kayak

The ice is melting on Georgian Bay

Enough to get the kayaks out of the garage onto the dock and into the water. Thus begins our annual rite of spring.

As Andy Grove, the co-founder of Intel, noted, “When spring comes, snow melts first at the periphery, because that’s where it’s most exposed”. This may seem dead-cert obvious, both in business and in kayaking. But it says to not just keep your eyes on the bullseye, but on the edges, where real change begins. Happy paddling with these little waves from that very place.

1. Explaining jokes to idiots. Bill Maher, whose political comedy show, Real Time With Bill Maher, has been on the air for 20 years now, breaks down the joke that led to the slap heard round the world.

2. Let’s kick some ass for the writing class. Ken Whyte’s free weekly blog, SHuSH, asks if Amazon workers can join a union, why can’t writers? As he notes: “Executive assistants at the Department of Canadian Heritage earn five times what the average author earns. Same goes for clerk-caretakers at the Toronto Public Library.”

3. The 126th Boston Marathon is on Monday. It’s 55 years since Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to enter the race. She almost got turfed from it because she’s a woman. It’s also 50 years since women were officially allowed to enter the race (only 8 did, compared to now when  45% of the 30,000 runners are women). It’s also nine years since two terrorists set off bombs near the finish line, which my wife, Jean, missed by 10 minutes, and wrote about later.

4. An app to strengthen specific parts of your body. Finally, a menu, not as in those big floppy things with pages and pages of pancakes, but of exercises you can do for every part of your body – from stretches to cables and weights. But if it’s your head that needs a shake, try these tools for the confused.

5. Transporting Trainspotting. From commuting cable cars in Paris, to commuting across time and space (kids’ version).

6. Have you seen The Library at Night? It’s Robert LePage’s immersive virtual-reality experience of 10 real and imagined libraries, inspired by Alberto Manguel’s book. It runs at One Yonge Street in Toronto until the end of May. As a reader of this blog, you can save 20% on your tickets. Here is the Promo Code.

7. The Self-Castrated Hatmaker in History. The Browser brings you four essays each day from sources strange and familiar. This one is typical. “Boston Corbett shot John Wilkes Booth, who had shot Abraham Lincoln.  A widowed hat-maker, he took to drink, found God, castrated himself with a pair of scissors, and fought in the Civil War. Then he shot Wilkes Booth, went mad, escaped from a mental asylum, leapt on a train — and was never seen again.”

8. Think you know how to spel? Try Spelling Bae. It’s Eli Burnstein’s virtual and live event on May 1st where you can compete for…..glory!

9. A story of obsession, duplicity and death. In 2017, journalist Sandra Martin wrote the definitive book about what we all want: A Good Death. But there was a whole other story she could only tell now, about the corrosive role played by writer and activist John Hofsess. She tells it now in The Literary Review of Canada.

10. Ever watched La Boheme backwards? The Detroit Opera is presenting Puccini’s masterpiece from finish to start. This means you cry at the beginning and smile at the end. Speaking of opera, here’s Victory Brinker, the world’s youngest opera star.

Forbidden Words: The word you are not allowed to say this week is ‘mathematics’. Or rather “decolonize mathematics courses.”

*****

Summer is selling out. Don’t say ‘I’ll book it later’ and be caught You Know Where.

Join us on the mountains this summer.

We all thought last summer we’d really get out there and do something truly new. We’d really travel again. Treat our family. See just how gob-smackingly beautiful our country is.

Most of us were off by a year, or two. But this year…well, this August we want you to join us on one of the easiest and most exhilarating adventures anywhere – heli-hiking in B.C.

No skill or endurance is required. Just a sense of adventure (which may have been dormant in your heart during COVID) and a desire to smell the wild roses. And just as there are no conditioning or skill requirements, there are no age limits either. You can be, 8, 18 or 81 and be enlivened by the whole thing. You can be a marathon runner or mountain climber. Or you can also be wearing your Medic Alert bracelet the entire trip, as five of us recently did. You can bring your partner, your grandkids, your bestie.

We’ve taken friends heli-hiking for the past few summers and all of them (and I mean all) have come home raving about how gorgeous, different and wonderful it all was. And from door to door, the whole amazing experience is just five summer days.

So yes, Heaven can wait. But can you?

For more information on this and other RamsayTravels adventures, click here. And, please also forward to your like-spirited friends.

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