Friday, September 13, 2013

Book signing

Okay, so maybe it was a bit of hero worship ... but I have never taken part in a book signing event before. I have seen them and covered them as news stories, but last night was the first time I bought the book and got it signed. The author was Joseph Boyden, who was in Timmins to spend some time with his sister Mary Boyden, who everyone seems to know well. Joseph was helping out at a fundraiser ... which just happens to be the same time as he is kicking off his national book tour for his newest novel, The Orenda. I have to say, this guy writes very well. I have read two of his first novels, Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce. Great story-teller. Oh by the way, he has won awards for both books. His last book won The Giller Prize. That should be enough to convince you to buy his books. I am reading two other books right now... but as soon as they're done, I will be reading The Orenda. I will be pleased to lend it out...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Space balloon!

Okay so I have always been fascinated by flight, and especially space flight. I was more than a bit excited this week when the first ever launch of a stratospheric space research balloon was launched in Timmins. For a whole bunch of scientific reasons, Timmins was chosen a year ago as the site of the balloon launch base by the Canadian Space Agency and the official space agency of France. The base has been built, the science people have moved in and the first launch ever from Timmins was held Thursday night. This balloon, nearly ten storeys high, can hold 100-thousand cubic metres of helium. Cool! The next launch, sometime in the next 72 hours, will have a balloon than can hold 800-cubic metres. Amazing or what... and the plastic is the same thickness (or THINness) of a dry cleaning bag.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Cleaning a fishy frying pan

I know there are some friends who will wonder how you can possibly clean a cast iron fry pan after you've fried fish in it. Of course, with cast iron, you never use soap. But you can get it clean. I just add some hot water and let it soak for a few minutes, and then I scrub it with a stiff dishwashing brush. I rinse it and pour the pan almost dry. Here's the good part. I throw in a tablespoon of baking soda and then scrub the pan again and let it soak for a few more minutes. The baking soda acts like an abrasive and it also removes any odors. I dry it with a paper towel, add a teaspoon of oil and rub it in. In five minutes the pan is like new!

Time passes, but life is good ...

I am not alone when I ask where has the year gone. I overheard some friends say the same thing earlier this week, when it was obvious that September had arrived. Perhaps we can be glad we all have so many things to do and keep us busy that we forget about the passing of time. I do know the summer was enjoyable. I saw my grandsons so often that I think I am getting new wrinkles from smiling and laughing so much. I saw the boys again just recently when I drove to Sudbury for the Labour Day long weekend. It was a nice time. Don and Denise were also in town briefly and it was nice to see them as well. We all headed out to the Ribfest downtown and that was a good way to spend a Sudbury Saturday night.
Back at work this week was a time for getting back in the groove as more and more newsy things are happening. Even today I will be out and about (That's oot and aboot for my American friends!)  to get some photos of things going on.
I am still enjoying the pleasant memory of a really tasty Friday night supper thanks to a few Westree pickerel fillets that made their way to my big cast iron frying pan. I didn't get fancy. Just dusted them with flour, added some fresh pepper, melted butter in the pan and within a few minutes, they were perfect. It doesn't get much than this ...
I also enjoyed a different beer. Wellington Special Pale Ale was new at the LCBO in Timmins this week,  so I grabbed some. It was great with supper. It was tasty and really crisp, not too hoppy, which is good. I cannot imagine enjoying fresh fish without a nice cold brew.