December 25th, 2010


Travelogue update 2.

Merry Christmas, yo!

Been a busy few days since the last blog posting, but now that the kids are down for a short nap while they recharge their batteries, I've got time for a few quick updates.

After getting into town Tuesday evening, Wednesday was something of a "decompress" day after all that driving. Michi and I did take a drive around town Wednesday afternoon (leaving the kids with Grandma for a dry run of the "slumber party" they'll be having with her and their cousin on Monday night), checking out old haunts like where we went to high school and where she went to college. We also hit Buccaneer Heaven, the premiere shop in the Tampa area for anything Buc or USF Bull related. If you can slap a logo from either team on it, chances are these folks have it. So, we grabbed a few items, lamented the fact that the team's playoff chances might well evaporate before this weekend is over, and continued on our way.

Thursday was a trip with the kids to Lowry Park Zoo, which has undergone a massive facelift and expansion in the years since I last visited. The girls got to see all sorts of stuff, including petting stingrays, feeding giraffes, and making meerkats sit up and take notice. Once we got back from that and let the kids catch a breather, it was off to a big family dinner at Lee Roy Selmon's, a restaurant with an emphasis on southern-style cooking and barbeque sauce on pretty much everything. As longtime residents of Kansas City, my tastes in this regard have gotten rather particular, but my meal didn't disappoint.

Friday was our biggest excursion so far, with a drive to Orlando and Sea World. That was a pretty full day for all of us, and the weather was beautiful for being outside. The girls got to see dolphins, sharks, penguins, sea lions, along with Shamu and all the other killer whales at the big show which has been a hallmark of the park since I was a kid. All of that had the effect of wiping out the kids, who were asleep before we left the parking lot.

Today, being Christmas, meant watching the carnage as the girls ripped into the various presents provided by Grandma and my uncle, and later by my sister and her family. After hanging out and stuffing ourselves for a bit, the day has calmed down and everybody's taking a breather, before we ramp up again with a trip across town to Busch Gardens.

Somewhere in and around all of that, I've even managed to write a bit on the new novel. Not as much as I would like, but better than nothing.

More later...maybe.

Star Trek Re-Watch: "The Empath"

A little late this week (blame it on Vacationitis), but this past Thursday naturally meant an all-new installment of Star Trek Re-Watch with me and David Mack (infinitydog), as hosted by our current sugar mommas and daddies at

This week? Kirk, Spock, and McCoy encounter the lovely if not really talkative Gem, along with her douchebag would-be benefactors, the Vians, in in "The Empath." I provide the episode recap, while my partner, Mr. Mack, offers up some pretty interesting analysis and other ruminations.

So, wander on over to and check out our latest blatherings, and feel free to join the discussion. The Tor folks get all tingly when we bring folks into their lair and help them pay bills

The Mack/Ward Star Trek Re-Watch Archive:

Next Voyage: The Taming of the Shrew, Star Trek style, with "Elaan of Troyius." Dave will be providing the recap, and I get to offer up some insightful analysis...hopefully about something else other than how hot Elaan looks in her blue wedding dress.


A little taste of Vanguard.

When Doug Drexler was asked to provide cover art for the next book in the ongoing Star Trek: Vanguard saga, Declassified, he responded in timely fashion. While his first submission was not accepted by Pocket (owing to similarities to previous entries in the series), it's still a very sweet piece of art.

Doug's second submission incorporated several requests from the book's editor as well as some of us writing stories for the collection, and also is - in a word - Awesome. As I said on Doug's blog, it contains lots of little details which will tickle the hearts and other parts of old-school fans, particularly those who love such classic publications as Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual. That image has not yet been approved by the licensing department at CBS, but while we wait, Doug has made the original submission available for viewing on his site:

Unused image for Vanguard: Declassified
(Click to enlarge)

Kinda makes your mouth water, doesn't it?

Be sure to check out the comments about this piece, as well as lots of other Trek AwesomeSauce, at Doug's blog.