As part of my new non-paying gig blogging for The Georgia Straight's tech blog [gs] I've been reading Wired a lot more than I normally do, as I try to come up with new topics to blog about. When I was scanning articles in their last issue I came across one that caught my eye with the title "How a Rogue Geologist Discovered a Diamond Trove in the Canadian Arctic" [wm].
"Hey," I thought to myself, "I (sort of) know someone who discovered diamonds in Canada maybe the article will mention him."
Not only does Chuck Fipke get mentioned, the feature length article is about him. When we moved back to Kelowna from White Rock we moved just down the street from the Fipkes, and Ryan was in my grade in school. We were in the same class in at least one year of grades 5, 6 and 7 and I know I slept over at least once. We also played road hockey a bit. During that time finding diamonds in Canada's north was not yet a reality, and the family was well off. After I went to a different high school than Ryan the diamonds were found and from then it always seemed like things changed for the family.
I actually didn't see Ryan after grade school, so it wasn't like we were particularly close friends. Seeing as Kelowna's a small town, and rumors and the like spread and grow like wildfire it's hard to tell how many of the stories about the kind of money, and spending, that the family has has seen since the diamonds were discovered are true and how many are just complete tall tales. But then again Chuck Fipke's $200 million dollar divorce was the largest in Canadian history.
The best part of the article is: "We are ushered past the velvet rope at the Cheetah Lounge, Kelowna's classiest strip joint, and Captain Chaos orders another round of caipirinhas for everyone."
Okay, I realize that the writer probably hasn't been to Kelowna before, but unless it's changed recently there's only two strip clubs in Kelowna and it's probably more accurate to say that Cheetahs is the least skeevy of the two.
Classy? Erm no.
Image from Wired's article.