Saturday, July 2, 2011

Circle I Limbo

Nancy Pelosi
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

PETA Members
Circle IV Rolling Weights

George Bush
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Circle VII Burning Sands

The Pope
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Michelle Bachman
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good News

Well, good news! To those few of you who read this blog, it's kaput. I just got TWO paying freelance gigs! I'm now a writer for and for !
Part of the contracts is that I don't post my work anywhere else, so this blog is donezo! Make sure you check those sights in the next couple months for my work!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This week, Bruce asked me to write a reflection on my time here for the paper. This is what I submitted to him.

My name is Chris Tataryn, and I’m new to this.

I am a student, just about to finish my work practicum and graduate from Media Production at ACC. As you may have guessed, I’m doing my practicum here at the Westman Journal, and this week I have been tasked with writing about my experience so far.

I started my practicum here in May, and it will be over before July. In just this short time, I have totally rekindled the desire I had for news media when I enrolled at ACC. I was worried that next year I was going to have to go get a ‘real’ education in something safe like business or accounting, but after having just a taste of how exciting a media career can be, I am sure this is for me.

This may be an unpaid practicum, but all the perks I have received more than make up for that. Perks like free-access to the Memorial Cup, much to the jealousy of some of my classmates.

When the cup was in town, I was floored to learn that Bruce Penton, the editor here at the Journal, had put my name down for a media pass at the Memorial Cup. That meant that I now had free access to anything going on in the Keystone Centre for that entire event. Free access to games, to players, even to Lord Stanley’s Cup (which, thanks to this practicum, I had the opportunity to touch without waiting in line for hours). Just the ability to walk around and learn or watch anything I wanted was an incredible feeling.

The Memorial Cup was an awesome experience for me, and it hasn’t slowed down since it ended.

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to go check out the Summer Fair a day early and even got myself on some free rides. If you thought the Fireball was scary before, try doing it while clutching a camera worth more than all your possessions combined. Definitely more exciting than anything I could have expected when I started my time at the journal.

Experiencing actually being a part of the mainstream media has been awesome. I live to learn, and being in an industry that focuses around learning and uncovering new information is a dream come true. The best part so far? All these cool things I’ve done at the Westman Journal are just the start, I have no idea what I could be doing in five years, and thanks to my time here, that is the most exciting thing I could imagine.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Five Guys Burger and Fries Now Open!

Five Guys Burger and Fries opened the doors to its third Canadian outlet on Thursday, and even just hours after its grand opening, Brandonites are praising the new establishment located in the Shoppers Mall.

“This is hands-down the best burger I have ever tasted,” said Rory Graham, a grade 11 student at Vincent Massey, “It’s so good it’s obscene.”

Five Guys Burger and Fries is owned and operated by Phil Holmes and Vincent McAllister, with Ben Hernandez working as the GM.

“At Five Guys Burger and Fries we value our crew more than the burger itself. It’s the employees that make it all happen,” said Holmes, “They are a well-oiled burger-making army and the pride of the organization.”

When you walk in to FGBF, you are greeted by blaring rock music, the sounds of a bustling kitchen and the tantalizing scent of fresh meat being grilled. When you take your place in line, you can help yourself to a complimentary bag of peanuts while you wait. All the fries are cooked in healthier peanut oil as opposed to your typical fast food grease. After placing your order you have access to as many free drink refills as you can want, starting as soon as your burger hits the grill. The burgers are thick, fresh, and cooked to perfection every time, and all the toppings are free. You won’t be paying for

extra pickles here.

“All our employees have complete power to help anyone with any problems they may have. If you have a problem, you won’t have to wait for a manager to be called, anyone you talk to will help you and make sure you leave satisfied,” said Holmes.

“We picked Brandon to open this business because of the really good people in Brandon,” said McAllister, “This city has a very tight-knit community and an awesome small-town feel.”

The community involvement in Brandon is certainly going to help FGBF, as they don’t plan to spend a cent on any advertising, counting on word of mouth to spread their reputation.

“We aren’t fast food,” said Holmes, “We don’t have a drive-thru, we don’t have the food prepared ahead of time; we don’t even have a freezer in the back. All the ingredients are prepared the day of, and all burgers are cooked and put together right in front of your eyes.”

“This is Brandon’s first REAL burger joint,” said Sam Vopni, a grade 12 student from Vincent Massey, “and after tasting this burger? I know I’m coming back.”

Brandon Minor Baseball a Hit

Minor baseball in Brandon is a growing attraction to kids of all ages, and thanks to the hard work by Faron Asham, it should continue to grab interest.

Asham is the President of the Brandon Minor Baseball League and he and his wife, Deborah Asham, fill many of the other roles needed to keep the league active.

“We have over 400 kids aged 8-18 this year,” said Faron Asham, “And over half of our

membership is in the 8-10 division, giving us a strong young foundation to work with over the next few years.”

The BMBL acquired Simplot Park six years ago, and although it requires a lot of upkeep, Asham thinks it is worth it.

“It requires maintenance and upkeep from before the season starts until about August,” said

Asham, “but it’s entirely worth it. This facility allows us to have more teams in for tournaments. We even had a 30 team tournament once, and although that was pushing it a bit, we are still the only facility to be able to accommodate that many games.”

There are two students who are paid for their help maintaining the fields, but everything else is in the hands of volunteers.

“It’s not cheap to run this place, it costs us nearly $60 000 a year just to operate,” said Asham, “Most of the player fees go right towards that, and any extra we save and try to use for improvements.”

Asham hopes to add a few more upgrades to the field this year, including some professional-

calibre bullpens at 4 of the diamonds, as well as sod for the peewee infields. He also says they would love for a major sponsor to help them out with a sprinkler system, although that may be a little far-off.

Simplot Park and the BMBL are hosting a few big tournaments this summer like the Peewee National Tournament, a very prestigious 10 team tourney that they had to bid for, as well as the ‘Hit, Run, Throw’ competition, a provincial contest

for athletes to display their skills in the aforementioned categories. The top three athletes will be invited to Winnipeg for the next round of competition by CanWest Global, and they will receive tickets to a Goldeyes game.

The BMBL has helped kids grow in the sport of baseball, and boasts sending lots of

athletes to the Manitoba Youth Team, the highest level of competition in the province, as well as sending kids on to play in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League with teams like the Clover Leafs and Marlins.

“Baseball is a great sport, and I love seeing kids get into it at such a young age and stick around until they are adults playing at a higher level,” said Asham, “I love being a part of it.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roly Hollyoake, 92 Year old Man of Interest

Most people can’t even imagine making it to age 92, but bartender Roly Hollyoake is still healthier and more active than some people in their 30s.

Hollyoake, a resident at Victoria Landing, is allegedly the oldest licensed bartender in North America, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

“I enjoy helping out at the bistro here for happy hours,” said Hollyoake, who volunteers twice a week serving drinks to residents, “It keeps me busy and gives me a chance to talk to people and share jokes.”

Hollyoake has been in the bartending business for over 40 years, but only got his license last year after Victoria Landing told him it was required to continue volunteering.

Hollyoake didn’t start bartending until around 1975, because before that he was too busy hanging out with movie-stars of his day. After three and a half years serving as a mechanic in the air force, station at Paulson Airport, Hollyoake hitchhiked all the way down to Hollywood.

“Movies really started to interest me after working at the theatre in Dauphin, so I wanted to see Hollywood,” said Hollyoake, “I got to tour all the movie lots and meet lots of stars; it really was something.”

Hollyoake was invited to “Little Mary” Pickford’s estate for a party, and met many movie stars at that time, including Roddy McDowall, whose home Hollyoake spent a weekend at.

After his time spent living it up in Hollywood, Hollyoake hitch hiked his way back up north and home, where he entered the hotel industry in Dauphin.

Around 1975 he moved with his family to run the Souris Motor Inn, where he put most of his time in behind the bar.

Hollyoake was born in England, just 50 miles from London, in a refurbished barn in 1918. He moved to Canada when he was 11 years old, and now has a large family, with five children of his own, and 13 grandchildren and great grandchildren. His wife passed away in 2002.

“I have a good life,” said Hollyoake, “I enjoy good health, I love where I live and I keep myself busy. I’m amazed I’m as old as I am.”

Hollyoake has even more on his resume to keep himself busy; he is also a licensed Marriage Commissioner, and has been performing weddings for the last 17 years.

“Every wedding is entirely different; I enjoy being there to see them all.”

Hollyoake has performed marriages all over, from farms and historical buildings to Mexico and the Peace Gardens. He even performed two at the Victoria Landing facilities a few years ago.

If marrying people, pouring drinks, and hanging out with movie stars isn’t enough for a 92 year old man, Hollyoake was also honoured last February for 61 years of membership in the Lions Club.

Hollyoake spent 1984 as the District Governor in the Lions Club, and during that year he started 17 new clubs in the area, a huge number for only one year of work. He also took on the role of editor of the Lions Club newsletter for 10 years.

“My doctor says that keeping active like I do must help my health,” said Hollyoake, “He said ‘I don’t know what you are doing, but don’t stop, its working!’” Hollyoake enjoys his great health, and gives part of the thanks to never having smoked in his life, an impressive feat considering the past tolerance of cigarettes in bars. He also likes to have a few glasses of wine every week, and plans to continue that tradition for the rest of his days.

Roly Hollyoake is an active member of Victoria Landing, and an inspiration at his age for young people who hope to stay active and healthy into their golden years.

Donations needed to help Bowlby

Natasha Bowlby is hoping to paddle in support of breast cancer at the International Dragon Boat Festival in Peterborough, Ontario this month, but she needs help from the community to get there.

The festival in Peterborough is the world-wide festival, and will be hosting over 65 teams from all around the world, including South Africa, Italy, and America, as well as several Canadian teams.

Bowlby is the only support paddler going to the Festival from Manitoba, and because she is not a member of any team she will need financial support from the public to get there.

“I’m accepting any donations people can give, and anyone who donates gets to sign their name on my paddle to show their support for breast cancer,” said Bowlby.

Dragon boating is a 2000 year old sport that started in ancient China. It’s a competitive racing sport in long boats, usually holding 22-23 people; 20 paddlers, 1 drummer to keep the rhythm, and 1 caller or steersperson at the rear of the boat. Bowlby has been paddling for roughly five years, and travels to her home in Nova Scotia most summers to paddle competitively with the Bosom Buddies, the team her mother is a part of.

“Dragon boating is a lot of fun,” said Bowlby, “All sorts of people can do it, and it really is a great way to build new relationships with your team mates.”

Bowlby’s mother, Eileen Bowlby, is a 13 year survivor of breast cancer, and Natasha’s inspiration for paddling. Eileen started dragon boating after her friend recommended it to help strengthen muscles after breast cancer treatments, and it stuck with her since then.

Natasha enjoys the sport so much that she has been working to bring it to Brandon since earlier this year, and has a team of roughly 23 people organized which just had its first on the water practice. For more information about dragon boating, and how you can get involved, email Natasha at or drop by the Brandon Paddling Club at Dinsdale Park.