Tuesday, January 31, 2006

good news ~ bad news ~ good news

What a day! Good news. Well I finally beat the computer at Scrabble. I bought a new version of the game to test my skill. At first I was vexed. Indubitably. My fervor prevailed.
Bad news. Had to go to the dentist. I had an annoying molar. He extracted it. My mouth is sore. But Advil and Wiser's Deluxe ease the pain.
Good news. Got lots of nice emails today. More good news. Advil and whisky work.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Grrreat Weekend

What a great weekend in Timmins. It was all winter sports down at the lake and the weather was fabulous. The sun was shining. The temperatures were hovering around zero. And hundreds of people came out to enjoy. There was skating, pond hockey, X-country skiing, snow-shoe races hot dogs and hot chocolate. And of course the Tim Hortons on Park Road was packed all weekend. I even noticed some kids were using election signs to slide down the hill over by the hospital. It's nice to know the signs were good for something!

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Okay, it's one of my favorite poems.
The picture reminds me of the poem.
I got this picture just as the wind blew the snow from the tree tops.
But it wasn't evening. It was about 8:30 in the morning.
There's nothing like a quiet walk in the forest on a winter morning.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it's queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
~Robert Frost

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Herbie on Ice

This is one car that sure gets plenty of looks from travelers on the Trans Canada Highway just north of Kirkland Lake. Every year, the local fire department puts "Herbie" out on the ice of Lake Kenogami, beside Highway 11. Then they sell tickets that will let you predict when the ice melts in the spring. It's official when Herbie sinks to the bottom of the lake! I don't know how to get tickets, but my best advice is to see Mac at MacPherson's General Store and Esso in Kenogami. Tell him I said Hi! Nifty eh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good Radio eh.

I don't live in Kirkland Lake or New Liskeard, but I do enjoy their radio stations. I travel a lot and always tune into local radio. After years of working in broadcasting, I have to admit that CJKL 101.5 and CJTT 104.5 are two of the best local radio stations I've ever come across. I don't know how they've managed to survive with all these big media corporations hovering around, but they have. It's so enjoyable when I am driving along Highway 11 to tune in and find out what's going on. They have great announcers and great music. And it's not something that was canned in Toronto and shipped out via satellite to a repeater station. When something is good, you gotta tell people about it. So there. Woohoo... I'm ranting!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Happy Face

Bet you didn't know there was a natural Happy Face at the Timmins boardwalk. Well,there is and I have the only picture! ( i think) I mention that because we had a meeting tonight to discuss the idea of creating another boardwalk in Timmins. Cool Eh. It's just another great idea from Wintergreen, the organization that put up the first boardwalk at Gillies Lake. Yours truly is on the Wintergreen board. (no pun intended!) Anyway, you'll hear more about new project as spring approaches. In the meantime, try to find the Happy Face. Here's the picture. It should give you a pretty good hint of where to look.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Aunt Sadie's Apple Crisp

What a great recipe. Just made it. Two or three times a month, I make a dish of Aunt Sadie's Apple Crisp. It's the best dessert ever. When I was a kid, my dad's Aunt Sadie would stay with us. She always made apple crisp and we loved it. I still make it... and I eat it in the morning! For breakfast! It's great with coffee. Recipe: Peel and chop up six apples. Put 'em in the dish. Mix up 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of quaker oats and a half cup of butter or margerine. Sprinkle it over the apples. Bake it at 325 for 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tourist Joke!

Two Toronto people are driving their RV through Northern Ontario, when they see a sign. KAPUSKASING. The man turns to his wife and asks if she can pronounce it. They say “Kah-POOS-kah-sing?” They try “Kappis-kah-SING” They just can’t figure it out.
Moments later, they pull off the road for a coffee. At the counter the man says to the waitress, “Can you tell us where we are… and say it real slowly, so we can understand”.
The waitress looks puzzled for a minute, then slowly she says “ Timmmmm Horrrrrtons”

Fussy me!

So I don't like poor writing. I think it's because I was an editor once. I am reading a Tom Clancy novel. The Teeth of the Tiger. Chapter 11, first paragraph, first sentence. The sun rose promptly at dawn.
Well Duhhhh...! No kidding Tom. When did you expect it to rise, at Noon? or at Dusk? Dawn is when the sun always rises. LOL Is it me?? I am being too critical here?? I know Tom is a million-seller... but I think he needs a new editor.

My Cameras

You may have noticed I am a bit of a photo nut. I have been that way since I left journalism school some years ago. News Photography was a mandatory course. This was in the days before cell phone cams, before digital cams and even before video cameras! There has always been something fun about capturing a moment by snapping a picture. I say this even though I worked in television for many years. Nothing fascinates me more than a really good still photograph. A lot of people feel that way. I have to give my Dad some credit. He was an avid shooter for years. He had a fantastic little Braun Super Paxette 35MM range finder camera he bought in Germany. The optics were amazing and Dad shot hundreds and hundreds of slides. He let me use that Braun until I was able to buy my own 35MM, a used Miranda SLR. I used it plenty in my first journalism job, when I covered college sports for the North Bay Nugget. When I moved to Timmins I got my first ever bank loan at the CIBC. I ran over to Royal Studio on Balsam Street and bought a brand new Nikkormat, with a venerable Nikkor lens for $425. That was a lot of money in 1974. I was finally in the big leagues with a pro press camera. It meant as much to me as a Fender Stratocaster guitar to Jimi Hendrix. I can’t remember how many hundreds of rolls of film passed through that camera in the pursuit of news stories – forest fires, floods, blizzards, car accidents, river rescues, mine disasters. I know I was shooting roughly three rolls of film each day for The Daily Press. Film was cheap. We used Kodak Tri-X. As much as I loved that Nikkormat, I really had my eye on another camera. Every time I opened LIFE magazine, there it was. The NIKON Photomic. Every time LIFE featured one of its photographers, there was a NIKON hanging around his neck.. I drooled. It was then the world’s fastest camera with a shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second. It had special lubricants that wouldn’t freeze up in sub zero temperatures causing the film to break. It was late fall in 1975 when I walked into the Canadian Camera Centre at The 101 Mall. Orest Lawryniw, the proprietor, was there with a grin on his face. There was only one Nikon for sale in Timmins and there it was in the glass case. For several days I admired it. Then I figured what the heck, it’s only money. I bought it. The price was $1,250. The Auto Nikkor lens was another $240. I really couldn’t afford it, so I laid off on beer and cigarettes for awhile. That camera saw lots of action. Over the years I shot pictures for the front pages of The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. I also sold plenty of pictures to Canadian Press, Reuters and United Press International, all with stories from Northern Ontario. And now I have a brand new camera and so my interest in photography has been revived! It’s a beauty. It’s one of those new digital cameras. I tried a small one for a couple of years before I was convinced it was as good as, if not better than, film cameras. I did my research and fretted a bit, but had to settle on the reputation and reliability of NIKON. So I am the proud owner of a new D50, so expect to see plenty of images in here from now on.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Squirrel Thieves!!

So how do ya keep squirrels from raiding the bird feeder... and without shooting them to all to hell with the shotgun? : ) Any suggestions? I catch these little buggers everytime... I snuck up on this little goober and when my digital camera made a tiny "beep" noise, he looked right at me! Gotcha! Is that a guilty look or what? I am gonna bring some extra seeds and put 'em on the ground, hopefully so these guys won't steal all the bird seeds.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Latchford Bridge

So, do you remember three years ago this week? Jan. 14th, 2003, the deck on the Latchford Bridge collapsed moments after a tractor trailer went across! -- it shut down the Trans-Canada Highway for several days until they could install a temporary bridge. It took more than two years to repair the bridge, which is now 45 years old. I drove over this morning, and snapped a new picture, just as a tractor trailer was crossing it. The Ontario Government says the bridge is safe again. Hey you don't have to believe me, you can read the report: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/engineering/cosens/index.html#3

14 minutes

I was out of town today. Had to go to a meeting in Cobalt, three hours south of Timmins. Got back home just before supper... and remembered that today was Advanced Polling day. So I grabbed the election card and zipped out of the house. I went downtown, voted and got back home. It took 14 minutes.
Thank goodness for Canada, eh. Some people in the world travel for days and endure great hardship for the right to vote. It's too easy to take it for granted. Voting day is Jan. 23rd. I hope you can find 14 minutes.

By the way, Cobalt Rocks! Check the website: www.cobaltrocks.com

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My Favourite Sister

Happy Birthday Debra Anne! Of course I am not gonna say Deb’s age, but she was born on this day in the small town of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. We lived there because Dad was RCAF and there was an air force base there. That was a few years back, back when people knew what RCAF was. Deb is in the picture, the one on the right. I figure I can show it because that’s what big brother’s do… play jokes on their little sister. Deb is not quite old enough to be a boomer. But not quite young enough to be Generation X. Debra is now a grown up, a teacher, a wife, a mom and a great sister. True to our air force upbringing, our family is spread to the four winds, but Deb is the one who keeps us thinking about each other. Unfortunately, she lives in southern Ontario somewhere on the fringes of the highway 401, within a whiff of Toronto ( cough, cough).

Fire in Timmins

Big fire in the downtown area last night. Started sometime around 1 AM. Firefighters were out all night in freezing cold temperatures. Three businesses on Third Avenue lost. Big mess downtown with ice everywhere. I guess the good thing is that no one was injured. That's what I hear.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pictures & Stuff

Myself and my son Neil having a beer. And a shot of the fat little red squirrel I call Buddha. I bring him seeds and nuts on my regular hikes into the forest. I'm not sure if it's him everytime I stop at his tree. But it's fun to watch him stuff himself.

Welcome to My BLOG eh...

This is it... my first ever blog entry. Okay, so I lie. Actually this is the second or third because i tried to get fancy on another one a little while ago and lost it all! Oh Darn.
I was lucky to take part in a workshop this week on how to optimize use of the Net. Blogging was one of the suggestions. So here we are and i am happy to have this web log to tell the world about why I am lucky to live in Northern Ontario. I have to remember NOT to leave this page until I am finished writing the entry and ready to publish. Otherwise I might lose it.

So I am blessed with a great family and a fabulous circle of friends and acquaintances. So hello to my kids Jennifer and Neil... and to Jenn's kids, my grandsons, Tyler and Nathan. Here's a pic of Jenn's family, with Nathan, Tyler and her better half, Scott. Hi Scott!

I am lucky to have a great job as marketing director of James Bay Frontier travel association. I live in Timmins, ON, which is a world class mining city located about eight hours north of Toronto. Among other things, Timmins is known as the home of a well known crooner named Shania. And yes, everyone in Timmins knows Shania and she sends Christmas cards to every one us ... every year ;) Yeahhhhh, right.
I am an avid photographer, so be prepared to see lots of weird and wonderful pictures up here. My newest hobby is shooting and posting aircraft photos to an interest website that specializes in Aircraft of the World.They have lots of photos from places around the globe... So I figure it's now my mission in life to make sure northern ontario is represented. That's it for today.