Gull Lake Hotel Fire

I didn’t hear until last week that the town of Gull Lake, on the Trans-Canada Highway, lost its Hotel building on Thanksgiving weekend. It was arson.

This Summer we spent a night in Gull Lake on our way through to Alberta on vacation, so I got some photos of the town, including the Hotel.

Gull Lake Saskatchewan

Gull Lake Saskatchewan

The Story Of Human Voice Recordings

For the longest time, historians thought they knew Edison was the first to record the human voice. Then a team of researchers realized there were earlier recordings that were made by a Frenchman without any expectation that they could be converted back into sound. Our advanced scanning and computer equipment was able to do it with some inventive solutions, in 2008.

Learn all about an interesting aspect of our audio history, and hear sounds from the 19th Century.

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