July 24th, 2024

Noteworthy: Annual skateboard showdown never fails to impress in the Hat

By Bruce Penton on July 3, 2024.

There wasn’t much heat to beat Monday at the annual Canada Day Beat the Heat skateboard competition at the Medicine Hat Skateboard Park. Weather conditions were unusually cool and rainy, but the boarders didn’t seem to mind and the hundreds of spectators lining the edges of the facility took advantage of the best sporting deal in the city (free admission).

It’s a young person’s game, of course, but how those competitors don’t break bones, crack their skulls or cover their bodies with bruises is beyond me. The skateboard layout is made of concrete, and when the board or rail throws them a curve, the competitor can flat out fall three or four feet onto the cement, with a hard landing. But they get back up and give it another go, as if they had just landed in a pit of sand.

These kids are athletes, real athletes, and when they land an Ollie North or a 360 Hard Flip, they deserve the audience cheers and the quick cash they receive from the organizers who reward trick sensationalism.

It’s too bad organizers of the skateboard event and the Canada Day festivities at Kin Coulee had their day somewhat spoiled by the weather. Normally, Hatters can count on sunny skies and hot temperatures on July 1. In 2023 and 2022, for instance, the high temps in the Hat were 28 both years.

• If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, experts say you should get up and walk around for five minutes every hour. Continual sitting with no exercise is akin, healthwise, to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. So get moving. But if you’re getting up every hour to walk to the cupboard to grab another doughnut, maybe you should rethink things.

• Anyone who knows me is aware of my addiction to golf, so it warms my heart to see the promotion Paradise Valley Golf Course is running July 1-7 – Take A Kid to the Course. In an effort to get more kids golfing, and away from their smartphones for a couple of hours, Paradise Valley is offering a free round of golf to anyone under 16 who is accompanied by a paying adult. It’s the perfect opportunity for an introduction to the game, and it also offers a chance to spend some quality time with one or more of your children.

• Clever line attributed to American essayist Mark Twain, in a post-Trump-Biden-debate column on the Globe and Mail website: “There’s a lesson here about arguing with fools, who will only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

• Now here’s a debate I didn’t even know was debatable until a story about it appeared online: Should you take off your shoes when you visit somebody’s home? In Canada, apparently, the ‘shoes-off’ side wins, but in the U.S., it’s the opposite – most Americans keep their shoes on when they pay a visit to somebody’s home. In my world, the initial instinct is to remove shoes when in somebody’s else’s house, unless the host insists we keep them on.

A word of caution: If you’re planning to visit somebody’s house, at least wear socks. It would be pretty embarrassing to be required to remove your shoes if your sweaty bare feet were staining the floors.

• Recent statistics released indicated that two out of three homes have a pet and according to Axios.com, pet owners are going above and beyond to make life comfortable for their (in most cases) four-legged friends. For instance, dog bakeries and ice cream parlours especially for pets are springing up. Axios says pet ownership surged during the pandemic and if you’re in the pet-care business (pet food, veterinary clinic), chances are you’re doing far better today than you were five years ago.

• Short snappers: The U.S. presidential debate was about the only thing people were talking about the morning after and it says here that if the Democrats don’t replace Biden on the ticket, it will be akin to handing the presidency to Trump on a silver platter. … Canada’s satirical website, The Beaverton, regularly picks on Danielle Smith, and after the premier said last week Alberta would opt out of the federal dental plan, The Beaverton wrote a story headlined: “Danielle Smith: Trudeau wants Albertans to have teeth and I won’t stand for that.” … Vancouver humorist Steve Burgess, on the NDP’s chances to win the next election in Alberta: “The NDP’s usual themes of environmental responsibility do not go over well in a province where even the NHL team names involve extraction and combustion.” … A statistic you need to know: Tennis fans will consume 62,000 pounds of strawberries during the two-week Wimbledon tournament in London, England.

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor who may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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