Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Long time, no blog... but wait, I have an explanation, and I'm going to make it up to you right here.

I've had my mind on something for the last 9 months or so that has had me occupied. I have never mentioned it on this blog.

Know why? You don't say "Shutout" in the third period, that's why.

I am the proud father of a brand new baby boy, Noah Kent Kanayuk-Driscoll. He was born in the early hours of October 28th, and weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces. The circumstances of his birth are what I want to explain here, because it is a story he will be hearing on his birthday for the rest of my life.

Contractions started early on October 28th, but didn't take long to take hold. They didn't have consistent timing, one would be short, then long... not at all like what television dramas have taught me.

After they started, my lovely partner woke me up and said "It's time." She didn't have to add "Get up" because the words "It's time" were the best alarm clock I ever needed.

Click here to see another blog entry featuring my lovely partner, she doesn't often let me include her in this thing, and this is a classic.

My Lovely Partner Does Not Like Bees [Photo courtesy of the many Inuit people who really don't like bugs from the South]

If it is the middle of the morning, and you are about to have a baby, what do you do? Call Inflatable Elvis. [That was supposed to be sarcastic, but take a look at the role he plays in the rest of this story, that isn't a bad idea at all. Put his phone number next to the phone].

Inflatable Elvis [File photo courtesy of The Springfield Shopper]

I.E. -- known as @FrozenGrapes on Twitter -- was our first choice, because the two boys love him. The way I described his duties to him was, "I don't care if you give them chocolate cake at 3:00 am. Let it be a party for them. Just keep them in one piece." We knew that if they woke up in the middle of the night, they wouldn't spaz out, they would demand to be lifted in the air , or a vicious Connect 4 rematch (The Boy once beat him 4-2 in a best of seven).

He arrived soon after, and things had changed in our connected kitchen/living room. Those contractions were not just timed weird, they were coming quickly. My lovely partner was facing our kitchen island which divides the kitchen from the living room, with both of her hands braced on the counter.

Her: "I don't think we have time."

Me: "Should we call the ambulance?"

Her: "YES!"

I start to fumble with the phone, and call the first number that comes to my head, the RCMP emergency number, 979-1111 (get it, 9-1111). They tell me, "We don't take ambulance calls."

I asked for the ambulance number and got it. Just over 30,000 people in the territory, we could probably figure out 911, or at least call forward. I'm just sayin'.

For future reference, the magic number is 979-4422. Tell them I sent you.

A brief aside, twice in the last year we have had to have the Iqaluit paramedics come to our place. Twice I have been knocked out by their professionalism. Big ups to IQFD from these parts.

The phone starts ringing, and IE takes it, as he knows our address and I had more pressing issues. Soon, so did he.

Who comes strolling down the hall but The Boy. The Boy has been a character in many of these blog references, but for those who don't know him, he is 9 years-old with a very creative bent to him, and oddly mature in some ways.

He is his younger brother's hero and counts my beers at restaurants. He accidentally and without malice messes with Conservative Party photo ops, and greets everyone with warmth. He met Jack Layton and said, "I've seen you on TV." I grab his neck like Homer Simpson and he fakes all the choking and shaking himself... as I say "Why you little...."

We used to tease him and call him The Mayor because he knew everyone in town, until he told us, "I don't want to be the Mayor, I want to be a racecar driver."

Not The Mayor, The Boy [The Boy does not endorse any one political party, he just likes people he has seen on TV]

The entire time we were expecting, he kept asking to go to the hospital to see the baby born.

"Man, you'd get freaked out," says I.

"I would not get freaked out," he would retort, in a solemn way.

He was getting his chance, and he shone. With IE, they did all the things you would see in those dramatic television programs. They grabbed blankets and sheets... they would have even boiled water if they had time.

The phone safely in the hands of our team, I turn to my lovely partner. She says, "CATCH HIM."

I look over to see that she has removed her pants, and that a bump that looks suspiciously like a baby's head is emerging from the pelvic region.

I say, "LIE DOWN!"

She says, "I CAN'T!"

So, I get on my knees and reach up, placing the middle of my arm under Noah's head. As he came out, I gently slid my arm toward myself, supporting his body with my forearm and thigh, until he is lying on my thigh face down.


I scoop out the fluid from his nose and mouth.


About a minute later, my lovely partner is laughing out loud, standing over me but reaching down in a sort of hug, with me crouched next to the baby on the floor. She starts laughing and says, "We did it! We really did it!" We all laugh, in relief. "I love you"'s all around.

According to the nurses, the largest baby ever born at home by accident in Iqaluit [Photo Courtesy of Unofficial City Records]

First question people ask me about that moment is, "Were you scared?" I really wasn't. Neither was she. We both went into crisis mode, just get from one step to the next. The fear didn't hit us until we were safe in the hospital, about an hour after getting there. Then we got scared about what could have happened.

The paramedics arrive, and get to work. They turn to me and ask, "Would you like to cut the cord?"

I was glad to still not be scared, and I asked, "Can he?" Over comes The Boy, and he cuts the cord to his little brother. The Boy does not freak out in the face of childbirth.

When I brought him to school the next morning, we told his teacher about the adventure he had. She said he should tell the whole class. He answered, "Maybe it could be on the announcements?" That's The Boy.

Our 2 year-old -- I don't like to use their real names online. The Boy is 9, The Big Boy is 2, The Baby is 0 months old as The Boy likes to say -- slept through the entire thing. Everyone did their part, he did the best thing he could have possibly done.

The Big Boy Can Sleep Through Anything [Photo Courtesy of Middle Children Opposed to being left out of Anything, Despite Sleeping Through it]

That is the story. It spread around our tiny town very quickly, and people have been giving me congrats ever since. You know what hardly anyone does? Gives my lovely partner credit. As she puts it, "You know, I did do most of the work." Agreed. All I did was make a nice catch.

The next day, we all visited at the hospital, and of course there are pictures.

My Lovely Partner With The Baby [Photo Courtesy of Inflatable Elvis]

You only wish you looked that good 6 hours after giving birth.

The Boy and The Baby [Photo Courtesy of Brotherly Love]

When it is your family, you don't think sometimes, you just do. I'm just happy I made the catch. I am adding a title to my name, I am now a Reporter/Mid-wife. For my next medical procedure, I think I could move up try an emergency appendix removal...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Need some help

Can't talk, gotta work. Help me now.

Need to know how much a turkey costs per kilogram in your neck of the woods.

You will see your hard work on the show tonight.

Don't just sit there, DO MY JOB FOR ME.

Love is Love

Friday, October 2, 2009

No Easy Layups

My beloved Raptors are in Ottawa for training camp, with only three players still in place from last year's roster. Considering last year, that is most welcome. However; the new players may not have a sense of Raptors history, which is the subject of this here blog post.

Rasho, you are an old new face, you can skip this.

There are three players in the league who can never receive an easy layup at the ACC. Only three. Thing is, your first two home games feature 2 of those guys, so here is a primer on the No Easy Layup list for the Toronto Raptors home games.

Vince Carter: Crybaby Vince. I'm going to take my ball and go home Vince. My mother makes comments for me in the press Vince Carter. Vince Carter demanded a trade out loud, reducing his trade value to next to nothing. He made statements about the city, the franchise and his teammates. He is public enemy number 1. I was sitting in a hotel room in Winnipeg last year when he killed us in overtime with that reverse dunk, felt like puking. Fans boo him in Toronto before he gets off the bus, and every time he touches the ball, and he earned it. Other stars have left and do not get booed, Tracy McGrady doesn't get attacked while touching the ball. VC is special, don't forget it. He gave up on the team, here is what he said, when asked if he tried to play hard after deciding eh wanted a trade, "In years past, no. I was fortunate to have the talent. You get spoiled when you're able to do a lot of things. You see that you don't have to work at it."

Kevin Garnett: For KG, the "No Easy Layup" decree should spread all over the league. Last year he got so close to CB4 during a posession that his chin was actually resting on Bosh's chest. I think Bosh should have knocked his shining head clean off, but CB4 is a man of peace. He got involved in a taunting incident with Jose Calderon during that game. Earlier in the season, with the game in hand, the Celtics pulled an alley-oop dunk on the Raps while they were running out the clock. It was so low rent that Triano took a meaningless timeout to display his anger. Better extend that no Easy Lay Up rule to the entire roster of Celtics.

Shaquille O'Neal: Last year he called Bosh "the Ru-Paul of big men", and stole a television show from Canadian Steve Nash. Considering his age, his mouth is writing checks his body can't cash. Pheneomal dancer or not, there must be no easy lay ups for O'Neal in Toronto.

See, these are the special cases. Antonio Davis was afraid of the metric system, but no one booed him. No one boos TJ Ford, or Jermaine O'Neal, and both are former Raps who could have been more successful in their time there. Even if Bosh decides to sign somewhere else, I won't boo him, he has to make a business decision. As long as he doesn't demand a trade, thereby reducing his trade value, all is well.

The above three, no easy lay-ups. Those are the rules of the ACC.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


As you can tell from the sidebar, I may have been a late adopter of Twitter, but it is a journalistic tool that I have embraced fully... even though I just got my glass house shattered.

For a few weeks now, we have been tracking stories with obvious mistakes about Nunavut with the hashtag #Iqualuit. I'm sure you all remember that typo from the Prime Minister's visit here.

Iqaluit means place of many fish. Iqualuit means a particular form of bad personal hygeine that results in a poop odour. Typos about Nunavut match quite nicely with that description, so we tag them #Iqualuit.

Our local National Broadcaster had Nunavut as Nunavet for a few minutes online today, and when it is the local National Broadcaster, the #Iqualuit is even better. Nothing like taking a good shot at your professional friends.

Then, an hour later, the national broadcaster I work for made the same mistake in a Tweet. Nunavet, not Nunavut.... after I had just Tweeted about the others mistake.

As you can imagine, I am now surrounded by the remnants of my glass house. Humility is a lesson I learn over and over and over again.

But, despite that, I still love Twitter. Where else can you crack jokes about having to play the Celtics with Reggie Evans himself? Where else can I get the guys who run Raptors TV to use my suggestions for interviews? Where else can I find out that The Fat Boys are trying to get back together?

I'll clean up a little glass for that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Want my vote?

Iqaluit City Council holds their election on October 19th, and there are 21 candidates for council, and a 1 on 1 battle for the Mayor's Chain of Office.

This election will generate very little interest outside of the territory, so the odds of me having to report on it are slim, so I feel like I can say what I think and not give off any perception of bias in my work.

I've lived here in Iqaluit for four years, and here is my short multi-part plan about what I would like to see from a City Council. The people who agree to do the most from these notes will be the people getting my vote.

Ahhhhhh, democracy.

1 - Stand in between the hair studio and IBC, and draw a line about 300 meters in any direction. Turn that line into a circle, with a radius of 300 m. What is inside that circle? Some business, some offices, and lots and lots of residential apartments. What isn't there? A park for the many children who live around those parts (the little gym set by Inuksagate doesn't count, the baby is almost 2 and he's outgrown that tiny thing). Look at the pile of construction stuff behind the Navigator... good luck, you usually can't see it because it is covered with children using it as a jungle gym. That part of town needs a park, badly.

2 - From the 4 Corners to the intersection just past Joamie school, that road is a mess. Potholes you could go cave diving in, and very few street lights. With people dodging the potholes and the dim lighting, it is hard to see pedestrians, and there are always lots on that stretch.

3 - We need a pool. Last election, there was a vote on getting a loan to build a great new recreation center. Problem was, only rate-payers (read: home owners, not renters) were allowed to vote. The pool was narrowly defeated. When it is working, go to the pool on a weekend. You will see more kids there from families who rent than kids of home owners. We should have a new pool, and EVERYONE in town deserves a vote on it.

4 - Go out past Driving Force and view our unplanned ad hoc vehicle graveyard. This must go, and there must be measures put in place to make sure that it never happens again. It is an eyesore and an environmental hazard.

5 - Loose dirt is not natural in Nunavut. Go on the land, there is grass everywhere.... just not in town. I would like to see a by-law requiring anyone building anything has to plant grass when they are done, or those awesome purple flowers, or anything to keep the dust down. Contractors should also have to fence in their site if it is too big.

6 - We need a City subsidzed bus system, from Apex to the airport. Nothing fancy, just a bus that goes back and forth, from 8 am to 6 pm.

That is it. Six points. Candidates who come closest to this vision (and offer to build me that bloody park so I don't have to haul the kids up to Joamie School every time they want to hit the slide) will receive one of my 8 votes for City Council.

I'm just happy I have 21 choices for council. Democracy ceases to thrive when people do not participate. They bothered to run, now you get out and vote.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gear pigs

Along with our new reporter -- well, actually trailing behind a few days being shipped via cargo -- was some new gear for the TV stuff. If you have ever known TV people (TVmiut?) you know their desperate love of all gear.

I got the few small things I wanted. My mic needed a new mic flag, got that. I needed a reflector to keep the shadows off my face when I'm doing stand-ups, got that. (Before anyone snickers about vain television folks, you try talking at length in front of a live camera while having to face the sun directly, you go blind and squint, looks awful).

We also got some soundproofing to develop a sound booth of sorts. Helps reflect the sound and creates a richer tone. I love to use my voice as a storytelling tool, from excited to sombre, so that made me happy. Then, I start looking around..... we don't really have much room for a soundbooth.


We have a small bathroom in our office, and because our office is a converted apartment, that bathroom has a shower. All we use the shower for is "storage" (basically, the boxes that everything ever came in). Bingo.

We are going to run a sound cable from the studio to the small bathroom (through pre-existing wire holes in the walls) and convert the shower into the most badass little sound booth you have ever seen.

There will be pictures when we are done.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Because it Worked Part II

No, this is not a triumphant post praising all of you for finding me a new house. You haven't yet. Not even a nibble. I am disappointed in you all, you all should be ashamed of yourselves, not doing my work for me.

On that subject (doing my work for me), here is another good idea I ripped off.

When we started this bureau here in Nunavut, my co-worker at the time (who can now be seen on another channel in another city) made up a fax with all the information you need to get in touch with our bureau. Then she faxed it to every municipal fax machine in the territory.

It worked. We got phone calls for months. And now I have a new reporter in this office, and we haven't done the mass faxing in a year and a half, so we are doing it again. Why? Because it Worked, and I like to take good ideas and use them over again.

So, if you have a Nunavut story that needs to be on APTN National News, you can contact us here at (all @ and . changed to text to frustrate info trollers)

kdriscoll -- at -- aptn -- dot -- ca
wrivers -- at -- aptn -- dot -- ca
Phone: 867-979-2907 or 2063
Fax: 867-979-1749
Twitter @kentofthenorth