Friday, 17 November 2017

A few minutes in . . . Candiac

Candiac, Saskatchewan on November 12, 2017. Not a ghost town. There are less than fifty people living here in a few modern homes. Candiac has some interesting old buildings that have long been abandoned. It was my first time here. I had heard about some of the old stuff here. I did a quick drive through the town just to take a look. I would love to come back here in the summer.

Former store.

Former business of some kind.

An old McCormick Deering tractor.

Beautiful church. I do not know if it is still in use.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The wall of text post

Years and years ago I used to hang out at a place called Sunset Billiards just off downtown Calgary. Sunset Billiards was a pool hall with a few coin operated games. The hours were nine to five, nine in the morning until five in the morning. I really do not know why they ever bothered to close for four hours.

No matter what time of the day of night there was always someone playing. The odd thing is that I can only remember one person working there that ran the place and he seemed to always be there. For some reason that I never found out he let my friend and I play and charged us very little or nothing at all. Being a reasonably poor college student I spent many hours, possibly hundreds, playing there. More than a few times I spent straight eight hours playing. No matter how much I played I could never any good at snooker. The bigger tables seemed to stymie me. I played enough eight ball to get somewhat good. My problem is that I did not have any natural talent. I got to the point where I could run the table a few times but I considered that luck more than skill.

I never neglected my classes or my studies. After school obligations were met my friend and would meet up and frequently play until the doors were closed. What does one do at five in the morning when you can no longer shoot pool? We would head over to Chinatown for fried rice and Chinese beer. It was cheap and it was good. After that you had no choice except to call it a night. Or in this case a very early morning.

There were some excellent players there. There were a few sketchy types. I never saw any fights. There were some Chinese players that really got caught up in playing three ball. That was a game I never understood.

There was also a coin operated tabletop hockey game. My friend and I would monopolize this when we were not playing pool. Every time we played the hockey game it would be a best of seven series and I spent a lot of quarters on it. It got to the point where we were so evenly matched most times it came down to a game seven. One time some guy pestered me and my friend for a game. He insisted he was the tabletop hockey champion of Canada. We laughed at that one. These days there likely is a Canadian champion, every other activity seems to have a champion of something. To get him to leave us alone we each played him and both of us beat him with a shutout. 

Sunset Billiards closed some years ago absorbed by downtown sprawl and those days are well in the past. For me it was a great place to hang out and it usually did not cost me a lot of money. Other than pool tables, some games, and cues they did not have a lot invested in the place. You could get pop or chips, no alcohol. It was a plain open space and nothing fancy. There are no cheap pool halls anymore. There should be. Anti-smoking laws killed a lot of them. For the ones that do exist owners think you have to offer food and craft beer with loud music in the background and it has to be an experience. I have not played in years and have no idea if there is a decent place to play.

There are few if any places to just hang out these days without it costing you an arm and a leg. A lot of the fun has been taken out of things and I kind of feel for people in their late teens and early twenties. I really cannot see how playing video games all weekend can be all that entertaining. Fun is where you find it. I do it these days with exploring and taking photos. I would love to find an interesting place to hang out one of these days. 

Fortress of barnitude

You hardly see old stone buildings in Alberta. There are a lot more of them in Saskatchewan. I saw this barn over by Francis, Saskatchewan on November 12, 2017. The lower part is stone. I am guessing it is abandoned as it looks in rough shape. It says Ambray Farm on the front.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Catholics have Vatican City

The Lutherans have a road.

Saskatchewan November 11, 2017

Getting clipped

I am not really a fan of "World's Largest . . . " that you see in small towns. This one is unique. This is the world's largest paperclip in Kipling, Saskatchewan. I remember the story that went with it at the time. I found myself in Kipling on November 12, 2017 and saw a sign with an arrow that said "Paperclip". Since I was already there I just had to turn and drive a few blocks to see it.  

From the Town of Kipling's internet page:

"On July 12, 2005, while living in Montreal, Kyle Macdonald launched an unlikely sequence of online trades which would earn both him and Kipling places in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Starting with a single redpaper clip, the young entrepreneur began “trading up”: the paper clip for a fish-shaped pen; the pen for a unique door knob and the door knob for a camp stove.

This he swapped for a generator, which was subsequently traded for a keg party.

Ensuing trades were for a snowmobile, a snowmobiling adventure to Yahk, BC,

A cube van, a recording contract, a year’s condo rental in Phoenix, AZ, then for a day with Alice Cooper.

The entrepreneur next arranged for a double switch with Actor-Director Corbin Bernsen, an avid collector, who agreed to accept a “KISS” snow globe in exchange for a role in an upcoming Hollywood movie.

The movie role was offered online and Bert Roach, who was Kipling’s Economic Development Officer at the time, proposed to Council that an offer be made. After some negotiation, Kipling traded the house at 503 Main Street in exchange for the movie role. That final trade was made on July 12, 2006, one year to the day after Kyle Macdonald had begun his world record trade sequence with a single paper clip. The house itself is now most often referred to as “The Red Paper Clip House”.

As a part of the terms of the trade, Kipling also erected the World’s Largest Red Paper Clip, which was unveiled July 12, 2007."

Kyle donated the house to the Town of Kipling moving away in 2008. This is the house which now houses a museum and cafe.