Carnie's Comments - Play Ball

It's a tough sell in many Canadian towns and cities.  You know why?  Summer is short.  We like to participate in our own activities and soak up the sun while it's warm.  


At least, that's why I believe minor league baseball leagues and teams struggle to get by across the country.


That said, setting up the Western Major Baseball League as a summer league for current college players was a good move.  There's enough support in Moose Jaw to keep the Miller Express operating and entertaining baseball fans at Ross Wells Park.


The Miller Express open up the WMBL season Saturday night at 7 o'clock, hosting the Swift Current Indians.  Baseball fans get to see young, energetic, up-and-comers from right here at home and from the United States.  These youngsters take time while they're in town to work with local children on their baseball skills.  They also participate in community events and contribute while they're here.


I've got some great memories of the old Moose Jaw Devons, Moose Jaw Astros, Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs and the Miller Express.


Whether you're a baseball fan or not, I'd recommend you and your family give our local ball club a chance to impress you.  It really is great family entertainment in beautiful, historic Ross Wells Park.  Go make some memories.


The news flash arrived via e-mail this morning from the Canadian Press.


"Urgent", it read.  Slug line "Toronto".


The story says "The benchmark price for crude oil popped above $50 US a barrel this morning, lending support to the Canadian dollar.


At 8:30 am ET, July crude oil futures were at $50 a barrel and the loonie was at 77.25 cents US, up nearly half a cent from Wednesday's close."


The story goes on to say "Crude hasn't closed above $50 US a barrel since last July..."


I think I've told you before, I'm not a financial expert.  In fact, financial lingo confuses me. However, I do know this.  I have a good friend who makes a living in the oil industry and his contacts have told him to be patient and wait for crude to hit $50 a barrel again.  Then, they said, the industry will begin to bounce back.


I don't think I need to tell you that a healthy, functioning and busy gas and oil sector means money in the bank for all of us.


Perhaps we could call this news a little sunshine on a cloudy day.

Carnie's Comments - Fred Fired Up

He listens to 800 CHAB and from time-to-time he hears Carnie's Comments at this time of day.


Fred has been waiting for me to talk about a couple of things that get under his skin.  I haven't done it yet so he's sharing his thoughts today.


Fred wonders why we don't see many Canadian flags in our community.  He points out in the United States many home owners fly the Star Spangled Banner year round.  He says he sees very few Canadian flags on display, except for Canada Day.  Fred believes Canadians are just as proud as Americans and wonders, "Why do we not show it more.  Let's all show our flag."


Fred also wonders about the traffic signs that tell us to slow down to 40 km/h in school and playground zones.  He points out most of the signage reads "40 km/h from 8am until 6pm."  He points out many of these playgrounds and parks are used well after 8pm, especially in the summer, sometimes by hundreds of children.

I agree with you Fred and I don't have the answers.  


I did inquire about one large sign that bothers me.  It's the big banner that reads "Kinsmen Sportsplex" at the local public pool.   It covers most of what should be a pleasing, architectural feature.  There's a beautiful piece of wall made up almost completely by windows.  It would look great if we'd just move that banner.

The answer I got when I asked about it was "The lifeguards say the sun shines in too brightly at times and they can't see the people in the pool properly."


That answer made me wonder how the lifeguards manage at the Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool on sunny days.


Thanks, Fred. 

Carnie's Comments - HOLE IN ONE

It's golf's ultimate shot.  Some of them are flukes and there's certainly some luck involved but you can't score one without some skill.  It's the hole-in-one.


I'm thinking about aces, as they're affectionately referred to by golfers, after learning a friend of mine scored a "1" on the 18th hole at the Hillcrest Golf Club yesterday.


I've been fortunate to have witnessed a number of holes-in-one at various golf courses over about 25 years of playing the game.  In fact, I've scored two of my own and, as is customary, I bought a "round for the house" after my game was complete and, you must complete the game to make the ace official.  I got off easy at the local club;  there were only 10 or 12 people in the lounge that day.


It makes me wonder why and who got that tradition started.  Why does the celebrated golfer have to buy everyone else a refreshment?  Shouldn't it be the other way around?  I think it should.


Oh, and by the way, there's also controvery over what to call multiple aces.  Is it "holes-in-one" or "hole-in-ones"?  


I prefer to say "holes-in-one".  Then again, one of my high school English teachers recently confirmed the "R" in February is silent.  All these years I've been so careful to pronounce that "R" but she told me it's perfectly acceptable to say Feb-you-ary.


The only question now is, where was I going with this?

Carnie's Comments - CHARLIE HODGE

He was still running the show with the Regina Pats and they were in Moose Jaw to play our Warriors.  Earlier that day I happened upon an old hockey card of his.  I bought it and a plastic cover for it.  I thought I'd get it autographed.  


When I found the man and showed him his hockey card from the 1968-69 Oakland Seals, Bill Hicke smiled broadly, talked about how beautiful he once was, put the card in his jacket pocket and he said "Thanks, Hammer."  He called most people "Hammer".


It was at that moment, NHL scout Charlie Hodge came around the corner.  Hicke and Hodge both lit up when they saw each other.  Charlie pretended to be disappointed. Hicke said, "Look, Hammer, it's old Charlie Hodge, two time Vezina Trophy winner. Good to see you Charlie.  Did they give you a day pass from the Pioneer Village?"


The language that followed was colourful.  The smiles and laughter were genuine.  It was very funny.  


You see, Hicke and Hodge had been teammates on a number of teams, including the Montreal Canadiens and the Oakland Seals.


I had forgotten about that day until yesterday when I learned that Charlie Hodge had just recently passed away.  He'll rest in peace unless Hicke finds him.

Carnie's Comments - Throne Speech

He knows our province is facing some challenging times and therefore his government has some difficult work ahead.  He also knows Saskatchewan voters have given him and his government a resounding mandate to get it done.


Premier Brad Wall tells us yesterday's Throne Speech, opening the First Session of the 28th Legislature, "is really just how a government outlines its priorities and our priorities are simple".


"Keep the economy and our province's finances strong, continue standing up for Saskatchewan's interests and fulfill our election promises", Premier Wall says.


Our government will invest $2.7 billion in our highways over the next 4 years.


They will also invest more in the Graduate Retention Program, allowing young people to use up to $10,000 of their credits for their first home down payment.  


The Saskatchewan Party government is also promising to cut "health care administration costs" and hire "more front-line staff".


The Premier also says "We will work with humility and enthusiasm every day to earn the trust you placed in us..."


Oh, by the way, I'm quoting Brad Wall directly from his social media feed.  It's just one of the factors that make him the most popular Premier in Canada.

Carnie's Comments - Trudeau

The headline on the story from the Canadian Press this morning read:  "Urgent - Commons Scuffle".


Have you seen this yet?  An NDP MP says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "manhandled" another member on the floor of the House of Commons just prior to a key vote.


Peter Julian said he had never seen such behaviour in his 12 years in the House.


Oh, it was quite a scene.  Members of Parliament shouted in anger after the Prime Minister got out of his seat to make it clear the Liberal Party whip needed to get through a crowd of MPs.  The Prime Minister exchanged angry words with some of them, including the NDP's Tom Mulcair.


Some are accusing Trudeau of "elbowing" NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau during the scuffle.  


What I see in the video is the Prime Minister brushing by some people as he walked away from the melee.  It wasn't exactly violent but it wasn't polite.  I think it was childish.  It was a hissy fit and that sort of behaviour doesn't belong in our House of Commons.


Nice hair, though.

Carnie's Comments - LANDSCAPE

It was back about 15 or 16 years ago a friend and I had to kill some time before an appointment.  So, we just drove around town a little.  After we cruised through a number of neighbourhoods he said, "You know, this city could use one, big paint job." He was right.  We were lookin' shabby. 


That situation, in my opinion, has been steadily improving.  And, those coming home for a visit this summer will see some changes.


Our new Wigmore Regional Hospital is open and that whole north east corner is growing. There's the Civic Centre Plaza under construction on Main Street and, of course, we have new construction and new neighbourhoods on the north west and south west corners of our city.  


And, don't forget the newly refurbished Grant Hall Hotel and the work that continues on the old Scott Block in downtown Moose Jaw.

You see, we're making some progress.  


Oh, I know, our downtown could still use some development and, I believe, in due course, it'll happen.  


Now, if we could only give our visitors a smoother ride on Main Street, we'd really be making progress.

Carnie's Comments - Band City

Welcome to Moose Jaw, singers and musicians.  "The Friendly City" is, once again, "The Band City".  


Oh, I guess no one ever really told us we're "not" The Band City anymore but the slogan sort of lost momentum when we started seeing some major changes to our annual band festival.


You'll remember the marching bands that used to come to town for the May long weekend.  They'd compete in fancy drill at the old Civic Centre and come Saturday, it was show time.  The big parade would draw thousands and thousands from Moose Jaw and surrounding area.  Times change, the festival has changed.  We no longer have a parade but we still have the music and the youthful exuberance of young and talented musicians and singers.


Starting today and continuing through Thursday night, we can take in performances from concert and jazz bands, vocal jazz groups and choirs at the 67th Annual Moose Jaw Band and Choral Festival.  Our young  performers and their families also get the opportunity, as do we, to attend night time shows at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre.  


So, this week, "The Friendly City" is, for a week, "The Band City" again.  And, I think we're still "Surprisingly Unexpected" as well, aren't we?

Carnie's Comments - Social Media Update

It's a special treat today for those of you who do not participate in social media.  I like to share a few of the gems you might otherwise miss.


Like this one from a local man;  "Instead of saying "have a nice day" I'm gonna start saying "have the day you deserve" and let karma sort it out."


Oh, there's Moose Jaw's own Jeff Beesley posing for a photo with Whoopi Goldberg! His caption says, "One of us won an Oscar.  One of us is still waiting."  Beesley's working on a movie and Whoopi's in it.  Pretty cool.


There's lots of talk on Facebook about Moose Jaw's Kara Tremel.  She made her Broadway debut this week in "Jersey Boys".  That's cool.


There's a photo of some youngsters graduating from high school.  The caption on it says "Congratulations....on getting through the easiest part of your life."


Oh, and this one.  "Teenagers don't know how good they have it with lyrics sites on the internet.  We used to have to sing all the songs wrong for years until the truth destroyed us." is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.