Cruise: (v) to sail about on a pleasure trip.

I stumbled upon a little piece of personal revelation, which after much thought, might just end up being worthy of universal application.

(Not everything I think falls into this category. Many things that I pursue pertain mostly to me, and would not be helpful or even interesting, to an outsider.)

For instance, my daily regimen in approaching healthy eating would certainly bore the most prideful listener.

But what I’ve discovered is that nothing in life has immediate appeal—nor is it dead-on-arrival.

Each one of us ends up talking ourselves into everything.

So it only stands to reason that we talk ourselves out of other things.

For me, one of those things is a cruise on a ship.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with such an adventure. There have even been television shows produced extolling the pleasures of food, fun and romance—even promising that the boat itself might just be “love.”

But somehow or another I have talked myself out of this.

I talked myself into being a musician. Honestly, there’s little that’s more tedious.

I convinced myself of the glories of fatherhood. Yet this did not happen until children were afoot.

But I’ve also talked myself out of… Let me see:

How about a daily run? I think a daily run would be possible for me if there were someone trailing me slowly in a jeep, firing a machine gun at my heels. Yes, I would need adequate motivation.

So as I think about a cruise, the following four things immediately annoy me:

  1. Walking up the plank to get on.

I don’t know why. It just seems like I’m lining up in a prison yard for daily gruel.

  1. Cramped quarters.

To make money, a cruise ship must have little cabins, and of course, the smaller they make them the more people they can put onto the ship, and therefore, the more profit.

I am a big man, constantly perturbed by living in a medium world.

  1. A constant barrage of food.

Perhaps I’m odd, but after I eat, the last thing I want to do is go dancing in the Mambo Room.

Doesn’t that sound horrible? Where is the time for digestion?

  1. And finally, the pool.

If the boat is for love, then people are peering extra carefully at one another for the potential of unexplainable romantic entanglements.

When I go swimming, I’m thinking more about cannonballs and floating. Probably not the mindset of Carnivale.

So you see, I have not given a cruise a chance—because I have convinced myself that it is not worthy of my consideration.

I probably should have done that with bologna and sausage years ago.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAdmiral (n): a commander of a fleet or naval squadron or a naval officer of very high rank.

I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit that when the word “admiral” comes to my mind, I think of Halsey–and only because Paul McCartney wrote a song mentioning him. You know–where they sing that real high part–Hands Across the Water.

Isn’t that weird?

I don’t even know exactly what Paul says about Admiral Halsey. It’s in a thick British accent and is about some sort of pie, maybe.

I have watched enough movies to know that an admiral is a guy who sits in his own boat about three hundred miles away from the battle and radios messages to his fleet, which is getting blown out of the water by shells, telling them stupid things like, “Don’t give up the ship.”

You know what the problem is with leadership? The word itself has a confusing blending. First of all, we’re assuming that someone should BE a leader–and then, that they should be in charge of the ship. I guess that’s what an admiral is–he is an actual leaderSHIP.

So how do you know if someone’s a good admiral, using excellent leaderSHIP?

1. The boat should be afloat. I think it’s a telltale sign of bad “admiraling” when you’re taking in water.

2. Everyone on deck should know what their job is and not be confused if the question is posed.

3. All those who work on the ship should have a nice balance between love of the admiral and terrified of him if they fail to do their duty.

4. A good admiral should be able to get you to your destination quickly if so needed.

An admiral–a leaderSHIP.

Without such an efficient being at the helm?  Well  … we’re all sunk.


by J. R. Practixdictionary with letter A

Abeam:  adv. on a line at right angles to a ship’s or an aircraft’s length.

The only trouble with right-wing ideas is that they make left-wing notions appear sane.

Nowadays there is a great thrust to take the direction, spirituality and even artistry of our country abeam.  We are trying to create a right angle and in the process ending up with ideas that are left behind.

It’s really quite simple–since we can’t go back and change anything and the future is yet to be determined, someone needs to have the intelligence to get us to pursue matters in the present. Without this, we have a tendency to go abeam. We try to play it safe. We try to mimic things we saw during our upbringing which appeared to be more righteous. Actually we were just surrounded by hidden sin, which is not that different from burying a turd in a cake.

On the other hand, there are those who think the best procedure in dealing with human beings is to allow complete liberty with no restraints, granting each and every person the innate excuse of “being born a certain way”–which forces them into a behavior seemingly beyond their control.

I don’t know if there is a left angle, but maybe I can rename that abomb.

So in an attempt to prevent us from going abeam–too much at a right angle–or abomb–a left turn on red–we really require some simple-minded folks who will just steer the ship for today, without consulting the manual from former times or speculating on which way the river will turn tomorrow.

Otherwise, I think we’re just destined to go abeam. Or maybe … abomb.

To do my part, I will honor three ideas:

  1. Yesterday wasn’t better, or we wouldn’t be doing half the things we do today.
  2. Tomorrow is not the end of the world or even the beginning. It’s just what we make it.
  3. Do the best with the supplies we have in front of us today.

This will probably keep us from going abeam or abomb.

I don’t know how popular the approach will be–because it’s not crazy.

And it seems that nowadays a certain amount of insanity is necessary to draw a crowd.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abaft: {nautical} adv. in or behind the stern of a ship. prep. nearer the stern than; behind: the yacht has a shower just abaft the galley.

It was weird.

One morning I put on my sweat pants backwards. I knew almost immediately–because the tag was in the front. Tags aren’t supposed to be in the front. They’re supposed to be abaft.

See, I found that out this morning.

Stubbornly, I decided not to take my pants off and put the tag abaft. It bothered me all day. I became convinced that my crotch was being crushed by a lack of cloth which was intended to caress my backside, and was now kissing up to my front portions.

It was so annoying that when I saw a public restroom in a shopping center, I went into the bathroom, took off my pants to turn them around.  As I was disrobing, another fellow walked in and saw me pantless. His eyes twinkled, obviously seeking an explanation.

“A religious practice,” I stated, making the symbol of the cross on my chest.

Though bewildered, he continued about his business and I restored my pants to normalcy.

Likewise, I once heard an English professor refer to the US as a backward nation because we still cling to our religious fervor. I smiled. I thought about how many times we refer to other countries as backward, and now to have ourselves thrust abaft was unnerving.

I have never used the term again.

Also, at one time we called people who were shy backward. Now we insist they have some attention deficit disorder and give them a pill. Obviously, medication is thrust forward and never abaft.

There are many things I wish were abaft. Prejudice. Anger. Violence. Stupidity presented as pseudo-intellectualism. I-Phones that don’t seem to have a “we” application. And for that matter–back to the original definition–being stern. Yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we actually WERE abaft to being stern? If we realistically stopped thinking that serious faces have deeper thoughts?  Yes, let’s put THAT abaft.

And for the record, I became so obsessed with my sweat pants and which way to put them on that I took a pair of scissors and snipped the tag. Sometimes it’s just better to be ignorant than obsessed.

Yes, obsession of that sort should be abaft.