Friday, September 21, 2012

Nothing to get excited about ...

The thrill is gone. There was a time that getting a new computer was something special. I really used to get excited about all the things new computers were capable of. Not anymore. About two weeks ago I got two brand new computers. The company bought me a new laptop, a very nice Dell, that I can use on remote assignments. But the main reason was that the laptop had a new processor fast enough to handle our new websites and news service.

So I decided it was time to get new home computer as well. Yes, it’s faster and has all the bells and whistles. It's a shiny new HP desktop model. So now that’s all set up here at home. The funny thing is, I don’t see the computers as anything to get excited about other than the fact that they’re important tools for me to get my work done.

Getting better and better ...

Had a nice chat with Jennifer this week. She is back in school mode.  How cool is that? When you think about all she endured three years ago, it’s nice to see how well she is doing. After Jenn was sick for so long, she eventually got better. Then she began doing volunteer work at the cancer centre in Sudbury. Now Jennifer is going back to school to study for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. I am so proud of Jenn for that.

So now, every morning, she has to help get the boys off the school while she gets ready for classes herself. And then there’s homework. Yuck. But I am confident Jenn can handle it.  And her guys are pretty cool fellows and I am sure they’ll be helping out too.
By the way, all three of her men are getting back into hockey mode.  Maybe some of those NHL guys can take a hint eh?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rick Hillier ... interesting fellow!

Every now and then in the news game, I meet some interesting people that I admire. This fellow on the left is one of them. Retired General Rick Hillier was a guest speaker in Timmins this week. Some people speak for ten minutes and the audience begins to yawn and fidget.  Not for this fellow. I wasn't surprised a bit when he got a standing ovation after speaking for an hour and ten minutes!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bizarre testimony and cheesecake fruit pizza

As mentioned in my previous posting, I had to drop by court Friday morning to snap a photo of an accused killer being brought in for a bail hearing. I didn’t notice right away, but I guess high heels are the cool thing to wear to bail court. I don’t know if the shackle chains match up very nicely with those shoes though.

Regardless, the testimony was unusual. There is a ban on publication, meaning I can’t even discuss the case here on a blog. The testimony was intense, emotional and bizarre. Can’t tell you any more than that right now.

I spoke to Neil Saturday and it was a treat to talk to him. He is well and still living the good life in Vancouver. But he has quit working at Steamworks! That was the popular pub in the Gastown district. Not to worry, he is working at another popular pub down the street  … a place called The Black Frog and he says its just fine. Different names eh? I think they should open a pub and call it The Shackled Shoe!
So, Neil is happy and enjoying the job.  He said each year the pub holds a party for the staff  … but instead of having the party on the premises, they close the pub for a few days and everyone goes on a trip out of town. He said he is looking forward to a little sea cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles. That’s cool.

Well, Sunday morning in Timmins is nice right now, sunny and mild… and cool too. Had a nice evening last night. A news colleague, Lydia,  had a nice dinner party. The food was great … a very nice multi-course dinner. I never had a cheesecake fruit pizza before. Wow, what a treat. Of course, I find most desserts are great when they’re washed down with whisky. And I did not have to do the taxi thing either. Luckily Lydia’s house is about two blocks away and I had a refreshing walk home. Slept great too.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

News keeping me too busy ...

 I have to apologize again for not being here as often as I should, but it has been a hell of a week for news. Crazy, crazy, crazy. I was saddened to have to cover the death of an eight-year-old boy in a car crash. Worse yet was the fact that his casket with his remains was shipped north to a Reserve on the James Bay Coast for burial by his family. It was emotional for those at the airport as the casket was being shipped out.

 Then the woman accused of being responsible for driving the vehicle causing the death appeared in court for bail hearing. But she was met by protesters outside the court shouting some very nasty things. It was not pleasant to be there.

Timmins has also won a bid to become the new balloon launching facility for the Canadian Space Agency, and the space agency from France. It's a big deal with millions of dollars being spent at no cost to the people of Timmins. Anyway, they had a big media event Monday and were prepared to launch a small balloon (97 Metres long) but the wind took and things got out of control. I hated to see it happen but another part of me delighted in getting photos of the balloon getting tangled in the light posts. Oh well, no biggie.

Tomorrow I am back in court again. There is the case of a young woman who is accused of murdering her boyfriend. I have to get photos of her as the police bring her in to the court house. Wonderful, just wonderful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just like Christmas at the train station ...

Timmins does some really cool things every now and then. Tonight I just got home from the Welcome To Timmins event. It’s an annual thing where all the different service clubs, social agencies, corporate employers and even radio stations set up at the curling rink and meet people. The whole idea is for new residents in the city to go and find out what’s going on and who to talk to for everything from education to employment to shopping and snow-shoeing. I like it. Of course, after living in Timmins for a few years, I am confident I know where things are and who to see for information. But I like to go for other reasons. It’s like being at the train station at Christmas in the old days. You meet everyone you haven’t seen in ages. Of course, I see lots of people all year, but I rarely get more than a minute or two to say Hi, when I’m working. So tonight,  I spent nearly three hours gabbing and gossiping with old friends and I had a great time! Can’t wait till next year.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Pretty sharp eh...

Can't believe I am writing about this, but when a product is good, I tell people. Back at the end of the June when Tyler, Nathan and I arrived in Toronto at Union Station we were met by a couple of students handing out free Gilette razors. It was a small travel size pack. What a good idea for meeting people at the train station. So as we walked by I took one and I used it the next day. So I don't have a Fred Flintstone beard, but my whiskers are scruffy enough. I couldn't believe how clean the shave was. Over the years I have been buying different types of razors, looking for the best one. Can you believe how expensive they're getting? Anyway, I used this Gilette Fusion thing and it was great. First week of July, second week of July. Hmmm... does this thing ever get dull? You can sense a dull razor by the fact that it nicks the skin with a tiny cut when it can no longer cut through the whiskers. So I used this razor all during July and it was fine. I figured I should go out and buy a package of blade. Gilette marketing people seem to know their stuff. Well I got to the store and the four-pack of blades was $18!!! Eighteen dollars! I figured I had to find out if the blades in the store were as good as the free one. If the blades lasted the whole month, it would be worth it. Sure enough, I put a new blade in place in August... and I didn't change it until yesterday, second week of September! The way this is going, that four-pack should last me until the new year! I am sold. From now on it's Fusion.