The Page – January 15, 2019

“It’s a sad situation, but true. Most of us have worked out how to be tolerant. We will mostly accept and put up with the follies and failings of everyone, from our neighbours to our politicians and our relatives, in fact, just about everybody. Except the person we are married to.” – Richard Needham

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It being the middle of winter again, and a wicked cold snap to boot, we thought we would pass on this story what happened a year ago.
It was quite a strange day in the local coffee shop. For some reason, one of the yakkers was going on and on about golf. This, in the middle of winter last year.
He talked about tournaments. When somebody tried to change the topic, he interrupted by talking about the virtue of different golf clubs. Then it was different balls. Then it was on to the rules of golf. Then it was all the prize money the champions had earned the past 50 years. Then it was talking about the skills of Tiger Woods compared to Greg Norman or Jack Nicklaus.
The next day, the same thing. And the day after. And the week after.
Strangely though, everybody knew the fellow had never, ever played so much as one round of golf.
The rest of the crew cooked up a scheme to shut the fellow up. They got together enough money to bet the fellow that, no matter what he knew about golf, he probably couldn’t play a decent round if his life depended on it. The fellow, even though admittedly a complete newcomer to the game, agreed to the bet.
And so, last summer, the game was on. The fellow borrowed some clubs. Some of the coffee shop crew played with him, making up a foursome. The fellow teed off. His first shot was magnificent. And the second. His putts were also awesome. After low scores, eagles and birdies on every hole, and even a hole-in-one, he turned in the lowest score ever seen at the course. His friends were completely flummoxed.
But, being good sports, they paid up the bet and took the fellow off to celebrate his fantastic performance. It was during the high-fives and congratulations at the club house, the fellow announced he would never golf again.
“What?!” they all shouted. “But you are fantastic! You are a natural. Why are you quitting?”
“Because,” he said, “nobody ever told me I have to walk.”

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We forgot to mention last week was Elvis Presley’s birthday. Date of birth, Jan. 8, 1935. Died Aug. 16, 1977. Elvis would have been 85 years old last week.

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How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Ours were very simple. Lose 10 pounds. Do more fishing. Clean up the garage. Do more fishing.
So far, not a great start. We sorted some hooks in the garage. Cleaned up a tackle box a bit. Haven’t gone out on the ice yet. Haven’t lost any weight.
But the good news is, the year is still young. And we haven’t put on any weight! How are you doing?

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Last week’s snowfall slowed down the placing of fishing huts on Lesser Slave Lake. But between Hilliard’s Bay and Joussard alone, it looks like almost a 100 huts are on the ice. Over 60 of those are at Joussard and it seems like every day, a few more are settled in. It’s a big start to 2020.

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We were stunned by the announcement last week of newspapers selected to join in what is called the Local Journalism Initiative. Over 100 newspapers [out of about 1,000 across Canada] will participate in the federal government funding program.
The reason we were stunned was because the two main criteria were to help newspapers service what the program calls “areas of news poverty” or “news deserts.” We understood that to mean places like La Crete, Trout Lake and such. Apparently, according to the wise people handing out the money, Toronto and St. Albert, among other places, are such under-nourished regions.
A phone call to an organizer of this program brought the information that “a news desert does not mean a place where there is no newspaper or radio station. For example, it could be an ethnic group, or a particular topic, like education or health, that is not being covered as well as it should be. Also, keep in mind, everybody knows radio stations are not in the news business. They are in entertainment.”
We are just as bewildered as anybody about this. But apparently, if we didn’t understand the very simple rules, all we had to do was ask. Guess the rules were too simple!
In the meantime, we will keep plugging along.

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