Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 - April through June

April 2006
  • April 1 - The National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service merge to form the Serious Organized Crime Agency in the UK. Non-committal gangs and sloppy crime families told to "get their shit together" by the head of New Scotland Yard.
  • April 6 - The New Zealand Parliament passes a bill making New Zealand Sign Language the third official language of the nation, in addition to English and Maori. NZSL involves only one finger, and has already been mastered by the twin-Island nation's residents.
  • April 12 - D12 rapper Proof shot dead in a Detroit nightclub. QED has been named chief suspect in the affair.
  • April 14 - Berundi lifts a midnight-to-dawn curfew that has been in place for 34 years. Berundian law enforcement officials now resume post-midnight patrols, having wanted to set a good example for the criminal elements over the past three and a half decades.
  • April 19 - The Bolivian Army frees three ministers taken hostage by local village people in El Mutin, the world's largest iron ore deposit. The hostages were being held at the local YMCA.
  • April 24 - Pope Benedict IVX has agreed to relax the rules concerning the use of condoms. The Vatican hopes this clears up that pesky problem of leaving priestly DNA evidence behind in behinds.
May 2006
  • May 2 - The two thieves who stole Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and "Madonna" were sentenced to four and eight year's confinement respectively. Their claim that they were using the famous works of art to prove that the Holy Grail was contained in a herring can sunk in Trondheim Fjord fell on deaf ears.
  • May 5 - The Chinese government has made artificial rain to wash dust left by sandstorms in Beijing. Sino-Bureaucrats are now left with the conundrum of what to do with 10s of 1,000s of kilometres of garden hose connected to the Three Gorges Dam.
  • May 8 - Apple Computers wins a case brought against it by Apple Corp. (The Beatles recording company) for contract infringment. Apparently, Apple Corp. lawyers had contended that the Fab Four had backward-masked the words "Buy an iPod" in Helter Skelter.
  • May 11 - A rare polar bear/grizzly bear hybrid was found in Canada's Northwest Territories. Excitement reigns supreme in Arizona.
  • May 14 - A record 3 women were killed by alligators in Florida in 3 separate attacks. A "Take Back the Swamps" campaign is being organized by the American National Organization for Women.
  • May 19 - The US Senate passes a bill declaring English as the "National Language" of the United States. A $US5 B budget has been earmarked to provide remedial course to teach Americans how to write and spell.
  • May 20 - Finnish heavy metal quartet Lordi wins the Eurovision song contest with "Hard Rock Halleleujah". Damien Rice dissolves into a puddle of tears.
June 2006
  • June 2 - The great-grandson of famed warrior Geronimo has asked president George W. Bush to intervene with the Skull and Bones secret society of Harvard to return his ancestor's remains. Montgomery Burns vows to keep the historic artifacts for possible transplants.
  • June 6 - A remake of the cult horror film "The Omen" opened worldwide on 06/06/06. This film managed to rake in $666 dollars during its first week in general release.
  • June 8 - Scientists have discovered 3 new letters on the ancient Greek navigational device, the Antikythera Mechanism, thought to be the oldest analog computer in the world. Microsoft works hard to issue a new security patch to counter any possible virus threats to Windows XP.
  • June 23 - Saddam Hussein ends his one meal hunger strike in protest over the assasssination of one of his lawyers. The American Bar Association moves quickly to prevent the publishing of the Hussein Diet.
  • June 27 - A motion in support of an anti-desecration bill protecting the American flag failed to pass in the Senate by one vote. Marketers still free to prostitute the Stars and Stripes in their advertising.
Tune in tomorrow for another thrilling installment of 2006 - The Year in Review. That is, if my cold doesn't worsten.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 - The Year in Review

It's about the time of year when pundits of all persuasions enlighten us members of the masses with their esteemed opinions as to the truly newsworthy events of the year passing. We are no doubt doomed to hear these egotistical blowhards weigh forth with the obvious nominations of notable news items, what with the war in Iraq, the Democrat wins in both houses of the US Congress, the genocide in Darfur, global warming and other banalities.

We here at the White Bear's Blog have decided to dig deep, deep into the current events files of the last twelve months with an eye to seize upon the truly important moments whose import will no doubt reverberate for years to come in the space time continuum. So without further ado here is Nanuk's pick of the news feeds from 2006.

January 2006
  • January 9 - Howard Stern begins to broadcasting with Sirius satellite radio after 30 years of terrestrial broadcasts. SETI reports Stern's banter "will definitely NOT interfere with our on-going search for intelligent life in the universe".
  • January 12 - 362 pilgrims are crushed to death during the "Stoning the Devil" during the Haj. Souvenir vendors did a brisk trade selling "My husband stoned the devil and lived, and all he brought back for me was this stupid burka" burkas.
  • January 15 - Tony Blair grants new powers to spy on Members of Parliament. Live feed can be found on Three-day trial membership £ 3.99.
  • January 18 - Two people who attempted to extort restaurant chain Wendy's by placing a severed human finger in a bowl of chili are sentenced to 10 years in prison. The actual charge was causing indignity to a human digit.
  • January 20 - A whale is observed swimming upstream in the River Thames past the Houses of Parliament. Tony Blair goes in for the krill.
  • January 31 - Cindy Sheehan was arrested in Washington for refusing to cover up her T-shirt protesting American involvement in the war in Iraq. Pamela Anderson's T-shirt promoting the decriminalization of torture on American soil considered an acceptable exercise of her First Amendment rights.
February 2006
  • February 4 - A stampede an outdoor complex in the Phillipines resulted in the death of 73 spectators. They had gathered to watch newsreels reporting on the Stoning of the Devil trampling in Mecca the previous month.
  • February 7 - Scotland institutes a DNA database of individuals who have been acquitted or had charges dropped. The sheep of Scotland will sleep more soundly now.
  • February 10 - NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky denies having placed any bets with illegal gambling operations. In an unrelated story he moved the Phoenix Coyotes to Las Vegas.
  • February 11 - Harry Wittington accidentally shot by US Veep Dick Cheney while hunting. Cheney apologizes, and blames the liberal media for inevitably characterizing him as Elmer Fudd, rather than Yosemite Sam.
  • February 12 - 27 inches of snow fall on the American eastern seaboard, paralyzing New York City, and knocking out power in Washington DC. Gothamites treated to the rare sight of hookers on snowshoes.
  • February 25 - A New York City funeral home is charged with supplying a New Jersey company with 12,000 body parts harvested from corpses. The body parts were a total right-off since the corpses were planted either too deep or too close together.
  • February 26 - The world population hits 6.5 billion. The effect of 130 billion exhalations a minute accelerates global warming.
March 2006
  • March 2 - Artifacts, including ovens and artisian workshops, were uncovered in Iran dating back to the 7th century BCE. Bush cites this as further evidence of Iran's early nuclear intentions.
  • March 8 - The Channel Island of Sark voted to maintain its feudal system of government. The European Union accused of vassal-ating on the issue.
  • March 11 - James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" became the first British song to top the Billboard Top 100 Hits since Elton John's "Candle in the Wind". Proof positive Americans only like gay Brits.
  • March 13 - British PM Tony Blair under fire for handing out honours to financial backers of the Labour Government. Conservative parliamentarians call for an immediate return to providing sexual favours to supporters.
  • March 22 - Russian president Vladimir Putin visits the Shaolin Temple during a diplomatic trip to China. Unfortunately, Putin is stuck there until he can snatch a pebble from Hu Jintao's hand.
  • March 25 - Canada's annual seal hunt begins off the east coast of the country. Sir Paul McCartney is angered by his wife Heather Mills phoquing around too much on the ice floes.
  • March 30 - Feleti Sevele becomes the first non-noble Prime Minister of Tonga. All his predecessors were royally pissed off.
Tune in tomorrow for highlights from the second quarter of 2006.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Dinner Disaster Averted

Regular visitors to this humble site are no doubt aware of my running battle with those who deliver municipal services, particularly the removal of sewage and the delivery of water. But for those who are new, just be aware that, due to permafrost, there are no pipes connecting the houses up here with water mains or sewers. Consequently, both water and sewage are contained in large plastic tanks which must be refilled/emptied on a regular basis, the operative word being "regular".

Christmas 2005 was a fiasco. An hour before a magnificent turkey was ready and guests to arrive, we ran out of water. No water to boil potatoes, no water to wash turkey grease-encrusted hands and dishes, and certainly no water to make orange juice required for traditional Christmas screwdrivers. We couldn't even borrow water from the neighbours since everyone was in the same position. The turkey had to be removed still slightly undone and refrigerated, and guests quickly phoned to inform them of the delay.

At that point I vowed not to be caught in the same position ever again.

This year royal edict went out in the house that no clothes were to be washed, no toilets to be flushed, and no showers to be taken until after Christmas dinner and the start of my post-prandial hibernation, from which I would only stir at the sound of the sewage truck backing up to my house.

Unfortunately, we had a Quisling or two in our midst, and the "sewage full" light came to life a good four hours before chow time. "Sewage full", BTW, also means "water cut off" since the designers of this house's plumbing figured that most people would still be pouring water down the drains and flooding the sub-flooring with raw sewage unless they were physically prevented from using a drop of fresh water.

But this time, we ran out of water so early that we were able to mooch off the neighbours, probably causing them to run out of water as a consequence.

In any event, Christmas dinner went off with very few hitches. Our guests came, consumed and departed - many with their jackets placed over their shoulders so they wouldn't smudge their jacket sleeves with turkey grease. This morning, however, we have mountains of unwashed dishes and unrefrigerated leftovers occupying every square centimetre of counter top, table top and chair top.

I guess I'll go back to bed until I here the sound of the sewage truck. Then I'll wait another hour or two until someone has broken down and tackled that mess.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Mail Up Here is Slow, so . . .

. . . hope this makes up for it.


A Northern Christmas

The sun starts to tinge the sky around 8:00 AM, although today, Christmas Day, it won't fully push through night's gloom until half past nine. That's the official sunrise, but in our small corner of town, we never really get to see the sun since the hills block it out as it transits low across the horizon, too low to get above the ridge line of ancient pre-Cambrian rock flanking us to the south and west.

But it has all the makings of a glorious day: cloudless, windless and a bearable (pardon the pun) minus 16 C.

It has been far too long since I last posted here, and to get back into the swing of things, I propose to give you (probably the singular you of my readership who is left) a taste of what Christmas is like about 300 kilometers north of the treeline in Arctic Quebec. A word of advice, though. Christmas in Nunavik is a period, not a day. And while it starts on December 25th, Christmas ends well after New Years, with an innumerable amount of church services, feasts, radio broadcasts and games (both indoor and out). So by posting quite regularly over the next 12 days or so, I hope to involve you, albeit vicariously, in my Christmas experience.

Merry Christmas!

Your faithful Nanuk