Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rachel Davis

Looking through old files I found a photo of Rachel Davis, a girl I knew who'd been shot to death in Vancouver after she'd gone to the aid of someone she didn't know who was being beaten outside a club in Gastown. She'd shielded the victim from the blows, but unfortunately that someone was a drug dealer who'd just called his buddy to get a Glock and then began firing it into the crowd, killing her and Richard Hui, and injuring four others.Vancouver Province Story
She was like that! I saw her being protective of girls who'd gotten too drunk at parties....

I interviewed her dad for the Star - first time I've ever covered anything serious where I knew the victim personally.

If you are trying to break up a fight, don't get BETWEEN anybody, even if they are smaller than you - they can attack you without warning  -  you should stand away at a safe distance and phone police.

Her family set up an award to commemorate her at
with Sam Dinicol

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Too cloudy to see eclipse, solstice in a few minutes

I went out just when the eclipse began then went back to bed - at near total eclipse I went out again, but it was too overcast! Solstice in 10 minutes! Solstice and Lunar eclipse on the same day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chickadee scavaging deer carcass

I didn't know that Chickadees would eat deer remains! Deer had been butchered and remains dumped in parking lot of ski trail, which schoolkids use!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

100000 Mark Note Hyperinflation

After the First World War, the Allies asked Germany to pay them damages for the war (It finished paying this year, 2010). Indirectly this lead to hyperinflation, where the German Mark became almost worthless. The hyperinflation and the occupation of the Ruhr almost certainly helped the Nazis take power in 1933.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

My grandfather Thomas John Williams was in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the Great War (WWI). He died before I was born.  He said that on Christmas Day in 1914 the Germans came out of their trenches and crossed into no-man's land to sing Christmas Carols and play football. They called him "Tommy". Less politely his comrades called them Krauts.
This is oral history from my family, so I can't be sure that he was there or was just telling what someone else had told him, however, this is a historic event that has been well documented - see Christmas Truce

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stop thief at Wal-Mart

Boy being chased by a fat blonde lady in the Wal-Mart - he was stopping and taunting her - I wasn't sure if it was a robbery - she was swearing at him - it was a robbery! He had grabbed her wallet and jumped the fence  but he let her get close and taunted her since he knew she couldn't catch him.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Christopher Hitchins Was DEAD.

August 6 may become the atheist Easter as Wikipedia listed the Portsmouth Pundit as having died that day. Hitchens, suffering from cancer, did get better around suppertime EST. This is why you should never use Wikipedia as a primary source!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fused Elm

Somewhere near the Bay of Quinte someone joined two elms together maybe a century ago! There is an article on Husband and Wife trees in Wikipedia.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Toronto Home Baked Pies

City of Toronto limits sign next to handmade Home Baked Pies sign

At the city limits on the east side of Toronto.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic Hockey

The country is more excited than when Henderson's 1972 goal won the Soviet-Canada series!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quebec Gazette June 21 1764

This is the a copy of the first number, printed June 21, 1764 of the oldest continually published newspaper in North America. The Quebec Gazette eventually became the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, which I wrote a few stories for, and is still published! I saw the original and it was in good condition - I think it was printed on hemp based paper and was brown but not crumbly. Here is the link to the pdf file:

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to download BBC videos in Ubuntu

It's nice being able to keep a copy of a video for reference on your own pc - you can't  do this with the BBC's site using the firefox add-ons that work with youtube, but you can in Ubuntu's Linux using get_iplayer and flvstreamer - both of which you can find in Synaptic Package Manager (it's "get-iplayer" , not "get_iplayer" in Synaptic).
Then follow the instructions here: and if you just want to download from the BBC News' website go down to this section:

get_iplayer --modes=flashnormal
  --pid 'tv:'
(put in the url of the page you want the embedded video from)

It will copy an .avi file to your home folder.

Friday, January 1, 2010


The sound of a 50 calibre machine gun firing! It's New Years! I only hear it on New Years - they might even have tracer rounds...... wonder what the owner does with it the rest of the time.