Carnie's Comments - SHOP LOCAL
He takes the time on his Christmas Greeting on 800 CHAB to urge us to "shop locally" this Holiday Season. He is Brian Martyniuk, Executive Director at the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce. And, he knows about the benefits.
Studies have shown that when we buy from independent, locally owned businesses, more of our money is used to make purchases from other local businesses and service providers. This keeps our local economy strong and our community growing.
Those same studies also show that our local charities and non-profit organizations get about two-and-a-half times more support from small business than they do from big business.
What's more? It's a fact that small, local businesses are the largest employer nation-wide and provide more jobs in our community than any others.
So, before you consider running to the big city or south of the border to save a few dollars, think about the time and money you'll spend to get it done and, ask yourself, is it really worth it?
Carnie's Comments - CITY BUS SHENANIGANS
Friends and families of young students who were on the bus were talking about it Tuesday night. They let us know about it via e-mail and we followed up with phone calls. Parents and school kids...upset after a number of kids were allegedly ordered to de-board a city transit bus when the driver had enough of, what we're told, was the continuous pulling of the bell cord.
It was cold. Parents and students were and are angry.
Reaction on social media? There's plenty of it from parents to students to a city bus driver in Regina who says he's been in the same situation and asks others not to be too hard on the driver.
The reaction I found most interesting was from a former Moose Javian. He said, "It boils down to respect...I'm sure that group of kids learned something from this. I live in Japan and talking on public transportation is a No-No! The driver does not hesitate to turn on his mic and tell you to be quiet...if it continues...your're off the bus."
He went on to say, "About the kids having to walk outside in the weather...they should ask their grandparents how they got to and from school...and, if they kept pulling (the bell cord), what would have happened to them?"
Carnie's Comments - WEST JET
Have you heard about what those wacky people at WestJet did this week?
If you've flown on a WestJet flight before, you know they're a little different...in a good way. People who work for WestJet, from pilots to flight attendants to the people at the ticket counter, are upbeat, personable, happy people. They have to be or they don't last long.
Well, passengers leaving Toronto and Hamilton heading to Calgary were asked by a virtual Santa Claus what they'd like for Christmas. Most of the passengers had some fun with it and told Santa what they wanted. When passengers de-planed in Calgary and made their way to the luggage carousel, dozens of wrapped presents appeared. Socks and sweaters and electronics...even a big screen TV.
Was it a publicity stunt? Absolutely. And the video WestJet posted is getting hundreds of thousands of views. I thought it was fantastic. I didn't for a second think anyone could find anything wrong with it...but I found one on social media.
He wrote: "Dear WestJet: Regarding your tear jerker marketing video? Great idea but would have preferred a donation to those "in need" as opposed to customers."
Really? Scrooge is alive?
Carnie's Comments - SaskEnergy Tellers
Our world is changing at a pace that makes some of us middle aged folks a little anxious.
We've got another example of that today as SaskEnergy announced they will discontinue offering cashier service at 9 provincial office locations, including Moose Jaw. The fact is, very few people actually use that service these days. Most people are opting for more convenient service like on-line and telephone banking and pre-authorized withdrawal.
The same thing happened last year over at the SaskPower office on South Hill. The SaskPower bill was the only one I hadn't switched to pre-authorized withdrawal. I stopped at the office to find the door locked and one, old man trying to read the sign that outlined our payment options. I took the time to explain it to him.
He looked sad and worried. I told him he could still pay the bill in the mail and he agreed that's what he'd do. But, he added, he likes taking the time to do business with people. He liked to walk over to the office to pay his bill each month. He walked away slowly with his head hung low.
I walked away wondering if, one day, I might be just like him.
Amaryllis Disaster from Marcy Duffey at Keon Garden Centre
I think about Mexico a lot at this time of year. White sands, turquoise water, warmth and sunshine ....a perfect place that the Amaryllis and Poinsettia plants call their ancestral home.
I am certain that was why my poor Amaryllis was found in a heap on the floor at work this morning. Her beautiful flowers crushed, long stems broken, with dirt spilled halfway across the store. As I picked up the pieces I thought that perhaps she looked out the window at the blustery white expanse of parking lot and, longing for the warmth and sunshine of home, just gave up!
Although these poor plants are far from their homeland, we benefit from their bright beauty and wonderful jolt of colour in our homes during the Christmas season.
Amaryllis is a bulb that is very easy to grow; it is as simple as starting with a large firm bulb, well- drained soil and a heavy pot with lots of root room. The heavy pot is very important as Amaryllis blooms are massive and the plant often cannot hold them up. A good heavy base will save the beauty from falling to disaster on the garden centre floor! They bloom in many different colours for an extended period of time. If you choose to keep them for enjoyment through to next Christmas there are some basic steps you will need to follow for success. After blooming and for the next six months keep in a sunny spot watering lightly with 20-20-20 fertilizer applied monthly. The thick green leaves will absorb energy from the sunlight to form the next set of blooms. In August cut way back on watering so the leaves will naturally yellow and die back. Once this has occurred tuck her away for a long autumn nap in a cool dark location. In November re-pot the bulb, and place in a bright sunny spot. She will reward you with a new batch of blooms.
Poinsettias look a little different but are also true Senoritas ... They are a beautiful plant that absolutely hate cold weather. So when we sell a poinsettia, we package them in heavy bags which we fill with warm air to keep them content until they arrive in your home. Once home avoid cool drafts from the windows and doors, water lightly and keep well drained and you will be able to enjoy it for weeks.
If you have the patience of a saint and the time management skills of Donald Trump, you could try and get the poinsettia through to next Christmas. In May cut back by one-third, re-pot one size larger, water lightly and fertilize once a month with 20-20-20. In July start watering more often and fertilize every two weeks. September through November it will need bright light for 10 hours a day and total darkness for 14 hours a day for 10 weeks until it is ready. If you have managed to not forget it in the closet for a month you will have a great plant for Christmas.
I start getting the shakes from plant withdrawals as winter approaches so although I have a great deal of sympathy for these poor Mexican expatriates, I selfishly need their colours and blossoms in my home to make the season complete.
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