Home Month and Year December 2023 Parker’s Pen – December 2023

Parker’s Pen – December 2023

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David Parker

I am really fed up with decision makers – whoever they may be – who want to protect us all from things that just might upset our day. Especially last month, thinking of women and men who were tough enough to go to war, while it was announced that military chaplains should replace religious symbols like crosses with generic crests.

It appears that some symbols of faith may cause discomfort or traumatic feelings when chaplains choose the dress they wear on public occasions.

My response is: “Then get over it.”

And the directive also urges that there should be no mention of God in public ceremonies.

I believe in God and so do my Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu friends – so who is going to be so upset?

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Which brings me to the matter of city hall spending money on an app to help people pronounce another person’s name. I just ask them.

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I enjoyed watching baseball for the first time – coached on the rules by two avid lady fans – and interested to watch top teams proving even the best players can make errors. I became addicted but am somewhat relieved to have four or five hours of my evenings now free.

Trying to read the minds of pitchers and batters was challenging, but the loudness and the shenanigans of the U.S. crowds was quite annoying.

And please! Only the Americans could hold a World Cup without inviting anyone else to play with them.

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Glad our kids have grown up and we are not faced with having to outfit them for sports like skiing and hockey.

Reading through those full-page advertisements from the many, many sporting goods stores, I was shocked that if I decided to take up skiing I’d have to pay – at sale prices – $500 for skis, $550 for boots, $200 for goggles and $100 for poles before I even got to the hills.

Happy to enjoy a nice walk or a game of competitive snooker which doesn’t cost a dime.

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Too bad that the coverage of the announcement that a U.S. artist had been chosen to design the rooftop of the $205 million renovation to the Glenbow appeared in the newspaper right across from a page that told of the struggle of food banks and that an estimated 40,000 city households are at risk of homelessness.

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The northwest has been lacking in good hotel accommodation, but that has been eased by the opening of the Alt Hotel in University District. The second in the city and part of the Germain Hotels Group that also runs the splendid Le Germain hotel in the downtown core.

Alt Hotel sports 150 guest rooms and 4,000 square feet of meeting rooms; ideal for visitors to the University of Calgary, Alberta Children’s Hospital and the Foothills Medical Centre and the surrounding, growing neighbourhood.

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Interesting to see that taking photos with real cameras is making a comeback; sales of vinyl records have surged; knitting clubs are the rage; book clubs abound; and despite the technical revolution that has provided eBooks, members appear to read from the traditional printed word.

And it’s amusing to see that a seat on a steam train has to be booked well in advance.

As a book collector I’m encouraged to see people reading, but I’m not fooled by the bookshelves that seem to be appearing in glossy photos of posh house interiors. A close look reveals that many appear to be books by the yard, just used as a decorative item.

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Final Words: “Man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” Henry David Thoreau

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