"" Writer's Wanderings: April 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts--the video

Okay, I will be the first to admit it--I'm easily distracted when a new "toy" is tossed my way. This morning I read Brandilyn Collin's blog and she reported finding a new way to make free 30 second videos with still pictures. It is totally awesome! So I spent the morning playing. Here's what I came up with:

View the Videos

For those of you who regularly read my blog and couldn't get the videos to play, I have fixed them on the two posts about the QE2. For some reason You Tube wouldn't upload while I was on the ship.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Remembering the Titanic

Aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, we crossed over the exact spot where the Titanic sits on the bottom of the North Atlantic. The date was April 14—ninety-six years after the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank early the next morning. In the cold and rain and amidst somewhat rough seas, the officers of the QE2 placed a wreath in the water in memory of those who lost their lives.

It wasn’t hard to imagine how terrifying it must have been in the dark with the April weather as it is and the ship slowly sinking. But as terrible as the tragedy was, Commodore Warwick (retired Cunard captain of the QE2 and QM2) reminded us in a lecture of the changes that were brought about world wide because of that loss.

There is now an iceberg patrol which is why we happened this trip to be on the southerly crossing course. It is faster to go by a more northerly course but the ice this year had forced our crossing further to the south and thus over the Titanic. Commodore Warwick said he felt the captain of the Titanic was following a southerly course as a matter of safety. In all his years of transatlantic crossing, Warwick said he only saw ice this far south two or three times.

The other safety measures of course include having enough lifeboats for all aboard and measures for safe evacuation. No ship will ever again be considered “unsinkable.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

QE2 makes last sail from NYC

On Saturday, April 12, we boarded the Queen Elizabeth 2 for its last transatlantic New York to Southampton crossing. Our departure from Manhattan Dock 92 was delayed a bit since fog had kept the QE2 from meeting her early morning arrival time. In exchange, we received a spectacular view of NYC as the sun set and the lights came on. It was as magical as sailing out of Hong Kong last October. We were accompanied by a NYC fireboat most of the way in full watery regalia.

The QE2 will make a few more voyages including one back to NYC from Southampton but then will continue on to its final destination in Dubai where it will become a floating hotel like the original Queen Mary in Los Angeles.

Today, the fourteenth of April, we are due to pass over the spot where the Titanic sits miles under the ocean surface. Hopefully, I will be able to post pictures of the wreath laying tomorrow. Please be assured—we have seen no icebergs this trip.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Starbucks Bowl

Last week I attended the Erma Bombeck Humor Workshop in Dayton. It was a great writers conference. Garrison Keillor, Connie Schultz, and Martha Bolton spoke. Keillor is a great story teller. You just wind him up and he goes forever.

I attended a workshop called Raising Your Humor Writing IQ led by Dr. Mark Shatz. One of the exercises he had us do was centered on Starbucks. Here's some of what I came up with:

The Starbucks Bowl

Word has it that beer will be replaced at football stadiums with Starbucks coffee. Football fans will belly-up to the barista and be able to order a Frothy Five Yarder--one shot of five different flavors.

Souvenir Starbucks hats will be available as well. They will replace the ever popular beer hats that are worn on the top of the head with long plastic straws for sipping your favorite brew. The Starbucks hats will serve a greater purpose than just refreshing the football fan. The hot coffee will also warm the fan's head.

Dollar beer night will be replaced by dollar Venti night. Vendors in the stands will be equipped to froth your lattes with the new portable mini-cappuccino machine.

The best news of all. . .a new NCAA championship football game will become part of the post season schedule--the Starbucks Bowl! Instead of the winners proclaiming a trip to Disney World, however, they will all be saying, "I"m goin' to Starbucks!"

(Hope I've made you smile.)
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