Staff Blogs
Just a pondering thought... PDF Print
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Tuesday, 26 November 2013 21:18

By Cassie Weiss
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking about the past, the present, the future.
There has always been that saying, “you can’t change the past”, and so many people have told me that due to the inability to change it there really is no sense in dwelling on it.
Some days I look back at the things I’ve done and asked myself why, why this decision, why that place.
I don’t regret much of anything, but I always think about what it would have looked like had I turned left instead of right.
There is a popular comedy show out there called Community, featuring a gang of community college students and their crazy antics.
One of these students has a very gifted mind, a mind in which there is timelines, focusing on simply one minor difference meaning a reality shift.
Kat and I have often talked about separate realities, mirroring this one, realities in which there is a Cassie, and possibly a Lady, and five cats.
Only difference, this Cassie may have short hair, or straight hair. Lady may be a Great Dane, or a Toy Poodle. They may still live in Calgary, or be a famous author, or a bum on the street.
This different realities are all me, but one decision sent life spiraling in a different direction.
I always thought it would be neat to see these realities, like a movie played out in my head, able to see each path, predict the outcome of each decision, before they happen.
Able to know exactly what saying yes or no might do, if that gut feeling was right or me just being paranoid.
In a sense, looking back on the past still won’t change, but gaining this ability would bring forward a whole new light, making one single person invincible.
I’m not saying I could handle that type of power, but I know the majority of you reading this wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to hold this ability in your hands.
Now obviously this is just a thought, a type of religion developed to fit my needs and opinions.  I may be the only one who believes in this type of reality, or I may not.
But real or not real, it’s an interesting concept. I wonder if in another reality another Cassie is sitting on a different couch, in a different house, putting the same idea into words.

 
Cold and flu season has returned PDF Print
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Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:46

By Jamie Rieger

It’s that time of the year once again. Look around and people are sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and blowing their noses.
Cold and flu season is here. Time to make sure I am taking my Vitamin C, getting my rest, and not shaking too many hands.
I don’t think it matters how careful one is to not get sick, being out in the public on a daily basis, there really is no avoiding it.
There was a time in my life when I never got sick and had perfect attendance at school, in fact. A good diet, plenty of fresh air, and a sleeping pattern probably had a lot to do with it.
That all changed when I became an adult and was out there in the ‘real world’. I would catch colds and flus just like everybody else.
Since last year, my immune system has been compromised, so I have to be even more vigilent about taking care of myself and i do have my good days and my bad days.
I try to eat healthier and try to get some fresh air every day. I do sleep better these days and get about an hour or two more of sleep time a night than what I used to.
Still, I see people coughing and sneezing and I really wish people would stay home when they are under the weather, instead of getting everybody in town infected. I could get into a whole spiel about reduced productivity and “you aren’t doing anybody any favours by showing up sick”, but I won’t, except to say, “You aren’t being a hero by showing up ill. In fact, you are showing a lack of respect for the health of all those around you by spreading your germs around.”
I know it is just a matter of time before I too, will be suffering with the sniffles and a sore throat, but I hope it doesn’t happen. Maybe, this is my winter to buck the trend and stay healthy through cold and flu season.

 
Mother Nature is an old bag PDF Print
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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:28

By Cassie Weiss
Every day I thank the world that I'm alive, that I live in such a fantastic place where money isn't plentiful, but there is money around.
Where having a roof over my head and a warm bowl of chili in my hands isn't a far off hope or dream.
But on top of that, I'm thankful for Alberta, this land-locked piece of the universe.
When the only major disaster you can claim is a flood, I think we are doing pretty good.
Now don't think I'm scoffing at the flood. That is not the case. I was a part of it. We are only now getting our home back together after the flood.
It was a devastating disaster like none other, and I will remember it when I'm old and grey complaining to my grandkids.
But the fact is, if southern Alberta only has to worry about flood waters gracing her shores, I'm okay with that.
Now, the possibility for a major forest fire is also imminent, with the Cypress Hills so close, and even though I reside in Medicine Hat, those hills will always be my first love.
Should I see them go up in smoke my heart would be broken.
Luckily the volunteer fire department, and the fire crews they bring in each summer, are fantastic at what they do, keeping the forest safe from the tragic fate it may one day suffer.
Prairie fires are also a danger to us, but once again, the fantastic men and women who patrol our region keep us pretty safe, and it has been rare that these fires have caused whole towns to evacuate, like the forest fires of B.C., and California.
The worst we saw in way of fire was a few years ago when Lethbridge's West Side was threatened, but was never actually touched by flames.
Yesterday headlines popped up about a major typhoon touching the Philippines, with wind gusts of over 250 km.
It is so tragic, the disasters these waterbound countries face, from typhoons, to tsunamis, and hurricanes for their northern counterparts.
New Orleans is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, New York from Sandy.
It makes me happy that all this area may face is a bit of water and fire, in relation to what it could be.
Even tornados don't touch us like our neighbours to the south.
I'll take the flood anyday, opposed to my house completely uprooted, laying in the next field with a pair of ruby red slippers sticking out from the wreckage.
Mother Nature has a way of not being forgotten, and I hope for the best for those living through this typhoon. Mother Nature, she gets you every time.

 
Congratulations, Red Sox! PDF Print
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Tuesday, 05 November 2013 21:18

By Jamie Rieger
All good things must come to an end, as they say and the end of baseball season is over once again for a few months, so this will be last Red Sox column for this year, unless of course, something really crazy happens in the off-season.
At the onset of the year, when the players were in Florida for spring training and talking about their ultimate goal of winning the World Series. Even many of us fans were thinking that anything was possible, but after the season before and part of the one before that, the realistic parts of our brains were telling us to not get too optimistic.
The 2013 regular season had barely started when on April 15, the bombings at the Boston Marathon took place and gave the Red Sox all the more incentive to make it a winning year.
They played with grit, determination, and while they did not always win, they never quit grinding it out game after game. The camaraderie was strong and reminiscent of the Dirt Dawgs of years past. They grew their beards, not just for the playoffs, but throughout the regular season. Some of them, and Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes, in particular; looked pretty scruffy by the end. The Fear the Beards campaign gave fans something more to relish in and really see how much heart these guys really have.
As they slogged along, it became more and more apparent that winning the World Series was indeed their goal. They were going to do it for Boston and nothing was going to get in their way.
And, nothing did.
Last week, they beat the St. Louis Cardinals in six games to earn that coveted championship, much to the glee of all of Red Sox Nation...and beyond that, actually.
I can't say that any one moment from the series, or from the season for that matter, stands out as being more memorable than any other. The whole season was great and the grand finale was really just the icing on the cake. It gets no better than that for a baseball fan.
Now that the confetti has settled and as of Monday, the beards getting shaved, fans know that during the off-season, trades will be made, some players will move on, and this year will likely not be repeated next year, but one never knows.
I am extremely proud of those Red Sox and how they pulled through as the City of Boston healed from the Marathon bombing. Many people who do not follow the team do not know how much community work these players did in between playing games, visiting hospitals and embracing those who needed a little comforting. Those stories are plentiful and give fans all the more reason to cheer them on.
Congratulations to the Red Sox! (From one very happy fan!!)

 
A ghost story just in time for Halloween PDF Print
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Tuesday, 29 October 2013 16:19

By Cassie Weiss
It all started in an apartment in Calgary. We were living there while I was going to school, and it was a very quaint apartment. We had little neighbours, as only five apartments took up the entire building.
The pipes were old, the floors creaked, and the walls were thin. You could hear everything, but that was all right.
Our neighbours were quiet; we had only met one or two the entire time we had lived there. We never thought anything of it, continuing on with our busy lives as they continued on with theirs.
One day, as we exited our apartment, we came face to face with our neighbour across the hall. She was quiet, small, with long hair that hung over her face.
She barely looked at us as she scurried down the stairs to the street.
We only saw her a couple times, glimpses of her going down the stairs, outside on the street.
Never really having a chance to get to know her, we never thought twice about her, she was just another church mouse in that building, much like the rest of us.
Now, I always wanted a cat, having grown up with them on the farm. Not allowed pets in the apartment, I gave up on that thought pretty fast.
Kat and I were walking up the sidewalk one day when I looked up to the windows on the top floor, two being ours and two being the neighbours.
Low and behold, in our neighbour’s window, sat a cat. This sparked an instant rise out of me; if she could have a cat why couldn’t I?
Kali came into our house on Friday the 13th, and we should have known something was up.
She didn’t like our house. She would always stare at the door, for no reason what so ever.
Dead asleep on the couch, that cat would jolt awake, staring at the stairs that led to our bedroom.
Soon banging could be heard, and although Kat assured me it was just the hot water pipes, something about that noise always sent Kali to her safe spot in our closet.
Soon the scratches started, coming from across the hall. It unnerved me each time I walked past our neighbour’s door.
Maybe it was just her cat, but then again, maybe it wasn’t.
Our days continued and things never really got worse. As the fall faded into winter, and finally into summer, the banging subsided, Kali continued to be a cat, and the scratching seemed to fade away. We also stopped seeing our neighbour. There were no more sounds of feet in her apartment, no more cats in the window.
Out of curiosity, when we moved out, I asked the landlord about the church mouse who lived across the hall.
All I received was a confused look and the words that still echo in my ears to this day.
There had never been a tenant in that apartment. Not for years at least. The last tenant to live there had been a tiny girl, with long brown hair.
She had gone missing in late October. She had no family. Her cat had been found a week later, scratching at the door, looking for her long-gone master.

 
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