Thursday, November 30, 2006

Icy designs

At first it looks like an aerial view of the craggy icefields on the north side of Baffin Island. Then you see the edge of the nickel on the left side of the picture. It was just some interesting ice cystal patterns I saw on a creek when I went for a walk at lunchtime. It was cold too. Time to dig out my scarf and mitts eh.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Celebrating life

I was so pleased to receive a note from Cape Breton today about our late Uncle Rannie, who died in August. Rannie was the subject of an interesting news article examining the idea of church funeral ceremonies. It was comforting to note that despite the sense of sadness and loss, Rannie’s funeral was seen as a celebration of life. Indeed, Rannie Gillis was a celebration of life in his own way. Read the article. The last two paragraphs are excellent.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cool Morning

I was on the road for a couple of days this week. I got up early Tuesday for a brisk walk along the western shore of Lake Temiskaming to watch the sun come up. It was about minus five degrees, but it was a nice start to the day.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Good Saturday morning!

It was a good idea NOT to buy groceries on Friday night. On Saturday mornings, I like a leisurely breakfast…but I’ve been too busy to buy groceries. So I opened the fridge … Woohoo. Chocolate Pie! Yum. Yum. What a great way to start the day. And Jenn called too… she’s back from Jamaica, full of stories and excitement. I spent a few minutes on the phone with my grandsons who were all excited because Santa Claus is in the parade in Sudbury today.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boots in the oven.

No, I am not having sole for supper! I was chatting awhile back with a friend about the best way to treat winter boots for salt and slush. I normally use Dubbin. My friend, Bryan Pacello from Spanish, says "put 'em in the oven before you put the Dubbin on..." He says its better to work on warm boots. I figure Bryan knows a bit about these things... for about 20 years he has been running snowmobile and ATV wilderness tours. He spends a lot of time in the bush. So yes, I put my Sorels in the oven like he said. It will either work very well... or that b*stard Bryan is laughing his ass off at me! ha ha ha.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rebate Rant

I don't like rebates. Especially when you're asked to mail in your rebate. The stores make you pay tax on the full price... but the rebates don't give you the tax back. So I don't do the rebate thing. I let store managers know my feelings too. I tell 'em I would likely buy the product if they give me the rebate right away... and they can send in the coupon. But few do that. Be careful too... if they give you the so-called instant rebate at the cash register, make sure you're not paying taxes on the higher price. I think if more people speak out, the rebate thing may go away. Just so you know I got a new laptop recently. There was a mail-in rebate coupon attached to it. I told the guy, "hey I will buy that right now... if you send it the rebate". Sure enough... he gave me the discount right then and there. So sometimes it pays to speak up.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Glen makes the news.

I received a nice email this morning from one of my Cape Breton cousins. It seems he was featured on the CBC website today on a story about Remembrance Day observances in Afghanistan. The good looking fellow in the photo is Major Glen MacNeil, Task Force Afghanistan, Operation ARCHER ... my young cousin Glen from Grand Mira.

A good day in Canada

A good day in Canada. A good day in Timmins. Literally hundreds of Timmins citizens attended Remembrance Day ceremonies this morning. It was nice to show support and gratitude for the old veterans and the men and women of the Legion. As they marched to Hollinger Park, people on the street began applauding. It was nice. It was cold and blustery. Right after the ceremony, everyone scrambled for the Tim Horton's across the street. As I stood in line, I thought, Thank Goodness I am a Canadian.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A few minutes to Remember...

Here’s a challenge. Tomorrow is Saturday, a day off for most of us. So let’s make the effort to observe Remembrance Day. Where ever you are, get out of the house for the 20 to 30 minutes it takes to drop by the local Legion or war memorial. Throughout the entire year, I think it’s worth 30 minutes to say thanks for freedom. I know in Timmins, there will be a ceremony by the Cenotaph at Hollinger Park starting at about 10:45 AM. See you there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Where were you the day the wall came down?

I remember it vividly... Watching CNN. November 9, 1989. The reporters couldn't believe what they were saying. The Berlin Wall , the infamous Iron Curtain, was crumbling. It happened with the fall of communist East Germany. Thousands of citizens approached the wall. The guards let them through. Suddenly people were dancing atop the wall.Others smashed away at it with sledgehammers. The next morning I tracked down a colleague, CBC reporter Colleen Thorpe, a Sudbury girl, who was working in Berlin. I told her I had one request- Get over to the wall and grab a piece of it for me. And so I keep my own little bit of history in a filing cabinet. It's a nice remembrance that even concrete will crumble when the people get fed up with being pushed around.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I am a day early for Ron's b'day!!! Too funny. Oh well. Maybe he's so old that he needs a reminder!

Happy Birthday Bro ... it's the big Five-Oh!

Yep... my favorite little brother Ronald was born on this day in 1956 at RCAF fighter base Marville, France. He's the army guy. He was so ugly when he came home from the hospital that we had to sprinkle Bacon Bits on him just so the dog would play with him. ha ha ha. Just Kidding. He actually became the "good looking" brother. He's got a fabulous wife and family. So happy day bro, wherever you are.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Get A Poppy

This is poppy week in Canada. You can buy a poppy anywhere. It's a small price to pay for our freedom and democracy here in Canada. I think I am a bit passionate about this. My Dad was in the armed forces. When I was a child, I didn't appreciate it, but we lived in Europe and visited the Canadian war cemeteries ... and yes, the poppies grow there. My big brother and I played in destroyed war bunkers. (Hey we were kids, what did we know?) We saw bones and skulls and other weird things. Soldiers with machine guns were stationed on street corners. It was only when we got back to Canada did we understand what "normal" was. I was at school one morning on November 11th in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba when we were introduced to guy in a wheelchair. He had no legs; just stumps. It happened when he went to Europe to fight the Nazis. Suddenly the poppy thing made sense to me. We cannot forget. I got my poppy. You get yours. (jeez do I always squint like that?)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Morning. Refreshing.

Listening to Michael Enwright on CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning program while enjoying a pot of tea is a good ritual. Enwright is likely CBC’s best interviewer. He’s not flashy or splashy. He asks hard, questions that make you think. And despite pressure from all sides, he’s not political, doesn’t have an axe to grind and doesn’t give a sh*t for the politically correct interest groups or the CBC Bureaucrats. How refreshing. Best of all, he plays great jazz.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another great movie.

Movies don’t often leave me inspired. It happened when I watched the film The World’s Fastest Indian. Anthony Hopkins is outstanding in the lead role depicting the true life feats of Burt Munro. I laughed, I howled, hooted, cheered and stamped my feet. The strength and kindness of human spirit always amazes me. This is a great movie. Get it, rent it, buy it, see it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New store

Timmins finally has a Home Depot store. I dropped in after work. It's huge. I've never been to a Home Depot before. Everything is there. No need to hang around waiting for products that are in the flyer but not on the shelf. Service was good. I was impressed. I will be spending less time at the "tire" store.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rubber boot bride

I was cleaning out some photo files from this spring, when i found this one. Jennifer sure looked dazzling last week, but this was a shot from camp on Easter weekend, just before she jumped on the ATV to go riding. What a glamour shot! Woohoo. I figure it kinda fits for the day after Halloween. Gotta love those rubber boots. Too funny. Oh well, she's still my favorite daughter eh!