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Thursday 30 November 2017

Heart's Content Cable Station

Heart's Content Cable Station.

Location: Heart's Content, Newfoundland, Canada
Address:  NL-80
Date: June 2017
Website: www.seethesites.ca

  In these days of cellphones and unlimited internet access it is hard for some to imagine a time when communication was a luxury.  Transmitting a message from Canada to Europe used to be an impossibility.  A small town in Newfoundland played a big part in making the impossible a reality.  We visited Heart's Content to see where history was made.

The First Atlantic Telegraph Cable.

  Across the road from the Heart's Content Cable Station are a few monuments which explain how it all came to be. 

Glad To Grasp Your Hand Uncle John.  Happy To See And Greet You Jonathan.

  In 1858 there was an attempt to lay a cable for transmitting telegraph messages between Newfoundland and Ireland.  The photo above shows the two nations shaking hands.  Two steam boats, the Niagara and the Agamemnon met and joined the cable.  Messages were sent between Queen Victoria and President Buchanan, but the cable failed shortly afterwards.

4300 KM of Cable.

  A huge ship called the SS Great Eastern was built.  It was designed to be a cruise ship and could hold 4000 passengers.  It proved to be too expensive and too big to keep operating as an ocean liner.  It found new life as a cable layer since it could hold the 4300 km of cable needed to make the cross-Atlantic attempt once more.

The Arrival Of The Atlantic Cable.

  This time the attempt was a success.  There was now a cable between Heart's Content and Valencia Ireland.  With the telegraphic cable in place, Heart's Content became a busy communications hub and life was very good there.

The Cable Enters Here.

Entrance To The Cable Operating Room.

    Inside the station we visited the cable operating room.  It was filled with equipment used for transmitting and receiving messages.  At the peak of its operations, it also would have been filled with staff handling the equipment.

Multiplex Switchboard Cabinet.

  There would have been operators switching cables to make connections as well as groups transmitting or re-transmitting messages.

Western Union Morse Code Sheet.
 Morse Code.

  They would have transmitted these messages using morse code.  Above is an original morse code sheet as well as a re-typed one to make it easier for visitors to read.  See if you can use the information above to decipher this message.
-... . - - . .-.   --- -.   ...- .- -.-. .- - .. --- -.

Submerged Submerged Repeater Repeater.

  In order to get the messages across the Atlantic Ocean, there are submerged repeaters which do just what their name implies.  They take a message received and repeat it.  This keeps the signal strong and allows it to be more easily interpreted at the opposite end.

More Cables.

  More and more cables were added to the network and the Heart's Content cable station ran until 1965 when newer technologies made it obsolete.  The station now stands as a reminder of how it changed the world.

Cable Box.

   The box above is where the cables entered the station.

Between England And The Continent.

    From there they ran towards the water where a morse code plaque reads "Between England and the continent".

Rusty Cables.
 Cables Reach Out To The Water.

  On the beach across the road some of the cables still remain.

Heart's Content Lighthouse.

  From there the cables headed across the ocean floor past the Heart's Content candy striped lighthouse and into the open ocean.  Somewhere thousands of miles away the message was received.  An amazing feat for its time.

Map of Our World
Heart's Content Cable Station

Post # 199

Monday 20 November 2017

Gentlemen's Expo

Moose In A Suit.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  222 Bremner Blvd.
Date: November, 2016
Website: www.gentlemensexpo.com

  The Gentlemen's Expo 2017 is coming to Toronto this November 24th to 25th weekend.  We won some tickets and attended the event in 2016.  It focuses on clothes, grooming, drinking, eating and sports.  Despite being the Gentlemen's Expo it was fun for both genders.

Sasquatch Drum Solo.

  As we entered the Expo we were treated to the drumming skills of a Sasquatch.

Walk-Ins and Walkens Are Welcome.

  There were many booths offering grooming.  Many men stopped in for a haircut or a beard trim.

Another Ten Fed.

  There was a booth run by Tenfed where you could jump from a tower into an air matress.  Tenfed is a company which sells clothing and for every item sold they feed ten hungry children.  They were running a similar program for every jumper.

Knee In My Package, Knee In My Package, Knee In My Package.

  Rick Mercer was filming an episode of his show, The Rick Mercer Report, from the Expo.  He was playing a ball game at a booth selling specially designed underwear for men called MyPakage.  It reminded us of a commercial spoof he did on his show called "Knee in my Package".

The Odds Always Favour The House.  The Dog House.

  There were a few booths from OLG (The Ontario Gaming & Lottery Corporation) where they were warning about gambling and giving out free scratch cards.  They also had a vending machine where you selected a number in hopes of getting the candy you wanted, but it didn't always give you what you selected.  Just like the lottery.  You could choose A5 in front of a bag of chips and instead a bag of skittles would drop from another row in the machine.

Legendary 99.
 Three Trophies.

  The Hockey Hall of Fame had a section set up featuring hockey memorabilia and trophies.  One of the jerseys on display had a 93 on the back and read Gilmour.

Doug & Wendel.

  Former Toronto Maple Leaf hockey players Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark were on stage for a live interview.  They are best known for their time with the Maple Leafs in the 1990s.  They shared some stories and took questions from the audience.

Let's Go Blue Jays.

  This year at the Gentlemen's Expo, former Toronto Blue Jays Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter will be on stage.

Grilled Cheese Smile.

  During the 2016 Expo we watched an interview with then current Blue Jay pitcher, Jason Grilli.

I really love that tune.  Man I love that song.

  We also saw an interview with Big Wreck singer, Ian Thornley.  Big Wreck is best known for their songs "That Song" and "Blown Wide Open".
  All of the above as well as using drink tickets to sample various alcoholic beverages and repeat visits to the Dr Oetker pizza truck for pizza slices made for a fun night for all.  As we left the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, even a moose statue (top of post) was dressed up in his suit looking like a perfect gentlemoose.

Map of Our World
Metro Toronto Convention Centre (South Building)

Post # 198

Friday 10 November 2017

Mavrovouni Dining

Mavrovouni Beach Restaurants.

Location: Mavrovouni, Greece
Address: Mavrovouni 232 00
Date: Aug 2015

  There is no shortage of restaurants in Greece.  To get yourself a good meal you can usually just walk into any one you please.  This blog is about some of the restaurants in the area of a small village called Mavrovouni.  It is also not so much about the food, but the dining experiences.

The Beach Area.

  The beach area is a popular tourist destination.  Everyone wants to enjoy a meal while watching the waves of the Mediteranean Sea.  Hotels and restaurants line the road that runs the length of the beach.

Ammos Restaurant

  One place that we chose to eat was Ammos Restaurant.  Its blue chairs and checkered tablecloths sit in the shade of the covered patio.  Aside from good food, it has another feature that is very common in Greece.  Cats.

Curious Cat.

  As soon as we sat down, we knew that we were being watched.  A scan around revealed that feline eyes were spying on us from behind planters or from the bushes.  They were watching in hopes that some scraps would fall to the floor.  Once in a while they would walk past in hopes that they might entice you to drop something for them to eat.


  A small kitten came up to us and tried to use its cuteness to score some scraps.  While we did admit that it was cute we still did not part with our meals.  The kitten became more and more aggressive and less cute.

Elpitha Turns.

  We managed to finish our meals with minimal feline interference.  The small kitten was not pleased.

Colourful Chairs At STILVI.

  The next morning we enjoyed some crepes at STILVI cafe.  It is near the main road away from the beach.  The crepes were delicious and the collection of coloured chairs on their patio were delightful.  It looked just like a postcard.  There were no cats in sight.

Blue Mountains.

  We traveled further down the beach that evening.  The mountains were different shades of blue across the water.

Do you serve chicken at this restaurant?  Of course, have a seat anywhere you please.

  We walked until we decided upon a restaurant.  We went inside.   Little did we expect that we would  have an unusual dining companion this evening.  We had to do a double take as at the table next to us was a chicken.  It sat there quietly during our meal and only stood up once or twice to look around.  We did not see it eat anything while it was there, but whatever it did eat would have been the chicken dinner.
 Always an interesting dining experience in a small village by the sea.

Map of Our World
Ammos , STILVI cafe

Post # 197