Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Schumacher celebrates

There’s a little part of Timmins known as the community of Schumacher. It’s a tight-knit little mining town left over from the glory days of the McIntyre gold mine. Schumacher is not a pretty place; it’s a rough little reminder of the hard working who lived there for so many years. But it’s the people that make it special. March 1st is the 100th anniversary of the town. It is named after a fellow known as Frederick Schumacher, a mine financier who made his fortune in the early days of Timmins. So the next few days will be a lot of fun in Schumacher as they celebrate their centennial. I know I am going to have fun. I like Schumacher and that's probably one of the reasons I have taken so many photos of the old McIntyre Mine headframe, such as this one, which has the look of an old postcard. One of the nicest tributes will be a re-enactment of the walk from the townsite up the hill to the mine gate. It’s a walk that was taken by thousands of miners over the years, as they left home each morning, or evening, and went to work at the mine. In a lot of cases, wives and children would accompany the men to the mine gate; it was a social thing. So Thursday night, at 7:00 p.m., the whole town is invited out for the walk to the mine. See you there!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Half a century ago...

Hard to believe that 50 years has passed by since the flight of Mercury 6 - Friendship 7 when American John Glenn became the first NASA astronaut to orbit planet Earth. I remember it because I was in Grade 2 and the teacher stopped classes so we could listen to the broadcast on the radio on February 20, 1962. It came back to me a couple of years ago when I toured the famous Museum of Flight and Aviation History in Seattle where they had the Mercury space capsule on display. A lot of people at the museum walked right by the old capsule, but I was drawn to it and just tried to imagine what it is like to travel through space at 27,000 kilometres per hour!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A nice winter day in Timmins

Winter in Timmins is great. Well, today it was. I like winter. But I’m not alone. Today was an amazingly bright and sunny day with a temperature of about three degrees. So I was out driving around with the intent of snapping a few photos. Sure enough, there were things to see. I saw a family out at the sliding hill on Highway 655 by Gillies Lake having cookies and hot chocolate at the top of the hill. Of course, they were surrounded by all the other families out enjoying the snow and the sunshine. How nice is that? Over at the Hollinger Park, people were out skating on the new oval there. Other people were sitting around the open fire roasting marshmallows! And then, over at Tim Horton’s the snowmobile crowd was standing around outside, enjoying the sunshine with their coffee. So yeah, it was a nice winter day in Timmins. I took one of the photos I snapped today and played with it through Adobe Photoshop to get some different effects. I think they’re interesting. (Click the photos to see them enlarged)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why are they called Smart Phones?

I received a very interesting e-mail this past week from my cell phone company offering me a great price on a new plan and encouraging me to get one of those new Smart Phones. So I spent quite a bit of time last night reading up on the new plans and these phones that everyone is excited about. I have to explain that I have a very basic cell phone. It rings, I talk. I want to call somebody, I enter the number and if they answer, we talk. I am not big on texting.This past month was one of my busiest ever though. I sent 14 messages. I was on the phone for 209 minutes! Of course all this was well covered by my plan which gives me hundreds of minutes, free long distance and "unlimited" messaging. Woohoo. But I don't use the internet or e-mail on my phone. In fact I called and told the phone company to disconnect any Internet service because I once activated the Internet on my phone by mistake. I didn't even know it at the time. Seriously, I can't imagine standing on a street-corner and browsing the net with my phone. So as I looked through all the fancy phones being offered I had to wonder why I would need one. I am still not convinced. Besides, I like my phone. They gave it to me for free and it has my initials on it!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Reading the fine print ...

So I signed up with the online version of the New York Times last fall. And since this is the time of year I gather all my tax receipts, I sort through my credit card bills. That's when I noticed I was billed twice for my MONTHLY subscription in November... on Nov.1 and Nov.29. Hmmm. I telephoned the customer service number to tell them of the "mistake". Hmmm ... no mistake. The subscription is not a MONTHLY thing. It's every 28 DAYS! So I said to the guy, "This is not a monthly subscription then?" "No sir, we bill you every 28 days... that's what you signed up for." Hmmmm... that means they will send me 13 bills this year instead of 12. Got to read that print more often eh.

Glasses, gasses and giggling ...

Things have changed at my dentist’s office. I was in twice this week and both times they gave me sunglasses to wear! I like that. Those dental lights are so bright that even with your eyes closed, there is still too much light! Instead of squinting my eyes in that bright light I was able to close ‘em and relax a bit more. Monday, I had a cleaning and check up. On Thursday I got a root canal procedure done and it was nowhere near as uncomfortable as I expected. I think the nitrous oxide gas sure helped. I have learned that the gas is not so much for relieving pain as it is used for relieving anxiety. Well it worked for me. And yes, it does make you giggle; just a bit. And because it was a one-hour procedure for the root canal, having the gas administered cost an extra $125! Oh well, it was sure worth it.