Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hey Santa!

You've just finished delivering toys to all the children in the world. What are you going to do now?

I'm going to Disney World!!!

Its hard to believe that one week from today I will be back in "the World." There is so much to look forward to on this trip. This year my mom, who has not been to WDW in 17 years, will be traveling with me. It hard to tell which one of us is more excited. She has not been to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom was not open when she was last in Orlando. She calls almost every night informing me that the trip is getting closer.

For this trip we will be flying into Tampa and before driving up to Disney we plan on having dinner with a friend of mine from High School and his family. Our first night will be at Old Key West and then we will be moving over to my home resort at Bay Lake Tower for the rest of our stay. Can't wait to see inside the building and Main Street will be so close I bet you can smell the bakery. (and let's not forget a cool lapu lapu is only a short monorail ride away.)

Plans as they currently stand are.

Wed 1/6
Arrive in Tampa at 5:00
Dinner with my friend Bill, a former Iowan who now lives in Tampa with his family.
Drive up to Orlando and check into Old Key West.

Thurs 1/7
Animal Kingdom.
Lunch at Yak & Yeti 12:30
Visit Expo and pick up packet when park closes at 5pm.
Check in Bay Lake Tower
If Yeehaw Bob is performing we plan to arrive for his show over at Port Orleans Riverside in the River Roost lounge between 7:30-8:00 Otherwise we may hop over to another park.

Fri 1/8
Hollywood Studios.
Dinner at Mama Mel-Rose 4:55
Park closes at 7.

Sat 1/9
3:30AM Make my way sleepy eyed over to meet up with Lisa and Trace at The Contemporary and take the Monorail over to the pre race starting area at Epcot.
Enjoy running my second Disney Half Marathon.
Magic Kingdom & Dole Whip Meet 2:00
Epcot for dinner at Le Cellier 5:15

Sun 1/10
Head down to Main Street to watch Team Voice Marathoners coming in.
Hopefully be able to make our way around to other locations and continue cheering the team on.
Meet up with Team Voice in the reception area.
6:00 Polynesian Resort Lapu Lapu
6:40 Dinner Ohana
Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom till 11:00

Monday 1/11
7:55am Breakfast Kona
Park day undecided

Tue 1/12
Lunch Coral Reef 12:35
Evening at Hollywood Studios if Fantasmic is showing.

Wed 1/13
Leave early for Tampa and our flight home.

A brief note on fitness for this run. I am not as prepared as I would like to be. However I do feel better physically than when I did DAM earlier this year. Right or wrong I feel that feeling better coupled with Disney Magic should get me through the run. I would really like to see a 2:30 finish but we'll just have to wait and see.
My training has been mostly on the elipitcal lately with very little treadmill and zero outdoor running over the past month due to ice covered sidewalks. I refuse to risk injury or to run in the street. I cringed the other day when I noticed two joggers running down a two lane highway in the early morning. Both were dressed in black cold weather running gear with nothing reflective anywhere.

In the days ahead I will keep hitting the gym trying to lose any extra pounds I can before race day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just in time for your Holiday gift giving!

How does one spend his time during a snow bound two week vacation complete with school closings? Why by creating and posting videos on "youtube" and then removing them because of threatening copyright infringement emails. Grrrrrrrr.

But fear not my friends, creativity is not dead yet. Being locked away here at home has allowed me to finish a project which I began a few months ago after getting permission from Doc Terminus himself. So over the past few days I have been channeling my inner Len Testa in order to post...

(Click Image to View Online Guide)

The brief review I received from Glenn simply read "It makes sense out of Chaos"

What I have done is to create an index of sorts with links to all of the content you'll find over on Glenn's blog. Plus I've added a few descriptions and photos of my own. I hope you enjoy your tour.

Training, what's that? All I have managed recently is a one hour mall walk. I have to get gym time in this week and in the days ahead. I feel better than I did going into DAM earlier this year and that's a good thing.

On another note my email provider really created a mess last week when they changed servers. At present emails are not arriving or they have been delayed for up to 3-4 days. I have an alternate email account set up just in case this does not get resolved. If you get something from wasowskijeff its me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Magical Windows

The way we entertain ourselves has changed since I was kid. Television is just one such example.

I remember waking up to test patterns on each of the four channels we could get at the time. Around five or six am the test pattern would fade and a video of our national anthem would be played. Then Jack Lalanne would come on the air to offer words of motivation and then he would lead his viewers into some morning calisthenics.

Following Jack, programming here in Des Monies would be filled with original local shows until the national game shows came on. At noon each of the stations provided a 15-30 min news update. WHO only did a fifteen minute newscast followed by 15 minute airing of the local Floppy and Friends show. This was followed by an afternoon movie, and then Floppy and Duane would return around 3:00 for a live 30 minute show. (I was on the show twice.)

KCCI and WOI played Soap Operas in the afternoon but each of them had also original programming. KCCI had The Mary Brubaker Show and WOI had “The Magic Window”

The Magic Window (aka The House of The Magic Window) aired Monday through Friday and was hosted by Betty Lou Varnum. The show was produced in Ames Iowa and ran from 1951-1994. During the show Betty Lou would make crafts and interact with puppets Gregory Lion, Dusty the Unicorn, and Catrina Crocodile. Between steps in the craft making Betty Lou would have the puppets turn on the Magic Window. The magic window was a screen set up behind the puppets. Betty would say something “let’s check in with Felix the Cat or let’s see what’s happening on Tales of the Riverbank. The camera would turn to the screen, a puppet would say “tada!” and then an episode of Felix the Cat or Tales Of the Riverbank would come on.
(I’m not 100% certain but I seem to recall some vintage Astro Boy cartons as well.)
After the short we came back to see how Betty’s project was coming along. The one show that I recall is a Christmas episode in which Betty cut out paper snowflakes to decorate her tree.

I miss the days of original programming. The things we consider entertaining these days fall far short (or rather they have gone to far) in my opinion. And sadly today we have 150 channels of programming with nothing on, many morning hours are filled with nothing but infomercials or crooked TV evangelists who are trying to sell you a miracle handkerchief.

Thankfully in a world so full of chaos there is this growing thing we all love called Podcasting. The shows are original and they allow us as consumers to find the type of content we enjoy. I first discovered this world in March of 2007. I had no idea that this phenomenon would change parts of my life. Over the past few years I have meet many of the Disney podcasters and their fans. I have made friendships that stretch across the country. It’s simply amazing and everyone I have met so far has been wonderful to get to know.

The first podcast I ever downloaded was Paul Barrie’s “Window to the Magic.” I was immediately drawn in by Paul’s in park audio. I could finally take an Imagication (a term which was later to be defined by WTTM.) I enjoyed and still enjoy putting on my headphones and stepping out onto Mainstreet USA and mentally taking a trip to the Disney Parks. Through Paul’s show I can sit on my front steps, close my eyes and picture a horse drawn trolley passing by. It’s the next best thing to actually being in the parks.

“Window to the Magic” often steps out of the parks to cover other Disney related happenings. Recently on episode #213, Paul visited the Walt Disney Family Museum and took in a screening of one of my favorite Disney films “The Three Caballeros” The screening was introduced by author JB Kaufman and a discussion of the film and JB’s latest book “South of the Border With Disney: Walt Disney and the Good Neighbor Program, 1941-1948”

Paul mixes the discussion with audio he recorded during the film. The sound clips provide a theater feel that I have yet to achieve at home.

You never know what new Disney insight you might learn from the world of Disney podcasting. In episode #213 I first heard about the Hidden Mickey and Pluto in “The Three Caballeros.” My attention was never focused on the lower corning of the screen to catch that detail but I found it.

“Window to the Magic” has remained in my top list of shows which I listen to on a regular basis. I had the pleasure of meeting Paul, Tairy and Patrick at Mousefest 2007.

My current podcast play list includes, All About the Mouse, Window to the Magic, WDW Radio, Those Darn Cats, The Disney Dudes, Trapped on Vacation, and NPR’s Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. Occasionally I listen to WDW Today.

Who are you listening to and what do you miss about your younger days?