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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good Things

This has been a good week. It's nice to think about good things that happen.
GOOD - I have been trying to find time for an oil change on the truck for about two weeks. I have been too busy lately. Today I finally decided to give up some time and get it done. I figured I'd be waiting in the shop for at least an hour. On the way to Canadian Tire, I spotted Just Lubes on Algonquin East. I pulled up and before I turned off the truck, the kid in the coveralls was opening the bay door and waving me forward. I drove in, they changed the oil, topped up all the fluids. I was back out on the street in about 12 minutes. When things are that good, you gotta tell people.
BETTER - Two summers back I was putting the canoe in the river, when i slipped in the mud and right into the water. That wasn't so bad, except my nice little Sony digital camera got soaked and stopped working right there. So i put the camera away, figuring I could at least use the memory card someday. This week i was cleaning out my office, saw the camera and got ready to toss it in the garbage. For some reason I put a couple of fresh batteries in it... and there ya go, It works! I could hardly believe it. But yep, I did some test shots and it's just fine.
BEST - Jenn called up this week to tell me that she and the boys (yes, that includes her darling hubby Scott) are coming to Timmins for Christmas! Woohoo. Things don't get much better eh.
I also got a call from Neil this week. Actually i called him after he left a message saying "hey old man, call me". I haven't stopped laughing about that one... who the hell does he think he is, calling me an old man...? : )

And I saw something nice today... it's on my News Blog. I was at a house fire and snapped a nice photo of a dog that got rescued. Take a look here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sissy truck

I don’t get it. If you’re going to own a truck, get a truck. I parked downtown yesterday and discovered I was next to the strangest truck I ever saw … It was called an Escalade, made by Cadillac. Trucks are for the bush. But obviously not this one. It’s equipped with 22-inch chrome-plated tire rims. Aren't they just lovely.
It’s like if you need work boots, you get work boots. Don’t substitute them with patent leather dancing shoes. Hmmm… maybe it’s envy. But I don’t imagine the person who owns this Cadillac will be hauling lumber, or throwing the snowmobile in the back and heading off down a logging road for the weekend. And taking the kids to the dump to see the bears is definitely not likely.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nov. 22... i won't forget it.

I guess it's because I am part of that generation that grew up in the sixties. I do indeed remember the day(Nov. 22, 1963), sitting in school, when the voice came over the PA annoucing "President Kennedy has been shot". Because ours was a Catholic School and because Kennedy was a good Boston Catholic, well that was just enough reason for the nuns to inflict another kneecap-bustin' round of the Rosary on us. I remember thinking "jeezus... sure hope the friggin pope doesn't die..." And the prayers would drone on, and I don't know if anyone else did, but I would drift off... Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come... coming down the ice with a rebound off the boards. Brewer passes. Armstrong's got the puck! Beliveau tries to catch him. It's a pass. Shack! Eddy Shack is crossing the red line and crowd here at the Gardens is on its feet..... I wonder if the nuns ever caught on why I liked to close my eyes and smile during prayers.
Anyway, the Kennedy killing still fascinates me... and a lot of others too I suppose. Well known lawyer and author Vincent Bugliose has written a book -- called Reclaiming History:The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It always gets noticed this time of year. This is supposed to be the final word on the shooting. Bugliosi is not to be taken lightly. He is the same lawyer that put away Charlie Manson for the Tate/Labianca murders (another 60s thing). Apparently he has spent more than 20 years researching the book and has come to some startling conclusions. I can't wait to get a copy. Of course, they're all being snatched up right now for Christmas gifts... I will probably have to wait awhile.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I stink.

Whenever I rush out to a fire scene, I usually get in close to snap some photos. It's always smokey. When I come back to the newsroom, I suddenly notice I have that smell of burnt, wet garbage all around. I am gonna have to hang my coat outside a bit when I get home tonight. Come to think of it, I will have to roll down the windows in the truck for a while too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jesus, it's the last bottle of wine!

I know, I know... it sounds like something Mary said at the Wedding At Cana. Actually it's what I said this week when I pulled out this bottle of red wine Jenn dropped off this summer. I think this is the last bottle from the batch she made for her wedding, just over a year ago. For a moment, I felt bad about opening it. Then I figured, Ha! She'll never know! ( if you click on the pic you can enjoy the nice label)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Good music

I heard a preview today of one of Canada's best female singers. Anne Murray has a new album coming out tomorrow called Duets - Friends & Legends. It features her singing some of her best songs accompanied by some pretty amazing artists, all women. Listen for K.D. Lang, Carole King, Martina McBride, Celine Dion amd Emmylou Harris, Of course I was pleased to see that Shania is included. For real serious music fans, the album was produced by the amazing award-winning Phil Ramone.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Well it's about time eh?

Just got off the phone with Jennifer, and I am laughing because I have finally reached the age where my kids give me hell. And I have to listen, because they're not kids anymore. They're grown up and they make sense.
Jenn was peeved because I hadn't phoned in a couple of weeks and what's worse, I haven't added anything to this blog! She had no way of knowing that Dad was okay. She suggested I might just as well have fallen off the face of the planet.
I told Jenn it has been a busy time, and I never realized that a month had passed since my last entry. By the way, the apple crisp I made that day was amazing. I had thoughts of sharing it with the gang at work... but once I tasted it, I said to hell with 'em... I kept it at home for me!
I told Jenn that maybe there was not enough going on in my life right now to justify writing anything, but I know that's just an excuse... especially since I am a writer.
Well the rec room is certainly warmer thanks to all the new insulation. I noticed that right away. Winter has arrived in Timmins. We got a good dumping of snow a week ago and it's here to stay. I was too lazy to put away the canoe, so I am going to wrap in in a tarp and leave on the deck in the back.
Work is keeping me extra busy, but that's okay since I enjoy it so much. Working on a small town weekly newspaper is more fun than i expected. Part of the reason is that I am "the old guy" in the local media. The good part of that is that everyone in town knows me and tells me the good stuff. People call me at home and stop me on the street to whisper all sorts of interesting news. I did a story on a city housing bylaw that city council was pushing through rather quickly. None of the other media outlets clued in on it. Once the public found out all the nitty-gritty stuff in the bylaw, they got upset. There were petitions, letters to the editor and council has had to rewrite the bylaw three times to get it passed.
A local mining company planned to do some drilling near some neighborhoods. So we did a story... put in the front page, and once again, people got riled up. So there have been a few public meetings and the mining company is treading lightly.
It's kind of fun, but it's also part of being a local paper to keep tabs on things.
I can't get over the value of the Canadian dollar these days. It's great to see. I once told my Dad, "tory times are good times"... i think he choked on his tea.
Oh, by the way, I am sipping a new whisky these days. It's called Forty Creek, its made in Ontario I think it's one of the best new Canadian whiskies anywhere. Apparently it has won all kinds of awards. I am not a whisky snob at all, but this stuff is smooth and tasty. Keep your Crown Royal and Gibsons... try this stuff.
Today was interesting. Our local member of parliament, Charlie Angus, did something innovative. He held a passport clinic at the shopping centre. Nearly 500 people showed up. Living in Timmins, we don't always benefit from efficient government services. It was nice to see some action from the MP.
I called Gary last week and he is doing well. He says the weather in Mira is still good and he gets a bit of work every now and then with a fella who lives "down the road". The best part, according to Gary, is that the man's wife is such a good cook... so good that Gary doesn't complain when she puts onions in her cooking. That's a change, when we were kids, Gary hated onions.
Finally I forgot to say happy birthday on Friday to one of my favorite Canadian Forces veterans, my brother Ronald. Happy Birthday Brother.
Well it's Saturday night, so i am going to grab a book, a glass of Forty Creek and listen to CBC Radio, which has amazing program with Randy Bachman, called Vinyl Tap. Check it out. It's good radio.
Finally, tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Canada. Don't sit around. Get a poppy and get out to whatever services or cermonies are going on. Show your support for your fellow Canadians past and present. Next time you're at Tim's, buy a cup of coffee for one of the vets you see there all the time.