Bag of Randomness

  • Jerry Lewis is retiring as the Labor Day telethon host and the telethon itself is changing with the times.  Back in the day, when most of America only had a limited amount of channels to choose from, that format probably made a lot of sense, but now with all the channels, the Internet, streaming movies, and DVD’s – there’s no way it can compete.
  • Your first look at Ed Harris as John McCain for the book turned HBO movie Game Change.
  • Seth MacFarlane is rebooting the Flintstones.
  • Barry’s blog no longer has all text in bold.
  • Major League Baseball will have inter-league baseball this weekend.  For you non-sports fans, unlike other sports where teams will play every team in both leagues each season (except for football since the season isn’t long enough, but nothing keeps teams from playing others from opposing leagues), baseball for the longest time only had American League teams play against each other while National League teams play each other, with the best of each playing the other in the World Series.  That meant an American League team like the Rangers would never play a National League team like the Dodgers unless they met in the World Series, but thanks to a few weeks of inter-league play, fans get to experience teams they normally wouldn’t get to see.  All of that to say, the Chicago Cubs will play the Boston Red Sox since they last time they met in the World Series, back in 1918.  Just think of everything that has occurred since those two last played each other.
  • Those Russian police cadets are eye catching., pic 19
  • I have zero desire to ever go on a cruise because I have too much respect (fear) of the ocean and don’t like the idea of being stuck on one vessel no matter how large.  A friend and his wife recently went on a Baltic or European cruise and the ship lost power.  To entertain themselves, they started to send their friends updates via their cell phones.  I’ve cut and pasted their emails after the jump if you are interested, and names have been changed to protect the innocent  What I found interesting was thanks to modern technology, that is GPS, they could actually tell where they were at in the world.

Subject: Still Drifting

Well we’re rounding out 30 hours since encountering the ‘electrical problem’ that has crippled our ship (MSC Opera) while enroute to our final stop. Today we’ve been without any power/water/toilets and we’ve been completely adrift without engines. It’s 1:pm now and we’ve had a couple of meals of cold-cut sandwiches and pastries. No hot water for tea & coffee and the ship is out of my favorite, Diet Coke. Again, we’re still safe and OK.

This morning, a ship with a ‘Technician’ onboard raced to us and docked along side to fix our problem. Shortly after, the sound of an engine starting–followed quickly by silence as it died, was heard on all of the upper decks. No engine sounds have been heard since. The emergency generator on the upper deck continues to run.

Just now, an announcement was made that advised us that ‘repairs are continuing’ but now a tug is enroute to take us ‘closer to shore’. Hmmm…. Fortunately, the weather is sunny & mild and people are able to get out of the cabins and go outside.

An angry British woman (one of MANY) is establishing a list of people to bring suit against the company, MSC–it seems she feels a 30% discount on the next cruise and a free bottle of water is inadequate compensation for the last days’ events. There is an impressive line forming to sign and news of this ‘sign-up’ has spread quickly. I’m curious how the company will ultimately respond.

The crew ‘worker bees’ are doing what they can to keep people comfortable and they are doing it with class.

I can’t predict when/how we’ll get home, but stay tuned for more. Let me know if you see us on Fox news!

Take care!

Gary and Shellie


Subject: It continues….

5:30pm. In another downturn of events, the ship has drifted within 9 miles of the Swedish Gotland islands (thank you Garmin GPS). Moments ago, all of the fire doors on the ship closed. Again, no power on our ship. It’s very spooky aboard.

At 4:pm, a gathering of ‘the english speakers’ gathered at the 5th floor reception area (2 story atrium & giant staircase, packed) in what resembled a 1960’s protest — demanding to see the captain. We haven’t seen or heard from him since this began! We’ve all signed a petition demanding refunds and I have an impressive video of the event. The leader of the event is a British lawyer. Standby for more.

Just now, an announcement was made that created more questions than answers. They didn’t address the fire doors closing, but said that at 9:pm tonight a tug will meet us and take us to Stockholm (110 miles away, thank you again, Garmin) and we will await further information.

So that is what we know now. We’ll lose cell reception during the night and we still don’t know what will happen when/if we finally arrive in Stockholm. We know ‘snacks only’ will be available for dinner tonight.

I’m pretty sure this won’t make US news–by my guess only 1 or 2 dozen people here are Americans.

Stay tuned, I’ll be in touch.

Gary and Shellie


Subject: Under Tow

Tug boat is here. Being towed ‘dark & powerless’ to Stockholm, just over 100 miles away at a painful 6.5 mph. We expect to be met by a crisis team (me and 2,000 of my new closest friends) and we’ll hope for the best to get back to Dallas.

Going out of cell/email range now.

Standby for more in a day or two…..

Gary and Shellie

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