From NAKINA...: Jan. 14 – Nakina winters, Hydro One

Rotzy doesn’t swear as much as he once did. Call it “creeping conservativism.”

I Keep Being Asked….
by readers/friends from up north….and down here….what we miss about Nakina. Of course as Miz. Jo and yours truly were there for just shy of twenty years, there are/were any number of things which we had become accustomed to, like the smallness of the community, the vastness of the Boreal Forest, and any number of things on a daily basis that make up day-to-day living in a town of 300, at the end of the road, a three day drive north of Brantford. Well, I guess I miss the remoteness and the solitude it brings, altho I am getting used to living amongst 100,000 other people, including about 500 within the three large apartment buildings that compose our immediate area. I miss the ease in finding a parking spot in Nakina and even down in Gerbilton, The Big Ward….and actually parking your vehicle, then seldom bothering to lock it up. Conversely, there are things I/we do NOT miss. Out of habit….and because we care…we’re both still hooked up to TWC Nakina, and check it daily, once more ‘out of habit’, noting for the past month there have been MANY days with temps sitting around -25C, and plenty of ‘feels like’ -35C and even worse. Well, the ‘worst’ we have suffered through down here is about -7C….and perhaps a ‘feels like -15C’. When we relay Nakina temps to our new friends/neighbours here at Harris Place, they just grimace and shake their heads….in disbelief I think. However, you may find this odd….yours truly certainly does….but when I try to remember what -38C or -42C feels like? and/or how did I cope with it? I’m coming up blank. Nothing! You think maybe I’ve completely ‘blocked it out’? It’s THAT terrible!!?? Anyway, we’re both handling the ‘new climate’ just fine. As to a severe shortage of blackflies, I won’t really be able to judge that one until this summer, which I’m told begins in May around here. But it just occurred to me (totally out of the blue) the other day….I know not how or why?….that the thing we miss perhaps least of all is ‘Hydro One power outages’….planned or unplanned! I mean we’ve been here for 3 months and 13 days and to this date (Jan 13th) we have yet to even experience a momentary dimming of the lights, aka a ‘brown-out’. Nor have we been advised of a ‘planned outage’ for 6 to 8 hours in the dead of winter. Or summer….methinks Nakina/Greenstone dealt with them half a dozen tymes yearly, so 555 Park Rd North has been a pleasant change.

Readers Write
Got two emails this ayem (Sunday) with news reports from yesterday…one from a Thunder Bay paper and the other from CBC….of an unauthorized protest by 14 or 15 Natives who had driven from Thunder Bay to Nipigon to shut down traffic on the Nipigonewrong Bridge (*as if the bridge can’t do that on its’ own???!!!). The protest was to condemn the Coastal Gas Link Pipeline in BC and support Wet’suwet’en F/N. Well, these protesters….it wasn’t reported which First Nation Band they’re from….are behind the tymes, because it seems the pipeline has been given the green light. Their action slowed traffic to a crawl, with only one of four lanes left open….and in addition to a lot of pissed off motorists….they basically had illegally been on (trespassed?) Traditional Lands of The Red Rock Indian Band….WITHOUT CONSULTATION….and the ‘C’ Word is a biggie when it comes to First Nations dealings. We’ll see if this goes anywhere when/if it becomes known where the protesters call home.

Pardon Me?
In two different visits to the In And Out Store at the Lynden Mall last week….one to get some tall boys and one to get some red grape….the clerk really caught me off guard when she asked “what is your postal code?” Methinks I responded ”why?” (or something like that) and she replied something about ”head office wanting the information da da da da da”. Altho I had to stop and think about my code here at unit 303-555 Park Road North, dont’cha know I came up with it without having to check where it’s written down in my wallet!! So….SO….I’ve got it down but not our fone number as of yet. Hell….I’ve never foned here so how am I supposed to learn/remember it? (on the other hand I still know the number we had from 1953 to 1973) Anyway, I was ready when I went in the second tyme! I saw a poster on the wall and inquired if I ‘was next going to be required to prove I’m of legal age’. She took a boo at me and said ”ahhhhh, I don’t think so”. Then she wished me ”happy new year”.

You will find me every morning….between 4:30 and 6:00AM (yes, it IS early, but that is how my ‘body clock’ works, OK?!)….right down front from Unit #303, in parking space #58, sitting in Norm The Nissan Truck. Norm’s engine will be idling to provide heat and lights as I read a book (today it’s Washington Black) and enjoy my ayem Maxwell House Dark Roast and a few puffs, with Norm’s window down an inch or two. I’ll be there for 1/2 an hour or more, or when the coffee runs out or gets cold, then I lock up Norm, stroll up to the lobby, touch my ‘fob’ to the sending unit, and catch the elevator up to the 3rd floor. And home. Such was the case last Friday….until I stuck Norms keys in my coat pocket and reached for my fob….but it wasn’t there!!! ”OH NO” I cried….or something like that. But I digress….Rotzy had never seen/heard of a ‘fob’ until we moved into Harris Place, so it’s a smooth, shiny, gray plastic thing with your unit key attached to it. Number One Rule….don’t lose it!!! The ‘fob’ gives you access to the building as well as certain areas within it….and of course your key lets you into your living space. I’m fumbling around all my pockets, looking all around in Norm….nothing!!! I said (to myself) “Well Toad….way to go….you’ve done it now”!!! (or something like that) Then a miracle….there it was, almost completely hidden between the seats, on the floor, under the seat belt bracket. No way my hand’s gonna fit in there, so I tried the windshield brush scraper I got from Tap last winter. Too big as well. Damn. It’s 6:35AM so I had to wait for somebody to come out, ‘sneak in’, go up and bang on the door to wake Miz. Jo and get something that will fit. Well, I got a long, narrow, wooden spoon, opened Norm’s rear/suicide door crawled in on the floor (Jeez, I’d never been in the rear and it is really cramped back there!!) and after about five minutes of prodding, poking and scraping, out it slid. Rotzy’s gonne be REALLY careful with it from here on!!

*Thought Of The Day…Swearing….Because sometymes  ”Gosh Darn” and ”Meanie Head” just don’t cover it.

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