I'm not sure why this story about the Olympic Torch's trip through the north struck me as funny. My first thought when I saw it was "Sure, an open flame on an airplane, but if I try to board one with nail clippers or a bottle of water..."
My other thoughts turned to what often happens to my stuff when it travels on a (granted different) northern airline. So I give you my latest script... Going Down in Flames
INT CARGO OFFICE, NORTHERN CANADA - EVENING
A man sits leaning back in a chair his feet up on a desk. Dressed in dark coveralls and a fluorescent green vest, hearing protectors sit on his head. He holds a paddle with a small rubber ball attached by a rubber band, and he is bouncing the ball repeatedly with the paddle.
The phone rings. Looking annoyed he reluctantly sets down the ball and paddle and answers the phone.
Nameless Northern Airline, Cargo Office, may I help you.
Screen splits to reveal a man dressed in a suit, standing in front of the unlit spot for the Olympic flame at a crowded Vancouver Olympic Stadium. He's talking on a cell phone to the Cargo Man.
Hi, yes its me Mark from Vancouver 2010. I spoke to you before. Have you found the torch yet?
All of our cargo gets forwarded on the minute it arrives here at Nameless Northern Airline.
Look, we've already been through this. We still haven't got the torch, it's been three weeks and we really really need it now.
Can you describe it?
OLYMPIC MAN (Yelling)
Its the Olympic Torch!
Can (beat) you (beat) describe (beat) it?
OLYMPIC MAN (Sighing)
Its about three feet long, a wavy silver torch, there's an Inuksuk and the Olympic Rings printed on the sides. It has orangy yellow flames...
Whoa! Flames? That would be dangerous goods. Did you know that nine whole coconuts are considered dangerous goods for shipping on an airplane. (chuckles) Coconuts.
We've been through this. We've gotten all the permissions. Where is it?
Okay, okay, don't get your pants in a knot. Now when did you ship the coconuts?
This doesn't really fall under the category of True Crime, but I was reminded of this story earlier today and thought it worth sharing. And seeing as it does involve mounties, True Crime it is....
I don't know how many of you have been to an RCMP Regimental Ball but
they are fancy affairs. The Members are decked out in Walking Out
order, our take on a tux or formal wear. Red Serge paired with a long
skirt for the women and "banana pants" for the men. Banana pants are
not the riding breeches that most people think of when they think of an
RCMP member in Red Serge but straight legged, tight trousers with a
high waist, the congress boots remind one of Elvis, but with spurs.
Many a Member has taken an unintended trip across the dance floor
riding the wheels of the spurs on their congress boots.
They are, generally, fun events. Lots of dancing and good times, but
one Regimental Ball in La Ronge turned into a nightmare for a friend of
mine. Lets call him Vincinzo. Vincinzo was up on the dance floor,
dancing up a storm with one of the Detachment clerks, and when the song
ended, there was a break in the action. Everyone headed off the dance
floor, and Vincenzo followed close behind a woman new to the community.
As they stepped off the dance floor the woman reached back and grabbed
Vincinzo, um, in a strategic spot of his Banana pants. Shocked, and
mildly embarrassed, he exclaimed "Whoa, those are mine". The woman,
looked back, saw who she had just, um, caressed in public, and laughed.
"Sorry, I thought you were my husband". The situation seemingly
diffused, Vincinzo shot back with a smile "you could probably tell
right away I wasn't him"
The woman lost it. She began berating Vincinzo and followed him
everywhere, nattering at him for saying such an uncouth thing. She
would not let up, and followed him out of the ballroom into the hotel
hallway. To escape her, and as he was heading there anyway, he ducked
into the men's room.
She followed him in, continuing to berate him, even as he stepped up to
the urinal. Finally he said, "Look, you're in the men's room. Leave!"
and she finally turned and huffed off. There was one other man in the
washroom, already busy at the urinal next to Vincinzo. Vincinzo turned
to him after the woman left, and said "What a Spinny B*tch"
Not sure if you tired of seeing my morning skies that are painted for me this time of year, but I'm sure not. Here is one from this morning, I stood on the frosty, snowy deck in bare feet while taking these this morning. A bad example for my children who watched me out there.
This morning I awoke to find that the bay had frozen over. It still could go out, its just a thin crust upon the surface and a strong wind would undo it all, but a couple of more days of weather like this (cold and calm) and it will be a done deal for the winter. Right now there are still boats pushing their way through to open water in Adam's Sound but soon it will become the domain of snowmobiles.
Here are a couple of photos from this morning. I had been meaning to get a couple of shots of the multi-year ice along the shore and finally took the tripod and camera with me this morning when I dropped Leah off at work.
Once again, the first image is an HDR rendering, and the second a conventional one.
I've only begun playing with the new Aperture program, and especially the Nik Software plugins for it, but have really enjoyed what I've seen so far. I still haven't installed my Photoshop program in the new computer, but that isn't because it is unneeded or unwanted. I haven't been able to just transfer it (well I need my serial number) but I've seemed to misplaced my disks etc. The Photoshop program is an old one and I really should upgrade, I just don't want to put out that sort of money right now. So for the time being I'm making do without it.
But I digress... Aperture/Nik Software. The plugins from Nik Software, while moderately expensive are well worth the money, for me. Essentially in the bundle of plug ins you get: A sharpener; Efex that mimic various filters, or photo styles; a noise reducer; a dodge and burn tool; a tool for rendering photos in different styles of B&W; and tool for manipulating photos (saturation, brightness, contrast etc) or parts of photos.
Here is a small sample of what I played with last night (when I wasn't falling asleep at the computer). On the left is an original, albeit cropped, photo of Hilary with an iceberg (you didn't think I wouldn't work in an iceberg somehow did you?) in the background. The finished product is on the right.
After cropping the photo I changed the style to a "glamour" style with the Colour Efex Pro plug in. Then with the Vivenza plug in I played with different parts of the photo, darkening the area around her feet to get attention away from there, increasing the colour saturation around the iceberg and its reflection, and lightening the area around her head. Finally back in Colour Efex I added a blur to the edges of the photo to focus the eyes on the centre.
Next month there are a couple of webinars on using Aperture with the Nik Software plugins on Landscape photos and on animal/wildlife photography. Hopefully then I'll start to learn just what these programs can do.
It should be pretty straight forward. Although the laws surrounding murder, and what constitutes 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder and manslaughter are fairly complex, the section that deals with the culpable homicide of a police officer is pretty clear.
Section 229(4) of the Criminal Code lays it out.
Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part
of any person, murder is first degree murder when the victim is
a police officer, police constable, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff,
sheriff’s officer or other person employed for the preservation and
maintenance of the public peace, acting in the course of his duties;
Even if you took the accused's, Emrah Bulatci, claims at face value (and I have to say that a claim that you shot someone twice to "hurt" them, and that you didn't intend to fire the next two shots that killed him stretches all manner of credibility) he is guilty of 1st degree murder.
According to the article Bulatci admits he fired the four shots that killed Chris Worden, he acknowledges that it is his fault that Chris Worden is dead. Chris Worden was acting in the course of his duties. He was in uniform, responding to a call of a suicidal person. Bulatci further admits that he was in Hay River to deal drugs, and armed with an illegal firearm.
Whether he intended to kill Cst Worden or wound him is immaterial. He killed a police officer by shooting him four times, knowing full well that his death could result from those actions.
His guilty plea in court today was an admission of first degree murder, and there needn't be a trial to determine that.
Normally we can expect Arctic Bay to freeze up in mid October, with Thanksgiving weekend a likely time frame for it to happen. Normally. The last five or so years freeze-up has been late, up to five weeks late. And although the Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone it looks like freeze-up has begun, only about a week late now.
Last week some multi year pack ice moved into the area, a lot of it ending up at the shoreline right in town. You don't often see this here in town, and there was a fair amount. Had freeze up happened on time, it would have been a lot more difficult this year getting on to the bay because of the jumble of large floes along the shore. However much of it has moved away from town so thankfully that won't be a problem.
Grey Ice has begun forming here on the bay, and this morning much of the bay was covered in it. It is the first step in freeze-up and should it remain calm out, as it is now freeze-up should be well underway by tomorrow.
Here's a photo from this morning, you should be able to see the thin layer of grey ice on the water.