Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The Weather Column

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Before we get to the weekend forecast, we are going to share the secret of how to get a good night's rest while sleeping on the cold ground at Portage and Main.

It was revealed to us by Portage la Prairie Tory MLA Ian Wishart, who, along with the Weather Column, was among 100 business and community leaders huddled at the noisy corner Thursday night for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ's CEO Sleepout, which raises money and awareness for programs to help the city's homeless get off the streets.

Early Friday morning, we asked Wishart how he'd slept. "What?" he replied, then pulled a pair of orange disposable earplugs from his ears. "Earplugs!" the well-rested MLA declared, chuckling. "For me, they made a difference, but then I'm a country boy. I'm used to quiet. My nearest neighbour is half a mile away."

Next, we approached the always upbeat Dwight MacAulay, the province's chief of protocol, and asked for his expert weather forecast along with a tip on how to enjoy the weekend without running afoul of protocol guidelines.

Here's what the man who ensures royal visits go off without a hitch advised: "It's going to be a beautiful Manitoba weekend and people really should get outside and enjoy it! The leaves are turning colour. It's a perfect weekend for a drive in the country. I'm going to Killarney."

Amazingly, Environment Canada's outlook is almost identical to Dwight's, just not right away. The weather office says we'll have a 60 per cent chance of showers today, clearing in the evening, with a high of 16 C, one measly degree above the normal high of 15 C.

Things will warm up Sunday, with clouds in the mix and the temperature up to a lovely 20 C. The mercury will hit a summery 23 C Monday and Tuesday, so you might want to put on your Bermuda shorts when you head outside to jump in a pile of crunchy autumn leaves.

Or, immerse yourselves in the fourth annual Culture Days Manitoba celebration of the arts, featuring 320 free, hands-on, family-friendly activities in the city and communities around the province.

You can learn to Chinese line-dance, take in a How to Wind a Turban demonstration, learn about burlesque from Miss La Muse, enjoy movies or a late-night skateboard party and even (if you are under 18, close your eyes for this next bit) watch an artist do sketches of a nude model. Visit mb.culturedays.ca for a full schedule.

Regardless of the temperature or the quality of your sleeping bag, you'll feel warm and fuzzy all over if you take a moment to help the BIZ's Change for the Better program reach its $200,000 goal. Just visit www.changeforthebetter.org and click the "Donate Now" button under the photo of your favourite CEO.

And, please, whatever you do, take out those (bad word) earplugs!

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2013 A2

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