Friday, January 15, 2016

Finding Trump on Deer Valley 2016

Deer Valley was bright and white
The hard icy snow made me uptight
It took an effort to ski just right
I fear to onlookers, 
I was a slovenly sight

Not the best year, but still full of snow
If we could predict we would know
Before we go
When the snow will come
So we can enjoy all the more fun

I skied Success, but preferred Little Stick
Way up top Ontario needed no trick
Hawkeye, Lucky Star and Blue Bell
Skiing these trails felt mighty swell

Up and down as swift as can be
Fell once thankfully far from the tree
But when you’re skiing in the zone
You are happy and feel right at home

Alas, the real prize was skiing Trump
A right branch off Ontario after moguls and thumps
                                               Then smooth sailing over a mass of snow                                                 T’was created by a big dump, wouldn’t you know

A big dump on Trump
That’s Hilary-ious to say
A dump on Trump on that snowy day
But to ski on Trump -
Made my troubles go away

Named after the Donald
I don’t think this true
He would not be amused
His personality suffused
With self-aggrandizing exclamations
And wild incendiary proclamations

He would neither be confused
By the blinding glisten of the snow
Nor by the biting dialectic of Senator Rubio

If the Donald were here
He would slide the slopes
Carelessly thrashing like an angry bear
The wind tussling his red flaming hair

He would Cruz down the mountain
Easily avoiding the tall Bush
He would pass through many skiers
Without falling flat on his tush  

I don’t have a Christie ball
But I bet the Donald will finally fall
From the big dump of snow
Not caring ever which person to mow

Some trails are treacherous
You have to zigzag around
With slick areas that abound
Can’t just fly down straight
And think you own your fate

Not berating or Hilary-ing at other skiers
To get out of the way
Not shooting thru narrow passes
Like he did the other day

After the fall, with Donald glued to the ground
There will be no one around
Without Syrians or Muslims or Mexicans
No humans will be found

I predict the slopes will bump
Donald hard on the rump
In a few months we will see
The truth of this prophesy

Will it be Hillary or the Donald?
I would prefer Ronald McDonald
Maybe someone will emerge
If given the urge
To purge the field

                                                            Or our fate will be sealed

Monday, January 4, 2016

9/11 Memorial Museum - A Must See

Wall of Photos at 9/11 Memorial Museum
I sometimes wake up in the early morning hours in panic burdened with a semiconscious premonition that something awful has happened in the world….maybe stemming from being a 24/7 intensive care doctor for three decades.  This one morning, my fear was realized.  It was 4AM Hawaii Time on September 11th, 2001, and for some reason, which still eludes me, I turned on the TV. 

Then with the rest of the world watching, we witnessed the surreal events of 9/11. I missed Act 1, but the aftermath of the ill fated plane smashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center was just as shocking with large plumes of smoke shooting wildly in every direction, blazing out of control. Rapidly, a thick hailstorm of grey soot blanketed the sky, replacing the sea of clear blue sky of the bight early morning day.  Each particle of rubble represented a fragment from the trade center, or its internal furnishings, or a bit of human charred beyond recognition.   

To everyone’s amazement, the drama and devastation did not end until the South Tower was targeted, followed by both towers imploding, and crumbling to the ground.  Everything seemed to occur in slow motion including the movement of the second plane’s inexorable path crashing into and partially through the south tower, the resultant firestorm, the mayhem, the massive tower implosions and the arresting smokescreen.  We sat there paralyzed with mouths gaping not believing what we were seeing.

The day had begun full of life and hope and color and ended, grey and opaque and dark, and obscure and final.  The transformation of that day reflected a symbolism and significance of what had happened.  America had changed forever; nearly 3000 lives were lost in the most tragic terrorist event ever occurring on US soil.  The memory of this event would last forever, and the US government would rise to the occasion to fiercely protect its citizens from future incursions and terror plots.   Or would it?????

From this day was born the substrate for the 9/11 Memorial Museum in NYC.  I won’t bore you with a longwinded description of its contents.  We purchased a VIP entrance and one hour tour.  The price was worth not having to wait in the long line to gain entrance.  The one hour guided tour was excellent, provided by a young woman who was probably 7 or 8 in 2001.  Nevertheless, she was fluid and articulate and made the experience all the more meaningful. 

This is a fabulously huge museum with its footprint etched on the original sight of the world trade center.  It emphasizes both the structural transformations as well as the personal stories of those who died on that tragic day.  I highly recommend it to EVERY AMERICAN including our US government leaders.  We spent only two hours there because we were tired.  We should have spent at least four.

We Americans need to relive this tragedy in order to maintain the importance of 9/11 on our collective conscience.  We cannot allow our senses to be dulled by time, or by some progressive, infectious fad that voices objections and decries accusations of racism whenever anyone tells the truth or voices an unpopular opinion. 

We need our world leaders to be consistent and strong to protect Americans.  We have not been protected by this administration.  America will sink deeper into harms way in its present course.  This I believe is the consensus of what Americans believe. I say this for myself, my children, my children’s children and those yet to be born. We cannot sit still passively awaiting the next tragedy to occur.   However, I fear this is exactly what will happen unless we take command of our fate.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is a must, a civic duty, an obligation that we must all experience.  There is nothing more to say………….


QM2- Last Two Pics

A Happy Day
Dancing on Christmas Evening

The QM-2 – The Final Verdict – Don’t Waste your Money!!!!!

One of the comments that Delta Airlines makes during a flight is that flyers have lots of choices when flying to any destination and to thank them for their patronage.  I suppose this public relations gimmick is also a reminder to the staff to provide customer service to its patrons.  I think Delta overall succeeds in this effort, something they have worked hard to do over the last decade in a world of real time stress, exacting timelines and fierce competition.

In the same spirit, I’ve been asking myself these last twelve days whether the pluses on the QM2 outweigh the minuses as far as my interest in returning to Cunard, at least the QM2, as a guest on a future cruise. Indeed, there are many pluses!  The Queen’s room, the Orchestra and vocalist, the dance savvy guests are the best reason for cruising on the QM2.  But other areas consistently provide great customer service including the housekeeping services in the room, the dining room – Britannia, morning and night, and the one bar that we frequented just prior to dinner every night.  In addition, the quality of the nightly entertainment is also excellent. 

But there were lots of inconsistencies in quality and service that made the QM2 experience unequal and unpleasant.  These included the Kings Court Buffet, the Front Desk, and the Social Director.  A special mention is made over the quality of the food at the Kings Court buffet, which was inconsistent, and truly mediocre overall.  To be sure, the selection of salad items was truly appalling; a better selection could be found at low-end restaurants like Ruby Tuesdays.  I love salads but could not stand the paltry selection more than once during the cruise as choice for the main course for lunch. 

A very unpleasant experience at the front desk prompted this blog that would otherwise not have materialized.  I received about as bad a treatment as anyone could get, certainly not at the level of a luxury cruise liner trying to serve its patrons.  One bad incident can reverse all of the good and kindness that was shown during the trip.  Unfortunately this is something that happens in real life all of the time.  Fortunately for Cunard, they have a lot of dedicated repeat guests that overlook the apparent deterioration in service and quality that has befallen Cunard over the last decade or two.  Ironically, the general consensus is that as costs continue to rise, service and quality continue to spiral downward.

And so I asked myself as I hobbled back to my room, how do the pluses and minuses line up in terms of my recommendation for those interested in the possibility of cruising with Cunard and the QM2.  And then I suddenly realized that that was the wrong question to ask.  The pluses are indeed irrelevant. 

There are so many choices in cruising available to the general public, and ships continue to be built at an alarming speed.  Don’t bother accepting a mediocre cruise lines like Cunard.  Cunard needs to reinvent itself back to the quality cruise line it was 175 years ago.  For now, don’t waste your money on Cunard.  Try something else and let me know what you think.  It’s amazing how some bad reviews can alter the tide of travellers and significantly affect revenue and cash flow but the reverse is also true.  As in most organizations, success and reputation provide a thin veil of comfort until the roof suddenly come crashing down, always too late for anyone to do anything about it.  You are only as good as your last cruise.  Wake up Cunard before its too late! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year – I hope

I’m writing this on New Year’s day.  It’s the morning after the New Year’s Eve party on the QM2 and most people are either in bed or sleep walking their way to the food line.  A few awake looking guests with stamina who bypassed the masses and messes of the evening celebration were making purposeful movement as if they had a plan.  I do not have a plan today other than to stay awake long enough to earn a long nap, and a day filled with nothing other than writing this messy monologue voicing my anxiety for 2016 as a year of uncertainty and surprise.

A little more on Cunard – QM2.

Last night was not my cup of tea.  Large crowds, pushing and shoving, no room on the dance floor to breathe let alone dance.  People ready to wrestle for our seats, using our table for their own purposes, and the unintelligible social director spilling a glass full of water on my tux and dance shoes with only the slightest gesture of remorse made for a fitful night.  And I’m not sure why so many people seem to be really happy that the New Year has arrived, cheering and howling as if they have just won the NYC marathon.   To be sure, I was happy in my own right, happy to be alive and well, and well off enough to be on a famous cruise ship with a lovely dance partner without a lot of worry or stress.  At the same time, 2016 brings uncertainty at many levels including how the world will shape up in an era of increased terrorism and reduced government vigilance….God help us survive Obama!

Well, the QM2 and everyone that you come into contact with: it’s all about money.   Pull a soft drink from the frig – it cost you.  Go to a show with a vocalist – meet her after and buy her latest CD.  Go to a lecture and get invited to a book signing reception after you fork over a month’s salary for the book. Buy the junk selling on the ship and make it your junk.  Nothing goes unnoticed on the QM2 – it is all recorded on that terminal bill that amounts to as much or more than the cruise itself.  These are the hidden costs of these types of cruises.  Charge me more upfront and I will accept the costs upfront.  I’m happy with that arrangement anytime.

2016: A Year of Uncertainty

I really liked 2015.  I’m sad it’s over.  It was a good year.  Of course, everything is relative.  A few injuries, a few minor hiccups at work and at life, some good and some not so good dance competitions, a new grandchild who will carry on the Easa name, happy interactions with friends and family, no BAD news regarding my health, it was a good year, a very good year.  What will 2016 bring?  The uncertainty of not knowing what will happen is both exhilarating and worrisome.

Every year that the body grows old brings upon its challenges.  Cellular mechanisms are understandably tired of fighting off the poisons that you inhale and ingest and it’s only a matter of time, luck, genetics before your cellular electronics become overwhelmed.  Not even Steve Jobs could come up with a gadget to reinvigorate your cellular metabolism.  Apoptosis or programed cell death is a biological reality, whether you come from the working class or from royalty.  You are probably better off coming from the working class who has survived the ravages and challenges of the world ala Darwin’s survival of the fittest.  Contrast that with some rich aloof pseudo intellectual self-righteous zealot who surrounds himself or herself with a protective bubble far removed from the day to day reality of the masses of struggling humans. 

Anyway, the message gleaned from the above is to live now, don’t put off what you want to do another minute….

Back to the Future:

For some reason - last night, a weary and frightening vision of 2016 emerged into my psyche as one characterized by deteriorating world order with the expansion of routine terror events fluidly oozing into American cities to the point where they are no longer shocking to Americans.  I believe the masses believe our country is no longer the world power we were; the question is how many American terrorist induced deaths will it take before will will rise up in protest and revolt?????   Obama’s latest feckless sermon to the country belies any previous inference that we are finally responding appropriately to the ever-present threat that is festering like a volcano in the Middle East.  Unlike Viet Nam where they have forgiven us for the atrocities that we were responsible for, Middle Easterners will never let go of their view that America is the Great Satan!

Another uncertainty is who will emerge as president.  Unfortunately, to my dismay, there has never been such a rotten field of contestants.   How can the country vote for such a lying self-serving witch?  How can the country vote for a loose cannon bully who is as spontaneous and irresponsible in his words as his opponent is calculated?  But maybe the Big D is a democrat conspiracy, designed to insure that the big H is our next pres…  It wouldn’t surprise me if H paid off a few million Dems from the Clinton foundation to identify themselves as Republicans in order to prop up the Big D to where he is in the poles.  Well the good news is that we will get two for the price of one.  While H schemes up her stew of new federal regulations to impose on the American people, B will run free to philander and pillage like he is best suited to do.  Thank God he is at least a vegetarian. 

Predictions for the Future:

I predict that all of those pundits in the business of predicting the future will be wrong and that there will be a number of shocking surprises for us this EVEN year, the year of 2016.