Doug Speirs

  • Winning at losing

    We hate to wag our own tail, but we think we deserve the trophy for best in show. In the nine months since the Free Press launched the Fit Pet Project, a monthly series examining the epidemic of overweight and obese pets, dozens and dozens of readers have joined our online fitness pack.
  • Pants emergency before big event

    You are no doubt wondering how I made out the other night in the big Celebrity Cook-off, and we will get to that in a few minutes. But first we need to discuss the crisis that unfolded in my bedroom as I bravely attempted to get dressed for the third annual charity battle at the Caboto Centre.
  • The supersized schnoz

    T. rex may have had the most magnificent chompers in the prehistoric world, but he's definitely getting nosed out by a recently discovered dinosaur. Scientists have stumbled on the remains of a 75-million-year-old, 30-foot hadrosaur -- a plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur -- with a snout so huge it's been dubbed Rhinorex condrupus, or "King Nose."
  • Weekend weather

    Before we get to the part of the column where we talk about the weather and fun things to do on the weekend, I need to share a warm and fuzzy story that is vaguely fall-related. Friday morning, I was invited to be the guest speaker at the St. James Assiniboia 55+ Centre's big pancake breakfast.
  • Fall: when a squirrel's thoughts turn to homicide

    With the arrival of fall, I am keeping a close eye on the trees in my backyard. There are several reasons I am doing this. For starters, I am currently locked in a war with a squirrel that possesses a nasty attitude and an impressive throwing arm for a creature roughly the size of a baked potato.
  • Food fight, armed with love

    When my partner and I step onto the battlefield Thursday night, we will be armed with the ultimate secret weapon. Call me an irresponsible fool with fire in his eyes and a full head of naturally curly hair if you must, but that weapon is... love!
  • Bath-time battle a tub of war

    I was never any good at math, but I'm pretty sure there are two kinds of people in this world. I have given this some serious thought and, based on my experience, the world is divided into:
  • Hope for homeless

    For a sleep-out, there wasn't a lot of sleeping going on. On an unseasonably warm Thursday night, about 160 of the city's movers and shakers trudged through downtown streets to get a small glimpse of what life is like for Winnipeg's homeless.
  • Your Weekend Weather

    Grab a box of tissues and prepare to get misty-eyed, because this is our final weekend weather column featuring my good buddy Dale Marciski from Environment Canada. For the past five years, Dale has been the voice of sanity in this space, balancing my efforts to remain 100 per cent fact-free with his solid scientific weather predictions, coupled with some really cheesy jokes.
  • It will take a brave heart for Scotland to leave the U.K.

    It pains me to admit this, but I have no idea how the vote on Scottish independence turned out, or if it has even turned out yet. It's not that I don't care. I care a great deal. Like most Canadians obsessed with their Scottish heritage -- despite the fact they have never set foot in The Old Country -- I consider myself to be even more Scottish than anyone currently living in Scotland.
  • A fond farewell to my buddy, Dale

    I am feeling a little under the weather. It's not that I'm sick; it's just that I'm experiencing a low-pressure system because my good buddy, Dale Marciski, is hanging up his thermometer this week after 35 years of dishing up weather forecasts as the friendly face, and voice, of Environment Canada here in Manitoba.
  • I'll sleep with CEOs to aid the homeless

    Despite loving the taste of s'mores, knowing all the words to Kumbaya and owning several extra-large flannel shirts, I am not what you would call a fan of camping outdoors. Call me a rugged individualist if you must, but I suppose my main problem with outdoor camping is the fact -- brace yourselves for a shock -- it is typically done in the outdoors.
  • Weekend weather

    If you're looking for a reason to drag your frost-covered carcass out of bed this morning, the Weather Column has just the ticket. We stumbled on this reason Friday morning when we engaged in a serious discussion about the weather with our buddy, Murray, who sits in the business section in a cubicle directly behind Weather Central.
  • A smooth, frothy, rich and sweet reason to celebrate

    I'm going to guess most of you don't have a clue what day today is? Yes, it's Friday, but that's not what I'm talking about. Today, is also Sept. 12, which means -- brace yourselves for some urgent breaking news -- it's National Chocolate Milkshake Day.
  • Just let sleeping Doug lie

    It's not sleeping out in the cold that I'm worried about. It's the pizza.
  • It's Boot, James Boot... er, Bond

    When you are a teenager, you know in your heart you are going to grow up to be just like James Bond, spending your evenings wearing a spiffy tuxedo, a Walther PPK clutched in one hand, a vodka martini in the other and a beautiful supermodel draped over your shoulders. What you don't expect to become is the sort of doofus who is not licensed to kill and, worse, would agree to wear dorky-looking rubber boots to an outdoor concert, because it has been raining so much the animals in your neighbourhood are starting to line up, two by two.
  • Your weekend weather

    What with being a weather column with a remarkably short attention span, we've decided to change things for this weekend's forecast. Those of you who have been taking your prescription medication will recall that for much of this roller-coaster summer, the moment the weekend arrives, the weather becomes damp and overcast, whereas the second we return to work -- PRESTO! -- the sun comes out, the birds begin to sing and unicorns prance over rainbows outside our office windows.
  • The dog ate my homework... and everything else

    I do not wish to brag, but I suspect it is only a matter of time before I win a major journalism award. I say this because today I am going to expose yet another example of a horrifying global trend that I have written countless columns about in a sincere and humanitarian effort to continue receiving a paycheque.
  • Memory-loss breakthrough! What was it again?

    For years, I have worried brain cells are leaking slowly out of my ears. Lately, the leak has become a full-fledged flood.
  • Trending that caught Doug's eye: Botched guarantees

    If there's anything you can say with absolute certainty, it is this -- There are no guarantees in life! Just ask Dennis Skulsky, president and CEO of the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League. Before last Sunday's game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Skulsky was seeing red -- make that green -- when the Riders purchased an antagonistic billboard near BC Place sporting the cheeky slogan: "Green is the new Orange."
  • Your Weekend Weather

    We are feeling a little emotional as we sit in the confines of our office cubicle and ponder the beauty and majesty of the final weekend weather forecast for the last month of summer. We are feeling misty-eyed partly because this is the last long weekend of summer 2014. Now that we think about it, maybe we shouldn't call this the last long weekend of summer.
  • Not seeing is believing

    If you're searching for reasons to envy me -- other than the fact I possess most of my own teeth along with TV newscaster-quality hair -- you're in luck. Earlier this week, armed only with a fork and my rat-like cunning, I chomped my way to victory in a hotly contested spaghetti-eating contest in support of CNIB Manitoba.
  • Men's mouth-watering love of shiny things explained

    I have come to the conclusion guys have a lot in common with crows. It's not that we are harbingers of doom, although that may be true of certain guys. I'm talking to you, Justin Bieber and Rob Ford.
  • Diabetic cats require dedication from owners

    This may sound odd, but I have a lot in common with Rachael Herscovitch's pet cat. I suffer from Type 2 diabetes, the fastest-growing chronic disease in the world.
  • Trending that caught Doug's eye... one-finger salutes

    Hotshot National Football League rookie Johnny Manziel has never had a hard time tackling media attention. The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner -- known far and wide as "Johnny Football" -- has landed in hot water more than a few times for his questionable behaviour off the field.

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