What I Saw:
What I heard:
Click on the names above to hear what I heard
(After 22 minutes my brain melted down and I turned it off)
If you got past the conspiracy theories, mud slinging, “softening” on positions, media frenzy and general acrimony of the the 2016 election that was all the news yesterday, (I think they should load both candidates up with beer, escort them to a mud pit, let them go one-on-one and winner take all, but that’s a rant for another day) you may have stumbled across an article about potentially habitable planet Proxima b. Located outside of our solar system, Proxima b is apparently the closest potentially habitable planet to Earth at just over 4 light years away which, by my bubba math, is about 24 trillion miles. That’s one hell of a road trip, and reminds me of my 1979 Honda Civic which looks and drives like its traveled a couple trillion miles.
Suffice it to say, neither my Honda not any conventional spacecraft is going to be humping it to Proxima b anytime soon. We’re going to have to come up with a new mode of travel more in line with the make believe world of Star Wars or Star Trek.
So here’s a question. Have you ever seen a cockroach either appear or disappear? If you are like me, the short answer is, NO and YES respectively. Where I come from, lots of folks call the big ones Palmetto bugs and when they appear they generally cause women and adolescent girls to scream, old folks to swoon, men to go for a shoe or magazine, and children to ask their parents if they can hop on and go for a ride.
Anyway, I have never seen a cockroach enter a room. Not once in my life. They simply appear.
Walk into a room, poof, they are in the middle of the carpet. Turn on a light, poof, they are traipsing across the wall, look up from a book and they are strolling along a counter top.
Unless you nail them with a shoe or magazine (which requires light speed, I might add), more often than not, they simply disappear into thin air . You aim, fire, miss then lift up the sock they just ran under and poof, they are gone, or the notebook, or the chair or the wall hanging. They simply vanish. Get my drift?
So I am thinking, perhaps the best way to Proxima b is by way of understanding the cockroach. If they appear from thin air and then disappear into thin air, who’s to say they aren’t the ticket to understanding long distance space travel? If they can do it, why can’t we? Heck, they are probably already Proxima b already. Light years ahead of us.
I don’t know if the crew was singing and dancing below decks, but there was definitely a lot going on above the waterline on my recent vacation. Just got back from a 7 day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas which really should be renamed the Mother Ship of the Seas. Ain’t no sea monsters ever gonna mess with that mother for sure. Anyway, the cruise line did a wonderful job, the boat (yeah, I call it a boat) was spectacular, clean, had amenities on top of amenities, a crew so friendly it gives the Mouse a run for its money. Definitely one of our top 10 family vacations.
I sound like an ad for RC right? Hey they did a great job. That said, with 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew on a boat that big I did make a few observations which alternatively disturbed, amused or left me scratching my head. Let’s talk a little bit about the people, the food, the boat, and politics.
This was one of my favorite parts of the cruise. Because I was too cheap to pay for wifi, neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Trump were able to join me on my vacation. I missed neither and picked right back up on my favorite soap opera upon my return. Like I never left. Thanks RC for pricing your wifi so high that I was not even tempted to know what was going on outside your bubble.
There were three types of people on our ship. The reasonably healthy, the chronically unhealthy, and the critically unhealthy. About an hour after we set sail we had to turn around and go back to port to unload a “critically unhealthy” passenger. People were huffing an puffing all over the ship. There were scooters everywhere. With a helicopter pad above deck and a morgue below, the cruise lines make it a perfect vacation option for even the most unhealthy folks.
95% of bikini clad women on the Allure of the Seas really shouldn’t be wearing one, and 100% of bikini clad men should not be wearing one. Modesty suggests we tuck it in or cover it up people!
The diversity of the passengers and crew was like a jar of jelly beans. I liked that change from my daily bubble a lot.
While touring the ship, I stumbled into the Gym (hidden behind the Spa) where I saw a sign up sheet for an on board seminar entitled “The Secret of a Flat Stomach.” All I can think is the only way I’m getting a flat stomach is by laying face down on the deck with some critically unhealthy person standing on my back. Apparently, the flat stomach is still a secret because no one signed up.
I saw a little narration Morgan Freeman did on a late night show on a guy with a selfie stick and was struck on my cruise by the role of the selfie stick on the cruise. Is narcissism one of the seven deadly sins? Apologies for going down this rat hole, but is it me or is there is something very dark about this whole thing?
And how about the Tattoos? There was more ink on that boat than squids in the sea. I really don’t get it, but more power to the ladies and men who make a living off the canvas of skin. For those thinking about it, just remember tattoos are NOT like fine wine. They really don’t get better with age.
Ah, the food. Guilty as charged. I am not sure what is so compelling about what is basically cafeteria food, that one should be so inclined to binge upon it for 7 straight days. I sent both my weight and cholesterol into the stratosphere. With the exception of the lobster tails and the lamb chops, the mounds of food I ate were truly unexceptional.
The secret to cruise quisine, I suppose is in the gravy. No matter the food, European, American, Asian, India, South American, Mexican, Canadian, Australian every cuisine from every country was smothered in its own gravy. If you like the gravy and want it a la carte, just order the soup. Light fare meant light colored gravy. The only continents lacking their own gravies were the Arctics. And the only arctic gravy was ice, and the only way to get that freely was to buy a beverage package.
Indeed, getting ice water on the Allure anywhere outside of a restaurant required either a paid beverage package, a great deal of charm, or a fare amount of sneakiness. No lie, you can’t even get cold water out of the tap in your cabin because they pump in hot water through the cold tap just to keep you from drinking it. Whenever I got ice out of the Freestyle Coke machine or charmed a bartender to spoon some over, I felt like I was practically stealing it.
They must have made the most amazing bulk purchase on asparagus prior to leaving Fort Lauderdale because for the several days it was asparagus at every meal. Don’t get me wrong, I love asparagus but after a few days, the ship’s pools and hot tubs started smelling like asparagus (actually, I am just kidding, but they did serve a lot of the stuff).
Scale. Everything is huge. With one exception. Cabin bathrooms. This is actually a good thing because it forces organization in the tiny space, discourages lingering, and the proximity of the toilet to the sink allows one to ship and shave at the same time for maximum bathroom efficiency. Oh, and the showers were tubular. Kind of like a human jimmy cap. Not quite sure how that was working for some of my shipmates.
That’s about all I’ve got. Happy sails!