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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

55 and counting

It's a good day. I forgot what day it was, but for some good reason I had chocolate cupcakes with my coffee this morning. I don't know why that happened, but I feel good now that I didn't just have cereal! Then at work, my calendar popped up on the screen to note that it was March 31. That's when I remembered today is my birthday. I used to think being middle-aged was old. Well I sure don't think like that now. I am old-ER, not old. Luckily I have some great friends who keep me young... or at least I can pretend eh. And when I turned my home computer on this afternoon I noticed I had several birthday messages on Facebook. I even got a note from one of my cousins who is traveling around North Africa, but was nice enough to drop a quick line. How cool is that?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dust to dust...

It’s Saturday morning and I dust. I should say I try to remove dust. It’s one of those house cleaning things I don’t like. So I took a cloth and ran it along the board that frames the top of my bedroom closet. I did this two weeks ago. I did it again this morning. Dust. Damn dust. Where the hell does it come from? Surely I don’t make that much dust. Somebody is sneaking in and putting dust in my house! That’s gotta be it! Whew! Now I feel better.

* * * *

I felt sad, and yet somehow heartened yesterday, when the body of slain soldier Trooper Jack Bouthillier arrived at the Timmins Airport and was being carried to his hometown of Hearst, a lumber and railway town not too far from here.
Hundreds and hundreds of Timmins residents stopped what they were doing on a Friday afternoon to line the roads and highways from the airport, all through the north end of the city and on the highway leaving town. They stood in honour of the dead soldier and held flags as the procession escorted by police and many of Bouthillier’s childhood friends moved slowly through Timmins. It was a thing of kindness. It was a thing of respect.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Medical research?

I have a bit of a cold today. It's annoying. I am going to blame the reporters from the other paper. On Monday I was at a city hall meeting and the reporter there had sniffles. On Tuesday I was at the press gallery in court and another reporter was there...and had sniffles. So last night, I was stuffed up and it continues today. I was reading recently that 16th century monks would deal with this by praying, singing and drinking copious amounts of wine. Sounds like good science to me!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bad news: My glorious I-Mac G5 finally crapped out yesterday. The monitor is fried and because the monitor and computer is all-in-one, I can’t use it. So I called company I.T. department in London, ON. They don’t have a solution either. I cannot even download all the current files because it requires a special cable.
Better news: I will be doing all my work on the Mac G4 laptop. Interestingly, despite its age, it always ran better than the G5. I spent Friday evening setting it up for work and everything appears to be running fine.
Best news. It’s Saturday morning. I made a half-decent pot of coffee and I am enjoying that with chocolate cupcakes! Yum. Too bad the boys aren’t here.
I guess I shouldn’t complain. The world is not a perfect place. Some people are poor. Some people go hungry. Some people go to war. Some people are in bad relationships and some people, sigh; have to use a McIntosh computer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring is on the way eh.

In just a few hours from now, it's gonna be spring again. It's always one of my favorite times of year. It'll be slushy and mucky for awhile, but then the trees will have new buds and the air will smell a bit fresher. Yep, it's gonna be nice. Of course, in Timmins we're always good for one major blizzard before spring really arrives. I hope it's not the long weekend in May!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Macs are so frustrating

Talk about embarrassing. A police officer showed up at the office today... they needed some of our news photos as evidence in a criminal case. So once we agreed on what photos we could share (just the one's we actually published) we were pleased to give him an electronic copy of the digital photos. So here's the problem... Macs only seem to work well one function at a time (they're just so useless!). So I wasn’t able to burn a copy on my Mac, which happens to be the newest one on the market. And the other Macs in the building were just as useless. The poor cop was as exasperated as I was… He has to keep a “chain of evidence” going from the point where he sees the photo to the point where he gets his own copy. This was important since each photo was stamped with the time and date and it establishes that certain persons were at a certain crime scene (I had no idea at the time who I was taking photos of!) Finally we found a computer in the classifieds office that was able to burn a fresh disc and get the photos handed over the policeman. If the bad guys get away, blame it on a Mac!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My cool new coffee machine.

It was several days ago I noticed my old coffee pot (Well, not THAT old -- maybe a year old) had a rust stain on the bottom. Then I noticed that the heating plate on the coffee maker was all rusty... and I clean the danged thing everyday! So I figured I would buy a new one. I was out at Wal Mart and was not impressed with the selection, or the prices. On Wednesday this past week, I checked out the Airmiles rewards page on the net... sure enough, there was a nice coffee pot for only 700 airmiles. Ooooh ... a Cuisinart with all the bells and whistles! So I ordered it. I got an e-mail back a minute later, saying that delivery would be about four weeks. No problem. Friday afternoon, I drove up the driveway and there sitting on my front step was a cardboard box with an Airmiles sticker on it. I was impressed. I had to read the instruction book because of all the stuff on it. There's even a charcoal filter to filter the tap water... for a better tasting cup of coffee. Oooooh, how cool is that?

Friday, March 13, 2009

My place on the planet

If you go to Google Earth and enter my address, this is what you find... my neighborhood. Actually I was cleaning out photo files today and I came across this one I shot last September. That is Blahey Court, in the north end of town, right beside the bush. I never thought we were so crowded! Maybe that's why the bears like to visit so much.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Anyone we know?

When you enjoy your morning tea and really read a newspaper through and through, you find all sorts of interesting things… such as a tiny personal classified ad from the New York Times. It seems there is an “alluring red head with model figure and beautiful legs” who is seeking an 80-year-old man. Hmmm… I think I have been around the mining business long enough to know a gold digger when I see one!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grapefruit....Mmmmm. Yum.

I have to confess it’s a good thing no one sees me eating breakfast … I have been enjoying grapefruit this week. I think I am on a grapefruit binge. I picked up a couple last weekend and they were just so juicy and sweet I just inhaled them… slurping and slushing grapefruit juice all over my face. Well, not that bad… but close! I cut them into four pieces and eat ‘em like orange wedges. That way you get all the juice. I bought four more today and had one before supper. It’s like I can’t get enough, they’re just so tasty.
Oh well, I’ll be over it next week … back to Quaker oats.

Monday, March 09, 2009

All the news thats fit to print ... and then some.

Aline snuck off to New York City for a few days and brought me a couple of fabulous souvenirs. One is the Sunday copy of the veritable New York Times.  The other is the Saturday night copy of the notorious New York Post. Talk about opposites eh. One will be pretty serious reading; the other is a scandal sheet.  Which is which depends on your point of view!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The quest for gold...

The annual prospector’s convention has just wrapped up in Toronto, and even though mining companies around the world are hurting, everyone is still talking about Timmins. That’s because the price of gold is as strong as ever. What’s even more interesting is that there are nearly 100 mining exploration companies active around Timmins… they’re the people looking for new gold mines. That makes Timmins the mining exploration capital of Canada… if not the world. No one seems to be able to name anyplace else where there is such a hunt for new gold. I know a few prospectors. They’re interesting people. One thing they keep saying is absolutely stunning… they say there’s been lots of gold mines in Timmins, but every one of them is convinced that the big one, the motherlode, has not yet been found. I can’t imagine how big a find that will be … I hope it happens in my lifetime.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cold weather and cobwebs

Well I have to write something of interest here … so today it’s cobwebs and cold weather. So I noticed a cobweb in the upper corner of the hallway downstairs. So where did that come from? I keep a clean house. I really do. Some of my friends think I am a clean freak. Anyway, I went on the attack with the vacuum cleaner and found five or six friggin cobwebs! Actually they’re not really cobwebs… because those are made by spiders. I don’t have spiders. What I have is dustwebs… very annoying. But now they’re gone. But from what I’ve read… they’ll be back.
And now cold weather. Okay I like winter. I do. But here in Timmins we’ve had quite the cold snap… and snow, more snow last month than we’ve had in years. For some reason today, I was daydreaming of nice sunny skies, warm temperatures and summer breezes. Oh well, two more months and spring will be here.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

It always happens.

An interesting story Saturday took me out to a remote bush area north of Timmins where Cree Indians- Canadian Rangers - were teaching bush skills to Canadian Forces infantry guys. Some of the fellows were reservists with the Algonquin Regiment. Sure enough one of the fellows asked me about my name and about a certain Sgt. Ronald Gillis. It always happens when I meet older Canadian Forces guys. Sgt. Rob Bartlett, the guy on the left, was based with Ron at Petawawa back in the days of 2-Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. They also served together on a peacekeeping mission in Cyprus. So Ron, if you see this, Rob says hi.