Monday, March 21, 2011
Another Day, Another Dollar
We are sneaking up on Africa as we speed across the Atlantic Ocean. Soon, we will be at the port of Mindelo on Cape Verde Island. That’s several days off, though, so we have more nothing ahead of us.
After a relaxed breakfast, we went to the Ocean Bar to read, talk and post the latest blog entry. This was followed at 11:30 by the hardest Trivia contest so far, perhaps the hardest in years. Some of the questions were so obscure that they cannot be printed here because they made no sense at the time. Here goes:
1. What are two colors are most often confused by people who are color blind?
2. Which penguins are the biggest?
3. Who sang “Don’t Go Breakin” My Heart” with Elton John?
4. Who was the first Quaker US president?
5. In the following series of numbers, what is the median? 0,0 1, 3, 6
6. Who is the patron saint of children?
7. In five card stud poker, the odds are 4161:1 against getting dealt what kind of hand?
8. Whose slogan was, “A diamond is forever?”
9. Who wrote “Captain, My Captain?”
10. What are the smallest pieces of icebergs called?
11. Which company trademarked the color “robin’s egg blue?”
12. What do you call a government run by rich people?
13. [BONUS] What are the three kinds of caviar harvested from sturgeon?
As if the questions were not hard enough, today’s bonus was a plus-or-minus. We would add a point for each correct answer but lose a point for each incorrect answer. Teams could add as many as three points or lose as many as three from their totals. The game became even harder when one of Kevin’s answers was wrong, penalizing folks who were right and rewarding those who didn’t really know. Ken and Lois’s team, which has been out of the running the last few days, won with a score of 13/18! We tied with seven other teams with 8/18 and still finished second! Poor Kevin gave us all Grand dollars, but we might have broken the bank. We think he is enjoying stumping us as much as we enjoy playing.
We lost an hour today as we headed east. Rather than make the change at 2:00 a.m., we set our watches ahead at noon so we did not lose any sleep. We will do the same thing tomorrow when we pass through another time zone.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Uneasy Lies the Head
The sea-day routine continued for another day – breakfast, Trivia, lunch, read/rest, dinner. We are inexorably eating our way to Africa.
There were, apparently, several CC members [who shall remain nameless] who were miffed because they were not invited as CC leader to the reception the other night. They are welcome to the job if, in fact, they are willing to put in the time. First, there was the compiling and consolidating of the member list. Then there was the problem of figuring out how to print it, followed by their printing and distribution. Today’s chore was working to get reminders sent to each member for next week’s gathering.
The Beverage Manager, Peter, is responsible for the printing and distribution of invitations, but he normally has the passengers flagged by group on the manifest delivered by HAL’s offices in Seattle. It is easy to identify them when AmEx or Cruise Specialists gives them the information; organizations like these know ahead of time which of their members/customers will be on board. The Cruise Critic group is largely unknown until we meet for the first time. We add new members as we go along; do not have full names of all of the participants; and sometimes do not even have cabin numbers. Peter agreed to print invitations, which D wrote, and have them delivered based on the cabin numbers on D’s chart. Some people will invariably be left off and will be petty about it; it has happened before.
Once all of that was arranged, it was almost 1130, Trivia Time. Kevin continued his sadistic streak today. Although there was a 4-way tie for first at 11/19, we were a distant 3rd at 8 again. We still had more fun than anyone else.
1. We call them Arabic numerals. Where were they developed?
2. What city sits on top of the world’s largest oil deposit?
3. Who won the NFL’s first overtime game?
4. At over a million dollars, what company now offers the world’s most expensive car?
5. An opera singer is considered to have sung ‘the Grand Slam” by performing in which venues in Milan, New York City, London and Vienna?
6. Who was Tom Cruise’s second wife?
7. What vitamin is used to treat pellagra?
8. Most languages have dictionaries. How many have a thesaurus?
9. What date in January is celebrated in Australia like the 4th of July in the US?
10. What bird has the widest wing span?
11. In which decade of the 20th Century did Mauritania abolish slavery?
12. What was the first disease associated with a virus?
13. Which company used the slogan, “Does she or doesn’t she?”
14. What branch of astronomy deals with the creation of the universe?
Lunch, reading and resting followed Trivia. Around 6:00, D went to talk with the Future Cruise Consultant, Tina, who happens to be CD Thom’s wife. He finalized deposits on cabins for a Christmas cruise with the whole family in case the children are interested. The reasoning was that it is easier to cancel before final payment than try to book several adjacent cabins [or any cabins] at the last minute.
Off to dinner. Peter stopped by to visit and we invited him to join us one night. We hope he will; he has a good sense of humor and would be a fun dinner companion. After dinner we went back to the cabin. We weren’t too interested in the Scottish comedian. We know what’s under his kilt. When we got to the cabin, there was another little present, an adjustable shoulder bag good for carrying identification, key card, money, etc. The other night we got a card case sized to hold room key cards [Did I mention that one already?].
Tomorrow: Mindelo, Cape Verde