Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Timmins is changing...

Just a photo I was able to shoot today, showing the change in Timmins as the Hollinger Open Pit mine continues to progress, as you can see in the left side of this photo. Algonquin Boulevard runs along the right side. That's the water tower in the upper left corner. Click on the photo to see a larger size.Too bad it was raining. A sunny day photo would have been nicer...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fish from China ... I don't trust it!

I was shopping for groceries today when I decided that I should buy more fish. I like frozen fillets because they're easier to prepare when I am in a hurry. So there was Captain Highliner haddock in a nice package with several nice portions. The fine print said Captain Highliner of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, which is fine by me. I looked closer and the package said Product of China. What the heck? No Thank You! I threw the package back in the freezer bin.
From what I have read, the preparation and packaging of fish by fishing companies in China sees different chemicals added to keep the fish "fresher" for longer periods. That's just not appealing.
So then I saw another package of frozen fillets. Alaskan Pollock it said. Sounds good. I picked up the package, which said it was "imported" by some USA company. Okay, fine. I looked closer. Product of China. No Thank You!
So now when I want a fish dinner, I will have to go out and buy "fresh" fish, the non-frozen fillets you see in the glass case, on those beds of ice, in the grocery stores. I just hope that stuff doesn't come from China either.
So there you have it. The only China I want with my food is the Royal Doulton dinnerware I serve it on.

Friday, May 22, 2015

On being impatient ... or I am bored?

Okay so I am disappointed with myself for being, hmmm… for being impatient I guess. Here’s the thing. I rented a movie this week. It was okay, but predictable. So I was watching the movie, got the gist of the story and grabbed the remote and zoomed ahead by about 35 minutes. Watched a few minutes more then zoomed ahead to get the ending. It was okay.
Good thing I didn’t have company eh. But hold on, it gets better … or worse. I was reading a book, one of those adventure thrillers. The good guys are chasing down the bad guys, except in one part, they have to crawl through a tunnel. Hell no, it wasn’t a tunnel, it was a pipe! About 22 inches wide. So the story goes on for about 25 pages describing how they get through it. So I just said blah, blah, and skipped ahead. There was still about 150 pages page, so I knew the good guys were going to make it. Now I am angry at myself for the principal of it. If I am going to read a book or watch a movie, I promise to read ALL of it. As for movies, if I don’t like it, well that’s it, I just stop watching.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Things change in Timmins.

The landscape in Timmins is changing quickly with all the work going on at the new Hollinger mine open pit. In the first photo you can see the rocky area behind the fence, which is just across the road from the Food Basics store and the  Salvador soccer field, taken this morning. In the second photo you can see a nice photo of the blast this afternoon of that same area. Nearby, work progresses on the berm, the big wall of broken rock that is going to surround the pic. That bulldozer in the third picture is a big D9, one of the larger Caterpillars out there. It is indeed big. But in the fourth photo you see how small that D9 looks next to a Cat 75 tonne mining truck. Click on the pic to see them large size.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

That's right, snow in Timmins on May 19th.

Yup, this is what Timmins has been talking about today. SNOW! On the day AFTER the May Run long weekend. Oh well, that's just Timmins...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Timmins is sure changing...

This is the new Hollinger Pit, looking eastward and this area used to be the Hollinger Golf Club. looking toward No. 1 hole. And that high spot near the water tower is where the No. 2 tee off used to be. Things sure do change...

Buying online... not right now!

I have become an online shopper. I am not one of those people who enjoys wandering around a store looking for sales. If I need something, I will buy it. If it is on sale, then all the better. The nice thing about online is that you can search out the one thing you really want or need, and then get it. I do support shopping locally, but I have to say, many of the things I want, I cannot find in a store.
That being said, I haven't purchased anything online since before Christmas. The value of the Canadian dollar has really tanked in recent months. On Friday, the U.S. dollar was at $1.20 compared to our canuck buck.  So even though I was thinking of getting some new shirts, I am going to wait.
Oh here's the other thing. I like to buy shirts at L.L.Bean ... They're usually at a very good price, AND the quality is great. I am still wearing shirts that I bought five years ago. They just don't wear out. But I will not pay the inflated U.S. price... well, not unless they're on sale at more than 20 per cent off!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Five CN towers!

The May long weekend has finally arrived and so I guess I can safely put my parka away for another year (Knock on wood!). Although I remember one year, maybe about ten year or 12 years ago, there was still ice on some of the lakes around here.
In Timmins, the weekend is called the May Run and it is sort of a rite of passage for young people about to graduate high school to get out in the bush and have one last party with all your school chums. The other tradition is that we always seem to have rain on the May Run weekend. Sure enough, there was rain last night and early this morning.
I had another good week at work and one the stories I was writing was about the big mining show coming at the end of the month. Now for those in the know, there is a slump right now for mining exploration.
That’s the process where prospectors, claim stakers, geologists and other rock science people are out there looking for new mineral prospects.
The price of gold is in a slump and so the investment money is in a slump too. All across Canada. But not in Timmins; well not as bad as other places.
Yup, the prospectors here are still hard at work and a lot of diamond drills are still active. Now a diamond drill is a machine that bores deep into the earth and pulls up rock samples in the form of rock core. They’re called diamond drills because the drill bits that cut into the rock are actually hollow tubes crusted with diamonds that allow the bits to drill a nice circular hole in the rock. Imagine digging into wet sand with a paper towel tube and bringing up a sample of sand. That’s how it works. So there is still that optimism here that you don’t see in some other mining towns.

The other interesting thing is that the world famous Kidd Mine (famous for copper, zinc and silver) has only six years left before the mine is empty. Well, that’s not all true. There is still ore at the Kidd Mine, but it is too deep… more than 10,000 feet, to get at it and bring it to surface economically. So how deep is 10,000 feet. Imagine FIVE CN towers stacked one on top of the other… And it is still deeper than that.
So a lot of people are putting their hopes into gold again. By the time the Kidd mine is ready to close, the price of gold should be back up there close to $2,000 per ounce.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Rambling on

Went out with the gang Friday night to a sushi restaurant. So I am not adventurous with food anymore. I ordered rice and steak. I don't know where the seafood comes from for these restaurants and I have heard of fish farms in the far east located next to sewage plants. So I passed on the fish. From now on I am only buying fish caught by U.S. or Canadian fishers.
By the way, I left my vehicle parked downtown, in the company parking lot Friday night. Took a cab home.  So I got some exercise Saturday walking back downtown.
Things are slowly changing at work, now that Sunmedia has been purchased by Postmedia. We had the eastern Canada vice president visit last week. She spent a day meeting with all the staff. She gave the gang a pep talk on the importance of print journalism, how it will continue to be vital to small communities especially as radio and television keeps cutting their news departments. These things never happened with Sunmedia. She even had dinner with the mayor. . I think the best change was the decision to shut down anonymous comments that we allowed on the website. Thank goodness. There is enough stupidity in the world without encouraging people to leave anonymous comments. It was obvious that the same handful of people were the only ones leaving comments and more often than not, those commenters resorted to attacking each other. I think some bright-eyed university student could do a sociological study on the degrading behavior people display when anonymous commenting is permitted. It's like the moment people go online, they step into a bubble of dumbness. I can't figure it out. I used to get upset about it. Now I just get embarrassed for those people.
Neil's birthday happened last week. So we had a quick online chat. He is happy. Life is treating him well in Vancouver. I don't think he plans on returning to Timmins. That's okay. But OMG, he is 35 now. Can you believe that?

Saturday, May 02, 2015

I had to laugh...

I am not the only guy who thinks about these things! That was my thought earlier today when I wondered about my love for whiskey. I checked the Internet about what options are open to diabetics who like their whiskey. OMG. There were more than 77-thousand Google returns. I have some reading to do!