Friday, April 28, 2006


Thanks to all whose pictures I swiped from Google picture search. Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner (or the knowledge to use one either), so the only way I could illustrate our cruise was by finding and using other people's photos. So thanks to all you out there in cyberworld who put their photos on the web.

But at least I give credit where credit is due...(whoo-hoo - credits for all!!)


Finally to Mexico, Phyl's favorite shopping mall. Our ship was docked parallel to the shoreline facing to the right. So, from our little bit of front deck first thing in the morning, all I could see was jungle, couldn't even even see the pier we were docked at. Actually started wondering where we were, did we break down offshore somewhere? Well, when we finally left the boat, this was the view to the right of the pier, a little place where you could hang out on what little sandy beach there was, since most of the beach looked like black coral or volcanic rock.
And as you can see, Costa Maya was in the middle of the jungle in the middle of nowhere. It apparently was built just so cruise ships would have somewhere new to go.
So, a long hike down the pier, and mr crazy statue was there to welcome you...
And so were some pretty Mexican ladies in Mayan costume. You could get you picture taken with them in front of the pyramid, which we did. Unfortunately, after picking up the picture (only $10 for an 8x10), Phyllis let it blow into the Caribbean along with most of the postcards we bought to send to people. So, no souvenir photo...
Inside the 'village' was this large hut which contained many hand-made crafts, as well as the usual souvenirs.
The rest of the village was across from the hut, and ran in a large semi-circle, with shops open to the courtyard/sidewalk. Lots of nice stores, especially Mexican silver shops. Also a store that sold 6 billion varieties of tequila (well, it seemed like 6 billion). And they gave out free samples of any one you wanted to try. So of course we did, and bought 2 bottles, 1 banana tequila, 1 coconut tequila. Very nice...
And at the end,where the curve enclosed the end, there was this outdoor stage. 3 times a day they had dancing on the stage, 2 of them Mexican folk dances, 1 of them Mayan ceremonial dancing. Was very colorful, and very well done. (And free!!) Actually have the 2 shows on video so my daughter Crystal can show them to her class of (mostly) Mexican kids.

And they also had an outdoor salt water swimming pool, with a built in bar at one end, so you didn't even have to get out to get drunk. How's that for fun? You can see the bar on the left under the hut to the left. You you could stay cool, and not even get sunburned while getting drunk!
And they had a very nice in/outdoor restaurant there, food was very good, drinks very large.

Drank a couple of Sols there, that were enormous. Largest beer bottles I've ever seen, they brought it out in a bucket of ice with a glass, because it was to heavy to drink out of (safely). Very good, very cold, very much fun. Couldn't find a picture of the bottle though.
So that was our trip to Costa Maya, had a lot of fun, but not sure if it was as good as Cozumel, which had a lot more stores (and Carlos & Charlie's) where we were supposed to go. Apparently the hurricane damage from Wilma is still quite bad. But, oddly enough, we talked to someone who had just been there and said there was a Carnival ship in port while they were there. So not sure what's going on there, but hopefully next cruise (2008?) we'll get to go back to Cozumel, or maybe even both places. Can't do too much Mexico - just ask Phyllis!

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Some people are like slinkies.

They don't really have a purpose,

but they still bring a smile to your face

when you push them down the stairs...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Happy Cole, gotta be the funniest man in the world... After leaving Belize, he did a midnight show on the ship, absolutely fucking hilarious!!! He did a 65 minute show to about 1500-2000 people, and everybody laughed the whole time!!! I mean the absolute whole time!! I'm pretty sure I've never seen anybody as consistently funny ever...and I saw George Carlin in 1971!!
He was so funny, my wife peed her pants!!! Now that's funny too!

Monday, April 24, 2006


1) Give War A Chance by P.J. O'Rourke: This time around it's Democracy(both working & not), war,politicians, as P.J. gets his jabs in on things he doesn't like. You may not agree with him, but some of it's funny, and most of it will ake you think.

2) So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson: Now here's an interesting concept; a book about books. The author decides to read 52 books in 52 weeks. So we learn not as much about the books, as to why certain books were picked to read, and how the author interacted with the books she picked.

3) Swerve by Aisha Tyler: Bought this from Dollar Tree because she's been on 24 & Ghost Whisperer. Turns out, she started out as a stand up comedian, and was later on the cable show Talk Soup. While this book is quite funny at time, it's not really a humot book, more of a series of observations about life,love,people,etc. Pretty interesting.

4) The Mysterious Mr Quin by Agatha Christie: You can never go wrong with an Agatha Christie book. This one is a series of short stories about a Mr Satterthwaite, and how he solves myteries and the like because of chance encounters with the title character. Very odd stories, and much different than the usual A.C. mysteries.

5) Goin' Back To Memphis by James Dickerson: A fairly thorough look at the Memphis music scene from the early days of the (last) century, up through the 90s. Lots of interesting little known facts in here...did you know that 1970s(?) Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas was once a fiddle player on Beale Street? Didn't think so...

6) 1st To Die by James Patterson: First book in his series about detective Lindsay Boxer and the Women's Murder Club. Quite different from his other Alex Cross series, but still a good read with a twist (actually a double twist) ending.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Now, this was a place we really enjoyed. Never really knew where it was until we found out we were going there, and there it was. Used to be British Honduras until 1973. We were surprised to find that the country has a Jamaican vibe to it, not a Mexican, even though Mexico borders it to the North, and it has Mayan ruins of it's own. So, you come ashore on tenders, because the water is very shallow until quite a ways out, maybe 10-12 miles offshore is where they moor the cruise ships. You can see the tenders in the picture below, but they're nothing like the tenders we rode in to Grand Cayman on last cruise. No, the one we rode in Belize had 3 (count `em - 3) 600HP outboard engines!!! Those suckers went so fast, that even with 40 or so passengers in them the bow lifted out of the water! So it didn't take very long to get ashore, that's for sure. And at the dock was the tourist shopping village, where all vendors had to be specially licensed, and you weren't overwhelmed by dozens of crazy people (that came later).
Also at the shopping area was a great little restaurant called 'The Wet Lizard'. Restaurant was on the second floor, with no outside walls. It was preety much all wood, and everyone who ate there wrote something on the dividers, rails, ceiling, etc. Yes, including us. I guess next time we go we'll have to see if it's still there. They had really good wings there, not sure what the sauce was, but it was spicy hot, not burn your lips hot-pepper hot. Very tasty, built up slowly the more you ate, definitely one of the better wing recipes I've had. And hopefully, they really were chicken! (I've read stories...)
And how do you cool off your mouth from them hot wings? Why, with Belikan Beer, brewed right there in Belize (by the same folks who bottle Coca-Cola). And only $2/bottle at the 'Wet Lizard', so you can't go wrong. Quite tasty, not an outstanding beer, but a great thirst quencher. And, in Belize, they still use returnable bottles, because it's cheaper than using throwaways and always having to import new bottles. Though I was able to keep one as a souvenir.
So after leaving the protected tourist area, one ventures out into the real streets, which are much less organized than the picture below, at least the one wer were on. People all over the place, some cars, apparently driving down the middle, and everyone trying to take you on a tour or sell you something (including one fellow who I'm pretty sure was trying to sell me ganja). But we found a small open air flea market, that had some neat stuff in it. Upstairs in the building it surrounded was a little pirate museum (everyone has pirates in the Caribbean!), including a pirate who let you taste his rum, and pretty much any other kind of exotic liquor.
They had a local cashew wine, which was really nasty tasting, even if you like cashew nuts; I couldn't say the wine tasted like cashews. However, they had a drink called 'Nance' made from the fruit of the Craboo tree, which was really, really good. No, I mean really, really, really good.

The one I tried looked like the label below, and I brought 2 bottles of that home, saving it for a special occasion, and you know I'll find a special occasion sooner rather than later.

So, much shopping was done, a good time had by all, and hope to get back there next cruise...

But, I wanted to show you this picture, we never saw it, never even heard of it until I was looking online for pix to illustrate this entry. It's the Blue Hole of Belize, and almost perfect circular hole in the ocean floor that's about 1000 feet across and 400 feet deep. Sure looks cool, doesn't it?
So, on to the next stop, Costa Maya, Mexico...see ya soon...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Just listening to Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band on the cd player at work, and the cut of the above song done by Dave Edmunds came on. Which brings up another old memory (as time goes on, I find that things like this I should write down, because one never knows when it'll disappear from the brain vaults**).

When I first moved to England in 1970, the Dave Edmunds remake of the old 50s song was the first thing I heard on the radio in the hotel. I even remember that the radio was built into the headboard of the bed, which I don't remember seeing anywhere else in all the years since.

** My Dad, who is now 89, and has lived & travelled all over the world, now has advanced Alzheimers, and remembers almost nothing of the stories I heard from him while growing up. And now, except for the bits and pieces I remember, they're lost forever...


How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

These are actual quotes by someone who thought that everything he did for his country was right; took them to a war they eventually lost, and caused the death of countless civilians.

Could be George W Bush, but it isn't...

It's Adolf Hitler, born on this date in 1889.

Happy Birthday Adolf, apparently your concept of government still lives on...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

USELESS KNOWLEDGE... better than no knowledge at all.

Was listening to a 60s compilation cd just before lunch, and a song came up that brought out a long forgotten memory. The song was Come On Down To My Boat by Every Mother's Son, which was pretty much their one-hit wonder, mostly forgotten by now (except by the people at Time-Life, and apparently me). But the thought that came to mind when I heard it was the memory of the song being played on my Mom's favorite soap opera As The World Turns, or as I would tell her, As The Stomach Churns. Now, back then (1967), pretty much all music
played on TV shows as background music was fake; even when the show had 'teens' in it doing 'teen' things, the music was nothing actually recognizable as our music that we actually listened to. Most of the 'teen' music was a instrumental take of someone's thought of what 'teen' music was. Until I remember hearing Come On Down To My Boat on ATWT. At least once, possibly never played again. And, oddly enough, it didn't seem to start a big rush for networks to license music by real bands to play on their 'teen' shows.

Though, of course, both The Addams Family & The Munsters did have great theme songs...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


And unfortunately, our ship doesn't dock as in the picture above. Our ship docked at the Naval
Station, somewhere to the left of the photo. From there, we were shuttled to the downtown area.
Well, I would have to say, Key West was our least favorite port of call of this trip. Way,way,way too many tourists in too small a space! We were only there for about 4 hours of available time, so there wasn't much time to see much 'touristy' stuff. A way overpriced pirate museum which didn't take long (about .75/minute each), and the souvenir shop of the Hog's Breath Saloon; couldn't even get close to the bar to try their namesake beer!


Yes, Tortuga Rum Cakes...

Perhaps the greatest cake in the world...perhaps the universe! And available at a shop with a pirate out front. These (expensive-but worth every penny) cakes do have rum in them, and come in many wonderful flavors; my favorite - banana. And at the shop, you can sample them all! Yes, all. And, interestingly enough, on our last cruise 7 years ago, we saw the original Rum Cake factory on Grand Cayman. So if you ever get a chance, remember...mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...rum cake! It's the pirate's favorite cake...and mine...

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Well, last post for the next week or so. Going on a cruise, see ship below, Carnival Glory out of
Port Canaveral.
Look close, you'll see me waving goodby!
Just before I go belowdecks for much consumption of beer...


1) The Jester by James Patterson & Andrew Gross: This is a switch, the adventures of Hugh the Jester during the time of the Crusades. A little far-fetched, but that's what fiction's for, eh.

2) The Windward Road by Archie Carr: An interesting travelogue about sea turtles in the Caribbean. The book was written in 1959, so it's all pretty much pre-tourism days. For example, the main industry of the Cayman Islands was turtle hunting, not banks & tourists!

3) The Partner by John Grisham: How do you steal $90 million and get away with it? Make sure you're dead first, of course. A better than average Grisham that goes way beyond the courtroom.

4) Yamato:A Rage In Heaven Pt.1 by Ken Kato: International trade & politics brought into interstellar science fiction. Not bad, but draggy in parts. Pt.2 coming soon...

5) Pure Drivel by Steve Martin: Yes, that Steve Martin. A humorous (but not laugh out loud funny) series of vignettes and short-short stories.

6) Cell by Stephen King: The newest King novel gives us a warning about cell phones. After reading this one, I'm glad I don't own one...
Sometimes being in the group isn't a good thing...

A good selection this time `round, definitely topped by the Stephen King.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Not sure what you would call it, but Walter here at work, came out with a good one the other day. Trying to get an outside salesman to make a decision about something, he came out with:

"He needs to shit or cut bait"

Funniest thing I've heard in years...

(By the way, three periods at the end of a sentence is called an ellipsis - betcha ya didn't know that...)

Betcha you don't care...

Monday, April 03, 2006


"A new untruth is better than an old truth" A quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes; American jurist (1841-1935)

Obviously something 'W' takes to heart...