Sunday, December 08, 2013

Just a chat

December is one of those months where you’re at work, and somebody suddenly blurts out “Oh my God, it’s December 6th… where did the year go.” Yup, that happened. So here we are with the new year just a few weeks away, but it is still a nice time of year. People are already going to Christmas parties. The media crowd here in Timmins had a party Friday night, but it wasn’t for Christmas. It was just a potluck thing because one person got a new apartment. So we went and carried on for four or five hours and it was nice.

  I noticed at the party that somebody would say something and I was struggling to hear it. I think my hearing is crapping out on me. Or maybe it’s because too many other people were talking. Then again, when I listen to my emergency scanner radio, I can immediately hear the message, despite any static or background noise. I’ve always been good at listening. You have to be when you’re a reporter. Listening and taking notes is essential. But now when I am in a courtroom or important meeting, I use an electronic recorder to get everything.

 Today is Sunday and I am moving quietly and gently. Had a few glasses of whiskey last night and I enjoyed much laughter. The event was the after – party for the annual Christmas Telethon in Timmins. I really hadn’t planned on going and helping out, but I knew I would feel guilty if I did not. So I showered, shaved, put on a fresh shirt and blazer and headed out to the TV station. It was nice. It’s one of the few places where I can relax and put my feet up because the folks there know me. The Telethon was a success and more than $80,000 was pledged to buy grocery vouchers for needy families.

Timmins is not in a slump economically, but it feels like it. Normally with the price of gold things are soaring and there is much excitement over mining exploration. The price of gold is hovering at about $1230 per ounce. A year ago, it was over $1800. So that means prospectors are having a hard time finding money from investors to go out in the field looking for prospects. That’s a big change. So the city continues to move forward, but just not with the hoopla that we’re used to. Also, there’s not as many players investing in the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) or the TSX venture exchange… just so you know, mining is still the biggest part of the TSX.

There is excitement though about a huge new mining venture north of here. It’s called the Ring of Fire. It’s a chromite prospect. You need chromite to make stainless steel. Stay tuned, this is going to be as big as the tar sands in Alberta.

 I am looking forward to Christmas. I will be joining Jennifer, Scott, Tyler and Nathan as usual, but I am looking forward to just unwinding and shutting down for a few days. The news game has been running in high gear for the past few weeks and I will be glad for the break.

 I had a very brief chat Friday with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne who was in Timmins with several of her cabinet ministers for a meeting with Northern leaders. I always like to meet with these people and offer them a genuine welcome when they come to Timmins. But it’s not the same as it used to be. Politicians now seem more on their guard than ever before when speaking with media. I always regarded such a chat as off the record and just like to just have a quick one-on-one chat about the weather, or the Maple Leafs, or whatever, just to be human for a few moments. I have met all the premiers since Bill Davis and interviewed five prime ministers. I was always relaxed and comfortable with it. Now it seems everyone is too worried about political correctness and everyone is just to tense. That’s discouraging.

Well, the elevator in our building has been acting up for a few weeks now, not working properly. Living on the third floor, I was annoyed at first. But now I am getting used to using the stairs. The elevator is partially back in service this past week, but it is still not fully repaired. So I will be getting a bit more exercise. That’s not a bad thing.

As a follow up to last month’s posting about Ron’s adventure with prostate cancer, I went to a doctor to get a referral for blood testing. So I will find time Monday to get bloodwork done. Will keep you posted.

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