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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Keeping a promise...

Some time ago, in conversation with a local police officer, I made a promise. He mentioned that with the Internet being so active, it was getting to the point that we newsies were getting too fast with our reporting … as it relates to auto crashes. Now crashes are not a big deal, but we cover them and get back to the office and get the photos online quickly. Usually it has something to do with bad road conditions, or a storm, and so we will advise readers to drive carefully. Here’s the thing – In a small town, we would get the photos online very quickly, sometimes in 15 or 20 minutes. So a traffic cop asked if we could slow things down a bit… maybe wait an hour before putting the pictures up, because family members tend to get all frightened, upset and worried if they see a car they might recognize from a crash scene.
So okay, that’s reasonable. So I said yes, I will now wait a full hour before putting up crash photos. Sure enough, we had a crash today involving a car and a wheelchair. And I waited an hour, thinking … somebody knows somebody who owns that wheelchair. I hope no one was alarmed. I hope the guy is okay.
But I gotta tell ya, if you know somebody is flying to Timmins and their plane crashes, and I get the photos, well, sorry, I won’t be waiting an hour…

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Back on the books ...

I took some time away from reading these past few months because I was busy and got to enjoying some Netflix and Roku. But now I am back into the books, and a had to warn myself this week to be careful. I am such a cheapskate... But when it comes to books I forget that. Just checked my credit card account and discovered I have spent nearly $40 in the past three weeks on e-Books. I will have to back off a bit and wait.
Oh, Jenn told me about her espresso coffee choices recently when I visited. She offered me a Keurig espresso, but I declined, figuring it would be too bitter. But last week I bought a box of Keurig espressos and they are grrreat! Usually in the early afternoon, I can scoot home to grab a sandwich... So this week I have enjoyed a few expressos and they are fabulous! Just sayin'

Friday, October 24, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Timmins fellow on CBS 60 Minutes

It was fun this week to see that CBS 60 Minutes did a story on Shawn Ryan, a prospector living in the Yukon who has become a millionaire for his ability to find gold. In this article about Ryan, CBS labelled it a scoop! Here is the TV link.
Sorry guys, Ryan is a Timmins fellow and we did a story on him back in May 2012. He was honoured by fellow prospectors in Timmins and was unofficially dubbed King of Klondike. I even snapped this photo of him and wrote up his story. Just so you know Ryan cut his teeth with prospecting crews here in Timmins before moving out west, where they told him there was no more gold to be found in the Klondike. As any good prospector knows, the best place to find a new gold mine is right beside an old gold mine. No wonder the fellow is filthy rich!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Voting is so easy now...

I voted yesterday. Yes, it was advanced polling for the October 27th city election. The cool thing was that I was able to vote via the Internet. I am glad Timmins set this up and I suppose this is the thing of the future. It took about five minutes, with various security checks built in, and then the ballot was right here on the screen in front of me. I like how convenient it is to stay in tune with democracy. I hope this idea appeals to more young people.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A nice time ...

I am back in Timmins after enjoying a very nice couple of days with Jennifer. The boys went south to spend the weekend with Victoria; Scott was out to catch the first weekend of moose hunting and so Jenn and I did a nice quiet Thanksgiving with a couple of bottles of wine, turkey, stuffing, cake and even movies. Heck we even got a chance to go out to dinner. We went to P & M's to check the latest menu and were pleased to run into Junior. It was great to chat and get caught up with him. The funniest part was when the young hostess was bringing us to the table. She made reference to the idea that we might be a dating couple. I laughed and said “I'm her Dad!” I reassured Jenn that she didn't look older at all. If anything, with her nice new hair style, she looks younger. I figured with my newsboy cap and cashmere blazer, I looked a few years younger. I took it as a compliment. Anyway, it was a very relaxing weekend. I stayed in the Nathan Suite as usual and slept great. Jenn said she woke early on Sunday and could hear me down the hall, sawing logs. I never heard a thing!
Jenn is up to her elbows in school work. There are days, she admitted, that the workload is hard, hard, hard. But she continues to get good marks ... because she studies hard. But she is also smart, smart, smart. So I have much confidence in her.
The boys are also doing very well in school. I am so proud of those guys. So this is good. I am thankful.
The drive back north was very relaxing. I pulled off in the bush for a nature call, but I didn't drive too far. There were hunters everywhere. I also got a photo of the train crossing at Windy Lake. A northbound freight was pulling a huge train with five engines. I like trains. I took pictures.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

So don't read it

I have spent the last 20 minutes reading Christie Blatchford's stories in the National Post about the Luka Magnotta trIal. If you don't know who he is, nevermind, you really don't need to know. Here's the thing; Magnotta is a monster. He cannot possibly have a human mind to do the things he is accused of doing. Magnotta killed people, chopped them up and then mailed out the body parts. He also videotaped much of what he did. So Blatchford has reported the courtroom icky stuff in detail. Anyone who has spent time covering court knows they talk about all the yukky stuff in court, the terrible things people to do other people. What is upsetting to me is that so many people read this stuff and then criticize the newspaper for writing about it. Well, excuse me. Anybody with a clue is going to know what the Magnotta trial will be about. If you're upset that it is being written about, THEN STOP READING IT! Put the paper down, and go for a walk. Call your kids. Pick your nose. Do some housework. But don't waste my time or tempt my bloody good nature by complaining. We live in a free society. That's means we have a reasonable amount of academic freedom. People can discuss things and write about them. It's the price of democracy. Live with it.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Catching up

So October is here. And Spring is on the way! Yeah, yeah, we all know that we’re in for a tough winter, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. May as well look on the bright side and look forward to Spring. I was out on the local hiking day event and we really can’t complain. The weather has been amazingly mild … or maybe I am becoming more tolerant of the weather. In Timmins in the fall, one has to dress in layers, depending on the time of day. Walking out to the car at 7:30 a.m. you need a heavy sweater, maybe a jacket… or a heavy blazer. Toward noon, you can start shedding layers. By mid-afternoon, it is shirt sleeve weather and by 6:00 p.m. time to reach for the jacket again.
We had some excitement last week when a Beech King Air came in for a belly landing at the Timmins Airport. The incident was good for a few stories, but it boiled down to an electrical - mechanical problem with a wiring harness gumming up the front landing wheel. The wheel was only partially down when the pilot came in for the landing.
I managed to get a half decent photo of the plane speeding along the runway just before he touched down. The good news is that the two crew and seven passengers walked away without a scratch.

Had to write an obit a couple of weeks ago about an old friend. George Delich, the district chief of the Schumacher firefighter brigade died. I know people always say nice things about people when they die, but George was one of the truly good guys. We chatted a lot. Whenever I showed up a fire scene, he always had a smile. He was a former teacher and principal, a community volunteer and still an active firefighter. George was 79. I am going to miss him.