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Leftovers served up for the New Year

I tend not to make New Year’s resolutions. There are many more sound reasons for being a non-resolutionary than there are good reasons for starting the year by dooming yourself to failure. To begin with, the holiday falls at an unfortunate time.
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I tend not to make New Year’s resolutions. There are many more sound reasons for being a non-resolutionary than there are good reasons for starting the year by dooming yourself to failure.

To begin with, the holiday falls at an unfortunate time. The week after Christmas is not a good time to contemplate fresh beginnings and life-changing strategies. With blood just beginning its valiant struggle to overtake alcohol and chocolate as the primary fluid in our circulatory systems, we are more suited to simple tasks and simple thoughts on the first day of January, like remembering where we left the car or who else lives in the house we woke up in for example. Pain, remorse, embarrassment and the malaise of overindulgence do not good motivators make.

And other than having to remember to tack a new number onto written dates, nothing about January 1 st even remotely feels “new.” We’re still in the same dark season we were a week ago, the village and mountains and roads are still crowded with meandering, lost, hapless tourists — bless each and every one of them — and chances are pretty good we’re still picking through the leftovers of Christmas.

When it comes to new beginnings, the start of school in autumn, the beginning of ski season, the lengthening days of spring all seem like better mileposts upon which to hang the moniker “New Year.”

Nonetheless, I’ve made two resolutions. No, I haven’t forgotten what I just wrote, but consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. I’ve resolved to slip a word into each week’s column that I’ve never used before. I’ve also resolved to eat more kumquats. Actually, I have no intention of eating a kumquat but I’ve never used that word in a column before so…. The secret to life is to go for the easy victories.

What I haven’t resolved to do is come up with an elegant way to blend several small, disparate ideas into one flowing column. I resolved to do that a number of years ago and still haven’t found the ideal conceit to pull it off. But there are a couple of annoying issues still hanging around from the end of the year so here goes, the same-old, same-old scattergun approach to clearing the decks and making way for, well, the new year.

Telus, the company you love to hate, proved once again that tragedy and comedy are separated by a very fine line. When tragedy struck the telecommunications company on Dec. 14, in the form of a severed fibre optic line, they managed to find the comedy inherent in the situation — slapstick actually — and proceeded to have us all in stitches with their inept attempts at communicating the nature of the tragedy to us. While their feeble attempts didn’t go so far as to actually e-mail their customers to let them know their e-mail and Internet would be down for the foreseeable future, they came close.

They did send a press release to Whistler’s media the day after the event — and the day after the weekly papers come out — but if you called Telus on Friday, as I did, when my dial-up dialed nothing, the message you might have gotten could have been the one I got. “We think service will be restored later today.”

Facing some impressive deadlines, I fortunately had the number I use to connect at Smilin’ Dog Manor. Yes, it was long-distance but it worked.

Which raised this question: How come the company that sells us call forwarding couldn’t forward our calls to one of their many, many other ISPs?

When I called back on Monday, the tech support guy I got that time kept saying, “They’re not telling us exactly when service will be restored.” They? Apparently the comic irony was lost on him when I explained that to “us” he was “they.” So apparently, not only couldn’t Telus communicate with its customers, it couldn’t even communicate to their own people.

Now if they would only explain why my “service” is running 20 per cent slower than it used to I’m certain I’d feel better about paying 100 per cent of what I used to.

Warning: Changing topics here.

Can we please just chamber the silver bullet and kill London Drugs once and for all? I’m getting tired of the ads, tired of the telephone surveys, tired of the your-concerns-are-our-concerns pleading. Make a decision already. The retail strategy we’ve been waiting to hide behind, er, consider is pretty clear. London Drugs is about as good a “fit” in Whistler village as Mr. Lube would be. Yeah, it’d be more convenient and we’d probably patronize it, but that’s not really the issue here. Is it?

Warning: Op cit .

Here’s a little mind-game to consider. Which of the following items does not belong in this list: Car shows, monster truck rallies, boat shows, national political conventions, Whistler.

For longer than most of us have lived here, the local tennis people have been locking horns with one developer or another to get one of them to make good on a promise made, in exchange for zoning, density, whatever, to build a tennis facility on lands north of Marketplace. Now it seems the whole proposal has morphed into a tennis facility that can be transformed into a massive exhibition space, ownership of which will be transferred to the municipality.

Ownership has its privileges. It also has its responsibilities. Such as covering the shortfall in operating revenue for such a white… er, facility. Not to mention the delicate balance between meeting the long-thwarted desires of the tennis people — of which I am not one, just in case you were wondering — who will, no doubt, complain about losing balls inside the engine compartments of the cars parked in the middle of their courts.

Maybe this is a good deal; maybe not. Personally, I’d like to see what happens this March when the agreement to backstop the never-ending debt — not to mention the operating shortfall — at MY Place comes up for renewal before the muni takes on yet another infrastructure obligation.

Last Warning: Last leftover.

Can someone please explain why they think Lot 1/9 is a good place to put an Olympics™ medals ceremony thingie? Other than sticking it in the tennis court/exhibition hall, I can’t imagine a more out-of-the-way place. Instead of building something else we have to come up with an after-the-Olympics™ use for, why not borrow a page from WSSF and just erect a TEMPORARY medals plaza right at the base of Whistler mountain where (1) people will see it and (2) people will be drawn to it. True, it wouldn’t cost as much or leave us with another legacy, but it might actually make more sense and generate even more excitement.




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