“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” ~ Groucho Marx
Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. A blog that focuses on nothing really. Caffeine induced coma from French Roast coffee and quite possibly a chocolate chip cookie. All the while my brain reverberates with the best music in the world – The ‘60’s. Fifty-three years ago this month I graduated from high school not knowing where or what I would become in the year 2017. The only constant I had to carry me through my journey through life was my music. The music of the 60’s and early 70’s from rock & roll to folk music to the music of the free spirits. As these tunes play in my ear, I want to welcome you back to the Drivel Over Coffee. Without further ado, I am going to jump right in.
The Shower Revisited
2017 seems to be the year of the shower. We had our tub/shower replaced earlier this year completing our bathroom makeover. My longtime readers may remember an encounter I had with an Olive Oyl sized shower at a church function a few years ago. It was so small I had to do half of my body at a time. Guess what, they put those in the cruise ship cabins also. We sailed on the Island Princess, a Princess Cruise Line ship. Where the shower in the college town was triangular, the shower on the Island Princess was rectangular. It was 2 feet by 3 feet. My first shower was a learning experience. You see I made the age-old mistake of assuming this thing worked like a shower. I got in and noticed two knobs. One appeared to be a simple on/off knob. This I could handle. The second knob was what appeared to be a temperature selection knob. It had numbers around it that I deduced to be temperatures in Celsius. I left it at the mid-point and turned it on. I got wet all over washed my hair and face – this is going great. Then it began. The water began getting warmer and warmer and downright hot. Nearly scalding hot matter of fact. What to do? Frantically, I began adjusting the temperature knob. I turned it as low as it would go. No change. I turned it as high as it would go. No change. As quickly as I could I finished my shower certain I would be blistering soon. I dried myself, sort of. You see, this bathroom with postage stamp size shower, toilet and small vanity with sink had no exhaust fan. The steam was so thick that I could not see the other side of the bathroom. I am glad to report that I suffered no serious harm but I did learn some valuable lessons.
First lesson was to turn shower on BEFORE getting in. The water temperature can be adjusted before scalding occurs. Second, jump in and get yourself wet. Turn the water off and lather up. Get back in to rinse. Third, leave the bathroom door open so the steam dissipates. Lastly, at our debriefing my current wife and I conducted amongst ourselves, we queried as to why did we not report the malfunctioning temperature knob to our steward. No answer other than we are idiots. That reminds me. Did you celebrate “Slap an Idiot Day” last Friday? I did. My hand is red, swollen and wrapped-up in an Ace bandage. Doc says it will take a week or so to get better.
While talking about this bathroom. A word of caution. DO NOT flush the toilet while sitting on it or with the lid open. The flushing apparatus on the cruise liner is entirely different than the one at home. They use some type of high velocity suction system to remove the waste. It sounds like a jet I, of course, did not read the sign that clearly stated that you must close the lid before flushing. My first time it sucked me in so much that my legs folded up under my chin before I stopped. Ten minutes later I had finally extracted myself from the toilet. You know what a “hickie” is I am certain. Imagine a huge “hickie” covering your posterior. Not a pretty sight.
We returned on the 21st from Vancouver. Of the eleven days we were gone, only three were sunny. The weather was mostly overcast, rainy, with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s. We flew into Fairbanks spending 2 nights there then we made our way down to Denali National Park via motor coach. A 62-mile ride into Denali the next day where we saw a herd of Caribou, a mother moose with a baby tagging along, bears, mountain goats, bald eagles, and best of all – the peak of Mt. Denali (McKinley). Only 30% of visitors get to see the peak because of the clouds.
Next, we took a 9-hour train ride to Whittier, a small town southeast of Anchorage where we boarded our ship The Island Princess. We had many experiences while on the boat. All of them good I might add. Well, the bathroom was iffy. The seven-day cruise included stops at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. All our excursions (Glacier Bay, Whale Watching, Lumberjack Show) were enjoyable and fun. We were amazed at how commercial these towns were. All are geared toward the tourists with souvenir shops all over the place. Hard to find authentic Alaskan made things that were affordable. We were also surprised at the number of jewelry stores. They were everywhere. We counted one block that had 10 jewelry stores in one block and it wasn’t a long block either.
…. Well my friends, it is really good to be back home. I was disappointed that French Roast was not available anywhere. If you look closer, it’s easy to trace the tracks of my tears. “If I can make at least one-person smile, laugh till they leak, or maybe spit out a drink, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!”
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