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Archive for November 2012

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The Honeymoon continues with another 21 DAZE at sea-My bucket list for  Infinity Pools  is getting  shorter-with three pools down this month- Curacao, St Maarten yesterday and today in St Lucia.Love illusions? Swimming?

The Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia  has an infinity pool in every room. Weighing in at $900 bucks a night...and it goes like this-


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From Zerox To Infinity

Smooth Operator. No Chalk.Just Talk for the Sage on the stage

Tourism is taking something out of nothing and selling it. Il Dolce Far Niente – The Sweetness of Doing Nothing.

Coventional wisdom says, there is no such thing as a good  island hot spot about nothing. I disagree, In fact,  St Maarteen doesn't imitate life, it imitates episodic TV, think  Seinfeld, a show about nothing;  Dutch Jerry's the engine, and  French Kramer does the steering.

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When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging---
From Playing Poker in Macau to playing Terry O'Quinn's
 Body Double in Hawaii, it's all been about LOST,

Heads Up!
 Now 3 years
 traveling around the world on Cruise Ships. Paradise Found because  The older I get the better my past gets

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I like writing about Mexico, I just don't like the paper work. So here is a picture from one year ago this month in Cabo San Lucas. Time flys when you're having rum.

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Every day I get to go to work---on a cruise ship! It is the In to my Sane-Doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.

The actual quote is: Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. Like poker---sometimes making the right mistake pays off. I rather be lucky than skillful.

Remember , The Color of Money lyrics, " It's in the way that you use it..It comes and it goes..."
I think of Paul Newman's  statement "The extraordinary role that luck plays in all our lives..."
"Luck is an art. Luck just marches by any number of people, and they're looking in any direction but where luck is. I guess I know how to look in the right direction." Paul Newman
I wrote about this in relation to Poker in 2008,The number #1 thing I hate about the game I love .

The MS Noordam and I are starting another 21 Daze in Ther Carribean

Highlights From The past 21 days:


From My Best Damn Poker Blog

    The surest way to win a huge pot in NLH is to spot 'em the nuts and suck out!
    When this happens: Hate the win, not the winner. I call this, Making the right mistake.

    Last night, I was deep, heads up. I have position, and a guy raises. I call with suited connectors. I put him on AK.
    I hit two pair 5's and 6's, and there is a King on the board. The guy shoves all in on the flop! I insta call, and am dominated as he shows two pair too-K6 suited! The river is a 5, and I suck out with a full house...When that happens, it gets me nervously thinking
    "It's better to be skillful than lucky" Note to self...
    These are the nights that I stay too long, and go home broke. I did. Why? Because luck lends but never gives.
    Playing 'in the dark': betting that your opponents DON'T have the cards rather than that they do is a strategy, not THE strategy. I couldn't switch gears.
    I did a lot of bluffing, and I got called down with bottom pair, even with scare cards on the board.
    An Aggressive game is a game of strategy and deception. A passive game is one where money flows from bad to good players. A loose game is a game of money and odds; a tight one is a battle for the antes
    It was Ready, Fire, Aim---unloading three bullets--- flop, turn AND river, into a pot, holding Squadush-"nothing", “zilch” or “zero" and , when I first arrived, in the passive game, taking it down.
    As the evening progressed, and the game loosened up, the passive players busted out, and the tight aggressive came in It became a game of money and odds. I didn't make the adjustment well, and re bought 3 times.
    Tilt, was everywhere in my game--I got AA busted twice, and KK and QQ. That's right.
    The AA was with a flop of 743 garbage, he bets big ,I re raise all in, he calls, with a set of 7's.
    Granted, too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH I must be a great player, because I didn't think he could have anything.
    I walked away from that session with knowledge: First, that my brain is the "most powerful computer." Second, when on tilt, my brain is the most powerful "broken computer .
    "Tilt makes us sub-optimal for evaluating rewards, sizing up risks and calculating probabilities. It's like selling the car for gas money.I walked away with a less broken computer, less sabotaging behavior, and more insight into the fact that self-delusion is more than possible in poker - it's highly likely!

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The Rolls Royce of the
 Swimming Pool Universe
Found the God Molecule in Curacao. in this Zero Edge optical illusion of seemingly endless water.Visually stunning and always located on amazing locations, Infinity pools are surely the most beautiful man-made pools in existence. They take their inspiration from the island of Bali-where you can see  the dramatic effect created by the ubiquitous terraced rice paddies.

Bamboo Cotton T Shirts-Why Pay Less?

Some Incredible Views-From Zero To Infinity

Bora Bora With Bob Reif

US Virgin Islands Frenchman's Reef

 Waikiki, Hawaii






St Lucia

Los Cabos







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Playing the game of staged authenticity in the tourist themed spaces of  The Renaissance Curacao Resort .It's got Caribbean charm combined with European sophistication. Built around the historic setting of the Rif Fort, the copy is better than the original . Set amidst the color and beauty of the historic Dutch Caribbean city of Willemstad, the power of new is in full view. H8 the game,not the player(s).

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Action Sustains Hope

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying
Besides The Godfather, Shawshank is my favorite movie- It is about Hope and Action going  hand in hand. Andy worked on his wall for 19 years and in the mean time made improvements to his surroundings that benefitted not only himself, but the lives of everyone around him. If you are going through hell-keep moving in a positive direction.Hell is not just other people; it is other people's thoughts about you.

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As good as it gets, all of these Caribbean islands
 have white sandy shorelines with the same
New Yorkers you might be fighting with for parking spaces back home only this time it's beach chairs. 

ABC Aruba Bonaire and Curacao

 Actually BCA- that is the order we are sailing. Little Amsterdam, or Willemstad  in Curacao on  Thanksgiving.

 I always like sailing to the Netherlands Antilles.Ten Years ago I came here with fifty dollars and left with $300. Now that's how they vacation in The Netherlands or is this Venezuela? They sell the paradise experience real well here.   Last year, on Crystal was amazing. Two years   before on MSC. 

A is For Aruba 

They speak a lot more Dutch here (in Aruba) than I expected. There's a lot of casinos, and a lot of the online poker/sportsbook sites who set up -offshore-shops.

B is for Bonaire, and I  haven't been there yet. So tomorrow I am looking forward to a  Life Is A Beach day

 Then there is "C" , Curacao, pronounced Curaçao. It is a quintessential port town with lots of activity and a quasi European feel, If you ever wished palm trees in Holland and 80 degree Januaries; complete with Amsterdam-like canals.

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The view from the Noordam.

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Tendering today in Samana, a place Columbus called the fairest place n Earth.Now it is just a plastic beach.

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Freedom Without Restraint

The Caribbean White Sand/Coral Beaches with that signature  clear & warm turquoise water away from the masses of tourists, palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze- OK I'm sold.
Check please.

 Mr Ed  and Ed- the symbols of travel, movement, and desire.

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This is the islands idea of cheap insurance Geiko. There are iguanas all over this place

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I often joke when asked " What cruise line do you work with?"- Everyone just about except Holland America. I can no longer say that.

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Let the Orinoco Flow
After M,T here on Sunday  comes WTF!  OMG LMAO TTUL8R K

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Do you smell that? naPalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of naPalms in The Caribbean.

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Hello old friends. Last time I swam in these Caribbean blue waters of Bridgetown  was 2009. Same shirt different day! The key ski Guy and waiter are still working their jobs-it is island time and one long day for these folks.

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Ah St Lucia! Procrastinate Now! All you can eat of the upside down fruit. The locals are co co for coconuts too and all here because they are not all there.  Island time (manana) takes a New York minute to come into focus. Seinfeld is a show about nothing and the vibe in this vacation spot makes this the Island about nothing. The espresso I had on the ship makes me want to do nothing faster but instant gratification takes too long around here. Oh wait...the Guy with the machete is chopping coconunts.Nothing like the water from one of those to act ad the natural Gatorade.

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Holy Cow
After my trip to India, a place rife with professional thieves, beggars, con artists, and skinny cows, a vegetarian is only as lactose intolerant as his options.The happy go locals  will eat anything with wings except airplanes, and everything with legs except tables.

Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead said "It is easier to change your religion than your diet". After further  study, you don't have to change your diet or your religion to live in America, just keep an open mind and an open mouth.

It took Picasso 10 years to paint like Rafael , and a life time to paint like a child. Children are, after all,  completely gullible: they will believe anything and, more than that, will eat anything. I am eating like a child again!!!  It's not as important what I eat as how I eat-in my case frequently (6-7 small portions per day) with the 24/ always on, always  available cruise ship food options.

The Apprentice- "Everything in life is luck." Donald Trump

Although I am a Math Athiest, The hardest arithmetic I've had to  master is the one which enables me  to count my blessings. It requires a long apprenticeship (Think Gladwell's 10,000 Hours of practice rule or 10 years)  Cruising around the world, provides  a legitimate short cut for taking things with gratitude instead of for granted. 

The experiences at sea turned my can’t into cans and leveraged my Adventures (which was nothing more than bad planning) into serendipity a thousand unseen helping hands of  allies, synchronicity, and the Michelangelo effect.   

Coffee Is For Closers -"You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch?" Blake (Alec Baldwin) in Glengarry Glen Ross

I met a guy in Starbucks  this year, who said "What a gift... to be able to travel like that, selling art and get paid  too."  Ic ertainly am getting rewarded for my progress if not my ability. After all, the Raindance works because they never stop dancing-and i never stop selling.

Travel---It really is the best kind of gift, because you can't buy it, you can't find it, People have to give it to you.

I've met a lot of people who believed in me. My obsession with traveling is in fact my own  private religion, where the bulk of my  spirit has been actually invested.There is no doubt about it, the exhilarating state of mind that travel can evoke, when everything seems suddenly fresh, vivid, intensely interesting, and memorable.

 An Escape to reality, when all you care about is here, this is a good place to be.The point here is that the journey is essentially a journey to nowhere. Yet the awe of just doing it, is what moves me forward.

You can't even say "Sorry I'm late" because "That's ok. Time doesn't exist at sea."
Cruising is when laziness and slack finds respectability. Losing My Religion is a song about obsession, not lose of faith. I'm thinking of Nietzsche: 'Be careful, lest in casting out your d/evil you exorcise the best thing in you.

There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”

Being at sea is more about procrastination.Procrastination has a gotten  bad reputation. I don’t feel guilty sailing around the world  times. It’s part of my  "process"! 

The work wedo while weprocrastinate is probably the work we should be doing for the rest of our life. Laziness is not the religion of the 21st century, fear is. I am not  afraid to procrastinate, to put off living on land. Still getting a charge out of these "mini retirements" -It's time to take another cruise!

I know that it's time for a cool change

Now that my life is so prearranged

I know that it's time for a cool change

Well I was born in the sign of water

And it's there that I feel my best

The albatross and the whales they are my brothers

There's lots of those friendly people

And they're showing me ways to go

And I never want to lose their inspiration

Some thoughts while biking around Goa, India....

ZAMM-Zen and the Art of High Maintenance

There seem to be cows around everywhere I go. I am not sure if they have a charmed life, the ppl don't seem to worship them. It is, however,  revered as the source of food and symbol of life and may never be killed.  They seem to be walking neglected around  Goa city streets, living on garbage from the gutters.

Sacred cows may make the best hamburgers, but I don't eat my friends. As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. As for milk and cheese- they are an utter delight.

Rules of the road when driving a motorcycle-
The horn is your friend. Use it often, use it well.Lanes don’t exist. Do not pass. Wear a Helmet! Cows have the right of way.

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The number one thing to do on a cruise ship (and off it in the ports of call) is not just EATING. It's Shopping.

I am about to go to the zoo, and see all the stuffed animals in their cages. What I mean is the Disneyland effect--bring in tons of white sand, add a backdrop of palm trees and colonial shops; like Vegas' Venetian, the copy is better than the orginal- It's beautiful and predicatble, like plastic surgery. The statue's not the saint, but the menu is the meal. Yet, Sint Maarten has a retro Carib-vibe going on in that magical strip of land called Phillipsburg beach.


I wrote about this before , The Merchants of Venice, and can say the same for The Caribbean "Season": It's not just visited by tourists, AKA Americons,but inhabited by them. Even though I am hitting it and quitting it, it seems in the gaze of locals that "we" are just one critical mass, and more than that, from their POV, "always here" and "Here comes everybody!".

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The MS Noordam is starting its Caribbean season this week.21 Daze for the first leg

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By Mid-November 2011, I was in Maui

I am not smart enough to be wrong all the time but whether I  geographically move(d) to Hawaii or psychologically just were  reminded of what I (could) feel when I am t/here, I keep breathing and keep #winning over death, not by living forever, but by living timelessly, right here, right now. 

To live in this vastness is to bathe in the ocean that mystics call one taste.

Trip Reports

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Last Year in November I was in  Baja, Mexico After Monday and Tuesday, all that's left in  Cabo was W T F, eh?

The Importance of being Ernest (Hemingway); his life of adventure and his public persona would go on to influence later generations

  • Cabo Again- The Synesthetic Experience

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