Archives for July 2002

My take on Disney

It was mentioned to me that my writing about Disney seemed negative. I want to set the record straight: Disney was nothing but terrific, and they treated us very well. We were talking about our next Disney cruise before the last one ended.
I suppose my inability to embrace Disney completely in my blog has to do with their astonishing, eerie perfection. I thrive on finding the hidden flaw and exploiting it, or at least finding it. With Disney, they’re smart and professional and they have thought it all out ahead of me. It was really odd for me to be unable to find the hidden flaw.
Disney even let me look at their medical section, which looked great (trust me, I did time on a USNavy boat, and Disney’s medical would kick their butts), and was manned by some really nice folks.
So, if I seem negative toward Disney, it’s because they’re smarter than I am.

My Fresno Visit

Flew to Fresno for a whirlwind recertification course in Advanced Trauma Life Support and visiting old friends. Got to see a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in a year, and that was great. The course was excellent, and it was good to take it from faculty I’d had before (the most interesting comment I got from one of the examiners was “you did that like you do it for a living”, and I thought that was pretty funny).
Of course, as I was only away from home for 19 hours, it was quick trip, and back to work today.
And, more travelogue later.

A day or two later…

Turned into eleven days without the internet. I’d tell you the harrowing details, but they’d probably kill the weak and infirm and justify the first case of internet censorship. Just know it was hard.
I’m going to get back to the posting soon, after my ATLS refresher course this weekend. I’ll be studying so I don’t make myself appear silly.


We’re moving from the mom-in-law’s home to (ouch) an apartment. Ultimately, we didn’t find a place we both liked at the same time, so we’re going to regroup and look for a few months.
More posts when we’re back online, in a day or two.

MK return

So, off to the magic kingdom (again). It has occurred to me that I may have the days stirred up, and in the wrong order; if so, I apologize, but it doesn’t change the substance of the enjoyment or the trip.
&nbsp Goofy and goofier &nbsp Rain. Daily.
So, we rode the Runaway Mine Train (which made one of us cry, but I’m too scared or too much of a man to tell who). (It’ wasn’t me, though). And we had fun, the kids had a fabulous time, and that was what it’s all about, right?
This is where I point out that building a major amusement park / attraction in the middle of a swamp makes me go “huh”? I mean, I’m sure the land was cheap and Walt saved a bundle, but Geez, it’s hot when the Northern Hemisphere takes vacations, and, well, it’s in a swamp. They’ve done the typical Disney wonders witht the place, but it’s still hot and in a swamp. What was Walt thinking?


EPCOT (experimental prototype community of tomorrow) or, as the “cast members” say, every paycheck comes on Thursday.
Jed mimics Mickey It was where we started on day 2 of the vacation, and my considered advice is to Just Say No to Epcot (no longer capitalized by Disney). There is one OK ride there (the Test Track, sponsored by GM): it’s pretty good, but after that just go somewhere else. We ignored this advice and killed several hours there, and nearly lost the kids. It’s hot in Florida in July (duh), and when it’s still it might as well be equatorial.
Speed secret: at the Test Track they have ‘individual rider’ passes that move you past the line; they also guarantee you won’t be riding with your friends, and they make a point of splitting groups. happy kids and a Big Shiny Ball However, it’s OK unless you’re with a very small child (then just stand inline), and you get to the ride quickly. in Disney's China And, the best news, as you’re rounding out 2 rows of 3 riders, you’re going to sit on the outside, every time (never failed as we watched), and then you’re riding. Also, for many of the big rides Disney has the FastPass, which allows you to ‘reserve’ a pass to the head of the line during a particular time interval, and it’s excellent. Our entire group used these several times during the trip and didn’t waste our vacation standing in line.
After a few hours the kids were wilting, it was hot, and we bailed, returning to the Magic Kingdom.
Stay tuned: good pictures of wet vacationers ahead.

Blogger Crap

I just spent 45 minutes on brilliance, and Blogger ate it.
A pox on blogger. At least for today.

Vacation Day One, Later

So, we’re still looking for the relatives, and we decided to go see the Animal Kingdom, which features a neat ride on a truck, recreating a safari Elephant&nbsp an alligatorDone with Disney flair, it’s terrific, and quite enjoyable.
Then, after a really neat parade, back to the hotel. During the parade, the cast members in it made a point of acknowledging Roo, the child who was entranced by the whole thing. She loved it, and we had more fun watching our daughter watch the parade than the parade itself.
Got back to the hotel, and found a message from the inlaws; went, met, and spent a terrific evening by the pool with them, the kids wearing themselves out in the pool and wholly enjoying themselves.

Vacation Day

We flew out early one morning and arrived in Orlando. There we were met by a Disney Cruise Line Representative (DCL from here on), and we didn’t touch our bags again except to pack and unpack for the next 7 days. I’d like to say here that all DCL, and every single Disney employee (“cast member” in Disney-speak) we interacted with were decent and reasonable, and that was the worst interaction; the rule were friendly and seemed happy to be there.
a happy girl; hmm, cruise belly was supposed ot be AFTER the boat.Then, onto the bus for a trip to Disney World and our hotel room in one of the many Disney Themed hotels (ours was Wilderness Lodge, log and frontier style). We checked in, and then went in search of our travelling companions, my brother in law and his family. However, as they had been there for a full day prior to our arrival, and PPPlanning on my part, we didn’t know where to meet up with them.
Frankly, I didn’t think it would be that big a deal; we’d been to Disney Land several times, and figured that Disney World would be roughly comparable in size; I was severely mistaken. DWorld is huge, taking roughly 10 minutes to get from the entry gate to the hotel on a bus, on a freeway built through the center of the facility. I had no idea. So, off to the Magic Kingdom in DW, thinking we’d just bump into them (insert derisive chuckle here).
Nola & Roo @ Magic Kingdom East Arriving at the Magic Kingdom, we looked around and found it to be a very faithful copy of the original in California; still it seemed to be missing some substance (the visuals were right, perhaps it was the deja vu aspect). We ate lunch, realized this was an idiotic search method, and went back to the hotel, hoping to find them. What we found was a voice mail, which was returned.
We decided to go and enjoy our vacation, as it’s ours to enjoy, and knew we’d meet up with them eventually.

More to follow; I spent tonight learning how to put thumbnails on the page and resizing the photos I have done; posting will pick up soon.


featuring scruffy beard and cruise belly
So, it’s time I start writing about the cruise. Paradoxically, I’m starting with a photo of yours truly after returning from the trip. I’m doing this to show a picture of me as relaxed as I have been in a very long time. It was terrific to have a vacation; I have already promised it will be less than 12 years until the next.
To those alarmed by my relaxation, don’t be: I went back to work the next day, and am now back to my own, personal normal.

I also feature my personal side-effect of the cruise, which I have named “Cruise Belly”. It is the natural result of eating your own body weight in food every day aboard a boat.


My friend Rick has restated his earnings. I have no doubt Rick can now sleep better at night, as he rolls on huge piles of cash, his conscience freed to concentrate on his (alleged) website.
However, had he waited a few more days, his earnings would have been redefined as art, obviating guilt.

From SatireWire.

7/04/2002 in the Air

We flew home today, on Independence Day. Although we had been blissfully out of touch with the world, we were well aware of several ‘generic’ threats to Americans on our Big Day. So, I sat in the assigned aisle seat (serendipitously looking directly at the cockpit door), and looked at my fellow travellers; I looked the most dangerous of us all, and I’m a (nearly) middle-aged man travelling with a wife and 10 year old daughter. Racial profiling would not have picked me out of the crowd.
Interestingly, just before we pushed back from the gate the Captain toured the cabin: a Central Casting Airline Captain, greying hair but fit, with the eyes that say he means business. He walked through the entire passenger cabin (2 aisles, a 767), then got in the cockpit and took us flying. I doubt he was looking for anything in particular, but it meant something to me. It meant that instead of hiding behind a reinforced cockpit door he wanted to look at his passengers, wanted to know what his human cargo looked like. Was he willing or interested in challenging any threatening looking fares? I don’t know. Was he making his peace, so that if he had to make the choice he’d leave the door closed and do what’s best for the world? I don’t know; I’ll never know. Life is like that.
Thanks, Delta. My bags got home on time, and you’re forgiven for the carrier landing.

We’re Back!

We’re back from our first family vacation (not involving relative visitation) ever. We flew to Disney World and met up with my wife’s brother and his family, then we spent 2 1/2 days at Disney World, then, off to the cruise.
Lots of inane details later.