Friday, September 21, 2012

Taking a break from vacation photos, some "news" items I just couldn't resist:

  • Proving yet again they "are nothing special in the air", American Airlines (the company perpetually teetering on the edge of bankruptcy) Flight 3823 had to return to the gate when two female flight attendants began to argue.  The argument was so heated the cockpit crew was alerted.  Credit cards of passengers in first/coach class on the commuter flight were charged an additional $10 each for the "floor show."

  • Despite years of working with chemicals involved in carpet-cleaning, a Denver man won $7.2 million dollars after he apparently developed "popcorn lung" from inhaling the butter-flavoring from his microwave popcorn.  His argument was companies failed to warn consumers that inhaling the buttey aroma could put them at risk.  Makes you wonder what his house smells like to have inhaled that much artifical buttery aroma!

  • Dancing With The Stars resident "bad boy" Maksim Chmerkovsky has announced that he will not return to the show after his current contract expires (which still leaves us 3 seasons of tantrums).  He tells the New York Post that "I loved doing it.  But to be honest with you, at 32, I am at what-about-me-time."  I'm sorry - isn't that what he's always been about?

  • And my favorite newsbit this week, the humble emoticon is 30 years old!  For three decades now, this sideways smile has bounced around the internet, spreading joy and frustration many times the world over (sometimes it's just like reading braille - I'll admit I can't always figure them out).  Happy Birthday Smiley!
~later, tw

Friday, September 14, 2012

Alaska Cruise 2012 - Day 1

...and maybe 2... (Gerry took some really fabulous photos and it really would be unfair to just share a few in a single entry).
Unfortunately he didn't get any photos of the very beginning of this adventure.  We were waiting to be picked up by the limo/town car to take us to the Quick Coach stop in downtown Seattle where we would get our bus to the Canada Place pier in Vancouver.  Since Farsi is one of the few languages I haven't studied, I was apparently unclear in my directions TO PICK US UP AT OUR HOUSE!  and instead the limo showed up in Carol's driveway (~15 or 20 minutes away...even for Gerry).  Once this mistake was discovered, we only waited a few more minutes for our driver to show up.  He looked decidedly uncomfortable when I asked if he had his passport on him (he was going to be driving us to Canada if we missed that bus) because I'm not even sure he had a green card!
The facts that we were ~40 minutes from the bus stop AND it was already 6:40 am AND we needed to be there by 7 am, the laws of physics fortunately did NOT apply that morning.  We actually arrived at 7:00 AM just as the bus was pulling up.  I couldn't see the speedometer from my vantage point in the vehicle but Gerry said that the driver held it pretty steady at 85 mph (with an occasional burst to 90 mph when on the freeway!)
With only one more small delay (when we arrived downtown Vancouver this bus driver figured he was too late on his route to actually drop us at the pier so he had the company bring a tiny little bus to take the ten cruise passengers and all of the Helmer/Weiler luggage - we were literally "shipping" quilts, fabric and school supplies with us to Anchorage! - to the cruise terminal).  Once in the terminal we were whisked thru screening, customs and embarkation (due to Roger in a WC) and we were having our lunch within minutes!  The cruise had officially begun!!!
Unlike the Costa cruise line (oddly enough also owned by the same parent company as our favorite), Princess insists on safely first and a mandatory lifeboat drill is held on board shortly BEFORE we set sail for the first time (Costa requires it within ~24 hours, depending on how close to shore the captain wants to cruise).

Day Two:  A relaxing day at sea (well deserved after the "Lucy and Ethel" antics just to get on the ship and of course our first trivia victory.  It was formal night aboard the ship and though we thought we were dressed pretty spiffy, the maitre 'd at the restaurant wasn't as sure.  It took a little convincing that not everyone owns a tux (and with the rates charged by the airlines, the "steamer trunk" of evening attire is no longer an option).  Eventually, he not only seated us in the restaurant (but not after we noticed that there were more than a few other gentlemen already enjoying their dinner who were also not wearing suits/ties/tuxes), he also reserved the window table for us for the rest of the cruise!

After dinner, we wandered out to the piazza (formerly the atrium) to watch the champagne waterfall (pretty much a waste of champagne - even if it is only Chateau LastWeek!)  We didn't sense any real "movement" of the boat, but we did notice that the Maitre 'd Hotel wouldn't let anyone NEAR the actual champagne bottle (lest they bounce it into the tower of champagne glasses).  I realize that this is just another opportunity for Princess to make a little $$ selling people pictures of themselves "pouring" the champagne but a photo of me grabbing this guy's arm was not on my "bucket list."

 To be continued...

~later, tw

Friday, September 7, 2012

Things Could Have Been Worse...

Jenny always gives me grief for the fact that I, like my mother before me, chose to forego those with actual skill and talent with regard to haircutting and elected to do the job myself. She claims her haircut most closely resembled a "mullet" (and unfortunately there is a fair amount of photographic evidence to support her theory!).

I maintain that I did a fair enough job...and now I, too, have photographic evidence that it could have been worse:

These six-year-old quads were given "special" haircuts to allow teachers to tell them apart.  (At the very least Jenny is now grateful that she was a single birth!)

~later, tw

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ay Chihuahua!

Apparently Texas doesn't have quite the corner on the crazy market that I had previously thought.  Case in point:  Police in Longmont, Colo., have arrested a womanon suspicion of animal cruelty, after she allegedly stuffed a Chihuahua puppydown her pants during a domestic dispute.

You really can't make this stuff up!