Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Timmins and Timbaland

The Tedster and I are back from a weekend away in Timbuktu (aka Timmins, Ontario). It never ceases to amaze me what a dreary, crumbling, s**thole it is. (Sorry N@, and anyone else who's from there.) In defense of the dreary, crumbling, s**thole... I must add that I only lived there for a little over 2 years, so maybe my assessment is a little more harsh than someone who enjoys living in a dreary, crumbling s**thole... and there are many who enjoy Timmins. Hey... if people actually live there... there must be redeeming qualities, right? I'm not an outdoorsy type person, so that's probably an automatic 3 strikes against me right there.

So why do we make the trip up there twice a year?? To visit 2 of Ted's sisters and their families. There's no other reason "to" go really. It's not like you just hop in the car for 8 hours of twisty, wilderness highways for the Goldmine Tour, or the Shania Twain Museum, and certainly not for the weather.

Anyhow... the visit was pleasant, although Ali was away camping for the better part of the weekend, and Crissy had to work both days that we weren't travelling. (A four-day weekend in Timmins really boils down to 2 days, since 2 of those days are spent driving and recovering from the driving.) So, for me; it's kind of been a "salvage the positive aspects" kind of weekend because most of the time I was bored. I pride myself in enjoying boredom in almost any other scenario, but "Timmins Bored", is beyond the usual "cherish-nothing-to-do" bored. There is truly nothing to do. But I did get a lot of fresh air, and the dogs love it up there, so yeah... that's a lot of what was salvaged.

Ted and I also made a lone journey out to his mother's grave in Whitney Cemetery. (Porcupine, Ontario folks.... yes... that's the name of a town.) That's always sad but somehow edifying. It's such a beautiful place for a cemetery beside a lake with absolutely nothing around. Ted's mom has been gone since December 25th, 1995 and it seems like a lifetime ago even though it's only been 12 years. I couldn't help but wonder how our lives would have been different had she lived. The thought of having parents in our lives is pretty foreign, and his mom was a wonderful, "family" woman. She most certainly would've had an active role and a positive influence. I only knew her for 4 months and she made me feel so welcome in their home. She knew that I was Ted's boyfriend, and she thought a lot of me and made no secret of it. I've had the good fortune of a couple of boyfriends with wonderful, accepting mothers. It's a good feeling and I remember them fondly.

At any rate, our visit wasn't ALL somber and uneventful. We also did a fair bit of drinking, which is something I haven't done in YEARS. I can't say I miss it, but we did have fun. It might seem a sad declaration to recall a family board game as the highlight of one's holiday weekend, but the family board games get quite vicious and therefore hysterical. We spent HOURS playing "Super Tock" with no one winning because it's more fun to just hunt down and foil your loved ones than it is to win. With a full compliment of players it's very fast-paced, and evil.

Sadly we forgot to bring the camera, so we missed-out on countless photo-ops with Ted's nephews who are 3 (Nathan) and 4 (Zach). We went out to their camp site for a couple of hours, but it was so bloody cold there (they had snow on Saturday) we opted not to stay. We saw a lot of Rachel (Ted's oldest niece) and her boyfriend Aaron (such a cutie), but Sarah (Ted's youngest niece, she's 14) was pretty much AWOL for the weekend ...with friends. And as far as I know, Porthos is still sleeping off the experience after spending so much time with other dogs. (Both sisters have one each.)

Before drawing to a close here, I'd like to once-again thank the Apple dude that created the iPod. Road trips are so much better because of you. Yes. Yes they are.

Oh, and as an add-on to that. The Camry Hybrid was an absolute pleasure to drive. We're getting close to 900 kms on one tank of gas. Considering gas was $1.19 per litre in Timmins, this is a good thing. It was also comfortable and surprisingly ballsy on the highway. And it stands up really well in the face of Basset barf. (thank god we had a blanket down.)

Song in my head... is "Way I Are" by Timbaland. I won't bother with the lyrics, 'cause it's not like they're life-affirming in any way. But I have to recommend Timbaland Presents: Shock Value for anybody who enjoys some (but isn't limited to) slick hip-hop (and doesn't mind some dirrrrty lyrics). It's one of the best full-albums I've listened to in a long time. There's maybe only one or two tracks on the entire thing that I don't like. And Timbaland being more a reputable producer than performer, really mixes it up with guest artists and varying styles of music. And it works really well together. I especially like the songs he does with "Fall Out Boy" and "Elton John". It's really creative, and above all else: always rhythmic. Timbaland is a master of what sounds good. Plus there are some very socially relevant tracks on the album too, (it's not entirely without lyrical substance) like "Kill Yourself", which (by title alone) sounds bad, but it's an observation of hip hop culture and the social spiral it's in.

Very enjoyable CD. One of my new faves.


N@ Lauzon said...

I don't take offense to the Timmins sh*thole comment. I actually like Timmins (to visit). I always forget how clean and fresh it is vs. the big bad city.

Re: your camry! Me and Corn are looking into a hybrid. Why did u choose that over the Prius? We know ZERO about cars, so any info you could give us would be great.

Misster Kitty said...

so um... "Porcupine, Ontario" is REAL!?!?

...well, FRICK ME!

(Glad you made it back alive!)

John said...

Clean and fresh it is, and if I have to concede anything about Timmins it would have to be the dead silence you can enjoy outside at night in addition to the wide open star-scape in the sky that looks like a picture taken by a telescope. You don't get those things in the big, dirty city. That's fo sho.

Anyhoo... with regards to "why the Camry Hybrid?". We did a couple of month's worth of shopping (not that we're car experts either) and immediately narrowed it down to an import. Because we've owned nothing but Hondas and Acura's since 1990. They're super reliable n' all that. However, Acura doesn't have a hybrid model yet and Honda's offerings were either too expensive (ie: the Accord V6 hybrid is close to 40-thousand dollars) or just too small to be practical (meaning no space for our big dog and very little trunk space)(ie: the Civic hybrid - which I loved despite it's size). The Nissan Altima Hybrid would have been my first choice, over the Camry, but the test model we drove had a shifting quirk, and considering it was brand new and also Nissan's first attempt at hybrid technology, we thought "maybe next time". It was very powerful though, and offered the same fuel economy.
Toyota has 3 hybrid models: the Prius, the Camry and the Highlander. We chose the Camry for it's ample space (who woulda' thought I'd ever say that), smooth ride, awesome stereo, fuel economy (the same as the Yaris) standard options and price. It's actually cheaper than the Prius, although the Prius has marginally better fuel economy. The Highlander we didn't even consider because we don't need an SUV and it was more expensive. But when it comes down to Camry vs Prius. There are very few differences to consider really. The Camry's bigger, more stylish, has a better stereo, and is about 6-thousand dollars cheaper (at $31,000). That's not to say the Prius isn't a good car. Our sales rep kinda hinted that it was likely to be discontinued within the next 2 years, because Toyota is going to offer all of their models as Hybrids within 5 years and the next models are likely to be either the Corolla, or the Matrix which kind of illiminates the need for the Prius. We'll see though. That was just speculation.
Also... when considering hybrids, we also learned that Toyota has been making them the longest. 15+ years, which gives them a slight edge over Honda and a huge edge over everyone else.
The least expensive hybrid on the market is the Saturn Vue. (which looks nice, but's GM - and after watching "Who Killed the Electric Car"... yeah, GM ain't gettin' diddly from us.)

There's not a whole lot to choose from yet Nat, so the homework is easy. But thus far, we're VERY happy with our Camry. It's an extremely smart car with features that continue to impress us. (ie: the key technology alone) You won't believe how frickin' QUIET it is. It's awesome. The perfect stealth vehicle for sneakin' up on lil' ol' ladies and honkin' your horn. hee