Friday August 22, 2014

Kudos for public works department


This just in. It’s cold. Very cold. How cold? Really, really cold. I have to hand out a grade of A+ to Doran and James as well as the entire Public Works division for dealing with frozen water lines around Yorkton over the last six weeks or so. Apparently, they are running steady for as long as fourteen hours a day trying to unfreeze water to people’s homes and businesses. I got a quick education on Monday about frost and how the whole process works. A normal winter sees 3-4 feet of frost underground. This year, there is evidence the frost has gone nine feet down. Nine! If you paid attention in Physics class, you know that’s not easy.  It’s darn cold. Oh yeah, I mentioned that. There are some people who have been frustrated at being without water and that’s understandable.  But, there is nobody to blame other than Mother Nature. In Winnipeg, the situation is so bad private companies are cropping up and charging $500 to unfreeze the water lines because the city isn’t able to keep up. You can only do so much an hour, so much a day. The reality is that if more than half a dozen homes are without water in Yorkton, it’s really hard for a crew to get you back up and running within a day. And, if they aren’t successful unfreezing the line from the water meter, it can take as long as six hours to do it from outside. Here I thought last winter was the worst I had ever seen.

It is baffling to me how a commercial aircraft can just go missing, but that’s what happened a couple of weeks ago with a Malaysian airliner. There are a lot of different theories surrounding what may have happened and I have my own. I suspect someone with intentions that were untoward took over the aircraft and got it turned around. Passengers, upon realizing this, tried to secure the plane and a gun shot was fired. The shot changed the cabin pressure and the plane wasn’t able to descend to an altitude where the air was safe to breathe.  Therefore, I’m thinking everybody perished due to hypoxia and, tragically, the plane just flew until it ran out of gas and then just dropped into the Indian Ocean somewhere. Just a theory and I’m far from an expert, but that doesn’t seem all that outlandish.

I’ve had a number of people ask for my opinion on the Regina University cheerleaders who conducted a theme night practice where they played a game and dressed up as Cowboys and Indians. University officials said the team wore ‘culturally inappropriate costumes’. My problem is that since I’m not First Nations, it’s hard to say what is offensive and what isn’t. What I can tell you is that if I go by what I read on a few of the news websites that allow the general public to comment, then I would say there are a large number of First Nations people who were not offended by the cheerleaders. One person, who proclaimed to be First Nations, said she used to play Cowboys and Indians with her friends on the reserve all the time and she liked to be one of the cowboys.

If playing Cowboys and Indians is offensive, I wonder if the entire practice of St. Patrick’s Day is offensive.  Stereotyping the Irish as a group of people who spend their days intoxicated isn’t exactly flattering. And, what about the television program Sons Of Anarchy? If you take it literally, they are telling you Mexican people are drug runners. How about comedians? They make their living poking fun at people for how they look. Could comedy shows go the way of the dinosaur? I’m not saying these things are or are not offensive. But, I am saying it either should all be offensive or none of it should be offensive.

Most people who know me know I’m a big baseball fan and one of the things bothering me about baseball is the number of pitchers undergoing a procedure called Tommy John surgery. It’s a ligament replacement and shelves a pitcher for a full year.  Over thirty years ago, a pitcher needing this done would, simply, have to retire. I’ve followed baseball ever since I was a wee boy and I just don’t recall that many pitchers needing to retire because their ligaments had to be replaced. So, why is it happening now?  Pitchers don’t throw nearly the innings that they used to and they are babied beyond belief.  Yet, more of them break down than ever before.  It’s one of the big mysteries of sports to me.

The SJHL semi-finals are set to begin this week with Yorkton facing Humboldt and Melville taking on Battlefords.  The Terriers and North Stars would be heavy favorites to win their respective series, but should the Millionaires pull off an upset, the excitement in these parts about a Melville-Yorkton SJHL championship series should be something like we’ve never seen before. Full rinks in each centre and the emotion?  I don’t think we can even comprehend it unless we see it.

Nice person mentions this week to Kevin Shirtliffe, Tammy Stevenson, Mike Wiens, Wade Peterson, and the kind service representative from Securtek who, remotely, turned my house alarm off over the weekend when it sounded inadvertently.



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