Some Answers

Well, now I know some answers to what is beyond the next hill.

I’ve seen the old Panama Canal and the building of the new locks to make a new and larger Panama Canal. I wonder if these will be big enough for the Ford-class carriers.

Speaking of carriers, I have seen the USS Midway and I want to see more. It’s too much for one trip. The museum includes not just the ship but bunches of aircraft. Though I suck at selfies, I’ll be posting a pick of me in front of an F4U-4 Corsair. Prettiest bird evah.

So much coolness, but perhaps the coolest thing of this particular trip was the retirement ceremony of a Navy Lt. Commander with 27 years in the service. His ceremony just happened to be during my visit on the bow of the ship. Really cool.

Another carrier note, CVN-76 Ronald Reagan was undergoing refit across the bay. I think some of my favorite pics are the Midway with the Reagan in back.

As a side note, this is an amazing museum simply because of the quality of museum. A free audio tour is included. Tons of information in charts. Flight simulators big and small. Stuff for kids to do. Recreations of rooms. Best of all , docents with Navy service, many who served on the Midway or flew the aircraft are there to chat with you. Really well done, and only $20.

Some more comments about the cruise itself. I found out that I need to make sure the next time I do a cruise I need to make sure it suits my needs. This cruise was aimed at wine drinkers and the suit and tie crowd. So not me.

Other cruises have more food options, more beer options, a lower dress code, and more bar options that suit me. Naive of me, no doubt, but I never thought about such things before. So for all of you thinking of a cruise sometime, look around for what you want, especially if you have kids.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself. Some nights out on the top deck in the wind with the sea and stars were amazing. Seeing the sun rise over Cartagena from the foredeck was brilliant, even if I did have to get up at 4:30am to do it.  Seeing the Maltese flag fly in the breeze. Yeah, I’m that geeky.

A wren got into the cafeteria and would not leave. Finally a group of people armed with napkins managed to capture it and put in on the back deck. It sat on a landing of stairs glaring at us for taking it away from its meal. I, of course, named it Pavel.

Seeing pelicans strike, by the way, was fascinating. And a bit terrifying.

The only excursion we took was the train from Colon to Panama and bus ride back. The train goes along the canal, and was built to transport freight the 50 miles of the isthmus prior to the canal. The train itself is beautiful and the ride was amazing. Take this excursion if you ever get the chance.

I also went ashore at several other places, but only really care about visiting Cabo. I have now drank tequila in the Red Rocker’s honor at the Cabo Wabo. I hate tequila but it had to be done.

Now I’m in Long Beach staying the night at the Queen Mary, the old cruise ship. It’s now a hotel/bar/restaurant/tourist attraction. Stay here if you can. It’s beautiful. Art deco for the win!

And on that note, I’m going to crawl into bed. Tomorrow’s a big day, the USS Iowa and the Getty Museum.

The Lure Of The Next Hill

I’ll admit it. I’m addicted. I want to see what’s on the other side of the next hill. It doesn’t matter if it’s on an interstate that I know what I’ll find is something like I’ve seen before, I still want to know.

And sometimes I still see something on an interstate I’ve never driven that is really cool.

But I’m in the midst of something a bit longer, and I’ve already taken trains, planes, and automobiles. Tomorrow I add a ship to the list.

So far, I’ve traveled slightly over 2000 miles. I have quite a few left to go. Many of those miles will be empty ocean. There won’t even be hills.

I still want to see what’s next.

And that’s a goodly amount of explaining my life, especially as I finally seem to be gaining control of it. By gaining control of it, I mean that I see a something different ahead.

I’m on track to release A Lake Most Deep by Kris Kinder. I may not have paper copies printed by then, but it looks like I’ll have those available soon after. An audiobook version should happen, too.

I’ll need five different ISBN numbers at a minimum for A Lake Most Deep and this pleases me greatly. That will cost, but one needs a separate ISBN number for each type of publication.

I should have printed copies of the cover that I can sign by Kris Kinder. I should also have some other things as well.

In other words, if A Lake Most Deep tanks, it’s because it’s wretched.

I am like many artists in that I don’t really have any belief that my art is good. I’m always surprised when I get really good responses to scroll texts or poetry.

So, I simply don’t know what I’ve got. I need to find out. I need to see that next hill.

Over the next few months, I’ll be publishing this book, writing much of its sequel, finishing a couple of somethings for the Grantville Gazette, and working on some game tie-in stuff.

So many hills to see what’s on the other side.

It should be fun.