Monday, December 31, 2012

And so it comes to an end...

No, I am not quitting the blog, although it has been been pretty hectic and thus the lack of posts lately.  For that I apologize.

However, this is more about the end of the year and the fact that all things must come to an end, but there is also always a renewal at the same time.  Throughout my life I have found that no matter what happens in my life when something ends there is always something new that is starting at the same time.  Sometimes that new thing is exciting and sometimes it is not that great. But all things are only for a season and the tough ones will pass eventually.

At this point in my life nothing is changing except the date but I am sure that it will only be a short time before something changes.

In the meantime I would like to thank my family for being the strange cast of characters that is always supportive and entertaining all at the same time, and my wife for the patience and love that she exhibits every day.

To you, my readers, thank you for for spending the year with me as we journeyed the the thing we call life.

See you on the other side. ;)


Friday, December 21, 2012

A countdown to Christmas

Allow me to tell you a story about a young child who made a big mistake that would impact the rest of his life.
It was the Christmas season and this young child was still in the early years of his life.  He had made a countdown calendar from felt and yarn to track how long until Santa comes with all the loot he could want.   The clanedar had a tootsie roll for each day. 

When the young man went home he immediately hung the calendar on the wall in his bedroom and excitedly counted the days. 15 days to the joy of Christmas!

Then the temptation got the better of him.  So much chocolate and so little time.  Perhaps if he ate more than one day Christmas will come faster?  He reached up and grabbed a Toosie Roll off the felt and gobbled it down.  One day closer!  Hmm, how about another day?  And another.  And another.

Soon there were no more Tootsie Rolls, and a full belly.  Make that a sick belly.  Maybe eating them all wasn't such a great idea after all.

It was such a bad idea that he never ate another Tootsie Roll.

Fast forward almost 40 years.  The boy, now a man, has a party at his house and his step-mother brings a gift to the party.  She hands him that same calendar now reloaded with chocolate bars. The amazing part?  It's 15 days to Christmas.

What are the chances that he will eat that chocolate in one day?  Slim to none, I know better than that now. ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A phrase I would love to hear again.

The other day Mrs. T and I went shopping at a local store and had a grand time buying lots of little knick knacks for the grand kids.  As we came out I walked up next to the T-Mobile and heard loud music playing from the vehicle parked next to us.

"Kisd and their loud music." I thought to myself.

Suddenly the music stops and the driver's door swings open, narrowly missing me as the driver climbs out and into me. She was a women in her mid-30's.  Not what I expected with the volume of the music.

And that's when I heard the words that were like music to my ears...

"Oh, I am so sorry.  I didn't see you there!"

For someone my size that is just hard to believe, but also wonderful when someone says they didn't see you. Either way it was music to my ears.

Just not loud music. ;)


Monday, December 3, 2012

The Tree Is Up

Well, it is official, Christmas has arrived.  Although there are a few benefits to it having arrived 2 weeks ago.  One of them is that the local shopping malls put up the decorations and we get t enjoy them.

In this case the beautiful tree is accompanied by two big balls.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Rise of the Guardians - Review

I went to the movies this weekend.  We (Mrs. T and I) were invited to join my sister and my niece (you remember her, the genius soccer star) to catch a matinee showing of DreamWorks's Rise of the Guardians.

I went in expecting a Christmas movie since anything I have seen for the movie seemed to be focused on Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin) .  However, the key character is actually Jack Frost (Chris Pine) who is suddenly promoted to the level of Guardian to help protect the world's children from Pitch Black (Jude Law).  The press release tells the basics:

DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes — each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.
However the story is so much more.  At one point the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) explains that Easter is about hope, renewal, and a rebirth.  A point that is very close to the truth, without offending the non-Christians.
Based on a book by the Oscar winning screenwriter William Joyce, this is a story about childhood faith in the legends that we were taught by our parents.  This is a story about believing.  Although it is chock full of legendary characters like the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fischer) and the Sandman as well, it reminds us that child like faith is what we need to keep alive through out our lives.  Without that faith, regardless of your beliefs, your life can become filled with fear and resentment.
This was one of those amazing movies that never seemed to hit a flat point. It was always keeping you going and it brought you along in the emotions of the moment throughout the entire movie.  This is a rare gem that I hope wins a lot of awards.  It has earned them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How About A Nice Mug of History?

As I was digging around in the cupboards above the fridge (you know, the place where you put things for safe keeping but never find them again.) I happened across a find from my honeymoon oh so long ago.

We stayed at the Dixie Landings Resort at Walt Disney World.  At that time it was a wonderful place to visit and you received a guide to the resort that included wonderful stories about how the "town" was founded and why there are so many different sections to the resort as well.  I haven't found it, but we may still have our copy of the "newspaper".

What I did find however was our refillable cups.  These cups cost us somewhere around $10 to purchase and fill for the first time.  After that they cost us nothing to refill.  The amazing part of these cups is that not only are they a remembrance of a resort that once was (yes, I know it still exists at Port Orleans - Riverside, but that is not the same thing) but it is actually still refillable.

You can still get insulated mugs at the resorts, but they are all very generic across all the resorts, and only refillable for the length of the stay, at least according to the note on the side.  Ours however are specific to the Dixie Landings resort, and since they predate the new mugs are still refillable any time we return to those resorts!

I have trips planned for next year, but even though we are not staying at the resorts, we will still be taking those with us to refill for old time sake.


Monday, November 26, 2012

It Was A Mass Murder!

I was driving home from the store a few days and discovered that there had been a mass murder in our neighborhood.  It must have happened very recently as the police had not been there and it was not marked as a crime scene.

It was really rather gruesome to see, all these bodies laying around in various positions.  Although I was surprise that there was no blood anywhere.  The movies always make these things look so bloody and terribly messy.  Surprisingly the bodies were quite clean of any blood or other marks.  Must have been death by strangulation or suffocation.  Maybe it was poison gas?

Naturally, I took a picture as quickly as I could in case someone moved the bodies before the authorities arrived.  Can't have any evidence being tainted can we?


Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Flight

I recently went to the movies with my sister to see Flight.  I was expecting an exciting movie, but not really sure what the story was about other than a plane crash.

The opening scene is filled with full nudity, alcohol, and drugs.  The scenes with the aircraft are very dramatic and have you on the edge of your seat. Everything after that is filled with cursing and runs flat.

The story is not that compelling after the crash.  It centers on Captain Whip Whitaker and his inability to get past his own failing, which he denies exist.  However, there are some hilarious scenes as well, primarily when John Goodman is involved.  Interesting note that I made while watching was that every time there was a change in act, there was a thunderstorm.  It was a subtle indicator, but one that was rather appropriate for the turbulence in his life.

I am not going to spoil it for anyone, but the best parts of the movie were the crash and the two ending scenes.  Both of which I don't think you will expect.

Am I going to say that this was a horrible movie?  No.  But I will say that it really wasn't what I expected, and it was just average.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sorry for the lack of posts...

I have been swamped with work and it has finally caught up to me.  I promise to get back to posting shortly, just not today. ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Where Am I?

Since I have been throwing a lot of tough ones at you, I thought it would be good to toss a softball over the plate for the first time.

This is a picture of a bridge.  Yes, you may call me Captain Obvious now if you like.  The question is what bridge?

Let's see how long it takes to get a correct answer on this one.

I am traveling today so my response to your posts will have to wait until the evening. ;)


Friday, November 2, 2012

Other DUH!

Anyone that has been around this blog knows that I have a great deal of fun with food and caterers.  They always try to make their little signs informative regarding the food they have in the steam trays.  This time is no better.

As you can see from the picture to the right, this tray had steamed vegetables in it.  Specifically, it had broccoli in it.  No cheese sauce or anything. just the broccoli.  That's why I had to laugh when I read that this dish was a vegetarian and dairy free. Let's see... broccoli is a vegetable so that would actually make this dish a vegetarian dish. But then who didn't realize that?

Now let's address the "Dairy Free".  Hmm, sorry, can't see where broccoli without a cheese sauce can begin to resemble anything BUT "Dairy Free".  So now we have stepped into the land of Captain Obvious.

I know that we want to have clear labeling in case someone has an allergy issue, but sometimes we need to also have a little sanity as well.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oh, Flatus, Where Are Thou?

Working at a government location recently I was treated to one of the most hilarious, and slightly upsetting notices I have seen in a while.

This sign is obviously written for a special group, but it definitely made me laugh to walk into their break room and see this posted on the wall. Clearly they had someone with a problem and they were trying to make a subtle statement.

If all the information on the flyer is correct then there are some really surprising facts.  The big one is that gas can cause back pain.  The other is that if you don't poo enough you could have up to EIGHT meals in your gut.  I know what some of mine were and I don't think I would want them around.

Then again, the fact that there is a website for this is just as disturbing.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Clarity, That's What It Needs, Clarity!

Walking through the supermarket the other day and we found and awesome deal.  An entire shopping cart for only $1.99!  I realize that they really are selling the items IN the cart, but the sign says that this cart is only $1.99.  So you can have premium racing vehicle (what, you never did that?) for a low, low price.

Yep, that is a steal, if I do say so my self.


Friday, October 26, 2012

What a Corny Idea

Traveling through the airport recently I was sent to a terminal that had an agricultural theme to it.  There were all kinds of different sculptures based on vegetables lying around.  But since I live in the Cornhusker State (Nebraska for those of you not from here) I was drawn to a sculpture that probably would be right at home in the Omaha Epply Airport.

As far as I am concerned, it's pretty corny.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sundown in the Keys

Many people dream of spending a vacation in the Florida Keys.  Personally this has never been a dream, but I would like to say I have been there sometime.

With my recent work for a client in Miami I had the chance to fly in early one day and actually drive down to Key Largo.  It is about a 90 minute drive south of Miami and is a rather pretty beautiful drive as well.  Most interesting is teh fact that for a majority of the drive you are stuck in a corridor defined by fences and concrete dividers.  I would imagine that the fences are there to protect the gators in the Everglades from the fast moving cars. ;)

Once I arrived in Key Largo, the first of the chain of islands in the Florida Keys, I had to find a place to stop and take pictures of the sunset.  I actually stopped at the Carribean Club, site of the famous movie Key Largo.  There are even statues of Bogie and Bacall in the club. It is an fairly open air place that was extremely relaxed and comfortable, even for someone like me.  It stood right at the beach and they were fine with you stopping to watch the sun go down.

Of course I had to take part in that long time tradition of imbibing a cold one while the sun worked it's way toward the horizon.  Some how sitting out on a picnic table while the sun goes down, your toes are in the sand, and there is a cold beer in your hand just make everything better.  The world just seems to step back and let you be for one long minute.  Nothing could intrude on this moment, not even the guys backing their diesel truck down the boat ramp to load their boat up at the end of a long day of fishing.

Looking around I noticed an out cropping that was reflecting so clearly in the water that you could almost swear that it was another in the water. A boat was anchored off in the distance looking equally as peaceful as the water was inviting.  The birds even left me alone to enjoy this moment of rightness.  Suddenly I could just imagine myself living here and not having a care in the world.

Then finally the sun found the horizon and lit the clouds.  It looked as if the clouds had caught fire and the world was about to end between the horizon and the clouds.  Almost as if the sun was defying the world to send it into it's nightly slumber once again.

Sadly this also marked the point where I needed to head back north so that I could prepare for a new day in which I would again return to my profession and help another customer with their problems.

But I will never forget that one evening on a beach with a beer and the sunset.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Oops Did I Do Thaaat?

The wife and I would always watch Family Matters long ago and there was a character on there named Steve Urkel who would always make a mistake and say, "Oops Did I Do Thaaat?"

Well, We were walking past Thunder Mountain taking pictures here and there just working on our camera skills when we both decided we liked a certain area where the ride came out from underground and crossed over a pond.  I took a picture and wasn't pleased with the look at all.  It was too dark and I felt like I was losing some of the details I was looking for in the shot.

So I set up another shot and just as I took my shot the wife took one as well. Amazingly her flash was timed perfectly and suddenly I had this really interesting view into the ride on my camera as well as the details I was looking for from the shadows at the top.

We really didn't time this and she actually thought she had ruined my shot as well. Just proves that sometimes the accidents are the best.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Erie scene

Since this October I thought I would post a picture of one of my most favorite haunted houses. This one happens to be in Disneyland and is not as good as the one in the Magic Kingdom because the outside queue area isn't as entertaining, but the inside is the same and I have always loved it.

We were in the park after dark and the line was rather short so we were about to go ride the Haunted Mansion when we noticed that there were a lot of people approaching the door then turning back, although there was also a fair amount still standing in line as well.  We found out that the ride was down and wasn't expected to be back up for another 45 minutes so we turned back as well.

But before leaving I took this one shot of the mansion to remember it by.  Somehow it is my favorite.  I have done no retouching at all.  this is all the color that they had on it at that moment.

So erie.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Pooh to you!

Going back a bit to bring you a few shots from Disneyland this week.  Today we are hitting the places setup by the Winnie the Pooh attraction for guests to take pictures of their loved ones.

These two really struck me because the little bear was one of my favorite stories and cartoons when I was really young.  Well, that and Riki-tiki-tavi, but that's a whole different show.

So here is Rabbits Garden.  This place has been destroyed by so many different attackers.  There was Tigger bouncing through, Pooh rolling through, the Mole digging it up.  It'a a wonder he ever got anything out of it.

And now we come to Pooh's World Famous Thinking Spot.  Yep it is in this very spot that the stuffed with fluff bear had many an idea about... Well, maybe not that many ideas.  But you can just hear him sitting here saying "Think. Think."

Any places you have that remind you of your youth?


Friday, October 12, 2012

Still going...

This post not displayed due to family emergency.
We should be back on track very soon.


And now we have made the Llama sad.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Truth in advertising

I generally do not drink soft drinks anymore.  But once in a while I do enjoy a nice cold Coca-Cola.  During a recent trip I decided that I would like a Coke and the vendor gave me a can of said drink, and also a cup of ice.  I walked away and found a seat to enjoy the drink and the meal in between flights.

Caution: Contents Hot!
That's when I noticed it... apparently the cup was only designed for hot items and I was being misled.

It made me wonder if maybe the cup was going to become brittle or explode as it was clearly outside the parameters it was designed for originally.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Cheeburger, Cheeburger!

No Pepsi?
Recently, as I was returning from Orlando I had the opportunity to fly through Chicago's O'Hare Airport.  Since we had left Orlando quite early we (I was traveling with others from the office) were all ready to catch a bite.

As we were gathering the vittles I noticed the sign pictured here.  We were eating at the same restaurant made famous by the skit in Saturday Night Live.  Different name, but inspired by Billy Goats.

I saw this and just had to laugh as I fondly remembered the skit and the hilarity the cast brought to us.

Although the skit said "No Coke, Pepsi."


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Sea of Yellow

First, let me apologize for the lack post on Monday, but there has been a family emergency that has had me rather busy.

I was watching one of the hundreds of channels I get on my TV these days and they were advertising a new show Airport 24/7: Miami.  This show takes place at Miami International Airport and they took 4 months to film there.

I have been spending a good deal of time in Miami the past few months and the only thing I found that was photo worthy was the picture of the waiting taxis.  I took this picture as I was riding the shuttle from the airport to the car rental facility. Whether it is in the middle of the night or during the day this sea of yellow is full and ever ready to usher you off to some place in the city, all for a tidy sum I am sure.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Where am I?

So this time around I will give you a few more pictures to figure out where I am in Walt Disney World.

Obviously this is a dark ride.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sad llama strikes again!

This post not displayed due to author amnesia regarding dates.
I actually thought I had one posted until Thursday came around and I realized I had forgotten.


And now we have made the Llama sad.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Living With the Land

Good morning gentle readers!

Today I thought I would post random pictures from the Living With The Land ride in Epcot.  If you have never ridden this ride you should probably be told a little about the ride.  This is actually a very special attraction because this ride is all about how science is improving how man can survive in arid places and also how we can live with the land instead of abusing it.  They are actually working on new technologies to cultivate food in places it could never be grown before in ways never tried before.  Imagine tomatoes growing on trees, or five pound lemons.

 We rode this during our one day in the park area, and it happened to be pouring rain outside so it was loud in the green house area of the ride. But this really didn't seem to impact the green house.  Instead it really added to the effect as we were floating around in our boat hearing about all the foods and technology.  As you can see the plants are actually raised in sand instead of normal soil.

Water Chestnut

Miracle Fruit


One of my favorite plants is the cacao plants.  If you are not a a chocoholic you may not recognize this as the plant from which the rich dark elixir of sweetness is derived.  To see them in the natural state before processing you will actually find them rather ugly and have to wonder what made someone actually look at these things and say, "I can make something delicious from that!".

But the ride isn't just about the plants.  It is also about the livestock.  We are talking fish, freshwater shrimp, and alligators.  This area is very large, but is mainly to show how farming of food sources can take place for livestock as well as plants.  Here you can see the sturgeon in their tank.  Sadly , as you can see, they are pretty scrawny.

Smile for the camera!

Some of the fish really got into the photo session as you can see from the photo to the right.


Friday, September 21, 2012


***Continues from the previous post***

While at Epcot we made sure to attend the nightly showing of IllumiNations.  If you have never seen this show yu should make every effort to go.  Epcot itself is an incredible park, but the finale for the night is a laser, fireworks, fire, and music extravaganza that must be seen to be believed.

Inferno barge earns it's name
In the late evening they float out several barges of different types and purposes in the lagoon that the World Showcase surrounds.  This includes the inferno barge, the globe barge, and numerous pyrotechnic barges.  With the exception of the globe barge all are anchored in the lagoon in very specific spots.  The globe barge is temporarily anchored near the band shell in the American pavilion.

Inferno and pyrotechnics
At show time they will extinguish the lights and an incredible show begins.  Fireworks are fired pneumatically from the barges to avoid have the usual stream of sparks as the pyrotechnic climbs into the sky, and the inferno barge, loaded with propane and lots of nozzles, lights up the lagoon and heats of the onlookers.

Globe moving into position
As the first section of the show comes to a close the globe barge is lit up and driven into position in the center of the lagoon.  This globe is covered in LEDs and projects moving pictures of people, locations, and animals in motion throughout the rest of the show.  It is an amazing piece of technology and I hear that is the most complex piece of equipment in Disney's inventory.

Globe in position and lit up
As the show progresses we begin to see lasers fired from buildings surrounding the lagoon and through smoke and choas in the middle of the lagoon.  These are used to create images and textures in the smoke as well as write messages on the globe.

If you ever get to attend I would recommend a location that has a clear view, especially one that is not blocked by one of the little islands, and more importantly is upwind of the lagoon.  If the wind is blowing in your face you WILL get a lungful of smoke from the fireworks.

My good friend Jared actually used my still camera while I streamed the show during this visit and you can thank him for all these great shots you see here.

Enjoy the pictures and I hope you get to see this one day.  In the meantime if you search YouTube for videos of the show you will find a multitude to enjoy.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Epcot scenes

I just spent a week at a conference in Orlando.  But just prior to the conference we spent an entire day in Walt Disney's Epcot.

It started off a bit dreary, and rainy, but then by noon we had a bright clear day with no rain and a light breeze. Of course this being Florida it did cloud up and rain much later, but for the remainder of our time in the park it was a wonderful day, although a bit humid. That night we had dinner at Biergarden in Germany and followed up with a viewing of the world famous IllumiNations show.

But following that show I had an opportunity to do something that I have never done before.  We meandered out of the park slowly and enjoyed the park almost all to ourselves.  

View from Japan toward Spaceship Earth

We wandered through Japan and Morocco taking pictures and enjoying the view of the countries lit up and looking so very incredible.  There were so many beautiful scenes that needed to be photographed that I quickly ran through the space on my chip taking pictures.  Some came out like I hoped, some better than hoped, and others we shall not mention again. It's always fun trying to take the perfect shot and have it come out great at the same time.  Here are three of my favorites.

Morocco at night
Japan at night