Community Columns

Carnie's Comments - TECHNOLOGY

There it is.  It's a full page newspaper ad from 1991.


It's a big sale at Radio Shack.  There's a home computer for $1599.  There's a "deluxe portable CD player" for $159.95;  A telephone answering machine with a cassette tape for recording; There's a "voice-actuated cassette tape recorder;  There's the VHS camcorder for $799;  Oh, everything was on sale; Clock radios, calculators, portable stereos you can carry in one hand or, bUy a handy fanny pack and inject the headphone jack for hands-free musical pleasure.


Oh, and then there's the "mobile cellular telephone".  It's not wireless but, it's mobile.  You can keep it in your car, plug it in and stay in touch.


Then, it struck me.  Just about everything that was "on sale" at Radio Shack in 1991 comes in one, portable and complete little package now.  It's called a "Smart Phone".

Interesting to note...Radio Shack just shut down about 500 of their stores.

Carnie's Comments - CPR

They're worried.  Worried about their future, worried about supporting their families....worried about job security and their pensions.  They're worried about their safety and OUR safety.


They also shake their heads in disbelief these days...wondering how our provincial and federal politicians can't figure out why the grain isn't moving to port.  Their simple answer?  The trains are parked and they don't have enough people to run the ones that aren't parked.


Local employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway, once proud and pleased to have the best jobs in our city, carry on these days with extra weight on their shoulders...the stress getting heavier this week when CPR CEO Hunter Harrison admitted job cuts may total 1500 more than he first predicted.  There were 19,500 employees at the CPR when he took over.  He admits job cuts could total 6,000 by the time the "restructuring" job is finished.


I'm not a business expert but I do know, at the corporate level, it's all about profit and shareholders.  I also know Saskatchewan farmers are among the stakeholders.  At some point, the shareholders are going to have to listen to the stakeholders, doncha think?

Carnie's Comments - Interviews

Refreshing it was...while listening to a piece of an interview one of our own conducted.


800 CHAB's Marc Smith interviewed local high school wrestler Devin Kiryk.  Marc asked Kiryk about the fact he has gone through the high school wrestling season without suffering a loss on the mats.  Kiryk candidly responed by saying he's been working hard on becoming stronger and then he said "The hard work's coming into play now.  It feels good and I'm really proud of myself."


Bravo, young man.  Thank you for answering honestly.


You see, interviewing outstanding athletes, especially the youngsters, can be frustrating at times for the people who ask the questions.  Some youngsters are genuinely shy and humble and some are embarrassed by the attention.  However, too many don't take the interview seriously.  They don't really listen to the questions and they don't really make an effort to properly communicate an answer.


Kiryk won gold in his weight category on the weekend, going 4 and 0 and did not give up a single point.  He dominated.  When asked about that, Kiryk said "I didn't feel challenged.  That's where the hard training comes in."


Cocky?  No.  Confident and candid.  Congratulations, Kiryk.



Carnie's Comments - VACATION

Where should we go?  What should we do?  While for many adults, winter get-a-way season is winding down, many local families are making plans for the Easter break next month when the kids get a week away from school.


If you're trying to fit it into the budget, you're not alone.  A new survey shows 49% of Canadian parents are more likely to book a vacation if it comes with a discount.  In fact, the survey was commissioned by "Retail Me Not", an on-line coupon company.


The survey also produced some results that might have you raising your eyebrows.


3 in 10 Canadian parents want a hotel or resort that offers "adult-only" activities and 17% insist on accommodations that include separate rooms for the children.  And, 27% of the Canadian parents surveyed said they are more likely to plan a family vacation if there is an "open bar".  Really.


My first inclination when I read that was to laugh.  But, really, that's not funny, is it?

Carnie's Comments - UKRAINE

Ukrainians.  Good people.  Strong people.  Ukrainian men and women played a large role in developing our country into the wonderful place it is today.  Decades ago they brought the skills and the work ethic that helped lay a foundation that we continue to build on here on the prairies.


Those Ukrainian-Canadians are worried about their friends and family these days as tension between Russia and Ukraine remains strong.


I saw the worry and the passion in the eyes of 86 year old Steve Galczyk this week.  Steve, who came to Canada from Ukraine over 60 years ago and still speaks with a thick Ukrainian accent, told me there have been some 30 million marriages involving both Russian and Ukrainian people.


Mr. Galczyk says if there is war there's no way to avoid the fact that brothers will kill brothers and cousins will kill cousins.  He also told me, ordinary people in Russia and Ukraine don't want war.


If only we could arrange a meeting between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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