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Parker’s Pen – February 2024

David Parker

I’ve often commented that the older you get, the louder the music. But do I detect a raising of the noise levels in TV sports?

I suspect that engineers increase the level of crowd noise to make me more excited about the events I watch. PGA golf was always a relaxation, but the roars of the spectators on every shot are so annoying, and there’s no chance of hearing what the commentators are saying. Mind you, I’m so mad at rich golfers who sell their soul for yet more millions. I just might give the game a rest.

I’ve already quit watching NFL. The silly celebrations after every first down – never mind a touchdown – are too, too much.

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Ever wondered who counts the calories that are printed on food packages? One of the great mysteries of life is how those little numbers are decided upon, by whom and whether they are really that important to my daily health.

Do food providers set their own measurements or does a government inspector do the testing on each and every box of chocolates?

My box of raisin bran warns me that a cupful adds 180 calories, my alternate granola 210. Bran says 14 per cent sugars while the granola is much lower at only 10 per cent.

Big decisions to ponder, yet I go out for a hearty breakfast of two over-easy, shredded potatoes and two rashers of bacon, and no frightening numbers are offered.

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Automobiles have sure come a long way since my first, second-hand 1939 Morris 8 that had a hand crank starter. Then they invented automatics and I thought electric windows were as far as engineers could go in a vehicle to get me speedily and safely from A to B.

My Ford Escape travels Crowchild Trail in the ever-lengthening rush hours the same speed as the Maserati in the next lane. Yet I see that Mercedes Benz is going to introduce a car that will go from zero to 100 km/hr in 2.9 seconds.

Why? The only use I can think of is as a getaway car. And if you could afford one, why do you have to rob a bank? As it is I cringe that so many TV car commercials show their latest models driven at excessive speeds. Not a good example for young drivers.

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I don’t really need too much, so finding a gift for me – apart from another book – is not easy. But a nice fountain pen meant the giver had given some thought to what I’d really appreciate.

The feel of a fountain pen, particularly on the right pen-friendly paper is a glorious experience. Try it. With a full sentence – surely much more meaningful than sending or receiving an annoying pinging little yellow thumbs-up symbol.

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In case you missed it, Herald columnist Don Braid had a wonderful descriptive of city council in his column about the ridiculous increases of 7.8 per cent in homeowner taxes and a 23 per cent jump for hotels. He labelled them “routinely clueless.”

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Final Words: We seldom do well what we only do seldom – St. Francis de Sales