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May 11, 2017
The Marathon

Russellís presentation outline proposal to PrincessÖ with titles and abstracts made up off the top of his head

On Monday night, May 8, we were up until 10:30 pm filling out Russellís contract with Princess. They needed the 11 titles and abstracts for Russellís guest enrichment lectures.

Russell and Gail had a fundamental disagreement. Russell preferred talking about science and history. Gail said that passengers were probably bored with those subjects. She preferred talking about our personal adventures: traveling around the world for a year, building our own house, and walking and bicycling across the state. Russell was reluctant to talk about such personal subjects.

Russell chatted with several of his coworkers. They all agreed with Gail.

So on Monday night, the 11 lecture titles and abstracts we sent to Princess included personal adventures, Russellís hobbies, and topics from Russellís blog writing:

  1. Stories from a One-Year Trip Around the World: Part 1: We Set Out on the Adventure of a Lifetime
  2. Stories from a One-Year Trip Around the World: Part 2: How Many Peanut Butter Sandwiches Can One Family Eat?
  3. Stories from Building Our Own House: Part 1: How NOT to Build Your Own House
  4. Stories from Building Our Own House: Part 2: When Your Dreams Go Up in Smoke
  5. All About Crossword Puzzles
  6. How to Become a Master of Sudoku
  7. The Search for Longitude and the History of Time Zones
  8. Unsung Heroes of Science
  9. The War of the Currents
  10. The Legend of D.B. Cooper
  11. The Story of the Trojan War

None of these presentations existed beyond the title. Each of them would require slides and graphics, but we couldnít rely on Internet access once we boarded ship. So they would all have to be written ahead of time.

In the meantime, Russell would need to continue working at his day job. This left only the evenings to do our cruise preprations.

On Tuesday evening, we had a dinner commitment, so we got a late start. It took until 1:30 am to finish the first presentation. One down, 10 more to go.

On Wednesday, Gail finally committed to go as well. Joss said he would be all right by himself; in fact, he might even do better without us there hovering over him. (Gail still arranged to have several people keep an eye on him.) Cameron said he would make the Wisconsin trip by himself. Colleen was disappointed, but Gail said she was only postponing the trip until a later date.

On Wednesday evening, we continued to work on presentations. By 3:30 am, Russell had only finished two more. Three down, seven more to go. He got one and a half hours of sleep that day.

Thursday had to be dedicated to packing. In a final rush, Russell spent hours downloading everything he could to his PC Ė articles, Wikipedia entries, photographs and illustrations. He would have to create the rest of the presentations onboard ship.

Gail went to bed earlier, and Russell finally shut things down at 12:30 pm. We set the alarm for 4:00 am Friday morning. We had an early flight to catch. We were going on a cruise.

Princess wanted so many lectures, they didnít fit on one page! Hereís page 2.


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