The Page – October 28, 2020

We were astounded when we read last week a news report about home schooling.
The general take on the news was several “experts,” or at least, concerned parents and such, didn’t like schools being closed over COVID.
They said students needed the social interaction schools give them. Plus activities. Plus professional, personal coaching from people who knew them. Parents, it seems, can only do so much, you know.
The report was pretty good going, until we reached the part about screen time. To paraphrase, “It is unhealthy for young people to be looking at screens six hours per day.”
Heck, we think it’s unhealthy for anybody, anywhere, to be looking at a screen six hours a day, unless your job requires it. As in a nuclear power plant engineer. Or a ship’s navigator or lookout. Or an accountant. News reporters. Gosh, this could get to be a long, long list very fast!
Our own thinking is, there is nothing wrong with computer screens. Phone screens and distracted driving or distracted walking – well – different story.
But, we do agree the social interaction in an office or school setting is at least as important as what one gets out of an online learning course.
Zoom, Teams or Webex anybody?

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Halloween is this coming Saturday.
Some Ontario and Quebec COVID-19 hotspots have said they are banning trick-or-treating. That likely will not stop enterprising parents who always seem to know where the best treats can be had, ban or no ban.
For those who will be handling treats, we heard this advice. “Homemade treats are OK. But don’t handle them or eat them for at least 72 hours. That should be enough time for any virus that might be there to die off. Handing out treats? Use barbecue tongs or disposable gloves. Wear a mask. Don’t let the youngsters crowd you.”
And above all, try to be safe.
And, if driving, be double or triple careful of wee ones.

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“Hey, did you hear about this violinist in Alberta who is going to get an award for his work studying the COVID disease? You didn’t? Well, that’s what the newspaper said. Pretty amazing, eh? Wait a minute! Dang these glasses! It’s a virologist!” – Grandma Smithers

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“I’ve heard all the global warming arguments. I’m still not convinced and I don’t trust the science. Just because we’ve had a few mild winters doesn’t mean it’s a lasting trend. Your mother sneezed three times yesterday, but I’m not about to have her put down.” – Grandpa Jonesy

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It seems just about every time there is stock market excitement regarding forest products, company stock prices take a tumble.
OK, so you have been warned!
Last week, RBC Dominion Securities analyst Paul Quinn said wood product producers are expected to produce “very strong, if not record” third-quarter results.
“In Canada, our favourite names include West Fraser, Norbord, and Interfor,” he also says.
West Fraser has a mill in High Prairie. Tolko Industries has an oriented strandboard mill in High Prairie also. But Tolko is a private company. The nearest equivalent is Norbord.
So, maybe long suffering share owners will get a boost. Quinn says even if third-quarter earnings don’t work out very well, there will be a good uplift in the fourth quarter results.
OK! We’re hanging in there!

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How big can a pumpkin get?
Well, this year’s heaviest pumpkin at the 47th annual Safeway World Championship in California tipped the scale at 1,065.9 kilograms – 2,350 pounds!
The pumpkin was grown in a backyard in Minnesota by a landscape and horticulture teacher at Anoka Technical College in that state. Grower Travis Gienger trailered the beast, nicknamed Tiger King, for 35 hours to the weigh-in.
Gienger says he didn’t really do much to grow the pumpkin. He says he had an idea what to do from previous years, and fertilized with a seaweed kelp and potassium mixture. The effort earned him prize money of $21,699 CDN.
Biggest pumpkin ever weighed in the States came in 2018 with a 2,500-pound big boy from New Hampshire. World champion according to Guinness was 2,624.6 pounds in Belgium in 2016.

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Have a great week!

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