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Promoting Romance, Adventure and Recognition for People of All Ages! )
  April 19, 2006 **UPDATED VERSION**
For you in this issue:
  • In Your Own Words- Amman, Jordan
  • Funny Stuff- Maya Angelou and the Stella Awards
  • The Senior Bachelor Cruise- PAMPERING!
  • A great Success Story!

    Hello Fellow Cruisers,


    I just found out that the Silver Cloud Hotel is 1.3 miles from Pike Market Place and the other downtown attractions. I was told that it was 5 blocks away and very near the downtown area. This turns out not to be the case, and I believe this is too far to be shuttling back and forth. I apologize for the misleading information.

    If you have made a reservation at The Silver Cloud Hotel, please call and cancel right away-there is no charge for this.

    We all will stay at The Red Lion 5th Avenue Hotel, which is in the heart of downtown Seattle and 3 blocks from Pike Market Place, 1 block from the Flagship Nordstrom and surrounded by all of Seattle's other wonderful attractions. Guestrooms are $170 single or double, which includes robes, coffee maker, iron, hairdryer, and refrigerator in each room. The hotel offers free WiFi connections throughout, a 24 hour fitness center, full business center, an English Pub-The Elephant and Castle, and the largest outdoor patio in all of Seattle for relaxing, eating, drinking, and chatting. Breakfast is not included.

    Many people are arriving at least one night before each sailing. I will be there (and Umberto) August 9 and 10, and August 18 and 19. Each day we will all get together and do fun things!! Some people are coming in before these dates and staying later. I encourage you to take advantage of the terrific city of Seattle for as long as you can!

    Please call 1-800-504-3909 for reservations, and ask for the Senior Bachelor Group rate. Please specify which cruise you are going on when making your reservation- either the sailing date of August 11 or the sailing date of August 20.

    For more information please visit

    It takes at least one week for the hotel's system to be able to take on-line bookings, thus I recommend everybody call the toll free number listed above to make reservations versus booking on-line.

    If you would like a roommate, please e-mail me at

    I am really looking forward to seeing everybody, Seattle, and of course the spectacular sights of Alaska.

    Re: The Stella Awards:

    Many people have e-mailed me to say that these are phony awards. Whether they are true or not they are darn funny!!!

    I have returned to Manhattan Beach for a doctor's appointment, and yesterday played volleyball with two of my sons for the first time in two months. Today was my son Chris' 39th birthday. It was fun to spend it with him on the beach playing volleyball.

    Best regards!

    Richard Roe
    Senior Bachelor

    Click here to check out the Senior Bachelor Cruise Adventure this Summer!

    In Your Own Words- Amman, Jordan


    Hello Richard, Habibi!

    This is my new favorite word in Arabic. "Habibi" means darling, my sweetheart, etc, and is used with adults, children, lovers, and friends of friends. By my count, it is used more frequently than all other Arabic words, and it was the first one I identified aurally.

    I was in Amman, Jordan, from Monday to Friday, March 13-17, 2006, and visited my friend Muntaha Sayyad. We originally met in 1998 on the road to Damascus, until I hit a roadblock. I thought I'd get my Syrian visa at the border, as I did in Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco. But they refused because there is a Syrian Embassy in the US and they felt I should have obtained the visa there in advance. Muntaha had been sitting next to me on the bus (wearing fabulous turquoise jewelry and fingernail polish to match--a very modern Arab woman). Next thing you know, she saw me surrounded by Immigration Police pointing at her and saying, "Friend! Friend!" We've kept up our friendship via email, but it was time to renew it in person.

    Ultimate Key Chain

    Muntaha met me at Queen Alia Airport. She wore no make up, but did have tight-fitting jeans. Her key chain was extraordinary--seven strands of multicolored beads, each one around ten inches long. In Arabic, the word "muntaha" means the ultimate, the extreme, you can't go any further. Now she makes and sells Muntaha Key Chains. She gave one to me and I love it.

    The White City of Amman

    Driving into Amman, I remembered how white the city is. All the houses and buildings are made from a white stone that is locally quarried. Amman is a new city; it was a dusty village 50 years ago. She lives in the Abdoun district which has very large houses indeed. Her husband is Hasan, three of his five children live with them, plus Muntaha's lovely daughter Maysam, age 19. There are eight bedrooms, en suite, plus maids' quarters, and an apartment for his mother. My bedroom was around 25 by 25 feet. As beautiful as the house is, she doesn't feel it is hers--it was decorated by the first wife who died of cancer five years ago, and has thus achieved sainthood in the family. A large portrait of her, smiling and wearing a white veil, is prominent in the living room.

    Tissues and Light Bulbs

    Muntaha's friends have similar size homes, and we visited her mother, sister Altaf, and some other friends. They do not have careers (except Hana who lived in the States for 18 years, is divorced, and has a beauty salon). Every coffee table has a box of tissues on it. These are well-decorated houses, but a sleazy box of tissues is omnipresent on every single coffee table. Not Kleenex, either, with a somewhat decorative box; but more generic looking. Also, recessed light is very popular, but then those awful fluorescent bulbs are used--they stick out by four inches and totally destroy the desired effect. Is there anything in my house equally bad that I just don't see?


    Every family I came across has one or two maids. Young women from Indonesia are especially prized because they are Muslim. Muntaha had two maids from the Phillipines. One of them, Esther, asked me privately if I was a Christian. I said yes, and that I had been raised in the Methodist Church. She was also a Methodist, but couldn't find a church in Amman. While reading the Jordanian Times on the flight to London, I saw a list of all the Christian churches in Amman, and Helene Baines texted the phone numbers to Esther for the International and the Baptist churches. As Robbie learned in Texas, Methodists are sprinklers, Baptists are dunkers--not too great a difference.

    Islamic Meditation and Consciousness Raising

    We went to Muntaha's weekly guided meditation class. It was similar to Buddhist classes I've taken on the same subject, but with the interesting twist of focusing the breath on "There is no God but Allah" and "May Peace be upon the Prophet Mohammed's Soul." The goal is forgiveness from Allah on a cellular level. It lasted 90 minutes.

    Big Foreign Hotels in Amman

    Some friends had worried about my safety in Amman, because of the terrorist bombings of two Jordanian weddings at international hotels last year. I assured them those aren't the kind of places I go anyway. So where did we go the very first morning? To the Crowne Plaza, for a charity breakfast to benefit orphans. Security was tight. Cars can drop off passengers, but then are parked half a block away; there are cement barricades in front of the hotel doors. Every entrance has metal detectors, people are "wanded" and purses are opened.

    Charity Breakfast

    This is my kind of event. Around 300 well-dressed women met in the ballroom; perhaps 5% wore head scarves over their designer suits. Two buffet stations had been set up with food ranging from custom-made omelets and fresh croissants to trays of dates, olives, cheeses, and many other kinds of mezes that I couldn't identify. The speaker was a cabinet-level woman from the government who spoke against domestic violence and how more education for girls is needed. I'm glad that the male hotel waiters, standing around the edge of the room, also heard her words. I had been advised by Barbara Lawrence not to wear my new Allah pendant, with the Arabic calligraphy outlined in crystals. We know there are Arab Christians, but on me it could have looked like an Arab wearing a crucifix as a piece of jewelry. Discretion won out.

    The Site of the Baptism

    We drove west about 45 minutes to the Jordan River, the site of Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist. This area has recently been cleared of land mines and is now set up for tourists, complete with souk and shuttle buses from the parking lot to the river edge. The Jordan River itself is hugely disappointing, being about 15 feet wide. It looks more like a muddy stream. Israel is 100% blamed for every imaginable problem here (remember that Jordan is located between Israel and Iraq). I didn't get into any political discussions, but there was one incontrovertible fact: the Jordan River used to be 60 meters wide, then Israel diverted water for drinking and irrigation, and now the Jordan River is pretty pathetic. Jericho is about five miles away, west across the river. The Israelis were storming a prison that day to get the release of some Palestinian terrorists. We could hear the gun shots and the voices over a loud speaker. An orthodox church was built here by a Russian billionaire in 2003. It is small, cruciform style, and perfectly suits the site. The exterior is local pale beige stone, and the interior walls are covered with icons floor to ceiling. Everything is beige; not many trees. Good thing it was a sunny day with a clear blue sky.

    The Dead Sea

    Close enough to Amman (the airport is midway between the city and the sea), the Dead Sea is becoming a big tourist magnet. Soon that highway will be built up all the way south to Aqaba on the Red Sea. Some luxury hotels are already there, and we went to the Movenpick. It is styled like an Arabian village--maximum two story buildings, curving pathways, and all in the colors of the sands. They have excellent restaurants and a really cool spa. The Dead Sea is ten times saltier than the ocean, and you can keep your head, arms and legs above water all at the same time. Dead Sea Mud is supposed to have therapeutic minerals especially beneficial to the skin; I passed on that opportunity.


    We had lunch with Chris Johnson, the executive director at Wild Jordan, a private ecological foundation where Muntaha used to work. They have built several lodges around Jordan to promote eco-tourism, create jobs for local people, and a market for their crafts. They sell hand-painted ostrich eggs on a wrought-iron stands. Some years ago Barbara Macy gave me a beautiful ostrich egg painted with designs from the Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana. Now I finally have the perfect stand on which to display it!

    Hot Chocolate Massage

    Are there three more beautiful words in the English language? This is just starting in Europe and a salon in Amman had it, and it was wonderful! Chocolate has all that cocoa butter, so why didn't anyone think of this sooner? It is made by Klapp Wellness Speicalist in Germany, and they did not print the web site address on the bottle. The massage itself is like many others, but the masseuse added hot stones. I smelled good enough to eat. And they gave presents: candy, a chocolate votive candle, and hand cream. Here's my prediction: Hot Chocolate Massage will be the Next Big Thing, and Klapp will soon be bought out by a multinational conglomerate.

    That's all from Amman. Now I'm preparing for my next Great Exotic Destination--Rancho Cucamonga in April.


    "Travel is stranger than fiction."

    Funny Stuff- Maya Angelou and the Stella Awards

    Each week I will send some of the funny articles sent to me. Please send any you feel would be fun for the Newsletter to me at Thanks.

    In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday.

    Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older

    [ And, there on television, she said it was "exciting." Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every her breasts.

    They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first.

    The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

    Maya Angelou said this:

    "I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."

    "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

    "I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."

    "I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life."

    I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."

    "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."

    "I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."

    "I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."

    "I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.

    People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."

    "I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


    2005 Stella Awards

    Time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards." The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM). That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States.Here are this year's winners:

    5th Place (tie): Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000. by a jury ofher peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

    5th Place (tie): 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000. and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

    5th Place (tie): Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of $500,000. In my opinion this is so outrageous that it should have been 2nd Place!

    4th Place: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting at it.

    3rd Place: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

    2nd Place: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms.Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000. and dental expenses.

    1st Place: This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City,Oklahoma. Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motorhome. On her first trip home, (from an OU football game), having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back & make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mrs.Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising her in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000. plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons around.

    P.S. This is one of the funniest things I have ever read!! Richard Roe

    The Senior Bachelor Cruise- PAMPERING!
    HAL Logo


    Today I wanted to inform you about the Pampering we can expect!!

    Holland America's ships were designed for Alaska cruising, with airy viewing lounges, wraparound decks and private verandahs that offer guests the chance to experience-in intimate elegance-Alaska's glaciers, wildlife and scenery. Here are just some of the things we can look forward to:

    Spacious public rooms adorned with fine arts and antiques.

    Luxurious Euro-Top beds and premium linens.

    Large, extra-fluffy Egyptian cotton towels, plush bathrobes, magnifying mirrors, stylish new hair dryers. Refrigerators, televisions and DVD players.

    Fresh fruit in room.

    A diverse choice of dining venues:elegant main Dining Room; and fresh cooked to-order specialties in the relaxed Lido Restaurant.

    Complimentary 24-hour in-room dining.

    Lunch and dinner menus created daily and seldom repeated.

    Extensive wine list, featuring wines highly rated by Wine Spectator.

    The Culinary Arts Center will have the Master Chef offering tips for preparing salmon 50 different ways.

    A new, expanded Greenhouse Spa & Salon with massage rooms and thermal suites.

    An interactive learning center.

    The largest staterooms of any major cruise line in Alaska.

    Cozy wool blankets on each teak lounge chair for comfortable deck viewing.

    Complimentary hot cocoa and split pea soup served on deck mid-mornings.

    Menus designed to feature fresh Alaskan specialties such as king crab legs and grilled salmon.

    A Park Service Ranger on board to provide fascinating commentary on Glacier Bay National Park (wait until you see this!!!!).

    A full-time naturalist on deck to provide insight into marine and bird life (amazing), geology, glacial process and natural succession.

    A Native Artist-In-Residence program with lectures, small group sessions and hands-on crafts.

    The Legends and Lore of Glacier Bay as told by Huna Totem tribal interpreters.

    An extensive range of shore excursions, from native cultural tours to backcountry fishing and glacier flightseeing.

    Imagine all of the above, plus the camaraderie of the some 100 people in our group, plus another 1,500 passengers on board. Also, Umberto will be on board to take wonderful photos for you (at no charge) and will also be videotaping our Journey!! Daily uploads to the Senior Bachelor website so you can show your family and friends what a great time we are having!

    Every night we will have a group activity planned. If you are in the mood to attend, great, if not, no problem. I will share never seen before pictures of Grace Kelly, Monaco, The Palace and The Royal Family, and also a meeting one night about Oprah Winfrey and Hollywood and Film making for any group member who is interested.

    We are more than 3/4 filled now, and these cruises always sell out in August. If you know of anybody you think would enjoy this cruise (or the following one August 20-27) PLEASE hit the Forward button and send this message along and have them contact me ASAP.

    Should you have any questions at all, please e-mail me at .

    I really look forward to our time together.

    Very best wishes, Richard Roe A great Success Story!

    I love hearing from you about your experiences with PerfectMatch! I share them only with the writer's permission- usually given enthusiastically because they are excited to share their success. Fits nicely with our New Year's Resolution theme:

    From Marti- "Richard,

    Want to tell you about my success with Perfect Match. I joined at the same time I started planning my trip to Chicago to meet you. David and I emailed a few times, then started two-hour phone calls each night for a couple of weeks, then met in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan immediately after Chicago (my Chicago "tour" included a leaf-peeking week in UP). Since then we have been almost inseparable - almost four months! Incredible! So, yes, I think Perfect Match works, and I have recommended it to a couple of friends. I had tried eHarmony at my sister's insistence for a month, with no luck, and David had tried three other sites at different times over the last couple of years and actually had met a few women. We both think we got lucky on PerfectMatch!

    Good luck!

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