Columnists

Poorer, but privileged

When Jesus told his apostles that the poor will always be with us, we never predicted that we might one day be numbered among them. But here we are, 20 centuries later, in the midst of a global recession.

How to enjoy that root canal

You wake up too early — just like every other morning for the last two months — with a toothache that would stop an eight-day clock, whatever that is. But today is different. Today, as impossible as it sounds, you feel even worse than the all the previous regular excruciating toothache-infested days put together.

Children’s values taught through discipline

Last week you said Dr. Woodward’s philosophy of child-rearing was rather typical of the advice given to parents a generation ago.

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My parents treat me like a slave

My parents own a restaurant. I am employed there, but am looking for a new job. Why? Because I feel like a slave.

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A miracle or bird poo?

Our bank balance is rarely endangered when I walk past a shoe or clothing store. I am a terrible excuse for a fashion diva.

Getting things growing with soil supplements

Bags and bails of soil have been stacked in greenhouse parking lots for months. Each week the pile gets smaller as the bags are brought inside and used to start bedding-out- plants. Similar bags are starting to appear parking lots of large box stores.

My early-season brown. The reward is obvious.

Forget the tropics; there’s brown gold out here

More Alberta anglers than usual are choosing the off-shore option to open their fishing season as, here at home, we are experiencing yet another slow, cold spring. They delight in emailing me pictures of themselves in tropical scrubs or shorts holding their catches: bonefish, snook and jack crevalle.

My early-season brown. The reward is obvious.

Prepare children for success in today’s society

One of the best ways to prepare children for success in a democratic society is to teach them the “give and take” that comes with co-operative problem solving or decision-making. One excellent way to do this is through “Family Meetings.”

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I saw my daughter’s fiance with a hooker – and he’s my boss’s son

My daughter is engaged to my boss’s son, who also works for the company. On a recent out-of-town business trip, I observed my future son-in-law taking a “lady of the evening” into his hotel room. He did not see me.

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Mastering the art of wild crafting

In mid-April, there is a wind storm. It blows through the night and into the next day.

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I’m being cheated out of my parents’ estate

My brother is married to a woman I will call “Devon.” She is an only child and accustomed to having her way.

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Let’s get it together with ecosystem management

The North Coast of B.C. is one of my favourite places.

Deductions can ease the cost of moving

As the economic downturn deepens and job losses across the country mount, more Canadians may have to look beyond their town, city or even province to find work.

Self-contained composting toilets are ideal for cottages. They're easier to install than a flush toilet and pose no threat to water quality. Today's best models operate odourlessly and reliably.

Compost toilets make cottage sense

When a kitchen fire destroyed the lakeside heirloom cottage of Mike and Alice Ogden back in June 2005, they decided to rebuild in a way that blended appropriately with the lakeside setting of their property, while also allowing the new cottage to become a year-round retirement home.

Self-contained composting toilets are ideal for cottages. They're easier to install than a flush toilet and pose no threat to water quality. Today's best models operate odourlessly and reliably.

Spring has ‘sproinged’ and splattered

You can practically hear the sproing, sproing, sproing of spring springing to life all around us as all the pretty flowers poke up their pretty heads in bloom and the meadowlarks sing their happy Spring song and Mr. Sun winks at us from his happy place in the beautiful blue sky.

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Understanding mental illnesses

Last fall, we sent our 18-year-old son off to college. He was excited to be living in the dorms, meeting new people and starting new classes. He had dreams and goals. After one month, he had some sort of mental breakdown and was hospitalized for three weeks. He had to drop out of school.

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Easter, the best joke of all time

Tomorrow, Christians find themselves perched on the pinnacle of their cyclical Church Year. As author John Irving’s fictional Owen Meany proclaims, “Any fool can feel like a Christian at Christmas. But Easter is the main event.”

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Boy nasty to his stepfather

My sister, Shelly, has two kids — a 10-year-old boy from her previous marriage and a two-year-old girl from her current one.

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Adolescent looking for a ‘normal’ life

My wife and I are very strict with our 12-year-old son, “Jonathan.” He has normal adolescent issues, but he really is a great kid — well-mannered, hardworking, gets good grades, etc.

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A close look at Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

In case you had not noticed, Microsoft unleashed Internet Explorer 8 onto the cyber world this month, which brought with it some good news and bad.