Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A new toy for the old boy.

Just enough time to squeeze in one more posting in May. It will be June in about 20 minutes. I was at a meeting at city hall last night when my laptop crapped out and died on me. I was upset... for several minutes, until a colleague reminded me the laptop was six years old. And I have dropped the old laptop on occasion... I am content that I got my money's worth out of it. So today, I had to go out and get this new machine. I am quite pleased with it. It's an HP 2000 and it cost less than $400. It is superbly fast and has half a terrabyte of RAM. I had the option of using the MAC G4 from work, but I need to know I have a computer I can count on. I have spent the evening uploading all my programs and enjoying this nice little toy. I will have to strip down the old laptop and get it ready for Jennifer's boys... I am sure they can find a use for it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It went Ka-Boom! But nothing happened ...

Friday was an interesting day at one of the local mine properties. Goldcorp was demolishing a headframe ... by blasting it down. That's always fun to watch. (Click the photos to see full size. In the first photo, look for the worker with his hands covering his ears toward the bottom left.)
The only thing is that once the blast has gone off, the headframe is supposed to fall over. It didn't. It seems one of the steel support beams didn't break and it held the whole thing up. So they went and got another box of explosives, set the fuse and it went down ... like it was supposed to.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The search for my brother ...

The search for my brother began one freezing morning in 1981 when Ronald and some friends decided to drop in at Earlton, south of Timmins. The temperature was minus 42. Ronald was with about 950 other soldiers doing a parajump. Since I knew he was visiting Northern Ontario, I knew I had to be a good host and find him. So I drove to Earlton, but believe it not, as I approached the area where the jump was, I was stopped by soldiers in an armoured vehicle. That’s my tiny little Dodge Omni in the photo. Once I explained what I doing, they let me proceed.
Before long, there were dozens of C130 aircraft overhead dropping people and material on parachutes. One of them was Ronald. He was out there somewhere. So I began walking along through the drop zone, where there were hundreds of soldiers getting their gear together and forming up into groups. I kept asking if anyone knew Ron… many did. And they kept pointing me in various directions. Sure enough, I eventually found him… he was outside his tent making tea. So we chatted a bit and then decided to go into town for a beer. The problem was that Ron was not allowed to leave the drop area. No worries. He laid down in the back of the car and we drove out. We had a beer in the local tavern, but Ron’s main mission was to find a grocery store, so he could buy a few extra things and junk food. I am sure his buddies wondered where he got all the extra stuff.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just a few old photos...

I had the chance to go through some older photographs this week and I have scanned them and saved them to a digital format. They sure bring back some nice memories. These photos are from the late 1970s!!! I just know people will be e-mailing me and asking for copies.Click on the photos to see them larger.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The media table . . .

Part of my job involves covering political speeches. This past week was a doozie ... three days of speeches by mayors and visiting cabinet ministers. And it involves evening work too. That's not so bad, because the people putting on the meetings always feed the news reporters. This was the media table Thursday night. A nice roast beef dinner. What you can see on the table though are notebooks, cameras, beer glasses, empty wines bottles and double servings of crème brûlée dessert! All in a day's work eh?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Woohoo for Neil!

I want to put a plug in here today for Neil. There was a vote-in contest in Vancouver for the best restaurant, best bar, best staff etc. Sure enough, Neil got short-listed as one of the five finalists as best restaurant manager. So if you have Facebook, log in and vote! Here is the link: Vote for Manager of the Year! I am sure Neil will appreciate it.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

25 years . . .

Just noticed that it has been 25 years to this very day that I quit smoking. I was lucky. I was able to just stop. I think that's a good thing. Some days though, I wish I could enjoy a nice cigar.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The funny thing about facebook . . .

Some things are not politically correct, but they're still funny. And this Facebook inspired image fits. The funny thing about the Facebook chatting process is that if you LIKE what somebody has written, you give a thumbs up. Enjoy the image.(click the pic) As for political correctness, it gets tiring. With Osama's death, I think I might know how my parents felt when it was revealed that Hitler was dead.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A crazy week eh

Wow, what a crazy week eh. Locally in the federal election, our MP Charlie Angus, was re-elected. I snapped that photo at his victory party. I have to say I am surprised at the outcome of the election, with Jack Layton in the opposition seat. Although I do remember somebody in Westree telling me that the NDP was coming on strong. I honestly didn't expect Michael Ignatieff to take such a beating, but such is politics in Canada. The Liberals have a special way of killing off their own. I remember it happened to Pierre Trudeau after his famous "walk in the snow" back in the mid-80s. The other crazy news is the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It sends out the message that if you really upset the American people, they WILL get you and kill you. It's a cold message, but lots of people have learned it the hard way. The Americans rarely go looking for fights, but they often finish them, and win. And those who win get to write the history books.