July 26th, 2011

My wonderful Meg kitty.

Florida Travelogue Day 2.

A quick up-and-at-'em that morning. I had pizza from the night before in the fridge. Heated a bit and devoured. Everything a growing boy needs for breakfast. Checked out of the hotel and got on my way to Walt Disney World. And thar she blows!

I was inordinately excited that they had monorails.

Especially a TRON lightcycle one!

I had my hopes up that perhaps they'd have a People Mover too, though I knew that had long, long since been retired.

I got there way early -- I was definitely among the first cars in the lot. This put me at the head of the line. While killing time, there was a family from Quebec that decided to see if one of the Disney folks really was from Quebec. He was, so they started conversing about where they were from and such. I joined in the conversation and told a couple stories about my time out there. I rarely use French and it amazes me that I'm still reasonably fluent every time I pick it up.

I had to slip in a couple of goofy questions -- they were OK with French toast and French fries, but they much preferred poutine. Yup! They're Canadian!

At length, they let us into the park -- a family from Texas opened the park. I made a note of Spaceship Earth as I rushed by it. I almost stopped there, but I'd heard that Mission: SPACE had my name written all over it.

It's right there in that rocket trail!

One thing you've gotta love about this ride is that as you walk up to the line, there's a line op standing in front. In my case, it was a pretty cute girl who looked me in the eye and said "More intense or less intense?"

Now -- I had no idea what I was answering here, but somewhere in the back of my head, I heard Winston Zeddemore yelling to me: "testing4l, if someone asks if you want it more intense, YOU SAY YES!"

With that, she handed me an orange ticket. I found out later that it meant that the rocket I was in would spin to produce more G-forces! Whee!

On the first run through, I was commander! There's four people to a craft -- commander, pilot, engineer, and navigator. They run you through what a flight to Mars might be like with a few close calls and a simulated cryogenic sleep inbetween.

What a way to start off, eh?

I went from there to the GM Test Drive ride which was pretty dull. They put you in a "test vehicle" and tell you about things like anti-lock brakes. The most exciting bit was a straightaway at about 60 mph in a relatively open topped vehicle. Maybe that would excite you crazy Terrans, but me? I had just been to Mars!

Afterwards, they push you through a bunch of exhibits about the cars of the future -- hybrids, battery powered cars, and the like. Along with new GM models. The only attention given to the high performance end was a Camaro that you could clamber into and have your picture taken. I went right past that and on to -- well, ANYTHING else.

One thing I loved about EPCOT was vistas like this one:

It just _screams_ future at you.

Against my better judgement, I went for the Captain EO movie experience. I saw it when I was a kid a long time ago at Disneyland. It was kinda mindblowing -- my first run-in with 3-D via polarized glasses. Apart from Michael Jackson's music, the whole thing was terrible though.

On the plus side, the glasses look awesome:

I walked over to Soarin' after that. I love that ride so much. They had this interactive thing going where cameras in the line which would watch the audience and try to pick out things like people with their hands raised, so you could bounce a projected beachball along the wall. That was kinda neat.

At some point, they busted out this samba-ish beat and this Puerto Rican mother started dancing. Her kids looked completely embarrassed.

So what'd I do? You better believe I got in there to shake a leg and extend the embarrassment!

Afterwards, I decided to take this opportunity to wander into EPCOT world and track down some unusual food. I got distracted by the boat ride. I ended up getting a carbonated orange drink while I was watching a mime. I got some food after the show and then continued on around.

One funny thing about Disney. Apparently, they assume that people have never seen a sink before:

Also, I momentarily wished I'd had a baby:

I was really quite curious what kind of change you'd get for a baby!

The rest of EPCOT was pretty cool, but the only other thing that I thought really worth mentioning was the World of Energy show/ride. You're sitting in a movie theater, except it turns out that the seats are in giant cars and they roll you into a couple of different scenes. Ellen and Bill Nye do most of the film and made for a pretty entertaining view. Better than Captain EO anyway.

So, I'd always wondered what this giant dome is:

That's a picture as I was leaving the park -- but I did get to it much earlier than that! It turns out to be Spaceship Earth -- a magnificent idea that Disney had and approached Ray Bradbury about. He wrote some of the concepts, but apparently it really didn't work with him and the Disney team.

I ended killing a fair amount of time out there. It just seemed like there wasn't that much to do in EPCOT. I made it out before the park closed. That was a good thing -- I'd planned on driving from Orlando to Titusville that night and checking into my hotel.

Only one small problem -- I couldn't remember WHICH hotel! A couple of guess & checks later (guided by my GPS), I eventually found the right place and settled in for the night. Tomorrow was Kennedy Space Center!
My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

I gotta get to sleep -- and I've been a lousy LJ friend, people. I've been super slow about those updates.

On the plus side, I have more time now! I was laid off last week! It's a bummer because I really dug working there and I really like the stuff they're doing, but economic realities can't be avoided.

The nice part is that my new job's pretty much lined up. There was another competing offer that came in the day after I signed my offer letter with the old place. As it happened, they sent me an email the week before I was laid off and I hadn't gotten around to telling them to bugger off.

We've zipped through the compulsory figures -- phone interview, references, application, et cetera. It shouldn't be long before I see an offer. Best of all, since the old job is keeping me on payroll for another two periods as part of my severance, it's not impossible that I'll end up collecting two paychecks from two separate companies!

A guy can hope! I'm trying to rush through everything instead of lingering around and enjoying funemployment to meet that goal.

Anyway, zetshia_gudani's out in DC visiting her sister, so I've got the place to myself. I've been keeping busy with a couple of things. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of stonesundial's company at a Project Pimento concert at a tiki bar on the Alameda. Had a lovely time with her and her friend, M~.

Started reading Master & Commander -- it's a great book, but damned hard to decipher. I know a thing or two about sailing, but some of the terms throw me and I simply must understand. Luckily, there's a very credible companion book out there which will eventually get here.

In the meantime, I've started on Dune. I'm enjoying it so far -- they've just set down on Arrakis and the pieces are starting to turn for Dr. Yueh and Duke Leto.

I plan to make a couple of excursions soon. I owe the U.S.S. Hornet another trip. I think I'll hit Chabot Space Center too.

On Friday, I'll have the pleasure of #9's company as well. I'll show her Interstate 60. Likely, a good portion of the evening will be taken up being a good ear & shoulder for her. She and a friend of mine had been dating and she broke up with him a few months ago when another guy came into the picture. I gather that her new relationship's working out, but since I'm the obvious old point of contact, I try to keep up with both of them and let them know that things are OK with the opposite half of the other relationship.

It's, y'know, what friends do.

Caught Rock Band tonight. There's another game night on Thursday that the same friend of mine holds. I promised him that I'd hit both this week. He really wants me to come back more often -- it's just that I need that free time.

After all -- I still owe you guys two days of posts about Kennedy Space Center and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Not to mention, the launch and California Extreme.

Patience folks. I'm working on it. 8)

Hopefully everyone's been well in my absence!