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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yes, it was cold this morning...

Still in a bit of a cold snap in Timmins. It was minus 38 at eight oclock this morning. This was the view from my balcony. The overnight windchill was down to minus 53. My Nitro started just fine, even though I have never plugged it in. One of these days I will push my luck too far in that regard. Anyway, it was a less than pleasant thing to breathe this morning. Not because it was so cold. It was that all the car exhaust and fireplace smoke just hung in the morning air. It didn’t go away for awhile. The air didn’t taste so fresh. That’s what its like when it gets this cold.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beef stew on the balcony ...

This is stew weather. I was pleased to have enjoyed a couple of large bowls of beef stew last night, complete with a fresh loaf of crusty bread and a nice bottle of Rothschild Pinot Noir ( really excellent red wine). The beef was wonderfully tender, with red potatoes, green beans, white turnip, onions and carrots. I am pleased to say the only flavouring I added was a chunk of garlic. The fun part was when I finished supper, I decided to put the leftover stew into three freezer containers for future meals. Instead of sticking them in the freezer right away, I put them on the balcony ... It was nearly minus 30 and so the leftovers were frozen solid in about 25 minutes. By the Way, the wine is only $11.95 at the LCBO and it is a real treat. I could have used a stronger flavour with the stew... but this stuff is just too good to ignore.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Perfect weather for reading

I am enjoying a great book this weekend that has an unexpected treat for me. Storm Warning by Jack Higgins is a great thriller-adventure story, but I was especially pleased to learn that much of the story takes place in the North Atlantic off the coast of Scotland. Many of the places in the novel such as Glasgow, Ben Nevis, Fort William, Mallaig and the Isle of Skye are all places I saw and visited a couple of years ago. The book even includes Morar, which is the ancestral home of the Cape Breton Gillis clan.
It is good weather for reading this weekend. We have had freezing cold temperatures in the past few days with the temperatures in the minus 30s and the windchill below minus 40. Good to put on the tea and snuggle up on the couch. I was out with friends Saturday to watch the hockey game, and I left the vehicle at home. It wasn't plugged in, but hey (knock on wood) it started just fine this morning. So right now it is minus 28 and Enviro Canada has issued an overnight windchill warning in the minus 40 range. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Can always use socks ...

Timmins is one of those cities that is losing its Zellers store. The store closes on Monday. Like a lot of folks in town, I dropped by today to check out the real “going out of business sale”. Prices were 50 to 70 per cent off. As I walked around, I realized I really didn’t NEED anything.  There were hundreds of others there and I am sure most were in the same situation. Sure, there’s lots of stuff we might want, but really, we live in a pretty lush society here in Canada. I had a hard time finding anything I needed.  But since I was there, I picked up some nice dress socks and a roll of aluminum foil. 
Oh yeah, bumped into Ray and Diane at Zellers. Was nice to see them. Diane broke her foot recently, but she's doing okay now... She has a walking cast and a cane. Ray, of course, is just fine as usual. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

That don't impress me much ...

Another new year and all is well in Timmins. Well, almost. I was a bit shocked to learn that our local city council is planning to sell off the Shania Twain Centre to a local gold mining company. I don't mind the idea of selling the building, but I do find it concerning that the plan is to demolish the building to make way for the new gold mine. Hmmm... the building is still relatively new, only 11 years old. I know the architect. I wonder how he feels about it.
Now I know it's a polarizing issue, but the climate is indeed going wonky. Here's the thing. I am still NOT in the camp that says it is all global warming. That's because there is evidence that the warming trend actually began before the industrial revolution of the 1800s and all the carbon residue from burning fossil fuels, coal and oil etc.
I DO believe in climate change. That's pretty obvious. What is frustrating is the information overload from the science community. There is so much data to sift through.  What is infuriating is when people inject politics into science. I stop listening when politicians and activists start harping about the weather.  I was reading in a reputable science journal that there was a "mini" ice-age in North America and Europe as recently as 1850. And another one may be one the way in a few hundred years. Hmmm... have to do some more reading.