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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Severe Air Pollution ─ on the Decks of Cruise Ships!

After my younger brother Mark was home last evening far too near to 9:30 p.m., he was busy for nearly an hour fussing about at the dining table with what I expect were financial / banking matters, muttering audibly as he did so.

It was about 10:30 p.m. when he came into the living room and sat in his favourite chair to watch the news I had tuned in following watching the season finale of The Flash.

He watched a few news stories ─ commenting aloud to at least a couple of them as if I was some imbecile who needed his averment and viewpoint; and then I soon realized that he had passed out.

Yet another night!

He was still passed out in his chair when I was in bed at 11:09 p.m. It must be that these pass-outs serve to yield him some sleep benefit; otherwise ─ after he regained consciousness and went to bed ─ if he truly did feel like hell when his clock-radio roused him at 4:30 a.m. for work, one would expect that he would tone down the drinking.

I thought that I might sleep better than usual overnight because I never enjoyed any kind of nap yesterday. But no; and during one wakeful period prior to 3:00 a.m. (and maybe it was even before 2:00 a.m.), I took advantage and used the bathroom and drank some water.

I no longer recall when it was that I checked the time this morning and rose for the day, but it certainly was long before 7:00 a.m.

Only my youngest stepson Poté was still home and in bed; but he was to rise and head away for work before 7:15 a.m., if I am remembering correctly.

I intended to get out later this morning for some grocery shopping, but of course I first wanted to put some work into the edit of an old post that I have ongoing at my hosted website My Retirement Dream.

But before I got at that, last night just before my bedtime, I began thinking about the Amazon marketplace and its new product for helping out those of us participating in their Amazon Associates Programme ─ the product or feature is called OneLink.

It is something that is currently limited to functioning only on the U.S., U.K., and Canadian Amazon services, and an Associate has to have an Associate account with all three of those services.

I do.

That link above will probably not remain valid indefinitely, so to give a very quick and basic description of what is supposed to happen with OneLink is that any Associate like me who has the OneLink code or script within their website (Amazon recommends placing the script within the bottom of a website's footer), then anytime a website visitor who is resident in one of those regions of the world who may click on any Amazon advertisement at one of those Amazon services, that visitor will be taken directly to the relevant Amazon where the visitor is resident.

For example, if a Canadian who may visit my website sees some interesting Amazon product that is advertised as being for sale at the U.K. or U.S. Amazon, it won't matter ─ clicking on the advertisement will take that person directly to the Canadian Amazon and that identical advertised product.

I got involved two weeks ago with OneLink; but last night, I began wondering if I set it up on all six of my hosted websites, or just the two that I happened to be working on at the time?

You see, in the two weeks that I have had this OneLink set up, I have had many visitors to the U.S. Amazon through my links, but only one to the U.K. Amazon...and absolutely none to the Canadian Amazon.

I have had a U.S. Amazon Associate account for years, so it would be getting visitors with or without OneLink's coding.

So this morning, I started checking to see if maybe I had neglected to set up OneLink on all of my websites..

Well, as far as I could tell, four of my six hosted websites had the code, but two did not.

I remedied one of those two, but the other one proved a major problem. I won't get into the details other than to say that for some peculiar reason, the widgets section of my WordPress dashboard (where I had placed the code in the other five websites) was essentially inert.

I was being denied the ability to edit anything. The entire area might as well not exist.

Anyway, I fussed and bothered, and then I finally had to start getting ready for my shopping excursion without ever having gotten any work done on the edit of the old post I had wanted to work on.

Earlier in the morning while I was working, I could hear it raining outside. But that had stopped by the time I was beginning preparation for my hike of something over 1¼ miles to get to Save-On-Foods in Whalley.    

When I finally headed away at 9:49 a.m., the sky was almost entirely overcast.

As I usually do on these shopping trips, I cut through Surrey Place (Central City), and saw an old casual friend whom I only know as Spud who was seated by a lottery booth where there is a live electronic keno reader board.

Oddly enough, I had met up with him just last week for the first time this year, but we coincided in the middle of a crosswalk while walking in opposite direction, and thus we could not talk but to exchange hearty greetings.

This morning, he was with some guy who was wholly committed to chewing off Spud's ear in a one-sided conversation, so all Spud and I did was smile and gesture acknowledgment to one another as I passed by.

I would have liked to have spoken with Spud for a few moments. We have known one another since maybe as far back as 1980, I would reckon.

Anyway, I got my shopping done, although I had to curtail it because of the building need to micturate. I actually had to stop and use a park washroom for relief on my way home.

This is quite surprising, for the only liquid I had consumed since rising was my morning's hot beverage ─ thus, I had been up for at least three hours before leaving home, and I did not leave home without failing to use 'the can.'

I was back here somewhat ahead of 11:15 a.m., and soon got to work performing the post edit work that I had failed to enact earlier in the morning. It of course took me long into the noon-hour, and maybe beyond. However, since there was no possibility of doing any sunning, and since I had sacrificed all my day's usual exercising for the sake of that shopping trip, I still had the time to spare.

I still would very much like to know how it is possible that in two weeks, my accounts at the U.K. and the Canadian Amazon websites have fared so abominably that only one visitor between the two of them has paid a visit by clicking on an advertisement.

On another matter, the brown hound I bitched so venomously about yesterday has been carrying on all afternoon. I am getting to the point where I am believing that even the owners should be shot ─ not just the mutt!

Also yesterday, I posted an old black & white photo of The Wild Wild West's Robert Conrad that I had clipped out of some periodical back in the early 1970s or even the late 1960s.

I loved the show ─ I was in my late teens, and Robert Conrad's athleticism and muscular physique were inspirational to me.

I even kept an original TV Guide cover that I tore from the digest magazine dated in January 1968:


I do not know for certain, but I think this page may have been from the article within the magazine itself ─ it merited retention, as well:
 

The article likely indicated who these various actresses were! I sure don't know now.

Back in my teens, a friend and I sometimes speculated about stowing away on a freighter or maybe even a cruise ship and trying to get to the tropics to live out our lives.

We even more seriously considered 'riding the rails' to get south. The friend was Philip David Prince.

He talked about it so much that I was convinced we were going to try it, and so I secretly stayed home from school ─ I was in Grade XII at the time.

David was supposedly tying up whatever loose ends he had.

And then the coward confessed that ─ essentially ─ he was too afraid. Yet it had always been his great scheme!

By the time my mother found out that I was playing hookey, she was crushed because I refused to go back, and she couldn't make me. I felt that I had lost so much face at school, that there was no returning ─ I had been away for a couple of weeks by then, I guess.

And the principal was well aware of my truancy, as were fellow students. That was in early December 1966 ─ times were very different than they are today where truancy was concerned. There doesn't seem to be any stigma to it anymore.

Basically, I was too ashamed to go back.

And I never did. Nor did I ever get that Grade Ⅻ diploma.

But I am sidetracking myself. I wanted to mention something I recently learned about concerning cruise ships ─ a conveyance I have never set foot upon.

Did you happen to read or hear anything about how incredibly polluted the air is out on the deck of these huge ships?

Check out these reports:

HSIonline.com

Independent.co.uk

TheGuardian.com
...These were the levels of pollution you would expect to find in cities such as Delhi or Shanghai.
Despite actually watching and enjoying the old T.V. series The Love Boat, I have never been keen about going on a cruise because of my disinclination to publicly work out. And since these excursions last for so long, I would deteriorate almost as badly as if I was invalid.

I am 67, after all. It is extremely difficult to preserve muscle mass now as compared to when I was much younger.

And with the temptation to overeat at meals ─ and I would most certainly be doing an enormous amount of drinking ─ my physical state would take a sorry plunge for the worse that would require many weeks to undo, if ever I was able to fully succeed.   

After all, cruises do not necessarily finish up all that soon. Sure, it's possible to take two or three day cruises, but why would I want to do that?

I'm never going to have to worry about it, though. I could never afford a major cruise now that I am a pensioner with a limited income and far, far too much debt hanging over me.

Heck, I don't even really expect to be 'cruising' into my earliest 70s. The life I have is not one that I want too many more years of.

It hurts, though. When I watch shows like American Ninja Warrior, I feel such a surge of inspiration. I am convinced that if I had the environment and the equipment ─ and of course the privacy to use both ─ I would defy anyone to believe my age.

Even America's Got Talent can be inspirational, although sometimes I am left feeling so broken-hearted and empty after some of the performances. In truth, deeply despairing ─ suicidally so.

Hey, my day is running away on me ─ the afternoon is gone, and it is now early evening. I have to wind up today's post.

So here to do it with is a journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street, and maybe two houses up from Third Avenue.

I think that by this point I was fairly well past a month into a three-month contract of full-time employment with a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

I was working as a swamper on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck, which was generally driven by Esther St. Jean ─ a wonderful lady in her early 40s.

I think that as far back as into 1974, I had very infrequently worked as a swamper with S.A.N.E.

S.A.N.E.'s  old 'home' no longer exists, but back then the building was located right about where today the New Westminster SkyTrain Station spreads out onto Carnarvon Street.
TUESDAY, July 20, 1976

I had a WD, as usual, auto-eroticism; I arose 6:40 a.m.

It's very cloudy out, and has rained with the threat of doing so again. T-shirt and jacket weather. (It did not rain anew.)

All I did this morn was read. Friday I finished David Goodis' Dark Passage, and today Kenneth Ainslie's Pacific Ordeal.

In the afternoon I went with Esther and hoodlum Terry on a Delta delivery, stopping off at two Scott Rd shopping centres coming back. Thus, I saw little of Gilles today. 

At Safeway I spent $1.66 on 1 lb liver (59¢) and bananas (10¢ lb).

Watching the Olympics, I saw a weightlifter apparently dislocate his right elbow when the bar went too far backward at arm's reach over his head; he was East European.

I guess I should mention I had 8 - 10 cream-centered cookies Esther bought at Scott-Dale; I've been forced to rely heavily on flour for filler lately because of my poor financial standing.

Back to the Games, a Rumanian injured the right arm of a Canadian in wrestling; but the winner was ahead anyway, by about 5 - 0 points.

I'm leaving just after 6:30 p.m. for mom's; no one will be there, each of them having gone on their separate vacations.

(Note: I saw a 14 year old gal win Canada a bronze medal.) (I later learned Shannon Smith is a Vancouverite.)

At mom's I picked a mess of raspberries, and had an otherwise carbohydrate snack. My mail was my $12 for stamps refunded (sold out), the yogurt info from Institut Rosell Inc., a Donald M. Grant flyer, and 4 paperbacks from F.&S.F. Book Co (Prince of Scorpio, The Black Cauldron, Under the Green Star, and Tribesmen of Gor).

I left for home at 9:30 p.m. ─ and made it in 45 minutes! I jogged the whole trip from Scott Rd!

Bed at 11:15 p.m. 
It would appear that I seemed to be having wet dreams that did not involve some provocative lass, but rather dreams of masturbation ─ how disappointing that must have been!

I don't remember being able to do all of that reading at S.A.N.E. ─ the books were probably donations they had received.

I have no idea now who "hoodlum Terry" ever was, apart from being my co-swamper that day. 

"Gilles" was a very nice young French-Canadian lad whom I had gotten to know from past stints co-swamping with him. However, he had become attached to me, and was extremely hard to break away from. Consequently, it would have been a relief that day to have been spared much of him.

At the end of my workday, I next had the 1½-hour hike in store to head out to the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey to the home of my mother Irene Dorosh and her husband Alex.

My mother had gone on holiday back to her family home in Ontario; and I believe that Alex had gone to Reno. But their home was my main mailing address ─ if I wanted to keep up on my mail, then I had to check.

The little house has been demolished since back then, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue

The mail I found waiting for me is pretty self-evident, except that the refund for stamps was for a pane of postage commemoratives that I had mail-ordered ─ I liked using commemoratives on my correspondence instead of the boring definitives.

And the yogurt information related to my search for a reasonably priced yogurt machine ─ I had become extremely keen on yogurt, often eating a quart at a time. 

I have no doubt that I impressed myself by cutting the duration of my return entirely in half!

I miss running....
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