25 November 2023

Archduke Ferdinand?

Many government schooled young citizens will see my title and say, "Who? What?"
And isn't that scary?

This cruise through the Panama Canal will take two weeks. I'm not sure whether it's the cruise duration or (like me) the fascination of passing through this historic piece of geography, but there are a LOT of people on this ship speaking a language I don't understand. (And some like the guy I chatted with yesterday from South Africa that my damaged ears can only understand with considerable difficulty.)
He was interesting. Born and raised in England, he has worked as a mechanical engineer in South Africa since 1970. So he's seen some **it unfold there. He's VERY worried about the election that is upcoming in a year and thinks it likely the several black tribes there will go to war with one another over control of that country. Asked why South Africa has not gone the way of Rhodesia he said, "Mandela... he was so admired, the people were willing to be patient for change. Now his influence is gone".

With all the actual "hot" spots and potential hot spots popping up around the world and here in the U.S. it's easy to see the boogeyman behind every bush. But when you're on a boat with interesting people from all around the world and (unprovoked) conversation gradually slides into the possibility of Civil War, it's easy to fear the shadows behind those bushes. And this ship is FULL... I can't help wondering if a lot of folks are now sailing to "eat dessert while it's available".

Wars have started over Soccer games.
Does anyone remember why that Serbian Dude shot Archduke Ferdinand and what happened afterward?
Sadly, few do.

23 November 2023

Turkey Day?

Thanksgiving Day 2023-
We are in Port in Manzanillo, Mexico on the "Norwegian Bliss".
In the Cruise Director's initial welcome talk we were informed just over half of the 4000 "guests" here are U.S. Citizens. When we booked this trip we figured there'd be some semblance of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and that assumption was correct. The daily newsletter that tells us what activities to expect on the ship says there'll be plenty of Turkey and trimmings.
(Sara Jean will be looking to see if there are Deviled Eggs... one of HER family's Thanksgiving staples. ;>) )

As always I'll point out that we need to thank GOD for the folks out there at work, away from their loved ones on this day.
Lots of personnel at Niagara Falls will be hard at work today.

To my like-minded readers-
I've come to know and care for MANY of you. I hope this holiday leaves you smiling.

To those who are not like-minded-
Look at the world you are voting for. What the HECK is wrong with you?

20 November 2023

Where's My Toolbox?

The first day on a cruise ship is almost always frenetic. There are 4000 guests and 1600 workers on this boat, so when it left the dock it was like a small town sailing away. The "Norwegian Bliss" feels HUGE. Finding your stateroom, then getting a feel for "lay of the land" on the ship is disorienting and takes awhile. By the time you're ready to hit the hay you're tired.

I needed a shower. Our bathroom is fabulous... LOTS of room.
But the shower itself has two knobs- the top one is a multi-position thingy that allows you to direct spray from four different places in the stall. The bottom lever selects the water temperature and how much pressure you want directed to your body.
To say the least, it was confusing.

So I'm standing in the stall trying to figure out what to do with each lever, wishing I had an "on/off/hot/cold" system. Symbols on the levers were impossible to read without my glasses so I grabbed 'em. They immediately fogged up from previous attempts to make the system work for me.
And then my glasses fell off my face and the right lens popped out onto the shower floor.
This is "slapstick comedy" stuff, except I'm pretty useless without my glasses these days so I ain't laffin'.
I grabbed the lens from the shower floor and held it in place while I finally sorted out this Rube Goldberg shower system.

Ya have to have the glasses off your face to study them-
Is that tiny screw still hanging on them? It's hard to tell.

In the morning I go to the med clinic hoping someone there can help.
No luck.
In Filipino English - "Go to the Gift Shop. They may be able to help you there."
I ask for Scotch tape and tape the lens in place.
I look like a Goober :>) but that's okay. I can SEE.
The Gift Shop won't open until 1000 hours so we go upstairs for breakfast.

Sitting at the table Sara Jean says "Let me see your glasses".
"The screw is just sitting there on them!"
Then "Oops, I dropped it!"

What are the chances we'll find this tiny screw on a multi-colored carpeted floor?
It's literally "A needle in a haystack".
Seeing Sara Jean on hands and knees 'neath our table...  the gentleman in the table adjacent hands her his phone, flashlight on.
One of the attendants cleaning tables joins the search beneath our table.
"HERE IT IS!" he shouts, holding the tiny piece of metal between thumb and forefinger.

Now all I have to do is find a jeweler's screwdriver.

19 November 2023

Apologies to Simon and Garfunkel-

"I'm sittin' in a railway station, got a ticket for my destination..."
And yet, even with ticket in hand, we stood on the platform and sadly watched as our train departed the station.

In 1987 our son was 4 years old and he was enthralled with trains. EVERY TIME he saw a train he forced us  to stop and watch until it completely passed us by. When I had a school I needed to attend in Los Angeles we thought, "We have to make the trip anyway. How thrilled would he be if he got the chance to ride ON the train?!" I reserved a "Deluxe Bedroom" car, and we had everything we needed for the trip-
Room, board, and transportation to our destination. We made some wonderful memories on that trip. The food was nothing short of fabulous. The scenery out West was also wonderful. We met some very nice people who quickly got on a first-name basis with our son. And we ended up with many stories to relate.

Now it's 36 years later. We're taking our son on a cruise through the Panama Canal as a birthday gift. He only remembers the long ago train ride through the photos we took along the way. Why not repeat that trip on the way to board that big boat?
The First leg of the trip was on an Amtrak commuter to Kansas City to meet the train headed from Chicago to L.A..  After a long day we were overjoyed to hear our transport to L.A. had arrived. We were anxious to hit that bed. Standing on the platform ready to board our first indication of trouble was the shake of the head of the conductor looking at our phones displaying our tickets-
"Someone canceled these in September."
"Is there another bedroom available?"
He replies, "I'm sorry. No."
So the three of us stood dejectedly watching the train and our bed disappear down the tracks.
Now what? We have three days and two nights to spend in a town we had no intention of visiting.

Kansas City is a nice town. It's NICER if you have wheels.

09 November 2023


Safe. Legal. Rare.
The abortion issue MAY have the country divided almost exactly in half.
So politically, discussing it really is a NO WIN situation.

I'm "pro life". To me that means I am anti- "baby killing".
To the day I die I'll try to keep "tissue" from being thrown into the trash.

But the thing that pisses me off most?
I think the last statistic I saw indicated that more black babies were aborted than born in NY City last year.
How many of those were at taxpayer expense?

This is evil.
I don't want my tax dollars being spent for what I consider an EVIL outcome.

07 November 2023

We Said "Never Forget !"

The blood of all those innocents is on the hands of 19 killers and the Muslim leaders that planned this attack.
They were in plain sight in our midst and we ignored the evil they presented.
Nineteen evil people.

How many of the "Gotaways" that have crossed our Southern border are equally evil?
How many of those equally would love to see the destruction of our country, our freedoms?
We have NO IDEA how much Cancer is now growing in our towns and cities.
The thought of it scares anyone with a lick of sense to death.
And I am irritated with my neighbors who voted for "Open Borders" Biden.
To me, they'll all be COVERED in the blood of our neighbors when (not IF) the next event happens.

I'm glad I don't live in a major city.
Be a good Boy Scout.
To the extent possible, please be prepared.