(From the Middle of Caribbean)
As we steam (more correctly: diesel-electric) our way back to Houston where we will arrive Saturday morning, there are a number of details that people have written inquiries about that deserve some discussion.
First and foremost is security.
I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember the Achille Lauro incident, but that was where a bunch of Palestinian terrorists seized a cruise ship in the Med and started killing people including (going by memory here) wheeling a man confined to a wheelchair into the water.
It’s understandable that people would be concerned about security, given how the security-state mindset has been drilled into our consciousness.
So a couple of notes for would-be terrorists: First is that along the Banana Coast of Honduras, the Honduran Coast Guard will challenge and run-off small vessels getting too close to the cruise ships.
Secondly, the US Coast Guard “rides shotgun” way out to sea and deep water. Plus, there are cameras everywhere on the ship, the bridge is protected from unauthorized entry and security forces shipboard that you wouldn’t want angry.
While our sample was limited to one, Elaine was suitably impressed with the gleaming tile of the Port restroom at Trujillo that she snapped a picture of it and offered that all women’s facilities should be so well-maintained.
It was the same on the men’s side, too. But one of the obvious differences between the sexes is that in marginal restrooms, women develop what’s best described as the semi-acrobatic “high hover” while men are blessed with “point and shoot” capacity.
Another reader was asking about different genders and how the LBGT community fits in shipboard. Very comfortably, thanks for asking. There’s a daily meet-up time for Friends of Dorothy on the calendar most days.
On the other side of things, a reader was relative disgusted in my referring to Elaine’s similarity to Little Annie Fanny and was wondering if this was a men’s magazine, or what?
No offense intended. As a long-term reader, you’ll know I’ve referred to Elaine in many other ways including her amazing ability to speak sentences that would more befit Yogi Berra, the baseball legend who did as much for Zen logic as he did for baseball with such great lines as “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Elaine also maintains a Little Orphan Annie kind of innocence of the “Gee willikkers” sort that most people have lost to Cynics Disease somewhere shortly after their first job experience. How she’s been able to maintain the “water off the back of a duck” attitude toward so many aspects of life, I’ll leave it to the Stephen Hawking types to figure out.
That said, there are those who claim the body is the temple in which consciousness lives. Elaine’s temple is meticulously maintained. Mine is built on something more like a land fill.
On the other hand,, after a five-minute conversation with Elaine people have been known to wander off, scratching their heads trying to figure out what she was getting at. My position on things is usually obvious in 15-seconds or less, like it or don’t. That’s the viva la difference! that keeps Life interesting.
That said, in order not to offend, I will try to remember to refer to Elaine more often as Yogi not Annie (either one)..
Let’s be frank: Although we dream of taking another cruise soon, it’s just not in the budget. This one was more of a “once in a lifetime” event. Cruising in this kind of comfort is not something we can afford to do every day, since the costs are real.
The basic cost was about $2,300 for the mini-suite with balcony and that included the Unlimited Freestyle Dining option.
But, there’s also a $12/day/per person “tips and service” fee tacked onto the credit card. So there is another $200.
Then there are drinks. I carefully ran out the numbers on this one since the cost per person would have been $62 each, so $120 per day or around $900 more. We didn’t do that, but the price of drinks onboard is steep, so we likely did about $600 worth.
Then there is internet connection time.
I will use every bit of 500-minutes of connection time, so that comes out to another $200, and I’m sure there will be taxes added to that.
Total cost? By the time I toss in parking at $75 for the week, we’re looking at $3,375.
That runs out to $562 per day so it would have been far cheaper to Yogi and me to travel to some exotic place (Galveston), check into a hotel with a half gallon of hooch and call room service for a week. We’d have come out probably a thousand bucks ahead.
On the other hand, we would not have traveled 2,000 miles on a boat, seen clean bathrooms in Honduras, or has had the “remote viewing/dream” content I told you about in advance come to pass. Which gets us to….
A Personal Remote Viewing Note
You may recall, several weeks back, I told you in one of the Coping sections that I’d had a dream about meeting a couple (toward the latter part of the cruise) and how we’d end up talking business?
I’d look up the exactly wording, except this is million dollar a minute internet access out here in the middle of the Caribbean.
Anyway, that happened just about exactly as in the dream with some minor variances. The couple who we got to talking with in the elevator ended up chatting with us for a good 1/2-hour to 45-minutes.
And the discussion about business? Ah…here’s where it got interesting: Turned out that the male of the couple (trying to keep this generic, right?) was an ex EDS fellow. And I learned an incredible amount of background to fill in the answer to “What ever happened to Ross Perot?”
Hell of a tale…and sometime, one of these days, it would make an interesting discussion. I didn’t realize back in the “old days” at GM that executives had their own heated garage which Perot called BS on…making him extremely unpopular with the anti-change, old-=guard GM management types.
But that’s what that little peek into the future was all about.
Speaking of Woo-Woo and such, remember my odd dream about a pending 9+ earthquake in California or West Coast?
Flip over to the www.nationaldreamcenter.com site because the dream and language-shifts have just flipped over to a “red alert” for California.
You may remember that the last time something like this came around, it was a red alert for “terror” in (o0ddly at the time) both Houston and Dallas.
That was followed 3 1/2 weeks later, or thereabouts by the Ebola scare on the cruise ship.
So when the DreamCenter goes active using the www.nostracodeus.com software to slice and dice word frequency and concept groupings out of dream content, I’d suggest to give it a little more weight than you would to predictions of prophecy sites and so on.
This is not to say that something will happen, any more than my “peeks ahead” to two aspects of our cruise (the shopping balcony which I think was in Monday’s report) and then the ‘business discussion with a strange/new couple Thursday.
Time to run through some headlines and then head for breakfast.
One last cruising tip: If you have the “unlimited dining” plan, make your reservations for the whole cruise before the second day out. I didn’t because Yogi hates nothing more than clocks.
By the time I convinced her that we should make Friday night dinner reservations Thursday morning, all the reasonable times were booked. So we’ll nap this afternoon and have a late dinner at 9:15 tonight.
About 10 AM Central time, I’ll pass the 50,000 word mark in the novel I’m writing which (with any luck) will be a bit more than half way done.
Peoplenomics tomorrow will go through the FCC decision, but it comes as no surprise, since the decision is analogous to the Communications Act of 1934. It’s something governments just do when a new technology comes along that could disrupt their maintenance of power and control…they regulate.
I predicted this would happen in Broken Web: The Coming Collapse of the Internet a couple of years ago. It seemed like an outrageous prediction at the time, but welcome to Ure’s world. We like to get the big stuff right, before it happens and remind folks when our predictions seriously run ahead of the headlines.
Write when you break-even.