Friday, January 23, 2009

Into the Deep Freezer - Again!

Ok Dudes, we are in for another weather roller coaster. It was a pleasant stroll into the office this morning. Seemed like a spring day when I went out to lunch. Less pleasant as I left the office and walked toward home. Still warm, but the wind had come up and it was clear that the cold was returning and being driven to our town rather quickly on the tail of an Arctic wind. I took the photo to the left on my walk home. I guess they figured that one wouldn't know what to do when cautioned about falling ice.
I suspect tomorrow I am going to want to cocoon inside rather than go out on a long walk.

News item of the day: Watching the Market Watch TV show tonight they were making viewers aware of the rising concerns regarding the potential of cell phone use to increase incidence of brain cancer. Scary! Of particular concern is the use of cell phones by young people. Apparently since the brain is smaller a greater percentage of it is exposed to the electromagnetic energy. There is a study ongoing in Canada which will have results in about 5 years, but a small study conducted n Europe showed a 5% increase in brain cancer users who used a cell phone for more than 10 years. Scary stuff for sure!!!

So now let me tell you about the Toronto One Read Event. As I mentioned last blog there are a number of events celebrating March as Reading Month. As part of Keep Toronto Reading 2008, the Toronto Library choose Consolation by Michael Redhill as the one book all Torontonians should read. The library held a number of events throughout the city about the book’s themes and issues. I read the novel and have to say it was my best read of the year. I look forward to this year's selection.

For those of you who haven't read it, I must first point out that it has a special significance to anyone who has lived in Toronto. Every page refers to a Toronto street, landmark or noteworthy historical event. There are two parallel plots each similar in theme but set more than 100 years apart. I won't go into more, you can go here if you want a to know more about it.

Next item: Going on a cruise is great fun; riding in an OPP cruiser, not so much...

I had to laugh at my brother's comment left on my face book site. IHe had commented that he had never been on a cruise, but he had been in a cruiser and that wasn't very much fun. I laughed!

Well I have been on a few different cruises, but not in the last many years until the one I went on in December. This one was in some ways far better than any I have been on before but somehow also a bit too posh. I still remember my first cruise (I hate to say how many decades ago). It was a Greek ship. Cruising was certainly not then what it is now. It was the disco 70s and I had an Afro perm and you can probably picture the scene. The ship was not the cleanest, and as I recall the cabin steward (an old fat man) asked that I tip him with a bottle of brandy as he would need to share any money I gave him. I had a party in my room and he brought ice and glasses and I gave him another bottle of brandy in thanks. I recall there were only 3 bars/clubs, no theaters or ice rinks. There was a casino and we did bingo there during the daytime. And the bathroom! It was so small you could sit on the john and shower at the same time.

This cruise was quite a contrast. The Royal Caribbean's "Liberty of the Seas" is the biggest cruise ship on the seas in the 2008/2009 sailing season. There is a "Grand Promenade" in the centre of the ship which is sort of like the interior of the Eatons Center - towering about 6 floors with balconies from the rooms on either side looking out at the promenade. We had an outside cabin with a nice balcony to view departures and arrivals or just to gaze out at the expanse of sea. The room was large - there were 3 of us sharing so that was important. Not that we spent much time in the room. I just counted up the number of bars -- I didn't even get to have a drink in every single one -- there were at least 10, if you count the one deck side and the one in the theatre. The formal dining rooms were over 3 levels with a scarlet O'Hara staircase joining them. Near the top of the ship there was a buffet dining room and there were several different eateries off the Promenade. Oh ya, there was a huge casino, a 2 level disco an an ice skating rink. Add to that the climbing wall, the surfing hill, on deck golf and all manner of on board entertainment, you could very well have stayed on ship the whole time and not been bored.

But of course we didn't and that will be the topic of another blog.

So enough for one blog - the hour is late and my bed calls.

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