two Newsletters in August
August 2008 SSQQ
Written by Rick Archer
Okay, sports fans, here's the latest and greatest. I will try to
send another one out next week as well!
AUGUST DANCE PARTY ONE: SALSA TROPICAL
Saturday, August 16, 9 pm - Midnight (and possibly even later),
cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES FROM 7-9 pm (to register, just show up and sign in at
$15 Person, $25 Couple
BEG SALSA - Alex
BEG MERENGUE - Jill
CUMBIA/TEJANO - Luis
BACHATA - Linda
INTERMEDIATE SALSA PTNS - Martin
SALSA DIPS AND LUNGES - Steve (couples only)
I see that Linda Cook is busy getting some of her dancers ready for
another big performance at this party. Linda asks me to remind you
to all to bring some food and be prepared to dance late into the
Music: Salsa in Room 1
Dress Island or You won't leave Smilin' !
AUGUST DANCE PARTY TWO: THE BEACH BALL WESTERN PARTY
Saturday, August 23, 9 pm - Midnight (and possibly even later),
cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES FROM 7-9 pm (to register, just show up and sign in at
$15 Person, $25 Couple
BEG TWOSTEP - Linda
BEG WESTERN WALTZ - Jill
RICK'S FAVORITE GHOST TOWN PATTERNS - Rick
DIRTY DANCING - Ben (couples only)
BEG WEST COAST SWING - Joe/Patty
BALLROOM DANCING FOR THE AUGUST CRUISE - Marla
Dress: Wear Hawaiian Shirts, Sun Dresses, Shorts, or Bathing Suit
Pullovers. In fact, anything tropical & colorful is fine. All we
care about is that you wear something so loud you can barely hear
the music. Or wear something so skimpy (grass skirts/
bikinis/nothing at all) we won't even care if music is playing!!
If you are new to the studio, let me start by telling you this
party is one of our three biggest parties of the year (Halloween
and Sock Hop are the other two).
For starters, this is a "two parties in one" Dance Party! This
will be a combination Western and Whip Party - we will have the
dancing going in two rooms all night long. We will have Western
music in Room 1 including Waltz, Swing and Cha Cha music. In
addition there will be West Coast Swing and Hustle music in Room 4.
The Beach Ball is traditionally a very wild party.
One reason this party is so big is that it takes place the night
before the big Caribbean dance cruise pushes off. We have 150
people or so going on this year's trip. Most of those crazies
think this party is the start of their trip! Some people even
bring their luggage with them to the party. They are already set
on "Cruise Control".
Or should I say "out of control"?
After all, the Cruisers are already on Vacation and they don't feel
any need to behave! Whatever they do wrong, hopefully no one will
remember when they come back a week later.
Plus they don't even have to get up in the morning. We just send
the cruise bus over to pick up the bodies. The few remaining sober
people carry the bodies onto the bus and the cruise begins!
As a result, we expect 150 people to be at this party, but it could
easily surpass 200.
And even if you aren't going on this cruise, so what, you will
enjoy feeding off of the insanity. The party itself will be
marvelous fun. And then you can join us next year!
One more reason to attend: Many of the women will be scantily
clad. Need I say more??
One favor to ask: Bring food. This is going to be a big party.
The more fuel we have, the wilder it gets! Thanks.
THE WILD AND CRAZY CARIBBEAN DANCE CRUISE LEAVES ON AUGUST 24
I just realized this upcoming dance cruise will be the Studio's
Fourteenth Cruise together!
Isn't that a remarkable total? Our trips just keep getting bigger
I would personally like to thank my talented wife Marla for her
hard work and skill at putting these events together. I may be the
only one who is in a position to see just how much time and effort
Marla puts into making sure these events come off smoothly. I know
she gets overwhelmed sometimes with all the questions and with the
people who change their mind on a daily basis. If anything, with
the success of her cruises Marla's job has gotten harder, not
I deeply appreciate all the good will Marla has created over the
years with her cruise projects. In the process, Marla has
literally created an entire community of friends.
We have 112 returning guests this year. Think about that number.
112. That seems like quite an endorsement of people's confidence
in Marla's work. It is such a luxury to have Marla put these trips
together, make sure all the details are taken care of, and get
things organized. As a result, the rest of us - me included - are
able to just show up knowing that everything is under control
because we have a leader we can count on!
I am proud of my wife. Can you tell?
We had our pre-cruise meeting yesterday. There were so many people
there, we had to move the group into Room One for the first time.
We had people stretched from one end to the other... and only half
the people going showed up! It is obvious we have a monster-size
group this year.
Here is an amusing fact. Marla says our group is so big, our
cabins occupy practically the entire 8th floor of the ship! This
phenomenon is explained by the fact that Marla got upgrades for 98%
of the group.
Apparently Carnival has noticed the size of our group too. Marla
reports that after last year, they were so impressed they have been
much more helpful this year. Not only did they give us our very
own room to dance in every night, they upgraded the cabins of
practically every person on the trip. As I have said before, there
truly is strength in numbers.
Of course it helps that one of our leading ladies flirted with a
Carnival bigwig during last year's trip. Maybe that had something
to do with our improved status. Hmm. Maybe a dab of friendly
persuasion in the right place can go a long way! So let me tip my
hat and wink a note of thanks to our unsung heroine.
Unfortunately, if you still want to go on the trip, it is too late.
The ship is sold out.
SO HOW DID THE GREECE - ITALY CRUISE TURN OUT?
I am pleased to report I have finished three pages of stories about
our recent Greece - Italy Cruise that took place at the end of July
Even though it is only three pages, there quite a few Chapters.
You can read the following stories:
1. Pre-Cruise Headaches
2. The Vatican Museum
3. Stranger in a Strange Land
4. The Borghese Gallery
5. The Spanish Steps
6. The Great Gelato Shakedown
7. Trevi Fountain
8. Victor Emmanuel and the Pantheon
9. The Roman Forum and Julius Caesar
10. Augustus Caesar and Birth of the Roman Empire
11. The Roman Colosseum
12. The Gladiators
13. Christian Martyrs
14. Nero the Zero
15. The Great Fire of Rome
16. The Year of the Four Emperors
17. The Fall of the Roman Empire
I would like to share a couple stories about the trip. One day our
group was traipsing through Athens. Let me tell you something -
Athens is a vast city! Once you climb up to the top of the
Acropolis in the center of Athens, you can see the entire city
stretch for miles in every direction.
Now let me add that Athens was not the easiest place to figure out.
Have you heard the saying, "It's all Greek to me"?
Apparently this saying goes back to Shakespeare. The line was first
spoken by Casca, one of the conspirators against Caesar in the
first act of 'Julius Caesar.' He was speaking of the comments made
by Cicero after Caesar three times refused the crown of emperor.
Cicero actually did speak in Greek, using that language as a device
to make sure that casual passers-by did not understand his remarks.
Today the expression 'It's all Greek to me' simply means that what
has been said is beyond the speaker's understanding."
Let me add that during my visit to Athens I did not need an
explanation of this phrase. Every sign was in Greek. Every map
was in Greek. And the Greek taxi drivers were determined to
overcharge at every turn. The city was vast and difficult to
fathom. Plus unlike Rome, very few people spoke English. I felt
One of the members of our group, Iqbal, offered to guide a large of
us through Athens. Almost immediately things started to go wrong.
The taxi drivers worked as a unit. They all demanded 25 Euros ($50
US) for a 10-minute drive to the Acropolis even though the sign in
the cruise ship parking lot specifically stated 8 Euros.
Iqbal realized how expensive this would be for us. He led our
entire group of 22 over to a bus stop, personally paid for every
ticket, and got us a quick bus ride to the Metro subway station.
None of us would have had a clue where the bus station was or which
bus to take.
Furthermore we would have never found that Metro station in a
million years. It was at least a mile from the ship and virtually
unrecognizable if you didn't already know where you were going.
But Iqbal knew exactly where it was.
The next thing that went wrong was that half the Metro workers were
on strike that day till 9 am. As a result, we could not reach the
closest exit to the Acropolis.
I know how ridiculous this sounds. Don't ask me to explain because
I am not too clear myself. All I know is that Iqbal said that one
of the two Metro lines would not be in service till 9 am. Since it
was only 8:15 AM, Iqbal got us back on the Metro and took us to
another exit that was close enough to the Acropolis for us to walk.
Now Iqbal led us through an incredible twisty maze of narrow
streets and alleys. I kept expecting the Minotaur to leap out and
eat one of us for breakfast. Suddenly out of nowhere the Acropolis
appeared! Iqbal had successfully guided us to our destination!
For the rest of the day, Iqbal patiently led us throughout Athens.
He took us to the Temple of Zeus, he took us to see the changing of
the guard, he found a great spot for us to get lunch, he took us to
the National Museum, he found a great spot for us to shop, and at
the end of the day he got us home with just a few minutes to spare.
When you stop and think about it, Iqbal had given up an entire day
of his own vacation to help us negotiate the deeply confusing
streets of Athens. He certainly deserves our gratitude!
Another story involves a lady who took me aside and thanked me for
organizing the trip. As I always do, I quickly explained that
Marla had done all the work. The lady smiled and nodded that she
understood my point. Then she said she had something she wanted to
She said that she signed up for this trip by herself. She said she
didn't a soul in the group. She said that she had wanted to visit
this area of the world for a long time, but didn't have anyone in
her life who could find the time to go with her. She said this
trip was literally the answer to her prayer. Now she wanted to say
how grateful she was that a single lady from the other side of the
planet could feel so completely safe in such a confusing
environment thanks to us.
I smiled. I had heard this before. I remember feeling the same way
about MG Anseman back in 2004 when he led an entire group of us
through the crazy streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Thanks
to MG, we had the absolute time of our lives and felt totally
secure in the process.
I thanked the lady for her kind words. Then I added I felt the
same way she did. This time it was Iqbal who guided us through the
strange land. I ruefully thought back to how lost I had been in
Rome. Thank goodness we had Iqbal to guide us through Athens!
Not only did he save each person a tremendous amount of money, but
Iqbal made us feel secure. We were able to enjoy Athens so much
more knowing that we had someone who not only knew how to get us
back to the ship, but could keep an eye on the clock as well.
It is fun for someone like this lady to tell me how much she
appreciated the opportunity this cruise offered her to fulfill a
dream, but the truth is that people like Marla and Iqbal deserve
Here at SSQQ we have a wonderful community. Not only do we have
wonderful fun together, we all look out for each other.
Never was this truth more apparent than on this trip to distant
ANNOUNCING THE 2009 BARCELONA CRUISE
One interesting development during the Italy-Greece Trip was that
the main topic of conversation was where we wanted to go next year
in 2009. The consensus was strongly in favor of going to Barcelona
and making the Magic Triangle Trip across the Western Mediterranean
Due to an odd arrangement of dates in 2009, the studio is going to
be closed for seven days near the end of September. We have never
taken a week off in September before in thirty years, so this is a
peculiar circumstance (one reason is that instead of 28 days of
classes in December, we will only have 25 days of classes).
The point is that this is the perfect opportunity for the studio to
take a cruise! No student has to miss a class and no teacher has
to find a substitute. Instead we are all going to Spain!
Marla decided to announce the trip way earlier than usual so
everyone can start making their plans. Here is Marla's letter:
Buenos Dias, Bon Jour, Buena Sera Everybody!
Next year we have a fabulous trip scheduled to some of the most
romantic locations imaginable in Spain, Italy, and France.
There has been so much excitement generated from our most recent
destination cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean that I have been
asked to announce next year's cruise plans earlier than we ever
Yes, the rumblings are TRUE!!! We had such an awesome time in
Rome, Athens and Turkey that we are going to visit the Western side
of the Mediterranean on September 27th, 2009.
Leaving from Barcelona, we will set sail once again on the stunning
Western Mediterranean for 7 nights visiting the birthplace of the
Renaissance on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas.
FYI - The Voyager is a sister ship to the Navigator that we took
for our 2008 Greece trip. It offers the same beautiful facilities.
Our cruise departs Barcelona on Sunday, September 27th and returns
to Barcelona on Sunday, October 3rd. The studio will be closed for
a week's vacation during this time period. This will allow all of
our instructors and students the opportunity to take the cruise
without missing any days at the studio.
Barcelona - our chance to visit the Picasso Museum and watch
beautiful women dance the Flamenco!
Naples - the ruins of Pompeii at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, the
Amalfi Coast, and the incredible Renaissance art in the Museum di
Rome - need we say anything at all!
Florence - the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Michelangelo's David just
Nice - a chance to visit Monaco and Monte Carlo and see the famous
beaches of the most famous resort on the Mediterranean!
Marseilles - Cathedrals, Museums, Beaches, and the French Alps plus
the most beautiful women in all of Europe (according to the travel
6 incredible places to visit! What more glorious adventure could
you ever imagine?
Day Port *** Arrive Depart Activity
27-Sept Barcelona, Spain 7:00 PM
29-Sept Naples, Capri, Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked
30-Sept Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked
01-Oct Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked
02-Oct Villefranche (Nice), France 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Tendered
03-Oct Provence (Marseilles), France 7:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked
04-Oct Barcelona, Spain 6:00 AM
We were able to get a great rate for this sailing time. We decided
to beat the summer crowds and heat and schedule next year's cruise
during a more pleasant time of year. We will be saying hello to
Fall during this sailing. Average high temperatures will be in a
very pleasant 70 degree range.
Rates are as follows:
Inside Cabin (Category N) -- $1066 per person double occupancy
Oceanview Cabin (Category I) --$1356 per person double occupancy
Balcony Cabin (Category E1) -- $1516 per person double occupancy
Air and ground transportation is additional. You will be
responsible for your own transportation unless you book your
transportation through Royal Caribbean. The current rate is $1596.
Personally, this seems high. You should be able to do better on
Regardless, this is not an inexpensive trip! However, I will
guarantee you, it will be another trip of a lifetime! What better
way to explore these major cultural centers with such fascinating
histories than sharing the adventure with your friends? This is
yet another chance to see extraordinary works of art and
architecture in addition to joining the jet-setters in Cannes and
We even have a day at sea to enjoy the fabulous onboard experience
that the Voyager of the Seas offers. We enjoyed all that the
amenities that the Navigator allowed, since the Voyager is her
sister ship, we can have just as much fun!
And guess what? There is dancing through out the ship. The venues
names are changed but the facilities remain the same -- A beautiful
wooden dance floor is featured in a spacious attractive non-smoking
lounge. The ship is so plush even the Disco has a wooden floor as
A much more extensive write-up will be on the SSQQ website shortly.
I just wanted to get some advance feedback from the group as to
who thinks that they might be joining us.
First deposits of $250 per person ($500 for single occupancy) must
be into me by October 29th, 2008.
I hope you will be able to join Rick and me for another exciting
And yes, of course we will have the "Same Time, Next Year Western
Caribbean sailing. Details on that will be out shortly after the
first of the year.
Adios, Au Revoir, Ciao "ya'll" . . .
SSQQ Dance Studio
THE 2007 HAWAII CRUISE
The story of the SSQQ Cruise to Hawaii is 90% finished.
It was wonderful trip. Here is a list of the stories already
1. the story of how Hawaii was first populated
2. the story of how the Hawaiian Islands were created
3. how I nearly lost a foot on a volcano tour
4. the story of Captain James Cook, the first European to visit
5. a story about the amazing Mt Haleakala on Maui
6. a story about the great magician Warren Gibson
7. a story about King Kamehameha, the man who united the Hawaiian
8. a story about Maui's famous Road to Hana
9. a story explaining why Hawaii is the Extinction Capital of the
10. a story about a Waterfall Tour on the Big Island
11. the story of how Hawaii fell into American hands
12. best of all, 100 photographs from the Hawaii Trip!
IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA
I have enjoyed watching the Beijing Olympics. The opening ceremony
was praised as the most incredible show in Olympic history, but
that was not what impressed me the most.
It seems to me that the people of China are remarkably polite and
gracious. Even though the US Basketball Dream Team thumped the
Chinese Team by 30 points, I cannot imagine hometown fans being
more enthusiastic for both teams!
The people at the basketball stadium were so nice to our basketball
players! They showed tremendous sportsmanship. Please note that
similar shows of warmth were notably lacking in Greece in the
Furthermore I thought the American basketball players went out of
their way to show respect to their Chinese counterparts on the
floor. It was a marvelous example of how sports can create
friendship between nations. Of course, for anyone who lives in
Houston, this is not that big of a surprise since we are the
frequent home of Yao Ming, China's greatest ambassador of good
I know that China is routinely criticized for human rights abuses,
careful restriction of the press and the Internet, air pollution,
stealing American technology, and so on. But the warmth of their
people cannot be denied.
And talent too! I have watched the Olympics carefully all my life.
The improvement in the Olympic performance for China has been
remarkable. In 1988, China won a mere five gold medals at the
Olympic Games in Seoul. Think about it - the largest nation in the
world could only win 5 gold medals? By contrast the USA won 36.
China's total in 1992 Barcelona was better. China took 16 golds
while the USA won 37.
Thanks to a hometown advantage, the USA dominated the 1996 Atlanta
games with 44 golds. China again took home 16.
Things started to change in Sydney. Although the USA gathered the
most gold medals with 37, its usual haul, China finished in third
place with 28 gold medals.
The USA won the gold medal race at the 2004 Athens Games with its
usual count of 36. But there in second place was China with 28.
China came within four gold medals of tying the US in gold medals
in 2004 while for the first time ever, China had passed Russia in
the gold medal count! Talk about two countries going in opposite
In less than two decades China has catapulted itself to the top
echelons of International sport. They have come within striking
distance of the top spot by finishing third place overall at the
past two Olympic Games, behind United States and Russia.
So what will happen medal-wise at this year's Beijing Olympics? If
early indications hold up, the USA will be hard-pressed to overcome
the hometown advantage of China. It should be an interesting race.
To me, what is even more interesting than China's improvement in
the world of sports is the economic improvement. The USA seems to
be losing ground to China in this all-important area in large
chunks. When I was a young man, we used to laugh at how backwards
China seemed to be. Russia was putting people in space, but China
was struggling just to feed its people.
China's economic development began to improve in 1978. This is the
year all the articles pointed to. For some odd reason, none of
these articles also pointed out an interesting development in 1979.
This was the year that China introduced its one-child policy.
This policy is controversial both within and outside China because
of the issues it raises. Nonetheless, a recent (2008) survey
undertaken by the Pew Research Center showed that over 75% of the
Chinese population supports the policy.
Due to some complicated rules, the overall fertility rate of
mainland China is actually very close to two children per family
than to one child per family (1.8). This means the population of
China remains largely the same. As one dies, one is born.
The Chinese government has been involved in population control as
far back as the 1950s. During the 1970s, a campaign of 'One is
good, two is okay and three is too many' was heavily promoted.
However as a result of famines and related hardships during the
Cultural Revolution, people began to die from lack of food. It was
obvious that even more stringent measures were necessary. This led
to the one-child policy being adopted in 1979.
In April 2007 a study by the University of California, Irvine,
which claimed to be the first systematic study of the policy, found
that it had proved "remarkably effective".
The reason that the one-child policy is supported by three-fourths
of the country is that China has begun to realize tremendous
economic prosperity. There have been all kinds of improvements
throughout the Chinese culture.
For one thing, prospective mothers take excellent care of their
newborn child. When you don't get a second chance, it seems you
work harder to get it right the first time!
The individual savings rate has increased since the introduction of
the One Child Policy. First, the average Chinese household expends
fewer resources, both in terms of time and money, on children,
which gives many Chinese more money with which to invest. Second,
since young Chinese can no longer rely on children to care for them
in their old age, there is more reason to save money for the future.
There has been a direct economic growth. There has been a
reduction on the demand of natural resources and a reduction in the
unemployment rate. By comparison, India's population growth rate is
three times greater than China's. India's economic growth rate
cannot absorb this many new people. Joblessness is a major
problem. But since China's population is fixed, unemployment
remains very low.
Best of all, there has been a tremendous improvement in the quality
of effort given to raising children. In many ways, the child is
established as the main focus of the family. Not only are the
family's hopes and dreams invested in each child, the parents sense
the quality of their own years in retirement depend directly on how
well they raise their one child. Given the amount of attention
each child receives, each child grows up far better educated, more
loved, more skilled, and more secure than the average kid in the
rest of the world.
In just 50 years, China has catapulted itself from the economic
back of the bus to the head of the class. Indeed, many experts
point to China's rapid economic development as the major reason our
own price of gas has risen so quickly. Believe it or not, there
weren't even any taxis in Beijing until 10-15 years ago. However,
since that time China's standard of living has improved so quickly,
today many of the 1.3 billion people in China can afford now cars
for the first time! In the process, the increased demand for oil
in China has sent gas prices skyrocketing across the globe.
So how did China do it? I can't help but wonder if one big reason
might be their one-child policy.
To me the greatest mystery is why the one-child policy is so slow
to catch on throughout the rest of the world.
As populations grow, the future demand for more food and water
seems likely to create more demand on resources. Why there are no
international efforts to curb population is sad. Instead we will
rely on war, famine, disease, and natural disasters to do what the
governments of the world cannot do - rein in the out of control
population growth of all countries.
CHRISTIAN THE LION VIDEO
Note from Rick Archer: Remember the movie "Born Free"?
I just got through watching one the neatest videos that reminded me
a lot about the movie. The video link was sent to me by my friend
The video told the story of a lion cub named "Christian" that was
raised near London, England. However as the cub began to develop,
it became obvious that wild animals belong in the wild for a
The owners decided to relocate Christian back to jungle.
What I found improbable, but wonderful to watch, is just how tame
and friendly the lion could be even after it had been reintroduced
into the wild. The video is just amazing.
I am not going to fib - I shed a few tears over this one.
Here is the full story about Christian the Lion.
Christian was a lion purchased in 1969 by two Australians living in
London, John Rendall and Anthony 'Ace' Bourke (sometimes
erroneously cited as Ace Berg) from Harrods department store. They
had discovered him for sale in Harrods' exotic pets department and,
concerned for his conditions and fate, decided to buy him.
Rendall, Bourke and their girlfriends Jennifer Mary and Unity Jones
cared for the lion until it was a year old. Christian's increasing
size and the cost of looking after him led them to the realization
that they could not keep him in London for much longer.
The solution came when Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of
the film Born Free, visited Rendall and Bourke's furniture shop,
where Christian spent his days. They suggested that they ask the
assistance of George Adamson, the Kenyan conservationist who,
together with his wife Joy, was the subject of their movie. Adamson
agreed to help them rehabilitate Christian into the wild at his
compound at Kora National Reserve.
Adamson slowly introduced Christian to an older lion 'Boy' and
subsequently to a female cub Katiana in order to form the nucleus
of a new pride. Tragedy struck several times: Katiana was possibly
devoured by crocodiles at a watering hole. Another female was
killed by wild lions. Boy was so injured that he lost his ability
to socialize with other lions and humans, and was shot through the
heart by Adamson after fatally wounding a man. Adamson continued
his work, and over the course of a year the pride established
itself in the region around Kora, with Christian as the head of the
pride started by Boy.
When Rendall and Bourke were informed by Adamson of the successful
result in 1971, they traveled to Kenya to pay the visit to
Christian that was filmed in the documentary Christian: The Lion at
the End of the World. According to the documentary, Adamson warned
Rendall and Bourke that Christian may not remember them, but the
film shows a first cautious lion suddenly leaping onto the two men,
wrapping his arms on their shoulders and licking their faces. The
documentary also shows the female lions, Mona and Lisa, and a
foster cub named Supercub welcoming the two men because of the
influence of Christian.
Rendall details a final reunion that occurred in 1974. By this time
Christian was successfully defending his own pride and had cubs of
his own. Adamson warned them that it would most likely be a wasted
trip as he had not seen Christian's pride for nine months. However
they discovered when they reached Kora that Christian and his pride
had returned to Adamson's compound the day before their arrival.
Rendall describes the visit he, Bourke, and George Adamson made:
"We called him and he stood up and started to walk towards us very
slowly. Then, as if he had become convinced it was us, he ran
towards us, threw himself on to us, knocked us over, knocked George
over and hugged us, like he used to, with his paws on our
The reunion lasted until the next morning when everyone went to
bed. According to Rendall that was the last anyone saw of Christian.
Adamson counted the days after that visit until Christian's return,
but gave up waiting after 87 days.
THE AMAZING SOFTBALL STORY
Note from Rick Archer: Besides Christian the Lion, my friend Bett
Sundermeyer sent me another great video as well. This second video
tells a very unusual story about a young lady who appeared to hit a
game-winning home run... but then she broke her ankle as she ran the
basepaths! She couldn't walk, she couldn't stand up, and she was
in great pain.
So what happened next?
This is not a joke, this is not a trick ending, it is completely on
the level. What you will see is a very unusual story with a
THE TRIAL OF VICTORIA OSTEEN
Rick Archer's Note: I would be very surprised if the rest of you
weren't following the current trial of Victoria Osteen in the news.
How absolutely incredible!
However, if you missed the start of the story, I will post it for
Aug. 6, 2008, 12:07AM
Osteens go to court over airline incident
Flight attendant alleges pastor's wife assaulted her in 2005
By BRIAN ROGERS
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
A flight attendant who says she lost her faith and suffered a
hemorrhoidal flare-up after being assaulted by Victoria Osteen will
head to court today seeking a jury to hear her lawsuit against the
wife of superstar evangelist Joel Osteen.
Sharon Brown accuses Victoria Osteen, co-pastor of Lakewood Church,
of throwing her against an airplane bathroom door and elbowing her
in the chest during a confrontation on a Continental Airlines
flight to Vail, Colo., on Dec. 19, 2005.
Osteen's attorney and a spokesman for Lakewood Church adamantly
deny the allegations.
"It's absolutely insane," said Rusty Hardin, Osteen's attorney.
In a pre-trial frenzy of finger pointing, lawyers for both women
say airplane passengers and Continental employees will testify it
was the other woman who was out of control.
The incident began after the Osteens and their children boarded a
Continental jet in Houston for a flight to Vail, Colo.
Brown's attorney, Reginald McKamie, said Victoria Osteen became
irate after ordering a flight attendant to clean up liquid that was
spilled on the armrest of her first-class seat.
"One thing led to another and that's when Mrs. Osteen assaulted
Continental flight attendant Sharon Brown," McKamie said. "She
threw her against the lavatory door and she elbowed her in her
McKamie said Brown wants an apology and wants to punish Victoria
Osteen with punitive damages amounting to 10 percent of her net
"She was traumatized by it, the whole event," McKamie said. "She
was seriously injured by Victoria Osteen's conduct."
In a deposition taken for the case, Brown also said the episode
damaged her faith. Because of the status Victoria Osteen has as a
spiritual leader, Brown now questions the legitimacy of other
spiritual leaders including those at her own church, she said under
According to court documents, Brown claims that she suffers from
anxiety and hemorrhoids because of the incident. She is also suing
Osteen for medical expenses for counseling.
McKamie declined to discuss the evidence he plans to present at
trial, but said medical professionals will testify on Brown's
McKamie noted that Osteen paid a $3,000 fine from the Federal
Aviation Administration for interfering with a flight. He said the
FAA's findings vindicate Brown and that he expects to prevail when
the facts are heard by jurors.
"Victoria Osteen was out of control," McKamie said.
Hardin and Lakewood spokesman Don Illoff scoffed at McKamie's
account. Illoff is also Victoria Osteen's brother.
"The flight attendant went bonkers. She flipped out, acted rashly
and now wants to be paid for it," Hardin said.
Hardin noted that Brown claims she suffers from post-traumatic
stress disorder, an emotional disorder most recently diagnosed in
Iraq War veterans.
"It's a silly lawsuit," he said.
Because the Osteens have tried to put the incident behind them,
they didn't contest the FAA's findings and paid the fine without an
admission of guilt, Hardin said.
Joel Osteen, who is expected to testify, decided to take the family
off the plane and take another flight, Hardin said.
"It was their idea to leave the plane," Hardin said. He disputed
early reports that the Osteens were asked to leave the plane.
"Victoria never raised her voice," Illoff said.
"And they left on their own. Law enforcement was never involved."
After they decided to exit, representatives from Continental
apologized to the Osteens, Illoff said.
Lawyers on both sides will attempt to seat a jury today and present
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: Here are a couple of the initial comments to
"How do the hemorrhoids come into play? Did Victoria kick her a$$
literally? I can hardly wait to hear testimony in this case."
8/6/2008 11:10 AM CDT
"give me a break, this is just a money grab"
8/6/2008 11:09 AM CDT
"I hate Osteen, but come on...This is another frivolous lawsuit
attacking someone just because they have money."
8/6/2008 11:09 AM CDT
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE CONTINUED:
My favorite comment on the trial came from Houston Chronicle
columnist Rick Casey. Here is an excerpt from his story about the
"I have to confess, however, that I have more sympathy for
plaintiff Brown's contention that Osteen caused hemorrhoids than
that she caused her to lose her faith.
Quote from Sharon Brown: "It makes me question that someone like
Ms. Osteen, who I even looked up to, who I even thought of, you
know, could act in such a way and could lie and could hit, that
means that they lie, they cheat, they steal," Brown said in a sworn
deposition. "Yes, it makes me question. It makes me question the
church that I grew up in. It makes me question everything."
Any person whose belief in God has been shaken because of a
20-minute encounter in which she says a minister of the Lord
berated her, shoved her aside and elbowed her in the breast over a
delay in cleaning up a small water spill in the first-class
compartment, simply has not been paying attention.
Had she not noticed that (a partial list):
-Catholic priests molested little boys for years and Catholic
bishops routinely covered up evidence, even transferring offending
priests into virgin territory where they repeated their crimes? Nor
were Roman Catholic priests alone. Other denominations have
suffered similar scandals.
-Televangelists have been caught in scandals ranging from Oral
Roberts' threat that unless the faithful coughed up $8 million God
would "call me home," to Jimmy Swaggart's affairs with female
prostitutes and Ted Haggard's affair with a male prostitute, to
Robert Tilton's raking in an estimated $80 million a year
accompanying prayer requests, while throwing away many of the
requests without reading them?
-Both presidential candidates have felt compelled to denounce
high-profile pastors after they said outrageous and hurtful things?
If faith in God required perfect preachers, organized religion
would long ago have gone the way of, say, the Communist Party.
That's why I find the hemorrhoids believable, the loss of faith not
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE CONTINUED:
I am particularly fascinated with the current trial because I
actually studied this incident with Victoria Osteen very carefully
a year ago.
I wrote a nine-chapter essay on the need for people to guard their
Reputation carefully whenever they are in public.
At the time, I commented that Victoria Osteen did not seem to
defend her reputation strongly enough. Here is what I said:
"SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF - Victoria Osteen's story illustrates the
need to defend yourself vigorously whenever anyone attacks your
Reputation. Do not sit back passively and expect things to go
away... because things will just get worse."
Perhaps now I understand why Ms Osteen said so little in her own
defense. My guess is that her lawyers knew trouble was brewing and
ordered her to keep a tight seal on all public comments.
If you read what I said a year ago, here is my original story.
REPUTATION CASE HISTORY: VICTORIA
The Curious Christmas Calamity of Victoria Osteen
BOLIVIA SENDS HER LOVE
Rick Archer's Note: Olivia, better known to most of you as
"Bolivia" thanks to my goofy nickname, was forced to return to her
native country of Malaysia when her work visa expired in July.
Losing her broke my heart because she always had a smile and she
always had something clever to say. Bolivia was a very, very smart
Now that she is halfway around the world, I guess I can finally
reveal my secret. Bolivia's last name is "Ow". She swore me to
secrecy, knowing of course that we would tease her endlessly. So
instead she got teased endlessly anyway about being nicknamed
"Bolivia". Poor girl, she just couldn't win! But even though I
gave her a silly nickname, she never complained. In fact, I think
she may have secretly liked her nickname. If she didn't like it,
at least she didn't mind it.
I hate to lose people as special as my friend Bolivia. But maybe
she will be back someday. Bolivia sure is wonderful.
As you see, Ms. Olivia sent me a very nice email. I took the
liberty of putting Olivia's email address down at the bottom. I
would imagine she would enjoy hearing from her friends and many
fans here at the studio.
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 9:20 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Hello from Malaysia!
Hi Rick. I hope y'all are keeping safe. I heard from the news that
a Category 1 storm is passing Galveston and east of Houston. I
hope it is not like Alicia.
I wanted to let you know that I made it home safely more than two
weeks ago. It is good to be home and to hang out with my mum, dad,
sister, brother and dogs. I got over any jet lag I had with plenty
of naps and by keeping to regular sleeping hours. I had about 4
meals (small ones!) a day for two weeks as I tried out all my
favorite food. Totally unhealthy as I do not work out but just nap!
Today was Day 3 at work and I have already clocked more than 8
hours a day. I miss taking dance classes on Monday and Friday
nights to get away from work. I found a studio here that teaches
Latin Ballroom....I don't really know what that means, but I do
miss two-step and west
coast swing. They run their classes here for only one-hour, with no
opportunity for practice. I don't know how the classes are run but
I'll know when I go to one this Thurs. Check out their website at
Jack Benard and Jackie Chang also made it here safely last Friday.
They tasted many local food and fruits, and met up with close
relatives here. I'll let them tell you all about their adventure
when they get back.
I have to go now, but will write again when I have more to share.
For now, please take care and I miss being at the studio. Looking
forward to the Greece cruise write-up. Let's bring one of next
year's cruise closer to me, like Fiji or New Zealand.
CURIOSITY ABOUT SSQQ PRICES
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 8:07 AM
I have spoken to Marla about our bill. I just want to clarify the
pricing for our dance classes.
Is it $90 dollars for a couple? My understanding from your email
that it was the same from before; I believe we paid $48 dollars for
I would think most married couples would have an issue paying
$90.00 a month for dance classes, and could put a strain on their
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 10:16 AM
Subject: RE: Question
Ten years ago the cost for a couple was $76. Today it is $90.
If our couples rate were to be adjusted for a rate of 5% inflation
each year for ten years, the same class should cost the following:
By comparison, our rent has increased by 20% in the last few years
alone. Our rent increase greatly exceeds the rise in our class
Unfortunately, thanks to a very liberal interpretation by our
landlord regarding the "common area maintenance" expenses, our rent
has risen $1300 a month in just a couple years time from below
$7,000 to $8,300 per month.
I documented this rise in my "Landlord Disputes" article. Although
my numbers listed in this email are quoted off the top of my head,
they are close to correct.
In 2007 alone, the landlord raised our rent a staggering $8,000 per
You are welcome to read the article for yourself.
That said, a person's reaction to all prices is subjective. With
our US economy spiraling out of control, these days everything
My question to you is why you haven't asked for a half-price repeat
discount considering you say you have taken many of these same
classes in the past.
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH - SSQQ MEN NEED TO CHANGE SHIRTS
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 12:47 PM
Could you please make a suggestion to the men, to change shirts
when needed during break?
I have been taking the tango class. We are now closer to each
other and several of the men (not all of them) are visibly damp and
completely wet to the touch. I think break time is an excellent
time for them to change shirts. It's becoming a bit unbearable. I
believe the moves as we proceed in class will call for us to get
closer and that is becoming unthinkable! Could you please offer a
suggestion to them?
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: If there is one thing women cannot stand, it is
lack of hygiene. Odor, bad breath, sweat ... these things drive
I was sorry to hear that John Frierson's mother just passed away.
John wanted to go on the cruise trip with us, but had to cancel at
the last minute.
Anything we can do to make your sorrows a bit lighter, let us know.
RED HOT BALLROOM ON SEPTEMBER 27
From: Paul Eustace
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 6:29 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Red Hot Ballroom 2008
Red Hot Ballroom 2008 will be held this year on September 27.
The sponsors of the Red Hot Ballroom 2008 (with USA Dance) have
scheduled this as a National Ballroom Dance Week Gala. It will be
held at the Edwin Hornberger Conference Center, previously the
Shamrock Hotel Ballroom at 2151 West Holcombe Blvd., from 8:00 PM
Same as last year, the Maria Williams Band will provide the music
(they're excellent!!) and the hostess will again be Linda Lorelle.
Black tie and evening attire are requested.
As last year, I will be registering people for the SSQQ tables.
There are two levels this year:
Silver Level table @ $70.00 per seat (includes champagne,
decorations and better view of the floor area) Max 10 seats.
Standard table @ $30.00 per seat - Max 10 seats per table.
Individual tickets (non-USA Dance Member) are at $35.00
Full time student tickets with valid ID (open seating) are at $20.00
Our dancers may send me an email ( HeDances@sbcglobal.net ) to
register for this event and bring me their check or cash during the
month of September. Currently, I have a number of names listed for
both tables and will keep you updated to the participants. Please
include "RHB" in the subject line.
Please email me with any questions and I will attempt to answer
them ASAP ... send them to HeDances@sbcglobal.net and put "RHB" in
the subject line.
Regards, Paul Eustace
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: This is a wonderful dance. Not only are there
many great exhibitions, you get the chance to dance the night away
to a terrific band. Plus it's fun to see all your friends look
nice for the occasion.
JOKE ONE - SENIOR DRIVING
submitted by Denny Morse
As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone
Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman,
I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on
Interstate 77. I know that's your freeway. Please be careful!"
"Heck," said Herman, "No kidding. It's not just one car. It's
hundreds of them!"
SOUTH BEACH DIET RECOMMENDS DANCING!
Submitted by Milt Oglesby
DANCE AWAY THE POUNDS
Dr. Agatston recommends getting at least 30 minutes of
cardiovascular activity most days of the week. The good news? You
can work up to it if you're not there yet -- or do it in smaller
sessions (say, ten minutes each). He's also a fan of finding
something you enjoy doing so that you look forward to your workout.
Simply put, your fitness routine should become a part of your
lifestyle, just like the South Beach Diet.
That's why dancing is such a great activity -- it gets your heart
pumping while you have fun with your family and friends.
Dancing has come a long way since the days of discos. Dance studios
across the country now offer classes suitable for adults, from
swing to salsa to tap. Plus, many community and religious centers
sponsor weekly dances where people gather to socialize and
participate in a joyful release of stress.
Here are some suggestions for incorporating this enjoyable activity
into your exercise routine:
Take your spouse or a friend to a swing club or community dance. A
lot of clubs offer free 30-minute lessons.
Try a class at a local dance studio. Ballet can be great for
increasing your flexibility and improving your balance. Tap
requires an investment in shoes but offers an intense cardio
Go out for a night of line dancing. Line dancing is most popular
with country-music fans.
Afraid to dance in public? Put on your favorite album, turn up the
volume, and take a spin around your house! Get your kids and spouse
to join in for a fun family activity.
It's worth repeating that exercise shouldn't be a chore. One of the
keys to creating a fitness routine you can maintain is to find
things you actually enjoy doing.
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: This article is probably no news to SSQQ
veterans. Over the years we have seen many people literally use
dancing to stay in shape and to lose weight. Some of the stories
are pretty remarkable.
FIRST STREET HAS A BIZARRE NO RIGHT TURN SIGN
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 11:00 AM
Subject: be aware
You and your students need to be aware, as of Friday, August 1, at
the intersection of 1st street and Bellaire it is now posted NO
RIGHT TURN ON RED.
And you will be ticketed.
Signed, Fellow frustrated 1st street user.
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: I contacted my friend at the Bellaire Police
Department. Here was his reply:
"METRO is doing some stuff on Bellaire and I don't know if this is
part of it. They started the project without informing the city.
The City Manager made them stop immediately until they let the City
know what was going on. Again, I don't know if this is part of
DANCING OUTSIDE CLASS
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 5:00 PM
Subject: Dancing Outside Class
Rick, I am one of your many students at SSQQ. I wanted to take a
moment and express my great satisfaction with your school and its
instructors. A couple months ago I took a beginner swing class at
another studio off Chimney Rock. They charged me $40 for 4 1-hour
classes, once a week. I thought this was a great deal. I enjoyed
the class a lot. Long story short, not enough people showed up for
the first intermediate class and it didn't make.
I originally came to your school back in Feb for one of your
crash-courses in cha-cha. (Didn't know until that class that you
could cha-cha to Garth Brooks.) Remembering that I had a great
time in this class, I went back to your website to see if you
offered swing. Sure enough, you guys did and you also offer
intermediate and advanced so I was pretty sure that your school
wouldn't have issues with a class making/not making.
At first, $50 seemed like a lot. But that was before I realized
that classes where TWO HOURS LONG! Hell yes! Sign me up! Then on
our first night this month, I learned that one can go to the Sunday
class for extra practice/review. Are you kidding? $50 for 16 hours
of dance/instruction? That is an awesome deal that anyone who
gripes at shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a member of the
I look forward to continuing my swing dance education at your
school with your fabulous teachers Maureen, Tom and Jo.
Thank you, M
JOKE OF THE MONTH - THE SAFARI DOG, THE LEOPARD, AND THE MONKEY
Contributed by Chris Holmes
A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his
faithful pet dog along for company. One day the dog starts chasing
butterflies and before long he discovers that he is lost. So,
wandering about he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his
direction with the obvious intention of having lunch. The dog
thinks, "Oh Boy, I'm in big trouble now." Then he noticed some
bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew
on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.
Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dog exclaims loudly,
"Man, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any
more cats around here?"
Hearing this a look of terror comes over the leopard. He halts his
attack in mid stride and slinks away into the trees. "Whew", says
the leopard. "That was close. That dog nearly had me."
Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a
nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use. He
decides to trade news of the deception for protection from the
leopard. Off goes the monkey in hot pursuit. But the dog hears the
commotion and notices the monkey heading after the leopard with
great speed. He figures that something must be up and begins to
analyze the possibilities.
Meanwhile the monkey soon catches up with the leopard and reveals
how the dog tricked the cat. Then he strikes a deal for himself
with the leopard.
The cat is furious at being made a fool of. He wants revenge!! The
leopard says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and come with me to
watch what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"
Angry and impatient, the leopard doesn't even bother with stealth.
He just comes roaring through the jungle with the finesse of an
The dog hears the leopard coming with the monkey on his back. He
has decided on his plan. Instead of running, the dog sits down with
his back to his attackers and pretends he hasn't a clue as to their
Just when they get close enough to hear, the dog says, "Where is
that damn monkey!?! I am so HUNGRY!! He takes too long. I sent him
off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard and he's still not
JOKE OF THE MONTH - THE BAKERY
Contributed by Judy Walsh
A general store owner hires a pretty young female clerk with a
penchant for wearing very short skirts and thong panties. One day a
young man enters the store, glances at the clerk, and glances at
the loaves of bread behind the counter.
Noticing the length of her skirt (or general lack thereof) and the
location of the raisin bread he has a brilliant idea. "I'd like
some raisin bread, please," the man says politely.
The lady clerk nods and climbs up a ladder to reach the raisin
bread, which is located on the very top shelf. The young man,
standing almost directly beneath her, is provided with an excellent
view, just as he had surmised he would be. Once she descends the
ladder he muses that maybe it would be better if he could get 2
loaves as he is having company for dinner.
So the young lady repeats her climb. As the clerk retrieves the
2nd loaf of bread, a male customer who has just entered the store
notices what is going on. Thinking quickly, he requests his own
loaf of raisin bread so that he can also enjoy the view. With each
trip up the ladder the young lady seems to catch the eye of another
male customer. Pretty soon each person is asking for raisin bread,
just to see the clerk climb up and down.
After a few trips the clerk is tired and irritated and thinking
that she is really going to have to try this raisin bread for
herself or at least move it to a lower shelf. Finally, once again
atop the ladder, she stops and fumes, glaring at the men standing
below. She notices an elderly man standing amongst the throng
staring up at her.
Thinking to save herself a trip, she yells down, "Is yours raisin
"Oh gosh, No," croaks the feeble old man...."But it's really
startin' to twitch!"
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: If you enjoyed our jokes of the month, you can
read the entire collection of 64 on the SSQQ Joke Page.
JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH - A CLEVER WAY TO ADVERTISE
Contributed by Gerald McEathron
Our August Picture Joke is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Someone had a very clever way to advertise their product. I ain't
gonna tell u what it is so just go look.
This month's joke picture is just one of so
many wonderful stories,
jokes, and pictures that Gerald has shared with the SSQQ family
over the year. For example, this year alone he has appeared in our
Joke Picture Page three times... once with the Hanging Moose, once
with the Bear story, and now the Advertising picture.
Gerald has sent me many wonderful things over the years. The Moose
story happened in Canada. I am pretty sure that Gerald was born in
Canada. As a result, he has a direct pipeline to things that are
funny in Canada and is kind enough to forward them to me.
In addition, Gerald sent me the best Father's Day story I have ever
read. I thought this story was so incredibly special! I realize it
is not exactly Father's Day, but if you want to read a good tale,
go take a peek.
You would think after all the many things
that Gareld has shared
with me that I would learn how to spell his name correctly. Not
so. According to Google, as recently as 2006 I was still spelling
his first name 'Garald'. Nor is he alone. Poor Jamie Mabry, one
of my favorite instructors, has been here at the studio since 1999,
but I still spell her name 'Jaime'. Is that sad or what? Once I
get a name in my head the wrong way, I have fits getting it
rewired. Oh well, they all know that I love them.
Did you know Gerald met his wife Virginia here at the studio? They
were married in 1997. Their story is very special to me because
Gerald proposed to Virginia in the middle of dance class. Isn't
that wonderful? In 30 years here at the studio, that remains the
only time our studio has been blessed with this particular special
Together Gerald and Virginia have been
guests at many of our annual
Halloween Party. For example, they got an award for "Best Costume"
back in 2003 with beautiful Japanese apparel.
Speaking of frequent visitors, Gerald and
Virginia joined the SSQQ
group on our very first Cruise Trip back in 1998. Now as we
prepare to embark on our 14th Cruise, this lovely couple still
holds the couples record for most SSQQ cruise trips. They have
taken nine trips with us!
However, despite their incredible record, Gerald and Virginia have
some serious competition. Gary Schweinle has also taken nine
trips, but two were by himself. Together Gary, aka Mr. Hat, has
taken seven trips with his lovely bride Tracy. So technically
speaking, Tracy and Gary are in third place. So what couple is in
Jess and Pat Carnes have been on eight of our trips! Their recent
trip to Greece marked their eighth trip with us. Now you begin to
see why our cruise trips feel like family outings for Marla and me.
We have made a lot of friends on our cruise trips and we are
always grateful for their company!
But none of these people hold the individual record. One person
has been on an amazing 12 trips with us! Can you guess who it is?
I will put the answer below.
By the way, Happy Eightieth Birthday, Gerald!
Gerald is going to have his REAL BIRTHDAY PARTY on our cruise trip
next week, but he was still thoughtful enough to give his
landlocked friends and family the chance to throw him a bash this
I imagine August 24, 2008, was a ways back, but Gerald is as sharp
a guy as I have ever met. I cannot tell you how lucky we all are
to have him here at the studio to share his wisdom, his wit, and
his warmth with us on a daily basis. Nor has he slowed down a bit.
Gerald was a member of our famous "Heartbeat" dance team several
years back and he still has the moves. He led me through a
complicated West Coast Swing pattern last Monday that gave men have
his age a lot of trouble. Of course it is true that West Coast
Swing and its counterpart Whip are so difficult that you usually
don't get the hang of it till you are Eighty! Hahaha.
Plus even at 80 Gerald can still drink me under the seat on Phyllis
Porter's "Cruise Bus to Oblivion". He is quite a guy.
These days Gerald has a lot on his mind. With his birthday party
coming up, his biggest fear is hurting someone's feelings. In
particular, he is worried that Cher Longoria didn't get her
invitation since Cher never reads the Newsletter (inside joke).
Consequently Gerald has been busy for several weeks going around
the studio making sure he invites everyone he knows to his party
this weekend. He is such a nice guy he signed up for seven classes
a week so he could be sure to catch everyone! I teased Gerald
about grubbing for extra birthday presents, but he insisted that no
one bring him a present. That ended that line of teasing quickly.
Too bad because I was enjoying giving him a hard time.
Today I found out what he is really worried about. Gerald thinks
his kids are up to no good! Read for
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: Party
If you have a favorite game you might bring it along. The kids are
secretive about what will be going on and I am nervous
That reminds me of an old joke about children - Insanity is
hereditary. You inherit it from your children.
You know, it has to be a tough world to reach 80 and still have to
worry what your kids are up to!
Happy Birthday, Gerald! My hat is off to you, my friend!
ANSWER TO CRUISE TRIVIA QUESTION
So who has gone on 12 SSQQ cruise trips? If you guessed Iqbal
Nagji, you would be correct. An SSQQ Cruise without Iqbal would
not be any fun indeed. Plus we would probably all get lost without
our wonderful "Ask Mr. Know It All"!
Iqbal is literally the smartest person I know. Someone asked Iqbal
this crazy tough question on our Greece cruise a few weeks ago. To
our amazement, Iqbal rattled off the answer.
As I dropped my jaw in awe, the lady next to me remarked, "Who
needs Google? We've got Iqbal!"
And that's it for this issue! Thanks for reading to the bottom.
By the way, do you know what Cher Longoria's nickname is? Anita
Williams calls her "Cher Bear". Or maybe it's really "Cher Bare".
One or the other. Just thought I would mention that. Cher says
she has trouble reading all the way through our Newsletters, so I
thought if I made it a regular feature to say something stupid
about her, it would give her an incentive to try harder.
two Newsletters in August