Thursday Thirteen, on Thursday the 13th. 13 Things I missed while on vacation with my family. Last year vs This year.

English: Honour guard for Jack Layton.

English: Honour guard for Jack Layton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since today is Thursday the 13th, I would be remiss if I didn’t have a post for today…  Oddly enough I had this post sitting in my draft folder since last summer and it perfectly ties in with thoughts for today’s post.Last year for our family vacation we drove to New York.  We took our time getting there and made sure to stop along the way to visit attractions in the State like Howes Caverns, as we headed to the apartment we rented in Brooklyn.  We had a very busy week running around the city and had very little time to catch up with local news online.

We totally lost touch with the news when we left on a cruise from Manhattan, down the coast to Barbados – where we met Hurricane Irene - and never regained touch as we raced back up the coast back into Manhattan before we finally settling in with cousins in New Jersey as the storm hit.

Cruise ships are not known for having free WiFi, in fact Internet is so expensive that we did without and we missed some pretty interesting news stories which we encountered upon our return back to Toronto.

This year for family vacation, we spent a week in Disney (melting in the heat and humidity) before heading out for a cruise – again hitting the Hurricane (Tropical Storm Isaac) - and then settling in Florida when the storm hit before racing up and across the state at 3am to catch a flight out and back to Toronto.

Again, on the cruise ship, no WiFi and very expensive Internet, so again we missed a lot of news.

So today’s Thursday 13 is a comparison of the events we missed while on the cruises – the first 9 happened last year and the last 4 happened this year…  What a difference a year makes, eh?

So with the kids settling in back in school and us adults getting some piece of mind back, sit back, relax, be happy it’s Thursday the 13th and not Friday the 13th, and let’s begin:

Here are 13 things that I missed while on vacation without Internet connection or any sources of news;

13. Jack Layton died – Newly elected leader of the opposition party of Canada, Jack Layton, died.  This was a huge shock especially to me as Layton made his name in Toronto City council, so I got to see and hear from him a lot.  He is best known for being quick-witted, a great speaker but unfortunately being the leader of the NDP has always meant 3rd best in Canada until Layton was able to use his catch phrases (#fail) and the utter incompetency of the Liberal party to pass them in the polls and into 2nd place and become the official opposition party in Canada.  The NDP also booted the separatists out of Quebec (for a bit) but upon his passing they named a former head of the largest union in Canada as his temporary successor.  The “orange wave” will certainly not be the same by the next election.  I also wondered if Jack knew he was sick in the last election and if he owed it to Canadians to tell us that instead of voting for a leader who knew he was not going to be the leader in the next 3-6 months.

12. News that Hurricane Irene was coming – Yeah, we totally didn’t see that coming… Oops.

11. Libya – The Libyan civil war, which began in February 2011, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government took a historical turn when the rebel forces captured the capital city of Tripoli well on their way to the ousting and eventual death of Gaddafi.

10. I missed real unbiased news. Instead I got MSNBC, BBC, CNBC and Fox.  The political biases in the news and news reporting on these stations was extremely evident and all I wanted was a station that gave straight up news or at the very least held back on the blatant attacks on the other political party.

9. The Blue Jays trade of Aaron Hill and John MacDonald.  The Jays dumped a lot of salary in trading 2B Hill to the D’Backs for Kelly Johnson.  I was surprised but pleased to see Hill and Johnny Mac get a fresh start and having Johnson buys time for some kids developing in the minors.  This was significant because it told me that the new GM was going to make major changes and dumping salary was one great way to start.

8. My GCC updates -It was very hard to keep in the loop on the Global Corporate Challenge with no internet, especially as my team was challenging another office team for 1st place in our company and we were in the top 10 in Canada out of 606 Canadian teams.  I walked a TON on our vacation and wrote down the stats for entering when we had Internet. but I didn’t know if the 50,000, 60,000 and 70,000 steps I was walking were going to be enough or if I needed to stay up later and walk even more to help my team win.  We eventually did take 1st place for our company beating Canadian and American teams, and we finished 6th in Canada and somewhere around 200th in the world out of over 20,000 teams.

7. Clean clothes – You can only wash and re-wash clothes so many times before you get sick of them and want different clothes.  I hit that breaking point.

6. Earthquake!  We missed an earthquake that was centred in Virginia but the impact was felt right up into Toronto.  Cool.  The kids would have loved that.  Not that fleeing a Hurricane was not cool, but experiencing this natural disaster as an after shock would have been interesting.

5. Being Dry!  It rained so much the last 5 days of the trip I just wanted dry shoes, dry clothes and dry roads to drive home on.

2012 Vacation

4. Lance Armstrong – Lance Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins and handed a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.   He remained defiant and said he would not fight the charges and that he has done more for the sport than bad.  One major problem is that the next 6 racers after Armstrong have all been banned for doping infractions.  Yikes.

3. Hurricane Isaac was coming to meet us in Florida… Again, who knew.  For those of you thinking we’re idiots (or adventurous) for going to Hurricane centres during hurricane season you will be pleased to note that we have decided to stop travelling the last week of August down south.

2. Rogers Cable bought Headline Sports which is good and bad.  Good because Headline Sports is a great station and they carry all the WWE wrestling, but bad if Rogers who already have Sportsnet decides to pillage the station and boot out all the staff and send away the programming.

1. Not only does the NASA Land Rover land on Mars but it zaps a couple of rocks and takes some great pictures.  Incredible!   We missed the live feeds but saw it on the net upon our return.

What a difference a year makes, but it’s funny how not having Internet for just one week can mean missing so much.  What did we do 15 years ago?

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