- The antibiotics are beating back the infection in my right leg. A week ago the infection had encircled the leg and covered about 80% of the lower leg. Now the circle is broken and it is about 20% of the leg. Remarkably if the dog brushes up on it, a kid hits it, or if anything falls on it, it still falls on the painful part of the leg.
- A lot of you have asked what the doctors are doing about it. The don’t really know why it the infection keeps reoccuring. About 10 times now I have been declared cured and within days of having absolutely no trace of it for weeks, it comes back when I come off the antibiotics. Each time it comes back with more force, faster, and harsher and I get way sicker in the process. In all of the opinions I have gotten, the doctors keep telling me that this isn’t supposed to happen.
- I still feel like death. There is a feeling that the infection has done long term damage to my body, especially the last time. Mentally I feel better. The fever takes a weird mental toll on you in that it is exhausting to be either freezing and trying to get warm or burning up and trying to break the fever and stay hydrated. It’s all I was thinking of for several days. Despite staying in bed, I was exhausted and not sleeping. I was too tired to even read anything.
- I try not to get angry or frustrated over it but I had some choice words for a doctor who was reminding me that my core fitness needed improvement. Umm, i have been told to stay off my feet for 14 months now, I barely go out and of course my fitness is going to suck.
- I was going to take this week off my StarPhoenix column to recover as I had nothing left in the tank but I read a great Sports Illustrated column on this years NCAA football season and how he had predicted how Ohio State would be an offensive juggernaut. It made me think back to all of the predictions that made so much sense in the pre-season of any sport and how few played out that way. I had some fun predictions for 2016 provincially, municipally and for the Riders. Prediction columns are fun, where else can I talk about Eric Olauson and Bill Belichick in the same space?
- A lot of you know that I have a passion for word processors. With a new Acer E-11 Netbook for Christmas, I am trying out a few right now. I just installed Corel Office which is a slimmed down version of WordPerfect, Quattro Pro and whatever they use for presentations and I am trying a full blown version of WordPerfect X7. I’ll let you know how it goes.
- Speaking of word processors, with my beloved Windowns Live Writer being discontinued by Microsoft, there is a new open source version called Open Live Writer. Microsoft has allowed some of their code to be open source (this is a big deal) and it is being developed and upgraded by a team of developers. The biggest difference is that Open Live Writer is compatible once again with Blogger.
- I wish someone would tell Jeb Bush that it is time to pull the plug on his campaign. It’s over Jeb.
- The lack of star NDP candidates for the upcoming provincial election tells me that the NDP knows that it isn’t going to win. Two relative unknowns in Saskatoon Fairview and Saskatoon Meewasin also tell me the same thing. Cam Broten may be Premier in 2020 but it seems like the goal is 20 seats (and be a government in waiting in 2016).
- Speaking of Saskatoon Meewasin, has there ever been a MLA with a lower profile then Roger Parent. No website and he even uses a @gmail.com email address on his bilboard ads. I can’t even find him in Google News (you search for “Roger Parent” and “Saskatoon”, he isn’t there). He is like the Saskatchewan Liberal Party of the Saskatchewan Party caucus. I would say this about a New Democrat, Liberal, or Saskatchewan Party MLA but if you are going to do so little work in being a MLA, you don’t deserve to even win a nomination or be elected.
- I saw Darren Hill beaking of at Rona Ambrose about this one Twitter but I agree with Rona Ambrose and that is the Liberal Party should have a referendum on changing the way we vote. Moving from First Past the Post may be the right thing (although I disagree with it) but it is a big of enough change to our democracy that we should have a say in it.
- A couple of things about Brad Wall. More and more his government reminds me of the Grant Devine regime with it’s dependance on mega-projects to spur the economy. The stadium in Regina, the Children’s Hospital (which we don’t need nor do we have the population to support) and the carbon capture project. Huge projects that are costing a recently struggling economy a lot of money. I might be okay with this but I don’t see a plan from the Saskatchewan Party on how to deal with low commodity prices other than complaining ot the feds (like Grant Devine). Now with no budget on the horizon before the provincial election and a struggling economy, it gives me an uncomfortable feeling that things are worse than we are being told. Of course in the end, Brad Wall might not be here much longer and may have his focus on the federal Conservativ leadership race.
- I am suprised by the Cleveland Browns inability to acknowledge and get help for Jonny Manziel being an alcoholic and having a drinking problem. There is a difference between being a party goer and what Manziel is doing. I am also suprised by Manziel not being able to control his friends cell phone’s. You don’t think Tom Brady’s friends have cell phones? Yet you don’t see those kind of videos appearing of him. In fact with Tom Brady’s Facebook, he has done an amazing job of controlling what people see of him.
- This is one of the most damning things I have ever heard someone say of a coach. Despite that it is what destroyed Josh McDaniels, Bobby Petrino (multiple times) and how many other countless coaches. Football is a people business and while we talk of the genius of coaches like Belichick with x and o’s, it is their ability to manage and lead men that makes them so impressive. Not just players but assistant coaches, support staff, and even the guys who take care of the field and bring them all together. Chip thought it was X and O’s. He was wrong.
- When did Facebook rants become news? Ryan Meili ran twice for the leadership of the NDP, lost both times and would never run for his party again. When he runs provincially or federally under someone else’s leadership, I’ll take this more seriously but for now I don’t see this as big news. I agree that Broten is taking the party to the centre, it’s worked well for the NDP in the past under Romanow and Calvert but it has been a disasterous move for the party federally and provincially elsewhere other than Alberta. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Cam Broten â€“ who won the leadership of the provincial NDP on Saturday by just 44 votes â€“ told reporters after his victory that he knows the party has â€œa lot of work to do in earning the trust of Saskatchewan people.
â€œIt was a close race,â€ the second-term Saskatoon Massey Place MLA, who is 34 years old, admitted to the media at TCU Place, where the leadership convention was held â€“ although, he in the next breath mentioned former Manitoba premier Gary Doer and his win of the leadership of his provinceâ€™s NDP by just 21 votes in 1988.
â€œBut we know we have a lot of work to do as a party and as a caucus,â€ Broten continued. â€œAll the candidates have done such a tremendous job, their teams have done a tremendous job, and we need everyone involved to build the NDP once again and earn the trust of Saskatchewan people.â€
On the second ballot at the convention, Broten received 4,164 of the total votes cast or just more than 50 per cent, narrowly beating out Saskatoon doctor Ryan Meili, who was ahead on the first ballot, but received 4,120 votes on the second.
Meili described the results to reporters as â€œbloody close.
â€œWho would expect that I could actually get closer to winning this time than last time?â€ he said, referencing 2009â€™s leadership race, in which he finished second to Dwain Lingenfelter â€“ who ultimately led the party to a crushing defeat in 2011.
â€œThere was, I think, an appetite for the vision that I had, but obviously what Cam brought forward also appealed very much to the party members and ultimately, his team and his campaign was successful,â€ Meili continued, telling reporters he didnâ€™t expect to try to challenge the close results.
The results of the first ballot, announced earlier in the afternoon, saw Meili in first with 39 per cent of the vote and Broten in second with 34 per cent â€“ Trent Wotherspoon, who came in third with 24 per cent, withdrew from the race minutes later.
Broten made the right moves in the winning the leadership but he was wrong about one thing
Asked about the possibility of becoming the focus of negative publicity generated by his Saskatchewan Party opponents, Broten also sought to minimize concerns.
â€œAttack ads can be effective in the short-term, but in the long term, I think it turns people off politics,â€ he said, noting he plans to â€œstay in touch with what Saskatchewan people want and stay in tune with what their concerns and priorities are.â€
I have heard from a couple of NDP MLAs that the biggest mistake they made was not to “define” Brad Wall when he was elected Saskatchewan Party leader. Â If I was the Saskatchewan Party, I would not make that mistake in trying to “define” Broten. Â Of course the interesting part is that he may be hard to define negatively. Â He doesn’t claim a residence in Cavendish, PEI; he didn’t spend most of his life abroad claiming to be an American and unless I missed a big gaffe in the debates, there isn’t much there. Â It will be interesting on what they do and if it will stick.
While the LeaderPost published a poll of voter intentions in the province for the provincial NDP leader, I was curious when I heard about some internal polling done by the candidates themselves. Â Over the last couple of weeks the Broten, Meili, and Wotherspoon campaigns have all done some polling. Â Interestingly enough, the buzz is that both the Wotherspoon campaign has commissioned two polls right after the other. Â If you don’t like the results of the first poll, maybe you just keep polling?
The Broten campaign has been the only one talking about the results which if accurate, makes sense. Â It is bad news for both Ryan Meili and Trent Wotherspoon. Â I know Nate Silver says to not believe campaign polling but it’s all we have. Â Until the Wotherspoon and Meili camps post their numbers, I only have the Broten numbers to go on and here they are. Â
When I looked at the poll, it was done by Public Polling IncÂ which is a polling company out of Toronto (there is a Saskatchewan Party attack ad in there someplace). Â It was a large poll with aÂ margin of error is only +/- 2.2%. Â Â The poll asked two basic questions — (1) “If you were to vote for the new NDP leader today, who would be your first choice?” and (2) “Who would be your second choice for the new NDP Leader?” Â The results of the poll show the following breakdown of first ballot support among decided voters throughout the entire province:
If the poll is correct, it looks like a 3rd ballot victory for Cam Broten and he would become the next leader of the opposition. Â Trent Wotherspoon has either lost his support or pundits have really overestimated his support in the first place. Â Maybe that is why he is polling so much. Â According to the poll, Broten is the second choice of most of the people surveyed. Â With the NDP at about 11,000 members and with the vast majority of them casting a ballot; I can’t see the convention floor delegates having enough votes to change the outcome but I have been wrong many times before.
The end result is that a) it’s going to be a boring convention b) Cam Broten will become the next leader of the opposition c) the Saskatchewan Party is probably already cutting the attack ads on Broten as I post this.
It also means that 2015 is going to be an interesting election.Â
Update: I immediately was emailed as asked if who I was voting for. Â I am not a member of any political party and therefore won’t be casting a ballot in this race. Â I am just looking at it from the outside.
I am a couple of days late on this but in all fairness a) I was busy b) I was late posting about Cam Broten’s leadership campaign c) I am not a New Democrat but I thought I would post a link to Ryan Meili’s leadership website which is interesting in two ways. I am pretty sure he is the first leadership candidate in Canada to use a domain hack with http://www.ryanmei.li as his web address. If I was him I would use it as a point of attack on Broten and Weatherspoon; “How can they lead the NDP into the future when their domain names are from the past?!” And that folks is why leadership candidates don’t ask for my advice no matter which party that represent.
Ryan Meili’s logo looked familiar to me and it took me a couple of days to figure out where I had seen it before.
After seeing what this logo has done for the Saskatchewan Liberal Party, I may have gone in a different direction.
I was pleased to see Ryan jump into the race with Cam and Trent Weatherspoon. Ryan has been a powerful advocate on social justice issues and has seen the failures of the system first hand. I think his contribution to the race will be significant. Like I said before, I don’t know what the NDP are looking for in a leader but I think having strong candidates are good for the province. Yes there is prosperity but there are also problems. Hopefully we will discover some answers as a province through the debates and process to find a new leader.
As for the videos, Ryan doesn’t have a campaign video yet but when he does, I’ll post them here.