Sunday, June 26, 2011

Restful Weekend

I'm Only Sleeping
When I wake up early in the morning
Lift my head, I'm still yawning
When I'm in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream (float up stream) 

Please, don't wake me, no, don't shake me
Leave me where I am - I'm only sleeping 

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy
I don't mind, I think they're crazy
Running everywhere at such a speed
Till they find there's no need (there's no need) 

Please, don't spoil my day, I'm miles away
And after all I'm only sleeping 

Keeping an eye on the world going by my window
Taking my time 

Lying there and staring at the ceiling
Waiting for a sleepy feeling... 

Please, don't spoil my day, I'm miles away
And after all I'm only sleeping 

Keeping an eye on the world going by my window
Taking my time 

When I wake up early in the morning
Lift my head, I'm still yawning
When I'm in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream (float up stream) 

Please, don't wake me, no, don't shake me
Leave me where I am - I'm only sleeping

/ Lennon-McCartney

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wanda and Me

This was on a previous cruise. September will be our next one together.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I think I must have begun my "minimalist period" in this blog. :)  This is similar to Picasso's "blue period" devoid of the blue, and John Lennon's "white period" shorn of the white.

This has been one of my favorite poems since I was very young:

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams 

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Dale and Chip

My friends, always. :)

Deck Chairs

This is really the height of relaxation. Reading an ebook on one of these chairs while the ocean passes by. No computers, no communications about real life, just quiet cushioned deck chairs, an ebook reader and happy people passing by.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Talk of the Town - Jack Johnson

"Talk Of The Town"

I want to be where the talk of the town
Is about last night when the sun went down
And the trees all dance
And the warm wind blows in that same old sound
And the water below gives a gift to the sky
And the clouds give back every time they cry
And make the grass grow green beneath my toes
And if the sun comes out
I'll paint a picture all about
The colors I've been dreaming of
The hours just don't seem enough
To put it all together
Maybe it's as strange as it seems
And the trouble I find is that the trouble finds me
It's a part of my mind it begins with a dream
And a feeling I get when I look and I see
That this world is a puzzle, I'll find all of the pieces
And put it all together, and then I'll rearrange it
I'll follow it forever
Always be as strange as it seems
Nobody ever told me not to try
And the water below gives a gift to the sky
And the clouds give back every time they cry
And make the grass grow green beneath my toes
And if the sun comes out
I'm going to paint a picture all about
The colors I've been dreaming of
The hours just don't seem enough
To put it all together
Always be as strange as it seems

Still in Madeira

This street was fascinating. It was alternatively busy and quiet. I could have wandered the street forever with nothing more on my mind than how unique each new moment in life is.

Then there was a really nice park that was just so relaxing. I took a lot of shots of plants and typical park stuff here, but the joy was really in walking around. I think I took more than a few good videos here so I will probably post a few of those too. It was really the best day of my cruise, so much packed into one day, and oddly I wasn't the least bit tired during all the good stuff. At the end, I was thankful that the next day was a day at sea. I've looked at some of the Mediteranean cruise schedules and some of them are port after port after port. I guess you see a lot this way but how much can you really enjoy if you are hitting them one after another? I'd guess the experience would be different from me wandering around Madeira relaxed and calm.


The trip across the Atlantic was calm all the way. One day it was like a giant lake, mirroring the sky. Serenity everywhere, oh and water, too. This is a far cry from the upheavals in my non-cruise life where circumstances wash over me like giant waves of apocalyptic .... oh heck... I'll cut it with the similies already. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beauty Everywhere




What Truely Inspires

How could one not be in the right mood and setting?

A Madeira backdrop for pure joy and happiness.

Sailing Away

Leaving Madeira was a spectacle that continued on and on. As the sun set and the view changed ever so slowly it was endlessly stunning. This was taken after my favorite show and before dinner, I believe. This evening was probably the best of my cruise. Things just fell into place and I found myself with that sense of wonder that Disney always seems to inspire. It's not just being in a beautiful place, it's being there with the right emotions needed to appreciate the wonder. This photograph was taken near the aft of the ship. The water shows the trail of the ship. The scene changed as the ship moved and the rays of the sun came down in diffent orientations to the island.


The Disney Magic in Madeira. This is actually a shot towards the forward of the ship from the aft. It is always magical walking the decks. This is the deck where Jonathan, Steven, Wanda and I have made it a tradition to walk late at night before retiring. I have a fondness for this deck because of the conversations we have held while walking, none of us wanting the day to end.

Another favorite deck of mine is deck 4 because this is the deck used for jogging and walking. This deck deepened my rediscovery of music as a major enjoyment in my life. I probably won't see the Disney Magic again for a while with two new ships to explore, but I hope my tenth cruise will be back on the Magic, maybe again for a very long voyage. I really want to try the TransAtlantic coming back to America someday.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pirate in Sunglasses

Much better shot of the Wanda's handsome handmade pirate gear but the spirit of the moment is shown better in the other picture. I was wearing flipflops, and noisely flopping down the stateroom hall, when my favorite room host (not actually my own) greeted me with a little pirate speak. I said "Arr therrrre matey. Real pirates wearrrrr the flip flops not that mamby pamby outfit you be a wearrring." A guest coming around the corner couldn't stop laughing. Score one for my previous Disney cruise experiences and a few moments of rehearsal in front of the bathroom mirror. :)  Actually, I quickly forgot I was wearing a pirate outfit after that.


Being alone on the cruise was an easier and more rewarding experience than I thought it would be. These two girls were awesome. They were always having a good time and always kind and thoughtful. They even showed up in a film that had been taken by a Disney cast member shown on stage during the farewell performance. I talked to one of the twins early in the cruise near the soft drink station. I said it was nice that they often dressed alike because when I grew up, people thought it was not good for twins to dress alike. The girl was honestly astonished. I told her it had a lot to do with a perceived need for individuality. She nodded knowingly but still talked about how surprised she was that it had been that way. I related that my mom was also a twin and that it was nice to see this young lady and her sister together sharing. Which of them I talked to earlier I cannot tell from this picture but I'll guess it was the young lady on the right.

Notice in the picture how each is clutching her handbag exactly like the other. I know this kind of thing is not practiced because this is almost a semi candid photo. I had just asked them and their mom if I could take their picture to remember them by. It is really not posed though it looks posed. I took the picture to0 fast for them to think and to pose. This is just they way they were, very much alike. You can see by mom's face that she is delighted. I cannot imagine another circumstance other than a Disney Cruise where I would fit in so well with complete strangers.

The clutching of the handbag is so incredibly similar but also notice the watches, which match of course, but are mirror images being on different hands. That is, the twins facing each other would look the same. Also, one is wearing a bracelet and the other a ring. So, they are not dressing alike for others but as a sharing experience. The watch appears to match not to others, but as they face each other. This is just a supposition of course, but I really think I might be on the right track with this observation. You had to see them together over a period of time to see the full nature of their sharing and it's naturalness to them. This was taken towards the end of the cruise, second formal night.

Also, notice that mom is holding a really beautiful Disney handbag. Disney is family, Disney is an America that often seems to be dwindling in my ordinary workaday life. I love the time when I can be a part of a very real aspect of the world as seen through the lens of Disney. This view of life evolves with time but around a core of values and beliefs that however dated by the lack of understanding of some is really beyond time for those with faith, trust, and, well yes, pixie dust.

Madeira from the Mickey Pool

Madeira from the Disney Magic. It was a very relaxing cruise with no pressure or problems. I had been on this same cruise the year before so there was nothing really to miss. It was all familiar and nice. In the picture you can see there are very few people around, but notice how many fewer people are pirates like the photographer. :)

People have wanted me to share my pictures of the latest cruise. I have hundreds which I took mainly for myself. I guess I could post them all at once on some photo site. My computer screen at work constantly displays the whole set as a slide show background yet no one seems to be crowding around gasping in wonder. Really, a good picture is a delight with nuance and memory. It takes the soul of a moment in time. Looked at in one way photographs are personal to the photographer who knows and remembers the true feeling of the moment, in another they impart information and emotion from the photographer to other viewers.

My first transformational moment where I learned the full richness of this sharing, came at a Monet exhibit in Chicago, Illinois. Something about those paintings talked to me so personally, so intensely, I saw the world in a whole new way after that. It affects me every time I stop and admire the sort of Zen-like beauty of a  moment, rather than the minutia of details my mind may going over about what I am seeing or other thoughts about something like how much my feet may hurt or how much money I have in my pocket, thoughts that have no relevance to God's creation. I carry with me a little of Monet's view of the world, despite the fact that I never met him.

Also, when I view photographs or paintings, I spend time with them. Time is a critical factor towards understanding a photograph. A photograph often imparts more details than one viewed, but obviously less emotion. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then one must spend at least the time necessary to understand all those words.

I was at my nephew Eddie's beautiful wedding yesterday and noticed some pictures of Eddie on his refrigerator from his childhood, my childhood as well as we are about the same age. I was fascinated by that picture which everyone else saw as part of a refrigerator door perhaps before getting milk for their cereal. Times were different in the early 1960's and I'm so happy I remember those times so well.

Incongruous in Madeira, Portugal

Pirate Night. This being my 7th Disney cruise I was all decked out and out on deck for Pirate Night. I wanted to walk around the ship and take pictures of Madeira about 30 minutes before my stage show, "The Art of the Story." This is one of my favorite shows and I had only seen it once or maybe twice before, on the longer cruises. The performance turned out to be probably the best of the cruise as well. So, time zones having placed the production in the daytime and I not wanting to change clothing two times, decided to put on my Pirate wear before the show which is kind of traditional anyway. Again, 7th cruise, I knew Disney Cruise Line and I knew my seemingly incongruous outfit for late afternoon would be as enjoyable as it was. And I was not alone of course, because 1st seating dinner folks had to be dressed about this time. However, I was fairly alone on deck in the afternoon sun in pirate garb admiring the site of Madeira's absolutely stunning beauty.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


If there is one thing I like to do it's close blogs. :) 

I'm combining the photographic blog with this blog.  Only one picture was posted there. But it's a good one.

This is my wife watching Barack Obama after a long long wait. There is a great deal of hope her eyes and expression. And she'll be mad at me for posting it. :)  But could there be a better woman for me?

Added note: A little about how this was taken. The empty seat next to my wife is really my seat but I had gone up to the barricades to get a closer view of Barrack Obama. I had already taken my wife's picture with all the signs in the background hoisted high. That picture has been on my desk at work ever since. As I was listening to Barrack Obama, by the barricades, he said something particularly inspiring. I turned around to see my wife as moved as I was. I took her picture. If you notice, there are people around her who seem just a little bored. Not I, not my wife.

hello world (originally posted on another blog as first entry)

10 PRINT "hello world"
20 GOTO 10
I'm 53 years old. On my birthday it never seems so bad that the number has gone up because it actually never goes up on that day. I learned long ago that it is easier to change the number at my leisure when no one else is paying attention. So sometime in the near future someone will ask my age and I will say "54" while secretly knowing that I am really 53. After saying this false age for a while I will get used to it slowly never suffering the consequences of birthdays to come.

This has worked for me for about 20 years but this morning I really felt old. It is a tranformational thing, this getting old stuff. It's nothing sudden for me as it might be for others who, for instance, have to deal with the number "50" on their actual birthdays. Yet, something has changed enough that I was up at nearly 5:00 a.m. contemplating this blog instead of fruitlessly trying to get back to sleep.

Lying was something I discovered and rejected at an early age. This is not to say that I completely rejected it, I just threw the strategy out for anything of importance. I very clearly remember the moment I decided lying was more trouble than it was worth. I was 7 years old and I was riding my bike with my nephew Eddie. I can't remember the subject of the lie, my poor memory has long erased that. It seems like a fundamentally important moment, but I have tried many times to remember the lie I perpetrated. It is just lost, almost remembered, like something on the tip of your tongue, but forever lost. What has never gone away was the visceral feeling of lying, or more acurately, being caught in a lie.

Gold Card