Monday, February 24, 2014

I bought a book!

Not such a big deal... unless you consider I have been using an e-reader for a year now. I gave in, as a friend suggested would happen. He said sooner or later, I would go back to a book. So on Sunday, I bought VIMY by Pierre Berton. I like it; already half way through it. Pierre Berton would approve I think. I met him once and there was a bit of a falling out. He was speaking out against the logging situation in Temagami, Ontario back in the 1980s. I asked him if he had ever been to Temagami. He said no. I asked how he could form a valid opinion of the place if he had never visited. He was upset at my question and even more upset when I broadcast the interview. I was working for CBC Radio at the time. Oh well.

Unusual behavior... for a wild cat

One of my neighbours came over Friday night. He told me his wife's dog was killed by a lynx, while on the hiking trail near our homes. Everyone was quite upset. Maybe I could do something to publicize it, they suggested. Sunday morning I went out to the trail to check things out, not really expecting to find much. Imagine my surprise when I saw this lynx. I was able to get within a few metres of this cat before it began moving away. They're bigger than I expected and apparently not worried about contact with humans. The dog that was killed was still on a leash with the owner right there. I wasn't going to press my luck by stepping off the trail into the deep snow. But this is the first time I have seen a lynx, up close, in the wild.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What an incredible hockey game!

My own little tribute to Team Canada's women's Olympic hockey team... It was the best game I've seen in a long time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

House of Cards... again

I am such an addict. The House of Cards series returned to Netflix on Friday. Thirteen new episodes. I'm sorry, I can't help it. I have already watched the entire second season. I don't feel so bad. I have been meeting people all this week who also watched the second season, every episode. It is just the best television show out there right now. The only thing that really bothers me is that the main character, Frank Underwood, (played by Kevin Spacey) is just so evil. And I like him! This is so wrong! LOL No wonder his cufflinks have his initials... F U :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New mine begins in Timmins ...

I am not fully acquainted with the video function on my little sony cam, but the noise in the background is the sound of my news cam clicking away, shooting still photos.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Timmins is changing

By this time tomorrow, things in Timmins will have changed significantly. Goldcorp is having the first blast for the new Hollinger open pit mine. This will be the newest gold mine in a city whose entire history is gold mining ... only this new mine is going to be in the heart of the city. It will be within half a kilometre of the downtown core. This means the company has to put up special signs all around the new pit advising when there will be blast. The sign in the photo is located across the street from the Food Basics grocery story, right next to the soccer field. The mine even has to notify the airport so that aircraft don't fly over the mine site when a blast is on. This will be the "new normal" in Timmins for the next ten years at least.  Interesting times eh?

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Good things, bad things.

Good Thing. I confess I am now reading Alice Munro stories. I bought one of her books awhile ago and I think I mentioned here that I just couldn’t get into her writing. Well now this has changed. I finished another book awhile ago and because I had a collection of Munro stories, I picked it up and tried reading again. Somehow I got hooked. I can see why she became so popular. I am not thoroughly convinced she deserved the Nobel prize, but that is just my opinion.
Good Thing. The winter Olympics are on and I am enjoying them. I watch bits and pieces on the Internet. I like speedskating. The energy of those athletes is incredible. I also watched some luge events. I am amazed at how they can speed down that course on a couple of steel runners. I thought the opening ceremonies were boring ,..but I did like the way the torch lighting took place.
Bad Thing. I covered a fundraising dinner last week for a group of men raising awareness of sexual abuse of boys. It was uncomfortable to see two grown men, my age, telling their stories of what happened to them … it drove them to alcoholism, drugs and to the verge of suicide. Both men were sobbing with tears rolling down their cheeks.
It reminded me of an uncomfortable incident when I was a boy. I was an altar boy. The priest, who I thought was an okay guy, was always getting me to stay after mass to sweep the chapel or help put things away. I was good with that because he always gave me a quarter or two. My parents were okay with it because I was helping Father do chores. I guess they saw it as something good, because I was not really a good kid.
I was always getting into schoolyard fights and generally raising hell. I even began smoking when I was ten, stealing cigarettes from my parents.
So one summer night, Father invited me to his officer quarters … this was on the base at RCAF Downsview. He said he was moving or something, and needed help packing boxes. So I went. Once I was there, we did a few chores and then Father asked the strangest question to me. I was 12 or 13 at the time.
“Have you heard the word c**ksucker?” he asked.
Okay, so I am a bit shocked, but I answer “Yes Father. That’s a bad word.”
Suddenly something I had been told was making sense. One of the other altar boys, named Eddie, told me that Father had stroked his crotch one day. I thought that was the weirdest thing Eddie had ever said, and so I stopped talking to him.
But anyway, back to Father.
He said “Do you know what a c**cksucker does? Do you know what the word means?”
Okay, I thought, play innocent here. “No Father,” I said.
Then I thought if he tries to stroke my crotch, I am going to punch him. There is no way this pudgy old f**cker is going to touch me.
I was like that as a kid. Thanks to my Dad, I knew how to take a beating. I was a better than average scrapper for a kid that age. I guess I was angry.
So in those few micro-seconds that Father was staring at me, I figured I am going to punch him in the throat and the second punch will be in the nose and then I will run. A punch in the throat is always a shock punch because no one expects it and it hurts like hell. The punch in the nose always bleeds. There is blood and mucus going into your nose and mouth, making it hard to breathe,  and your eyes water making it hard to see.
For some reason Father didn’t ask me any more questions. And nothing happened. Maybe he sensed he had gone too far. Either way, I never said anything to anyone. Certainly not to my friends. And certainly not to any adults. This was stuff people just didn’t talk about. Besides, who would have believed me?