Monday, May 29, 2006

Adventure and bugs!

The Canadian Adventure racers are off and racing. Timmins is hosting the first ever Canadian chmpionships for adventure racing. This is day two of the race and already the trekkers have noticed the bugs and black flies. I think I can empathize. I was out for a quick paddle on Kraft Creek last night and the bugs were just ferocious!!! I got bit on the arms, my neck, my feet and even up my pant leg! Oh well. At least I got to jump in the truck and drive away. The poor racers can't do that. For updates on their progress, check out their website.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I finally gone and done it eh.

After years of borrowing and renting and thinking and wishing, I finally bought a canoe. How Canadian eh. It's red too. Of course I only got it 'cause it was on sale at Canadian Tire. But once I picked it up... I suddenly realized, this thing is a money drain. First I had to buy the thingys you use to tie it on to the roof rack on the truck. Then I had to buy a life jacket. Now I also have to go out and buy paddles. Oh well, I guess its cheaper than uh... hmmmm... will have to think.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Adventure Racing goes wild.

Timmins and James Bay Frontier will be in the spotlight in the coming week as the National Adventure Racing Championships come this way. Nearly 20 teams will be cycling, running and canoeing through some of the most difficult terrain in North America in a four day struggle to the finish line. I have seen the race course ('s a secret!) and it creates a whole new meaning for the word Challenge! Interestingly, Les Stroud, the fellow known as "Survivorman" has entered the race as well. Timmins will be the home base for race organizers, but the race itself will be spread out over a vast area of the northern boreal forest. I was out in the bush last night and the mosquitoes and black flies were getting into tiny little fist fights over who had the rights to chew on my arms, legs, neck and ears! (just kidding there).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

May Run ... mostly rain

Well the May long weekend is finally here in Timmins. And everyone celebrates the official end of winter by heading out to the bush to a weekend a rest and relaxation and a few brew. But hey wouldn't ya know it... Rain, rain, rain. Oh well, it wouldn't be May Run if it was easy. I hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mine Rescue

It's hard to describe how good it felt to hear that two gold miners in Australia were rescued this week after being trapped underground for nearly two weeks. Unfortunately, a third miner died. But it says a lot for the persistence of the mine rescue teams in Australia. My ears always perk up when I hear news of a mining disaster somewhere in the world. Some years ago, I was a mine rescue man in Timmins. At the Kidd Creek mine, the orange hardhat marked you as mine rescue. I still have mine. By law, each level had to have two guys. I was lucky enough to be trained by Joe McInnis. I enjoyed the work. I was with a great bunch of guys.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Name the birdie!

Please, name the bird. Uhh... i don't mean like Joe or Suzie... I mean, tell what kind of bird this is. I don't know enough about bird watching. But I do like to shoot a picture or two. This little guy sat on a stick long enough for me to snap his photo. I told a friend over the phone that it had a long skinny beak and skinny legs. He said, hey that sounds like my wife! Ha ha ha... so if you know what kind of bird this is, drop a line in the comment box.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Census... count me in.

Woohoo... the feds have done something right. I just filled out my 2006 census form ONLINE. What a good idea. I normally hate filling out government forms, but this was so easy. I logged on to and filled it out and was done in about 9 minutes and 47 seconds... but who's counting eh.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Funeral Homes

A friend in the city once told me he had been to a funeral home maybe three or four times in his whole life. He said it didn't seem that city people went to a lot of funerals. I had to go twice this week. Well, I didn't HAVE to go. But in a small town, it's what you do to let your friends and neighbors know you care. Sometimes you go to pay respects to one family and then you meet another family at the funeral home. You say, heyyyy I knew that guy too! So you get to pay respects to two families. It's never a happy thing. But you get to say hi to people you haven't seen in awhile, to quietly acknowledge the loss and then you smile and take a moment to say how are you, how are you doing, stay well eh. It's a strange ritual. But it's comforting. I am glad to live here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The bears are back.

Black bears are back in town. There's no easy answer to this issue. It's not just Timmins. It's happening everywhere in Northern Ontario. Yesterday, a black bear attacked a teenaged boy in Sudbury. Last year, a woman camping near Chapleau was attacked and killed. The province banned the spring bear hunt five years ago, because people in Toronto didn't like hearing about orphaned bear cubs. Here in the North, the bears are everywhere. The picture shows a black bear shot by police near my neighborhood last year. It was about 7:30 in the morning. You can see the neighbors standing around in their pyjamas. The cop was not happy at having to kill the bear. There's a school bus passing. A hungry bear doesn't care where it gets food ... even if it sniffs a baloney sandwich in a kid's backpack. Some people say the bears are just behaving normally, and we the people are infringing on its territory. The province says the public is to blame for having things like barbecues, bird feeders and garbage cans near their homes. The bears are learning that it's okay to go near humans. So what do you do? I predict the problem will get worse before it gets solved. Some little kid waiting for the schoolbus will get attacked. Maybe killed. The public will lash out.