Okay, maybe not all of us are, but I am. I have been informed by AUSU that those two weeks of holiday time that are included in my contract are mandatory by Alberta Law. Which means that no matter how much I enjoy putting together the Voice each week, there’s at least two weeks during the year when I’m not allowed. So I’ve decided that I’ll take one of those weeks during the first week of July. I expect you’re probably already pretty busy for those summer days, and I know that around Canada day a lot of people like to take a few days off to take advantage of that long weekend and the various celebrations, so it seems as good a time as any.
Of course, as we get older we start to realize that “vacation” often just means an opportunity to catch up on all the other jobs we’ve been leaving behind. For us, it’ll be a good opportunity to finally clean out the garage and maybe start looking at developing the basement. But I expect we’ll take in some fireworks as well.
Also in July is the start of the annual Calgary Stampede. If you’ve never been to one, you should consider at least taking in the fair grounds and some of the concerts and variety shows that they have in Calgary during that time. Personally, I’ve got problems with the rodeo and chuckwagon events, as I think they’re needlessly cruel to the animals in them. I know many rodeo people say they treat their animals with a lot of love and respect, but you simply can’t tell me that flipping a calf over and using your knee to literally drive the wind out of it so that it stays docile enough to tie up is something that the calf enjoys. And as there always seems to be at least a couple of horses that die during the chuckwagon races, there’s not a lot of hope of convincing me that those aren’t harming the animals either. Still, during that week, the city does put on a lot of shows and throws a lot of great parties, so even without supporting the Stampede itself, it’s possible to have a great time here.
However, that’s still a couple weeks away. Right now, we’ve got another solid issue of The Voice Magazine to keep you distracted for a few minutes. This week, “The Writer’s Toolbox” makes its return, and if you ask Barbara Lehtineimi, not a moment too soon. She’s apparently been missing her writing advice, so went out and found a bunch of other resources for you if you want extra help with your writing. “Primal Numbers” takes a look at solar powered flight, while Hazel Anaka looks at solar powered gardens. We finish up our interview with Don Rosenthal, and the Mindful Bard examines poetry in the context of The New Yorker.
Also, if you’re reading this before the weekend, be sure to check out the streamed AU Convocation ceremonies on at least one of the days during the weekend. You can find more information on this in the “Did You Know?” section, but suffice it to say that if you’ve never heard Asani perform, you’re in for a bit of a treat. Also this week, Weird Canada has found some hare-raising fare, and Dear Barb has someone who’s got themselves into a bit of a pickle.
Finally, I just wanted to wish those in Ontario good luck on their recent election results. I don’t know if I would have voted for the Liberals myself, but the alternative of Mr. Hudak’s path seemed to me like a set-up for disaster.