First, I tuned to the weather network and cackled watching the tons of snow heaping down on the south along with freezing temperatures in the minus-30s, then the rains that washed out the remnants of winter, then watch the weather repeat itself in another section of the continent.

Meanwhile, the local weather cooperated by freezing the rivers, lakes and ponds – just as it used to back before Al Gore informed us that badly weird weather was going to be a normal event for the next century or so. Or at least until some advanced and not so advanced countries get together and stop with the environmental damages altogether.

Around this time last year, I was searching for the Wal-Mart in Ste-Foy with a buddy of mine, who drove me to the place where we thought the fabled mall was to be. It was here last year, we grumbled, trying to look over 14-foot walls of snow around the curve. I went back to my meeting, as I had only the lunch hour to shop and vowed to return the next day with a taxi.

The following day, the friendly cab driver drove me to the same spot as the previous day, except he drove around a towering mountain of snow in what was the parking lot. There was so much snow piled there that the Wal-Mart was not visible from the street! After heading back home to our two feet of snow, I felt that somehow the tables had turned when it comes to the weather.

I flicked the channel to APTN and noticed that no one was really into the weather. This year some normality returned and the warm winter days of yesteryear had vanished, leaving everyone in the north with little to complain about. Except, that is, for the exorbitant price of fuel in times when, down south, fuel prices reached a low of 80 cents per litre of the good stuff but still remained high in the north.

Another item was about how some First Nations successfully negotiated major money deals and the payoffs to the head honchos of that particular band – (I wonder, is this just out of the ordinary or is this type of thing ordinary) – and the outcry by band members that ensued following the discovery of the big personal financial gouging of public funds. Another thing I noticed about APTN, all of a sudden, mainstream movies were being presented with leading actors revealing their true aboriginal roots, therefore qualifying as Aboriginal content. Hey whatever happened to CREE-TV by the way?

After switching off the ho-hum news and weather reports, I made some calls to see what the local wildlife was up to down in Nemaska, where, according to satellite readouts, the world’s largest caribou herd is spending this winter. Yep, traffic is again coming to a halt on the James Bay highway due to the proliferation of antlered road hazards. The ptarmigan just don’t seem to get it when they get shot at repeatedly by dozens of shotgun toting hungry Crees, coming back over and over again to be picked off by the now common steel shot (as you may well know, lead is now poisonous and has the tendency to kill you slowly after ingestion).

Talk about easy pickings. The year 2009 should be a normal one, at least when it comes to the weather.