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Everything posted by printersdevil78

  1. So tonight the Jaycees held a pie-eating contest, and I was challenged to compete! I came in third (out of three), but it was a blast. I thought a few random photos might be in order, so enjoy! Carlena shows some love to Betsy, who made the pies for us. Yes, we had homemade pies. No skimping for the Jaycees! The prizes? Little Debbie fruit pies, of course! Lemon for third place (me), cherry for second (Leslie) and apple for first (Carlena). ...and after. Before... Time! The carnage begins! My challengers, Leslie and Carlena, dressed in their President's Day finest. (FYI, Carlena is the queen of theme parks. She needs to get her own account on here.)
  2. As someone who recently ended a long-term relationship, this thread really jumped out at me. After nearly two years, I had forgotten just how rough it is out there.... I'm trying the online personals right now for the first time in a few years. I'll give you the Reader's Digest version of my typical experience (the full scenario usually takes about a week): HER: I love your profile! It's so creative! ME: Thanks. HER: I love that you travel! You're so interesting! ME: Thanks. HER: I love talking to you! You're so funny! ME: Thanks. HER: Can I see a picture? ME: Sure. ME: Hello? Still there? Hello? I think I'm going to take the advice a "friend" from college gave me one time and just hold out for a nice blind woman.
  3. Wow, that's impressive! Besides the governor's inaugural, the three most distinguished places we played were Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Hersheypark and the high school auditorium....
  4. Unfortunately, we didn't see the Kennedy Center. D.C. is so big, you just can't see it all at once. That's why we're planning another trip this year. Most of us have already seen the White House, Washington Monument, etc., but there's a whole plethora of stuff crammed into that little city. Congratulations on getting to play there. When I was in high school I got to perform in a parade for the governor's inaugural in Annapolis, which was a big deal since it was the first one they'd had in nearly 40 years. The year after I graduated, my sister got to perform with the band in the Apple Blossom Parade in Winchester, Va., which, after Macy's and the Rose Bowl, is one of the largest parades in the U.S. The band came in third out of literally dozens of bands from across the country! Fortunately, even though I didn't get to play in that one, I still got to go. It helps when your father is president of the Band Boosters....
  5. As a few people on here may know, I assumed the presidency this year of my local Jaycees chapter. Toward the end of last year, I conferred with my individual development vice president, Dave, to figure out new ways to reinvigorate the chapter. We came up with, among other things, a series of day trips to regional historic and educational venues. After all, we're based within 150 miles of Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., so why not take advantage of it? We inaugurated the series yesterday with our first of two D.C. trips planned for the year, and I'm happy to report we had nearly 10 percent of the chapter in attendance (which may not sound that great, but it's phenomenal when you consider our average is less than 1 percent). I thought I'd share some of the highlights here, especially for some of the west coasters who may not have made it to our nation's capital yet. Enjoy! Hot, steamy penne rustica goodness! And that's it. No theme parks, but a good day overall, nonetheless. Dinner stop in Annapolis. Romano's Macaroni Grill > Carrabba's any day! A quick shot of Smithsonian Castle on the way back to the metro. I loved this walk-in mock-up of a 1950s passenger airplane. These old planes remind me of two of my favorite movies: "The Aviator" and "Catch Me If You Can." Ironically enough, I'm not a Leonardo DiCaprio fan.... Props from "The Wizard of Oz." From left: Dorothy's ruby slippers, the Scarecrow costume and an original script. The signpost from "M*A*S*H." Mr. Rogers' cardigan. A portion of the sleeve from Seinfeld's infamous "puffy shirt" can be seen in the upper left-hand corner. Lincoln's top hat. While the Smithsonian Museum of American History is down for renovations, a small portion of its holdings is on display at the Air and Space Museum. Included in the collection: one Kermit the Frog. Ever wonder how the term "clams" became slang for "money"? Well, take a look at this... it's a promissory note from the Great Depression. ...but also a jacket owned by Cesar Chavez. Inspired by Taste Pilots' Grill, I had also hoped to get a photo of the "Glamorous Glennis" at the Air and Space Museum, but like the "Spirit of St. Louis," it too was under wraps for the sprinkler repairs. Unlike 99.99999 percent of the rest of the universe, I actually LIKE "Golden Dreams" at Disney's California Adventure. So I was thrilled to not only find a print from Dorothea Lange's original negative of the famous photo reenacted in the film... This reminded me of something from "Star Trek," but apparently it really was a piece of NASA equipment at one time. Envy much? Because the Jaycees also helped plot the United States' first airmail routes, this was also a necessary photo. Plus I like looking at old airplanes.... Since Charles Lindbergh was a Jaycee, I felt compelled to take a picture of the "Spirit of St. Louis" at the National Air and Space Museum. Only it was covered up for sprinkler repairs, so this was the best I could do. And speaking of Elissa-friendly.... See? 3 p.m. and we're finally having lunch. And it's Elissa-friendly! "My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump." Dave makes some new friends. Does anyone but me find it ironic that more than 60 years after V.J. Day, the World War II Memorial seems to be a top attraction for Japanese tourists in D.C.? Sightseeing is hard work.... The World War II Memorial is impressive, probably more so during the warmer months when the giant fountain in the middle is turned on. This stiff fellow was part of the Korean Veterans Memorial. We were waiting for some lollygaggers when this pay phone started ringing. Travis took it upon himself to answer, complete with a Mr. Burns-style "Ahoy-hoy." After completely confusing whomever had dialed the wrong number, we were ready to continue our tour. And Travis pretty much bathed his entire face with Purel. It was a lot smaller than I had anticipated, but poignant, nonetheless. Entrance to the Vietnam Memorial. All that's missing is a bald eagle.... I really like this picture, not only because of the composition, but because it reminds me of a scene from the "Futurama" episode where the aliens from Zoidberg's planet enslaved the human race. This looks a lot smaller on the $5 bill. This is what the Taj Mahal would look like if it was tall and pointy. World War I Memorial... through the trees! Travis gets cozy with FDR's giant bronze dog. Matt joins the breadline at the FDR Memorial. Joanne and Travis lust over Thomas Jefferson. But then, they just got engaged, so they pretty much lust over everything right now. Yep, just like on the nickel. Dave was our tour guide, and with the help of a pre-trip survey, he tried to plan an itinerary of sites most of us hadn't seen before. First stop: the Jefferson Memorial. ...while Matt fell asleep! How is riding with Kristin and Matt like traveling with my grandparents? Kristin spent the drive to D.C. doing needlepoint...
  6. I would be willing to bet money that Michael is Ben's "man on their boat"--and the other Oceanic 6 member revealed next week.
  7. From the AP, via Yahoo: 'Idol' attraction coming to Disney World By DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer NEW YORK - Disney World is about to get a little pitchy, dawg. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced plans Thursday to create a live performance attraction based on "American Idol" at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park — formerly called Disney-MGM Studios — in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "Our goal is to try to recreate the excitement of those 24 people who show up on that 'American Idol' stage," Disney Parks chairman Jay Rasulo told The Associated Press. "We believe many, many viewers want to know exactly how that feels, and we're going to try to reproduce that feeling for them." Much like the hugely popular Fox singing competition, the as-yet-unnamed attraction — scheduled to open in late 2008 — will allow theme park guests to audition then perform before a live studio audience inside the Hollywood Studios' theater space formerly occupied by the "Doug Live!" and "Superstar Television" attractions. Disney licensed the rights to create the attraction from "Idol" co-producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia, despite the fact "American Idol" airs on Fox and Disney owns broadcast competitor ABC. "It is owned by us, so we can extend the brand in the off-air space in the ways that we want to," said Keith Hindle, FremantleMedia's licensing vice president. "We don't see this in any way as a NewsCorp. vs. Disney debate. That's never been part of the discussion, and it's not something that's relevant to us. It's just part of 'American Idol.'" The attraction's details are still being worked out, but it will probably operate something like this: Theme park guests ages 14 and up will be able to audition for a Disney casting producer. Those who pass the test will be selected to appear in one of the park's "Idol" stage shows. Rasulo anticipates six to eight such shows a day. Backstage, the performers will receive hair and makeup touchups from a stylist and singing tips from a vocal coach. Then, the guests will perform on an "Idol"-like set in front of a live audience and three judges. No, not Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. Instead, Rasulo says it's likely three audience members will be selected to evaluate the performers while a live host will keep the show moving. Top audience vote-getters will compete in a grand finale show at the end of each day. Overall daily champs will win a special front-of-the-line pass at a regional audition for the actual "American Idol" show. Hindle says Disney winners won't be given any special treatment during the real audition, just the ability to skip ahead. Because of eligibility differences — namely, the TV show's 16- to 28-year-old age limit — winners may be offered the option of transferring their pass to a friend or family member, but they won't be allowed to sell it. Daily champs too young to audition for the real deal could save the pass until they're old enough to compete, according to Hindle. But will there be enough Fantasias and Sanyayas to keep theme park audiences captivated? "I know that there's enough talent on any given day in our theme parks to keep people entertained," said Rasulo. Beyond the attraction, Hindle says actual "Idol" stars may make appearances throughout the year and merchandise designed by both FremantleMedia and Disney's product divisions especially for the attraction would be available for sale. "It's a very collaborative process," Hindle said. "Disney knows more about live stage productions that we ever will. We know more about our TV show that Disney ever will. Exactly how this will manifest it is something that will be mutually approved by all parties. We're looking to Disney to see how their guests like to be entertained."
  8. I couldn't agree more. I won a free, all-expenses-paid three-day Disney cruise at the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" attraction at Walt Disney World a few years ago, and it definitely wasn't worth what I paid for it.... These cruises are mainly geared toward those 7 and under, i.e. the Chuck E. Cheese crowd. Think costumed characters. Think ball pits. Even the food wasn't up to the same standard as what I've had on other cruise ships. Our last night on the ship we went to the piano lounge. One person tipped the pianists $20, and they thanked him profusely. He declared, "No, thank YOU! Listening to you guys is the only thing we've had to do here for the past three days!" But maybe a 3-year-old would like it. My favorite part was the lifeboat drill. This was when they sounded an alarm and everyone had to go to the deck for a simulation of what to do in case of an emergency. So alarms were sounding, and people were running everywhere. The youngest kids were scared and confused from the beginning. Then to add that "extra magic Disney touch," the crew held a screaming contest between both sides of the ship. So now people were screaming, and the kids were even more afraid. Then the crew added the cherry on top, encouraging everyone to "scream like you were going to die--because if this was a real disaster, you might!" Oh, those kids screamed, all right. Most of them didn't stop crying until well after dinner.... I can't imagine going on one of these cruises as a 19-year-old. I was miserable enough in my mid-20s.
  9. Well, according to recent reports, the writers' strike is closer to being over, but it likely won't be over in time for a lot of new episodes (if any) this season. I think I read somewhere that the head writer for "Lost" is actually one of the strike leaders. I don't buy the theory that the Oceanic 6 are winners of the Golden Ticket contest. In last season's finale, Jack implied that each of the survivors received a Golden Ticket, not that they had won them. Kate was pretty adamant about not even wanting to use hers, so I can't see where she would have entered a contest for it. As for who the Oceanic 6 are, my guess is: Jack Kate Hurley Sayid Sawyer (doing what he's always done--surviving) Michael Now admittedly, Michael is somewhat of a wild card. But rumor has it he'll be returning to the island this season. He has the good guy/bad guy rep that would make him the perfect candidate for the person in the coffin. Of course, so do Sawyer and Locke, but I would think Kate would have wanted to go to Sawyer's funeral, and Hurley's "I'm sorry I went with Locke" speech in the gym leads me to believe Locke screwed up pretty royally--again--and likely didn't make it off (even if he eventually wanted to). Besides the identity of the person in the coffin, the biggest question I have now is what made Jack change his mind about going back to the island. Obviously the flash forward at the mental institution occurred very shortly after they returned to the mainland--people are still asking Jack for autographs, and Hurley screams "Oceanic 6" with a degree of significance it wouldn't have had, say, five years after their return. Hurley wants to go back, but Jack is adamantly against it. Flash forward to the scenes in last season's finale, and Jack has grown the beard he mentioned to Hurley, and he's telling Kate they have to go back. I've spent too many years of my life over-analyzing this show. So help me, it better end right....
  10. I'm about halfway through "The Year of Yes" by Maria Dahvana Headley. It's basically her memoir of spending a year saying "yes" to every date she was offered while attending college in New York after moving from Idaho. I've also started reading Aida D. Donald's "Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt." I'm a sucker for good non-fiction. On the Disney park front, I also read a few books over the winter break, including David Koenig's "Realityland," Kevin Yee's "Mouse Trap" and Ben Ohmart's "Welcome, Foolish Mortals: The Life and Voices of Paul Frees." The latest volume of "Walt's People" is also waiting in the wings, as is Jeannette Walls' "The Glass Castle," which I've had for awhile but keep putting off reading because it's autographed, and I don't want to read it on the road (when I have the most time to read) for fear of damaging it in a suitcase or seatback compartment.
  11. Great stuff! I'm headed to Disney World (not Land) the day after tomorrow, and this really gets me in the mood! I miss the Skyway....
  12. The Canada/NY/Western PA trip sounds great! Hope I'm not too late to get one of the non-Midwest Tripper spots.
  13. I agree! Then we could have: Singing Dolls Singing Bears Singing Birds Runaway Mine Train Yeti Encounter Hotel Drop Dead Presidents Live! Haunted Mansion (oh, wait...) And my personal favorite: Ellen DeGeneres Presents Five Minutes of Incredible Audio-Animatronic Dinosaurs and Forty Minutes of Dialog-Heavy Movies That No One Really Cares About
  14. As quite possibly the biggest, geekiest "Futurama" fan on this board/in the world, I can attest that "Bender's Big Score" is one huge slice of awesomeness! If you haven't yet seen it, run, don't walk, to your nearest Wal-Mart/Target/Barnes & Noble/(insert store where DVDs are sold here) and buy it. Or borrow it from a friend. As if anyone would ever give up their copy! Billy West is my hero! I mean, he's right up there with Mel Blanc, Paul Frees, Daws Butler and June Foray as far as I'm concerned. Among the very best in the voiceover business. So yeah, I'm kind of excited about the move to Comedy Central and the three other upcoming DVD movies....
  15. And Dale's the one on the right because (s)he has two teeth! <--Just proving to Elissa that I know my chipmunks
  16. Fixed! No worries. Usually I'm the one annoying people by pointing out the "correct" differences between Chip and Dale (not to mention Goofy and Pluto). Guess that goes to show what a little too much eggnog will do! Also, Nrthwnd, don't worry about the confusion. I only wish I had Shane's awesome collection! I searched for my early '80s Kings Dominion souvenir booklet, which I'm sure has lots of good "company-approved" photos to share. Unfortunately, I think it's in a box somewhere in my parents' attic, which I believe was George Lucas' inspiration for the final scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
  17. Are your parents looking to adopt? Because if so, I'm available!
  18. Well, here's some good news: While the 31st is on the last weekend in May, you won't be going on Memorial Day Weekend. Because the last Monday in May falls before the last weekend in May, Memorial Day Weekend actually is the second-to-last weekend in May next year. My advice: Be sure to ride the chocolate factory ride. It's the only attraction in the world that gives you free chocolate at the end!
  19. My total "take": --$350 toward my annual national Jaycees convention trip (Memphis in '08 ) --Two work shirts --Pair of pants --Two early 1900s tri-fold postcards for a long-defunct Baltimore amusement park --Five vintage postcards from Frontier Town in Ocean City, MD --Early 1980s pictorial history of my home county --"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" DVD --"Welcome Back, Kotter" DVD --"Rescue from Gilligan's Island" DVD --"Pixar Shorts" DVD --A near-complete set of the latest series of Mattel die-cast "Cars" --"Fun Land USA" amusement park guide (vintage 1978) --Ghirardelli hot chocolate set --1 lb. of Asher's chocolate-covered pretzels --Sweatshirt --"Welcome Foolish Mortals" biography of Paul Frees --"Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot" --"Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom" --"Walt's People" Volume 4 --"Encyclopedia of Non-Sports Cards 1985-Present" --First season of "CHiPs" on DVD --"Disneyland: Secrets, Stories and Magic" DVD --Lennox candleholder --"Pirates of the Caribbean" wall clock, flag and temporary tattoo set --Hot Wheels display poster and Yu-Gi-Oh pin (gag gift) --Disneyland bank --Gift cards to Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Wal-Mart, Subway, Starbucks, two local restaurants and the local mall And to all a good night!
  20. Merry Christmas! While home celebrating the holidays with my parents today, I raided their old photo albums and came up with a handful of pictures I thought a few people might enjoy (and not just because many of them feature me). My apologies in advance for the 1970s Kodak color (look at that green Florida sky!) and occasional glue marks that have seeped through the photos in the past 20-30 years. And we end with clams! Were the Aristocats really this popular in '76? Who cluttered up Fantasyland with all those dang Skyway supports? The Walrus is pissed because @#$#% Pluto stole his spot on the float with the White Rabbit. ...That is, until Mickey Mouse joins in, too! Nothing like a jumpin' pop music stage show featuring Chip and Dale with an Aristocat on the drums! What do Goofy, Pluto and the White Rabbit all have in common? Seriously, if you know, tell me! Don't forget those Donald Duck "squeaker" hats they used to sell. They get a float, too! Sure, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee get all the attention. But check out Robin Hood at the bottom left. He was practically still in theaters then! You think Disney is too commercial today? At least they don't make Chip sell balloons anymore. However, Goofy still works the churro cart sometimes. Because he wants to, not because he has to. OK, so here's a can't-miss idea for the new parade: Take those Mickey Mouse ears that everyone buys, but blow them up by like 1,000 percent. And paint them in mod '60s day-glo colors. Because we only have one other idea, and it's too far ahead of its time. We call it "Light Magic." Sorry, kids. Mickey's feeling a little purple today. Try back tomorrow. Shamu? Check! Sea World in its third year of operation. More Marineland. Jump, Flipper! The rest are from my parents' honeymoon trip to Florida in 1976. Here's my dad at the entrance to Marineland. Gratuitious close-up of Minnie Mouse taken by my grandmother at Walt Disney World circa 1984. La-la-la-la-la-la. If you look closely, Gargamel has infected the Smurfs with some kind of disease that causes green spots to cover their faces. Now that's entertainment! Hong Kong Phooey--No. 1 super guy! My dad and sister aboard the Parrot Troopers. Doubt there was much "snapping" going on. Yogi Bear and a Kings staffer wearing one of those groovy mid-'80s park uniforms. Quick Draw McGraw and me. Space Kid-ettes helicopters and the Scooby Doo (before "Ghoster Coasater" was added to the name) at Kings Dominion. My sister on some sort of dinosaur ride at Kings Dominion. Moving on to 1986 for the next few, here's my sister and I on the turnpike in Kings Dominion. And what early '80s theme park experience would be complete without a dolphin show--like this one at Kings Dominion? Good stuff here, too. King Cobra is the coaster at the left, while I believe the one to the right is the Rebel Yell. Still 1983. Lots of cool stuff going on here. That's the 1983 version of Kings Dominion's centerpiece Magic Mountain, years before it was converted into the Volcano coaster. If you split the mountain into thirds, the Land of Dooz (soon to become Smurf Mountain) was on the left, Haunted River (where you can see the flume in this photo) was in the center, and the Time Shaft (Rotor plus trippy light show) was on the right. The Kings Dominion carousel in '83. Me again at Kings Dominion in 1983. The train looks a lot happier than I do. My sister and I with Kings Dominion's singing toadstools in 1983, six years after they became famous for their role in "Rollercoaster."
  21. I'll trade a tin of spiced pecans for a visit to the Waffle House any day! Closest one is about an hour and a half away from me. Last time I had the pleasure was during a convention in Myrtle Beach a couple years ago. I shed a little tear when I saw it crop up in the Midwest Trip report last summer. But I got freshly ground sausage for breakfast this morning and am T-minus five hours away from ham, sweet potatoes and made-from-scratch cherry cheese pie, so I guess that'll have to do in the meantime
  22. So, am I the only one who's wondering why Donald's wearing a Pilgrim hat in the Matterhorn ad? I'm sure I have some stuff like this somewhere in my archives from Kings Dominion and/or Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I'll have to search for it and see if we can't get some east coast representation here, too! "The Abominable Snowman is coming!" shout Normal Goofy, Sherlock Holmes Mickey and Pilgrim Donald.
  23. It's Christmas Eve, and my cupboards are far from bare thanks to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers who have supplied me with enough sugary treats to feed every elf at the North Pole! Since all the parks where I live are closed for the season, I thought it might be fun to start a thread where we could all share our Christmas cookies and other assorted holiday goodness. And finally, a nice six-pack of holiday Coke to wash everything down with. OK, so it's just regular Coke, but the 19th century reproduction bottles are really fun. My dad, the bottle collector, has some of the originals from the late 1800s (though I wouldn't want to drink out of them). OK, it may look like Puppy Chow, but this stuff is absolutely amazing! It's a container of spiced (cinnamon-sugar glazed) pecans left over from my Jaycees board of directors Christmas party, made using my aunt's recipe. Thanks, Aunt Barbara! A tray of chocolate chip cookies from my friend Kristin. Holiday cheer from a co-worker. There are four kinds of cookies in here--sugar cookies with sprinkles, oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip and peanut butter. Because we are both big dorky fans of "The Office" and Dwight Schrute in particular, I expressed mock regret at the lack of beet cookies in the assortment. Cookies left over from our division party at work. Sprinkles on the front, chocolate on the back. We also got to take home leftover hot wings and pork barbecue... but they didn't exactly last long enough for photos! My office manager made everyone at work a tin of this candy. It's basically crackers covered with a toffee-like cinnamon-sugar mixture covered with chocolate covered with nuts covered with deliciousness! My girlfriend made these sprinkled cupcakes for my roommate and me as part of our Christmas together on Saturday.
  24. It's a little overcast here, about 50 degrees. But in my mind it's sunny with clear blue skies because I don't have to go back to work until January 2!
  25. Next time try adding bacon bits to the eggnog. The great taste of crunchy pesudo-pork and the frothy goodness of sweet dairy egg drink together in one! I think that's how the Reese's Cup got started.
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