Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reason to Celebrate - Delaware comes to its senses


THAT’S BETTER: 1ST DEGREE MURDER CHARGES IN DELAWARE


Remember a few days ago I told you abou the driver in Delaware where the driver was using a stick to press the gas and brake pedals and drove into an accident scene killing a Michelle Smith of The Delaware City FD. Well it seems like the police have come to thier senses and maybe even the Judge too. $37,000 was the original bial se now Mr. Taye is in JAIL awaiting where he should be based on his past awaiting trial.

Be safe on the roads this New Year's Eve. Take a taxi or use a Designated Driver. 

And if you are going to raise a toast this year please do so with Sparkling VQA Wine from Niagara. In this time more than ever buy LOCAL VQA wine. Forget France or Spain for you bubbly. Have you ever tried Peller's Ice Cuvee? Look into it if you are still shopping if you are lucky enough to be in NOTL this new years eve head down to the winery there it is a Sparking cut with Ice wine.



http://www.peller.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=86


THAT’S BETTER: 1ST DEGREE MURDER CHARGES IN DELAWARE (THE SECRET LIST)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Troopers from the Collision Reconstruction Unit at Troop 2 formally charged Joseph Taye, 28, of Bear approximately one hour ago with Murder in the first degree.  This charge was upgraded from Manslaughter due to Michelle Smith of the Delaware City (DE) Fire Company losing her life while performing her duties.  Mr. Taye's charge of Assault 2nd was changed to Assault 1st due to the severity of Edward Reiss' injuries (the motorcyclist she was treating).  The charges of Driving while Revoked, Leaving the Scene of a Crash and Failure to Report a Crash remained the same.
 
Mr. Taye was committed to Howard Young Correctional Institute without bail.
 
This case is still very much active. Investigators are seeking to identify the operator of the Honda as well as locating that particular vehicle that fled the scene of the crash with Taye in the car.  
 
At the time of this release, Mr.Reiss is still in Christiana Hospital in stable but serious condition.

Take care-BE CAREFUL 
BillyG
The Secret List 12-30-08 / 2030 hours
www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com 

Niagara deadliest place to drive in Ontario again...

Niagara holds the title again...
Come on people, think and drive...

New years resolution for Niagara residents lets bring down this number.


While NOTL is down other places made up for NOTL unfortunately. 


From the Niagara Falls Review


Niagara roads retain deadly ranking

Posted By PETER DOWNS, SUN MEDIA

Posted 20 hours ago

It's a grim title police wish Niagara could shed.

But as the year draws to a close, it looks as though Niagara will once again go down as one of the deadliest regions in the province in which to drive.

The per-capita death rate among drivers in Niagara has consistently been among the highest in Ontario for the past several years.

"It's a title we do not wish to have and we wish to make sure that we relinquish it to somebody else - hopefully nobody else, because we don't want to see anyone hurt or killed anywhere," Niagara Regional Police Det. Sgt. Cliff Priest said.

As of Friday, a reported 28 crashes had claimed 29 lives on roads patrolled by Niagara Regional Police this year.

Another 33 motorists suffered life-threatening injuries during the same time frame.

That puts the latest traffic tally just about on par with the five-year average of 28.8 annual fatalities leading up to the end of 2007.

"Our drivers are still not obeying the rules of the road and especially the speed limits," Priest said.

Regional police have beefed up traffic enforcement over the past several years, specifically targeting speeders and impaired drivers.

But the police effort hasn't been reflected with a significant improvement in safe driving.

Excessive speed, impairment and driver error continue to be the primary causes behind most serious and fatal car wrecks in the region.

"It is speed that kills," Priest said.

"If you speed, the likelihood of you getting seriously injured or killed goes up exponentially every kilometre over the limit you go."

Niagara's road-death toll spiked six years ago with 39 fatalities, and has mainly stabilized since then.

But Priest doesn't attribute the lower number of deadly crashes to motorists improving their driving habits.

Instead, he said, vehicle-safety features have improved significantly in recent years.

As well, Priest said, more paramedics on the road have more advanced levels of training.

"That allows them to do a lot more at the initial scene to save life," he said.

Dedicated air ambulances for Niagara also enable badly injured crash victims to get to trauma centres more quickly.

"That's the sort of thing that saves lives and changes it from a fatality to a serious injury," Priest said.

In the year ahead, the NRP plans to increase the presence of its special enforcement unit, which was created to enforce traffic initiatives in known problem areas across the region.

Priest also said more emphasis will be placed on educating new and experienced drivers about traffic safety.

Motorists who have been on the road for 20 or 30 years often haven't undergone any driver training since they were initially licensed, Priest noted.

"There's been numerous changes to the law and the way we drive since they learned to drive," he said.

- - -

. ROAD DEATHS

The number of fatal car wrecks on roads patrolled by Niagara Regional Police has remained relatively steady over the past several years.

¦ 2002 -- 39

¦ 2003 -- 27 ¦ 2004 -- 31

¦ 2005 -- 30

¦ 2006 -- 35

¦ 2007 -- 31

¦ 2008 (as of Dec. 26) -- 29

Source: Niagara Regional Police

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A lazy mans post today - look at abandoned london from another blog


Today I took a trip out to Prelude Lake about 40 minutes away from Yellowknife to visit the cabin/cottage that Michele's boss owns. We got back in the late afternoon so Colleen could catch her flight. (She made it as far as Edmonton as her connecting flight to Calgary got cancelled because of snow) I hope she makes it in the morning.




I was looking at my friend Marilyn's Blog - http://nagonthelake.blogspot.com/

She found this site:


If you have ever been to London you will appreciate these pictures.


Trafalgar Square and St Martins

See other pictures taken by the same photographer. 


I had a similar experience in London back in 2001. I was in London on May Day and there were huge protests and a threat of a transit strike. London Police recommended staying out of the core. The areas around the Cabinet War Room, the boardwalk by the Thames were all similar to the pictures you took. To block parade routes, the bridges were all shut down near the Parliament. It was an eerie feeling. 

Sorry for not coming up wth my own material today. I am headed back into work for three days then get New Year's Day off then one day then two off. Hopefully I can show you a little more of Yellowknife.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING DOING TO NIAGARA



Just for fun before I went to bed tonight I thought I would look up the weather. It has been above minus thirty since Christmas.

I looked over to Niagara where it is ONE in the morning and it is plus 17 vs. our negative 27.

Alert Al Gore. Global Warming has hit Niagara.


If you live in Delaware STAY OFF THE ROADS!


If you live in Delaware STAY OFF THE ROADS!

Thanks Judge! The people of Delaware will remember you at your re-election. I hope that you realize what you have done. 

At an Oct. 17 court hearing, the state couldn't prove that Taye was driving the car and stayed the case, Pulgini said.

"We have been fighting this for a year," Pulgini said. "I told them, 'What are you waiting for, for him to kill somebody? Then it's going to be too late.' "

Calls to Cecil County Deputy State's Attorney Michael Halter or to Taye's defense attorney, Edward Rollins III, were not returned Tuesday.Delaware state police continue searching for a light-colored Honda Accord seen pulling up at the scene minutes after the crash, Whitmarsh said. The Honda driver helped Taye into his car and took off, leaving the BMW at the crash scene. Police are asking anyone with information on the driver's identity to call detectives at Troop 2 at 834-2620, ext. 0, or Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081224/NEWS01/812240351


This is from FIREFIGHTER CLOSE CALLS by 
Chief Billy Goldfeder

Hey...
Just when you thought the circumstances related to the horrific hit and run Line of Duty Death of Delaware City (DE) Firefighter Michelle Smith couldn't get any worse...it does. This isn't the first time that career criminal Joseph Taye was involved in a hit and run....why, just one year ago, the paraplegic Taye...yeah, paraplegic... (Taye was paralyzed from the waist down in July 2005 when he was shot outside a bar) was involved in another previous hit and run crash in Maryland that left two women injured, one seriously. When police found the wrecked silver 2004 BMW after that late-night crash Nov. 30, 2007, they discovered a 4 foot wood stick in the rear seat area.
 
Incredibly but I guess, not surprisingly for a career criminal, Delaware State Police found a stick just like the other "I drive because I WANT to -- stick" last Saturday, inside the same BMW, after that crash that killed Firefighter Smith in the Line of Duty. In both crashes, the cops think that career criminal Taye was using that stick to operate the brake and gas pedals...the BMW was not even equipped with handicapped devices that would allow a person, career criminal or not, whose legs are paralyzed, to drive. Even one with a suspended license.
 
You see...Criminal Taye blew off the law and drove anyway-because he must have simply "wanted to"..even though his driver's license had been revoked.
But he really didn't care.
He had places to go.
People to see.
And a Firefighter to kill.
Well, not intentionally some might say. Well if he didn't intentionally obey the law, then he intentionally broke it. Sounds like we are being too rough?
He could have killed you.
Your family.
Your kid.
More Firefighters.
He killed a kids Mom who happened to be a Firefighter.
Get the picture?
Being too rough? Criminal Taye roughly shot his middle finger up at anyone who obeys law.

Cops say there was only one person in that BMW last Saturday night, which was abandoned at the crash scene after Criminal Taye ran down FF Smith....and they found a wooden stick by the open right front passenger door. And now, this one will shock you: they also found booze bottles in the front seat and a wheelchair was in the back seat. And believe it or not, Criminal Tayes fingerprints were found in the car! How did he get away? He can't walk. Well...someone in a Honda pulled up and drove Criminal Taye away.
From the scene.
With a critically injured Firefighter laying there.
Someone just picked up criminal Taye and drove away.
Just like that.
 
On Monday, Taye was charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, driving while his license was revoked, leaving the scene of a crash and failure to report a crash in the Saturday night accident that killed FF Smith and left 30-year-old biker Edward Reiss in critical condition.
 
Very unfortunately, Taye was then released from Delaware's Young Correctional Institution on Tuesday after posting a measly $37,000 bail, just in time for Christmas. Did we mention that career Criminal Taye has a criminal record dating way back to 1998, which includes charges of assault, resisting arrest, marijuana possession, possession of a firearm, resisting arrest and traffic violations? Yep...he follows the rules all right-...no real obvious in-your-face reasons that HE should remain behind bars after killing a Firefighter, are there?
 
Like it or not, Criminal Taye has his freedom for now. Think he could very potentially find a new stick and get someone to help him go cruising on the highways again? What are the odds of THAT happening...again? It would probably be wise for everyone to stay of the roads in Delaware for a while. Why didn't the judge think of what Criminal Taye might do to repeat history, again? Who will be Criminal Tayes next victim as he flips off the law and goes stick-cruiz'n. The judge should have thought of that. Some judge.
 
Who will be Criminal Tayes next victim? While Criminal Taye decides where and how he wants to travel next, the remains of the late Firefighter Michelle Smith awaits the members of her family and the Delaware City Fire Company to prepare for her burial.
Some trade off.
Take Care-BE CAREFUL.
BillyG
The Secret List 12-26-08 / 1400 hours
www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com  




DELAWARE CITY (DE) FIRE COMPANY MEMBER DIES IN THE LINE OF DUTY
FireFighterCloseCalls.com - The Secret List
 
It is with deep regret that we advise you of the Line of Duty Death of Delaware City Fire Company
www.dcfc15.com (DE) Member Michelle Smith, age 29. As you know, Smith was operating at the scene of a motorcycle crash Saturday evening when she was struck and critically injured. Her injuries were too severe and she has now tragically died in the Line of Duty.
 
The Delaware City Fire Company was providing ambulance coverage for the Wilmington Manor Fire Company that evening. Upon arrival at the crash, and initial assessment of the patient, FD Ambulance Driver Michelle Smith, 29, was assisting the EMT on scene with patient care. A County Police Officer stopped to assist with traffic control, as rescue and fire police units from Wilmington Manor began to arrive. A vehicle that attempted to avoid the incident scene struck the County Police vehicle and then swerved around the Delaware City BLS unit, striking Ms. Smith. The driver of the vehicle then fled the scene. Ms. Smith was treated on scene by New Castle County Paramedics and EMT's from Wilmington Manor and Goodwill Fire Companies. She was transported with extensive traumatic injuries and has now succumbed to those injuries. Police are narrowing in on the suspects in this hit and run...and now, potential murder.
 
Our most sincere condolences to the members of the Delaware City Fire Company but especially the young Daughter, her family and friends of Michelle Smith. Here is their home page: www.dcfc15.com
Take Care-BE CAREFUL.
BillyG
The Secret List 12-22-08 / 1200 hours
www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com  
 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Some thoughts for Christmas time









In the Queen's Christmas message today she asked Her commoners where it is we can find lasting happiness. 


Over the years it seems to Her that the people who are the most contented and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives; the kind of people who are generous with their talents or their time. 


Take some time over the holidays to think about how you can help organizations in your/our community with your time or talent in 2009. 


Have a Merry Christmas and God Save the Queen!


Here is a link to pictures from Christmas in Yellowknife


http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2162052&l=99500&id=89905446 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What a Blast









What a Blast

picture from nfreview.com


Season's first major storm wallops Niagara





With quotes from PETER DOWNS, AND TIFFANY MAYER




St. Catharines Standard Saturday December 20th ,20008




http://www.scstandard.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1356110&auth=PETER%20DOWNS,%20AND%20TIFFANY%20MAYER%20STANDARD%20STAFF




<<< Winter's first major blast left Niagara virtually paralyzed Friday as it pummelled the region with heavy snow and howling winds. Schools across the region opened for the last day of classes before the Christmas break, but were forced to shut down by noon. Numerous municipal offices also battened down the hatches by midday and cancelled nonessential services for the afternoon.


St. Catharines roads crews were out in full force throughout the day, plowing and salting the city's busiest streets. "We're concentrating our efforts on the main roads right now," manager of operations Bob Riediger said at about 11 a. m. The city had about 20 of its own trucks on the road and was calling in independent contractors to help out with snow clearing.


City crews sprayed roads Friday with anti-icing liquid in anticipation of the first big blast of winter.

Meanwhile, Niagara EMS put an extra ambulance on the roads Friday because snow-clogged roads were causing some delays, operations manager Kevin Smith said.

Niagara's public and Catholic school boards cancelled bus service early Friday morning, but kept schools open for students who could make it on their own.

But by noon, both boards decided to close all schools and had to call families to make arrangements to pick up every child.


Brock University and Niagara College also closed at noon.


picture from imatt

Environment Canada is forecasting more snow every day in Niagara for the next few days, including a dump of about 20 centimeters Christmas Eve.>>>


So here is where there needs to be reform in my opinion:


Why are school boards and universities so greedy that they have to be pen no matter what to receive the funding that the government of Ontario gives them that they open for half days when the weather is going to turn for the worse.



IF THE SCHOOL BUSSES AREN’T RUNNING NEITHER SHOULD YOU.


picture from flicker

We send (our) children on the buses, which are driven by PROFESSIONAL drivers and their company pulls them of the road and yet the school boards send their employees to work.




If the school boards wanted to get creative how about picking up teachers on busses. Or if the Unions were smart they would bargain using the busses as a stakeholder or when to work indicator.




<<< Concerns over safety while on campus and in traveling to and from the campus will be paramount to the University's decision to close. In addition, in making decisions to close, the University will recognize the impact that other closures in the region have for our faculty, staff and students. With those factors in mind, decisions will be based on a variety of information such as:




· Weather reports from Environment Canada




· Accessibility of campus roadways and parking lots




· Reports of road and highway conditions for Niagara and Hamilton




· Status of public transportation




· Closing of school boards, Niagara College as well as other businesses and services >>>




http://www.brocku.ca/alumni/policy/iwp.php




So if yellow school busses are funded by the school boards which are funded by the tax payers, doesn’t that mean that school busses are PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION??? This especially goes for the lucky NOTL Edenites who travel for free making that bus EXTRA public. But don’t get me started on a school which should NOT exist in a public board.




Its time to wake up our public schools and post-secondary institutions. Call or write your MPP and get them to think about why these institutions stay open when only to close.








P.S. I will give Brock credit though. From 1964-2005, the school only closed during the Blizzard of 1977, once in the 1980’s on a Friday afternoon and in 2003 on a Tuesday night after 5 PM when most people had gone home anyways. I had to go to school that day even though EVERYTHING was open as I had an honours seminar in Public Admin with Professor Kernaghan and four other students. They have since closed about four times and redone their policy which still needs work.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Two Weeks in ....



Well I made it to the two week mark. There was a lieutenant that came up one week before me to work for the Fire Department but he only lasted a week. This past week we got a new lifeguard at the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool. Her father is the chief pilot for Air Tindi who Alex Young (Ian's college classmate and former house mate) flies for. This week was pretty quiet at the pool. I am getting to know some of the regulars who show up for the lunch hour swims and those who come after work. The 9-6 shift is nice but you don't get to see the sun very much. I move over to the 12-9 shift next week on Monday and Tuesday and then work four hours Christmas Eve and then get Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off and I get paid for the two holidays too, it is great to be a full time worker becuase sometimes you have to work a certain number of ours before they will pay you for the holiday as a part timer.



WEST JET --> "We take you further" A 737 travels off a icy runway at the Ottawa Int'l Airport on Friday Dec. 19th.





This week there was a press conference at the airport. There was great news from WestJet they are going to begin service from Edmonton to Yellowknife from $159 and I just heard that it is about $359 one way from Hamilton to Yellowknife.



The cold got to the block heater cable. So I have now become a part-time electrician installing a new plug on the end of the cable. The things you learn and do to survive the Arctic.



Last night I got to meet a bunch of pilots from Air Tindi and some friends of Amanda's. I went to the first annual "ugly" Christmas Sweater Party about 10 people went to Alex and Amanda's to celebrate all things wool. It is really hard to find Christmas sweaters here so I managed to find a flannel pyjama top with gingerbread men and candy canes. I also went up to the twelth floor of their building and had a great view of the city from Spencer's condo unit. I also had a great conversation with a fellow from North Hatley, PQ from the Eastern Townships who went to Bishop's in Lennoxville.





Tonight is the City of Yellowknife Christmas Party at the Explorer Hotel near the Legislature. It should be a fun event with cocktails, dinner, awards and dancing. The city is even sponsoring cab rides for those of us who are going. (There is a fire hall party going on that night too which three people from the pool are going too.)







To all of you reading in Niagara I hope that you make it through the snow storm allright. You will be getting a White Christmas afterall.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pictures Along the Way

Pictures Along the Way

I thought I would give you all the links to the many pictures that I have taken along the way.

I have also included a folder of pictures taken in Yellowknife.

Ontario, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2160103&l=948b1&id=89905446

Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2160114&l=5f9ab&id=89905446

Saskatchewan and Southern Alberta
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2160697&l=057b6&id=89905446

Northern Alberta to Yellowknife
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2161010&l=73b74&id=89905446

Yellowknife
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2155348&l=b51c5&id=89905446

Today was in the minus teens and it felt warm enough to wear a sweatshirt or a windbreaker after the minus 40s and 50s of last week.

Today a new lifeguard arrived so we are up to three full time guards now with one more to be hired. The part-time staff are doing a great job filling in during the lifeguard shortage.

I have had a chance to look around the downtown a little more than on my last two visits to Yellowknife when I was on foot venturing past the pilots memorial and travelling up to the new Niven Road subdivision (think Youngstown Estates or Calegero size homes) Today I also went to the Multiplex Facility. It is a twin pad with lots of seating at both sheets. There is also a large gymnasium (maybe two) it is a huge place and hopefully I will get in there to do some indoor activities.

Sorry there haven't been more postings in the last week. I guess after the long drive and starting my new job I just needed to take a rest. I will get back into it soon enough.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Minus Thirty Nine Feels Like Minus Forty

Minus Thirty Nine Feels Like Minus Forty

 

This has been the weather forecast for most of the time I have been in Yellowknife; I did hear that while I was at work today it crept up to minus twenty five. RIGHT NOW AS I WRITE THIS THE TEPERATURE IS NOW MINUS 39c which for those of you reading in the USA or prefer is still minus 38f  !!!

What does minus forty feel like, straight up cold. If you throw a cup of water in the air it will freeze before hitting the ground as snow. I tried this on my last time in Yellowknife two years ago. I plug in my car each night and haven’t had any issues so far. You step outside and the inside of your nose freezes up with ice crystals, your breath hovers as it is too cold to dissipate.  I have had to plug in my car so it will start. Ian tells me that they only got this cold weather when I arrived. Isn’t it nice to know that they are blaming me for this weather.  I just read that they have started to pick grapes for Ice wine in Niagara. I guess I am not alone in the cold.  The roads have frozen here and there are major ruts in the road where people drive. You have to be careful as you drive through the fog coming from everyone’s tailpipe as it is so cold here, it is only going to get colder too. The snow and ice tires have come in real handy.

Yesterday I worked out my receipts and went over to Ian’s to see the Bills game. They need to fire the whole team and management. How can you start so well and then go on to loose game after game after game. Mr. Wilson it is time to clean house. Don’t even bother to waste our time with the remainder of the season, when the Miami Dolphins beat you there are problems with your team you should have played them outside but oh well lets play the team from the south indoors and give them the advantage. You embarrassed Buffalo in the eyes of Trontonians.

I went to the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool today for my first day of work, 8AM-5PM with an hour for lunch. Would you believe me if I told you that eight o’clock here in Yellowknife looks like midnight in Niagara. The same with four o’clock too, at least I only have two more weeks of it getting darker before it starts getting lighter.  It was a pretty good day I didn’t even get wet. We went over different pool procedures, took a look at the maintenance areas and went over pay and schedules. I am going to have four days off at Christmas. Not bad considering the Great Wolf Lodge had me working on the 25th and JVK gave me two or three days when I worked for them. I then get paid for New Years Day too even though I have the day off. I will miss New Year’s Eve at Niagara Falls but will have to settle for watching it instead.  The Facility is a four lane 25-metre pool with a zero depth beach area with wave action. There are supposed to be four full time guards but right now there are only two (including me) so if you know of any lifeguards, send them up.

I have been reading about the incident at Brock and just have to say that the Standard is doing a great job of sensationalizing this story and getting their facts wrong. They wrote that the DSBN has a policy of eight adults to one student (see  School board suspends Brock swims Near-drowning prompts DSBN to put hold on trips to university's pool Posted By MONIQUE BEECH , STANDARD STAFF  Article ID# 1325369) Please don’t believe everything you read in print. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day 8 --> Hay River to Yellowknife, NT

Day Eight à Hay River, NT to Yellowknife, NT 482 Kms,

Total Kms. 5,192 kms (other distances related 5,271 Bangor Maine to San Diego California and 5,654 from Seattle to Key West)





Time 8:45 AM and still very dark.


The final day of driving started out with breakfast at the Keys Restaurant at the Ptarmigan Inn. I checked out of the hotel and went for fuel before heading out onto the Ha River Highway (#2) I drove the 40 km to Enterprise a tiny hamlet of about 90 people and turned to the west. There had been about two inches of snow over night so there was some snow on the road which made the drive go at about 90 km/h. The Ferry had been put back in and I expected the highway to be busier. Every once and a while a wave of two or three cars and trucks would come past in the other direction. I turned onto highway #3 and drove towards Fort Providence.




I arrived at the ferry at about 11:45 and waited about ten minutes for the ferry to arrive. There were about five trucks in line and because they could only go one at a time, I was able to drive right on with a tandem-trailer truck. The crossing took about ten minutes and was really smooth. The work on the bridge is about a third of the way out with pilings so the finish date of 2010 might be hard but once they get the decking done it will really go I expect. There were two tractor-trailers and two SUV’s on the other side waiting to cross south. I put another ten dollars in the tank and heard that the drive was pretty clear except for some bison. I was also warned that there was “NOTHING” between Fort Providence and Yellowknife. As soon as you cross the Mackenzie River there are signs warning about Buffalo/Bison. Ian had told me that they would be along the side of the road but he had never seen them on and that I needed to stay alert. It helped that they are North America’s largest land animal, they have dark brown hair and are set into a white back ground. I took the advice and watched the road and the sides closely. About an hour into the four hour drive to Yellowknife from Fort Providence, I saw the first pair close to the brush line. About twenty minutes later a herd was seen on the other side.




I continued the drive long and boring just thinking like the Little Engine that Could … “I think I can… I think I can” As I approached the final 100 km it was starting to get darker (this is at 3:00 too.) I rounded the last corner and came up to the lights of the Airport what a nice sight to see, lights and buildings.




I pulled into the Northern Frontier Visitors’ Centre and got my certificate for coming “North of 60” I picked up a map and headed down the street to City Hall where I finally got to meet Cathy Tumoth from the HR Department. I was introduced to the other people in that department and also in the community services department before being sent down the road to the pool where I was greeted by the Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor and some lifeguards. I took a quick tour of the facility and was told that I start on Monday at 8:00 AM. I left there to check into the Nova Hotel (and apartments) where I found my room to be a suite including a full kitchen, dining area/living room, bedroom, laundry and bath. I have this for two weeks. I went over to see Michele, Nia and Sean and came back late to partially unpack and for the long drive to sink in. Tomorrow I will be getting the kitchen set up and resting for a change.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day 7 --> Hay River, NT

Day 7 --> Hay River, NT

Well the ferry is not operating so I have extended my stay in Hay River.

Here are the details of the ferry. Have you heard the expression up the creek without a paddle, while I am in Hay River without a ferry.







Highway 3

The Merv Hardie ferry crosses the Mackenzie River at Km 24 of the Yellowknife Highway (Highway 3). It usually operates from mid-May to January.Current Status:The Merv Hardie is shut down until further notice due to low water levels.

In the absence of a map today I am posting this picture instead. Hopefully mostof you will find the humor in it.




http://www.knitting-crochet.com/crochet/images/mendiaswepic1-2.GIF






Today I watched the doors of Rideau Hall open and close for about two hours and then the Hon. Rob Nicholson told the House of Commons that this session had been prorouged. I watched the leaders speak and was trying to find out why Mr. Dion couldn't have found a better postion to give his response than in the lobby with people walking behind surely with all the members of parliment who signed his document, he could of had them form a human wall reenting peple from walking behind him while he gave his speech. He should have also told Bob Rae what he was planning to say because the Leader and Leadership hopeful werent singing from the same page.

I had a chance to go into some shops and met a few people who Ian and Michele knew. I also went to the swimming pool where I met up with Mandy Makepeace who I used to work with at Brock University pool and also for one summer at Sir Adam Beck Generating Station.

I will be going out with Lisa and Dustin tonight for some dessert at the Woodshed.

UPDATE: 18:00 Mountain Time
The Merv Hardie ferry crosses the Mackenzie River at Km 24 of the Yellowknife Highway (Highway 3). It usually operates from mid-May to January.


Current Status: The Merv Hardie has resumed operations with a load limit of 70,000 kg.

Day 6 --> Peace River, AB to Hay River, NT

Day 6 --> Peace River, AB to Hay River, NT 607 kms
New total = 4,710 kms












The drive from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Vancouver driving through Sault Ste. Marie and Winnipeg would be 4,572 kms. Here is a picture of the fire station in Peace River. I spoke with one of the Fire-EMS officers at the Tim Horton's and he told me that there are 6 full-time ems-firefighters for the town and about 30 volunteers. They run the ambulance service for the town and there is another service for the county.






I left Peace River at about 10AM for the long cold drive north. It was about minus 15 Celsius but was sunny. I dove across the bridge, grabbed a coffee and then just drove. It is only one lane each direction and there were not too many cars and trucks travelling north. I didn't know if I should have taken this as a good or bad sign.



By 2:00 PM I had made it to High Level, AB where I had lunch, bought some more windshield washer fluid and got a spare gas can (not filled yet.) There were even fewer cars travelling north from there in fact the whole trip up to Hay River from that point only had three transport trucks and four private vehicles pass me.




As I came up to Meander Creek which is about 180 kilometers from High Level there was a pickup truck on the side of the road with the front jacked up. I slowly drove past and came to a stop before asking what the situation was. The truck had a flat tire and the spare had "frozen" underneath the truck. (What a great design Detroit.) The gentleman told me that his neighbour has the same truck about 10 kms from our spot. I moved some things in the front seat and did my good duty for the day driving him to Meander Creek.







I carried on towards the NWT border in the dark. When I reached 60 I got out of the car into the cold and took some pictures. The previous time I came to Hay River I was travelling in the Buffalo Airways truck and I think I was asleep as we passed into the Territory. As I came towards Enterprise, I came back into cell phone range and learned that Ian would be up in Yellowknife but I could go to the staff house and visit with some of the pilots there. I made the final turn up to Hay River stopping to take a picture at the welcome sign and then checked into the Ptarmigan Inn so that I could watch the address to the people from Mr. Harper and finally once Mr. Dion got his message to the media his statement. I went to the sports bar at the hotel and then over to the Staff house. While there Gord gave me the news that the ferry had been pulled out at Fort Providence, 4,710 kilometres behind me and now no where to go. I was later called by Ian to tell me that he would be in town tomorrow and we will figure it out from there. I returned to the sports bar to digest the news and to watch the end of the Edmonton hockey game.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 5 --> Edmonton to Peace River Alberta


Day 5 --> Edmonton to Peace River Alberta 487 kms.



Total distance travelled so far is now 4,103 kms. To drive from Niagara-on-the-Lake to San Diego would be 4,162 kms. 

After a day of record high temperatures for Alberta (Drumheller was 17c ...) the morning cooled off to just below zero. I headed to the downtown to see the legislature and alog the way I came across a Mountain Equipment Co-op where I bought a couple of things. I also realized that I forgot to pack my snowpants so I will have to get them mailed up to me. I left the store to a light snow which got heavier as the morning went on.

I drove up to the Legislature which is blocked at all entrances by sheriffs and there is no parking nearby. I illegally parked my car, told the security guard I was from Ontario and I have been taking pictures of buildings all across Canada and I would only be a minute. He let me park and then I was on my way. I stopped for lunch at the Telus HQ and gt my phone plan changed (same number I just lowered my data plan as there is no 3G north of Alberta.)







I never realized the depth of the valley that the river in Edmonton is. Driving down a steep grade and then through the valley when it is snowing and there hasn't been any salt or plowing was slow. Message to the Dept. of Highways in Alberta: "Get away from sand and gravel" You people are pathetic put some salt down it would make your province look a lot nicer. Everyone s in a big truck anyways so salt don't sand. The filth of the roads is ridiculous. Another thing is that the ministry should make sure that 18-wheelers have mud/sand flaps.






As I left the city, the snow stopped and there was a divided highway to Valleyview. I drove past Mayerthorpe and got some fuel in Whitecourt. From Valleyview to Peace River is a 2 lane highway I was lucky it was dry but the speed of the logging trucks and others going in the opposite direction nearly blows you off the road. My mom would be proud that I listened to the CBC radio (the only reason is to keep up to date with what is going on in Ottawa)

I made it into Peace River at about 8PM my earliest stop yet as this was only a half day drive to make a half day drive on Wednesday too. I did some e-mailing and telephone calls from the hotel and then went to Boston Pizza for dinner. While I was there I got talking to the owner who blames British Columbia for this mess not Quebec. He said that if they hadn't voted in the number of NDPers then Harper might have got his majority. He and the bartender spoke to the western view that anything west of Ontario doesn't matter to the Liberals and they brought op the old quote "Let the .... freeze in the east." I wonder how Justin Trudeau is felling with all his fathers work to keep the country together. I then took the rest of the night watching news about the "Harpocolypse"
Listening to constitutional experts got me thinking about what it would take to get a few liberals to move over to the other side. There have to be some in that party who are ABD - Anyone But Dion. Please someone tell Mr. Harper to check his facts about the flag. That is going to come back to bite him during question period. I think that the Fiberal-NDPers are going to pull the hansard to see when the Conservatives and Bloc voted together. I don't think that Mr. Layton got that message out over the drama-queen Dion (who really needs to learn to speak in French instead of English) I have also been trying to get the Quebec election angle on this. (from the CBC)


"Marois favours the Liberal-NDP coalition because she said it would help the Bloc get a more favourable equalization deal for Quebec. The Bloc has promised to support the coalition, should it gain power, for at least 18 months. Dumont called the federal crisis "unbelievable, frankly," saying the Bloc could have gained as much for Quebec by pressing Prime Minister Stephen Harper instead of lending a hand to efforts to overthrow him. Dumont also blasted Marois for backing the Bloc deal."





'We can see clearly that this country doesn't work.'





PQ Leader Pauline Marois








On another chord, what takes the Governor General so long to get back to Canada. We have a fleet of A-320's on standby and she can use one of the Bombarier Global challengers. She must use the same travel agent Jean Chretien used when the King of Jordan died bak in 1999 hen he was skiing with me at Whistler and said that he couldn't make it there in time. (in fact I looked it up and he could have made it there flying on commercial flights) The Governor General's interview in Prague has her looking scared. At this time, I hope that she prorogues Parliament.


Here is a flight I found for her in first class : 9:55 am Depart Prague (PRG)Arrive Ottawa (YOW) 6:24 PM Duration: 14hr 31min connecting through Frankfurt and Washington on United
I heard that Parizeu would comment on the Coalition of the three parties (oops I mean the 18 month agreement of support for the two parties who have less seats than the Conservatives.) Anyone who doesn't believe that the bloc is the ones in the drivers seat are as oblivious as Mr. Dion. The BLOC are not to be trusted.



Here is what he said: L'ancien premier ministre Jacques Parizeau a salué sans aucune réserve «la victoire impressionnante» que viennent d'obtenir Gilles Duceppe et le Bloc québécois pour la formation d'un gouvernement de coalition à Ottawa.

The former premier Jacques Parizeau welcomed unreservedly "impressive victory" just to get Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois to form a coalition government in Ottawa. In a telephone interview yesterday afternoon, Jacques Parizeau said that "this victory sweeping all the hesitation that Quebeckers can have on the usefulness of the Bloc in Ottawa."

Quebec has obtained, he said, of "tremendous gains" in favor of interest "for its artists, its workers and all those who might be in difficulty facing the economic crisis that threat.

P.S. Gerrard Kennedy just told Mike Duffy he wouldn't put it past Stephen Harper to enact the War Measures Act (unfortunately, Mr. Kennedy it is now called the Emergency Act) and Why is Bill Richardson speaking in Spanish to accept the nomination as Secretary of Commerce.










Day 4 --> Regina, SK to Edmonton, AB




Day 4 --> Regina, SK to Edmonton, AB 781 kms.
New total = 3,616 km (comparison it is 3,558 km – to go from Niagara Falls to Key West and back to Savannah, GA)




Day 4 lead me up the Yellowhead Highway from Regina to Saskatoon. What does someone do when they are in Saskatchewan? Well you count grain elevators. Along the way there were some old wooden ones and some new concrete/metal ones too.







I went to Earl's Restaurant in Saskatoon at the recommendation of Louis Prue; the owner is some one he used to know. Saskatoon sits on a river and its nickname I learned is the City of Bridges.






I went past the University and even found Bottomley Avenue. There was a light freezing rain but soon that passed as the sun came out for the drive to the Battlefords.





From the Battlefords (North Battleford and Battleford) the drive headed west towards the Alberta border and Mountain Time. I was kind of disappointed with the border, a tiny sign strapped to a street light. I was able to watch the GPS unit as I crossed the 100th Meridian. For the lack of a proper picture, I will instead show you the flag of Lloydminister. The extra hour came in handy as I still had a ways to go to get to Edmonton. It is interesting all of the legislation to get this city to work such as being a PST free city and having the same time-zone. This is not one of those cases (like Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas or Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri), where it is actually a case of two cities next to each other in different states, Lloydminster is a united city with one civic government for both halves of the city.






image by Arnaud Leroy, 31 March 2006 Source: Lloydminster town hall



Pushing through high wind gusts between 60 & 70 km per hour. For those of you reading in Niagara it was kind of like driving in high winds on the Burlington Skyway for about 30 minutes. I did brave the cold north winds to visit of all things, an EGG. Ashley Shultz (who I met through the Forum for Young Canadians) was from there and she gave me a lapal pit this egg on it so I had to see it myself. The Egg did make it pretty far in the Canadian CBC 7 Wonders contest which Niagara Falls won (remember that the Sleeping Giant didn't make it into the final 7 for those of you from Thunder Bay) The Pysanka Egg made to celebrate the 100th anniversary for the RCMP is really an immense jig-saw puzzle containing 524 star patterns, 2,208 equilateral triangles, 3,512 visible facets, 6,978 nuts and bolts, and 177 internal struts. Sorry about the blurry picture it was blowing a sand storm and it was really cold so I was probably shaking while I was taking this picture.




I made it into Edmonton, the City of Champions by about 8:30 and drove west to the MALL. It had been 14 years since I had been there. It is much like it was back then, I didn't see the submarines and or dolphins but they still have the rink, water park and specially important for Christmas, the SANTA Maria... I got to my hotel did yesterdays blog entry and went to bed. I will leave you with a picture of a prairie sky.