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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Day Neil Michael Gillis!

Woohoo. The young man is 29 today. Pretty soon I am gonna have call him Mister Gillis! Keep smiling Neil.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It is sad to hear that General Motors is phasing out the Pontiac line. I always had a fondness for Pontiacs because my Dad liked them. He bought his first new Pontiac in 1965. It was the same year Uncle Rannie took the train to Toronto and he bought one too. I remember the first time I drove a car on a public road was my Dad’s new ’66 Pontiac Laurentian (above). We were living in Toronto and got hit with a snowstorm. Dad didn’t take the car to work but called the base to be picked up in a staff car. He told me to move the car and shovel the driveway. Yes sir! So I shovelled like crazy and when the time came to move the car, I didn’t merely move it to another part of the PMQ parking lot. I decided to take the long way around. I drove the car out of the parking lot and around a few streets and then back onto Sheppard Avenue. I was 12 years old. I could barely see over the dash and reach the gas and brake pedals at the same time. It was a hoot. People kept staring, but I just kept driving. I got back to our neighbourhood and parked beside the road. When Dad got home I could tell by his look he was wondering how the hell I got the car out of the parking lot and onto the road. He didn’t ask. I didn’t tell. A few years after that, I was thrilled because Dad bought another Pontiac… a sleek new ’69 Parisienne, which was the Canadian version of the classic Bonneville (below). This was the car I drove all through high school. Cool or what?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Maybe it's spring... maybe

I've started putting away my winter clothes. I have this funny feeling that this might somehow cause a turn in the weather. It has been nice weather all week. The snow is melting on the lawn. There's still about two feet of snow there, but it's going away fast. I wouldn't be surprised if we had one final winter storm. It has happened before. A few years back, I think it was 2001 or 2002 we had a late cold snap and there was ice on the lakes for the May 24 weekend. The river is open but there is still ice on many of the local lakes. Oh well. Back to putting the clothes away... I am also bagging up any winter clothes I did NOT wear this winter. Those go to the Salvation Army store.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food stuff

Monday morning was a good start to the week. There was a communion celebration in Aline's family on the weekend and somehow a nice piece of cake ended up in my fridge on Monday morning. It was a nice breakfast.
While on the topic of good food, I have to confess that rice pudding is a really nice desert, and very easy to make. Here's a tip: Uncle Ben's makes great rice. But don't buy the bag of rice that is pre-flavoured with garlic. It just doesn't jive with rice pudding.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Melissa heads west

In my rush to write Sunday, I forgot to mention that we all had a nice little get-together last week at Casey's. Melissa, Ray and Diane's youngest daughter, is moving back out west. She'll be living the good life working at a golf resort in Victoria. We are going to miss her, but I have a feeling she will be burning up the e-mail lines in no time. And of course, Neil is happy because he has another west-coast beer drinking buddy to call on now.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Such a nice weekend

This was a nice Easter weekend. The weather was perfect. The highway south from Timmins was clean and clear Saturday morning, but there is still plenty of snow in the bush and even on the boughs of the spruce trees. I got to Don and Denise’s camp at Westree in time to enjoy a great cup coffee and say hi to everyone. And of course, everyone was there enjoying the day including Christine, Demetrios, Victoria, Tyler and Nathan. I was so tempted to stay for a late breakfast… the house sure smelled good, -- but I had decided to move on to Sudbury to spend the day with Jennifer. She has a new job and had to work on Saturday. It was a good thing I dropped by since Jenn took me out to dinner Saturday night, and even paid for the Guinness. We got all caught up on the gossip. Sunday morning was nice and lazy, and oh soooo quiet at Jenn’s place. Jenn made brunch and then I hit the highway to head back home. I think spring is finally arriving. I stopped at the chutes north of Onaping Lake to snap a photo. The water was running high and fast and the snow is melting quickly.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A good day eh.

Today started quite nicely, thanks to couple of birthday cards (yes, I finally picked up the mail!). I received two fabulous hockey cards from my grandsons, showing off the achievements of couple of outstanding little guys who are the most important hockey players I know. Do those guys look cool or what, especially Nate with that missing tooth! I just had to celebrate. So I grabbed the last two chocolate cupcakes I had and decorated them ... and named them for Tyler and Nathan! And then I ate 'em for breakfast. Yum yum! Thanks guys!

Well the weather has cleared a bit today, but the forecast calls for snow on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday... cloudy Thursday and Sunny on Friday! I just know that spring is on the way.
Spent about two hours clearing the driveway yesterday. Actually, the shed door was iced shut and I couldn't get at the snowblower. But once I did (after chopping away the ice), I finally got the driveway cleared. Went out to see Aline's new mega screen TV. Watched an old movie and had brie with strawberries stewed in Amaretto. That was good. Got home to discover that the plow drove by our street and created a new snowbank in front of the driveway. I was tired, so I put the truck in four-by-four and drove over it. Sometime today, I will have to get out and clean that mess.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Snowing again!

It has to be my fault. On Friday morning I put the truck into two-wheel drive. The roads were clear and dry. It had been four-by-four all winter. By 2:00 p.m. Friday we were getting slammed by another snowfall. By suppertime, it was a blizzard. Then the power went out in the North End of town around 8:30 p.m. It came back on after midnight. This morning I found out that police had closed all highways into and out of Timmins. Highway 144 from Timmins to Sudbury was closed. Highway 11 between Timmins and North Bay was closed.
Here's the Environment Canada forecast from this morning:
Issued: 5.30 AM EDT Saturday 4 April 2009
Snowfall warning in effect.
Today:Snow at times heavy and local blowing snow. Amount 10 to 15 cm. Wind northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60. High minus 1.
Tonight:Snow. Amount 2 cm. Local blowing snow early this evening. Wind northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 becoming light overnight. Low minus 5.
Sunday:Light snow ending in the morning then cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries in the afternoon and evening. High plus 1.
Oh well, so we are all stuck in town. ...well, my goodness, why would anyone ever want to leave Timmins?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

How do ya like them Apples!

Just to bring you up to date on my Mac problems... I took the G5 into the Apple repair shop yesterday. The guy at the front rolled his eyes and yelled to the guy in the backshop "Another Apple for ya..." The guy in the back shop just groaned. I described the problem of the monitor blacking out, and he advised it was common with Apples. Why, I asked. They just do, he said. And they're expensive, he added. How expensive, I asked. He went to his computer... which by the way was a PC... in an Apple repair shop. (Oh, the irony!) Fifteen, he said after punching in a few keystrokes. Hmmm, I thought. That's not so bad. Yeah, he said, fifteen hundred dollars with all parts and labour. I nearly choked, then I grinned at the thought of breaking this news to the boss. The repair guy explained that Mac parts are "good parts" but they're very expensive. I asked, what if we just hook the Mac up to a different monitor with a long cable. Yeah, that should work too, he said.
Mac Repairs:
Their solution = about $1500
My solution = about $50
Explaining it to be boss = Priceless.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's April!

What a day. Busy as heck. Today was Tyler's ninth birthday... woohoo... can you imagine that? I got a phone call from Tyler and Nathan last night. They sang to me on the phone. It was soooo funny! Jenn and I had a good chat as well. And Neil called too! We yakked and yakked like a couple of old women(as my Dad used to say). I also got a call from my fave sister Debra, but I wasn't home. She left a very nice message. But here's the funny part ... just to be sure I knew who it was on the phone, she said something like, 'oh by the way, this is Debra...". And her call came in AFTER I wrote up yesterday's entry in the blog, in case you read the comment attached to the March 31 posting.(good thing there is a time stamp at the bottom of each entry)

I think the warmer weather is gonna hang around this time. We got 20 centimetres of fresh snow on the weekend, but I don't think it will last long. I still have the snowshoes rattling around in the back of the truck, but I think I will put them away on the weekend. I was out in the west end tonight and I noticed the river is open. There is still plenty of ice, but the water is flowing pretty strong. It will be a few weeks yet before the big melt begins and we find out whether there will be flooding. Then between May and June, it will be forest fire time. And then... you know it, blackflies! So floods, fires and flies and you know that summer will be here. Ahhhh, the good life in Northern Ontario.