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Listen: Rod Pedersen joins Dean Millard on the Sports And More Podcast.

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This week was the perfect time to bring Rod Pedersen into the Sports And More Podcast. Not only was he the voice of the Saskatchewan Roughriders for 20 years, he’s really plugged in when it comes to the CFL. Rod compared this year’s Riders club to some of the past teams after clinching first in the west for just the 4th time since 1970.

Listen to Rod Pedersen preview the CFL playoffs and discuss his journey to sobriety.

We also discussed the changing landscape in the media world, as both Rod and myself would not be considered ‘main stream media’ with his new show, which includes video and me podcasting and doing online radio, it’s opening up some new avenues, if you can put in the work.

Rod has a tie in with the Dallas Stars and was in Texas when we chatted so I asked him why he thinks the Stars are struggling and he pulled no punches when it comes to a certain star player on the Stars roster. His favourite team is the Oilers and it’s a good time to be a fan.

It’s also a good time to be Rod Pedersen as he’s sober. He’s also helping others with their journey to sobriety and he does it with bluntness. The one thing about Rod Pedersen is he doesn’t get splinters sitting on the fence. He’s open about his life changing moment and recovery and how he continues to push forward, one day at a time.

It’s an open and honest conversation with one of Canada’s most recognizable media personalities.

 

 

After 22 years in the media world of television and radio, from Brandon, Manitoba to Red Deer, Alberta over to Regina, Saskatchewan and settling in Edmonton, Alberta, I found myself on the side of the desk with a pink slip in my hand, unexpectedly. ​ Over the next few weeks and with my mind racing to a million thoughts, I decided to embark on the journey of podcasting. My broadcasting background has mainly been in sports, and it will still be a big part of my podcasting, but I will be focusing on other subjects as well, from sports to cannabis education and more.

Alberta

“India? Are you nuts?” Join Gerry for Part 1 of his series on India.

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Feature Image India part 1

This is the first in a four-part series on India

“India. Are you nuts?” an incredulous friend remarked. “Why would you want to go there? It’s dirty, crowded, smelly and full of stray cows.”

So, I was anxious as I stared out the window of the Dreamliner 787 on descent into New Delhi after a 14-hour flight from Vancouver. But Delhi was nowhere to be seen. The worst smog in the country’s history had enveloped India’s capital. Visibility was near zero.

Man carrying basket on head

Smog in India

The late-night ride to the hotel was a dystopian dream. With the twelve-hour time change we were in a trance-like state. The streets were eerily quiet. An acrid smell hung in the air. As we drove through dense smog, the moon made a futile effort to silhouette India Gate, Parliament House and the Prime Minister’s residence.

“What’s happening?” we asked the clerk at check-in.

“Diwali,“ he smiled.

Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that pays tribute to the victory of light over dark, good over evil – and a highlight of the annual celebration is the setting off of fireworks. When Delhi’s 22,000,000 inhabitants simultaneously ignite firecrackers and other pyrotechnics, the sub-tropical air becomes thick with the stagnant refuse of gunpowder. Add to this the exhaust of 9 million vehicles, smoke from burnt stubble fields in nearby Punjab, plus a temperature inversion – and you have unimaginable, eye-searing air pollution.

“…At the top of the heap are India’s cows. Bovines stand nonchalant, impervious – and sacred – amongst the vehicular pandemonium…”

Schools were closed. Construction was halted. Roads were sprayed to keep dust down. Farmers were threatened with fines for illegally burning rice stubble; all to no avail. The particulate index climbed, from just over 600 when we arrived, to 964 three days later. This level is 15 times the “safe” limit in India – and 60 times what would be considered hazardous in Canada.

Women selling wares

Street Vendors during Diwali

Then the currency crisis hit. In an effort to weed out “black money” – cash hoarded through corruption and counterfeiting – Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization of all 500 and 1000 rupee bills. That’s like cancelling all our $10 and $20 bills.

India’s 1.3 billion people were given a fortnight to exchange old rupees, after which the old bills would become worthless. The bank lineups were horrifying.

India’s is a cash economy and many people don’t even use banks. The country was in chaos. But surprisingly, most people we met – guides, drivers, shopkeepers, restaurant employees – were sick of the endemic corruption and in favour of this Draconian strategy.

Our tour group consisted of my wife Florence and me, together with our fun-loving travel-mates Kim and Simone from Victoria and Joe and Carla from Saskatoon. We struggled through these pollution and currency crises from the comfort of an air-filtered, credit card-accepting hotel. Meanwhile out on the streets the locals coughed, lined up and resolutely carried on life in 21st century India.

school kids some wearing masks

Air quality is an issue

But for me more astonishing and unfathomable than the choking smog and worthless bills was India’s overwhelming, perpetual traffic congestion.

The “sub-continent” has 54 cities with more than a million people. Four of these urban agglomerations have over 20 million souls. And even the smallest Indian village is a clogged spoke of trucks, buses, cars, motorcycles, rickshaws, bicycles and foot traffic. Pecking order is determined by size. Bicycles give way to motorcycles, which give way to rickshaws… ascending up to the big Tata transport trucks.

 

full bus carrying men

Traffic is insane

Buses overflow with humanity – arms, legs and heads spilling from every door and window. A moped transports an entire family – and their belongings. The lowly pedestrian occupies the bottom of the traffic heap, flirting death with each wary footstep.

At the top of the heap are India’s cows. Bovines stand nonchalant, impervious – and sacred – amongst the vehicular pandemonium.

people watching cow in street

Cows rule.

This may come as a somewhat of a surprise but Indians are fantastic drivers. In what can only be termed functional chaos, traffic actually moves. Roads designed for two lanes harbour four – in each direction. The tiniest opening in traffic is immediately filled by the largest object that fits that space. India abhors a vacuum.

Horns blast non-stop in a cacophonous chorus, used not in anger but to convey a message. A little beep means, “Hey, I’m here.” A resolute honk indicates, “I’m filling that gap.” And an extended blast from a bus states unequivocally, “Coming through, out of my way.”

The first two weeks of our month-long stay in India were spent in the company – and under the watchful eye – of guide Anoop Singhal and driver Devinder Singh. Each morning Singh Ji, a soft-spoken Sikh, greeted us with a colourful turban and a contagious smile. (“Ji” is an honorific, used to show respect – and we happily started referring to one another as Kim Ji, Anoop Ji, etc.)

kids with balloons

Despite the culinary curry shock to my digestive system – and the occasional experiment with street food – I managed to avoid “Delhi belly.” I credit my intestinal well-being to a daily dose of local yoghurt. But even with the use of air masks, we all eventually succumbed to the dreaded Delhi cough.

White palace on water

The Lake Palace of Udaipur

After “seeing” the capital, we travelled a few hundred kilometers southwest to Udaipur to begin an exploration of the fabulous architecture of Rajasthan. Vast palaces built by fabulously wealthy Maharajas in the 17th century still dominate the landscape. The Lake Palace of Udaipur, the White City, is a stunning snow-white jewel set in a liquid surface.

In Jodhpur, the Blue City, we looked down on a jumble of turquoise buildings from the heights of Mehrangarh Fort. The last in the colourful triumvirate of Rajasthan’s famous towns is Jaipur, the Pink City, where in 1857 Maharaja Ram Singh ordered his palace painted pink to impress the British overlords.

India is a photographer’s paradise. No need to search out photo ops; simply plunk down on any curb and start snapping: a vendor hawking fruit, women in crimson saris haggling over spices, a cow imperially chewing its cud, children laughing, beggars begging. All day, every day the flavour, colour, texture, sound, energy and urgency of India unfolds spontaneously, unrehearsed.

On the last day of our stay in Rajasthan, we stopped in at the famed camel festival of Pushkar where local dromedaries are auctioned annually. I nearly closed on a fine one-humped specimen but was outbid by a clever camel herder from the Punjab. Just as well; probably would have been tough to squeeze a grumpy dromedary into my suitcase.

Next time: Taj Mahal and the Sacred Ganges.

Thank you to these great local sponsors who make these stories possible!

If you go: Explore India from Vancouver B.C., www.exploreindia.ca, capably and professionally handled all aspects of our private month-long tour – air and land travel, hotels, meals, guides, drivers, entrance fees and activities – for one all-inclusive price.

Click below to read about some of Gerry’s other great travel adventures.

 

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Lloyd Lewis joins Cam’s Crew with Cam’s thoughts on Remembrance Day

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Lloyd joins the Crew to read Cam’s words on Remembrance Day.

Cam Tait is a newspaper columnist with 40 years of experience.  He lives with Cerebral Palsy and doesn’t speak clearly.  Cam has many stories.  He writes them and his friends read them on Cam’s Crew.

Here is Cam’s script:

THIS IS LLOYD LEWIS, PRESIDENT OF TODAYVILLE – AND I’M READING CAM TAIT’S WORDS ON CAM’S CREW.WHEN CONTEMPLATING WRITING THE ANNUAL EFFORT ATTEMPTING TO EXPRESS GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION TO OUR MILITARY VETERANS ON NOVEMBER 11TH, DON CHERRY WASN’T A SPEC ON THE RADAR SCREEN.

THE THESIS, OF COURSE, IS TO HONOR CANADIAN VETERANS WHO SACRAFICED THEMSELVES SO WE CAN LIVE WITH FREEDOM IN 2019 … IT’S A REMINDER, TOO, OF THE ACTIVE CANADIAN MEN AND WOMEN IN THE FORCES, TODAY, NOT ONLY IN PEACEKEEPING ROLES … BUT WHO, IN A MOMENT’S NOTICE, ARE READY TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY.

IT DOESN’T END THERE … IT’S A CHANCE TO SHARE THE STORIES OF PEOPLE LIKE LLOYD LEWIS, WHO MADE A POINT A MONTH AGO, HE WANTED TO VOICE
A REMEMBRANCE DAY SCRIPT IF I WAS GOING TO WRITE ONE.

LLOYD’S MILITARY CONNECTION COMES FROM GROWING UP AROUND MANY VETERANS FROM BOTH WORLD WARS IN THE TINY COMMUNITY OF FORT ASSINIBOINE ALBERTA … THEY HAD RETURNED TO THE AREA TO FARM.. AND THE LEGION WAS THE TOWN GATHERING PLACE.

A DISTINGUISHED TELEVISION CAREER CUED UP, WITH LLOYD LEAVING THE TV INDUSTRY IN 2015 AFTER A DECADE AS CTV EDMONTON VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER.

LLOYD HAS A DEEP APPRECIATION OF THE MILITARY … AND, IT SHOWS … HE IS HON. LT. COLONEL OF 41 SIGNAL REGIMENT.  IT’S A COMMUNICATIONS UNIT IN THE CANADIAN ARMY RESERVE IN ALBERTA WITH SOLDIERS IN 3 SQUADRONS – EDMONTON, RED DEER AND CALGARY.

LLOYD’S EXTENSIVE COMMUNITY RESUME INCLUDES BEING ON THE BOARD OF THE ALBERTA CHAPTER OF THE CANADIAN FORCES LIASON COUNCIL.

SUCH PRESTIGIOUS POSITIONS COME WITH CHALLENGING RESPONSIBILITIES … AND, AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, LLOYD PROMOTES HONOURING OUR MILITARY HEROS.

WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO DON CHERRY WHO IS IN HOT WATER FOR HIS SATURDAY NIGHT COACHES CORNER COMMENT … CHERRY HAS A VOICE, AND, AT 85, HE COMES FROM A GENERATION THAT HAS DEEP RESPECT FOR THE OUR MILITARY.

CHERRY MADE ONE POINT WE CAN AGREE ON … MORE OF US SHOULD BUY POPPIES.  IT’S A SMALL AND COLLECTIVE ACT – AND THE VERY LEAST WE CAN DO.  AND TODAY AT 11, STOP FOR A MOMENT … BE SILENT, AND THINK ABOUT YOUR FREEDOM … OUR FREEDOM.

LEST WE FORGET.
THIS IS LLOYD LEWIS … AND I’M ON THE CREW

 

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november, 2019

tue19nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu21novAll Daysun24Festival of Trees(All Day)

thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov9:00 am12:00 pmFestival Family Bingo - 1st time ever!9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov6:00 pm11:00 pmMistletoe Magic !6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov8:00 pmRed Deer Nov 23 - Calgary's THIRD CHAMBER - EP release show "Harvesting Our Decay"8:00 pm

sun24nov9:00 am12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

mon25nov1:30 am2:30 pmPlanning A Calmer Christmas1:30 am - 2:30 pm

mon25nov6:30 pm8:30 pmRustic Succulent Box WorkshopUnique Workshop to create Succulent Box6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

tue26nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu28nov7:30 pm11:00 pmA special Christmas Musical Event at The KrossingBig Hank's Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas7:30 pm - 11:00 pm MST The Krossing, 5114 48 Avenue

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