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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Roomie is a great cook

I have a roommate. Scott is staying at the house for a several weeks while he upgrades his electrician's papers at Northern College. The cool thing is that every now and then when I get home, there's food on the table. Today was one of those long days at work, but when I got home, woohoo, there was garlic-glazed ham, veggies and scalloped pototoes. This is all good.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hockey Night in Canada - in Westree

The family was all at Don and Denise’s camp in Westree for the Easter weekend. It was a great Canadian moment Saturday night when Don Alexander, Jennifer’s father-in-law, came back into the cottage just as the game was starting. Everyone was singing O Canada, so Don, despite being a good Newfoundlander, took off his ball cap like everyone and sang along. Then the fun began because that’s when Don noticed the entire Alexander family had put on Toronto Maple Leaf sweaters. Don is an Ottawa Senators fan and was ready to throw the entire family out in the snow. It was all good… especially since the Leafs did the unexpected. They won the game.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sun block

Who would have thunk it? It's still winter and I get a bit of sunburn! I was out on the ski trails last week,... no i wasn't skiing, i was snapping photos. I cannot ski. But anyway I was out on the snow in bright sunshine for about thirty minutes. And now I am red! And I am not blushing. What's worse is that the top of my head is red! My hair is thinning to the point that the sun burns my scalp. Gonna have to dig out the SPF lotion!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The pilot and the pantyhose!

Interesting news in Canadian aviation this week. Yeah I know I’m an airplane nut, but anyone who has lived in the North appreciates the de Havilland Twin Otter, one of the best airplanes of the 20th century. Well it’s so good that they’re going to start making them again. A Canadian company called Viking Air Ltd. plans to build another 200 planes over the next ten years. They used to make them at the plant on the Downsview air base where I lived as a kid.
One of my fave Twin Otter stories takes place some years ago when I was on a photo shoot with some fellas from Austin Airways. We landed on the ice for a refuelling stop at a place called Ivujivik, on the Hudson Strait just below Baffin Island. It was so goddamn cold I’ll never forget it. And we were still 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The pilot was worried that the fuel, stored inside a big rubber bladder, would be turned to jelly because of the cold. Luckily it wasn’t, but the windchill was seriously around minus 70! I’ll never forget how cold that felt. But because we were refuelling, everyone had to leave the plane. A group of Inuit villagers came out on the ice and boiled up some tea for us. (There is no Tim Horton’s in Ivujivik.) Then the pilot did the strangest thing. He pulled out a small package, and unwrapped it. It was women’s pantyhose! I didn’t know what to think until he explained that the nylon pantyhose was the best fuel filter you could use for bush flying. He said you don’t take chances when flying in the Arctic.
You may remember the Twin Otter from a famous news story from a few years ago. There was a women in Antarctica who desperately needed breast surgery as she was critically ill. The United States military, with all their power and might, tried TWICE to carry out a rescue using their biggest all-weather cargo planes. They couldn’t do it because of a howling winter storm.
But then a Canadian charter company, flying a simple Twin Otter, took off from Alberta and flew to the bottom of the world, landed on the ice on skis, picked up the dying woman and flew her safely back to a hospital in New Zealand where she was treated. How cool is that?!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

They'll let anybody in!

Well I guess it's true... they'll let anyone into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Well, they let me in.... that picture up there was three years ago and I had to pay $15 to get in. I was there the day U2 were named to the hall of fame. I was there. U2 wasn't! - - they were in New York. Who wants to go to Cleveland in March???
But I guess what I mean is now that they have inducted Madonna into the upper stratosphere of Rock and Roll royalty, it just sort of cheapens the place. Oh well, if you know me, you know I don't hold back on important things... like the R&R hall of fame. I still get goose bumps when I remember seeing John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for one his greatest songs: In My Life. I remember it from Grade 9. Slow dancing in the high school gym on Friday nights.
Amazing melody. Fantastic lyrics. And Lennon of course, was a genius.
There are places I'll remember
All my life,
though some have changed,
Some forever, not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living,
In my life I've loved them all.

But of all these friends and lovers,
There's no one compares with you,
And these mem'ries lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new.

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think about them,
In my life I'll love you more.

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think about them,
In my life I'll love you more.
...In my life I'll love you more.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Nova Scotia and Timmins

I found some interesting info this morning at the Timmins library, while researching history on Ontario Mine Rescue. It seems there was an incident at the old Moose River gold mine, south of Halifax, back in April of 1936. It wasn’t that big a deal except for the fact that CBC Radio was able to broadcast the emergency live across the country. Three men were trapped underground after a cave in. The public was enthralled for ten days as the rescue effort carried on (there was even a movie made!). That might be the reason that a team of hardrock mine rescue experts from Timmins was rushed all the way by train, seaplane and taxi to the mine site in Nova Scotia. It took a day and a half, which was pretty good by 1936 standards. The Timmins fellows crawled into the darkness and worked side by side with Dreagermen from Stellarton, NS to carry out the rescue, which took ten days! One of the fellows died, but not before Bill Hannigan from Timmins was able to write down the man's will as the man lay dying. Some story, eh?

Oh and here's another history tidbit for my CB Cousins. There's a well-known fellow who plays the fiddle in Cape Breton... goes by the name of Buddy MacMaster. Well, well... I saw the documents this morning. Buddy was born in Timmins. Yep, October 18, 1924, Hugh Allan MacMaster was born to Sadie (Sarah) MacMaster, listed as 'wife', and J.D. MacMaster, listed as 'miner', living at No. 14 Messines Ave., which was the Hollinger Mine townsite. Interesting.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

They like my photos!

Anyone who knows me well, knows I'm an airplane nut. I like planes. Always have. It's one of the reasons why I shoot as many aircraft photos that I can. I send them in to the JetPhotos website just for bragging rights. They're very fussy and very exacting. I send in tons of photos, but very few get accepted. This week they accepted two shots! Woohoo. To see them just click on my links over there on the right side of the page where it says My Plane Photos.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Snowshoes and chasing helicopters

I was out and about Saturday when I noticed a helicopter crew in the west end. So I went snooping to discover the crew setting up this helicopter for an electro-magnetic survey. It’s one of the things they use to find minerals – things like gold, copper, nickel – in the ground. The rig includes a massive transponder 50-feet wide that sends a signal into the ground and then the torpedo shaped receivers read what sort of metal is in the ground. These fellows were from Australia, Yellowknife and Mississauga. They said they were just testing their equipment. Hmmmmm. Well even if they weren’t “testing” they’re not likely to blab to a reporter where they are surveying. Mining exploration is big business and they’re very secretive. I had to put on the snowshoes to get close enough to some good shots. It was a nice day to be outside.