25 Nov 2008 @ 7:33 PM 

Pundits scoffing accurate predictions about the economy

Just in case someone hasn’t seen this yet.

This is another great example of the so-called experts being extremely wrong about so many things, yet all the incredibly astoundingly wrong experts still are considered succesful pundits. Mike Norman still has his respected podcast, Charles Payne is still a sought-after stock analyst and broker, the wrong-on-manylevels Ben Stein (is there anything he’s right about?) continues to get on television…

What does it take to discredit people? Telling the public to buy Merrill Lynch and Washington Mutual, telling the public that housing prices are stable and growing…Why does anyone listen to these putzes? They openly laugh at Peter Schiff, who turned out to be 100% correct on every count, and they still get to be on television as experts. Mike, why don’t you get on television? Your predictions have come true approximately one jillion times more frequently than Charles Payne and Art Laffer. Fak.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 25 Nov 2008 @ 07:40 PM

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 21 Nov 2008 @ 10:43 PM 

What’s that, you say? Photos aren’t good enough for you? Fine, you greedy buggers, how about a quick 9-minute highlight video of our Caribbean trip? That should hold you!
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 24 Dec 2008 @ 07:18 AM

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 17 Nov 2008 @ 6:56 PM 

Prince, in thrall to his Jehovah Witness beliefs, seems to be opposed to gay marriage and adoption.

Prince: Prince Says God Against Homosexuality.

This is the guy who wrote “Pussy Control” and “Darling Nikki?”  What the hell?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 17 Nov 2008 @ 06:59 PM

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 09 Nov 2008 @ 10:22 PM 

Galveston_01.jpgGalveston_02.jpgGalveston is still a mess, a month after Hurricane Ike. They only just reopened the cruise terminal, but the traffic lights didn’t work and there were a lot of boats in places boats don’t normally rest, as well as large piles of debris.

Very easy drive back to San Angelo, with almost no traffic the whole route. The dogs were excited to see us, and wondered if we’d brought them back a turtle to eat, or perhaps just one of the rum cakes. We’re glad to be home, and Kat’s already looking at cruises and shore excursions in the Eastern Caribbean. Better check the savings account…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008 @ 09:49 AM

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 08 Nov 2008 @ 10:22 PM 

Our last full day at sea, this was a truly lazy day. We had breakfast and watched flying fish jump away from the ship in vast numbers. We sat in a hot tub for a while. We read our books, and just generally enjoyed a gorgeous 80-degree day in the Caribbean. No clouds all day, just relaxation and sunshine.

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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008 @ 09:43 AM

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Tulum

 
 07 Nov 2008 @ 10:22 PM 

HoneymoonCruise_Cozumel_02.jpgWe spent all of five minutes on the island of Cozumel, all of it standing in line to move to the ferry or racing back to the ship after the ferry dropped us off in the evening. Our ferry is the yellow catamaran on the right of this photo, while our ship (the Conquest) is attempting to hide behind the Triumph over on the left.

HoneymoonCruise_Cozumel_25.jpgWe had a great historical tour today, with our guide Manuel being a magnificent source of information on all things Mayan. This guy is a college-educated archaeologist/historian, and he was a delight to listen to. I’ve never seen a tour guide who so completely knew and obviously loved the material he was presenting. Anyway, we went to the ruins of the city of Tulum, an hour or so inland from the port of Playa del Carmen. The ruins have been restored and preserved very well, and the vast numbers of temples in such a small area was almost overwhelming. The equally vast numbers of iguanas was fascinating to one member of our couple (I’ll leave it to the reader to determine who that was).

HoneymoonCruise_Cozumel_74.jpgWe did do a little shopping, including picking up a Mayan cartouche and a couple blankets and t-shirts. Of course, we arrived at the ship just before it was time to leave, so no shopping in Cozumel itself.

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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008 @ 09:41 AM

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 06 Nov 2008 @ 10:22 PM 

HoneymoonCruise_Cayman_04.jpgYesterday was our thrill ride tour, today was our nature tour. The weather was beginning to look a little wet, due to what had just become Tropical Storm Paloma. There was rain on the ship as we docked, and the ground was wet on the pier when we hit land, but the rain that threatened us all day didn’t arrive. We wandered around the three shops that were open in the port of George Town, then hopped on a bus to hit our several destinations for the day.

We stopped in a tiny little tourist trap area named Hell. It is a bunch of very dangerous-looking rocks that have been colored black over time, and the locals have put up a post office that sells Hell postcards and will even mail them so they’ll have a postmark from Hell.

HoneymoonCruise_Cayman_50.jpgAfter Hell, we hit the road to one of the many many Tortuga rum and rum cake outlets. Since they had the same prices and selection as the one at the pier, we decided to not haul a bunch of rum cake around Grand Cayman. The Turtle Farm is a fabulous place, with a truly astounding number of sea turtles in their tanks. This place is not just a tourist attraction, but keeps a breeding program going as well. Of the hundreds of turtles that hatch each year, over 10% are released into the ocean, while 70% are kept as part of the exhibit and breeding program. The other 20%? Um, they generally become soup. Sorry animal lovers. Sadly, we didn’t get to spend nearly enough time at the turtle farm, because we had a schedule to keep. We did meet our friend Flappy there – he really wanted to get back in the water.

Then, it was time for the main event, the grand finale, the claim to fame of the island of Grand Cayman – the Stingray Sandbar. This is a truly amazing location, out in the bay off the northern coast of the island. For many years, fishermen would stop here, in this relatively calm and very shallow area far from shore, to clean their catch. After so many years of free fish, the stingrays on the sandbar are nearly tame. We swam with them, pet them, fed them, even got to hold them. Absolutely one of the best experiences ever. We couldn’t understand why there were several able-bodied people who paid for this tour and refused to get in the water. Mystifying.

We ran around George Town for about an hour, picking up souvenirs and the freebies that the jewelry shops seem intent on handing out, then back to the ship. The ship left an hour earlier than originally planned, due to what had now become Hurricane Paloma.

Back aboard, we had a couple hours of down time, and then the second Formal Night. Some folks seem to have a very relaxed definition of formal; the table next to us had a gentleman in a rather formless flannel shirt. He sure looked comfortable, anyway. Baked Alaska for dessert, first time Kat had tried the dish.

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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008 @ 09:17 AM

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 05 Nov 2008 @ 10:22 PM 

We really loaded ourselves down with shore excursions – only at the Caymans did we have even an hour of time between the tour and the time we needed to get on the ship. Not complaining, just explaining the relative lack of photos of the towns we were ostensibly docked at or near.

HoneymoonCruise_Jamaica_27.jpgWe went on the Zipline Adventure today. This involves climbing up hills in order to rocket from treetop to treetop to ridgeline via steel cables and pulleys. We had a great trio of guides to keep us safe and entertained. Hollywood was the leader of the pack, with his constant patter of “bing bong, party like a rock stah!”

Mighty Mouse and Dean were the other two guides, but I didn’t get good photos of them. Mighty Mouse (real name Shakila) insisted that we were lucky because we had the pretty guide. Gotta love confidence.

After climbing and zipping for the better part of two hours, we wandered back to the ship for a supposedly relaxing massage. Our two South African masseuses apparently didn’t get that memo. We felt like we’d been tenderized by the time they were done, but Kat (former massage therapist) complimented them on their technique.

A great dinner of smoked duck appetizers (tastes like ham!) and seafood newburg, and then off to the magic gymnast show. We wandered into the showroom, thinking we were early, and most of the good seats were taken. Then, one of the crew handed us VIP seating, marked as “just because,” and we got to sit so close we could see pores on the dancers.

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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008 @ 08:58 AM

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 04 Nov 2008 @ 10:22 PM 

HoneymoonCruise_27.jpgAnother day at sea, with the temperatures climbing into the low 80s today.

We really just relaxed around the ship most of the day. We did win an 80s trivia game and got a little plastic trophy for our efforts. And we lost at bingo, cuz mostly that’s what happens at bingo.  That’s about it, really.

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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Nov 2008 @ 09:02 PM

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 03 Nov 2008 @ 10:22 PM 

HoneymoonCruise_04.jpgOur first morning aboard the ship was great.  It didn’t get above 75 today, but it was still a very pleasant day. We had breakfast with some Texans and a Canuck chef, then sat near the bow and read. We had a little wine-tasting, which was marred only slightly by a table near us which seemed to be surprised we were interrupting their rather boisterous conversation with some sort of wine-related event.

Dinner included lobster, where they sang a happy honeymoon song to us, and we finished the evening with a drink while listening to a jazz trio. They were very good, and Kat seemed to really appreciate the drummer, having been one herself.

HoneymoonCruise_Towel_02.jpg

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008 @ 09:52 AM

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 03 Nov 2008 @ 5:15 PM 

We are, as I write this, on the first sea day of our honeymoon cruise. We’ll be arriving in Jamaica on Wednesday, then Grand Cayman Thursday and Cozumel on Friday. We left from the still-devastated Galveston on Sunday afternoon; the ship left two hours late because it had to drop passengers from the previous week in Houston (where the cruise had been operating from while Galveston got back in order enough for the cruises even if not for their own residents).

So far, it’s been gorgeous and fun. There are a suprisingly large number of Texans on the ship, but we did have breakfast with a Canuck as well, and a wine tasting with a couple from Iowa. And several couples from Texas. 🙂

Not sure how often this will get updated before the 10th of November, but I’ll try to post at least once more this week. No photos before we return, though.HoneymoonCruise_Towel_01.jpg

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008 @ 09:51 AM

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