Part II: Greenland
Erik the Red?
Erik, Tim’s father, preceded Tim in his love for technology. He had seriously concerned his in-laws as he simultaneously took their daughter for his wife, and launched an electronic/technology/gadget shop they saw as doomed to failure. But Erik had a vision that contained more wisdom than they realized.
Erik’s name was given to him by parents that saw the carrot hair, and even a complexion that they thought was probably like their famous ancestor Erik the Red. So that is what his name became. Erik was tempted to call Tim “Leif,” as that was Erik the Red’s son, but decided against it.
But back to his plan. For sure he wanted to have leading, and even bleeding edge things in his shop to show off, and draw folks into the store.
But he knew he also needed to support his family, and so specialized in the latest “fish finding” technology since 90% of Greenland’s exports is from the fishing industry. But he also stocked the latest computers, and factory control units, some “ladder logic,” and other quite highly advanced technologies. The day he got a call from the Air authority about airport equipment changed things as well. His early entry into this seemingly “iffy” niche proved to lead to much success. He gambled big and won big, getting well established before others could mount any serious competition. Some who tried wound up buying much of their product from him anyway since his supply lines were so efficient and complete. Also worthy of mention were his delivery channels which they could not soon rival. Add to that his one patent. The “Somoheme” (SOund/MOtion/HEat/MEtal). Targeting the hunting market, Erik combined sound, movement and heat detectors to assist in locating prey. When the reception was lackluster at the start, he added metal detection circuitry so the explorer in many of his customers would be intrigued. That was enough to get things moving a bit, but the big gain came with his “Version 2.0”. It put much more control in the hands of the user by allowing the sensitivity of each sensory area to be adjusted separately. As he had expected, his clientele boasted about the effectiveness of their favorite settings. V2.0 was also much more sensitive in all areas.
Some purchasers were guides that would be hired to take wealthy hunters to promising areas. When they saw the device, many wanted their own.
And so the family that had moments when they thought they might lose their house, eventually lost their mortgage, paying it off early. They were also able to assist Erik’s younger brother Jorgen in moving to Canada to accept a job offer. He would be working with a company that was involved in research and exploration in Greenland.
This arrangement was a benefit to Tim as well, as part of the agreement was that Tim’s uncle Jorgen would provide a place for Tim to live during his education there. Erik also gained a depot in Canada that improved his ability to respond more quickly to certain requests by his clients.
The final blessing came just a year before Tim’s departure for his education in Canada. His Uncle Jorgen married the daughter of the employer who had brought him to Canada. This employer was involved in research and exploration in Greenland. His resources included a satellite that provided real-time images of parts of Greenland. Erik was given access to the image feed for a sum that, though substantial, was small when compared to its market value.
Of course, V3 of “Somoheme” had a screen, and enough computer hardware to link to the satellite image (for a subscription price of course.) As Tim left for school, his dad was working on V4. It was to have enhanced detection of metals, and rare-earth minerals. The search for these was gaining momentum on Greenland.
To Uncle Jorgen’s
Toronto, what a sight! Tim was familiar with Nuuk, struggling toward a population of 17,000, but to be flying in over the city of easily 2.6 million, wow! And this city was at the heart of what they called the GTA, (Greater Toronto Area), weighing in at over 6 million!
From the air the limits of the city and the start of the GTA were indiscernible. Well, somewhere down there was his new home, just on the edge of the “GTA” with Uncle Jorgen. Jorgen lived on a country property on the edge of a small town not far from Toronto. The transit from his new home to school might not be the best in the world, but it was pretty close. If he got a car, he could drive to the “GO” train station (GO, for Government of Ontario, his new province in Canada). If not, he would take a GO bus to the Train station, and the train from there.
The gentle glide toward the airport gave way to the powerful sound of the engines reversing which caused a slight shaking of the airframe as the plane slowed for landing. “We are beginning our approach…” Tim tuned out, looking out the window at his new country, province, city, residence.
He didn’t smell rubber, but he sure heard it as the tonnage of the aircraft atop the landing gear forced the stationary wheels down onto the runway at 250 km/h. And again the engines roared with one final burst of life, forcing their will upon the massive airframe with undeniable authority, then fading into the background of the air supply overhead as the plane taxied to the terminal. Tim had been on some short flights in some smaller aircraft, but nothing like this. And the airport; massive! But the instructions of some seasoned flyer’s proved right on. He just followed the rest of the crowd emerging from his plane and was soon at the proper baggage claim area. There were some familiar sights. He remembered his father sourcing, supplying, and even assisting in the installation of similar airport equipment. But no time to reminisce, his uncle would be waiting. He picked up his luggage. His prize possessions were in there.
His laptop for one; not the latest but close. His software, however, was cutting edge. He was anxious to get into some newly acquired programs ASAP.
He walked and walked. Moving on tiles, on people conveyors, through customs and security. Then finally as the fatigue of the journey began to assert itself, he saw the sign his uncle was holding. “Tim Jakobsen.” It was somewhat surreal as he followed his uncle to the car, and watched the road signs go by for the next hour before they pulled into the driveway of his new “home away from home.”
“I’ll show you your new pad, and you can rest for a while. We will have some supper at 6:00. Would you like to join us?” Though unsure, the right thing seemed to come out of his fatigued fog “yes please.”
The room they had prepared for Tim was clean, and pleasant, if somewhat sparse at the moment. But with his things spread around, it would be just right.
When the last of his luggage was unpacked and stowed, his laptop at the ready on a small desk, and the DVD’s of some new software spread beside it; he laid down on the bed to rest for a moment. It had taken half an hour to unpack, and he was surprised to hear Jorgen’s voice at the door as he woke and caught the tail end of an invitation to supper. But the small sleep had energized him, and he sprang from the bed to get the niceties out of the way so he could begin loading and testing his new software. His ambition shifted however as he enjoyed time with his aunt and uncle, and saw how much they had put themselves out and done for him. The software would wait; family first, and all that. After some pleasant reminiscing, at about 8:00 PM,(his body-clock telling him it was 10:00 PM), he turned in for the night. He had been at the Airport for 8:00 AM and lifted off at about 9:50 AM. The flight was just over 5 hours, and then the hour-long drive to Jorgen’s place followed. He hesitated by the desk but wound up on the bed in the end.