Archive for January, 2007

Effective immediately Crystal Cruises are now trans-fat free. Crystal is the first cruise line in the world to ban trans fats on its ships.  According to a Crystal press release, Crystal’s chefs “have removed all trans fats in favor of more than a dozen trans-fat-free oils, including sesame seed, pumpkin seed, walnut seed, corn oil, and several olive oils… The changes have been incorporated across the ships’ menus and restaurants and include everything from French fries to salad dressings…

Crystal’s crew galleys are now trans-fat free as well. In keeping with its commitment to more healthful lifestyle choices for its crew, Crystal Cruises is focusing on crew menus with more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and offering crew-only wellness classes and sporting activities.”

As a side note, Mary and I recently returned from a Crystal cruise and agree that it was the best food we’ve ever had on a cruise ship and some of it was the best food we’d ever had, period.  If you like steak, Crystal has amazingly wonderful steaks.

This morning I rolled over in bed and Mary said, “No!” “No?” I asked, wondering why I wasn’t allowed to roll over, and then she said, “Snow!” One of the greatest things about working for yourself is being able to change your mind about how you’re going to spend your day. Instead of getting straight to work, we went out and walked in the snow, wishing we had sleds or x-country skis – WHY didn’t we get sleds when we were at Target on Saturday??? Then we came back and got in the hot tub in the back yard. It’s wonderful sitting in the hot tub in the snow. It’s not so wonderful getting in and out of the hot tub in the snow.

When it was time to get to work we both found ourselves to be highly unmotivated. We watched a video on of a bunch of cars crashing into each other in the snow. (The video is titled “15 car collisions caught on tape by KGW viewer”) Kind of an amazing sight. Then we watched a video on YouTube about a fat cat from Portland who got stuck in a doggy door last week. Soon it was time to stop for lunch. After lunch, I got an email about JetBlue having a sale through January 19. That caused us to plan a trip to New York to see our friends Inga and Jennie and Bob and to purchase airline tickets that we can’t afford.

While all this hard work was going on, we heard helicopters circling overhead. My newshound girlfriend kept looking out the window and saying, “Those are news choppers.  I wonder what’s going on…” Not one to just wonder, she checked the web and the local channels and eventually came upstairs to tell me that there was footage on tv of a wreck – 2 Tri-Met buses and 6 cars on our very street at the bottom of the hill. We did what all good American citizens would do in such a situation; put on our snowgear and walk down the hill to take a look. On the way down the hill we ran into our neighbor Betty who was returning from taking a gawk herself. We love our neighbor Betty and one of the reasons we love her is that when Multnomah County briefly allowed us to marry in March of 2004, when many heterosexual people we knew were strangely quiet about the whole thing, she stopped by to ask us if we had married and the following year remembered the date and wished us a Happy Anniversary.

Anyway, we chatted with Betty for a while and then continued on down the hill where it was quite a sight – 6 cars by the side of the road, accordioned between 2 buses, and a lot of gawkers like us. Mary felt a few drops that she thought might be freezing rain and she was worried that the sidewalk would get too icy for us to walk back up the hill so we walked a ways up and then turned around to watch the attempt to tow the bus out of the snow. Soon we were joined by… one of the bus drivers! We could not have been more excited. We felt like we were talking to a celebrity. She told us the whole story – how her shift had only begun at 1:00 and this was her first (and ultimately last) attempt of the day to get up the hill, and a kid or animal ran in front of the bus and she braked and then lost her traction and slid down the hill. She said no one on the bus was injured and she told them all, “Hold on because we’re going to hit something.” They hit one car and a pole. At first she thought she had hit all six cars that were there, but later her supervisor got those people to admit that they had already been in a wreck before the bus came along. That would have been nice – get Tri-Met to pay for the damage! The other bus was right behind her when she started sliding backwards and he slid backwards also, but didn’t hit any cars. He may have ended up in someone’s front yard. We didn’t venture far enough down to see the second bus very closely.

We had a lovely time chatting with the bus driver and then she said she was cold so she was going to go down and wait on the bus. Once they were able to pull it up the hill she was going to have to drive it back to the garage. We started to walk home but then we saw they were actually making some headway pulling the bus so we stood to watch as they got the bus up the hill. We then started walking home but stopped again when we saw our busdriver friend slowly driving the bus up the street. We stopped to watch and wave to her and she waved back to all of us along the street like royalty. It was great fun. Then as we were walking home, Mary said, “You should write about this in the blog, so we’ll always remember it.”

I said, “Why don’t you write about it?”

“Because it’s your blog.” She always says that, which is a nice excuse to get me to write everything. “And plus, I will make the mashed potatoes if you write about it.” So there you go. It’s been a lovely snow day and I have accomplished very little, but that’s the pleasure of a snow day.