B-17 Flying Fortress over Regina

Regina was lucky to get a visit from the famous World War II bomber plane.

I spent a few days running outside in the morning when I heard it roaring overhead, and snapping some photos and shooting videos. My older SD video camera has a much better 12X real zoom (48X digital), but my phone has HD video and less decent 4X digital zoom.
B-17

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

Wood Mountain: Population 21

When I was ten, my family picked up an exchange student from the Regina airport. It was Winter. As the South American boy rode with me on the van bench, across an open prairie between Regina and Moose Jaw, he asked how many people lived in Wood Mountain. I replied proudly, “Forty people live in Wood Mountain.” I knew, because I could count every one by going through each home in my mind, up and down the three streets, and three avenues. “Forty thousand?” he prompted for more details. “No, forty people.”

The school closed about three years later. The second last elevator burned in 1997 due to lightning strikes. The last wooden elevator in the village was demolished in 2014. There’s still a Community Hall, a rural post office and RM/Village office, a fire hall, a church, and Department of Highways buildings, and there are 21 people who live right in the village. More than a few live on the farms and ranches nearby. It’s still a community, and it still matters. Now, it’s Population 21.

It’s not even the second time Wood Mountain has been featured in a National Film Board documentary, but it is the first with my parents.

#OldNews about Alcohol and Planes

Roughly, it says:
“Alcohol makes lumps. Whoever is not satisfied, can see it in this photo, which was acquired last night after a driver who was under the influence of liquor, first drove to the gate of the High Sluis and then ended up at the motor line 7. The driver himself was a lucky escape, but one occupant and the tram driver were slightly injured.”

Alcohol maakt brokken. Wie daar nog niet van overtuigd is, kan het op deze foto zien, die genomen werd nadat gisteravond een autobestuurder, die onder invloed van sterke drank verkeerde, eerst tegen het hek van de Hoge Sluis reed en daarna terechtkwam tegen de motorwagen van lijn 7. De bestuurder zelf kwam met de schrik vrij, doch een inzittende en de bestuurder van de tram werden licht gewond.

Star Wars and Snow

I brushed the snow off my solar panels a couple times on the weekend, and it helped with their production a fair bit. The full sun came out, and melted the remaining flakes off too.

We watched Star Wars episode IV [8/10] and Empire Strikes Back [9/10] (Have them both on VHS), and several Star Trek The Next Generation episodes. On Friday we were at the Southland Mall to get a photo with Santa.

Another jolly bearded man at the Santa display:

My family saw the RCMP Heritage Centre for the first time. It’s priced like a tourist trap, especially compared to the admission-by-donation Royal Saskatchewan Museum. It was fun overall. Naturally my Dad and I weren’t entirely pleased with the total lack of mention about one of the first two semi-permanent NWMP presences in southern Saskatchewan, at Wood Mountain. They’ve a Sitting Bull artifact, mention Little Big Horn, and mention Walsh, but I don’t think you could find the words “Wood Mountain” if you tried. That’s a shame. It was the site of one of Canada’s first successful peace keeping missions, assigned to Walsh of the NWMP.

Sitting Bull

 

To Be Left On The Moon

Some of these items found in Armstrong’s closet, were to be abandoned on the surface of the Moon.

More than four decades after the Apollo 11 moon landing, a cloth bag full of souvenirs brought back by astronaut Neil Armstrong has come to light.

Among the trove: a 16 mm movie camera from inside the lunar module that filmed its descent to the moon and Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface in 1969.

That camera “took one of the most significant sets of images in the 20th century,” said Allan Needell, a curator in space history at the National Air and Space Museum.

Watson Quits The Star

This story is worth mentioning, because it’s about a Canadian journalist who stood up to censorship by their paper’s editors. It’s the sort of courage also described by Wab Kinew at his Minifie Lecture a couple years ago.

Why did you resign from the Toronto Star?

Part of what got me to the place I finally arrived at yesterday was listening to your show [CanadaLand] and realizing that enough is enough.

I was ordered six weeks ago yesterday to stop reporting on what I believe is a story of significant public interest.

“What are you working on?” For reasons we can get into, I pushed back. I hadn’t spoken to John Geiger yet, and I didn’t want editors to know precisely what I was going to ask him, because I wasn’t certain that would be secure information. And any journalist will tell you, you don’t want the source of your inquiries to know your questions beforehand. […]

From that moment on, things got out of hand. Very soon thereafter, a senior editor imposed a reporting ban on me.

I’ve been in this business a long time. I used to work for the LA Times, and never has an editor told me to stop reporting on anything, including when I had top secret military documents on Afghanistan, and the United States government was threatening through my newspaper to bring me up on charges of violating national security. No editor said, “Stop!”

Interference from PMO connected Jon Geiger is suggested by those involved in this incident.