Friday, September 30, 2005

Disneyworld Day 3

OK, so this is going to be short as I'm tired, and no pictures because I'm too lazy to upload them tonight.

Today was yet another day of adventure, but we gave up on the whole idea of getting up early and going out to the parks. So by about 11:00am we got moving and went over to the Magic Kingdom. By we, I mean my parents and I, as Amy decided she was going to be stubborn and stay in the room and sleep. Of course, those of you who know Amy know that her stubbornness shouldn't be of any surprise whatsoever. She is reading this over my shoulder and telling me it's not stubbornness it's sleepiness... I think it's the same thing if you consider the reason she was sleepy was because she was too stubborn to go to bed when the rest of us did. :P

The weather today was probably no warmer than it's been the past two days, but it sure felt like it. Maybe it was just more humid during the day than anything else. While at the Magic Kingdom today, we had a torrential downpour (and I'm not talking Seattle rain, I'm talking BIG rain). We ducked onto the closest ride, and found ourselves taking a trip on the Jungle Cruise in the pouring down rain. Quite entertaining actually, it really made it feel like we were going through the jungle, complete with the skipper telling really bad jokes. :)

After a day filled with a lot of going from ride to ride not to get out of the rain, but rather to get out of the heat, we hopped onto the monorail and went over to the Grand Floridian resort. Shall we say, tres swank. Dinner for the four of us was $175, and of course, completely free for us as it was included as part of our package. We of course would never eat there if we WERE paying, but can't argue with free. After dinner, looked around the resort, and absorbed all of its swankness we could handle, then went back on the monorail over to Epcot. We arrived no more than an hour or so before it closed, but found just enough time to go on the Test Track ride, which is essentially what it sounds like, you ride a car through this simulated test course. After that we wandered over to watch Epcot's nighttime spectacular, IllumiNations. I reiterate my opinions from previous visits that this is indeed the best show Disney has ever created. Outstanding!

The rest of the evening wasn't much to shake a stick at. I wrote 5 postcards, am writing this blog, and then going to bed. Tomorrow's adventures (complete with pictures, I promise) will include the Disney-MGM Studios, and one of the other great Disney-created rides: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Wahoo! Off to bed. I think I'm finally adjusting myself to Eastern time... probably just in time to be forced to adjust myself back to Pacific time. Ah the joys of travel.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Disneyworld Day 2

Day 2 at WDW, our first full day, was started off with us all coming to the realization that it takes more than just one night to reset your internal clock 3 time zones away. So getting moving by 8am didn't actually happen as planned. Fortunately as it turns out, it didn't matter much anyway. Well, actually, I should back up a few hours to 2:00am. That's the time when Amy's luggage finally arrived and was delivered to the room. Of course by this time everyone was asleep... but that's the way it should be I'd guess.

Once we actually got moving we were off to the Animal Kingdom for our first day of theme park excitement. We were off to the Animal Kingdom, the newest of the WDW theme parks. (Of course, by 'newest' I mean it is about 7 years old.) While I can't say too much exciting about it, it's really not much more than a Disney-fied zoo. You do see some animals quite close, which is a nice touch. This giraffe literally walked right past our vehicle in the Kilimanjaro Safari ride (one of only a handful of actual rides at AK.)

We spent the majority of the day there before heading over to the nearby resort the Animal Kingdom Lodge where we had dinner. It was a very unique buffet which had a lot of different African food, but really quite tasty. Here's a view looking out from the AK lodge:

After dinner we headed back to our hotel with the intent to go to Epcot later this evening, but decided to just relax instead. We've got 6 more days here, I think we'll have plenty of time to see everything we want to see. That leaves me right here, blogging the somewhat eventful day and ready to get some sleep. Tomorrow's adventures are the Magic Kingdom, that scaled-down version of the Anaheim institution known as Disneyland. With a little sleep we all should be energized enough to make it through the day. :) Vacations can be such hard work...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Disneyworld Day 1

It's finally happened... I'm on VACATION! As I write this I am sitting in a hotel room at the Port Orleans Riverside resort in fabulous Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We arrived here at about 5pm Eastern time, at which point the 80+ degree heat and 80+ percent humidity felt somewhat pleasant. Now at about 11:30pm, it feels incredibly muggy. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Relatively few snafus on the first day of travel. Amy's friend Liz took us to the airport and we arrived there just after 7:00am. Since we had already checked in for our flight online, all that was left was to check our bags (painless), get through security (equally painless), and wait for our flight (as painless as waiting can be). Then came the 5 hour flight to Orlando. At least it was non-stop, which makes it a lot more bearable. I mananged to watch 5 episodes of West Wing on DVD on my laptop over the course of the flight and all was well. We arrived and used WDW's new "Magical Express" service that (a) takes your luggage straight from the plane to your hotel room, and (b) provides you bus transportation from the airport to your resort hotel. This turned out as painless as ever, as we checked in at the Orlando airport and our bus was immediately there ready for us to board. That timing was probably more luck than anything else, but I'm certainly not complaining.

No more than an hour after we stepped foot off of the plane, we were checked into our hotel and in our room. Of course, our luggage would be delivered a few hours later, so we went to dinner at the restaurant in our hotel. Part of the reason we decided to come to WDW at this time was the package deal they were pushing that included their Disney Dining Plan for free. Basically this means that all of our meals are paid for: a snack, counter service (food court-type) meal, and a table service (restaurant) meal each day. The dinner we had tonight included our choice of literally anything on the menu, an appetizer, entree, and desert for each person. There was so much food! We got our bill at the end of the meal... if we had actually PAID for the meal, $150.23 (gratuity included). Our cost: $0.00. None of us could even eat the dessert, so we took home two pieces of cheesecake and two slices of pecan pie in togo boxes and stuck them in the fridge in our hotel room. Ugh. I'm going to be sick on this trip, I can already tell. :P

We returned to our room after dinner, to rest briefly and check if our luggage had been delivered yet, but no luggage. They said to expect that the luggage might not arrive for up to 3 hours after you check-in, so nothing to worry about there. We hopped on the Disney transportation buses and went down to the Downtown Disney outdoor shopping area. It was nice, bought some souveniers at the mammoth World of Disney store, and browsed some of the other stores. Eventually we took a boat back up the Sassagoula River (Disney-made, of course) that connects Downtown Disney with our resort. Confident that our luggage should be in the room by now, we got to the room and lo and behold, 3 bags of luggage sitting just inside of the room. But wait... we checked 4 bags in Seattle. Something doesn't add up! Oops, Amy's bag was no where to be seen. So I head down and we talk to the bell services gentlemen, and finally one dude who knew what was going on looked it up in the computer and found that it only arrived in Orlando at 10pm. They said it frequently happens that if the plane is overweight in Seattle, they'll just start pulling luggage off to make the weight work, not that they particularly care whose luggage they pull. Most likely Amy's suitcase was pulled and it ended up on the next flight down which arrived around 10pm. Either way, Amy doesn't need to freak out anymore because it should show up at our room by around midnight. Of course as I write this, it's currently 11:56pm EDT.

Unfortunately, no really good pictures today, but expect another update in the next day or two that will contain more exciting picture updates. Until then, I'm going to try to go to sleep since I'll be getting up at about 7:30am EDT or, uh... 4:30am PDT.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Amazing Race 8

Amazing Race 8 starts tonight. In continuing my new-found tradition of capturing the ongoing saga of the Amazing Race, I've created a separate blog for it at

Friday, September 23, 2005

Who watches daytime television?

It's interesting seeing what goes on in the world when you take a day off from work in the middle of the week. First of all, there's nothing really exciting on TV during the day... or else it just doesn't much appeal to what I want to watch. Except for The Price is Right... THAT I live to watch when I'm on vacation. :) But either way, it makes me think exactly who DOES watch TV during the day. It's pretty easy to figure out if you think about it... who else wants to know exactly what kind of people is watching TV at a certain time? The advertisers, of course! So what kind of commercials did I see? Well, commercials for toys, commercials wish spokesmen like Ed McMahon or the "I've fallen and I can't get up" or as I like to call them "scare the old people" commercials, and commercials for lawyers "If you've been injured, you deserve money, call us now and we'll get you the money you deserve."

So let's see, that gives us 3 prime demographics... little kids, old retired people, and people who don't have a job (either because they were injured, or because they're just too lazy to work). Sure, there are others like myself watching, but I'm not who the commercials are targeting. It all makes sense once you think about it, but doesn't leave me wanting to sit at home on a day off instead of just being at work.

Switching gears to Husky Football... the one week I don't actually blog about the game with my sure-fire predictions, we actually win (albeit against Idaho, who looked terrible). So I almost believe that I shouldn't make a prediction, because that way we have a better chance of winning tomorrow. The one thing that I'm sure of is that Husky Stadium will be louder and more full than it has been in the past several years. I believe that the Huskies actually have a chance of beating Notre Dame this weekend, even though I don't believe it's actually going to happen. :) Regardless, my prediction for this week is (since I always predict a Husky win):

Huskies 27 - Irish 24

Monday, September 12, 2005

What's wrong with Ocean's 11

So last night Ocean's 11 was on TV, so I watched it. Not to say I haven't seen this movie a dozen times already, so it gave me a lot of time to overanalyze how the plot at the end of the movie makes absolutely no logical sense whatsoever. Now I realize that creative license must be taken in order to make a movie work, and that is fine--I still think it's an excellent movie--but there are some things at the end that make zero practical sense (plausible, yes, but ridiculous) that just leave me wishing the script writers could have tried a little harder. Case in points:

1) The "pinch" they use to knock out power to the entire city of Las Vegas... but only for 30 seconds. I'm not an electrical engineer, so I won't comment on the feasibility of the concept. I bought it as face value that some device could emit an EM pulse that knocked out all electricity in the entire city of Las Vegas in the blink of an eye. What I don't buy is that it all would miraculously repair itself in a matter of 30 seconds and come back on without any perpetual damage whatsoever. Not a chance.

2) Even through the end of the movie, Benedict doesn't notice that his "double-secret vault codes" that he put in his jacket pocket are missing. He's gone to the fight, found out somebody's broken into his vault, but STILL doesn't connect the dots with his missing codes. Surely he would have needed to use the codes just to get back into his super-secure vault complex, yet he just walks right in after he knows it's been broken into. No, don't buy it.

3) The key element of the vault that lets Benedict know he's been had: the Bellagio logo on the floor of the vault entrance. This is the most ridiculous scenario I could ever imagine. First, this vault was built several years ago, (which by the way is connected to the cages at the Bellagio, Mirage, and MGM grand, which is about a mile down away from the other two, but I can overlook that), and now he has this logo put on the floor of the vault where he "had it installed last week". WHAT?!! Did he trust a bunch of construction workers to just come down and tear up the floor to put in a new logo while there was $100 million sitting next to them in the vault? Did he just happen to have decided that the solid black marble floor was not gaudy enough and he needed to put the Bellagio logo on the floor of the vault (that, as we recall, serves not only the Bellagio, but Mirage and MGM as well)? And furthermore, last week he installed it, but none of the 11 who have been watching his own vault using his own security cameras noticed that he installed this logo on the floor, which blew a hole in their plan to stage a fake heist of his vault? No. I buy this the least of all. Ridiculous.

But like I said, it's still a good movie. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Other than making any comments regarding yesterday's football performance by my Dawgs --which completely blew my prediction out of the water -- I will instead practice my sports headline writing. The headline in today's Seattle Times was: "A giant U-turn for UW". This was far less inspiring than I would expect from the Times' sportswriters. Instead, I offer the following alternatives:

"A game Bear-ly worth mentioning"
"Another un-bear-able performance"
"Husky defense pleads guilty"
"California 56 - Washington hopeless"
"UW Football: 20 seconds of excitement"

OK, so my headlines weren't much better. This just in from the random fact department: UW-Cal game attendance: 57,775. Smallest crowd in Husky Stadium in 19 years. But bonus points for being a palindrome.

And that's all that needs to be said of Husky Football until next week.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Go Dawgs! Beat the Bears!

Last week's debacle in the fourth quarter against Air Force didn't do wonders for proving my prediction abilities. So this week we will try again.

I predict that Cal will succumb to the awesome forces of Husky Stadium. I predict that Cal's loss to the Dawgs will mark the beginning of the Bears' return to prominence as the perpetual bottom-feeders of the Pac-10. I predict Husky Stadium will be a thundering behemoth on the Montlake landscape. I predict that the Huskies will be victorious, and thereby secure a "no-worse-than-last-year" record for the 2oo5 season.

Therefore, my gameday prediction is:

Huskies 21 - Bears 17

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Adventures and sunburns

Well not too much of note has been happening this week... but yesterday we had a "team building" excercise at work. My team spent the entire day out on a boat crusing around. We started in Anacortes then went down through Deception Pass and back up the Swinomish Channel past LaConner and various other nice little places. It was fun, despite the fact that I got a wee bit too much sun on my head... I guess I'm just a casualty of a fun day "working". :) A few pictures I took on the trip follow.

A bald eagle standing on some mud flats we passed

Deception Pass

Houses I'll never be able to afford

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Husky Football Kickoff

Well we've finally made it to that time of year again. The first weekend of the college football season. Saturday will kick off the 2005 Husky Football season, which we can only hope will be a fair bit better than last year's 1-10 season.

First, may I make a hearty recommendation for the entertaining comics (though I hear they're called "graphic novels" these days) at In its second season bringing high-quality Husky Football parody humor. :)

Now, this season opener for the dawgs will be an "away" game at Air Force... played in none other than scenic Qwest Field, home of the Seahawks. I honestly don't know what to expect from the dawgs this year, but I'm sure it'll be better than before. In Tyrone Willingham's debut as coach of the Huskies, I expect a stellar performance. I'm not saying I expect to SEE a stellar performance, but I expect one nonetheless. :) It'll be an exciting game to watch regardless, and all things considered, I will make this week's prediction:

Huskies 31 - Falcons 24

I'll say up front that I always predict the dawgs to win... because I've seen too many upsets to believe there's any game that we have no chance. Go Dawgs!