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Web posted on June 07, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

Both the Conservatives and Liberals held their annual conventions recently on the same weekend. At least the NDP had the good sense to have their's early with no competition from the other parties. Having two conventions on the same weekend is just not right. Both parties voted for some changes in their platforms and constitutions. Some were good ideas, others not so good. Time will tell who got it right. Both parties seemed to be celebrating their current status. Even though I am a political junkie, I really prefer the conventions with leadership issues. The summer break for Parliament is almost here. If all goes well it will be uneventful and I can get caught up on other events. I am hoping they can play nice for a few months.

Senior staff at City Hall seem to be departing at an alarming rate. It could be just coincidence, but unlikely. Are there better opportunities out there? Probably, with all the issues and problems of late, who wouldn't want to get out while the getting is good. Is it possible that things are happening we just don't know about? It does beg the question: are there more departures coming soon? Have the right or wrong people decided to leave? Things could get interesting over the summer. I am reminded of a t-shirt I haven't seen since the late 70s or early 80s: "The cows may come and go, but the bull stays the same." Last one out, please turn off the lights.

There are lot's of things going on at Queen's Park. I hope to devote a few columns over the summer to get caught up. I don't want our beloved Premier to feel neglected.

It has been not been the greatest garage sale season so far. I have seen way too many repeat offenders as I call them. One has been advertising a last chance moving sale for at least two years. I seen several places that have already had two garage sales. They don't bother advertising, other than putting up signs on Saturday mornings and taking them down promptly at the end of the day. I will be keeping an eye on these characters, and if necessary a call to the bylaw office will be made. There are still signs up from last season.

Some of the asking prices I have seen are ridiculous. Retailers at antique malls and flea markets have better prices and quality. Let's be realistic out there. No dealer is going to pay your prices, and most serious collectors will laugh at you or just walk away. You are taking all the fun out of garage sales. People selling record albums (or as I prefer to call them Analogue Vinyl Disks) seem to be the worst offenders. If you really think they are that valuable, put them on eBay and stop wasting everyone's time.

There have been many good church and charity sales with good selection and good prices. Most of these groups have been doing it for years and have it down to a fine art. For some of the new sales, there will be a bit of a learning curve. The Humane Society had a really nice one with reasonable prices and lots of donated goodies.

This past Saturday may have been a turning point. There were several real garage sales with people very motivated to get rid of their stuff and in one case, motivated was an understatement.

Just a follow up to last week's column about markets. Rockwood is definitely on for the season starting on June 15th, and they have a new web site. There is also a Friday market just north of Fergus on St. David Street. They don't have a web site yet. There are also several markets further north. Enjoy the markets and get your fresh produce while it's in season.

At last check still no sign of Buttercup and Westley (as I prefer to call them) the two Rodents of Unusual Size that escaped from the High Park Zoo in Toronto. Of course, it is possible that they did not escape, but were rodentnapped (I may have invented a new word) by Prince Humperdinck. The plot thickens. Yes, I intend to milk this situation for every "Princess Bride" reference I can. If they aren't found soon, I may have to read the book again.

I did not mean to offend any of the birds in the neighbourhood in my angry birds column. However, over the day after that column came out my car was used for target practice by several birds. Whoever hit my windshield at exactly eye level, that was an amazing shot. (pun resisted. barely) I know it wasn't the crows because of the size of the gifts. I am sorry for whatever I may have said to offend you. Please don't poop on my car.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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