Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sunday and the shipping news

Sunday morning and I slept in until 10:00 a.m.!!! I was out last night, all evening actually, since it was the annual Christmas telethon at the local TV station. Myself and some of the other oldtimers get invited back each year to take part. So it was fun, if only to see some of the news reporters I haven’t seen for several years. Two out-of-town reporters, one from Hamilton and one from Kingston, actually drove nearly ten hours just to come back to Timmins for a visit. I thought that was fabulous. Jennifer sent me a text saying she and the boys saw me on the Bell satellite. Cool. As usual it was a good show with excellent work by so many people willing to help out some families in difficulty. The telethon provides grocery vouchers at Christmas.
It was around 2:00 a.m. when I finally got to be bed and I ignored my alarm this morning. What did awake me was a fire alarm call (I have a radio locked on the emergency frequency) in the west end. It was just after 10:00 a.m. The 9-1-1 call had a woman screaming on the phone that her kitchen on fire. So I was out of bed, dressed and ready to go out of the door when the fire commander called back saying it was a grease fire, the fire was out, the stove was unplugged. Wow, that was fast. I realized the house address was about three blocks away from the Mountjoy fire station. Good news. So I stayed home, put the coffee on and realized how glad I was not to go. I know there are always news photos of fires, but I really don’t want to see anyone lose their home or go through all the emotional trauma of a house fire.
So now for my addiction. I am a gamer! For nearly ten years, I have been playing a video game called Silent Hunter. It’s all about German u-Boats. It has great video graphics, campaigns and missions and it is a very relaxing passtime. The player, me, is a submarine commander attacking enemy ships. This year, I picked up a copy of a new updated version of the game, Silent Hunter-4. Oh my! The game is so technically improved that I couldn’t play it on my desktop computer, which is about four years old. I have to play it on my new laptop. The best part is that the game has an Artificial Intelligence feature. That means the better I get, the more challenging the game gets.(click on the pic for a periscope view) I read in a gaming website that I should expect hours of boredom in order to set up an attack. It’s just like a real submarine. It’s true. This week, I spent more than 60 hours creeping silently through the depths to complete an attack. Well, I really didn’t do the whole 60 hours, but it has taken about five days of playing to complete one attack. So everyday after work, I set up my laptop and proceed on a patrol beneath the ocean. I do other stuff, like read a book, wash the dishes, fold the laundry etc. while this is going on and if there is an alarm, I rush back to my computer to deal with it. This week I sank two Japanese destroyers and three cargo ships in the South China Sea! Sure beats watching TV!
One other thing. Yesterday was Gary's birthday!!! Happy day big brother.

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