I know that the posts have been rather far apart, but well, things at the house are getting close... no time no time. And we've had our first paying customers. Woo hoo, we're a business. We aren't quite ready for people as there are a number little details to get there but...Ian and Jennifer of Nunablog asked. Friends and fellow teachers from Iglulik were snowmobiling here this week and needed a place, so how could we say no. We've also had two sport hunters here, before they headed out on the land.
So to tide you over for a couple of days, here are some photos of the dining room... And client room number two...
One thing that I’ve always envied about police on television is that they only have to deal with one matter at a time. Well, that and the fact they have absolutely no paperwork to do. Unfortunately in the real world events, such as Darren’s murder don’t take place in a vacuum. La Ronge Detachment was a busy spot at the best of times. For at least one of the years I was there we led the country in the highest average number of Criminal Code charges per police officer. One year we had five murders by July, in a detachment area of approximately 6,000 people. You never had only one matter to deal with at a time.
Darren’s murder happened at the start of one of the busiest weekends of my tenure there. In addition to the murder we had five other stabbings that weekend. There were other serious assaults, and the attempted murder of two of my colleagues. We had the Police Service Dog up from Prince Albert, a two hour drive south, three times. A call of a break and enter Friday morning didn’t get responded to until Sunday, and at that time I seized drugs and scales from the house as they were preparing to sell a large quantity of marihuana (note to dealers: If you have a box of marihuana in your front entrance way, lock the door and don’t yell “Come in!” when someone knocks).
By the time I had left the hospital I had enough information to arrest Jasper and I picked up Mel, a recruit, and went looking for him. As I pulled into Far Reserve, where Jasper lived, a call came over the radio that a pickup truck full of people armed with baseball bats and bars was driving around the Far Reserve looking to beat someone up. Although I was literally metres away from Jasper’s house we turned off and began looking for the truck, heading off trouble was always better than picking up after it. We cruised all over the Reserve but were unable to find it, and speculated that it was Darren’s friends, so to head off further problems we would need to arrest Jasper as soon as possible.
He was waiting for us at his father’s house. In his bedroom he held his girlfriend tightly and greeted me as I walked in. He was crying, and offered no resistance as I placed him under arrest, read him his rights, and then explained them in plain language until he could explain to me what they meant. Handcuffed, we made our way to the truck and then back to the detachment.
It was still relatively early in the morning when we made our way back to the Detachment, but the rest of dayshift was already run off their feet. Several calls had come in, but although there were several of us working, most of the responding to the calls fell to Kevin and Mark. As the legal aid lawyer appeared to speak to Jasper, we grabbed a quick cup of coffee and I filled the lawyer in with what was known thus far. As Jasper and the lawyer went into interview room and I parked myself outside, I made a mental note of a call that just came in for Mark and Kevin. The call was from the comcentre advising that an anonymous male caller phoned to say that Greasy was smashing up his place and they needed the police there right away. Mark and Kevin responded, and I remember thinking that the last place I needed to be at that moment was watching the door of the interview room, unable to leave.
Greasy was a heavy equipment operator, who owned a shop on the edge of town. He and his family lived in a trailer behind the shop. He was short and powerfully built and as for the rest of his description, well Greasy pretty much sums it up. He had a known propensity to violence, and a known hatred of police. He was one of those individuals that I could not, for the life of me, figure out why he wasn’t permanently in gaol.
In the 10-code that police use there is a code that means “drop everything, help me now, I’m in danger". Say it’s 10-22 (it’s not). You dread hearing it, and dread even more having to use it. There have been very few moments in my life when I’ve felt as helpless as when I heard Mark scream 10-22, and I was stuck in the office, unable to go anywhere.
If you haven't checked out the Nunavut Blogs! blogroll in a while, there has been some more blogs added, eight in total now. Arctic Bay is no longer my exclusive blogging domain, for amongst the new blogs is Way Way Up. Way Way Up is the blog of Darcy, one of the local teachers here.
2007 has been designated as an International Polar Year. For those of you unfamiliar with the International Polar Years, there have been two others (in 1882/83 and 1932/33) and an International Geophysical Year (1957/58). They are periods of intense study of the polar regions, and with the impact of climate change on the polar regions they could not be more timely. For more information you can visit the International IPY site, or Canada's IPY site. A history of the International Polar Years can be found here.
And I finally got over to the 2006 Bloggies to see who the winners were. I was disappointed that Duncan at Ben Cruachan Blog didn't win in Best Australian/New Zealand Blog, his was by far the best of that bunch. To be honest, not many of the winners hold a lot of appeal to me. Notably though, one that did interest me, PostSecret, won several awards: Best American Blog, Best Topical Blog, Best Community Blog, Best New Blog, and Weblog of the Year. If you've never visited, you really should have a look. As they put it "PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard". Some very interesting and powerful post cards there. But at the end of the day... no bootstrap analysis, no Whippoorwill, no Botanizing, no pohanginapete, no... well almost anybody from my sidebar. Just what were those voters thinking?
Today is the day of the Vernal or Spring Equinox. Although my spring is still a long way off this does mark the day where all the world has the same amount of sun as us. From now on though, for the next six months we'll have the sun above the horizon more than practically all the rest of the world, except for the few scattered communities north of us.
I've mentioned before that we end up with a lot more daylight than sun as the suns approach to the horizon is very shallow. I was up before five this morning with Hilary and noticed that it is already getting light out at that time.
I am hoping that the rest of this light season bodes better for me than today did, however. It was a day I should have stayed away from the House, even if I was hardly there as it was. Just a couple of highlights - our stair handrail is too twisted to use, and I managed to shoot the off cut from some flooring out of the table saw, across the room and stick it in a wall. I think I said a bad word.
Jasper (This name has been changed, a youth at the time he cannot be identified) also had had a troubled youth. Affable and a natural leader he unfortunately had been in frequent scrapes with the law. One winter along he, along with various others, had broken into a local snowmobile dealer’s place four times, stealing and wrecking thousands of dollars worth of new machines. One of those incidents was the night before a court appearance for two others. He and I got along well, although I daresay he didn’t relish my appearances at his doorstep.
He had also been at the South Pit to party that night, drinking and getting high, not unlike the vast majority of the fifty or sixty people there. He and his group of friends were a little ways away from where Darren was with his friends. It wouldn’t have been hard to tell the two groups apart. Darren’s crowd was what could be described as “preppy”. Always sharply dressed, they had short groomed hair and trendy clothes. Jasper’s crowd, however, favoured black leather jackets, dark jeans, bandanas and long hair.
It’s funny what we decide is important enough in our life to fight over; you wouldn’t think that clothes should be.
There had already been several fights in the pit that evening by the time the early morning had rolled around. Darren had just finished beating up Jasper’s drunken brother, and they took him back to a car that they had arrived in. After smoking up in the car Jasper rummaged through the glove box and came up with a hunting knife, one with a seven-inch blade and put it in the inside pocket of his leather coat.
Getting out of the car, he then made the walk that would forever change lives, he walked directly to where Darren was. Darren, of course, flushed from the fighting immediately walked out and challenged him. In an instant it was over. Darren quickly over powered him, and pulled the leather coat over Jasper’s head. Jasper reached in, grabbed the knife and plunged it once into the centre of Darren’s chest. Darren sank to his knees, looked at a friend and said “F**k, he stabbed me” and collapsed on the ground.
Jasper took off running, his house was just across the highway, down a bush trail. He stopped when he met some girls he knew on the trail, told them of the stabbing and then, as if to emphasize the point, showed them the bloody knife and threw it into the bush. He headed home, the refuge most of us turn to when we’re scared and in trouble.
Wow! Where did that two weeks go? The latest I and The Bird is up at Science and Politics and it is massive! It is so good to see this grow and grow, and even better to see that many of the old favourites are still there.
And speaking of dreaming, National Geographic has another excellent web cam up. Tune in to their Crane Cam to watch the annual Sandhill Crane migration at Nebraska's Platte River. Dream of the crane's coming your way.
Yesterday afternoon, Travis got a couple of pieces of paper from our printer, took a pencil crayon and went off on his own, quietly creating...
A picture of mom ...and a picture of dad.
He pointed out to his mom that dad's legs are longer than hers. And I noticed that he got all three hairs on the top of my head and my moustache, but I'm not sure why only mom has ears. Maybe dad never listens?
One of the consequences of one of our local stores forgetting our order for glue and transitions for our floating floor was that the transitions would not arrive anywhere near quick enough for us to work on the floor. We decided to cancel that part of the order and make some of our own.
Now I know that some people come here looking for how to advice and to those people I'd like to say "step away from the power tools". If you're looking to me for advice you need to get as far away from anything that cuts as quickly as possible. But, just for the record, here is how to make a transition.
Take a piece of 1 by birch, and cut it about an inch too long (for final fit). On a tablesaw rip the birch down to 1 3/4" wide. Rip it again so it is 5/8" inch thick. Set the blade to a shallow angle. I used about 18 degrees and with the piece on it's edge ripped and angle on the piece. Set the blade to 45 degrees and rip a bevel in the other edge. Flip the piece over and rip a rabbet about a half an inch wide and a hair deeper than the floating floors thickness. On the other side rip another rabbet about 1/2 inch wide and the depth of tile floors thickness. Sand all the top edge to round the angles. You should end up with a piece that looks like this on profile.
It takes a total of eight passes through the table saw to make each piece. The considerations are these: the base and the rabbet for the tile floor should sit flat on the underlay and floor. The rabbet for floating floor needs to allow for expansion in the floating floor. The wood over the rabbets can not be too thin, or it will break under use. It can not be too thick either, or it will risk tripping someone.
Sure would have been easier just to have the manufactured transitions in the first place.