Friday, July 27, 2012

Trip to Miami

  This week I took a vacation to Miami, Florida. A good friend of mine and I have taken trips around the country of the USA to see our favorite baseball team play (the Atlanta Braves). Neither of us had ever been to Miami, so this year we decided to go there for a vacation. We could have gone back to someplace we'd previously enjoyed, like New York, St. Louis, Philadelphia, or even Los Angeles, but this time we headed for the beach.
  Miami is a cool destination if you like sun, traffic, frequent rain storms, lots of spanish speaking people, palm trees, and sand. Getting there was an adventure in itself for us. We flew from Birmingham, Alabama where we live down to Tampa, Florida--only taking a quick 1 1/2 flight, which seemed like only 30 minutes on Southwest. Got our bags & rode the shuttle to the rental car place. Got our car (a Hyundai) and drove from there to Miami. Doing this saved us a ton of money and, although it ate into our vacation time a bit, wasn't that bad, as we caught some scenery, like the Everglades & Alligator Alley (I-75), so that was okay. Finally making it to Miami we drove to the hotel. And man, what a hotel!
  The Mayfair is by far the coolest hotel I have ever stayed at in all my years. Located on Florida Ave. in Coconut Grove it's not only in a terrific area, the place looks to have been created out of someones vivid imagination. I say this because it resembles a place I have freqented, not in reality, but in a computer game! I've play WOW (World of Warcraft) for years and so I instantly recognized how similar it looked. Here are two pictures-the first is of the inner area of the hotel, the second is a photo of the game local I was talking about that it resembles (it is of an area within the Sunken Temple in the game-aka the Temple of Atal'Hakkar)

  At any rate, we found our hotel stay very enjoyable. A small shopping mall right next door to the hotel was very convenient for us as well as we ate there a couple times (Chili's), did some shopping, and even caught the "Dark Knight Rises" at the cinema, which has 13 screens and is as good a theatre as any I've ever been too--with stadium seating and very nice-though my friend said his seat was broken.
While in Miami we saw 3 baseball games at the new Marlins stadium. That place is a marvelous arena for watching a baseball game. Having a closable roof in a place like Miami is a great idea, with the heat & humidity. The only potential drawback is that maximim capacity looks to be somewhere just over 40,000 people, which is kinda small if they get into the World Series again. My camera phone went on the fritz when I was trying to take and send photos while there, I'd caught a bunch of good ones of the stadium, but then it wouldn't send them to my email & when I tried to take more photos I got the error screen "FAILED". This morning I finally fixed it somehow & its taking photos again.
We did other stuff too, like visiting the beach on Key Biscayne. We even saw the tennis complex there-where they play a pro tennis tournament you can watch on TV. We drove to South Beach and hoped to be able to walk around on the beach there too, but that place is kinda a nightmare: way too many people & cars, so there was nowhere to park & get out unless you want to walk a mile to get to it, which we didn't. So we just drove outta there. Ocean Drive is like a wall of hotels, one after another, so it seems like unless you're staying at one of them your chances of seeing the beach are slim. One night after a game we visited a place with a familiar sounding name: The Magic City Casino (Birmingham, AL. is called the Magic City). Luckily, both me and my friend Rick came out ahead.
Finally, after spending several days we drove back to Tampa, Fl. to catch our flight back to B'ham. & man we just did barely make it in time. After the 3 hours or so to drive back, filling up the cars gas tank, turning in the car, getting to the airport, checking bags, running to out terminal, & getting through the security checks, our plane was already boarding. Fortunately, when we got there they were just about to call us to board-so I guess we were just in time.
We finally got back home & can now rest up from our vacation, heheh.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Completed Chapter 16 of Book 2

  Here's an excerpt from book 2, chapter 16:

  The emptiness between worlds within the Sol solar system, that was the cold vacuousness of the interplanetary medium, heaved invisibly as the fleet of orbitals emerged from folded space. The auto-settings clicked into deceleration mode as the hulking vessels slowed to sub-light speed. The crew quarters, each housing hibernation chambers for the two-week journey, came to life. Fresh air was routed to the rooms, temperature was raised and gravity was returned to the upper levels. One by one the crew members were awakened, and one by one each of them prepared themselves to return to their duties. Within an hour the ships had been set to rendezvous with Wyrme and seek high orbital trajectories, which the fleet would attain in only a day's time.
In the main tower control-room of the orbital command ship Danival had only one thing on his mind, and he sat and watched intently as the tiny reddish planet grew larger in the view-screen. His second in command approached, making his duty rounds, finding his commander there locked in concentration and peered questionably at the small ruddy world himself.
  “It's rather unimpressive looking sir—considering,” said Sargarius Tyrnea, but then quickly reassessed his opinion when seeing Danival's reflection glaring back at him on the screen. “Though I guess one might find something ominous about it. Yes, a very ominous little planet I'd say!”
  “Well, I wouldn't want to be disappointed,” said Danival grinning. “But we'll know soon enough what is there. Begin the sensor sweeps when we're within maximum range. I want full topographicals and life-form analysis reports completed by the time we're in orbit. Coordinate the work among the crews of every ship and cross-check the results for irregularities or discrepancies. I need this done right and fast, not slow and sloppy. Got it?”
  “Right away sir!”

I hope that I can finish the book in a few more months and then begin the editing process and get it completed.