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Kami's pal

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About Kami's pal

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Interests
    grandson, travel, reading ,quilting, bridge
  1. I borrowed My Sister's Keeper from the library and liked it so much that I went on line to Chapter's and bought it. I'm waiting now for another of her books. I do use the ship's library all the time. Saves weight in luggage. especially like the leave one/take one paper back exchange so I can have a new book for the plane.
  2. The transderm patch has a slow release membrane. When you cut it in half, you break that membrane, thus allowing at least one half of a three day dose to be delivered within an hour. During a very stormy passage between NZ and Australia, two men suddenly starting acting as if they had had strokes. One had cut a patch in half. The other had applied another patch early because the first one washed off. If you are going to use the patch, try it out on land a week before you go, so that if it isn't for you, you have other alternatives. And don't cut any patch or time release capsule in half as that defeats the technology.
  3. hero is found on Virginia Lanier's Bloodhound series . the hero is Jo beth Sidden who owns a kennel and trains bloodhounds to search for bad guys and so on. Funny, lots of suspense and romance. Just finished The house on Bloodhound lane but there are more. Laurie R. King is writing a series about a female partner of Sherlock Holmes. Really well done. Character is fun, romance intrigue. Look for The beekeeper's apprentice and others And I loved The Life of Pi. Couldn't put it down. It reads as if it is a biography of a ship wrecked boy traveling to Canada from India. And for a true biography try It Takes a Worried Manby Brendin Halpin. This is not a downer, even though it is his memoir of living through his wife's fight with breast cancer. Halpin is the kind of man/husband we all hope to have. He's wry, funny, sad, insightful and fully engaged in life. Really inspiring.
  4. Also try the Nevada Barr series about a U.S. park ranger, Anna Pigeon. She's a very independent, feisty woman, getting up there in years now. Love reading her adventures in the various U.S. national parks. Try them in chronological order to watch her character grow, or look for a setting, such as Florida, that you'll be visiting. Am reading The Glory and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone right now. It's the biography of Michelangelo. I found it slow going for the first 3 chapters, but now that he's actually working on pieces with which I'm familiar, I'm fascinated. Of course, besides learning about Michelangelo, one gets spoon fed a lot of history. My preferred way to study! Perfect for my upcoming Italian vacation. :D
  5. One Christmas gift was the book Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks. The setting is England during a plague. At first I didn't even want to open it, but being short of reading material in the middle of a night while visiting relatives, I started it. While the setting isn't incidental; it's not gruesome. It's the device used by this author to describe the growth the heroine. She's drawn so believably that I wanted this to be a biography. She's an archetype. She's the kind of person I want to emulate. It's a paperback and at 300 pages, just the right size to slip into a purse. enjoy
  6. Need books that sing because of the language, or make me think because the topic is so engrossing, or give me a vicarious travel experience. Authors such as Nasdijj or Jodi Picould or Anne Rivers Siddons or Pearl Buck. Love this thread. I have so many books on reserve, I've reached the library's limit! Thanks everyone.
  7. Apparently, once upon a time, the fare for the trip home was an incentive for the crew to work the full term of their contract. Now, that incentive is gone, and I/12 per month of their revenue from the pooled gratuities are kept back to pay for their homeward fare. Also, there are other deductions: a fee owed to the agency they applied with for help getting the job, money promised to repay expenses for education, references etc. and, of course, deductions authorized by the crew to be banked for their loved ones at home. In some cases, (re Ross Klein, Cruise Ship Blues), many of the crew come aboard owing so much money that they are in effect indentured. They also pay for laundry of uniforms, and I suspect, must launder their owen clothes, linens, towels, jeans. If the only machines are in coin operated, that would be costly too. So we are not just "subsidizing their take home pay"; we may be cooperating with a system set up to take advantage of a desperately vulnerable people who agreed to new contract terms while far way from home, in the middle of a contract, and without fully understanding the consequences. I hated being co-opted into this exploitation, as I was in May, when I only learned about the new contract terms after I had made my final payment. I agree that it is no more my business whether my cabin steward is supporting 4 wives than it is whether my lawyer, dentist, doctor, legislative representative, teacher, accountant ... is supporting 3 families by paying child support and alimony, while he begins his fourth marriage. Both these people are supporting their children and spouses from revenues generated by exchanging their work skills for my dollars. But as an ethical responsible world citizen, I hope to insist that those who work in the services I chose to patronize are treated fairly. Thus, I agitated for the union of school aides in my school board: first that they had a right to unionize, second that they had a right to bargain as a union for incremental raises based on experience and performance review, with a formative process (proper training) before being summarily fired, wages scales, working conditions, and so on. I have informed HAL in writing that I will no longer cruise on a HAL ship where the crew are forced into this contract because no less harmful options were available. As I understand it, some crew have opted to use hard earned savings to leave early. After all, they have to pay their fare anyway. The highly trained very experienced may be able to find employment on lines like Crystal, with its shorter contract, higher ratio of crew to passenger. At least, they are making choices instead of staying trapped in a contract that may not be the one they signed before May, 2004. Some are still trying to decide if the new contract is going to deliver a decent pay check in the long term. Those who agree with HAL's new policy will be able to influence whether HAL loses "old hands" and is constantly having to train new crew. Since we now know that the initial price is not the final price, we will either adopt a pooled tipping policy where we pay the extra incentives to all the behind the scenes staff and then pay gratuities to those even more dependent on our tips as wages. It's a doudle dipping into our pockets.
  8. I have been appalled by this policy since I encountered it on HAL's NOORDAM in May. I still do not understand why the ordinary incentives i.e. wages, aren't being used as incentives for the "behind the scenes" crew. I have never tipped a chef, a window washer, a laundry service for linens in an hotel. My take on this is that HAL has found a way to increase the take home pay for some employees by decreasing the gratuities off the ones we would usually tip, i.e. the staff we meet. This caused great consternation aboard in May as we passengers realized that if we wanted to recognize exemplary service, we were being forced to first contribute to the pool of tips. I have been monitoring this board since June, and I have seen a lot of posts indicating less satisfaction with dining and cabin service. I haven't noticed any indications that the satisfaction with cleanliness or food taste has improved since we have been giving incentives to the cleaners or kitchen staff.
  9. Just posted this on the planning thread, but decided it belonged here. Sue Henry has a series set in Alaska. Heroine is a fiesty female detective. There are ten, so we see the character, Jessie Arnold mature. The first is Murder on the Iditarod Trail.
  10. To add to your knowledge in a painless way, try Sue Henry's novels. she has a series about female detective, Jessie Arnold. Murder on the Ididerod Trail was the first but there are 10 to enjoy. Her last is a spin off with a new heroine, a 65 year old RVer! I have fun planning just for myself. Not certain I would love doing all that for a group. You all are very generous. I can tell that your pleasure is multipled by the people you plan for. Bon voyage, all.
  11. for really fun, different take on the detective genre. He's also written some nonfiction. I liked Running to the Mountain so much I bought it for my own library. His detective is the type of husband we all want.
  12. Agatha Christie's Nile adventure was a river cruise ship. Murder on the Nile or Death on the Nile or Mystery on the Nile? Would like some more suggestions about fiction books on cruise ships. I deliberately use books on tape to put myself to sleep. I borrow essay type or poetry or self help from the public library. I behave just as I did in my 8 am university lectures. !5 minutes and I'm asleep!
  13. Just finished Bryson's A Small Island. Did make me want to try a few rambles around United Kingdom myself. He has a quiet, wry humor that sneaks up on one. Thanks for the hint. I too like books that are easy to put down, as I need to read before I can sleep, but don't want to get hooked by a mystery on a destination rich cruise. Anna Quindlen's Loud and Clear was very worthwhile. Enough meat to chew on, enough gengle remenising to evoke the "Ahh. I remember that."
  14. Say When, Range of Motion, Talk Before Sleep, all good novels prompting though about relationships.
  15. Never thought to ask for it. I substitute yoghurt on cereal, almonds as a snack. I'm afraid that even if the waiter is able to understand and intercept lactose (milk), it might have been used by cooks for sauces or something. So I skip all possibilities. The menu is varied enough that I don't miss it. Almonds also contain calcium.
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