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It's everybody's place to vote in election PDF Print
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Wednesday, 21 August 2013 16:07

By Cassie Weiss
Politics. This word sums up the next couple months in a nutshell. It is also one of my most hated words, simply because I do not like politics.
Politics have always come out as dirty, in the news there are always complaints about the government, from slanderous videos depicting officials partaking in illegal activities, to upset with the lack of action in regards to the recent June floods.
I struggled with social, with learning the ins and outs of the political system, figuring that I would never need to know the history and the everyday workings of politics.
I didn’t think I would ever need to worry about who wanted to be mayor, or MLA, or president for those of us who share a vested interest in the connections between Canada and our neighbours to the south.
And despite my argument that I would never need to care about this information, I found my opinion on this matter changing rapidly.
Maybe it began when I turned 18 and stated I would never vote, only to have a comment made along the lines of “if you don’t vote you have no right to complain.”
This actually made tons of sense to me. If I wanted the government to change, I had to give my say, be it only a little tick on a ballot sheet.
My view on politics changed even more when I started working with the candidates in the provincial election, realizing what each had to say on a smaller level.
There was no longer any separation between the things these candidates were saying and I.
I could relate one selling point of the campaign to almost anyone I knew.
I made me step back and realize that I am a part of the decision, and I need to play the role I was given.
Now, the municipal election is upon us, and although I’m not living in Redcliff or Cypress County, I wish those candidates all the best, and I hope the residents step up and show they do care about the outcome of their municipality.
If they want change, they need to fight for it.
I know I will be. I may be reporting on a few different elections, but I also have one of my own to participate in.
Election Day is in October, and you can bet that I will be down at City Hall, marking my x on a piece of paper.
I believe things can change, if they are wrong, and sometimes there is a need to stay the same.
But the residents are the ones who make that choice, and they have a duty to themselves to show up and cast a vote, where a vote is required.
It all comes back to that simple comment.
If you don’t vote you have no right to complain.

Quality time with my granddaughter PDF Print
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Thursday, 15 August 2013 15:18

By Jamie Rieger

When life gets busy or stressful (or both) and there just doesn’t seem to be much to rejoice about, there is nothing more therapeutic than spending time with a young person. I know I’ve written about this in the past, but it really is true. Their seemingly endless energy, innocent curiosity, and happy dispositions can brighten the most gloom person’s day.
So, when I was able to take a few days off last week, of course, the number one item on the priority list of things to do was spend time with my granddaughter (and daughter, of course!). Paige had been tiring out her mom for a few days, so I thought it was a good time for some quality time with grandma and boy, did we have fun! Little Paige is no longer the baby that loved to be rocked to sleep and sang to; the little rascal is now a toddler and a very active one at that!
She still loves songs and music, but now that she is mobile on her two feet, she is also quite the little dancer. She loves music and will shake her diapered booty to her favourite songs.
Paige is also talking quite well and was chatting up a storm for grandma. I firmly believe her good vocabulary is because she loves books and her mommy and daddy do a lot of reading to her. While I was there, we read through some of her books, and her special book about puppies probably got read five or six times.
During the day as her mommy ran errands, cleaned house, and cooked dinner, Paige and I packed as much fun stuff in as we could. We played with a ball, played hide and seek where she was always the hider and would show herself the second I said, “Where’s Paige? Where is she? Where did she go?”
There is also no better sound in the world than that of a young child’s belly laugh and there was plenty of that during my visit....a visit that I wish could have lasted longer.
Every time I go to visit, I see Paige’s growth and do not want to miss her growing up as she learns new things and masters others. It was earlier this summer when she discovered her shadow at a family get-together and that was a moment the whole family will cherish as moved and watched as her shadow mimicked her movements.
All these moments are milestones for Paige and I enjoy being able to be enjoy her as she grows, explores and develops and I am thoroughly looking forward to her next visit from Grandma.

When zombies rule the world PDF Print
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Tuesday, 06 August 2013 19:48

By Cassie Weiss

The curtain rises. A couple is alone in a vehicle as the sun slowly makes it was past the horizon. The car won’t start and an ominous shuffling can be heard off screen. The camera fades to black, as the shuffling gets louder. Suddenly, a scream.
There is no better movie or book out there than those that speak of a bleak oblivion, where humans become monsters, pillaging, stealing, killing, all to save themselves from the inevitable.
George Romero became the godfather of zombie literature long before I was born, and to this day his name is idolized more than most.
He created his own zombie genre, hooking young and old alike with his dark simplistic movies, from Night of the Living Dead, to Dawn of the Dead, and every movie in between.
I have to admit, it wasn’t necessarily George that fanned the flame when it comes to my love of zombies.
I actually believe it was my cousin during hang out time in his basement that started up this insane (probably unhealthy) love of the undead.
Left 4 Dead was a popular zombie killing game that people just couldn’t get enough of. Although I have never played the first one, I couldn’t put down the second.
My cousin and I would play this game for hours, as obscenities would be screamed at the TV screen as hordes of the undead would swarm you as you made your way to safety.
A hard game that taught me fast how to work an Xbox controller, a game that I never wanted to put down.
As I played more and more, my love grew and grew, to the point where I became a zombie fanatic. I cannot tell you when it happened, and I cannot tell you when I passed the point of no return.
The first movie I see on my bookshelf has both living and dead in the title, the first Xbox game I see is much the same.
Books, yup, I have books about zombies as well.
I would even go as far to say that I would honestly look forward to a zombie apocalypse, simply to see what would happen. It would be interesting, you know, to put this generation up against hordes of zombies, after all the research we have done through movies, video games, and the written word.
We wouldn’t be surprised if it happened, in fact, most of us could tell you exactly the type of zombie, how the infection would spread, and exactly how to kill it.
Am I prepared for a zombie apocalypse? No. Do I really think one would ever happen? Also no.
Does that stop me from dreaming? Nope, not at all.
I’ve got my zombie killer digging a hole right now in my back yard, and together Lady and I will take on any apocalypse that comes to us.
Until then, I guess a zombie movie marathon is in order. After all, World War Z did just leave theatres.

Umpiring has been terrible, but no excuse for poor behaviour PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
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Tuesday, 30 July 2013 15:59

By Jamie Rieger
It is no secret that I love my baseball and especially my Boston Red Sox. I have been following them for many, many years, through the good, bad, and ugly years. They are a hard-working team with a lot of character and a very strong fan base. What's not to love about Fenway Park and all the nostalgia that goes with it?
There have been lots of great moments that will stick in my mind, with the World Series wins in 2004 and 2007 most prominent. There was the Fenway Park Centennial in 2012, and when Jacoby Ellsbury stole home with Yankee pitcher, Andy Pettitte just looking on in disbelief (Hehehe, that one comes really close to the top of my list!!!) There have been far too many plays on the field that are memorable to me to list them all here.
There have been a few moments over the years, however; when I have shook my head and just asked, “Why?”
The many antics of former Sox outfielder, Manny Ramirez comes to mind. Then, there was September, 2011 when the team seemed to crumble because of a few drama queens on the team who were having hissy fits and spending their time eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse. All have since been traded, thank goodness.
Another head-shaker can now be added to that list. The umpiring during Saturday evening's game against the Baltimore Orioles was horrible, even worse than normal and it was possibly one of the strangest games I have ever watched. When a long ball that was clearly a home run to everybody but the first base ump was called 'in play', they had to review it and there were numerous other really odd calls during that game.
Even NESN announcer, Jerry Remy made a comment that something was going to happen with all the bad calls being made.
It was in the seventh inning when everything came to a boiling point in a very big way. After homeplate ump Tim Timmons called two pitches strikes that were obvious balls on Big Papi (DH David Ortiz). It was the next pitch that got Papi really fired up.
That one was so high that if the catcher had let it go, it would have hit (Timmons) in the face,” said Ortiz afterward, who struck out on the next pitch.
To be honest, I have never seen the usually even-tempered Ortiz this mad. When he got to the dugout, he grabbed a bat and swung it at the dugout telephone, shattering the bat and the phone box and narrowly missing a teammate.
Ortiz had every reason to feel like he was robbed at the plate because he was. Those calls were outrageous. What he was wrong in doing, very wrong, was taking out his anger in front of his fans and coming very close to injuring Dustin Pedroia.
The officiating this season has been particularly bad and the frustrations from players and fans have been mounting. We watch as the strike zone loosens up for one team and tightens up for the other, or even worse, for specific players, as was the case on Saturday.
Some of those umpires make terrible calls and nothing is ever done about it because managers are not supposed to argue balls vs. strikes. Ok, fine, then have those instant replays available for more than home runs, so these calls can be properly disputed.
At the same time, frustrated players need to keep their emotions in check until they are in the clubhouse and away from fans' eyes, especially those of the young, impressionable fans. (The same is true for coaches and parents of grassroots sports.) It certainly is not acceptable to cause property damage and show your rage in the manner that Papi showed.
At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether MLB will impose a fine or suspension, but the beloved Big Papi needs to be held accountable, so he and others will not do something similar the next time the umpires make bad calls...and the umpires will make bad calls again, probably today.

A little landscaping never hurt anybody PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
Written by production   
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 21:24

By Cassie Weiss
There is nothing more satisfying than the smell of flowers and the chirping of birds in the morning.
I bought our first bird feeder the other day, just a cheap bell-shaped plastic container that I will hang from a tree, and birds will sing of their happiness while the lilies and wildflowers grow around them.
This is about our front yard, and sorta about our backyard. Hard work that we are finally realizing we want to do.
When we were evacuated Kat and I stayed with a good friend and her mom, who of which I call a witch gardener.
She has the most amazing flower garden I have ever experienced, with any kind of flower and tree you can name.
Kat learned a few tips from Holly while I was gone and he is finally seeing and learning the love of landscaping that I’ve dreamed of since we moved in.
I started with a couple roses, a sand cherry, and a crab apple tree at the beginning of summer, and my black thumb (much like a green thumb but I kill everything I touch) did messy work of the job.
The tree and sand cherry wilted from the heat, and the blasted caterpillars didn’t help much either.
As the roses gained black spot, forcing me to trim one down to its bare stems, I just gave up. I figured I would just dig up the roses, give them to someone who knew what to do with them, and off I would go, just putting in unkillable plants.
With Kat’s renewed love to garden, I felt hope yet. We bought a lily, another type of flower, and a couple of spider plant type plants, all to go beautifully in the front yard, with our grape plant and our mojito mint, which will be put to good use for the rest of the summer, especially once we get our patio built.
Plans for landscaping fill our minds right now, and we are excited for everything to start going on sale so we can fill our yard with everything we’ve ever wanted.
Retail value in the flats may be going down due to the recent flooding, but should we ever decide to sell our house in the future, it will be something completely different, with pond, fairy lights, greenhouse and all.
This stuff may not all happen tomorrow. In fact, I can tell you most of it won’t even happen this year.
We will be lucky if we figure out our sun times in the front yard and get a pressure washer to start cleaning off some of the wood we have to use for projects.
But it will get there. And one day, it will be beautiful.

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