More things about 2014 we wish were different than they are

by Team P-Dog

Let the half-assed, phoned-in Prairie Dog year in review fun continue!

I’d Rather Be Back At That Nerd Convention

One of the most fun times I had in the last year was the two days I spent at Fan Expo Regina. Back in April, the multi-city convention series landed in Regina for the first time. Celebrities including Marina Sirtis (Star Trek counsellor Deanna Troi), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Ray Park (Darth Maul, the only good thing in three Star Wars prequels) and Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World) beamed in for panels and fun. There was infinite cool nerd-shit to buy. Wolf Cop himself was on the convention floor. It was a blast. And it’s back in 2015, apparently! Cool. Guess I can wait. /Stephen Whitworth

I’d Rather Have Way More Space Exploration

It’s not that I never write on space. When opportunities arise — such as NASA’s recent test flight of its deep space vehicle Orion, and an October book by CBC’s Bob McDonald where he interviewed three Canadian astronauts who’ve done space walks — I cover it in Prairie Dog.

I just wish I could do more. And write about more substantive stuff too, like a permanent Moon base, and humanity’s first visit to Mars.

As a kid in the late ’60s, maybe I was just spoiled by the success of the Apollo program, the U.S. and Soviet space stations Skylab and Mir, and probes such as Viking (Mars landing in 1976), and Voyager II (grand tour of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune from 1979-89). Further fanning the flames, of course, were TV shows/movies such as Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Yes, those were heady days! And in all honesty, looking back, I would’ve thought by now we would’ve established a lunar base and reached Mars. Admittedly, both are daunting undertakings that required us to develop new technologies and equipment.

We’ve been doing that — what is a 3D printer, after all, but a first generation Star Trek replicator? But we’re still lugging a lot of baggage tied to our atavistic past: greed, prejudice, religious dogma, you name it.

Yet when you think of how vast the universe is, and how precarious our existence is on this tiny planet, it’s a no brainer that we need to work together to survive. And space exploration offers us that chance. /Gregory Beatty

I’d Rather Be At One Of The Great New Restaurants Aidan Morgan Reviewed This Year

I mean, than writing this at this moment. I don’t wanna. So, Cafe Francais and Mei Wei Bistro? Those places sound great. I also really loved Aidan’s Swiss Chalet review — look it up on our website. Pure Morgan gold.

By the way, Aidan didn’t write about Cafe Francais’ coffee in his review but he tells me it’s fantastic. I could use some of that coffee right now. Did I tell you that I hate deadlines. I do! /Stephen Whitworth

I’d Rather Have Skate Parks And Pools Than New Stadiums

I’d kinda, sorta like to see Craig Reynolds, the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ incoming chief executive officer, bruise his tailbone after falling off a skateboard at a local indoor skateboard park. And not just because the football club has been remarkably pratfall free, off the field, since Ken Miller ended his second run as head coach in 2011.

No I don’t. That’s a little mean. But still.

Until last year, Regina’s only indoor skateboard facility was located within one of the buildings in the Evraz Place exhibition grounds. The loss of the park— and City Hall’s desultory attempts to find another place, which appeared to last for about 15 minutes — is one of those small events that, if the Riders don’t watch out, will, in terms of public perception, bite them in the ass.

Saskatchewan’s economy, blind-sided by plummeting oil prices, could be sliding into a recession. And then, the $300 million Gopher Hole — sorry, New Mosaic Stadium — will go from being a source of pride to an economic embarrassment as the City and provincial governments run out of money for other projects. Regina Mayor Micheal Fougere won’t like it, but there are already some people connecting the dots between the city’s plans to “review” — that is, close — inner city outdoor swimming pools such as Maple Leaf and Wascana, and the money the city will spend on the new football stadium.

And the Roughriders will get caught in that public backlash, especially since ex-players such as former city councillor Chris Szarka and current MLA Gene Makowsky made no secret of incorporating Rider Pride into electoral campaigns.

In this world of realpolitik, the secretary screening Mayor Fougere’s calls will more likely forward that call through than one from a voter whose son or daughter has nowhere to grind their boards for the winter, or go swimming. There might not be a financial benefit for the Riders to take a stand, even a backroom one, on these issues, but the Roughriders once owed their existence to goodwill when they had nothing in their bank account.

It would be nice — unexpected but nice — if they acknowledged those days by paying it forward. /Stephen LaRose

Finally, I’d Rather Be Living In One Of Those Houses That’s Infested With Garter Snakes

Because snakes are cool, and I like them. /Stephen Whitworth