Over the last two years, I haven’t had a lot of fun doing much of anything. Work has been painful and I found myself coming home many night and just collapsing into bed. I often needed a nap between coming home from work and when I wanted to go to bed.
It’s the infection in my leg. It just won’t leave and it takes a lot out of me. The worst parts are when the specialists go, “You are cured! Congratulations!”. The next thing you know I am back at Royal University Hospital being pumped with antibiotics to stop the spread of the infection and for weeks after that I am waiting for the medication to beat it back into my leg. I am losing entire months at a time doing this.
When I have been strong enough, I found myself writing some extra columns for The StarPhoenix because there were times when I was so weak that finding that pre-written column, editing it, attaching it to my email, and sending it seemed like a major accomplishment. Luckily even though I have bad days, I don’t have those kind of bad days any longer. It was horrible.
Basically for every four columns I write, I have three that I don’t write for a variety of reasons I will share below
- They are too long. Sometimes 650 words isn’t enough space to say what I want to say. I know that if I was a better writer, I would be able to say it in that but I am not.
- It’s about the ethics of sports and that isn’t what my column is about.
- It’s a about some aspect of my column that I want to expand on but it didn’t work or didn’t fit into the column I filed.
- It’s an idea that I think Murray Mandryk or Tammy Robert is going to do a way better job of writing about and I want to see what they have to say first. In other words, it is a provincial matter.
I was going to do something with them on a different website with some advertising and sponsorship and even some guest writers but that started to sound like competition, even if it was a niche idea. If only I had a place of my own where I could post my own writing….
Oh right. The perfect place for them is to post them right here. So Wednesday mornings, expect to see some long(er) form content here.
I get asked how the ankle is doing. The swelling is more manageable then ever but at night the pain from the damage to my nerves is intense. I still wear an ankle brace for compression on it but more or less it is doing better. I am on antibiotics for another full year and then we will see if things have improved. Yes, I know you are not supposed to be on antibiotics for a year. By the time I am off them, it will be close to three years of antibiotics.
Murray Mandryk hits on the NDP campaign here. My thoughts on his thoughts are here.
- Brad Wall ran the classic front runner incumbent campaign. It was the same campaign the federal NDP ran last fall and the BC NDP ran in British Columbia. The difference was that he was the front runner and the incumbent.
- I thought the Saskatchewan Party platform was visionless and not worth a second mandate but the NDP didn’t do anything to discredit it or point out that with the economy struggling, some of it’s major planks were not going to happen. When your major plank is helping people sell more puffed wheat cake and fixing more highways and that is really it, it’s a visionless campaign.
- With both parties running candidates with DWIs, neither campaign had any moral high ground. It’s the first campaign with what is written on Facebook was considered worse than driving while impaired. Saskatchewan values?
- Plus, we all know the next budget will have the Saskatchewan Party saying a) we don’t have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem and b) massive cuts to education, health, social services. It’s going to be bad for all of us. I am not saying that it is the wrong path but they do have a revenue and a spending problem and the spending is going to have to stop.
- How poor are the candidates for the NDP that it never occurred to them do delete their Facebook accounts when they decided to run or the nomination. Also, the lack of simple vetting was ridiculous and speaks poorly about Frank Quennel’s leadership of the NDP. It was a fixed election date, not a snap election. That cut the knees out from Cam Broten in the first week of the campaign. They never recovered.
- I really don’t care what NDP candidates in rural Saskatchewan say to me during the campaign about the leader but it does speak to the lack of discipline they have and the state of the party in rural Saskatchewan. This goes back to the Romanow years and isn’t getting better. The NDP are very unpopular in rural ridings and nothing we saw in this campaign will change that. For years the Saskatchewan Party was looking for an urban break through. Remember Elwin Hermanson’s last campaign? He lived in Saskatoon and Regina and didn’t see the promised breakthrough. My point is that I think the NDP have massive problems in rural Saskatchewan an it is going to take them at least one more election before that changes.
- For those of you out there who are going to write off the NDP after this election, may I show you about a hundred articles saying the same thing after Stephane Dion and then Michael Ignatieff lost. Also the Liberals were in third place going into this last provincial election. Same thing for Mike Harris and the Progressive Conservatives when he won in Ontario the first time.
- Speaking of the Liberals, I think it was a huge mistake for Darrin Lameroux to avoid Twitter and social media during the entire campaign. It’s free media and it was the only medium the Liberals could use that would give them a provincial voice. Instead he decided to meet people face to face. Huge mistake. It’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and.
- No campaign took advantage of one of the best political blogs out there and that was Tammy Robert’s musings. I don’t know what Tammy’s stats are like but it was well read by many politicos and journalists in the province. Howard Dean got huge play out of posting on Larry Lessig’s blog for a week. Part of me thinks that it would have been advantageous for Darrin Lameroux or Cam Broten to do some guest posts and interact with commenters during the writ for a day.
- Personally I don’t think the NDP should turf Cam Broten. Dalton McGuinty went through this. Rachel Notley went through this. Stephen Harper went through this. Tossing the leader won’t ail what is wrong for the NDP. Plus a lot is going to change in four years.
In case you missed it but Tammy Robert is blogging again here. If you are reading my blog, you are clearly looking for correct opinions and commentary but if you want the, err, contrarian view to what is correct and right, check out her site.
For the provincial election, Tammy is doing some excellent commentary on the campaigns. If this election gets you excited, her blog may be the best one out there.