Quote o’ the Day: Stripping

Yellowknife Commute, Frame Lake Trail 7

“White people came here a long time ago; took all the furs; trapped all the beaver out; and the otter and the mink, things like that; and they gathered all these things up. They went away and they left us with the bush and the rocks. It wasn’t too much later they came back again. They call that logging. Cut down all the trees; white pine, red pine, cut it all down. And they left us on the bare rocks. Then they discovered uranium here. And the old man said, ‘Now the sons-a-bitches are back for the rocks.'”

Gilbert Oskaboose, Serpent River First Nation

Gilbert Oskaboose

Gilbert Oskaboose

What I’m Missing: in Yellowknife this week

The Long John Jamboree.

This is what it looks like, according to FranH on Flickr. They may only have a couple of hours of sunlight, but that’s two more than we’re getting in Vancouver right now. I STILL regret not seeing any competitive tea boiling when I was up there (what? WHAT? It’s a THING, I’m telling you).

Lowered Expectations

It’s not just a dating site anymore!

I was promised snow, dammit!

I was promised snow, dammit!

So this was me up in Yellowknife. I did get frost by the last two weeks of August, and Auroras all the way through August, a few months early thanks to solar flare activity (thanks, Sol, you’re a doll), but no snow. People keep asking me when/if I’m going back (or rather, if/when, as my friends are all cynics like me) to the North, and all I can say is, when/if someone makes it worth my while. I didn’t go up there just to get my ass kicked and come straight back to Vangroover. I’ve got leads on several clients up North, but nobody’s making a decision hastily, so this all still pending. What I’d like, ideally, is to get a client whose business is such that it justifies me going back North and working through the winter; what’s the point of going to Yellowknife and NOT going through a real arctic winter? I already got the parka!!!

And there’s an NGO up there who wants to work with me (if and only if I get back there, as a major part of their mandate is supporting the North and Northern businesses); their mission is to get remote communities online and train Aboriginal youth in digital technology: both in terms of blogging and social media (just like I was doing as the social media trainer at Fearless City) and hardware (e-cycling and rebuilding).

Social Media Workshops in Yellowknife

raincoaster media, yo

raincoaster media, yo

Just a quick note that over on raincoaster media and in Facebook I’ve got the announcements up for two new Social Media Workshops, these ones in-person, in Yellowknife at Chef Pierre‘s Aurora Conference Centre.

Social Media for Political Campaigns is Wednesday


Social Media for Business is Thursday. Both run 1-5.

And then at the end of the week I’m headed to Vancouver (via a 17-hour flight, thanks a lot, AIR CANADA!) to speak at Social Media Week on the Blogging Technology Panel, emceeing the Social Good Summit, and participating in the Guerrilla Mashup event.

Should I register “rollercoaster” as well?

well what the fuck WAS that?

well what the fuck WAS that?

Ever had one of those days that starts out like that and then goes…well…like this?

That’s right, bitches.

Problems! Solved!


Problem 1) Transportation to Vancouver so I can honour my commitments to speak at and participate in Social Media Week and Social Media for Government in Victoria.

Solution 1) Hotel_Goddess, a woman who has never met me, who lives in another city from me, and who doesn’t even know my real name, promptly put her airmiles together and made a reservation for me. Now this is a religion that pays off: I am a convert! From now on, I’ll stop worshipping Cthluhu and start worshipping Hotel_Goddess, because what the hell has worshipping Cthulhu ever got me? I’ve yet to be eaten first or, really, at all recently, but there…I’ve said too much.

Problem 2) Homelessness which I think we can all agree is a helluva problem, particularly with it frosting over every night already (yes, really). Solved in bipartite mode by my friend Nancy until Monday, stowing me away in her mother’s basement (maybe Mom won’t notice? I dunno, she’s pretty sharp!) and by friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-chef-running-a-pullled-pork-truck-in-Osoyoos(and if you see him say hi from me) to whom I was introduced by email and who has a cabin which isn’t currently occupied and whose current house-sitter has other things to keep him busy for the next few weeks and maybe forever. So this cabin needs someone sitting in it, and it might as well be me. So, from Monday I am going to be sitting in a rustic two bedroom cabin/trailer/Rube Goldberg agglomeration with a view, a deck, a wood stove for heat, a gas stove for cooking, a big screen tv, and in a very funky, desirable neighborhood that’s walking distance to downtown. Like, four blocks. If the next couple of weeks work out, I might get to stay there when the owner goes up north to cater at a college, which would mean I pay for utilities and taxes and such, but no rent.

u totes jelly bro

u totes jelly bro

Oh yes, did I mention two bedrooms? One for me and one for Julian, until I coax him into getting over his crippling shyness.

Problem 3) Vancouver rent doubled from $340 to $760 or thereabouts.

Solution 3) Emailed the woman in charge of admin at Kellett and had her fax my ROE to the co-op. Did this before the last post went up, by the way. Doing it afterwards may have been less productive, knowmasayin’? Photographed my last pay stub detailing last day paid and how much I earned in all of August ($288 for the curious) and sent the digital files to the co-op. Was almost punchy enough to hit Flickr Uploader by rote, but managed to stop myself in time. It ain’t art. Then I forwarded to them the receipt from Paypal for my blogging payment for the posts I made in July. $300 US equating, after Paypal fees and the exchange rate, to about $288, sound familiar?

Co-op re-evaluated my housing charges in record time, thank GOD, and now I have to pay only the $340.

Problem 4) Unemployment=No Money. And no, I’m not eligible for BC welfare or, it seems, welfare up here either. Yay, mobility! Anyhoodle, even when one saves $400 on rent and gets another place for free, one cannot eat air. And one cannot purchase non-air foodstuffs up here for anything like spare change. A week’s groceries from Sunrise Market would cost me $12; the equivalent here (if I could even GET the equivalent here) is more like $45.

Solution 4) A very nice person on Twitter who wishes to remain anonymous because it’s a business account and they don’t want it to seem like they’re looking for publicity ALTHOUGH THEY TOTALLY DESERVE IT FOR THIS AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE sent me $250 via Paypal. This is, as with Hotel_Goddess, someone who’s never met me in person and doesn’t even know my real name. They just like the way I roll, have benefited from social media in the past, and want to pay it forward. And another friend who’s starting her own blog sent me $200 for a blogging lesson, so I can at least pay my Vancouver rent if I put the two of those together. Might even get some gruel!

If I can manage to switch my flight to the 13th instead of the 9th, I might even be able to run a workshop here at the Aurora Conference Centre. I’ve been talking with Chef Pierre and a workshop series is very doable, but I’ve missed the deadline to get an ad in to the paper in time to have a workshop before the 9th, so I have to check out the flight change tomorrow. A full workshop would mean I could pay all my arrears to the co-op and then some, and be sure of having enough money to get back up here and do another workshop. And so on. Gotta get that flight switched (might be another $100 or so) and then pick a date!

Oh, and I’m going to be speaking briefly at the Rotary North meeting this coming Thursday at the Top Knight, so if you want to meet the now-happy wanderer in person, turn up. But don’t get between me and the mic; I wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.

Moral of the story: When in trouble, whine. Copiously. On every social media platform available to you.

C'mon, get HAPPY!

C'mon, get HAPPY!