July 2003 Archives
I have finally gotten around to working on the Gorn galleries which have been in a state of migration and disrepair for the better part of a year. The Gorn Page was a guinea pig for the Gallery program, but as with any test, I got halfway through it and decided that it wasn't working exactly the way that I wanted. So I left it there with some of the Europe pics loaded and disorganized. I finally re-installed Gallery in the correct subdirectory (I like to have one for each area so I can customize some of the links in the headers). Today, I finished all of the Europe Galleries once and for all. I must say, they all look a million times better:
Gorn Europe Pictures
I am now starting to work on the Hawaii and South Pacific pictures and then it will be on to the big bulk: North American pics. My goal is to have the whole thing redone before I head out to Four Corners next month. One drawback is that I notice my Atomz search program has now exceeded the allotment I originally gave it. I guess I might have to spring for something else. So beware that you might get flaky search results.
In celeb news, I spotted Holly Marie Combs of "Charmed" fame on the Pooh ride yesterday. The only other recent sighting was Tom from Blink 182 and his pals on the Matterhorn.
It looks like my trip to Arizona next month might be full of good Gorn picture opportunities. I told my mom that when I came out there that I wanted to do something fun and exciting. After much back and forth, we decided on trying to drive to one of my oft-desired destinations: Four Corners! I remember we wanted to play Twister there back in 1994 as part of "Dome to Dome Twice". I'm sure most of you know what Four Corners is, but in case you live in another country: Four Corners is the only place in the US where four states meet. Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado all come together at this brass plaque in the middle of nowhere. It is about a 6 hour drive from Phoenix (about the same distance if I drove there from So Cal), so it is a good thing that I am flying out there.
Now when I travel somewhere, I will go to great lengths to find something else of interest to me that I want to go see, just so that when I go there, I wont have to come all the way back out. Especially if it is a far away place. This idea was taken to extreme in 1993 when I insisted we drive from Grand Forks, North Dakota to Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower in South Dakota and Wyoming. Mind you I'm over 15 hour out-of-the-way drives, but not 5 hour ones! So on this trip, while traveling to Four Corners, we are hopefully going to make a b-line to Monument Valley. MV is another place I have always wanted to visit. Now Matt will admonish me for not making the trip to Canyon de Chelly - one of his most desired places to visit.
So after a quiet first half of the year travel wise, it looks like the latter half of 2003 is shaping up to be a busy travel season: Four Corners/Monument Valley in August, Walt Disney World in September, and New York in December.
It's official. After much promising and procrastination, me and my friends finally committed to going to Walt Disney World at the end of September. It will be the first time I have gone on vacation with a group of friends since Dome to Dome - I hope this group fares better. (A-V Day wasn't a vacation - it was a party!) We will be staying on property at the All Stars Sports Hotel, which I hear is just like a Motel 6. Thankfully, we all get into the land parks for free and get discounted entries into the other areas (water parks, DisneyQuest, etc.) and our hotels are 50% off. No word on whether we get discounts on food, but I'm sure we will get something. When I went to Disneyland Paris in November I was able to get discounts on souvenirs and food at most places, so WDW should be a piece of cake.
In flipping around Trio waiting for Battle of the Network Stars to start, Daniel and I watched this old variety show called "Pink Lady and Jeff". It was very surreal. Pink Lady is a Japanese duo and Jeff is some second rate comedian. Together they form one of the oddest groups in show business history. The show was so bad that it was actually funny. Sadly, since it was only on for six weeks in 1980, it will be off Trio this week. Don't forget to catch the Battle of the Network Stars marathon on Sunday!
My aunt woke me up at 6:30am to tell me Charo was on the Today show. I was taping it on TiVo, but since I was up I watched it. She performed the Ketchup Song and Bolero - her two new staples. One thing that was interesting to note is that they showed a CD entitled Bolero. One wonders if she is putting out a new album or just a single of her classic version of Bolero. The Las Vegas Sun mentioned that she was going to promote Vegas in a big way, but it appears she ran out of time. I hope NBC puts up some clips on their site.
I was very excited to discover that the cable channel Trio is running classic 1970's episodes of Battle of the Network Stars. Since way before I had a website or even before I went to high school, I used to love these shows. I think partially due to the fact I used to imitate Howard Cosell (who didn't). Like most things, nostalgia is stronger than the actual programming - sitting through an entire episode is a feat in itself. But if you can manage, it is good fun. It will be airing all this week in primetime on Trio and then a mini marathon on Sunday morning.
In other TV news - be sure to catch the weekend edition of the Today show on Saturday (7/26) Charo is scheduled to perform!
The Queen Mary pictures have sparked some ideas for the site. Mainly, I was wondering where to put the pictures - Trip Diaries? Club House? Gorn? When I figure it out, I'll let you know where they are.
I have also been trying to catch up on my sleep. The two 6am shifts on Monday and Tuesday took their toll big time. At least today I get to sleep in a bit, nap, and lounge before I start at 4pm.
It's been a busy week! Kicking it off was last Thursday's outing with Granny and Jerri to the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I have been wanting to go for one reason or another but mainly because scenes from the classic disaster flick "The Poseidon Adventure" were filmed aboard. It was cool being aboard, but truth be told, the ship needs some work. I noticed a lot of wood rot as well as some places just being worn out. I then realized that the Queen Mary has been in Long Beach an awfully long time (close to 40 years). the ship has also been through a lot (including one trans-Atlantic voyage as a troop transport with over 16,000 people crammed everywhere.
I really think that someone needs to buy the whole Hotel/Tourist Landmark and pump some money into it. The whole area is depressing, especially with the Spruce Goose dome sitting empty next door. To top it off, the admission price without a discount was $26 - way to high. I wonder where that money is going, because it sure doesn't seem like it is going to renovate the ship.
One of the thrills was being in areas that inspired the infamous boat-flipping-over ballroom scene in the Poseidon Adventure. I took some pictures and will try and get them online soon.
That night, Daniel and I headed to Walmart so he could develop his digicam pics. He has a Canon S230 3.2 MP camera, and the photos came out excellent. It did a lot to fuel my consumer lust. While we were waiting for his photos, I noticed both the Poseidon Adventure and "The Towering Inferno" in the $5.88 DVD bin. Both were great deals since I only had them on laserdisc, and with the recent demise of the player, it is nice to replace some movies on the cheap. Over the next few nights, we watched both, with Daniel agreeing with my assessment that TI is a better made movie, but overall, we both liked PA better.
The rest of the weekend was spent working long hours at Pooh and Matterhorn. Some rumblings are afoot regarding the reorg of cast members, and I know a lot of people are worried about where they will end up when it is all done. Hopefully, I will end up at Pooh.
Today, I began my first day of training as a trainer on Matterhorn. It is weird being in this situation given the problems I had when I first learned the attraction. It went well, and I hope to learn a lot more over the next two days.
I have always liked Beef Ravioli, and lately it has replaced mostaccioli as my favorite pasta. They are serving some good Raviolis at the Disney cafeteria lately and it's cheap. Add to that the good pasta sauce from Redd Rocket's Pizza Port, and you have a classic in the making. It's been awhile since I've cooked pasta at the house, mainly because I get it at work. Man is it good.
To help educate the loyal Club Josh users, I found out some interesting tidbits from Fresh Ravioli:
Highly controversial as to its origins. Ravioli were described in a 13th century Italian 'recipe book'. Boccaccio mentions ravioli in 'The Decameron'. The idea of a filling, wrapped in a dough is to be found in all cultures, and ravioli are simply the Italian version.
Fresh Ravioli is a great site with lots of recipes and helpful hints on how to make the best Raviolis.
In web news, Mom sent me a link to Television Without Pity, It seems to be the modern day version of the good old Survivorsucks.com web site that I used to enjoy many moons ago. TWP does have some great recaps of episodes of some of your favorite series. I'm actually amazed at how many shows they have written about. One of my personal favorite articles was a recent one of the classic Trek episode "Space Seed". Warning: the site features lots of moving, annoying ads, and if you don't keep track of time, you will be there for hours.
I have held out for a long time. I think I even liked the shock value when I would tell people, "Yeah, I still have one of those". But no more. Not after last night. I decided to watch Lost Highway with Daniel. It is one of the few movies that I own on Laser that has not come out in one form or another on DVD in the US (It has apparently come out in Pan and Scan in Canada - more on that in a bit). So I decided to open my box of laserdiscs and plop it into the player. I should have known something was up from the get-go. The image was fill of pixelations due to laser rot. I decided to keep watching the movie, thinking that I needed to go through my collection and see which discs were OK and which were kaput.
An hour into the movie, it's time to flip the disc. Thankfully, I own a model of player that flips the laser so that it can read the other side. Sadly, as I went to the other room for a sec, the player gave up and began to make this horrible rattling noise. After a half hour of trying, it was no use. Not only had my player died, but my precious Lost Highway laserdisc was stuck inside. Now I have to figure out what to do. The player is giving a diagnostic code, but I am thinking if I call Pioneer, will anyone still know the old codes?? Also, where would I find a place that someone can fix the player for a reasonable price? I think it's time to dump the discs on Ebay. I know I can at least get some good money for my Star Wars box set, and maybe a few bucks here and there for some others. I also might try Amoeba records in Hollywood. I know they buy lasers as well.
It is really sad. An end to an era for sure. But I am determined to finish watching Lost Highway, so I bid on a Canadian P&S DVD. I want widescreen, but there are no region 1 ones out there. I hope they release it in the US at some point in widescreen with extras and such. I figured the only other way to watch the movie would be to get rent a video which is Pan & Scan, so I might as well get a DVD for less than 10 bucks.
Another surprise was a quick visit from Matt. It was great to see him! I haven't seen him since last year, and before that it was almost three years. He was driving home from San Diego, and happen to pass Disneyland as I was getting off work. We were able to hang out for almost two hours before he got back on the road. It was cool to catch up, and I am hoping that we get to see more of each other soon. He ended up getting home at 3am - almost 9 hours after leaving my house due to an accident in Burbank on the I-5. Yeesh. I don't know how he made it!
I finally got around to installing my scanner which I bought almost a full year ago, but never unpacked it until today. It's actually a nice Epson Perfection 2400 Photo that I picked up at Costco. I was motivated by a stack of old photos my grandmother gave me as she was going through some old boxes. So I fired it up and am impressed with how fast and sharp the pictures are. I also decided to install Photoshop 7, just to make sure everything was compatible. My computer did warn me that my USB port is hopelessly outdated (read: 1.1 not 2.0) and that my performance will be hindered (read: everything comes over slower).
Take a look at some of the photos that I have loaded into the Club House. Not sure how many photos I will post. I have for some time wanted to document at least one picture for every year of my life. I know post-1994 will be a snap, and the hard part will be dating some of the 1970's photos since not everyone has dated them consistently. I'll just add that to the list of projects to work on with all my free time.
Fourth of July was a bit kick back. For the first time in ages, I wasn't working and didn't have plans for the gala celebration, so I sat at home and listened to the fireworks setting off all the car alarms. I did manage to catch some of the fireworks on TV, but after a long day in the sun, I was content to sit inside and go to bed early.
Saturday, I was rewarded with a nice day off and a party at a friend's place. It was mainly Matterhorn peeps, but it was a nice medium size get together with all the booze you could drink. After my experience at Daniel's party, I decided to take it easy, which upon hindsight was a good idea since I had to be at The Many Adventures at 7:45a yesterday. I seem to be falling into my old habits. If I have a long 8 hour shift in the daytime, I spend a good portion of the evening sleeping it off. Sometimes, it wreaks havoc - like forcing me to wake up at 3am, but other times it pays off in that the next shift I have, I am not tired and tend to enjoy work more.
Is it me, or have some big celebrities been dropping like flies lately. First it was David Brinkley, then Hume Cronyn, then Gregory Peck, then Katherine Hepburn, then Buddy Hackett, then Barry White, and now Buddy Epsen. I think summer is particularly hard on celebrities. Usually you can count on three every other month or so, but this month it's been open season. Mind you most of the celebs were up there in age, but Buddy Hackett and Barry White has a few more years left in them.
I really hate clothes shopping. Well, I actually like the shopping part, but I rarely find something that I actually want, and when I do, I usually get two or three of the same thing to save me from doing more shopping. Today, I picked up a couple of shirts at Old Navy. One of them, I had been eyeballing the last few times I went in there, and it was on sale. I liked it so much, I got the same shirt in a different color. Now, originally, I went in there to look at shorts, but I didn't like the pocket openings on their shorts. I don't think I have particularly big hands, but I hate it when the openings are too small. I like to lug around my keys, a wallet, a cell phone, and sometimes a pen in my pockets so things can get crowded fast. That's why I like big pockets.
Before stopping in Old Navy, I wandered around Tower and managed to make it to the book section. I noticed a new issue of Travel+Leisure and it made me yearn for my subscription to show up. Hopefully, next month it will be here. I did see the new Star Trek Voyager Companion, which in just a quick skim, seemed completely useless. The DS9 Companion is chock full of behind the scenes information as well as the usual summary and production notes. The Voyager one just has plot summaries and a breakdown of different info related to the Trek universe that is created in each episode. The information is cool, but without the behind the scenes on each episode it left me feeling a little flat.
Next stop, Fry's. Just a quick wanderlust around before I headed home. I really, really want a DVD burner and a way to convert all my home movies. Badly.
I am not sure what I am going to do tomorrow for the 4th. I work in the morning, but it's the first time in a long time that I have nothing to do. I'm usually at Disneyland at night for the fireworks, but I'm not going to stick around an extra four hours just to see them. Maybe I'll pick up some OT.