Friday, December 30, 2011

Taking yet another break from the cruise review; no one seems to like it anyway.  No problem, I don't mind.  *sigh*

So I posted on the FB thingy that I was going to the coffeeshop place from 1-4 today, and so I did.  Bought lunch and coffee there, not quite $10.  The food is ok, I suppose it'd be great if I were a yuppie or a preppie instead of a DINK.  What?  Oh, yeah.  Tuna melt and wild rice soup. Ethiopia coffee.  Tuna is always kind of dry, so mustard helps.  Dunking it in the soup helps too.

And! So now, to amuse myself, I'm going to tell you about some of the people that surrounded me at the coffee shop.  Do I care that you don't care about any of them, you only care about me and what I'm up to.

This just in:  we just got a Christmas card from Val's brother & sister in-law in (ironically enough) Bedford, TX...Her nephew is recovering from surgery, can't go anywhere or do anything for 4 more weeks!  No, we don't know what sort of surgery it was, I'm guessing lobotomy.  I don't know why she wouldn't tell us what kind of surgery it was, perhaps she wanted a mention in the bloggy thing.

So anyway...I get there and order my lunch and coffee, find a place to sit.  Sadly, it was right next to the fireplace.  It afforded a great view of the place, but within about 20 minutes, I wanted to take off my pants, it was so warm in there.  Maybe I should have had a cold drink.  What's the deal with people not taking off their coat when they go inside?  People were coming in, sitting there for an hour all bundled up, coat, hat, scarf, etc.  If your coat doesn't keep you warm when you are inside, where it's about 70* and no wind, how is the coat going to keep you warm outside???  You need to wear more coats.  I know, I know that coat you've got there is stylish and fashionable, but...

So who is there?  4 ladies sitting at a table whispering to each other.  I was only 6' from them, didn't hear a word they said.  A pair of 20something girls came in with computers, sat at a table.  One had a cast on her forearm/wrist, guessing it was for the wrist or hand.  She was wearing a pair of snug jeans and a purple shirt that was too short for her, and thankfully she raised her arms above her head once while she was facing me.  No, her navel was not pierced.  She does have a tattoo on her back, but not really a tramp stamp.  2 linkys there, friends.  I didn't hear what they were up to.

A pair of 30 something girls were in, each wearing fancy embroidered ass jeans.  One was clearly an artificial blond; her hair didn't match her eyebrows at all.  She used a lot of facial expressions when she'd talk, and I could hear some of what she'd say if I'd concentrate.  BUT there was more interesting conversation, a friend was in, talking to a referee about his kid and ex wife.  Pretty soon, the ex comes in to chat too.  I could hear most of what he was saying if I payed attention.  It was interesting watching the ex come in, observing body language, mannerisms, etc. 

Watching "Project Accessory".  Shoot me now.

So anyway, somehow, Corey is the reasonable one in this battle.  Knowing he calls his current girlfriend "Jilldo" and having heard something of well never mind about all that.  I just don't understand why people wind up being such assholes over/about the kids.  They have a common goal...raise a kid in such a manner that it doesn't turn out like what if they can't live together, they don't have to be a dick about it.  Sounds like he might get a phone number for them!!! Wow!

Some tall skinny dipshit came in, sat down by the window, opened his laptoppy thing and commenced blaring some talky shit.  After a few minutes of this, the guy sitting between me and the dipshit and I berated Sir Dipshit, who announced that he could turn it off if it bothered us.  We let him know that it did indeed bother us, and how inconsiderate he was, and how he should be using headphones.  Prince Dipshit got up and left.  He didn't even say goodbye! 

Thank goodness it was getting on towards 4:00 when these next great citizens came in.  She had white hair, was wearing ear muffs, and actually did take off her coat.  She came in, cough cough, cough cough, cough cough.  I told her that "that's not proper coffee shop etiquette or conversation".  But she didn't hear, or else ignored me.  He was over getting their hot chocolate, just one, so they could share!  He was also white haired, with a weird knot of hair on the back controlled with a rubber band.  Kinda bald on top, he kept his leather coat on.  So she took the lid off the cup and holding it with both hands, proceeded to lick out the inside of it.  She licked that sucker so clean that a long tongued dog or Gene Simmons would be hard pressed to find a drop.  He poured a slug of tan liquid into a water cup for her, he kept the good cup.  They sucked it down like a pony express horse that had just run across Kansas.  He trots off for a refill, and the phone rings!  She digs it out, and answers it, doesn't take off the ear muffs...not sure how that works, she used her left ear, so I couldn't see.  The call was for him, and he took it outside!  What a guy.  My hero.  I was tired of them and of sitting there, so I packed up and left.  About that time, she picked up some of the well used and abused newspaper, dropping some of it on the floor, which she didn't pick up.  As I was leaving, I made sure to slide it over and maybe even got it onto her shoe.  I wish that I could have left her with something nice to smell, but I guess I had shot off the final blast before they arrived.

That reminds me of a story of last year's late route.  Some of the kids had pissed me off, so I went back to yell at them.  As I was going back up front, I stopped to pick up something one of the buggers had thrown on the floor, and with my large butt in the face of a kid, released a fragrant and noisy blast.  I turned to look at him, he looked shellshocked.  Kind of reminds me of a video I saw once. Dumbass was wearing a glass/plastic dome on his head, there was a seal around the neck and a hose with a  funnel on one end, entering the dome/bubble right about the nose area.  Dude #2 turned ass to camera, dropped pants, put funnel to ass, and sent a cloud of stink down the hose.  Dumbass got a whiff and instantly puked into the bubble, where you can clearly see how good the neck seal didn't leak out!  All this reminds me of another story which I won't tell you about.  haha.

So that was my trip to DunnBros, except for the girl with the red pants that kept running back and forth.  Interesting. 

Yes, I do like to watch just never know what someone is going to do.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Carnival Legend cruise report, Monday

Sorry for the delay, we had a deviation from the normal scheduled activity.  See, we got Val's mom a new computer, and brought it home to download it's updates and a virus checker.  It took a while on our fairly fast internets, it'd have taken a month on dial up, assuming we can find a modem thingy for it.  It'd be so much easier if they'd just spend 3x for internets and ditch the dial up, then they could internet and Wessy or Sissy could call anytime of the day or night and not get the dreaded busy signal.  Or! they could enjoy internet as AlGore intended instead of sitting on the couch staring at the phone waiting for Wessy or Sissy to call when they expect them to call.  Actually, since they always call in the middle of dinner, they sit there hungry staring at the phone....but enough of that, get on with the good stuff.

Sure, I could have used the new computer to write the bloggy thing, but my shortcut button/favorites button bar isn't on that computer, besides, it has windows 7.

Sure.  I could have used val's laptop to write the bloggy thing...but I can't really type on it.  I'm amazed that anyone can.

Ok.  Monday.  First sea day.  Nothing really planned except for the cruise critic meet and greet or meet and mingle drink-fest boozeathon at 2.  Val and Brenda were going to the steakhouse info-mercial and had some plans, but I didn't have any plans other than to stroll about the ship.  So I went to lido for breakfast.  What a disappointment.  Eggs, watery/runny blech.  Sausage:  a mixture of 5 or 6 in a bucket with onions and peppers.  I like sausage, but not some of them in that mix.  Potatoes, ok, kinda cold.  They have build an omelet, pancakes, loads of stuff scattered about the deck.  I don't feel like standing in a lot of lines, so I just get some stuff, find a seat and eat.  None of it is very good.  BTW, I've got my camera, my dumbly named ebook device and my insulated mug along, and they don't have trays...just huge plates.  I don't dare put anything down at my table and go off for drink or more food, I won't find my way back.'s sea day, everyone is there, it's crowded, and every area looks the same.  Makes me crabby.

Off I go to find a comfortable place to sit to read.  Maybe I'll find my spot outside.  I don't even try the lounge chairs by the pool.  I could sit on one, but for reading...nope.  I go on down to the "serenity deck", which is a small area on the back of the ship (aft), has some hammocks, some big circle chairs, some lounge chairs and NO KIDS!  Turns out on this cruise, there are very few kids anyway.  All areas full.  Down to deck 2.

I find an ok chair or couch thing, and sit there a while.  I leave after I get tired of all the people being confused over the handicapped restroom.  "it says ladies and gentlemen!"  So just go down 3 more steps to the ladies room.  I went to the "enchanted forest", what a joke.

It's kinda dark, but it's supposed to be a cozy place for quiet conversation, etc so on.  It's got trees on the ceiling and walls, the chairs are made of sticks, etc.  not comfortable.  I wander around some more, I find the "secret deck" which is a crew area, this is where you could pretend that you're Leon DCappuchino on board the Titanic.  Not when he draws the naked girl, or even when he has rumpypumpy with her, it's the other place, the one on deck.

I go thru the "library" which is full of computers and fake books, and a few locked cabinets with real books in them.  Not sure how you get one out.  Break the case?  I imagine you'd wind up like Leon with handcuffs around the pipe then!

Nice use of space, huh?

Into the "sports bar" which is right next to the casino, which is smoky.  Looks like a lot of salt in this windowsill.

Cleanliness is next to godliness, or something like that, huh?  I suppose I should have tested one of those lumps, to see if it was indeed salt.  What else could it be?  meth?  The chairs suck, there is throwball on the tv, I get the hell out of there.

I finally settle on the area outside Billie's piano bar, pretty comfortable, decent light.  Plus there is a shapely girl in a bikini applying sunscreen.  This helps a lot.  I sit and read for a while and then move on.  I finally found the most comfortable place, outside the "legend cafe", they had 8 weird looking chairs, but they were comfortable. I sit there and read until I realize I better get some lunch or the boozeathon will be no fun at all.

I must have went to the lido for lunch buffet, but I really don't remember.  Seems like I had some fried chicken, some corn bread that wasn't....I just don't remember. None of it was great.

Cruise Critic meet and greet, scheduled for 2 @ Billies bar.  This was set up by a dude, I paid in advance...basically it's open bar for an hour, cost: about $11.50.  Best value on the ship, when a single drink is about $6.  A can of coke is over $2.  Cruise Critic is a forum for cruisers to bitch about the cruises they didn't like and blab about the good times they had.  People can post questions and answers to the questions.  Like I said, it's an internet forum.  It melted my crabbyness away.  It officially ended at 3, but I hung around until closer to 4, then went to the room.  Took a little nap, got dressed for dinner.  Formal night, so I'm going to wear a buttony shirt and a tie. 

Dinner was lobster and shrimp, which was good.  what do I have for pics?

I suppose that Carnival figgers that everyone has ADHD and needs constant entertainment, so every night at dinner, the waiters either sing a song or dance to a song.  Tonight, they are singing to us.  You KNOW we're trend setters, right?  Hey, I figger if I dance with her at dinner when no one else in the joint is dancing, it'll get me off the hook for the rest of the trip.  Besides, it makes all the other fellers look bad and get hit on the arm.  I could almost hear the "whispers"..."LOOK!  THE FAT GUY IS DANCING, WHY WON'T YOU DANCE WITH ME??? YOU BASTARD!!! STOP LOOKING AT HER BUTT!!" Lots of people complain about the dancing and the singing during dinner, but we kinda liked it.  They give you 2 hours for dinner, might as well enjoy it, make the most of it.

I don't remember what this was, but it was excellent.  The sauce was awesome.

We went to see a show, a comedian or 2, looked at our pics and back to the room.  I had sent the senior cruise director a note about dinner, wrote in a funny story, and he sent a bottle of bubbly wine, a ship trophy and a short letter.  Pretty nice.  So there you see Val and our decorated door.  We went to bed, tomorrow is a busy day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 What I don't want for Christmas:

Taking a break from the cruise review to post a (hopefully) humorous listing of what I don't want and why.

Jewelery:  I don't want it because I don't like it, actually.  I wear my glasses and wedding ring.  I've looked at rings, watches, necklaces and I never see anything that I like.  My watch, which I can't find...came from WallyMart, for about $5.  The band:  is leather and fastens with velcro.  The band is the most comfortable watchband that I've ever worn.  But!  I can't find it, so maybe I'd like for someone to find my watch for me as a Christmas gift.

GPS:  I actually enjoy the challenges of navigation.  I don't enjoy buying an electronic device, some means of attaching it to the car, paying extra for map upgrades, paying for "Lifetime" map upgrades, only to find that they don't support the unit anymore, thus rendering it to be useless.  I can see some benefits to it, the POI, for example, but I've followed people using GPS units....and that is another story in itself.

Super duper extra hot sauce.  Don't waste your money on this crap. I don't like it, I won't use it, it'll just sit on my shelf until I throw it away.  Just because I don't think ketchup, catsup, or cocktail sauce to be spicy doesn't mean that I like extra spicy stuff.  I do enjoy somewhat spicy sauces, so if you want to go to John Hardy's and get a jar of "spicy hot" I'd gladly accept it.  I will say that if I use a lot of it and eat the peppers that come with the plate of food sometimes I suffer some GI "discomfort".  Even the cat won't come near me then.

Clothes.  I have too many clothes as it is, and I wear them until they can't be worn any more.  A friend wears a lot of TShirts and discards shirts that still look perfect to me...he's only worn them a couple years! WTH man!  I've got some shirts that I've been wearing for 15 years.  Oh, sure, I didn't wear them much from 97-07;  I had some uniform shirts to wear.  Typically, clothes received at Christmas don't fit, are the wrong colour, style, pattern, or I've got 7 more just like it in the too full closet already. 

Tools.  I have lots of tools.  If I ask for a specific tool, that's what I want.  If it's being sold on an infomercial, or by Sears at Christmas....I don't want it.  One time...I thought I did.  Remember that "cold solder" thingy?  What a POS that didn't work.  Robin and family gave me something a few years ago that also didn't ever work, seems like it was part crescent wrench, part screwdriver, part glue gun and part timing light.  Yeah, it was sold by Sears.  Not really sure what it was supposed to do....other than screw the consumer from their money.  I asked for and received a Black and Decker "mouse" sander one year.  It works as advertised, but like all low quality sanders, has so much vibration that it's painful to use for very long.

What's the deal with the expression:  fits like a glove?  I've never had a glove that fits great.  A better expression would be:  fits like a condom.  Gloves.  Well, those nitrile gloves fit pretty good, but they're a single use item.  Any other glove has always been too long in the fingers, most have been too tight across the palm, and never had one that was perfect in the thumb range of motion.  Never had a condom that didn't fit though.  Oh, sure, most are too short, just secure it around with a foot long piece of duct tape.  Circulation?  no, the duct tape doesn't cut off circulation, the ends of the tape do not meet.  That's just think that I have fat legs.  I have plenty of gloves, don't buy gloves or mittens for me.  Thanks, anyway.  No, don't buy condoms, either.  That's all I'm going to say about that.

HD Tv?  Blue Ray?  HDMI???  no thanks.  Most of the time, I can't tell the difference between cd dvd cassettee vhs.  I was going to include 8 track, but unless the player is really clean, and the tape is really good, it's easy to tell.  I thought DVD would really be a great improvement...but if you stop a DVD in the middle of the movie, it's a challenge to go back to where you were.  VHS?  no problem.  Yes, we still have a VHS, and a lot of tapes.  We don't use them much, Val will occasionally watch on when ironing clothes.  I don't know how to use our DVD player.  BTW, it's also a burner, I thought it'd be clever to record shows onto DVD.  I have no clue how to work the damn thing.  I don't know if it is hooked up correctly.  We do have a XBox thingy, thanks Jim and Debi.  We used it once.  I know it is capable of doing magical things with movies and the like....yep, I put out a fire under the hood of my pickup, replace the alternator and offending wires without breaking a sweat (it always happens about Christmas when the temp is well below freezing), but operate an XBox that any 5 year old can master?  Gives me anxiety and hives and chilblains. 

So, I know you're sitting there thinking:  what a picky bastard.  Glad I'm not buying him a present.  I know you're wondering what was on my list this year.  Here's what I remember:  cake pan w/lid.  Do I need to explain this?  It's not that we make cakes often, but it's good to have a metal pan with a lid to transport stuff.  I want a hose reel for my air compressor.  Currently I use the "ram's horns" style handlebars from an old 10 speed bike to hold my air hose, and it very well.  But it would be nice to hang it up in the rafters, just pull it out to use it, gentle tug to retract it.  I would like an extension cord or trouble light that did that too.  What else would I appreciate?  How about a cd/dvd of pics that you took at a bike rally or topless bar.  ER, I mean a disc or thumb drive of your favorite ebooks or music.  (Unless you only like romance books and country music.)  Yes, as you maybe know, I switched to ebooks almost a year ago.  I've read a couple paper books since then, and about 70 ebooks.  I would also like a home baked pie, jelly or some cookies that are my favorite.  No, I'm not going to tell you what my favorites are.  You have to figger that out on your own.  (It does not end with "berry")

Here's a short list of gifts that I've given over the years to various people.  Diamond earrings, hitch pins, books, dishes, gift certificates, boxes of jello, kleenex, bird feeder (that still isn't being used), gun rack, toaster, birdseed, mixer, other assorted jewelery, scrapbook stuff, nightgowns (flannel!), other assorted appliances, mp3 player, swiss colony crap (does anyone really eat the stuff?),  etc and so on.

I gave the hitch pins to my grandpa, and I think it was the same year that my ex-stepmonster presented him with a box containing a pair of slippers.  It wasn't fair, really, hitch pins against slippers.  She didn't stand a chance.  He wouldn't even open her box.  Here's what you maybe don't know:  Grandpa lived thru the depression, never wore slippers and used hitch pins every day.  (And Jill's still an idiot.)

So, friends and enemies, thanks for reading my blogs.  I don't know why you waste your time with it.  I don't know why I'm narcissistic enough to think you would waste your time with it.  Don't you have something better to do?  I hope you find it entertaining, being a voyeur into my life.  Maybe I have something to teach you.  If I had to guess what that is, the only thing I could come up with is:  don't be like me.  That maybe is too harsh, because I am able to pee without getting my feet wet most days.  I do find typing this to be therapeutic, there are several drafts sitting there never published. 

So thanks.  I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Boxing Day, whatever the hell that is.  I hope you get just what you want for Christmas, whether it's a hug or a snowstorm, or maybe you just want your car to start.  Maybe you want that new tablesaw that Delta is putting out, the one that cuts compound angles and glues the joints at the same time.  Maybe you want the new combination refrigerator/oven/kitchen table/dishwasher/toilet.  Available at Sears, for a limited time only, just $1995.  But wait....we'll double your order and throw in extra durable, 100% recycled TP, which can be used on your sander as 80 grit sandpaper!
Carnival Legend cruise review/report.  Sunday 12/11 debark day.

So.  We got up, packed up, ate breakfast, blah blah blah get in the van and go.

Hey, look....there's the ship.  Crappy pic.  OH well, it's not as if I could get the tripod, light meter, abacus, compass, sextant, get squared up, lined up, test exposure and shoot the frame.  It's pretty much:  open the window, poke the button.  More often than not...the pic comes out. 

Here's what happens.  You drive up to the pier, a porter takes the luggage, we go in and weaver thru the lines.  Present docs, get room key.  Weave thru some more lines, get picture taken. 

They have a photographer and backdrop there to take a bon voyage pic, once we're thru that, we can get on the ship.  First thing on the ship, they take the card, plunge it into the slot and bong, we're officially on the ship.  Val and Brenda went to buy the "behind the fun ship tour" while Jerry and I went to secure a parking place at the buffet lunch.  Basically that is the only thing planned for everyone.  No one can get into their rooms until 130.  There's no entertainment scheduled until after Muster drill, the lifeboat meeting.  A big improvement over years past is that we don't have to take the life jackets.  What a PIA to go to the room, get the thing, go to Mustard, then take the damn thing back.

So, anyway.  We ate some lunch, Val unpacked, we checked out the room, the ship, etc.  The room is nicer than any of the other cruises we've been on.  Seems larger, but at the very least, it's better designed.  Buffet has also been redesigned from the other ships, there are several areas of food.  For example, they have a small line called "chopsticks" which is of course asian.  Another is "carvery" Another is "deli".  I think the idea was to spread out the crowds, keep line jumpers to a minimum.  I think it works, actually, but I  don't think the food is as good as it used to be.  By the time you wander thru all the stations, what you picked out is cold.  The plates are it is sort of compelling to grab a few items at one line, go to another for something else instead of making separate trips to each line and using 6 plates. 

We almost always eat dinner in the MDR, but our servers seem distracted, confused, something.  Dinner was good, every night the dinner was good.  But the service was not as good as we wanted/expected.  Oh well. 

weird how the camera overexposes some things and not others.  Sure wish it'd do that out by the pool/beach area.  In the MDR, for dinner anyway, they put those colourful plates down, and serve the white plates off of them.  I don't know why.  More work for the dishwasher, I suppose.

Dinner was followed by a show, imagine that.  Dinner and a show.  The show was ok, the dancing was good, the costumes were dated.  The set looked ok, I guess.  You can just see the cruise director coming into the pic on the right.  Yes, he's a fat irish/english bloke wearing a kilt.  This night was the only night we saw him in it.  He acts and sounds gay, but isn't, I believe.  Whatever, he was fun.   

After the show, we went around the ship, took pics, visited some various entertainments, such as Polly at the piano bar, Joe at the piano bar, someother dude at a piano bar.  For some reason, Carnival thinks that the best entertainment is a piano bar.  Tiring of that, it's off to bed.

And look!  on the bed there's a pair of towel vaginas!  No, there was no rumpy pumpy with the towel vaginas, Jeff, get your mind out of the swamp.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cruise review/report Carnival Legend 12 11 12-12 18 12

Tampa, Grand Caymen, Cozumel, Belize, Honduras.

One fine day, long long ago, perhaps in May, Brenda says to Val:  "Jerry bought a cruise, want to come along?"  Val says:  "twist my arm."

Val says to me:  "Jerry bought a cruise and we're going along."  I say:  "who is Jerry?"

I've known Brenda quite a while, she's active with Val in PSI, she's a scrapbooker, and she's also dragging Val into that red hat thingy.  BTW, Val has to wear a pink hat for several more years before she can wear a red one.

Interestingly enough, this cruise has the same ports that we stopped in on our first cruise 4 years ago...exactly 4 years ago.  Different ship, and different order for the ports.  Carnival Valor is a larger ship, but not so large we couldn't manage.

Our vacation had many different aspects.  It started on Sunday Dec 4, when we dumped the cat on the inlaws.  Oh, sure, they volunteered to take him early, which saved a trip over on Thursday, also saving about $12 in gas.  The cat demands to be let into the basement, where he promptly found himself a parking place in the dark and stayed there for 13 hours, causing panic and worry and stress, etc and so on.  Shortly after they stopped looking and yelling at him, he came out.  No more basement for him!

Val took Friday afternoon off, and I was rewarded with a couple hours early dismissal as well (along with all of my colleagues), so we were able to leave earlier than expected.  Good thing, too, as she had a full day's shopping and dinner planned before we would retire for the evening.  She had a coupon, a rebate and a map....yep, she was armed and dangerous.  So off we go to Lane Bryant in Burnsville, a long drive away.  Maybe we stopped off for dinner first at Teresa's mexican eatery in Lakeville first.  If you recall, this is where we had to eat on the way to our hotel on the first day of our grand motorcycle adventure in September.  EXCEPT we didn't go to Lakeville, we stopped in that other ville or ton on the way to the "cities".  Same family, same recipes.  Top off the gas tank at Kwik Trip to ensure that the price of gas would go down for the week we were gone, then off to the mall.  I go in with her, hurray, they have the sweater that she wants.  I wander off to Sears, discover that some of their tools are being made in China and haul ass back out of there.  I find a bench and loiter there, wondering why there are a bunch of 4wheelers, mopeds and other junk piled up in there.  Maybe that guy sitting there wants to sell them.  Don't know, don't care.  Finally she comes out with 17 sacks of stuff, we head over to UHaul to rent a truck to get it all home.  It comes with a GPS thingy, so we turn it on, program in our address, set the cruise control and turn it loose.  I do hope it shows up soon.

At some point, leaving the mall, I think, we are on an off ramp with a double right turn lane when the red/maroon Dodge Durango instead of driving forward around the corner, rolls backward into us.  Val's driving, and since she's not a professional driver, didn't know what to do.  First you honk, second you back up a bit, third, you roar off around the poor lady that doesn't know what the hell is going on but she's on her phone anyway.  No, we didn't stop to see if she needed help, we didn't check the condition of our bumper, we left.  I still have not looked at the bumper.  Wait.  I guess I did, since Val had backed into the parking space at the HI E, I saw the bumper when we got out of the van upon our return.  Looks fine.
We're going to stay at a Holiday Inn Express, just in case we have to McGyver something in the morning.  They also have a shuttle to the airport and don't charge to park the car for a week.  Therefore, a nights stay will only cost about $15 over the cost of parking for a week.  Oh, sure, Jerry the cousin has offered many times to take us to the airport and keep the car at his place, but we're thinking the bathroom situation might be odd.  Jerry lives in Lakeland, which is quite a distance from the airport, too.  HI E also has free breakfast, but it starts at 7 along with the first shuttle leaving at 7, which means we don't get breakfast at the hotel.  There's a pretty good line at security and we've not had breakfast, but we manage to keep calm and make it thru without getting fondled or Xrayed.  My hat got drug out of the bin going thru the xray, and I wandered off without it.  The security lady tracked me down thanks to the description given by the people in line after us.  That was nice.

MSP used to have a couple McDonalds, but they were closed.  We got some sandwiches from Burger King, all in all, while we initially thought we were going to have a lot of time to kill, we ate on the plane.  [imagine pic of us eating BK sandwiches here]  Have you ever noticed the weird crap you can buy at the airport?  Receipt scanner, there's vending machines full of ear pods, ear pads, ear phones, ear phones, and Worst Buy has one full of crap too.  I tend to boycott them so I didn't look to see what was in there.  And...don't forget Rosetta Stone!  Or Proactive.  Saw a purple vest with purple moose on it.  Nothing says "too much money on vacation" like a purple moose.

Fly to Tampa, get off, collect luggage, call for shuttle to where??? Holiday Inn Express, if you can imagine that!

In comes a shuttle for Hampton Inn and away it goes.  Finally, in comes a Holiday Inn van and we head over to it.  Some slow people got in the way and out it goes.  I wave at it, they pull in and I see that it says Hampton Inn!  WTF?  Turns out they share a van.  The driver?  What a dumbass.  The guy whined the entire time about how busy he was, on and on and on.  The turdhead should be happy he has a job, I think....terrible driver.

Flight left at 9, in at 1, to hotel by 2/230.  Watch Tampa TV.  What a joy this is.  Pink Panther is always a treat, kind of silly, but fun.  then I tuned into the Mexican gong show, hosted by 2 oompa loompas.  They were wearing orange coveralls that were festooned with yellow and purple OOO.  There were 4 dancing girls wearing pink sequined bras, red shorts and black boots.  Guests were led onto set and introduced by more dancing girls wearing pink overalls, open in front to display the pink bra.  The judges?  One looked like Roseann Barr, one was wearing underwear on his head, like a mask, and one looked like John Mellon Cougarcamp.  Great show....if you like dancing girls with bouncing boobs.

Do these actors and musicians that use all 3 they avoid thinking they are in trouble all the time?  Do they like thinking they're in trouble when the media says:  "Sarah Jessica Parker was seen with Cher and Oprah today, we're pretty sure they were doing the macarena but they were slightly behind Oprah and she was naked so we really didn't see anything else because we turned around and left. A witness named Michael Scott Leighten the boy said that police were called to the scene, but Oprah swears that no one hit her in the face."  

I really don't know where my mind goes sometimes.  Just be glad I'm not looking for a naked pic of Oprah to post.

Jerry and Brenda arrived at some point, we went outside and found there was a boat parade going on, so I took some pictures.  Full moon over Bahama Breeze, which is where we ate supper.   The moon is just right of center right above the building. Pretty good food, I guess. 

I'm not going to bore you with the trip in the van to Walgreens and the liquor store, which pretty much topped off the night.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't give up, friends, I'll be pounding out a cruise review soon.

I'll discuss:  drinking, hand pain, camera death, elevator assholes, comedians, beds, food, souveniers, flight attendants, shore excursions, and much more.

Stay tuned....

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Beer!  Beer is proof that God loves and wants us to be happy.  Ben Franklin

I like beer even more than I like bourbon, actually.  My beer of choice used to be Miller Lite...which is considered an American style lager, of course.  I liked it, I liked it a lot.  But now?  Can't stand the stuff.  Why?  Well, what flavor it has is bad.  Bitter.  Blech.

I then would drink anything with Red in the name.  Killian's Red, Newcastle Nut Brown, and Red Dog, which turns out is an American Lager.  So is Red Stripe, which I still like.  I esp enjoy the tv commercials.

I moved on to amber beers.  Amber Bock was a favorite, Schells Amber is a current "go to" beer.  It's the local private label.  Beetle's has it as Beetle's Brew, the Canadian Honker calls it something clever.  Glynner's calls it Rusty Truck.  John Hardy calls it John Hardy's Red.  It's pretty good, made less than 100 miles from here.  Not sold as domestic, however! 

This domestic/import thing is annoying.  Beers made here in MN are sold as imports, beers made in MO are sold as domestics.  Basically?  It's a bad term. They're using the wrong words.  Instead of import/domestic, they should say beer for import, and horse pee for domestic.  You know why I say that right?  Of course you do...

My favorite beer?  My favorite is made by New Glarus, located in New Glarus, WI.  It's only sold in WI, which is the only thing I don't like about it. Ok, I wish it was cheaper than $8/6pack.
Here's a pic of the first 2 New Glarus beers that I saw and sampled.  Spotted Cow is one of the most popular, and is available on tap in lots of places in WI.  ON the other side of the label is a wonderful description, which entices the thirsty bikers to buy them, pack them into the saddle bags and rush them home.  Interestingly enough, I didn't have the motorcycle along on this trip.  We had gone into WI to buy a trailer.

Look!  There's Val, Duke, our trailer and the inlaw's garage.  It's a nice trailer...14' long, 7' wide.  Duke doesn't much like it, but he's a big weird looking chicken.

Staghorn, Octoberfest.  Obviously a seasonal beer.  It's pretty good, not my favorite.  Here's a linky to tell you about all the seasonals.  Totally Naked and BlackTop are my favorites.  I do like Laughing Fox, too.

I have no desire to make beer.  It takes a lot of equipment, it takes a lot of fussyness that I do not possess.  You have to prepare ingredients, yeasties, you have to have the right environment, lots of time and patience.  It's a worthwhile endeavor...and New Glarus has this down to a science.  They really do it right.

What the hell is my point here, anyway?  Oh, right.  I have no point to make.  You're thinking, I know you are....You want to know since I like beer so much, why would I ever "cheat" on beer with bourbon? 

Good question.  I went on a cruise or 2, went to the captain's party where they have free drinks.  No beer.  All they have for beer is horse pee anyway, so I have to learn to adapt.  After that 2nd cruise where I had a great time at the captains party, drinking whatever it was that didn't really taste all that great, when we got home, I went to the liquor store to get some. 

What the hell is all this stuff?  Canadian whiskey, bourbon whiskey, Irish whiskey, gin, vodka, American whiskey, blended whiskey, schnapps, liqeurs, white rum, brandy, wine, dark rum, scotch, tequila, Rye whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, Kentucky whiskey, holy crap--too many choices!

Uncle Google:  what the hell is canadian whiskey, scotch, irish, bourbon....

And this is how I decided to drink bourbon.

Bourbon is made in America, from at least 51% corn.  Aged in new oak cooperage.  Sounds good to me, I grew up growing corn.  We fed all of our corn to the pigs, never sold any to make whiskey, but that's ok.  Now.  How do I choose a bottle? 

Old Crow, Old Forrester, Old Granddad, Russels Reserve, Wild Turkey, Old Overholt, Old whiskey river, Woodford Reserve, Harper, Haller, Pappy Van Winkle, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace, George Dickle, Fighting Cock, Ten High, Heavens Hill, Maker's Mark, Benchmark, 4 Roses, Knob Creek, Bulleit.

Clearly, some of those are not bourbon.  SO WHY IN THE HELL ARE THEY MIXED IN WITH THE BOURBON???  Annoys me when they mix in the Canadians, the Irish, the SC, the American blended crap, etc.  Confused me too, at first.

I think I've drunk a bottle of every bottom shelf bourbon there is, starting with Old Crow.  One of the oldest, one of the first, etc/so on.  Also one of the worst to drink neat (straight, no mixer).  Yes, I also drank a bottle of Old Crow Reserve.

One bottle that I really like is Benchmark single barrel.  I got it in a Stewartville liquor store during a snowstorm.  The cork was dried out, stuck and disintegrated.  The bourbon is wonderful, great for sipping neat.

How do I mix the cheap bourbon?  Couple ways.  Are you thirsty? no?  Ok, here's what you do.  Muddle an orange slice with some fine sugar, add some shakes of bitters, pour in the bourbon and ice.  Enjoy.  When the bourbon is gone, either add more, or eat the orange.  I call it an Old Fashioned.  Thirsty?  Pour a big glass of lemonade, add some bourbon.  Sip or gulp as required.

I find that if I sip bourbon neat, or with an ice cube, after a while, I get a little headache.  If I drink some water, it goes away.  I've never (yet) had a morning headache/hangover due to bourbon consumption. 

Can't say that about tequila or beer.

Won't touch tequila.

OK, maybe if a Latvian lady was offering a week of rumpy pumpy if only I'd drink a sip of tequila, I guess I could compromise my integrity and cheat on my bourbon.  I suspect that I don't have to concern myself with that, until after I get struck by lightening while winning the lottery.  And then if it happens, I'll wonder if she's after me for my resilience or my money.

good thing I used the spell checker tonight.  Terrible spelling.  I should be ashamed.  But I'm not....I'm tired.  The garage contains the car again, the snowblower runs, most of my stuff is put away. 

Friday, December 02, 2011

More about wipers...

If you're lucky enough to be my Facebook friend, you know that we discussed spraying the windshield with WD40.  A friend suggested vinegar and water to rid the glass of frost.  A different friend had posted a linky on FB about the same thing....use a mix of 3:1 vinegar water, spray before the ice storm and the ice should not stick.  I'm going to try it.

I suggested WD40 because of the wd...water dispersing.  It won't work without making an oily mess....because it is primarily made from fish oil.  It is tempting to spray the windshield of that dickhead that broke my mirror last year.  Or the ass that keyed the side of the car.  Or that dumb bitch that....I'll tell you about that one privately. 

But anyway...when you change your wiper blades, lube the pivot points on the wiper arms.  There's a spring in there too that holds the wiper blade tight to the glass, and if that pivot is binding, it's not going to work right.

Enough about that crap, remember about my shoe shopping discussion?  I think I was clear that I waited to buy...and my patience paid off.  I waited till after Thanksgiving, there was a 20% coupon along with buy one, get one half off.  2 pair for about $70.  BUT.  they only had one pair....and offered to send the other one to my house free.  Hope it shows up.

First major snowstorm on the's about time to finish clearing out the garage and see if the snowblower will start.  Luckily I have a free day to do that.  Do you care about what all that entails?  Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway. 

Got to put away all the tools that I've had out over the last 8 months or so...sockets, wrenches, hammers, screwydrivers, (although, since I moved the screwydriver rack over from the bench repurposed from an entertainment center to the side of a 3 drawer cabinet that I dug out of a dumpster during the OMC remodel, the screwydrivers have been much more organized than ever before), soldering stuff, electrical stuff, meters, pliers, jacks, ramps, etc.  I need to rebuild a shelf or 2, stow the MC helmets and other gear, find a resting place for the gas cans, bird seed (which should be called bird feed), stow a big box of little donuts, a big box of used cardboard boxes that I hold on to to use as a "creeper" or as insulation between my insulation and the cold hard ground of the garage.  Need to stow the rake, the shovels, a box of wire and other stuff.  The ladders need to go back into the corner, have to stow the new lumber and the left over gutter toppers.

Anyone still awake?