Sunday, December 28, 2008

A hit and a miss (well almost)

I thought I would post reviews for a couple shows I saw this weekend.

On Friday night my son and I went to see the touring production of Monte Python's SPAMALOT. Spamalot was the 2005 Tony award winner for best musical. On January 11th it will end it's Broadway run. I'm not certain how long the touring company will continue, but if they should ever return I would go again. The show is primarily based around "Monte Python and the Holy Grail." There are also referrences to "Life of Brian" and various sketches from classic Python skits. For example, a reference to migrating coconuts carried by swallows contained a few of lines from the "Parrot" sketch. There were also some timely improved lines such as when the French Taunter is egging King Arthur on with lines like... "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough whopper! I fart in your general direction! You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of eldeberries. I throw my shoes at your President!"

The female lead for the preformance we saw was played by Esther Stilwell. Miss Stilwell has a Disney connection. She has preformed at Disney Tokyo and on the Disney cruiseline. The show contains one of my all time favorite broadway songs. Here is "The Song That Goes Like This." The female lead here is not Miss Stilwell.

Another thing we did today was to go and see Disney's Bedtime Stories. Judging by the previews this film looked very promising to us. The film stars Adam Sandler. Now to me, Sandler's films can be very funny if... if they don't go to far. Which reminds me if you "have not" seen "Don't mess with the Zohan" good for you. That film is vulgar on too many levels.

During the open credits of "Bedtime Stories" I became concerned when the tag "A Happy Madison Production" appeared on the screen. Now this film is not vulgar, things are kept clean, but Sandler's influence can be felt here. One example, Rob Schnieder makes his obligitory appearance.

The film opens promising enough with Jonathan Price(Sandlers dad)narrating. We quickly learn that his father's bedtime stories ment a great deal to Skeeter (Sandler)as a child. Flash forward roughly 15 years and we find Skeeter watching his sisters kids while she is out looking for a new job. Skeeter makes up a bedtime story each night and the kids add their own spin to the stories as he makes them up. After the first night Skeeter realizes that parts of the previous evenings story have come true in the real world. Over the next few nights Skeeter attempts to guide the stories in a direction that will benefit his life.

There was something about the pacing of this movie that felt off. To me, parts of it felt just a bit disconnected. If I was reviewing this over on AATC I would give it 3 out of 5 kernels.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stuck In A Snow Globe

Snow, ice, and more snow and ice. The weather here is nuts and I'm going stir crazy for an outdoor jog. Again this year our city is not putting any effort into clearing the jogging trails. It's just not safe to be on them.

I can't wait to make it down to Florida. It seems unreal that the race is only two weekends away. I know we are all feeling the excitement building.

I heard Those Darn Cats mention that a number of people came down with a touch of flu following mousefest. Hope all of you are staying healthy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Once again it is I, Fernando!

Saludos My Dah-lings once again it is I Fernado. You know, when last you stopped by the Hideaway Nando promised you a very special guest. And that guest is here in the booth with me tonight. Please welcome the fabulous Donald Duck.

Donald it is so good to see you again my friend, did you have your feathers whitened? I kid you because I am a kidder. Actually you look mahvelous dah-ling, abso-lute-ly mahvelous. Welcome to the Hideaway.

Why thank you Fernando, it’s nice to be here. You look pretty snazzy yourself.

You are too kind, but I agree with you. As you know, my father always said to me, Nando, above all things you must look mahvelous, because when you look mahvelous, you will feel mahvelous also. He was so wise. But enough about me, let’s talk about what brought you by the Hideaway today.

Oh my my my, I am so excited, As you know Nando, The annual Walt Disney World marathon weekend is just around the corner, so I stopped by today to wish each of the Team Voice members good luck on reaching their half marathon goals. Soon the whole team will be in Orlando and ready to take on the Kingdom. As my pal Jonathan says “Main Street Awaits!”

Donald you say that with such excitment, I'm all goosepimply, but I know what you mean. I have met a few of the team members personally and let me tell you Donald, they have been working there tail feathers off.

I would run myself, but as you know, polyester does not breathe well. So Nando would rather stand on Main Street and cheer.

We all need someone in our corner cheering us on, and that’s part of what makes Team Voice work. Everyone is unique, yet they share some common interests and goals, and that helps pull everyone together. When things get tough they stop and think about what their prime motivator and cheerleader Rae said early on. “Disney people never give up” and of course let’s all remember Byron’s quote “Keep pushing forward.” These are both wonderful slogans of encouragement.

You know Donald, it sounds as though you have taken quite an interest in Team Voice.

Oh I have, I have. In fact my nephews and I have even visited a few of their blogs over the past year. The boys and I really want to see everyone succeed! Not only are we excited, the whole team is. There is such a level of commitment. Take Debra Burke for example. During Mousefest she went out and jogged 10 miles around Disney property. Deb has made steady progress all year long, never complaining, and she always has something positive to say to help keep her fellow teammates going. She has been a wonderful guest on All About the Mouse a few times too. Jonathan shouldn’t worry about Jeff W taking his place, he should be concerned about Deb. I’m kidding, we don’t ever want to lose Jonathan, but she really could do it. She’s that good.

Tell me about some of the other Team members Donald. Has anyone from Team Voice run in past marathon weekends?

Yes, they have at least three returning veterans this year, Bryan Ripper, Lisa Farry and Kate. They each did a great job last year and the team can really learn a lot from their experiences. Kate is taking on the Goofy Challenge this year. She will be doing my half marathon race and then Mickey’s full marathon the very next day. It’s an appropriately named challenge, and Kate if you’re reading this, I know you can do it!

Abso-lute-ly she can do it!

And speaking of Lisa weren’t you going to interview her at some point here in the Hideaway?

What a fabulous idea! In fact that gives me another idea. I should interview Trace about The Disney Dudes podcast that he and Wayne will be starting soon. I really should write these ideas down. But for now Donald let’s get back to Team Voice. Is everyone else new to Disney running?

Well Rae has finished some other Disney runs. I know she did the “Tower of Terror 13k” in October of 07 and the “Minnie Marathon” and “Race for the Taste in 08.” This will be her first half marathon. Other than that, several others will be running an official Disney race for the first time. Let’s see if I can remember the others. There’s Jonathan, Byron, Deb, Craig, Kristin, and that other intro guy….umm hmm what’s his name? It’s right on the tip of my bill.

Mike Fess?

Oh yes of course, Mike how silly of me. Then there is Chris, Matt and Heath. If I missed someone please leave a comment or send an email to heck for fun let’s see how many of you send an email to

Donald you are being a bit silly, but I love it.

Just having some fun Nando. Oh no, it appears my limo is here, so I must be leaving you and your guests. I’ve had a wonderful time, but before I go, I know the Team would like to thank joggerblogger, princess fee, mgreene and everyone else who has commented on their blogs this past year. And to the Team Voice members who are running, I hope you each have an incredibily fun run. Enjoy it! You have all worked very hard to prepare for the race and soon, very soon, it will be here. I’m proud of each and every one of you.

Thank you for visiting us here in the Hideaway Donald. Please say you’ll come back after the race for another visit.

Nando, I’d be more than happy to. Have a Magical Day and GO TEAM VOICE!!!

You do the same my fabulously feathered friend. Well that will wrap up things for today. Don’t be surprised this January if sometime, someplace, you hear a nearby voice saying “you look mahvelous, absolutely mahvelous.”

Ciao dah-lings.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Long Possibly Sappy Post Ahead

Congratulations to Heath for solving the Professor's quiz. The answer was adrenaline. Adrenaline sometimes even gets the best of me during training jogs. Especially, when I have had a day or two of rest. The Disney marathon has the potential of getting everyone really worked up in anticipation. Shucks I'll admit, I'm excited now, and I know that all of you are too. Let's put all our efforts into making this a fun run.

Given how things have been going for me since October I know I will be slower than past runs. But I am not going to worry about that at all. I just want to enjoy the whole thing. From arriving and seeing all of you, to packet pickup, running the race, crossing that finish line, getting the golden Donald medal, and congratulating those who finished before me and cheering other team members as they come in.

Those first six miles will be magical and we have all heard that the back half can be dull. This will make the final half more mentally challenging. But remember, whether you’re running next to a fellow teammate or not, we are each on the course somewhere.

We are not alone, you are not alone. We are a team; we are a self made team. Remember the days when we were kids and our parents signed us up for summer sports. We were placed on teams that other parents decided upon. If we were lucky, we might have one, maybe two friends on the team. Chances are there might have been kids on your team that you wish weren't. But this team, Team Voice, is a team because we all have chosen to be part of it. We have welcomed new members over the pasts several months and we cheer each other on, not because we have to, but because we want to. We want to see one another succeed and finish this race, and our wish, spoken or not, is that everyone wants to see their fellow team mates continue on with running and staying healthy beyond marathon weekend.

One more quick analogy. Every season on survivor we see playground games unfold when two tribe leaders are picked, and then in turn new tribe members are chosen one at a time. It's a popularity contest between people who really know nothing about each other. Someone has to be last and the inevitable question from Jeff Probst is "So tell me, how does it feel to be chosen last?" I wish they would just draw lots and go from there.

But here is what I'm trying to get at. It does not matter if you recently just joined the team, or if you've been here from the beginning. No one on Team Voice decides who is in or out. That choice is yours. If you want to jump in and see what its all about come along and get involved. What matters is that you are part of the team. I have said before that it is our differences that make the team strong. Even though we may differ in our training and our goals there is always someone who can relate, and is willing to offer encouragement or tough love. Encouragement is more the norm, but do not ever discount the tough love. If you have ever received a little tough love in the blogs it's because we want to hold each other up.

Recently Trace Jennings (who is a friend that Lisa introduced me to in Marceline) asked, "I'd like to be on Team Voice. What do I need to do?" Trace the answer is simply this. Participate. Start by visiting the blogs and introducing yourself. I'm not sure who you met at Mousefest but this January you will have the chance to meet a group of people I am proud to call my friends. Trace recently ran his first official 5k and he and his pal Wayne (formerly of the Mickey Room podcast) will be starting up the Disney Dudes Podcast in the near future.

Remember, Fernando and his special guest will be showing up this week. Be sure to check back.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Friend The Professor

Hello Team Voice. Are you all getting excited? Me too! But wait hold on there just a second, race day is still a couple weeks a way, and you still have some preparing to do. You've trained all year for the physical portion of this run. Let's not forget to excercise the mind. Sometimes to achieve great things we need to keep ourselves in check. If you don't pay attention to what you have learned, you'll burn yourself out. Keep the answer to todays quiz in mind when we are all standing in those starting corrals.

Perhaps you would like another hint?.
The excitement of starting the race may cause this chemical to be released in your body, causing you to start off more quickly than you had planned. If you let it get the better of you, you may burn out. The excitment of race day is enough to pull you through, don't let a burst of this crank you all up.

Race day is getting so close. I'm goosepimply all over.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Colored Underwear.

Not certain how old I was here, (ten?) but I do remember this Christmas morning. Yes, I really was that excited about getting colored briefs and t-shirts. For some reason which I do not recall, it was a big deal. Guess I was just tired of the whitey tighty's. Also that year one my favorite shows on TV was The Six Million Dollar Man. Colonel Steve Austin could run so fast and I loved the sound effects. Behind me is the box for the "Mission Control center" Later on when The Bionic Woman came out my sister got those toys. It's a little odd thinking back on these toys. Youtube has brought back a few memories. It's interesting that The "Million Dollar Man" and The "Bionic Woman" both took on dangerous missions in the shows each week yet when it came to merchandising Steve got all the cool gadgets while Jamie got stuck with a "Mission Purse" and "The Bionic Beauty Salon.

This past Saturday temps reached the mid fourties and melted most of the ice on the trails. I went out in the evening to give pavement running with the arch supports a try. I started off with a half mile walk and then began jogging. During the first couple miles I was having doubts about the supports, but be mile 3 my feet felt fine.
In all, I jogged six straight miles with an average pace of 12. Two days later and my feet still feel good. So it looks like the supports will be in at Disney.

Tomorrow I plan to hit the dreadmill because temps have dropped into the single digits. I tried citrus "Sharky's" on Saturday jog and found I did not like the taste. They make a fruit berry flavor that I like but the citrus ones tasted like gasoline. They worked but yuck.

Our little one is doing really good. I had to use a sling to support her when going outside for a couple days but know she is able to walk on a leash. She has only had one accident in the house, and hach day she improves and gets stronger. She will still be restricted quite a bit over the next 7 weeks. She must be on a leash outside, no stairs, and no free play with Jake and Zoe.

Looking forward to hearing some more Mousefest reports. Be sure to stop by Debs blog, she has posted quite a bit. Thanks for bringing us along Deb.

In closing I'll ask this. Do you remember any toy(s) from your childhood that you feel nostalgic about?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Saludos my dah-lings and you know who you are! seasons greetings it is I Fernando! It’s wonderful to be back here in the Hideaway with you all. I’ve missed my little corner of the world. Where have I been? So glad you asked.

I have been to Passamaquoddy and let me tell you it was mah-vel-ous, ab-so-oot-ly mah-vel-ous. The air quality surrounding Chum Shop Earth has really improved. Those folks are so inventive, they reinstalled the fishing rod and simply hung an oversized Magic Tree Air Freshener over the chimney. The result is the sweet smell of apple pie. Captain Slippy tells me that future air fresheners will resemble fishing lures instead of trees. How wonderful.

What brought me to Passamaquoddy? Well I was looking for Glenn Whelan as he had promised me an interview. The Townsfolk informed me that Glenn had left for Mousefest in Orlando. So not wanting to waste my visit I decided I would check out the town. Armed with a copy of the new 2009 edition of “The Not Quite Official Guide to Passamaquoddy” I had a wonderful time.

I could go on and on about The Ellenshaw Museum, The Passamaquoddy Cinema, The Octorail, or The Block Party Bass Parade but then this visit to the Hideaway would run too long. I invite you to stop over to Passamaquoddy and explore for yourselves.

Nando had thought about traveling down to Orlando to find Glenn, but I missed the Hideaway so much I have decided to stay put. Join me next time when I will be joined by a very special guest for our Team Voice members.

One last thing before leaving, Jeff called to tell me Sophie is doing well and was able to put a little weight on her legs today.

Caio’ for now Dah-lings,

Monday, December 8, 2008

Knee Injury

So I went to the Doctor this morning, can you believe, one month away from the big race and I’m dealing with a luxated patella. Standing itself is an issue and running clearly is aggravating. When this first started, the knee would pop in and out on its own, but now it’s just out. Trying to place the right leg firmly on the ground is painful.

Early tomorrow is another consultation with the possibility of outpatient surgery. This could be hereditary, and if I go ahead and address both knees, I will save $1000 in medical costs. No food after midnight tonight just in case surgery can be squeezed in tomorrow. Post surgery recovery is expected to be 60% within two weeks and the long term results are promising.

Regardless of all this, I am still planning to be at marathon weekend and give it my best effort.

Update 12/09/08:
Ok Mike, I know that wasn't funny. You didn't really think I was talking about me did you? Perish the thought. I dropped off Sophie (our third dog) for surgery this morning. If all goes well she should be recovered well enough to not be a big burden on my sister (who is house sitting) while we are gone. All the details above describe what Sophie is facing. She has been very uncomfortable and she is still under a year old. I am expecting a call later today on how everything went.

BTW I'm planning to be at Mousefest next year in 2009! Woo Hoo! Is it wrong to be excited about that already? I didn't think so. haha. Plans are to travel with my Mom and my sister who has not been back to the World since 1976. Boy is she in for a surprise.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Caption This #15

"Nando, I'd like a Chum Shop Earth T-Shirt!"

From Rae: "Can I sit at the booth while you are gone?"

From Chris: *From the waitress* Does this mean I don't get a tip!!???!!!

Training: Went back up to SNAP yesterday and did a short 2 miles on the dreadmill. My arch is feeling good but my legs just ached something awful. I extended my workout with another mile on the elipticle machine. Tomorrow I may do another light jog and skip the supports just to see if my legs feel different. This is not the time to be experimenting and it is driving me cuckoo. Been holding a bunch of water lately too, my thumbs were really swollen this morning. I know I have been sounding grumpy lately but have no fear. I'm seeing this thing through.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do Not Sit On The Leaning Rails...

The photo above is from the 2007 Living Christmas Tree performance that our Church has put on for over 20 years. You won't find me in this picture because I was at Mousefest. Prior to '07 I had been in four others. This weekend I will be back in the tree for three shows. Fully loaded the tree can hold over 40 people. It's hard to tell by the picture, but to fit in each row you are literaly sandwiched between rows of chicken wire covered with greenery and C7 light bulbs. And those bulbs can put out some heat! This years show runs just over an hour. There is no sitting in the tree as there is no room, all you can do is stand there and shift your weight from one foot to the other. (One year a show ran nearly two hours) This year my work hours have greatly interfered with my practice attendance. This has had me feeling a bit down which does not really lend to the proper attitude I should have.

This morning I was pleased that my arch felt good and it continued feeling so all day. That is, until standing at attention in the tree during rehearsal tonight. Yes, I had my arch supports in but I think they fit differently in the shoes I wore tonight. On Friday I may skip wearing them, at least while in the tree.

Tomorrow I will be back up at SNAP for another TM jog. I will update afterward. Till then have a great day everyone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Howdy Pardners...

Well getting back to jogging took a week later than I planned. No excuses, I have just been too lazy to make the trip down the block and into SNAP. The Tundra received 4 inches of snow yesterday and more is expected tonight. The trails and sidewalks are bad with ice. So training will need to be at SNAP going forward. Today I completed a little more than a 5k.(3.24 miles on the dreadmill) I wore the red wing supports in my shoes. I was a bit unsure about using them, but I found the support felt good. Toward the end of my jog my upper legs and calves felt sore. The question is, where my legs sore from something the supports were doing or (more likely) because I put in over 40 less miles for the month of November. Ugg. Tomorrow if I wake up pain free I will know for sure if jogging with the supports paid off. So far this evening I feel fine. Now that we are in the home streach my plan over the next few weeks is to get in two short runs and one medium run per week.

Chris asked about doing another virtual event in December. So here is what I'm thinking on Saturday Dec 27 we could do another event. But rather than set a specified mileage target I would let everyone name there own goal. At this point some of us may want to do a long run and some may not. The 27th is two weeks prior to the Disney run. So what do you guys think? Should we do another one?