Saturday, February 27, 2016

So much secrecy

I was researching this week about some prospectors I had met over the years. One of them was Franc Joubin. I interviewed him several years ago. He is the man who made the famous Blind River Uranium discovery that lead to the creation of the town of Elliot Lake. Joubin is legendary among prospectors as a Mine Finder. I count myself lucky to have met a handful. Anyway, discovering a new mine takes a lot of work, and a lot of secrecy. I know there are many stories about all the secrecy surrounding the discovery of the fabulous Kidd Creek orebody. I never realized until Thursday about how Joubin kept the uranium discovery secret so that he would have time to stake his claims. I read about it in a 1955 edition of LIFE magazine of all places.
Back then, when you staked a claim, you had 30 days to file the claim with the Ontario Mine Recorder’s office. In order to capture the full extent of the uranium discovery, Joubin had to stake hundreds of claims. As it turned out, Joubin and his team hired scores of claim stakers from Timmins and they flew out in a squadron of float planes from South Porcupine in July of 1953. The landed secretly on a series of lakes in the bush around Blind River, 250 miles southwest of Timmins. Within that month they staked 1,400 claims covered more than 50,000 acres. This would eventually see the creation of the Denison, Rio Algom and Eldorado Mines. What a time that must have been. Who says mining isn’t exciting.  
And that story is only half as interesting as how Joubin found the uranium in the first place. Several years before, sitting in a tent north of Sault Ste. Marie, another prospector gave Joubin a chunk of rock that was radioactive, and set his Geiger counter ticking like crazy. Turning the rock over, Joubin saw the word LONG had been written on a piece of paper with that rock. That was the only word.

It would take him years of searching before he realized there was a remote place called Long Township near Blind River. Even then, it would be years before he found the Uranium deposit. 

These guys are champions!

Everyone I talk to in Timmins knows about it, so I figured it was about time I put a mention here about what a great hockey team the Valley East Outlaws are.  This is the team that includes Scott as a coach and Nathan as a player. They came to Timmins in January and won the tournament. A couple of weeks back they played in Ottawa and won that tournament too! So congratulations team. I am really proud of all your hard work.

So this was another good week at work, made a bit more interesting by the fact my vehicle was in the shop and I had a rental. It was a 2016 Santa Fe. I picked it up first thing Monday morning and barely got used to it when I had to return it Friday afternoon. It was nice with all the tech stuff on it. I liked the fact that many of the controls were located right on the steering wheel. Oh my vehicle has another brand new front bumper. It got smashed by a lady who drove through a stop sign. Good thing is that no one was hurt. And HER insurance paid everything!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Honeyed whiskey ...

I haven't been spending much time with my whiskey glass lately. That changed last night when I decided to enjoy a couple of glasses of Forty Creek Spike. It's a very smooth honeyed whiskey and, as expected, it is sweet. I didn't add anything to the whiskey. No water, no ice. So this was after 10 p.m. I knew I would be going to bed soon. The whiskey was nice. Very nice. I was up around 6:20 this morning and did a normal blood-sugar test, as I do every morning. Whoa! My blood sugar had sure spiked to near double to normal levels. So that is that. I will have to set that aside and serve it to company only.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A perfect day ...

It’s one of those things when you really feel alive and well. I took in the winter hike today at Hersey Lake. I missed it last winter and so it was important to me to get out this year. I absolutely love the silence in the forest and the hike itself was indeed refreshing. Although I should not have worn my parka. It was minus 18 when I headed out, but I would have been better off wearing a couple of layers of fleece and a windbreaker. The parka was just too warm for this sort of thing. And soon I was sweating. And then my glasses fogged up! But it was still a good thing because the weather was so sunny and perfect. And I also met so many people out enjoying the day. It was so nice. I think I expended too many calories. I will have to import a few Single Malt calories after supper tonight.

By the way I shot the photos with my new Nikon coolpix pocket cam. It is water proof and weather proof. It works so nicely. I am very pleased.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Blatch ... you suck!

Okay so this is my rant today and it’s a media thing. I like to go online and read newspaper stories. That’s because newspaper articles are usually in-depth, with good quotes, good background and good sources.  That’s what I expect from a newspaper article.  I also go to broadcast websites to see television coverage of stories. I like TV news. When it is done right. 

I don’t like it when I click on a news headline and a little video screen pops up with a really lame print reporter trying to tell a broadcast story. When I want to see a video, I will go a broadcast website and watch a TV story done the right way, with good video and a good TV reporter telling a story. Example, NatPost reporter Christie Blatchford has been reporting all this week on the Ghomeshi trial. I love reading what Blatch writes. Her writing style is great. But whoever put Blatch in front of a TV camera needs their ass kicked. OMG, it is painful to watch. It is so bad that it takes away from the fact that she is a wonderful reporter   … for newspapers. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Yes, spring is on the way...

February is here already, and I like that. It means spring is not far away. That has to be my favourite season. I was out walking in the forest the other day and just marvelled at how fresh the air is in Northern Ontario. I am not being trite. I am actually laughing because my apartment air gets stale sometimes. That’s only because my building is energy efficient and a bit airtight. Sometimes when I cook with onions I make the mistake of throwing the scraps in the garbage without wrapping the onions scraps. I will come home from work and the whole place smells like onion! So yes, I enjoying getting out for a walk on a trail to enjoy the fresh air.
I was out in the bush this morning as well. It was minus 32 with the windchill, but I barely noticed it because it was such a nice day. 
Interesting times lately. Trading was halted on shares of Lake Shore Gold on the TSX on Friday after the company released drill results with some nice high grade gold zones in Timmins. This has caused quite of bit of excitement. I am hoping this is good news for the city.

I am looking forward to next month, when I take a bit of a mini-vacation. People will laugh at me, but I am going to the annual prospector’s convention in Toronto. I am going at my own expense, but I know I will have fun. There will be mining people there from around the world, and any mining reporter worth his salt should drop in. So I will spend a few days rubbing elbows with these folks and enjoying myself. Prospectors are interesting folks and they drink the best whiskey. If I am tempted enough, I might even enjoy a cigar! I should mention that all the high finance people will be there too. It is quite something to see when the bearded fellows in the plaid shirts mix it up with the fellows in tuxedos. I couldn’t get a room at the Royal York this time. But I will be staying at the Harbour Castle. It’s a nice place and not far from the convention.