January 20th, 2008: Fairly cool – it got down to -27° last night – but not too windy and lots of sun. For January, I’d call it pretty nice weather.
We got an e-mail from Hella MacDonald inviting us to the Archerwill Winter Festival on January 26th, a roast beef supper followed by Grand Old Opry, with internationally famous stars. Sounds wonderful! Unfortunately, we will be away on a bus tour so won’t be able to make it, but check it out – it sounds like a real winner!
Hella tells me they have lots of birds coming to their feeder – mostly pine grosbeaks but some evening grosbeaks too. Remember when there were huge flocks of evening grosbeaks and very few pine grosbeaks?
Years ago, wind-chill was something the Americans made much of but it was hardly used in Canada. (I suspect they envied our ability to talk about forty below.) I guess the weather announcers believed that if they told us how cold it was, and how windy, we could make up our own minds about whether to go outside or not. Then came the wind-chill factors, where they attached a numerical value to the temperature/wind speed function, but that never really caught on. Now they are making much of wind-chill temperatures, and it is common to hear them say: “It’s minus 45° in Wynyard today with the wind-chill, and minus 43° in most of the province.” What they really mean is “it’s minus 22° and windy, so bundle up.” In other words, it’s a nice, normal January day in Saskatchewan but we all panic at the “minus 45°”, start the car instead of walking to the coffee shop, and let the car run all the time we are in there. Dumb! Let’s start a movement to get rid of the wind-chill temperatures and go back to reporting the actual temperature and wind speed. When we were kids, we played outside all day; if it was too cold for what we were wearing, we went inside earlier, or put on a heavier coat. I can’t remember Mom ever saying it was too cold to go out and play. Few of us froze to death.
We went to the Mendel Art Gallery today but came away disgusted. I can’t believe how supposedly intelligent people can be snowed into thinking some of that crap is art! There were a bunch of the most atrocious, out of focus and poorly exposed photos you ever saw, and it looked like most of them were hung upside down. Great, huge canvases with meaningless blobs of paint on them. I can just picture the “artist” chuckling all the way to the bank about how he took those suckers for a ride. And I’ll bet they lay out lots of bucks for it, too. We used to go to the Gallery quite regularly, but rarely do anymore. Maybe we just ain’t got no couth.
Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Packing always puts me in a bad mood, and that’s what we are doing these days. At least, Doreen is. So far, she hasn’t been too successful at getting me moving. Next Friday, we catch a tour bus and head for California, via Las Vegas, of course. I think we will be in Salt Lake City next Sunday night; should have access to the Internet but I can’t think of much happening to write about. I’ll try to keep you posted, though
For years, I have had trouble following the conversation at a meeting, or even at the coffee table. Doreen said I’m deaf as a post, but I kept telling her to stop mumbling. Finally, I broke down and went to see an audiologist, where I laid out huge bucks for a state-of-the-art set of hearing aids. At first, Doreen was thrilled – she didn’t have to repeat everything she said. First try at the coffee table, they seemed okay, too, but that was all in the first couple of days. Since then, they hurt, itch, and do nothing for my hearing. Back to the drawing board.
Doreen says this sounds like a pretty negative report, and I guess it does. Actually, we are having a lot of fun, having coffee regularly with a diverse bunch of people and several different places. We have found Saskatoon to be a wonderfully friendly place with lots to do. We just have to get off our butts!