Brian Williams (USA version) on Vancouver Olympics...Star Golf show tomorrow
NBC's Brian Williams - the younger but not as good looking one (hey, I gotta look after my old buddy BW of Canada) - had some nice things to say about his Vancouver Olympic experience, so I thought I'd give one last kick of the Vancouver 2010 can. Writing on his blog, American BW had this to say:
"Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.
Thank you, Canada:
For being such good hosts.
For your unfailing courtesy.
For your (mostly) beautiful weather.
For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at
the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.
For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured
mimicry of your accents.
For your unique TV commercials -- for companies like Tim Hortons --
which made us laugh and cry.
For securing this massive event without choking security, and without
publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.
For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games -- you've
made wearing your name a cool thing to do.
For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.
For not honking your horns. I didn't hear one car horn in 15 days --
which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while
For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these
For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on
your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.
For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity
For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which
turned to gold when your athletes won one.
For always saying nice things about the United States...when you know
For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.
For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.
Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting
friends with all of us."
Ain't that grand? Nice guy.
I had a drink with my Vancouver cousin one night - the Olympic Torch flaming one we did a video on at the Four Seasons - and he was telling me how he didn't even recognize his city.
"I come downtown and it's like Montreal or Toronto," he said. "It's so cool but it doesn't feel like Vancouver."
It might never feel like Vancouver again. At least not the old one. Wonderful memories and a great job all around, folks. Some silliness, yes; the Olympic cauldron issue was a definite fumble and the idea that they'd get credit for environmentally friendly ice-cleaners was dumb. It's the Olympics, folks, and you gotta know that one breakdown of an ice cleaner in a country that has more of them per capita than it does fully functional Toyotas is going to be an embarrassment. At the Olympics, you get the best of everything.
But they certainly meant well, and they got deservedly high marks from the International Olympic Committee and MOST of the media. Including Brian Williams II.MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE TRAVEL BEAT
Life goes on post-Olympics, and as much as I'm sad to have the Games come to an end I'm dead tired from organizing the Star's coverage out west. I hope you enjoyed what we offered in the paper and on our web site, and especially our Twitter feed, which I thought was quite something. Anyway, it's now back to a travel beat I dearly love, so here's some musings on the latest news to cross my desk...
Forecasters (insert your punch line here, folks) at The Weather Network are suggesting Ontario and Quebec will see fairly normal temperatures for spring, while things will be a touch warmer in British Columbia than normal. Things are expected to be normal on the Prairies for the most part and in the maritimes, but perhaps a little warmer than usual in Labrador and most of Newfoundland, and they deserve it.
Spring still seems a ways away here in Toronto, although I swear I felt just a little bit of warmth in the air this morning on my way down from Union Station to the Star building at 1 Yonge St; that little whiff of slightly spring-like temperatures that always causes my heart to soar. The Weather Network says it will begin spring programming on March 29th, including the lawn and garden report. So we know the end of winter is finally approaching.
TORONTO STAR GOLF SHOWAnother sure sign of spring? The Toronto Star Golf and Travel Show gets underway tomorrow (Friday the 5th). It's a great show; with travel booths and golf representatives from all over the GTA, North America and the world. There's also demonstrations, tons of new equipment to check out (we could all use the latest monster driver, right?), golf apparel, food and appearances by the likes of renowned instructor David Leadbetter.
Things get underway Friday at noon and go til 8 pm. Saturday hours are 10 to 6 and Sunday 10-5. As usual, the show is at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., Toronto. For information, go to www.torontogolfshow.com.JIM'S DEALS OF THE DAY
RELIEF FOR PASSENGERS ON THE WAY? NEW SHOE-SCREENERS COMING TO THE USA
Spotted an item on the USA Today travel web site today that said the Transportation Security Administration in the U.S. is planning to buy 100 shoe scanners by next year, which would allow folks to keep their shoes on (grateful for that, I am) while passing through security. I'm still waiting for civil libertarians to claim this is a violation of our rights and that secret foot fetishists lurking in the TSA will want to keep x-ray images of people's tootsies.
I haven't seen anything about similar devices for Canada.
Carriers in North America and Europe aren't having as much luck, but the International Air Transport Association says demand in some parts of the world is up substantially. In the Middle East, demand jumped 23.6 per cent in January vs. January of last year, while Latin American growth was 11 per cent.
The IATA said demand was up just 3.1 per cent in Europe, however, and 2.1 per cent in North America.
WestJet, meanwhile, says its traffic in February 2010 was nine per cent higher than the same month last year. Air Canada says its traffic increased 5.5 per cent from February 2009 to last month.