Tuesday, January 31, 2006

On the drive to work this morning i observed a coyote near the intersection to my community.I can still count on one hand the number of coyotes i have seen. Biologist here have it termed the eastern coyote (Canis latrans) and it most likely arrived in Newfoundland by crossing pack ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The first coyote sighting occurred on March of 1985 and were reported back then as wolves and spotte at the Port au Port Peninsula. Additional sightings on pack ice were made in 1989 and 2000 but by then they were will established on our island. My next door neighbour who has a farm near the community has already lost livestock(young lambs) to the coyote. He's had problems before with Black Bears and mooose but the new kid on the block will be the worst he can encounter.

The coyote is proving to be an effective predator on caribou and many small game animals as well. They say very little biological data has been collected on coyotes on the island so far and im sure by the time they do so,the coyote is here to stay. They also say if funds become available, focussed studies of coyote home range size, densities, food habits, and their effects on native species will be conducted.In the meantime we'll just sit and wait and watch it spread. Some roadkill coyotes have been analyzed and their stomach contents and faecal material of the examined animals indicated that they fed on snowshoe hare, moose, beaver, red fox, red squirrel, masked shrew, ruffed grouse, various passerine bird species, and fruits such as blueberries, mountain holly, and choke cherry. Body measurements have been taken fromthe road-killed and all were shown in very good physical condition with moderate to abundant fat stores. Unidentified tapeworms were recovered from one animal and i wonder what that may do to other species here if passed on?I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Where do you go to milk a Moose? You go to Mooseland near Cape Spear,on Newfoundlands Avalon peninsula.OK, question number two,why the hell would you milk a Moose?You would milk a Moose in order to get cheese!Question number three, Who's going to do the milking? Why a Dentist of course. OK, about now you think your halfway into a Newfie joke, but your wrong! It appears that a St. John’s dentist Zachary Pan who holds a master’s degree in biology wants to establish a reserve here on the island and produce a tonne of moose cheese annually. Moose cheese it seems fetches up to $500 U.S. per lb. and the place he figures would make a tourist attraction also. It's already a proven success in Sweden and Zachary Pan wants to try it here.The guy needs some moose calfs to start off and with 150,000 animals here im sure he shouldn't have no trouble getting a few after months and months of government red tape.I found this quite amusing after seeing it on the local news but now i say good luck Mr. Pan! Im also looking forward to seeing the want ad in the local paper: Wanted,Moose Milker,must love animals and have warm hands.

(Few tidbits here showing it can be done:
Stockholm , Sweden – It's healthy and tasty, for those with expensive tastes! Farmers in northern Sweden are milking moose and making cheese, which they then sell for nearly $500 a pound. The demand is high from buyers such as upscale hotels and restaurants.
Christer Johansson and his wife, Ulla, started their 59 – acre dairy farm seven years ago in Bjursholm, 404 miles north of Stockholm . It's called “Moose House” and has the status of being the only moose dairy farm in Europe . As a result, about 25,000 people visit each year.
The Johanssons currently have 14 moose in the fields but only three can be milked.
The moose only produce milk between May and September. It takes up to two hours to milk a moose and they produce up to a gallon of milk a day. The farm produces around 660 pounds of cheese each year. )

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Looks like Our Lord Brian might be taking a shot at the big one! I saw on CBC last evening that he might be considering it and the reaction from the NL public was less then enthusiastic. Most replied very negatively when asked if they wanted him to run. Im figuring if he decides to do so he'll seek some safe seat in Ontario to try and get his foot back in the Commons door. The photo of him above is the one i shot when he left Ottawa and the federal party to return to NL to take the position of Premier here. It was shot on his walk across the Cabot Strait when he entered Port Aux Basques harbour.

Friday, January 27, 2006

For a while i thought winter had forgotten us here on the southwest coast of Newfoundland but the pass 24 hours have shown otherwise. Northeast winds are ripping down from the Table Mountains and causing white out conditions. People are being advised to stay off the highways here and things may be back to normal tommorow. Im bored and even surfing to different blogs today can't seem to please me. My Adobe photoshop would usually keep me busy on a winters day but even that don't seem to stimulate me this evening. Sometimes when im bored i make up wallpapers for my PC screen or for a few friends. This is one boring day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Years ago when backpacking i use to have trouble finding or buying a good topographic map for that purpose. I remember sending a money order out to some government office and weeks later receiving a map of the area i needed. Sometimes i ended up with a map from another area of Newfoundland, a hundred miles away from the one i ordered. If only the resources of today could be found back then! Today i can download a program called Google Earth and have the world at a mouse click.I can zoom pass the lakes and mountains that i backpacked across and actually see details greater then one could ever imagine back then.With the movement of a mouse i can leave the Table Mountains of Cape Ray and view an Iranian nuclear powerplant under construction near the city of Bushehr. These two plants are one of the reasons that Iran and the west don’t get along and it's all available for me to view from a PC screen in Cape Ray.
Not only is big brother watching you, im watching you also!

Monday, January 23, 2006

It's the big day! I dropped in the polling station on the way to work this morning to cast my vote. In Cape Ray.NL,we have 263 eligible voters.That might not make a great impact on the 39th general election in Canada but hopefully most of the residents will take the time to go to the poll. I doubt if any of the four candidates even dropped in the community during the pass eight weeks of campaigning. Im sure no matter which one we elect in our district to represent us, they will not mention Cape Ray, or thank its people for having confidence enough to vote for them in their victory speech tonight. We are probably the poorest community in all of the riding of Random-Burin-St. Georges and if anyone disagrees with that, they can click here to find out why i think so. I doubt after another four years of representation in Ottawa by tonights winner my community will be any better off. One can only vote and hope.

I placed the photo of the Arab woman here to show how proudly they hold their stained fingers aloft after the success of being able to vote in an election for democracy. I didn't hear bombs exploding, mortars falling, and machine gun fire on the way to the polling booth this morning in Cape Ray.I didn't hear it because no matter who wins this one, we'll still have a democracy tommorow morning.

Friday, January 20, 2006

So many movies out there with messages and what one influences our elected officials? Cool Runnings a Disney flick starring that great Canadian John Candy. Just saw the news and it looks like Canada is going to get a Gold in Italy!We have managed to get a Jamaican for our olympic bobsled team.

Lascelles Brown, a key member of the Canadian bobsleigh team, will likely be granted citizenship in time to compete at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy next month, said a CBC report.
Sources close to the immigration minister have confirmed to CBC that Brown, a native of Jamaica, will receive his citizenship next week.Brown is expected to hear from Canadian officials on Friday morning.

"I can tell you that the minister made a call last night to some representatives of Mr. Brown and it's our belief that they will be happy with the news," Stephen Heckbert, a spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Joe Volpe, said Friday."

The 31-year-old is the brakeman for Olympic champion Pierre Lueders and had been waiting to hear back on his situation since his citizenship application was submitted July 28, 2005.

A gold medal contender in the two-man and four-man events, Brown said he has one thing in mind when it comes to becoming Canadian.

"Canada is more competitive than Jamaica and my goal was to prove to the world that I could be good at something," said Brown, who competed for Jamaica at the Salt Lake City Olympics four years ago.

Brown has been competing with Lueders on the World Cup circuit for two seasons.

Lueders, a 35-year-old Edmonton native, was emphatic when he told CBC Sports Online during the Christmas break that it would take a "miracle" for Canada to win a medal in either the two- or four-man events if Brown was ineligible to compete in the Olympics.

Brown is married to a Canadian and has two children who are both Canadian citizens.

Dudley Stokes, the president of the Jamaican Bobsled Association and one of Brown's former teammates, says he isn't impressed with Brown's addition to Team Canada.

Stokes says the association discovered Brown working as a butcher in Jamaica. He says they spent hundreds of thousand of dollars developing him and should be compensated for their loss.

"They are going to be sucked out of your program if you are a poor nation. That is the reality of life as it is today," said Stokes.

Lueders and Brown, who both admitted the uncertainty concerning the immigration case affected their performance earlier in the season, broke through in a big way last weekend in Koenigssee, Germany.

On Saturday, the pair won the two-man event for their first win of the season. A day later, Lueders and Brown, who were joined by Ken Kotyk of Canora, Sask., and Calgary's Morgan Alexander, won the four-man competition.

It was the first time in Lueders' illustrious career that he swept both events on the same weekend.

Lueders and Brown had a memorable 2004-05 season that included a world title, four World Cup victories and several other podium finishes.

Brown is so revered for his speed and power that Bobsleigh Canada coach Gerd Grimme calls him one of the top-three brakemen in the world. Grimme, a former East German bobsleigh pilot, puts Brown at the same level with Switzerland's Beat Hefti and Kevin Kuske of Germany.

Brown and Lueders are training in St. Moritz, Switzerland, for two World Cup events this weekend.

(Unable to play hockey or any other winter sport Alexi Portnoy is recently deported and finds himself in Mexico.His wife and children still seeking sanctuary in a Roman Catholic church in Marystown, NL. A man who makes pizza's for a living and supports his family simply just can't make it on the Canadian Olympic team. Joe Volpe minister of citizenship and immigration wants Gold for Canada in the 2006 Olympics in Turin,Italy rather then a united family in Marystown Newfoundland. Im sure Joe will get to view our bobsledding team at the winter games because he's going to have a lot of time on his hands after January 23rd. Joe,your going to be unemployed!BUT!not to fret Joe, cause Canada might bring home two Golds. One on monday with a change of government and one from Turin,Italy.)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

>My interview<
I recently had the luck to be interviewed by our local newspaper,"The Gulf News"about my blog and the blogging world.The Gulf News is part of Transcontinental which publishes nine daily papers and twenty six weekly community newspapers in Atlantic Canada alone.To check out their list CLICK HERE.When checking out the Atlantic Canada map i became aware of the fact that Northern Labrador communities have no weekly paper. The only local coverage is from the Okalakatiget Society by radio and TV.(info from a blogger,Nain Bay) I know here that if the paper is a day late because of the weather, residents start to get upset. Looking at the vast coastline of Northern Labrador it would be difficult at times to have weekly and delivery services and the cost probably to high to justify one. With todays internet access in all the northern communities im wondering why an online one is not available? I myself would like to see news out of places such as Hopedale, Makkovik, Nain, Postville and Rigolet to keep up with what is happening in my province. Im sure there is good news happening there besides the doom and gloom CBC shows us on our evening telecast!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Release Date: January 23/2006
Shot on location,Random—Burin—St. George's, 2005 - 2006
The story of a young immigrant family who came to an island in the north atlantic to seek a new life. After years of hard work and raising a family they are approached by a corrupt government and asked to leave.The young family take refuge in a church with the help of a fine community called Marystown. One night the man "Alex Portnoy"helping a friend to do charity work is arrested and thrown in jail on Christmas. His pregnant wife and four children in sanctuary at a church in Marystown dares not venture out for fear of been jailed also. The MP Bill Matthews stands idly by oblivous to the real world and the plight of the family.An election in which he and his corrupt government is trying to win unfolds and the people of Random-Burin-St. Georges have no control over the fate of the young family but can kill Bill's chances and his whole political party on January 23/2006.
Thriller,down to the wire
Rated "S" for sickening.

Starring : The Portnoy family,MP Bill matthews and the ones who decide to vote on January 23/2006.

to sign petition click here The Portnoy children

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Tablelands are found between Woody Point and Trout River and the first thing you notice about them is the color and lack of plant life. The rock formation is very low in calcium, very high in magnesium, and has toxic amounts of heavy metals and is referred to as Perodite. Many tourist comment and say it reminds them of Arizona,my first impression was it must be similiar to Mars!
The Tablelands plateau is a 500-million year old slice through the earth's crust and upper mantle and a natural textbook for the study of plate tectonics. The sedimentary rocks of the coastal lowlands show remains of long-extinct sea creatures, while the exposed barrens of the Long Range reveal rocks more than 1 billion years old. These features of Gros Morne have been carved by glaciers to create massive cliffs and valleys. The presence of this feature as well as others, was the reason behind the designation of Gros Morne National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. We have driven through the area many times but the best time to enjoy the color is during the summer months.However trips in May or June will allow you to see it with snow on its higher elevations such as this photo.

After passing through the Tablelands the road descends down to sea level and the tiny community of Trout River.I particulary like this place because of the sea side boardwalk & great sea food at the local restaurant there. To view more photos of the
Tablelands click here for some photography by K. Bruce Lane.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Decided to post a few photos of our trips to the Great Northern Peninsula of our province in my next few blog posts.

Each year my wife and i make at least one trip to the Gros Morne National Park in our province.UNESCO (the United Nations' Educational, Scientific andCultural Organization) made it a World Heritage Site in 1987, this area of great natural beauty also has the greatest population density of moose recorded anywhere in the world.(the park has an area of 1,805 square kilometres and a moose population between 8,000 and 8,500).Moose were introduced to the Island of Newfoundland about 100 years ago and the population has now increased to an estimated 140,000 animals.{Check out NL-EXPATRIATES blog on the introduction of the moose to Newfoundland}This is what fasinates me the most about the area.We have driven through the park some mornings and saw over 50 in just a 30kilometer stretch of highway.

Locals have told me they have counted as high as 80 some mornings on the way to work on the same stretch.Moose have always fascinated me for some reason and for many years my close up viewing of them came through a rifle scope or when they lay dead on the ground shortly afterwards. Gros Morne lets me view them close up and now im enjoying them far better then when hunting. Vehicle-moose accidents are not uncommon on the island and a sign placed in the park reports the total and updates frequently.We usually visit Gros Morne in early May for moose photos and find dozens just posing along the roadside.They seem to have no fear and just ignore us as we shoot our photos.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My riding,Random - Burin - St. George's, has a population of 76,090,all not qualified to vote but all will be represented by the MP we send to Ottawa on January 23. It has an unemployment rate of 28.2%. Four candidates are vying for the job of MP this time around. Im sure a lot of other voters besides myself are waiting for the last minute to decide who to vote for.I sent all four Candidates an email of invite to comment here.My question is simple."Why should i vote for you?"I do hope they take the time to answer me. My blog is followed by hundreds and many of them are voters of the riding they seek. (Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census)

Brennan, Mark Green Party of Canada
Downey Cynthia Conservative Party of Canada
MatthewsBill Liberal Party of Canada (incumbent)
Will, Amanda New Democratic Party

Highest voter turn-out in a general election - 93.91%The politically active voters in the Quebec riding of Iles-de-la-Madeleine set this record in the general election of 1965. They broke their own record of 93.69% that they had set in 1949.

Lowest voter turn-out in a general election - 23.71%The voters of Toronto South set this record for apathy in the general election of 1921.

Lowest number of candidates running in a single constituency - 1 Over the years, several candidates have won federal seats by acclamation. But the last one to do it in a general election was a Liberal, Chelsey William Carter, who was all alone in the Newfoundland riding of Burin-Burgeo in 1957.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I had 16 years with the railway in Newfoundland.I started at age 16 while still in high school and at that time over 800 people in my community alone had employment there.I gradually watched it fade away and now ATV's,snowmobiles and hikers travel across an abandoned railbed.Just a scatter railway spike can be found laying on the gravel today as proof that once we had a band of steel connecting Port Aux Basques to St. Johns.
During my last years with the railway then know as Terra Transport i spent time travelling and living in different communities. Howley,Badger,Gander,Arnolds cove,Deer Lake and Clarenville became my home for months at a time. During that time i worked with men from many Newfoundland communities. Some have since passed away and a few i still keep in contact with.
I'll list a few here just in case someone might see and tell them.I remember four from the community of Embree,Ivan Potter,Bert Hoddinott,Jim Snow and Earl Purchase.Two brothers from Gambo,Calvin and Edgar Payne.From Howley,Dany Saunders,Bruce Blundon.Gerald Canning,passadena.A father and son from Corner Brook,Ed and Les Hann.Bill Benett from Bellview .Several from the Bonavista peninsula,Stan Button,Cyril Keough,and Lyold Woodman.George Chatman,Winston Greening from Charlottetown.Roy Moore from the Whitbourne area.Hopefully some will see this blog and get in touch.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Touton Run...For those who didn't know. A Touton is only fried bread dough but somehow cooked outside it becomes much more then that. I doubt if you'll ever see Martha Stewart cooking this tasty little thing, and if so,she wouldn't do it justice. Such a simple little thing and each summer it brings us great pleasure just to make a Touton run. Years ago we would hike to the beach and cook them on a wood fire but in the past few years we seem to be using the ATV for the same purpose. Some evenings we have friends along and it could be to the mountain top for a late evening snack. It's those simple little pleasures and freedoms we have here in Newfoundland that makes our lives so enjoyable at times. We can leave our home in Cape Ray at 6pm in the evening on an ATV and within minutes be on a mountain top or on sandy beaches that stretch for miles. By 9 pm we can be back home and feeling like you had a mini holiday.In that same time frame we may of observed Moose,Caribou or many different species of waterfowl. It's January and for lunch today i fried up a pan of Toutons but somehow they just didn't taste the same as those cooked on our little evening runs.

A few images from our Touton runs.........

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

If you have a foul tasting Rum unfit for human consumption,what do you do with it? Most people would throw it away,most people! It's waste not,want not in Newfoundland. Not only do we use it,we get to torture the unsuspecting with it here.We make them screech,really!......But Wait,There's More! We extend the torture,we have become masters of it here on the island.We also force feed them bits of salt fish(capelin) small chunks of baloney(commonly known as bologna to the uneducated,newfoundland steak to the rest of us) and kiss a CODFISH ! Those that take the torture,do it willingly!About now your saying,your kidding,why would someone sit and take this torture?Why?......because after it's all over we present them with a certificate and tell the poor friggers they're now Honourable Newfies.We have even gave the dirty deed a name. We call it a Screech In.I have seen quite a few, photographed, videotaped and even made up certificates for the victims.The Newfoundland audience gets to laugh their ass off all the way through the ceremony. Those on the receiving end, after a gulp of the Screech become a bit light headed and actually think they're becoming Newfies due to that fact. The last thing we get them to do is stand and yell some phrase like "Long may your big jib draw." I assure that this is the only time that phrase is uttered here in Newfoundland. Rumor has it that the same procedure was adopted by The Church of Scientology and that's why Tom Cruise is still in it.Tom never got over the lightheadedness of the Screech effect. A SCREECH IN.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I prepared for winter and now i think i've been let down by it! We put our studded snow tires on back in December,purchased cases of -40 winter wiper fluid,new snow shovel for the trunk of the car and flash light for the glove compartment.Usually by now im compaining at work about the driving conditions on the TCH to my employer, but so far this year most mornings i can do the speed limit plus thingy to Port-Aux-Basques from Cape Ray. Will i guess while im waiting for winter i can find something else to complain about.
The federal election is just turning out friggin boring from my view here in NL. The premier has asked the three party leaders to outline their position on certain issues such as energy, the fishery, Marine Atlantic, Labrador and economic development but received no reply. First few days into the election Paul,Stephen and Jack all came down to talk turkey but lately must of consumed to much turkey to respond. I say,the hell with them and lets invite Gilles Duceppe down,give him a list of our concerns and he can past them on to the other guys.
The NDP recently announced they have officially nominated candidates in all 308 ridings across Canada. It's their best yet,out of the 308,only 168 have claimed to of seen UFO's. Less then half of them have claimed to be abducted and only Svend Robinson said he was anal probed while on aboard. Will that's the best selection since the formation of that party,congrats Jack! Will that's enough for today................but if your not to busy, click on my link and go to the Downehome web awards,scroll down to category communities and vote for "tablemountain.blogspot.com/
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Made a short ATV run today with a friend around the community and to the seashore here. We saw a few seals and shot a few pics of them.Soon the ice will be entering the Gulf and the pans will bring many more seals to the area and once again the eyes of the world will be focused on my province and its people.Greenpeace will be raking in millions of dollars from contributions to stop the annual seal harvest that we have been doing for almost 500 years. Pretty little photos of White Coat Seal pups will be displayed to the public asking to stop the hunt.(the white coat hunt stopped decades ago) Paris Hilton will once again be out screaming "club sandwiches,not seals" and im sure a few more hollywood celebrities will be taking up the cause also. It's not pretty,clubbing seals on ice floes and no one does it for sport no more then the texas cattleman, ontario chicken producer does when they slaughter their animals. Ours is done in a pristine enviroment with a group of animal rights observers filming while its been done. The cattle farmer or chicken producer does not have that problem. A shot here of my community and the Table Mountains in the background.The old Hood Seal here wasn't to excited about me photographing him and at 7 feet or so in length i decided not to approach to close. I would give my next years wages to see some Hollywood chick try and rub this guys nose. I doubt if they would want to make him their poster child. Here's another one below that might be more likeable to them.That's my ATV and community in the background. Several families in that community depend on the seal fishery for some income and their family for many generations before them. In a few months we'll see their livelihood once again threatened by millionaires with a cause.