Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sail Away


Going on a cruise is something a lot of people like to do these days. I had never partaken of that type of vacation until December 2012, via the graciousness of Ashley's dad. It was fun. We took the City of New Orleans train down to its namesake, and that was an adventure in itself. We met a record producer and his wife who were from Memphis, and had a fascinating conversation with them about how she'd known the long-lost musician Rodriguez back in her college days.

Having never been to New Orleans before, Ashley's dad -- a seasoned pro at traveling -- gave us the grand tour. We stayed downtown, walked by Canal St., stayed for a bit in the French Quarter, took a horse & buggy ride and learned some of the neighborhood's history, had some hot chocolate and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, and ate some delicious Boo Fries at Acme Oyster House.

The cruise set-off the next day, for a five-day trip, and it was enjoyable. We were on the Carnival Cruise Line ship Elation, which went into service in 1998. It was a big vessel. Granted, there are much bigger cruise ships, but this being my one and only experience, it certainly did not disappoint in size. There were several levels for passengers to entertain themselves on. Dinner was served each night in elegant dining rooms, but the food was pretty free-flowing throughout most of the day (and even some nights).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pic of the Week

Today is the 29th birthday for actor Chace Crawford, so he's our Pic of the Week. Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Summer of '94


Summer, that season of heat and humidity, existing in our hazy memories of family trips and vacations from school, has always been a rather perfunctory time of year for me. I travel no more or less during summer than during other months (we're doing our Florida vacation this year in October), and many summers have been pretty much the same as the last one, or the next. That's not to say that they aren't nice (they usually are), just that they don't always rank high on the special scale.

One summer that was a notable exception to my rule of mundanity was the summer of 1994. I had just graduated high school (yes, we're having a 20th reunion this year), and adult life lay ahead of me. School had been stressful, as I've written about before on this blog, and so I was looking forward to relaxing a bit before deciding what to do next. 'Next' ended up being starting at Parkland College in the spring semester of 1995, and working a part-time job at Garcia's Pizza-in-a-Pan beginning in October of 1994, but those were still months away.

June through September of 1994 was, simply put, a quite wonderful time in my life. It was one of those periods that so many of us go through, when our minds are suddenly opened-up to new people, ideas and experiences, we have great fun, and then the bubble pops and life continues on, as it must. It's fair to say that I was a different person then, although the memories of that summer remain to this day, and no doubt helped inform who I am, even if to a small degree.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Midpoint


We're just a little over halfway through 2014, and I've seen 26 of the year's movies (so far). I thought that now would be a good time to rank those movies! Of course, this is just my opinion, one of many. But if you haven't seen some of the films in, say, the top ten, then try and watch them if/when you can.

Ok, here we go….

Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 Answers From an Atheist


A friend made me aware of TodayChristian.net's recent column titled 10 Questions For Every Atheist. The questions are left, of course, unanswered (one presumes there are no atheists at TodayChristian), and so I thought I'd try my hand at answering them. Full disclosure: I am not, strictly speaking, an atheist, as I admit that a full-on denial of a god is hypocritical when condemning others for their full-on belief in a god. I'm fairly comfortable with a 'don't know' philosophy.

Anyhow, here we go.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pic of the Week

Our Pic o' the Week is none other than British "newcomer" Pip Andersen, who was announced over the weekend as being added to the cast of Star Wars - Episode VII. He looks very capable of doing action sequences...



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

No Soup For You!


There's been a lot of talk lately about the rights of private business when it comes to the power they should (or shouldn't) have when it comes to who they serve and what sort of health care benefits they do or don't have to provide. Situations that come to mind are the laws some states have tried to pass granting businesses the right to discriminate based upon religious grounds and, of course, this week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows Hobby Lobby (and other businesses) the right to pick and choose what sort of health care it provides based upon its religious convictions (because apparently an entire corporation can have its own religion now).

It used to be, decades ago, that businesses (especially in the south) could refuse service to people because of the color of their skin. The business owners would often cite religion as a defense. And, yes, racism flourished for quite some time in this country with people selectively quoting from the Bible as part of their reasoning for racism. We're seeing the same issue now with gay rights supplanting ethnicity as the target du jour. It's odd for me, because I remember this sort of thing as being something I read about in history books, and saw featured in documentaries talking about our less-enlightened days. Now, it's front page news. Again.