Nunavut Newbie v.2.0: Iqaluit Newbie

A journal that will hopefully help out anyone who is thinking about moving to Nunavut or anywhere in Northern Canada.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stuff Arrival Day 2

Well we made a lot of progress yesterday. Almost everything is out of the boxes. The only box that has not been opened is the one with the bikes in it, and hopefully all of our fabric softener. We bought 2 very large things of fabric softener in Ontario. The two of them together would be worth $110-$120 here and we have not found them yet. I don't want to be paranoid, but if they're not in the bike box then they were probably stolen. One was put into a garbage bin in London but the garbage bin arrived empty.

My back is quite sore today. I used to have a back of steel but it's been giving me grief whenever I try to lift anything more than 10lbs or if I'm standing for awhile. It's kind of weird, I must have developed this problem from my previous job (I was always sitting).

The two channels we get via antenna are CBC and APTN (Aboriginal People's Televsion Network). We watched APTN all the time in London so it's nice to have it again. We're probably the only two non-aboriginal people in Canada who like APTN, haha.

Anyway, here are some photos of Day 2!

What you see when you come out of the bedroom.

The bedroom which is looking pretty messy right now.

Just SOME of the cardboard boxes left over. That crate thing is our unopened TV.

This was an extremely large box that M&T put our chair and a table in. I used it as a garbage box all day but it's too big for the "dumpsters" outside so everything in it needs to be put into garbage bags. This is what's left of what Jeff calls "the devil box." See those Surge glasses? I got them at Winners for $9.99 and they're amazing!

Even more cardboard boxes. The electric system doesn't like that extension cord wheel. :(

There's some nice GN furniture right there. Check out the stuffed animal tower, heh. It's a turtle (can't see) on a tiger on a skunk on a pig.

Leah in the storage room / office. I don't think I'll be able to use the computer in there without feeling like Milton from "Office Space":

(This photo took me like 15 minutes to find, so be amused!!)

The whole kit and caboodle.

(posted by Jaime)

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Arrival of Stuff

Wow, unpacking is almost as difficult as packing!

This morning as I lied in bed with my earplugs in, I wondered if Jeff would call me if the movers called him or if he would wait until later. I fell asleep after that and woke up to Jeff entering the apartment, at 10:10am. I asked him what he was doing home and he said the movers are coming!! I must have ESPN or something, heh. I threw on some clothes and we cleaned up a bit and they showed up around 10:40am.

Nothing came broken which is great however not everything stayed intact...
I was putting all of bowls and dishes in a lower cabinet on a shelf. I remarked to Jeff that it feels like we have a lot of dishes after living for a month on TWO plastic lunch plates and 3 plastic, unsturdy bowls. Once I finished I of course went on to other things. About 20 minutes later, the shelf came crashing down and with it the bowls and plates onto the floor. Several broke, probably 6 or 7 or maybe more, it was hard to tell. I stood there stunned for probably a minute before I started picking up the shards.

Anyhow, here are some photos of the move-in madness!

Ahhhhhh....look what crawled into our box in Ontario! Just kidding, I'm just a huge dork!

Jeff finding a place for the bowls, some of which would break later.

Don't just do something, stand there!

The very first thing that was unpacked. Photo coasters (with no photos yet).

What I'm staring at from the couch.

Leah trying to get our attention away from the boxes by giving us a death-defying show of walking on a door.

For my next act, I will attempt to walk across this extremely narrow door frame!

Who cares about that other crap, our featherbed is here!!!

Ahh, the boxes are invading the storage room!

Jeff fighting the boxes for world domination.

The poor movers had to work in this bad weather. But on the bright side, look how freakin' close the college is!

This is after an hour's worth of work. The going is tough.

I've opened many more boxes since Jeff has gone back to work but I took a break to write this entry.

Well, it looks like we're going to have an apartment sale or put up a sale sign on bulletins around town. We have way too much stuff, this place is going to be a lot different once everything is unpacked and we're both not looking forward to it.

Oh yeah, our TV antenna arrived...I've never been so happy to see "Road to Avonlea" before!

(posted by Jaime)

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The Arrival Part 2

Our stuff is coming!!!!! In fifteen minutes!!!

More on that once it arrives!

(posted by Jaime)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bye, Baygulls!

The baygulls are flying south!
I just heard about 5 minutes' worth of squawking over the apartment. It comes and goes but it definitely sounds like they're all leaving.

I don't blame them, it is getting seriously cold here. It's been averaging about 6-7C during the day AND night. Putting on the toque and winter jacket to go fetch the mail felt weird but it doesn't usually occur to me all that often anymore how warm it is in Ontario right now. At some point it's probably not healthy to keep comparing here to Ontario and I'm glad to say I don't think about Ontario that much these days.

It also actually occurred to me just now that Jeff and I will soon be wearing down-filled parkas. Why are we using bird feathers if most birds fly south for winter?! Doesn't that mean their feathers aren't warm enough for winter? Heh..figure that one out!

So Jeff went to Chesterfield Inlet yesterday. Due to the fact he was only there for 3 hours, he did not get any photos or any stories of what it's like there.

Jeff's flight tomorrow for Coral Harbour has been cancelled as well which is probably better for him anyway since he has a cold.

Oh yes, the dreaded television situation. One of Jeff's coworkers let us borrow one of his TVs while he took his vacation. We were excited, thinking we'd at least get CBC but alas, nothing comes in. Our antenna is with the rest of our stuff in Mystery Land right now so no TV for us. I looked into the satellite attached to our building but it's going to take a long time to ever get connected to it. We have to have our own receiver shipped up (there's $100-$200). Once it arrives, we pay some guy another $200 to probably plug the thing into the wall (it looks like our apartment is already satellite-ready), and then fork over another $136 for annual "maintenance." After that $436+ (at the cheapest), we have to give Bell even MORE money on a monthly basis for the channel package we want. Needless to say, I'm disappointed. I've never had satellite TV before so I didn't realize the dish can bring in multiple TV packages. I just assumed a package was assigned to the dish and the guy would have some spare receivers lying around. He'd hook 'er up and we'd be set.

One more week until school, yay!

(posted by Jaime)

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Midnight Post

This is my list of things that I am looking forward to that I have not seen since London:

1. TV.
2. VCR and DVD player and our movies.
3. The brand new toaster.
4. The brand new slow cooker.
5. The brand new microwave.
6. The brand new deep-dryer.
7. The brand new food processor.
8. The brand new pans.
9. The brand new drinking glasses.
10. The brand new electric blanket.
11. The brand new vacuum.
12. The brand new grill (George Foreman style)
13. The brand new down-filled featherbed (mattress cover).
14. Dishes.
15. Cutlery.
16. The rest of our pillows.
17. The stereo.
18. The other computer.
19. The bread-maker.

Look at all that brand new stuff!! It's going to a mini Christmas the day it arrives. No, scratch that. A giant, awesome Christmas! I've never gotten so much stuff for Christmas in my life. This will be the Christmas of Christmases (of non-Christmases). Thank you to anyone and everyone who bought any of those items for us, we've had to wait a long time to open our own wedding gifts.

Jeff and I have plans to write a humourous entry this week based on something we saw while taking a walk today. We discovered another nice area to walk around. We've always taken lots of walks together so to live somewhere that is pretty much 100% great walking area is very nice. We already have a "happy place" and it's a small beach right near our building.

Jeff is off to Chesterfield Inlet tomorrow (technically today). He returns around 5 or 6 which is good because he'll be off to Coral Harbour again on Wednesday/Thursday.

Our cat Leah seems to be doing very well. She's currently using a grocery bag that somehow made it to the living room carpet as a pillow. Earlier this week she discovered a surprising love for used dryer sheets. She's eaten probably 6 or 7 black flies since August 1st. She is very good at catching flies and the flies up here aren't very smart. These two factors combined mean that when flies get in the house, they're in Leah's stomach within 5 minutes. The first time she ever got a black fly in her mouth up here, a loud BZZZ! noise was heard from Leah's mouth. It was amusing.

Jeff is hopefully going to order us our Canada Goose parkas tomorrow from Weaver & Devore to be picked up the next time he flies out to Yellowknife which is apparently soon.
I am going for the Mystique and Jeff is going for the Heli-Arctic. Pictures of both:

Left: The Mystique. Right: The Heli-Arctic.

(posted by Jaime)

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wooohooo, Sub Zero

The Weather Network says we're due to have our first sub-zero celsius night in Nunavut. It's to be -1˚C taking into account the wind chill. I'm excited.

(posted by Jeff)

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Mini Sealift Day

Wow, we got lots of mail today!

I got an article about the Beatles from my dad, all of our redirected mail from Jeff's mom, and a 23lb box of dried groceries also from Jeff's mom.

I actually ended up having to pay $25 for Linda's box because it was underpaid. I asked how that could have happened if Linda had taken it into a post office in Ontario. I was told that what was paid was enough for shipment in southern Canada, but up here it was not. So there you go, $50 in shipping for a 23lb box. I didn't mind at all because $25 for all that was in the box was a great bargain.

I was excited to haul that box home and see what was in it. There is so much stuff, thanks Linda! There's pasta and drink crystals and cookies and garlic and gravy mix and whiskey and vodka and so much more. There's a LOT of stuff in it. It's our own mini sealift day, haha. Plus Linda is apparently sending us two more of these very shortly. We're running out of cupboard space!! Haha...seriously, this apartment is pretty bad on kitchen space. There is about a square foot of usable counter space and then a bunch of small cabinets.

(posted by Jaime)

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Yeah, yeah. I know. Enough with the entries today.

Well I can't sleep and I was lying in bed thinking about people I miss which led me to this idea. Please answer it, even if you're just our parents or whatever. It also took me about 45 minutes to find a poll that would work on Blogger and then I had to edit the script so it didn't look messed up. So after all my hard work, I deserve some accurate answers! :)

Who are you?

Someone you know in person.

A regular online reader whom you've never met.

Someone who Googled their way in looking for info.

Neither, just passing through.

View Results

I have edited the wording here to better suit the answers I'm looking for, so don't be alarmed if what you selected is worded slightly different on the poll's result page.

(posted by Jaime)

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Coral Harbour

Thought I'd make a quick post with a few photos from my excursion to Coral Harbour. There's a few more on our Flickr page, but these are my favourites.

coral harbour 1
Down the street from my shack hotel. After I took this photo, I noticed that about 6 kids were watching me take the picture and taking a liking to my digital camera. By the time I walked a few houses down the street, the kid-count was up to at least a dozen.

A view of houses along one of the main thoroughfares ;)

I'm presuming this is the "harbour" part of Coral Harbour. I was surprised at the size of some of the boats (none visible in this picture), but presume they're part of a commercial fishing operation (?)

P.S. This is for Mudlark (Jess). She has the option to move to either Cambridge Bay or Iqaluit and she's not quite sure where to go. Any thoughts? She'd appreciate it!

(posted by Jeff)

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Home Alone...Again

Woo, an afternoon amazing thus far!

#1. I went over to the college to drop off my confirmation of acceptance. All the employees were sitting around in the office and the registrar said to me, "Just out of curiosity, why are you taking Office Admin. and not Management Studies?"
I was like, "Uh...I don't know. I didn't really look at the management course."
After about 5 minutes of discussion, they switched me over to Management Studies because they said it would be more up to par with my skills. They said my marks were too good to just be in the Office Admin. course and they said that since I want to work for the government, that I was much better off taking Management Studies.

That's pretty cool, I'm happy about it. Actual class work doesn't start until the second week of September which I guess is how most colleges work. I asked one lady how many students go to college at the Kivalliq campus but she answered that last year there were 21 graduates between the Office Admin and the Management course so she said, "About that many then," but there are other courses held there so my guess is that probably is about 50 or 60. Wow, and I thought my elementary school of 200 kids was small!

Have I mentioned that I can't wait to go to school again?! I worked at a call centre before moving here. It was across the street from the college I was going to go to this September and I was always so jealous of the students on the bus, of which there were many. I hated my job and they always seemed so happy to go to school.

#2. After the college, I walked over to the Co-op to pick up some cookies (heh) and a Nunatsiaq News. The newspaper says it costs $1 but they never charge me for it, I'm not sure why. I should try buying a Kivalliq News there and see if they charge me because the Northern does.
Anyway, the good part was when this guy about my age came up to me with two 5-week-old huskey/whatever-mix puppies in his backpack and asked me if I wanted to buy one. I said no but he let me pet them anyway. They were the most adorable thing I've seen in ages. I scratched their little heads and behind their little ears and I almost wanted to take the backpack and run, haha. I'm thinking that the only way to get Leah to be quiet is to buy her another cat to play with. That would definitely make her be quiet. She loves other animals.

#3. I finished my outing with a trip to the post office, where a package from my dad had arrived. It was a microphone so I can use Skype. I downloaded Skype so if anyone has it, add me! I don't know a lot about it yet, but I think giving my username is enough? My username is [removed for privacy reasons].

(posted by Jaime)

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The First of Many Brrrrs!

Wow, it got down to 3.7C last night! Ouch!
For you Americans, 3.7C is 37F.

Jeff and I have a weather monitor thing. One piece goes outside and then the actual monitor part tells you the time, the temp. inside, and the temp. outside. It also records the maximum and minimum outside temperature since it's been last reset. It's pretty neat, it's fun to always know what temperature it is. Unfortunately the sun skews the outside temperature during the day. Yesterday when Jeff and I headed out to the Quickstop, I looked at the weather monitor and said, "Well, it's 32C, dress accordingly!" We both laughed while we continued putting on sweaters.

Jeff has gone to Coral Harbour until tomorrow.

Today on the agenda is to buy some more Hostess chocolate chunk cookies and to drop off my confirmation of acceptance into Nunavut Arctic College. I don't remember if I wrote about it, but I was accepted into the Office Administration program. I'm way excited to go to school again. I'm not sure how college-y it'll be (by Ontario standards) but either way I'm sure it'll be fun. I had my transcript faxed over there and I wondered if they would understand the course codes since they're different everywhere. Sure enough, they called me and told me I needed to come do their math and English test, which they only make you do if you don't have grade 12 math and English credits, which I do. I wasn't worried about it, though, since I did well in school, especially in math and English. Jeff had told me that they asked for me to come a bit before 1pm but I didn't get there until right on the dot of 1pm and I felt bad about it...until I saw that everyone was still on lunch. I used the chance to walk around a little bit, which made me more excited to go there. I finally sat down on a bench and decided to wait for someone and about 30 seconds later someone returned, knew who I was, and told me that they had been mistaken and I don't need to take the test.

I'm lucky because the college is very, very close to our building.
Here is how close it is:

The red building is the college. If I take the shortcut behind the Tapiriit building, it's like a 40 second walk. It rocks.

Our cat has serious mental problems. Ever since she got spayed last month, she can't stand not having attention lavished upon her 24 hours a day. Right now she's sitting at the door cry-meowing. She only stops when I quit what I'm doing and play with her until she gets tired or until Jeff comes home. She only seems comfortable when we're both here. It is seriously freaking annoying and I have to wear earplugs to bed after Jeff leaves so I don't lose my insanity the way I am right now. It is very, very annoying dealing with this every single day. I don't know what to do with her, she won't snap out of it. I am hoping she quits once I go to school so she won't be used to someone being home with her all the time like it has been since she was spayed.

Anyway, my brother made a neat cartoon for us. Check it out.

P.S. I also want to take the opportunity to say that because of our lovely site meter, we know where all our regular readers live. Not specifically of course, but we know what city you live in. We seem to have 1 or 2 Rankin readers. Oh how I wish they'd comment. ;)

(posted by Jaime)

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Northern Lights and Kentucky Fried Chicken

I'm getting a cold, I can tell. I always get sick in August.

My two trips out of town got cancelled this week, and replaced with another to Coral Harbour tomorrow, so I'm hoping I feel better by then.

On Saturday night, we went out to look at stars, because it wasn't cloudy for the first time in a while. It just happened to be that there was a lot of northern lights, and we got to see quite a good show. In Ontario, I'd seen the northern lights two, maybe three times, and they always occurred in the northern sky. It's sort of neat up here because they're all over the place. Not to mention much brighter than the ones I had seen. We didn't take our camera with us, unfortunately, so we didn't get any pictures. I remember being pretty cold on Saturday night, and it was windy anyhow, so I likely wouldn't have been able to hold the camera still enough to take any decent pictures of them.

Jaime's doing dishes, the cat is constantly meowing, and bingo is on the radio. The movers still haven't shown up with our TV. I could go for some TV right now.

We actually splurged and went to the Pizza Hut/KFC kiosk in the Northern for supper. We each got our own personal sized meal combos and surprisingly it only set us back about $16, including two pepsis. The food was actually really good .

(posted by Jeff)

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Arctic Bunny Rabbits

We just got back from a short walk. I managed to grab a photograph of an arctic hare. It's a little bit fuzzy because of how little time I had to take it, the damn things are fast! and big!

P.S. Check out our Flickr page, we added about 15 photos from today's walk onto it.

(posted by Jeff)

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Yay for Internet

Yay, we finally have our own modem! I called today and when the lady said the modems had arrived, I was so excited I said, "Okay, I'll be over to pick some up! Err..just one."

If you're familar with Qiniq, we went with the Masak plan.'s so much faster than what we were borrowing before.

I'm going to go browse my usual sites and revel in the blazing 384k speed, heh.

(posted by Jaime)


Thursday, August 17, 2006


Hmm...something interesting just happened to me.

I was walking over to the Northern (conveniently located just across the street) to pick up some dish detergent because I'd had it with washing dishes using dishwasher detergent (we made a boo boo and bought 5 boxes of the stuff, thinking we'd have a dishwasher).
Now, one point about me is that I walk fast. Especially when I'm alone as I was just now. I have always walked fast and I don't know if even living up here will change that. I also don't slow down when I'm shopping because I hate wasting time in stores. I buy what I want and leave. So I had picked out some Sunlight, grabbed a pop and newspaper, and headed over to the cashier. When I got in line, the lady in front of me turned to me, gave me a funny look, and said, "Are you in a rush?" Inside, I was thinking, "Whuh?" but all I said was "Nope" cheerily. Before the lady left, she gave me another weird look while I stared off into space pleasantly.

I can't say I'm surprised, really.

(posted by Jaime)

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Home Alone, the Sequel

Okay, so being home alone isn't all that bad.
I happen to sleep much better when I'm not elbowed in the face four times a night and rolled on top of another six times.

One thing I'd never know about myself unless I slept alone is that I hardly move at all. I wake up and the sheets are still all perfect. When I was kid, my mom would tuck my blankets in all the way around the bed (minus the head) and I'd wake up with them still nicely tucked in.

There has been construction going on outside our building since we moved here and this morning I heard the most awful, deafening sound. It sounded like metal...crushing against rocks. And that's what it turned out to be. Some crane thing moving around on the rocks. Argh, it was the worst noise in the world. I thought my ear drums were going to pack up and move out of my ears for good.

Other than that, Home Alone Day #2 is going quite well. It's sunny out with hardly any clouds, about 17C, and I got real mail...with money in it! Another wedding card came, so if you're reading this Bob H., thanks! I think Jeff's mom was trying to tell Jeff something...she sent some nicotine patches. Heh.

Jeff called me last night and said Yellowknife wasn't as exciting as he thought it would be. I think he was expecting some bustling metropolis a la Toronto or something. After he got off the phone with me, he was going to a bar for a beer. I told him it would probably taste amazing. He has promised me rum upon his arrival so I am looking forward to that, if it happens. I reckon I would pay about $30 for a rum and Coke right now.

(posted by Jaime)

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Home Alone in the Sub-arctic

Well, Jeff is gone for Yellowknife until Wednesday so I'm here alone until then.
I can't imagine how I'm going to spend my time alone here. Anyone is free to come visit me! Ha ha ha...I slay me. Of course, you're not really free per se to come visit because the cheapest it would be for probably any of our readers is around $900.

I just came back from applying to the college. I was starting to get even more frustrated because I called to see if anyone was there in the guise of wanting to know when the program started. The girl that answered my question sounded like I just wrecked her day. That is definitely one of my biggest pet peeves. It's not that hard to sound friendly. I should know; my last job was technical support for an Internet company. I know how annoying customer service is, but it's not hard. End of story.

Anyway, I embarrassed myself a little bit at the college because I was outside knocking on the door and ringing the bell because I could not get the door open. I didn't remember it being so difficult the last time, so I kept knocking until someone came and told me the door was open all along. The man who took my application looked it over and then told me his grandparents used to live in Sarnia (Ontario; which is where Jeff and I are from). I thought it was a weird coincidence. I expect people up here to be from BC and Alberta and whatnot...not from our dinky little town in Ontario.

So now all my errands are done and the only possible thing left to do is housework and I don't have the proper equipment yet for such duties. What a great excuse, too bad it'll only work until the movers bring our stuff.

If you have any suggestions on what I can do until Wednesday night, by all means, tell me! I've had about as much as CBC Radio as I can handle and I don't own any computer games.

(posted by Jaime)

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Beached Seal

Jaime and I were down at the "beach" on Wednesday evening looking for neat looking rocks and discarded objects which I presume could only have come from the closure of the nickel mine that was here at one time. While we were down there, we found a carved seal, which we brought home with us, a picture of which is on the left.

It looks as though it has been down there for a while, based on the wear and tear on it, although soapstone likely doesn't hold up too well in the water. I've taken to calling him Leo the Arthritic Seal, based on the large hump on his back. (maybe he was unfinished?)

Work is great so far, a little bit stressful learning all the procedures to follow and the who's who of all the projects I've been assigned, but it'll sort itself out, I'm sure. In addition to my Yellowknife trip next week, which I'm really looking forward to, I have trips planned for Whale Cove and Coral Harbour this month. It will be great to get out and see some of the other communities in the area so soon. Not so much looking forward to the flights there, hah.

Jaime and I accidently took a four-hour evening nap yesterday which has really confused our sleep schedules. I've heard from my co-workers that keeping up regular sleep habits is a pretty difficult thing to do up here, at first.

(posted by Jeff)

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Pessimism #2

Ah, darn.

It turns out I can't take the course I wanted to at the college (Information Technology). I've had kind of an annoying ordeal so far with the college. Observe:
#1. Their website is extremely outdated and half the links do not lead to existing pages.
#2. The website listed a course called Computer Technology that I wanted to take.
#3. I went to the school the other day and found that the person I needed to talk to wasn't there but someone else who was rather unhelpful didn't tell me that Computer Technology was now Information Technology. All she said was, "We don't have that." So I took information on the Office Admin. course because it's pretty much the only other course that's going to get me near a computer in the future.
#4. Then I find a more updated course list on the website when I get home, where I find the IT course. I call the college to find out if they have it. Of course, I have to leave a message. Nobody has called me back about it.
#5. Annoyed that no one called me back, I call head office and leave a message on their machine about the IT course.
#6. I get called back this morning from the head office and all they say is they don't know, I have to call this campus. How does the head office not know what's being offered?
#7. I try my luck with this campus again and someone picks up and tells me after all this that no, IT is not being offered.
#8. Arghghgh.

Office administration it is! Now I just need three references to fill out some forms for me...

P.S. I changed the background back to where it was originally. I still need my own place to host the picture so again, if you know where I can, please let me know.

(posted by Jaime)

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Technical Stuff

I just uploaded the majority of our photos to our Flickr account. You can get to it from the "Important Links" section on the right side of this page. It has many, many more photos that are never before seen! We will continue to upload all or most of our photos to it and then post our favourites here, so if you like the photos, you may want to check out the Flickr page every now and then.

Also, I've changed where the background image is hosted. If it ever doesn't work, please comment and let me know so I can change it back. On that matter, does anyone know of a good place to upload images that won't resize them or be subject to bandwidth restrictions? I've tried probably 6 different websites but I don't think any of the free photo uploaders allow gigantic photos to be uploaded. I've got it uploaded on Jeff's website that never came to be, but I think it expires soon. If you know of anywhere, please let me know, or else I'll have to change the background and I like this background.

That's all for now!

(posted by Jaime)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Yet Another Grocery Post

Since I'm pretty sure nobody is sick of these grocery entries yet, I bring you yet another grocery post.

580g of drink crystals: $6.49
Hamburger Helper: $4.49
"Ham Helper" (same thing as above but different brand): $3.59
Canned cream of broccoli (smaller size, makes two bowls): $2.59
Package of approx 24 no-name cookies: $3.85
6 cans of Pepsi: $10.98
Small amount of fresh ground beef: $4.50
4 very small chicken breasts: $7.95
Package of 3o-35 chicken nuggets: $9.99

In other news, we opened up a bank account yesterday and deposited all the wedding money. Wedding money is now grocery money.

I also am in the middle of applying to Arctic College but I am waiting to be called back because there was some confusion about a computer course that I wanted to take.

We are also still just borrowing Internet as the local Qiniq "dealership" is still waiting for modems to be shipped in. They were supposed to be in last week but I just called and they're still not in.

The sun is starting to set earlier but it still does not get very dark once it does set. I've noticed that the horizon stays a pink colour after the sun sets and does so until the sun rises again. It starts to get bright around 4am. If you lied in bed all day, it would be difficult to tell what time it is based on sunlight. Take this morning for example. Jeff woke up all frantic and asked me what time it was. I turned the clock around and replied, "five," and he said, "'s hard to tell," and then we fell back asleep.

We might be going out on the land this weekend with some of Jeff's coworkers. They said it's not definite but I'll be very excited if it is. We'd get to use somebody's ATV. I am dying for an ATV as just walking around gets kind of boring and I want to see what it looks like outside of town.

Well, that's all for me.

Oh yeah..
To Tammy: Try not to get too nervous. :) I was personally surprised by how smoothly everything went. If you've already ordered your parkas then you definitely have nothing to worry about, haha. I'm still looking for someone who sells the Canada Goose parka that I want. P.S. Check out Northern Sights. A guy named Curtis writes it and he just moved to Repulse Bay this past month.

To the anonymous winter gear tipster: Thank you for your advice, we are definitely going to follow it. I think Jeff is going to go into that Weaver and Devore store when he is in Yellowknife. He plans to buy his parka there.

(posted by Jaime)

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Food Prices

We went grocery shopping again tonight at the Tru-Value (yes, normally that is a hardware store) and since all the 'southerners' who read our blog were so fascinated by our last food price post, here's more from the past week:

2 Cans of Dr. Pepper $1.87 each
1 Loaf of Wonder Bread $3.49
1 box of six Fish Sticks $9.99
1 package of 12 hot dog buns: $4.99
24 slices of American cheese: $7.69
1 Hostess cookie: $2.19
2 cans of tuna: $3.79
12 cans of Pepsi: $18.79

...and finally, 1L container of apple juice:

... that's right, $5.89.

(posted by Jeff)


Monday, August 07, 2006

Jeff's First Post from Nunavut

Hi everyone. It's been a while since I made a post here, Jaime's been doing most of the work on the blog lately. I started work on Wednesday, the day after we got to town. It seems great so far, everyone has been really nice and given me a pleasant welcome. I get to take my first "work trip" to Yellowknife the 14th through the 16th, and I'm pretty excited about it - even though it means I'll have to leave Jaime here all alone for two full days.

We've been going out on walks quite a bit, trying not to stray too too far from town as something tells me that it would be pretty easy to lose your bearing up here. It's incredible how beautiful it is up here, and knowing that what we see here stretches for hundreds uninterrupted kilometers in every direction only compounds it.

We're going to order our "winter gear" online this afternoon. I'm a bit apprehensive about ordering winter parkas over the internet, and hoping they'll fit when they get here, but I don't think we'll get anywhere with a good selection of winter stuff (beyond the Columbia stuff at the Northern store) prior to the set in of cold weather. On our first night here (August 1st) we went out for a quick walk around the neighbourhood and already we could see our breath. We haven't experienced that again since, and it is currently 18.5 celsius out (according to our just-installed weather station), but learning from the locals apparently by September it will be very cold.

Anyway, I'll leave you with some more photos (we're sort of obsessed with taking pictures of the landscape right now).

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A view of Hudson Bay just out past the landfill (we didn't know we were beside the landfill at the time, though the hoardes of biting flies should have tipped us off).

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Same area, this time with seagulls. Are they still called seagulls up here? or bagels? ("[Hudson] Bay gulls" hahahah.. joke courtesy of Jaime)

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A friendly little ermine Arctic ground squirrel (thanks, Clare!) that let us get quite close.

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Rankin Inlet's Inukshuk. I don't think the Thule/Inuit had cast in place concrete, but it gives you the idea.

(posted by Jeff)

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Internet Woes

If you want to have a good cry, like I'm about to, read this service/rates page for the Internet company here.

Look at Piqsiq! $400/month!

This is officially worse than the pop thing. AND the Tide thing*...put together!

Someone hold me!

*It's $40 for a small box of the stuff.
(posted by Jaime)

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Settling In

I was feeling a little masochistic so I went to the Northern store again today. Jeff and I had somehow forgotten to bring shampoo and conditioner. 1 bottle of shampoo, 1 bottle of conditioner, and a package of 20 plastic/disposable party cups ran me $24. We didn't bring much in the way of kitchenware so the plastic cups are perfect.

We also checked our mail for the first time and we had mail! A flyer from the Northern store, but at least it's mail. They've got a real great deal going right now...12 cans of pop for $18! Do me a favour: next time you take a drink of pop, think of me.

We ventured to the co-op today. It's pretty much another grocery store. Same stuff, same prices.

We also had our phone hooked up today. We've already had one wrong number. It's been 5 hours since it's been hooked up and no telemarketers have called. In London this would be a world record!

Well, I know what most you wanna see and I'm not going to fail to deliver.

One of the stranger sights in town. A field of dogs. Dogs in fences, dogs chained to houses. Just plain dogs everywhere. They all bark and howl when you walk by.

Me standing by a little pond. This more or less is looking onto the inlet that looks onto Hudson Bay. Yeah, that's a toque in August.

Arctic cotton.

The view. The houses you see on the left aren't really part of town. We think they're summer cottages.


Some kind of arctic berries. The ground here is soft and squishy. It feels like you're walking on thick sponges but because the tundra is like desert, it's not wet. In fact, when you step on the soft land, little clouds of dust fly up around your feet.

Our apartment building!!! It's the tall one.

The majority of the town. This does not show the section we live in, which seems to be the newer section.

An ermine. It's something of an arctic weasel. They're pretty much the squirrels of the north. They swish their tail around and dig through stuff.

Another view of part of town.

A panoramic view of the edge of the town. That's not the entire town.

(posted by Jaime)

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

First trip to the Grocery Store

We just came from our first trip to the grocery store. "Wow," is all I can say about this:

White bread 2.39
8 Hamburger buns 3.49
6-pack of coke 10.98
One white onion 2.38
200 grams of cheese 3.99 (this was an on-sale item)
1 pound margarine 4.39
2 meat pies at 2.89 each
2 pork chops 6.75
1 package of breakfast sausage 5.89
1 hotrod packaged meat-thing 0.99
8 pre-packaged hamburger patties 14.39
1 package of chicken nuggets 9.99
1 package of cigarettes 11.74

...and we only bought stuff that didn't seem outrageously expensive: mostly store-brand stuff. We passed on the 8 dollar windex and the 12 dollar containers of orange juice.

(posted by Jeff)



We're here! It's time for the rest of the story. Sorry it's long!

Monday night: We ended up selling our 4 patio chairs, 4 dining room chairs, a couch, a loveseat, and a bookshelf all for $50 plus free assisted-delivery to the neighbours across the street in a desperate attempt to get rid of said furniture.

Once we finished hauling the stuff over, we went and met Jeff's parents at their motel. We had our last ever meal in Ontario: McDonalds. It was amazing. We barely slept on the two very flat pillows we left for ourselves. I used pants to prop my head up.

Tuesday morning @ 5am: We got up, packed the rest, took a deep breath and left for the airport. We met Jeff's parents at the airport. We checked all of our baggage. We had nine things (10 including Leah): 4 giant plastic containers, 4 suitcases, and 1 small plastic container. The Air Canada personnel that dealt with us was very nice and she made me feel a lot less stressed out. She put a "Priority" tag on Leah's carrier and took her away. Also, ALL but one of our plastic containers and one suitcase went above Air Canada's maximum weight of 70lbs. Everything fell between 71-76lbs but the woman wrote "70lbs" on all of them. We were very lucky that they all the weight they were, otherwise we would have had to throw things out.

8:30am: The plane to Toronto was very tiny (it held 18 passengers) and the flight was very short. In total, there was probably no more than 20 minutes in the air. It turned out to be the estimated 45 minutes with all the taxing around. I was elated to be flying. It was so fun! Jeff was nervous and clammy in the tiny plane but I wish we could have taken that little thing the whole way. It hit me how high we were when I looked down at a golf course and thought it was a mini putt course. I realized my error when I saw a pool and a car.

9:20am: We walked across the new Terminal 1 in Toronto. It was packed and there was hardly anywhere to sit. The plane to Winnipeg was much larger. During the landing, I went pretty much deaf and my ears and jaw were in agony. I remained half-deaf for the whole time in Winnipeg which was annoying. I would have enjoyed myself much more had I been able to hear.

12:20pm: While standing at the baggage claim section in Winnipeg, scared about my newfound deafness and even more scared about Leah, I thought I heard (which you can imagine was hard 1. being at an airport 2. standing at the baggage claim for a busy flight and 3. half-deaf) meowing. I turned around and Leah (in her cage) was just sitting on the floor near a door to go behind the baggage section. I grabbed her and rejoiced that she made it. She wasn't too happy at first but she calmed down.

12:30pm-3pm: We kept Leah with us for almost the whole time. We let her out on her leash which she and surrounding children enjoyed. We checked her in at 3pm and I was so scared I'd never see her again. We stood behind someone with 2 cute dogs.

4:00pm: Waiting for the flight, the lady with the cute dogs came and sat down in our section. We've even seen her walking her dogs around town. We thought it was a weird coincidence. We scoped out the others flying to Rankin Inlet. The flight turned out to be headed to Yellowknife and Edmonton after it landed in Rankin Inlet.

4:40-6:30pm: The flight to Rankin was good. We got a tasty dinner and free newspapers. It was unfortunately cloudy but we did manage to see quite a bit of northern Manitoba. My ears felt great on the flight but went bad again after landing.

6:40pm: We met a coworker of Jeff's at the airport. I eagerly watched the airport personnel unload the plane because I hadn't seen them board Leah. I remembered the Gone North bloggers writing that their dogs had been boarded last and taken off first. Indeed two small cages were taken off the plane however neither were Leah. The worker went back and no more animals were taken off. As you can imagine, I was very scared that she didn't make it. My heart pounded as I watched the workers unload non-animals. Eventually she did make it (at the very end!) and I calmed down but that moment definitely tops one of the scariest moments of my life. I was a bit embarrassed to be so close to tears in the middle of the airport.

Until 8:30pm-ish: Jeff's co-worker had a pickup truck and we were able to get everything on the back and bring it into our apartment. He helped us out which was great. He drove us around the town, pointing out the important parts. Jeff and I sat in his truck, wide-eyed at our new home. My favourite thing here so far (besides the amazing scenery) is Pizza Hut, haha! The busiest place in town (the Northern store) is right across the street. There's a Pizza Hut and a KFC in it! The post office and a bank are also across the street.

The apartment: We live in a 3-storey walk-up style apartment on the third floor. I found out from the girl at the post office that our building is called "the new Ilagiiktut" (eela-gee-tu) or simply, "the new Ila." We live in apartment 816, though there are only 20 apartments. It's furnished of course with mid-90s style furniture and coincidentally, the same cupboards as we had in London. We have lots of room to move around which is great. It's much bigger than what we had in London. If you've been in our old apartment, you'll remember how cramped it was.

We unpacked some things and went out for walk. We had to wear winter jackets and I wore a toque to keep my ears warm. It was very weird wearing a toque on August 1st but pretty amusing at the same time. It's about 17 degrees Celsius today which feels absolutely marvellous after southern Ontario's 35 degree heatwave. I don't miss the heat one bit yet.

An employee of the company that manages this apartment came over today at 1:30 to assess any damages. They are fixing everything that's wrong with it (not much). This place is very clean and in very nice shape. It's a big change from a circa 1920s apartment that we just came from that needed renovation badly. The temperature in here is very comfortable. It was kind of cold when the girl came over and she remarked that it was hot in here. I laughed at the weirdness of that. She gave us a spare key which doesn't actually work.

Anyway, I'll close with our new address and some photos!
[deleted for privacy]

The post office worker said regular lettermail can take 1-2 weeks though it's not always guaranteed and XpressPost is within 7 business days.

Now for some photos!

The view from our living room window. The red building is the Arctic College and/or its residence. There is a giant rock hill too which people are always walking over.

The lobster. Those in the know will laugh.

The kitchen and dining area. Very spacious (at least compared to London).

The living room.

The cat has no idea where she is but she likes it here. She seems happier than she did in London.

The bed. Mmm...sleep.

The bathroom. We have a fan!!! Amazing.

"Feed me, woman!"

Another view of the livingroom / dining area. It's less messy now.

View from the window. That is looking north west, so it's toward the mainland.

I've never seen so many ATVs in my life.

The sun is very bright today as there aren't many clouds. The sun rise/set on the right side of this blog is accurate. It gets dark just after 10.

After lying down for a bit, my ear has unblocked. What a relief.

(posted by Jaime)

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