Hal’s Thoughts for the Week: February 2nd

Hal Anderson

Great news to start off this week’s column, it looks like we’re in for an early spring! Manitoba Merv, the puppet groundhog at Oak Hammock Marsh, didn’t see his shadow. And believe it or not, Merv has been an almost perfect predictor over the last 22 years. Normally, we’d get a second opinion from our other rodent forecaster Winnipeg Willow at the Prairie Wildlife Rehab Centre. But sadly, Willow passed away last week, just days before Groundhog Day. By the way, did you know groundhogs are actually woodchucks? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy winter is apparently nearing an end. But let’s be honest, these groundhogs are nothing more than rats with publicists.

Best of luck to Winnipeg’s Norm Pastorin at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna this weekend. He’s one of 11 chefs from across the country taking part in the competition. You can enjoy Chef Norm’s culinary creations at Cornerstone Bar and Restaurant. Also a shout out to Chef Barbara O’Hara from Winnipeg, she’s one of the national judges at the CCC’s. I’ll interview her from the event right here on MyToba later this week. By the way, her Dessert Sinsations Cafe (and it’s not just desserts) is one of my favorite places to eat.

I’m a big political nut so it’s kind of like Christmas for me. It’s primary season in American politics. Before Iowa’s caucuses, it was looking like Donald Trump was going to run away with the Republican nomination. But Ted Cruz actually beat him in that state. And Marco Rubio finished a very close third, right behind Trump. I doubt Cruz will win many more states but at least the race is more interesting now. Cruz is the guy who was born in Calgary and some say maybe that should disqualify him from running for president. On the Democratic side, pundits thought it would be a Hillary Clinton coronation but Bernie Sanders, a 74 year old socialist, is giving her a real run for her money. It’s early though. Sorry if I bored you but as I’ve said here before, American politicians are way more fun to watch than ours.

One of CTV’s reporters, Ben Miljure, is moving on after three years and he wrote a beautiful farewell note to Winnipeg on his Facebook page. Go read the whole thing, it’s great! He talks about our kindness and generosity and how we’ve changed him and touched his heart. It makes me proud that this city had such an impact on him after just a few years. Thanks for the kind words Ben and best of luck wherever your career takes you!

My farewell note to Winnipeg:I arrived by train in the middle of the night, in the dead of winter, to a warmer…

Posted by Ben Miljure on Sunday, 31 January 2016


It’s Superbowl Week! Go Broncos!! I’m a football fan so I enjoy watching the game. But I also enjoy all the other stuff that goes with it, everything from the commercials to the halftime entertainment. I don’t really bet on the game but a lot of people do. And it’s not just the score you can put money on. For example, you can even bet on the color of the liquid they’ll pour on the winning coach. Orange is the odds on favorite at 5 to 4, green and purple are the long-shots at 10 to 1.


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