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Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Timmins icon

Timmins celebrated something interesting this week. They re-dedicated the last surviving original version of the Hollinger House, one of the hundreds of company houses built by the Hollinger Gold Mine back in the 1920s to provide homes for miners and their families. The houses were truly an icon of the Porcupine gold mining camp. Over the years I have met many people and families that grew up in these homes. For my Cape Breton cousins, they might be interested in knowing that the famous CB fiddler, Buddy MacMaster, was born in one of these houses back in 1924. His family had moved to Timmins where his father was employed at the Hollinger mine. The family lived at 14 Messines Avenue.

Just some cool things ...

A couple of cool things happened this past week. The RCAF Snowbirds dropped in at Timmins airport to get some fuel. They were heading back to their home base in Saskatchewan. So I grabbed a few photos. While they were at the airport, they startled some Canada Geese, who were on their southbound journey for the winter.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

No more turtles

Okay I have stopped buying Nestlé water and eventually I will stop buying their food products as well. No I am not some wild-eyed foodie protester, but I will carry on my own little boycott against Nestlé. There has been a lot of publicity lately about the Nestlé Pure Life water products, something I would buy just for convenience sake. The company is now promoting the total commercialization of fresh water sources, not just in Canada, but everywhere in the world. I believe that is wrong. I believe water belongs to the government; the people. It should not be sold off to multi-billion dollar food corporations. I am not making this up. Nestlé wants to take over the world water supply.
So here’s the problem. Nestlé own so many companies I am really going to have to do research on what I should NOT be buying. Okay I have stopped buying Pure Life bottled water. But the company also owns Perrier water, Pellegrino water, Acqua Panna water, Montclair water. So yes, these were my favourite brands, but now I will change. I still buy bottled water for the convenience … but I will buy the ordinary house brands, once I am sure they’re not Nestlé owned. I also re-bottle my own tap water through a Brita Filter.
My other concern is that this company has gone into third world countries to buy up huge parcels of land, simply to take advantage of the “water rights” that come with the land. Nestlé then sets up pumping stations to suck out all the underground water reserves and this often leaves local wells to dry up. Farmers suffer. Community wells run dry. But Nestlé is happy to sell them back the water in convenient little bottles. I think that’s wrong. So there is not much I can do except refuse to buy their products. Sadly this includes plenty of other things I like such as Kit Kat bars, Nestea ice tea, Delissio pizza, Coffee Crisp, Aero bars, Smarties and Turtles! (Sorry Jenn).

Friday, September 05, 2014

Eating well ...

Jennifer speaks often about the importance of eating well, especially fruit. I grumble sometimes but I usually listen to what she says. I had her words in mind when I was at the LCBO lately. There is a very nice tasting "desert beer" called Wells Banana Bread Beer. It is made in England. It is quite tasty, is not bitter, and has a very pleasant aftertaste. This is not the sort of beer you will quaff while ice-fishing or watching a hockey game. This is what you will enjoy with a nice warm piece of chocolate cake with a sweet icing. So yes, when it comes to eating well, and drinking well, there are many good choices.
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Had a very nice chat with Neil this past week. He is changing jobs. He was quite excited to tell me he is taking over a new restaurant, a fine dining pizza place if you can imagine. I checked it out here. It was even recommended by the Globe and Mail food critic. Well, la dee dah! It is in the same Gastown neighbourhood as Steamworks, and so it is easy for him to get to work. He seemed quite pleased with the change, especially since they came to him with the offer.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Music music music

I am quite proud of the fact that Timmins is home to the TSO. Yes, that is the Timmins Symphony Orchestra. I know nothing about music, except that I know what I like and what I listen to. One of the best things about our city is that we have the Timmins summer concert series, where local artists are featured every Wednesday night in the summer. The final concert of the season was last week. What a show! Starting off was an incredible performance by jazz pianist Seve Kessler, who now lives in Timmins.
Yes, this is the same Steve Kessler, an American jazz artist, described by critics as a piano prodigy. Kessler was accompanied by friends playing a violin and a saxophone. He was followed by the TSO under the direction of conductor Matthew Jones. If you missed it, I won't make you feel bad by telling you how good it all was. But yes, it was so worth it to put up with a bit of a breeze and a few raindrops.
Anyway, I am thoroughly engrossed with Jazz these days. Last night I did a bit of research and found some recordings online of a fellow named Stan Getz, an incredible saxophonist. Listening to his music is like eating chocolate cake... you just can't get enough!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Picnic at High Falls on the Grassy

So I am back at work today (Yes, I KNOW it's Labour Day). Back in from a week of vacation time which I spent in Timmins. It was nice to sleep in each day and luckily we had some nice weather. Sunday was the perfect day to head out to High Falls on the Grassy River near Timmins. I had a picnic there with my friend Maggie and her daughter Willow.

Too often we ignore the nice things we have in the North and I am amazed that it hasn't been that long since this whole area was first explored and settled by the early prospectors.  Getting to High Falls takes about 30 minutes of slow driving on back roads. It was a real treat. The water was low since my last visit in early June when the river was running fast and very high.