Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

Under the Sea

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Went to Nassau, Bahamas today and did the Sea & See Tour. First part of the tour was a boat ride aboard the catamaran Ballyhoo to get to a semi-submarine. On the way there we got a harbor tour from Slim who was very entertaining. When we got to the semi-submarine we went down stairs and took seats by windows to see outside. Saw a lot of turtle grass and coral, ballyhoo (which are long, skinny silver fish that look like mini swordfish), snapper, and puffer fish. Some people saw starfish and a turtle, but they were on the other side of the vessel.

After a bit on the sub we got back aboard the Ballyhoo to head back to land, once there we got on a bus for a tour around the island. I definitely wouldn’t want to live there, the drivers are crazy, plus people just walk out in the middle of the street without really looking. We stopped at Fort Fincastle for about 15 minutes to look around and take photos and then headed back to the pier where the cruise ships were docked.

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Superman Panel!

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Here are some informational tidbits I got from the Superman: Man of Tomorrow Panel.

  • They’ve done lots of big intergalactic stories in Superman lately so they felt it was time to bring Superman more down to Earth. Literally. They wanted to do more personal character driven stories. Superman will come across a myriad of real life problems including (but not limited to) suicide, poverty, casual cruelty, self-destruction, child abuse and immigration.
  • Superman 702 is shift from 701. Even though they share the same main story of Superman walking he won’t be encountering the same things every issue.
  • Superman 702 also contains a conversation between Lois and Clark.
  • Superman 703 guest stars Batman who shows up to talk with Superman. Batman thinks Superman might be having an emotional breakdown.
  • Story line after Grounded is the one J. Michael Straczynski always wanted to do.
  • When asked what the difference between writing for Thor vs writing for Superman is J. Michael Straczynski said that Thor is writing from the outside in. Starting with the Norse mythology and going from there. Superman is writing from the inside out. Starting with the character.
  • Action comics will be Lex Luthor vs. DC Universe. 10 – 12 villains (one a month).
    Some of which will be Mr. Mind, Deathstroke, Gorilla Grodd, (Neil Gaiman’s) Death and the Secret Six.
  • David Finch’s cover art for the issue featuring Death was instrumental in getting Neil Gaiman’s permission to use her.
  • Lex will be staying out of jail for the time being.
  • Lex will be changed by his journey and won’t be the same man when it is over.
  • Paul Cornell will be writing Superman in Action Comics after Lex Luthor story arc is over.
  • Smallville and its community are the center of the Superboy book.
  • Superboy will be fighting Parasite in issue one and Poison Ivy in issue two.
  • Superboy will also be getting some new villains.
  • Phantom Stranger will be an important guest and will reveal secrets about Smallville.
  • Phantom Stranger’s appearance in Superboy will tie back to 1960′s Phantom Stranger stories.
  • Big clue in issue two of Superboy of another supernatural character appearing.
  • Issue three is a Superboy/Kid Flash race which will be covered by Lois Lane.
  • Supergirl will be having a bizarre time. Bizarro Supergirl. Bizarro Metropolis. Bizarro World.
  • Supergirl will also be getting some new villains. As well as an old one that will be dusted off for the annual.
  • There wil be a Supergirl/Legion of Super-Heroes story referencing pre-crisis Kara Zor-El
  • Superman related titles will reflect each other but there are no plans for crossing over in the near future.
  • A prestige hard cover novel will be coming out. It doesn’t take place in the main DC universe.
  • It focuses on Clark before he is Superman and will show him revealing his powers to the world for the first time.

Holy Comic Con Panels Batman!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Next up on my write ups from San Diego Comic Con 2010 is info from the Batman: The Return panel.

  • Grant Morrison is working on a new Batman team book called Batman, Inc.
  • The book will consist mainly of 1 or 2 issue story arcs, with occasionally 3 at most.
  • Catwoman will be appearing in the first issue.
  • Detective Comics will be getting a Commissioner Gordon back-up feature that will tie into the main story.
  • Paul Dini is working on House of Hush which is a continuation of Heart of Hush. This story arc will go back further in time than previous stories.
  • The identity of the White Canary will be revealed in Birds of Prey.
  • Batgirl will be getting her own original rogue’s gallery.
  • Stephanie Brown’s first year as Batgirl was her telling others “I’m Batgirl, deal with it.” Her sophomore year will be her saying to herself “I’m Batgirl… now what?” and proving herself to not only the greater DC universe but to herself.
  • A Knight and Squire mini-series is coming, with Wildcat appearing in the first issue.
  • In response to a question on if Black Canary and Zatanna would be teaming up anytime soon Gail Simone and Paul Dini said they were in discussion on something but wouldn’t go into details.
  • Cassandra Cain could possibly show up somewhere in November.
  • Batman will be getting a costume redesign.

I think the best way to sum it all up is with a quote from the panel.

One of the best Bat years ever.”
-Gail Simone

The Brave! The Bold! The Young!

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Went to the Batman: The Brave and the Bold panel at San Diego Comic Con 2010. Along with the panel they also screened a premiere of an upcoming episode of the show.

Present at the panel were

The episode that was screened was “Emperor Joker!” and some of the highlights of the episode include

Some of the other information given during the panel were

  • Due to the popularity of the “Mayhem of the Music Meister!” episode they’ve added more songs to episodes
  • There are only 13 more episodes of the episode left.
  • There was a hint that “a masculine and a feminine character people have been waiting for” would be appearing.

Before the panel was over Greg Weisman came in and they gave some info on the upcoming Young Justice show that will be premiering on the Cartoon Network. I’ll admit I’d seen character design sketches and I wasn’t impressed but they also showed a trailer for the show and I have to say they look great animated.

They May be Going Rogue, But They Look Great Doing It

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Went to the City of Heroes: Going Rogue panel at San Diego Comic Con on Thursday. Most of this stuff is probably already on the internet but just in case you haven’t seen it yet here are some highlights.

  • The Cathedral of Pain is returning in Issue 18.
  • New mission features including:
  • If you kill/defeat a contact in a mission you won’t get any more missions from that contact.
  • Sabotage & subterfuge missions where once you’re in a mission you can call another contact to get a different objective to do while inside.
  • Tip missions where choices you make inside will either take you morally closer to good or to evil.
  • The tip missions are used when choosing whether or not your Praetorian will end up as a hero or a villain, or for when your hero or villain wants to either make the switch to the other side.
  • Of course you can also keep on the side you are already on and those who do will get rewarded. At least one of these rewards is access to special purple Invention Origin Enhancements.
  • Two new mission map sets, The Underground and Praetoria Tech sets that will eventually also be available to use in Architect.
  • Seven new costume sets including:
  • Overguard
  • Resistance
  • PPD
  • Clockwork
  • Alpha
  • Omega
  • and one other that I can’t recall at the moment
  • All auras will now have the option to be combat auras.
  • New zones in Praetoria including
  • Nova Praetoria
  • Imperial City
  • Neutropolis
  • and The Underground, which like the sewers in Paragon City will have corresponding areas underneath each of the top levels.
  • There are also no War Walls in Praetoria so you can see from one zone to the next, I am however not sure if there are still loading screens or not.
  • Protests is going to be a new zone event in Praetoria where you have the option to either help the cops stop the rioters or help the rioters.
  • They didn’t say what it was but they did say they are working on more Super Boosters.
  • New factions including:
  • Loyalists: They are loyal to Emperor Cole and have two sub-factions:
  • Powers: These loyalists crave more power.
  • Responsibility: They want security and peace.
  • Resistance: They see Cole as a tyrant and also have two sub-factions:
  • Wardens: They want a normal uncontrolled life.
  • Crusaders: They want freedom, no matter what it costs.

I had a great time meeting and talking with Matt “Positron” Miller, Melissa “War Witch” Bianco and David “Noble Savage” Nakayama who are all extremely nice people.

I also got a chance to try out Going Rogue on one of their demo computers and I have to say the graphics look awesome! I reallllly need to upgrade my gaming setup…

Good-Bye Carnival Miracle

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Had to leave the ship today :( Since the people we were travelling with are now Carnival V.I.P.s we got to leave the ship earlier, but since we didn’t know that at the time we were booking flight home we booked a later flight so we spent about 3 hours waiting to check-in and then after we checked-in we waited about another 4 hours or so on the other side of security.

The flight home was one of, if not the worst, flight I’ve ever been on. The overhead bins were full when I finally got on board so had to put my carry on in seat in front of me. I wear about a size 13-15 (depends on shoe) so not having any where to put my feet was not fun. If that wasn’t bad enough the woman in front of me had her seat reclined the entire flight. Even during take-off and landing when they tell you to make sure it is in an upright position. What’s worse is that after both announcements the flight attendants did a walk through to make sure things were in order and never said anything to her about putting the seat upright.

They Did It Their Way

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Last full day of the cruise and I’m sad. Played a few trivias today and won another medallion for Crazy Cartoon Trivia. Also went to dinner late to watch the Liar’s Club. Didn’t miss much in the way of dinner either, I figured by the time I got there everyone else would be on or near dessert. Seems it was going slow that night tho, I was about 45 minutes late and they were still on the appetizers.

After dinner went to the Carnival Legends show, which is where some of the guests perform on stage as certain musical entertainers, including but not limited too James Brown, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks and Frank Sinatra. Have to say the person who played Frank Sinatra did an amazing job this year.

All Feet on Deck!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Today on board the ship they had the On Deck for the Cure walk to help support breast cancer research. Was enjoyable, however since I bought my shirt just before it started I didn’t have time to change so put it on over the shirt I had on, let’s just say it wasn’t a good day to be wearing layers.

The after dinner show tonight was Ticket to Ride which is a tribute/music revue of the Beatles. I’m not really a Beatles fan, plus I’ve seen it before so I decided to pass on the show. I’ll admit it’s a nice production, but not really liking the Beatles I didn’t feel the need to see it again.

(Mostly) Keeping on Track

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Went to St. Kitts today and took the Scenic Rail Tour which I thought was the best excursion of the cruise. Although considering the only other one I did was the Whale and Dolphin Watch sans whales and dolphins, that wasn’t hard. But even with that it was still a great tour. The first part of the excursion was a van ride to the train station. Our driver was very knowledgeable and nice. The train ride was nice as well, the cars had a lower portion was enclosed and air conditioned and there was also an open air area up top. The group I was with sat downstairs at first and we were the only ones there so it was also quiet. Although the view down there wasn’t the best since along many parts of the rail the vegetation grew up taller than the windows. So after I had my complimentary banana slushee I decided to go upstairs to get a better view. The view up top was absolutely beautiful and amazing. Sadly, I didn’t think to check my extra batteries before the tour so I wasn’t able to take too many photos. Saw lots of animals including goats, sheep, donkeys, chickens, pigs and monkeys. Part way along the rail there was a bit of a snafu with one of the cars so we had to stop and move people from the last two cars and leave the cars behind. This made it a bit more crowded in the other cars which made it a bit more crowded. Some of the people were complaining about this but I figure considering we stopped just before going over a bridge it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Before dinner I went to play Last Man Standing Trivia which unlike normal trivia the people playing stood on stage and the questions were multiple choice and each corner of the stage was a different letter, so you could tell what you answer was depending on where you stood. Those in the wrong corners got off the stage and went back to sit down.

The after dinner show was going to be a comedian but due to flight complications he wasn’t able to make it so they did an impromptu show. The two production singers got to sing some songs of their choice, which they liked since normally all they get to sing is the songs in the production shows which are obviously picked out for them. The second part of the show was a Silent Film Skit where the cruise director picked people from the audience and had them do silly stuff on stage a la a Charlie Chaplin film.

Guess They Didn’t Get the Memo

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Arrived in St. Lucia today. Unlike St. Maarten we did an excursion here, Dolphin and Whale Watch Safari. Sadly, while the boat ride was nice, and we got some nice views of the island, seeing any dolphins or whales wasn’t guaranteed and we didn’t spot any.

Played trivia today (“World’s Most Simple Trivia”), which is anything but simple. But, I won, and was told by the trivia host that my score (17 out of 20) was the highest he’s ever seen for that category. So, I want to thank all the various trivia podcast I listen to that helped me learn/memorize many of the answers ;)

The show after dinner was a hypnotist, which was ok, but wasn’t my favorite show on the cruise.

I Should Have Had a Bad Feeling About This…

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Went to St. Maarten today. None of the excursions really interested me, or any of the rest of the group, so we just decided to walk around a bit and check out the shops. Sadly none of the stores were really interesting, mostly jewelery. There was one store that sounded interesting “That Yoda Guy: Planet Paradise” which is owned and operated by someone who worked on Star Wars. But it mainly just some pictures and props and a museum in process that will be done in about 5 years. I’m not a big Star Wars fan, but I would have taken pictures of the Yoda statue but you could only take pictures if you bought something. Also, the museum in progress might have been interesting since it had more than just Star Wars stuff in it, but not for $39. Granted it was technically included if you bought $39 worth of merchandise, but nothing was really worth that to me. Not to mention I had people waiting outside for me.

After getting back to the ship we had lunch and then I went to play trivia, didn’t win, but had fun. Was semi-close to winning tho, winners only had 4 more points than me.

The show after dinner was “Singin’ with the Big Band: A Tribute to Frank and Sammy” Which I really enjoyed since I like that sort of music. Don’t recall all the songs sung, but some were Candy Man, The Lady is a Tramp, World on a String, Bo Jangles and of course, My Way.

More Than Impressions of Fun

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Second Fun Day at Sea. Not much trivia, which was disappointing. Only general knowledge in the morning and TV Theme at night. Dinner wasn’t too appealing. Show was a vocal impressionist/singer named Karen Grainger. Thought I wouldn’t like it but decided to go and check it out anyway and was pleasantly surprised. Afterwards decided to check out the 80′s Flashback party in one of the clubs on the ship, didn’t stay too long, but did watch the 3 contests (Air Guitar, Big Hair and Michael Jackson dance impersonation).

Talkin’ ‘Bout Our G-g-g-generations!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

First Fun Day at Sea. Lots of trivia, the two entertainment staff I met today were awesome. The after dinner show was called Generations which was a Broadway-esque musical revue. Wasn’t the best show I’ve seen on a a cruise ship but it was enjoyable. They had different types of music from different decades. I think it spanned the 220′s or 30′s all the way to the 80′s, possibly the early 90′s.

We’re On Our Way

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Got to the airport and through security without a hitch. Flight was ok I think, slept through most of it. Also since two of the people I’m on vacation with are now “V.I.P.” guests with Carnival we got to go through the express line for security and check-in to get aboard the ship. I’d been up since about 5pm the day before so I didn’t stay up much past eating lunch and thus didn’t see the ship leave port. I did however get up in time for dinner which was good.

On Deck For the Cure

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Last year on the cruise I went on they did something called On Deck for the Cure, which is an event where they sell shirts and arm bands to help support breast cancer research. They did it again this year, and like last year I donated. The thing they did different this year was afterward they had a one mile walk/run on the jogging track as a show of support. Obviously since there wasn’t pledging involved like in some other benefit walks it didn’t actually help financially, but was still fun. After the 1 mile was over I decided to keep walking for a bit. Lost track of how many laps I did but ended up walking for about 50 minutes.

Mud Slides

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

We were in Limón, Costa Rica today. We had been scheduled to take a train, bus and boat tour to see the area but due to mud slides covering the train tracks as well as flooding in some areas our tour got canceled.

I did get off the boat to say I’d touched ground, but just to the end of the pier. I didn’t want to stay out too long due to the fact the weather wasn’t all that nice out and the place has a reputation for not being the safest for tourists. It’s mostly fine i a group, but didn’t want to push my luck.

Definitely NOT the Safe Way to Use a Ladder…

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

The show tonight onboard the ship I think was the best. A juggler/comedian named Michael James performed. Not only was his act extremely entertaining, but he was hilarious. The last part of his act revolved around him climbing a ladder. Not just any ladder but an unsupported ladder on a moving cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.. All the way to the top rung. Definitely impressive.

Magic! Comedy! Conga!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

The show on the ship tonight was Puck, who is a magician/comedian. He wasn’t the best of either I’ve seen, but he was still entertaining.

Later in the evening they had a deck party on Lido deck. There were people line dancing and what not. I was perfectly content to just watch, however I got shanghaied into joining a conga line. I just don’t like dancing that much, but I did do it… and then ran when it was over ;)

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Went scuba diving in Cozumel, Mexico today. Since we weren’t sure if they would offer a diving excursion on this cruise we didn’t bring our own gear and had to rent. Nice thing about that was we didn’t have to haul our stuff from the cruise ship to the dive boat. But, it is nice to have your own stuff, rented stuff doesn’t feel quite as good.

We did two dives that day, saw some very cool looking coral as well as fish. On the second dive we even saw an actual submarine. Granted it was doing another excursion tour, but it was still a submarine.

In between the two dives we had to go back to land and during that time also saw a lizard of some sort sunning itself on the rock.

Nobody Expects the Spanish… Tour Bus?

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Ship was docked in Malaga, Spain today. I didn’t go on any excursions this port however since the one that I wanted to do was sold out. That one was a tour of some castles and then a stop at a Picasso museum. Although someone who did go said that the Picasso museum, which is the main thing that caught my attention for that tour, wasn’t that impressive.

Instead I went with a couple of people form the group I was with and we took a shuttle into town and then rode an open air tour bus and just took a ride around the city. I got a couple decent photos, although it was hard to keep the safety rail out of the shots, and a slow shutter lag isn’t the best for shooting from a moving vehicle.

The show this evening was awesome, It was a tribute to Bobby Darin & The Rat Pack with Vocalist Jamie Frasier. While he didn’t sing any of the songs I really knew I still found it more enjoyable than the show last night. That one was a Broadway type show called “The Big Easy”. That one was a tribute to New Orleans, and while there were a few songs I knew, wasn’t that interesting to me.

After the show I went up to the panorama deck and watched for a few minutes as the ship passed through the Strait of Gibraltar. Unfortunately we’re passing through at night so didn’t see too much, but at least there were lots of lights so I could tell where shore was.

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