Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

November 12, 2019

FOR THE CREW OF THE ROTTERDAM!

... this journal entry is special for the crew of the m.s. rotterdam ...

... i have set up a public folder with web-use quality files of the pictures from the voyage each of you has worked so hard to make a wonderful experience for my brother and me ... you can access this folder by clicking on (it will open in a new browser window or tab:


... the actual url to the folder is:


... i tried the links and they worked just fine ... look for a menu that allows you to select "direct download," that'll give you the original web-quality file ...

... i take pictures for people to enjoy, so it would please me greatly if you would share with your friends and family these links:



... when i return home and have access to high-speed internet i will post a link on this journal to a new folder containing all the print-quality files of these pictures for you to download ... i imagine that will be around the end of november sometime ... if you would like to be notified when i've posted these, simply send your email address to me in the little note box on the right side of this journal page, or, if you prefer, you can do so by sending an email to me at:


... finally, as i have previously stated, these images are for you to enjoy ... you may use them as you like ... my only request is that you leave my initials intact on the images, and, should it happen that you use an image for commercial purposes, please credit me ...

... there you go ... !!! ... any questions, i'm in 2521, or, if i'm not, then for the rest of the voyage most likely i'll be either in the lido cafe or stern deck hot tub ...

... now, a few of my recent photographs ...

... first, i'll take care of the super-super-serious pictures ...
    
  

... there, now that that's out of the way, i'll take care of all the really-really sad people onboard ...
    
     

... hmmmmm, okay, not so sad—let me try again ...

    
 

... right, but if there are no sad people in this crew, for sure there's at least one very "i'm a wild and crazy guy" on board ...

    

... while everyone goes ashore to buy trinkets and eat—as if anyone needs to do that after spending time in the lido cafe—some of the crew get right to work fixin' things up ... while one brave worker hangs precariously by a rope to wash the rotterdam, another is making a phone call, "hey, pa, you are right ... soon as these guys started washing the ship the rain clouds headed towards us" ...
     

... "hey, i've got an idea ... let's make a surprise and paint it bright orange ... that's their favorite color so i'm sure they will like it" ...
     

... speaking of "favorite things," i'm going to have a most difficult time going back to the hum-drum of a life in which i cannot pick up the phone, dial 92, and two glasses of ice tea will magically appear ... [big sigh] ... hopefully i'll remember how to boil water ...
     

... another performance of the fabulous indonesian show ...
     
   
... i wonder if he sits in his cabin practicing, "ladies and gentlemen, a little word about today's activities—they've been canceled ... we seem to have ever-so-gently scraped against a tiny little iceberg and the captain informs us that this would be a good time for a really fun lifeboat drill ... how exciting ... don't forget to bring your eyeglasses so you can read a book while we continue the voyage in the comfort of our marvelous orange mini-cruisers" ... (just joking, he's got an all-time great announcer's voice) ...
     

... so graceful ...
     

... i think the captain should hire them to give lessons ...
     

... so graceful—well, maybe not as good as the ladies, but he sure loves to dance around while he's singin' ...
     

... some serious co-ordination ...
     

... they move so fast, i wonder if any of them ever get a thumb in their eye ...
     

... good thing the children go to bed before the show, 'cause if they watched him they'd be sure to have nightmares ...
     

... the talented "shake the sticks and make music" band ...

     

... more smiles ...
     

... "we're cool, we're cool" ...
     

... i might nominate these two for "most charming smiles" ...
     

... she makes my meals about more'n just food ...
     

... two of the "welcome aboard" people ...
     

... i think one of these guys is the skipper—which would make the other one gilligan  ...
     

... she said, "there's only one way you can make these two look good" ...
     

... their motto is "service with a smile" ...
     

... hmmmmm, serious work or—or angry birds ... ??? ...
     

... i think he wanted to hitch a ride—to get to my little home on the sea it's a long, long walk down that passageway ...
     

... "okay, you got me—but i'm a guy that needs a challenge, so it's not that silly bird game, it's a classic ... snood ..."
     

... i'm learning their names, honest, but i've got to start carrying a little notebook to write them down so i can study for the exam ...
     

... "do you want your salad tossed" ...
     

... just before lunch, what seemed to be an intense "get it right" conference ...
     

... in the middle of the sea, a little stowaway—or, perhaps, just another steerage passenger ...
     

... more pictures to come, for now i'll part with a look at the last land we'll be seeing for—well, we're going to sail right through the middle of the bermuda triangle, so let's just hope it's only a week before we get to florida (i saw that movie) ...
     

... "g'night from europe, next stop north america" ...




... p.s. didn't see your picture ... ??? ... don't worry, we've still a week of sailing ... also, don't be shy, ask and i'll snap a photo of you ... !!! ...

November 7, 2019

AT SEA: THE CREW WHO CARE FOR ME

  [P.S. CREW MEMBERS: please, please-please-please, go ahead and send the "www.patrickgroleau.com" or "https://patrickgroleau.blogspot.com" links to your family and friends back home ... these images are for all of you to share and enjoy ... later, most likely around the beginning of december, i will post on my journal a link to a public folder where you will be able to download the full-quality print-versions of these photographs ... and, again, thank you]   

... my first thought was to use the word "staff" in the this entry's title ... then i thought about all the emergency drills i see them doing while we're in port, of the workers i find out on deck in the middle of the night painting, varnishing, repairing, and neatly stacking fresh deckchair towels in the bins, of the precise coordination with which they go about their tasks ... after that i realized that the word "crew" was most apt ... in in the military i worked like this, and, as a teacher, after the kids it was the best part of my career that a small group of teachers and i worked this way, so it's easy for me to say that if i had to work on a ship i would want it to be in an atmosphere such as these wonderful people create ...

... he'll slice the beef/turkey/pork/whatever any way that i want ...
    
    
... i doubt if it's humanely possible to fake such enjoyment ...
    
    
... wayan is one of the two stewards who daily care for me, "everything okay" seems to be his motto, call sign, and mantra ...
    
    

... heri is some kind of nija stealth steward ... i think there's a little secret door he hides behind twenty-four hours a day ... POP ... out of nowhere, there he is ... "do you need anything, mr. patrick ... how was your day ... is everything good" ... he leaves me extra chocolates and sets funny towel animals on my bed ... i enjoy him, and i've a good sense that should our roles be reversed i would do so just as much ('cept, of course, i've not a clue how to make an elephant out of two bath towels) ...
    
   
... i think prasetya was delivering to the posh-people deck (then again, i've a feeling that more'n a few residing alongside me in steerage might avail themselves of his services) ...
    
    
... i caught maria by surprise as she was cleaning the hot tub shower ...
    
    
... to work away the night with such a smile, wonderful ...
    
    
... the pool area bar person, he doesn't get much business from me ...
    
    
... i spent twenty minutes watching the ballet-like choreography an obviously well-trained team cleaning the wooden deck in the pool area ... in a second i'd hire them to work at my swimming pool ...
    
    
... crisel (?) and co-worker, obviously a team ...
    
    
... utami, which i think is derived from the indonesian word for "important/essential" ... then again, what do i know other'n she most delightfully takes care of me in the lido cafe ...
    
    
... i'm blanking on her name, but what i'll never forget is how she makes my meals absolutely the poshest of times ...
    
    
... one of the cafe managers, i believe ...
    
    
... a head chef, himself working the line to prepare some fish ...
    
    
... anthony helps tend the bar at the back stern of the ship ...
    
    
... middle of the night, taking care of a tiny little spot in the carpet ...
    
    
... roy is a most charming maitre'd (from the french "maitre de hotel") ...
    
    
... for me, her giggle is a kind of dessert topping ...
    
    
... trixie, i think, is just a tiny bit shy ...
    
    
... per your desires darwin serves up a perfect salad ...
    
    
... one of the middle-of-the-night crew lining up the chairs—lining them up with geometric precision, i might add ...
    
    
... i'm going to have to run into him again to get his name, but i'll not forget the moment he took from his work to give a quick smile for my camera ...
    

... adji is a housekeeping supervisor, but after watching him manage his deck crew i knew i'd be comfortable if he was the captain (which i thought he was) ...
    
    
... okay, a couple dozen down, only 600+ to go ... now, all i've got to do is figure a way to sneak into the "you can't go here" places ...
    
... i've seen places before, i've been eating food all my life, hot tubs and fresh made beds and good service are not new experiences for me ... the concern and charm with which all of these wonderful people are taking care of me, however, that is something of which i will always consider among my life's many fabulous experiences ...