicking up still didn't seem right though, and upon further inspection (see: unknowingly got WAY too close to him) we discovered that he was hauling an extra trailer behind him that had NO lights/reflectors/markings of any kind. This basically made passing him impossible, and to make matters worse the driver was either a complete dickhead or lacking proper vision, and refused to move off to the side a bit so we could pass. Anywho, long story made short, it took over 8 hours to get to YK(as opposed to the 6 hours it took to get back). BLEEEEEEEEECH!
That sucked.

The rest of the weekend was great though, minus a "consultation session" with some sort of home audio expert at the electronic store. I was entertaining the idea of buying a new home theatre, and I'm not interested in buying a Home Theatre in a Box, so I was looking at picking up the required components individually. Once the clerk there found that out, they guided me and my company into one of those dimly lit audio rooms where I was promptly sat down and grilled with a variety of questions pertaining to my movie and listening interests, the dimensions of my home, if I had any cholesterol problems, and how much I could squat. If you can't tell already, it was intense. Apparently, buying home theatres is a big deal. I was given the clerks personal cell phone, told that he would come open the store after hours for me, and that he would bear my first born child. (Again, NOT exaggerating. Well, okay maybe a little bit)
Luckily my company (a female to be precise...the rest of this sentence will make much more sense for you now) was much more level headed than I at the time and recommended that maybe I should take a second to think before dropping a couple grand on something I decided that I was only kiiiiiiinda interested in mere minutes before. So I walked away empty handed. For the best I suppose...although I would like to make my ears bleed via a home theatre setup in the near future.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures during my trip so this update will be one of those ho-hum-textity-text-nothing-too-eye-catching-to-see-here kind of updates. I hope to take some pictures next weekend when I head out of town again. That's right, up next on the agenda of globe-trotting Alex is a trip to La Crete, Alberta. Never heard of it? No worries, me neither! Wikipedia tells me it's a small town in northwestern Alberta that is known for a sandbar that is ever-increasing in size and causing issues for the ferry. At least that's the first thing that caught my eye in the entry...

In other news, I resumed work as usual once back from the weekend.
Monday got off to a great start as I was told by a telemarketer (or the magazine ad selling equivalent of one) to "give myself a reach-around". I'm quite sure she was referring to congratulating myself (she first said she wanted to give me a pat on the back) for having actually placed an advertisement with them several months ago, but still, could she not hear the words coming out of her mouth??
Needless to say I burst out laughing, but even then she didn't seem to clue in as she started nervously laughing as well and said "haha, yeah I guess it doesn't have quite the same effect as someone else doing it now does it?". I nodded and agreed. How could I not?

Okay, so before I go I'll post one picture...just because I hate doing an entry that has no pictures. I've been called it many a times before and the same still holds true: I am a picture whore. This one is particular is a very narrow view of Simpson from on top of the "ski hill" on the west side of the village. That body of frozen water in the middle of the picture would be the Mackenzie River. It's big...even though it doesn't look so large there.