- We are heading north to Prince Albert National Park this weekend if it doesn’t get snow for Thanksgiving. We will stay in the Narrows Campground and tent in two tents. We upgraded our sleeping bags for this and will have lots of blankets. Plus the dog gives off some heat. The plan is to do some hiking, get some photos of some wildlife and hopefully get a shot of some otters. Of course this all dependent on Mark not getting hurt playing football this Thursday night.
- It’s an insanely busy time for me at work as I am publishing three gift guides a week for the month of October. So basically if you want to buy a camera or a lens this Christmas, I’ll have you covered. At a couple thousand words a piece, it’s like writing 8 columns a week. Oh yeah, I have some of those to write as well.
- Since I have some extra time on my hands, I am launching a new project after the election. It is called The Saskatonian. It’s a longer podcast with video that will be with some public figures in Saskatoon. Where the OurYXE podcast was policy and political, this will hopefully be more casual and have some culture, sports, and banter in it. We won’t be shooting it in any particular place but it will be all over the place, often over a drink and a bite to eat. The length is going to be longer but we will probably have multiple guests per episode. The name came to me when Paul Wells called us Saskatoonians. Umm, nope. That’s not it. It’s Saskatonian. Expect to see some episodes being released after the election.
- I haven’t said a lot about the cuts to The Lighthouse but they make no sense from any kind of policy or even political perspective. The intox beds are obviously double billed as the person who uses that bed is on social services and they are being paid to stay somewhere. But when they show up there out of control or high, they often are turned away. So at that point there are three choices. Get arrested by the Saskatoon Police Service for public intoxication and go to police cells, go to Larson House (which is so full that it is the reason why the program was started at The Lighthouse in the first place) or be put out on the streets where people die yearly. The idea that people are drinking and using drugs so they can somehow abuse the system is long held in governments who see themselves as the victim for any spending in their department but is ludicrous. Addicts won’t go home if the funding is cut for the intox beds, they will end up in police cells or end up in Royal University Hospital emergency which are far more expensive or they will die on the streets. It is why the program was set up but in the minds of social services, it isn’t their budget line so who cares? Governments are asinine and this one is no different.
- I was asked this week if I give campaigns heads up on my columns. The answer is no. They can read them in Monday’s The StarPhoenix like the rest of the world.
- I plan to shoot and upload a video a day in 2018. I don’t mind shooting video and have long enjoyed it. I have edited quite a few over the years, including some that many of you have seen. Doing it has never been that big of a deal for me, I just never have put in the work to make sure batteries are charged every day and the gear is good to go at all times. Also I find it really hard to take photos of a weekend and capture it with video. A friend of mine who is much better at this as I am basically told me the same thing that it is almost impossible to get great photos and great video at the same time of an event. Once I got that figured out in my head on how to do, it made a lot more sense. Everyone sees me with my Pentax K-3 and goes, “Why can’t you do what Casey Neistat does and do both?” First of all, he doesn’t do both. He shoots video with his Canon EOS 70D. Also Canon is a much better video platform that my Pentax (and if I was being totally honest, is a much better photographic system as well but I’m not prepared to be that honest). So yeah, I can plug in a video microphone into my Pentax but it doesn’t have the fast focusing that a Canon EOS 70D and a Canon EOS 80D does. To be honest, even Nikon doesn’t have anything that compares video wise to that camera. Also Canon has some video optimized lenses that are amazing that Pentax nor Nikon really has (why do I shoot a Pentax and not a Canon? That is a long story). So to do so, I am ordering a Rode VideoMic Me to go with my phone and then using some other gear like the Nikon Keymission 80 next summer and the DJI Mavic Pro drone. So yeah, expect to see a lot of Wendy, Mark, Oliver, and Marley on here next year.
- So I did a Twitter poll about whether or not I should get a Bluetooth speaker for my shower and the response was overwhelmingly yes. I now feel like I know more about your shower habits than I should.
- Finally there is a new guy in the neighborhood who walks all over the place, all times of the day and night and he is always loudly busting out these really bad rap lyrics about killing white people and taking back the land. 3:00 a.m. Bad Rap. 10:00 a.m. Bad Rap. 4:00 p.m. Bad Rap. It’s like living just down the street from Drake.
I forgot to post this but we had a great interview with the Leader of the Opposition Cam Broten the other night. Â The interview went well, the behind the scenes did not.
Last year I was at Cam’s house for a meeting (he is my MLA) and his wife Ruth made these cookies that everyone was raving about. Â The plate went around and ran out before it got to me (am pretty sure Frank Quesnell took two). Â I was sitting right beside Cam so I couldn’t really make a run at the cookies while he was talking. Â The cookies were so good that their goodness actually interrupted the meeting as people savoured the cookies.
Later Ruth came out with batch number two of the cookies but Cam declined then and because of sitting arrangements, the guy next to me got the cookies and the scene was reversed. Â Long story short, everyone went on and on about how awesome the cookies were. Â I went home and made a note of never sitting beside a politician if there are cookies being served.
Cam showed up for the podcast with a bribe, some fresh out of the oven cinnamon buns made by Ruth. Â I was momentarily excited and then I realized that I had a MacBook in front of me and computers but cinnamon buns do not mix. Â As soon as the podcast was done, Sean Shaw made a move for them but only took one of the two containers. Â I scared Hilary off when I pulled a cutting torch out of my bad and pretended to head towards her bike. Â
There I was, the last cinnamon bun. Â If I had worked fast, it could have been mind then but we were driving to the Rook and Raven in Shaw’s new Volkswagen and if I had gotten it sticky, he would have made me walk home.
After some beverages (Diet Coke), I make it home, open my bag and before I can pull out the cinnamon bun Wendy grabs it and eats it. Â Says it was the best cinnamon bun she ever had in her life. Â I have never been so betrayed.
I went to the fridge, gagged back a glass of V8 and went to bed.
You can listen to our podcast with Cam below. Â I’m off to find something to eat.
In case you missed it, Dr. Larry Beasley joined The OurYXE podcast on Thursday and talked about urban planning, architecture, homelessness, and fixing suburbia. Â It’s a good interview and I learned a lot about how we can make Saskatoon a better place to live and work.
The OurYXE podcast sat down and interviewed Councillor Zach Jeffries (you may know him from such roles as Campaigning for Ward 10). Â We had a good discussion about suburban sprawl, the North Commuter Bridge, and his lucky campaign shirt. Â It’s worth a listen.
Of course if you can’t get enough of Saskatoon politics and policy, you can subscribe to the OurYXE podcast via RSS, iTunes, or just stop by every Monday and see who else we have tormented (next week it is Councillor Charlie Clark).
If you are going to be mocked, you might as well be mocked by the best.Â Hilary blogs OurYXE’s podcast.
Jordon starts talking about Nenshi and how heâ€™s not afraid to take a stand and defend his causes. In case you didnâ€™t figure it out, I think Jordon really, really likes Naheed Nenshi. If you offered Jordon the choice between being Nenshi for a day or going to any in-camera meeting of the executive committee he would have a difficult decision
For those of you who are tired of reading what I have written; I have put together a new medium to grow tired of; a podcast. Â Sean Shaw, DeeAnn Mercier and myself (along with some soon to be announced contributors) are going to talking city politics, urban planning, and other issues that affect us as a city at ouryxe.ca. Â We have some great guests lined up and at times it can get rather testy but a great city needs a place to debate things and talk about new ideas. Â This just happens to be one of them. Â The RSS feed is live and we hope to hear back from iTunes in a couple of days and I can post that link. Â The first episode can be found online here. Â Expect to hear our episode with Councillor Zach Jeffries to go live as soon as our iTunes page goes live.