Postcard from Toronto

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Forget SARS. The biggest risk to our lives thusfar in Toronto has been to raise the ire of a Waiter and Concierge in a high-end restaurant. Hoo boy! If looks could kill, the library blogging world would be in deep mourning today. An informal summit of library bloggers gathered at an unnamed hotel restaurant last night to meet face-to-face and blow a couple days\' per diem on very pretty meals. The waiter was plagued by the tardy and unwieldy group, who caused a change from two round tables to one long table, which was added to twice.

The shindig was arranged by lisnews good guy, Blake. Others at the table were Jessamyn West of librarian.net and several lisnews contributors, including the prolific story suggester Jen Young, a funny gal who took no guff from the waiter, and a bona fide Canadian gent who did a great job of figuring tax and tip. (Names have not been omitted to protect the innocent, but owing to a mocha creme brulee hangover. So much saturated fat!) Other blogging luminaries included Walt Crawford and Steven Cohen who claimed \"other obligations\" after a look at the menu and one too many withering glances from the waiter. C\'mon fellas, the keyboard is mightier than the corkscrew! We will forgive this time, but expect tougher stuff at midwinter. We managed to tame the waiter eventually, and a good time was had by all, including Blake\'s lovely fiancee and a handful of others.

Toronto is perfectly lovely and friendly (waitstaff who\'ve had a bad summer aside) and we\'ve yet to see one SARS mask. Biggest dangers thusfar have been finding an ATM that takes VISA, being run down by sk8ter bois near the Sky Dome after the big ass Concert for Toronto, featuring Avril Lavigne, and being acosted by forlorn vendors who won\'t take no-eye- contact for an answer.

We are thankful for our employers who allowed us to come, thankful to the vendors who decided to stay, and especially thankful to the people of Toronto who have been gracious and welcoming beyond belief.

Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here.