Category Archives: Travel
So I wrote a song one afternoon while driving through Orange County. Unfortunately, I lost the other recording I made. This will have to do. With my sincerest apologies to Jerry Reed:
Well, I was going to post a teaser for a new video project I’m working on, but YouTube doesn’t like the music I used, so I’m left without anything interesting to show for my next ambitious endeavour. If you’ve been to Disney’s ElecTRONica dance party either at California Adventure or Hollywood Studios, you might be familiar with the Power Surge stage show before the official opening of the party. I’m at present working on recreating a version of the show to enjoy at home. More details as they come, but for now, please enjoy my other offerings at my YouTube channel!
If you ever hit up Disneyland in the winter, you know exactly how vital a warm cup of coffee can be (nights still get a little chilly here in sunny southern California). A nice cup of Joe is also a necessity when you have a girlfriend who insists on being the first ones through the gates in the morning or your mates think it a brilliant idea to stay at the park for twenty-four hours straight.
The best part of Mickey’s “Really Swell” Coffee is that you can purchase it from the Market Street Coffee House in Main Street U.S.A., keep the receipt, and enjoy free refills all day!
You’ll never know how much this little tip has saved my bacon during my numerous trips to the Happiest Place on Earth!
So this 50-year-old hipster, John Brennan was taking a business trip from Portland to San Jose when he was selected for the TSA’s favourite controversial toy: the “nudie scanner.” Well, instead of letting Big Brother take a naked photo of him to sell to some dubious website, he chose the manual option. Long story short, the TSA agent found traces of nitrates on his gloves after the screening. Nitrates, among other, more common sources of exposure, are found in explosives. Mr. Brennan was in the process of being detained when he decided that he had nothing to hide, and exposed everything right there in the terminal. Consequently, he was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
“I was mostly motivated by the absurdity of it all. The irony that they wanna see me naked. But I don’t get to take my clothes off?”
In a rational decision by a local court judge, Brennan was found not guilty on the basis that his actions constituted peaceful protest and were protected under the Bill of Rights. Score one for the good guys?
Okay, so being a fan of both the Star Wars franchise and Disneyland, it was really only a matter of time before I made a little write-up about the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction at Disneyland (and Walt Disney World).
Apart from griping about the fact that some permutations of the ride experience involve elements from the godforsaken prequel films, the ride is just as campy and silly as the original ride. Disney Imagineers did a fantastic job of updating the entire experience for a new generation of fans. The queueing area feels more like a “legitimate” spaceport and less like some Quonset hut in a backwater rim world–this I’m not sure how I feel about. The original Star Tours had the same kind of feel as the original trilogy films: low-tech, analog, hastily constructed, and ad hoc. Now, the whole scene seems more elegant: Solari boards are replaced with high-resolution LCD displays, maintenance droids are replaced with security officer droids (albeit with similar whimsical attitudes about their jobs), and there’s no more People Mover running through the station.
Whether or not I appreciate the “upgrades,” I love the attention to detail and subtle nods to the original attraction. Oh, and the fact that Patrick Warburton voices one of the afore-mentioned security droids. In all, it’s definitely worth the trip to the park if you haven’t ridden it yet.
After a little searching, I happened to find a copy of the original video feed from the ride. Rex (the original pilot droid, voiced by the incomparable Paul Rubens) does not appear in the footage as it is the actual screen projection (probably recorded on VHS considering the tracking issue), but all the music, sound effects, and voices remain. The part that I enjoy the most is fact that it was filmed completely with models–not the CGI bullshitery that permeates Hollywood now (and ST:TAC is unfortunately no exception to this rule)–something about it just makes it look that much more real.