Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pluto & Pluto

You gotta love a country where the news interviews Mickey Mouse for a comment on the recent downgrade of the planet Pluto from a planet to a "dwarf planet." OK...it wasn't the real news, It was E! Entertainment Television but it's still kind of funny.

Mickey Mouse had this to say:

"I think the whole thing is goofy. Pluto has never been interested in astronomy before, other than maybe an occasional howl at the moon."

The Disney Company at large issued this statement:

"Although we think it's Dopey that Pluto has been downgraded to a dwarf planet, which has made some people Grumpy and others just Sleepy, we are not Bashful in saying we would be Happy if Disney's Pluto would join us as an eighth dwarf. We think this is just what the Doc ordered and is nothing to Sneeze at."

Pluto (the dog) made his debut in the 1930 cartoon The Chain Gang. That same year Pluto (the planet) was discovered. Pluto (the dog) is named after the new found planet. Pluto (the planet) is named after some Roman mythology crap.

I think the biggest tragedy in all of this is the end of the sentence: My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets. Remember that? The first letter of every word stood for each of the nine planets in their order from the sun. Now that whole thing is down the drain! Before NASA spends another gazillion dollars to launch something into outer space, they need to get some English & Science teachers together to come up with a new sentence for kids to learn the planets!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Me & Debbie Gibson

As you may have guessed from reading my blog, I do not possess the gene that allows me to stop liking things. Hence, Debbie Gibson has been my favorite singer since I was 14 years old. So you can imagine that I was pretty excited to get the chance to meet Debbie (or Deborah as she is known now) on a promotional tour in 1995.

After four albums and eight years with Atlantic Records, Debbie released her fifth CD, THINK WITH YOUR HEART, on a smaller label. I'm sure I ran out and bought a copy the day it came out. In the liner notes of the CD there was a phone number to call for information on what Debbie was up to. Of course, I gave it a call and was thrilled to hear that Deb was doing an instore appearance at a Borders in Pentagon City in just a couple of days. I scrambled to find some friends to go with me, which I thought would be hard but everybody knew how excited I was and I managed to get three friends to go with me!

We all hopped onto the DC Metro and made the trip out to Pentagon City. Expecting there to be a crowd like at any instore appearance by a celebrity, we arrived early only to find a few other people staked out that far in advance. It turned out not only was Debbie Gibson signing autographs she was going to perform a few songs on piano as well. As the crowds started to arrive, those of us that were there first got roped off in a section right with Debbie's piano.

When she came out, we ended up standing right around the piano, as Debbie performed about 45 minutes of old and new songs. It was quite an experience! Then after her show, we were among the first to get autographs. I bought another copy of her new CD so that I could have it signed and when it was my turn to see her, she was very nice and friendly and even commented on how much she liked my Fred Flintstone hat that I was wearing!

Obviously after having been such a big fan for so long, it was exhilarating to get to meet her face to face! If only she had know that when I was 14 years old I had over 200 pictures of her on my bedroom wall, she might have kept her distance from me!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Elias!

We just wrapped up 24 hours of birthday partying for Elias' third birthday. Friday night we had the whole extended family meet us at one of Elias' favorite spots: Hungry Parrot Pizza Co. There you can dine on all-you-can-eat Pizza, Pasta and Salad in a jungle setting for $4.49! They even have wild bird sound effects piped into the parking lot...it's a real classy joint! Oh, they have an arcade too!

Saturday afternoon some of Elias' friends (and their mommies and daddies) came over for our first "kid party". With plenty of chicken nuggets from Chik-fil-a, and a giant moon bounce, everyone had a great time. Elias was thrilled to have so many of his friends with him on his special day!

I was busy playing with my new DVD Camcorder for most of the weekend, but I did put it down from time to time to snap some pictures for all of our blog friends. Celebrate with us at Wonderful World of Photos, won't you!?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Memories of Little Eats

My brother has commented on my memory and my ability to remember things from my/our childhood in great detail. Well, my secret is that I never filled my brain with useful information like math or history or that other stuff they teach you in school. Instead I've kept my mind free to remember things like all the different time slots The Facts of Live aired in. All that aside, I'm sure my brother also has little (if any) recollection of this unique restaurant we are dining in.

This was a kid's only restaurant in a Holiday Inn in Orlando, Florida that we visited in 1982. I was 8 years old, my brother was 5. The restaurant was inside the regular restaurant of the hotel, but it was completely separated with little kids size doors and little windows to keep an eye on mom and dad (or I guess for them to keep an eye on us!) Of course it was decorated kid-friendly and it had it's own wait staff that had to duck down to be able to clear the kid-friendly ceiling. I don't remember what we ate (although I would guess my brother had a hot dog and I had a hamburger) but I do remember after the meal they showed cartoons. This was right before VCR's so they rolled out a good ol' fashioned projector and played Yogi Bear cartoons up on the wall. Awesome!

I also remember that this Holiday Inn was across the street from a new amusement park being built called Little England. Little England was never finished I much later found out, as they had imported lumber from England to build the structures for the park and the British wood could not withstand the blazing heat of the Florida sun. The park practically melted before they could finish it. The project went bankrupt and the park was never built.

I'm sure by now you've already made you own jokes about the pants I'm wearing in this picture. Let's just say If I wanted to play professional golf in those pants they wouldn't look so tacky!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How to Tell If You Live in a "Small Town"

Last night we were out in the car and we thought we saw some kids fighting up ahead. As we got closer, it was apparent that these older high school guys were violently fighting...for real! They weren't playing! I turned down a side street to avoid getting in the middle of the fight. As I drove away, I noticed in my rear view mirror that 3 white guys were chasing a black guy, and the black guy looked like he was running for his life. I drove to the end of the street and turned around and passed the guys again. There were now four white guys beating up on two black guys.

We turned the corner and ran an errand, and then circled back to see if anything was still going on with the fight. At that time, we heard the sounds of multiple police sirens. About three blocks away from the fight, two cop cars came speeding along and surrounded the two black kids who were obviously walking away from the incident. The one kid was visibly shaken and beat up pretty bad.

As we drove up to where the fight initially was, the four white boys were being questioned by ONE cop on a bike. He didn't even get off his bike! I'm sure this is how that went down:

"I hear you boys were beating on some n-----s!"

"Yes, sir"

"Well, you kids go on home. We'll take care of it from here!"

This is from the same police department that told us during the anthrax scare in 2001 not to worry about white powder on trick-or-treat candy because the terrorists "were only doing that through the mail!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Return to Smurf Mountain

My love for the old Kings Dominion attraction Smurf Mountain has been fueled over the years by the fact that very little about the ride can be found on the internet. This has added a certain level of mystery to my nostalgic memories of the great ride. My quest for knowledge about Smurf Mountain increased when I was going through a box of old travel brochure and came across KD's 1984 brochure. The small publication has not one mention of Smurf Mountain! When you open the brochure the Smurfs are there to greet you...but then nothing at all is said about the new ride. There is this generic announcement that the Smurfs are coming, but the words "Smurf" and "Mountain" do not appear together anywhere in the handout! There's even a picture of 1984's other new ride: The Berserker, claiming it to be the "thrill-of-the-year".

Inside the brochure is a collage of pictures from the park, including a picture of Vanity Smurf which happens to be the largest picture in the layout! Take that Berserker! Under Vanity you can see Rhinos from the also-gone Lion Country Safari Monorail ride. The splash down photo on the far right is the finale of The Haunted River, Smurf Mountain's next door neighbor. There's a picture of the interior of the ride next to it, with pirate skeletons sitting at a table. (Scary!) The roller coaster to the far right with the red train running is the King Cobra.

The text of this brochure also features this plug for their food line-up: "Now wouldn't you like a sub or fried chicken? A salad, a taco or sweet treat for lickin'?" Indeed I would Kings Dominion...indeed I would!

Dog & Bunny 3/20/96

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ahh...Birthday Memories

Today is the big 3-3 for me! Happy Birthday Me! This picture is from my 10th birthday party back in 1983. It was Smurf themed and everyone was supposed to wear a Smurf shirt to the party. The two boys next door were "too old" for Smurfs so they wore their Pac-Man shirts, which was a nice touch I thought! Also, if you look closely enough you can see I have the Smurf board game on my lap...I assume a gift from one of my friends with good taste! The boy in the background with his arms in the air is none other than my friend from down the street Ryan Tripp. You might know Ryan's mom, Linda, from a certain White House scandal a few years back! I don't know where my brother was when this picture was snapped!? I know he had a Smurf shirt too!

Here's some other stuff I did on later birthdays:

My 17th birthday was the first time I drove without one of my parents in the car. What better way to show I was mature enough to drive their car around by driving my friends to the theatre to see DUCKTALES THE MOVIE.

My 19th birthday I was in Walt Disney World with my buddy Chris. My dad told me I could pick anywhere in Disney World for dinner. I chose a restaurant called Ariel's, named after THE LITTLE MERMAID. This pissed my father off (as always) because he thought I chose some little girl restaurant. Turned out Ariel's was one of the fanciest places in all of WDW. It was a real nice restaurant with the only references to the movie were the seafood menu and the sketch of Ariel on the menu! Great meal...Expensive! I ate shark!

My 21st birthday was awesome and it didn't involve a drop of liquor. It was the first day of a leadership retreat in college. Quite literally, all my friends were there! After the day full of workshops and all that crap, we had a (Flintstones) cake and a party and it was a good time. Also on that day I made alot of new friends, including a one Mr. Joey Carwash!

As my 30th birthday approached I didn't have all the depression and feelings of getting older that so many people get at a milestone birthday such as 30. My birthday fell on a Thursday, and the following Tuesday we were expecting the birth of my first son...my own birthday came and went and I didn't even realize it because I was so excited about Elias coming!

No big plans for this birthday! I'm really in the mood for some Chuck. E Cheese breadsticks, so maybe we'll head out there tonight! Happy Birthday Me!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Kings Dominion Post Card - 1987

The Wonderful World of Blog offices are now equipped with a scanner, courtesy of my in-laws. (Thanks Pa & Jen's Mom!) Now I can bring to you all kinds of crap that I've been saving for years...like this almost vintage post card from Kings Dominion! Can you name all these guys?

As I've shared before, Kings Dominion used to be home to the whole galaxy of Hanna-Barbera characters. A few select favorites are still hanging in there as Spongebob and Dora the Explorer keep grabbing all the attention.

The first two guys are Fred Flintstones and Barney Rubble. (The bottom of your bare feet would be that black too if you walked around with no shoes on for millions of years!) Next to Barney is world's first superhero, Captain Caveman. Cap'n used to ride around in a van with three hot teenage girls solving crimes that Scooby-Doo and his van of teenagers didn't have time for.

Next, of course, you know our good friend Yogi Bear along with Scooby-Doo. Scooby-Doo still has a few attractions at the park including a recent interactive dark ride. Yogi Bear used to be your host at Yogi's Cave - one of the greatest attractions ever!

Rounding out the group we have Hong Kong Phooey, the mild mannered janitor who, when duty called, would hop into the file cabinet and become a superhero. An almost forgotten member of the H-B family, his show recently got the DVD box set treatment!

So now that I've got the scanner, you can look forward to all kinds of tacky, unimportant nonsense...like more about Kings Dominion, more Dog and Bunny comics, photos from before the age of digital and so much more! As always, thanks for visiting!

Elias at Medieval Times

Congrats, Matt & Amy!

Congratulations to your fellow WWoB readers and long time friends of mine Matt & Amy as they celebrate the birth of their daughter. Hanna was born at 1:04 this morning, weighing in at (just shy of) 9 lbs. This is Matt & Amy's second child, Hanna has a big brother Christopher!

Hanna and Christopher are closer in age then my two children...all I can say is, "Have Fun Ya'll!"

Some of you might know Matt from TV as Mute Hot Dog Vendor on the classic program THE ED SOUTH SHOW.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Return of JonBenet...or...This Guy is Guilty of Something

If you've known me throughout the years you're probably waiting for me to comment on the recent developments in the decade old JonBenet Ramsey case. Well folks, it all doesn't add up quite yet. I'll give `em this...that dude is guilty of something somewhere. Look at him! Look at that picture. He gives me chills that could freeze meat. He couldn't be any creepier if you gave him a machete and put a hockey mask on him. He looks like he's got more evil going on in his head than Dick Chaney.

Since the public and the media already tried and convicted JonBenet's parents, I think the public is owed some details on the arrest of this John Mark Karr guy pretty quick! This guy was arrested in Thailand Wednesday and confessed that he was with lil' JonBenet at the time of her death, and that her death was an accident.

Let's start with the "accident" claim. JonBenet had been raped and then strangled with a wire coat hanger. How do you accidentally wrap a wire coat hanger around a 6 year old girls neck!? I guess you could accidentally have sex with a 6 year old girl if she showed you a fake ID or told you she was 18 but "looked really young for her age". But wire coat hangers just don't get themselves wrapped around 6 year old girls necks! Believe me, I've tried! (Come on, I'M KIDDING!)

The night of the murder there was snow on the ground yet there were no footprints anywhere around the Ramsey's house. So...does this mean John Mark Karr can fly!? Or maybe just at least hover slightly above the ground like that Chris Angel Mindfreak weirdo!? It has also been reported that there was no sign of forced entry into the Ramsey house. Perhaps Karr is a shapeshifter, gaining entry into the house by going through the keyhole in the front door. Or maybe John Mark Karr hijacked Santa's sleigh, landed on the roof of the Ramsey home (explaining no footprints) and then slid down the chimney Santa style to get into the house! The crime did happen on Christmas! It's all starting to come together now!

Here's what we do know...Mr. Karr has visited Thailand four times in the past two years. If you're an American citizen and your spending that much time in Thailand you've obviously done something wrong somewhere. Maybe you didn't murder JonBenet Ramsey, but I think it's pretty safe to say you've either got someone's blood on your hands or you've got a large bag of money (with a dollar sign printed on it) that doesn't belong to you! Did you ever see that movie where Claire Danes goes to jail in Thailand or Bangkok or somewhere like that because someone planted drugs on her!? A Thailand Prison is the last place anyone wants to be, trust me...I've seen the movie!

I also think it's a little odd that after 10 years, they catch this guy two months after Patty, JonBenet's mother, died. I don't have a joke there, I just think that's a little suspicious!?

Hopefully in the next couple of days questions about Karr's involvement in the murder will actually be addressed and answered instead of just forgotten about, ignored or swept under the carpet like this whole thing with that jerk Tom Cruise's baby not really existing! What's the deal with that!? Just show us a picture of the baby and we'll believe you Tom! Jerk!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Career in Comics: Dog & Bunny #1

I had always wanted to do a comic strip but one thing stood in my way: I can't draw. Even though I've been doodling all my life and really wanted to be a good artist, I really can't draw at all! During my extended enrollment at community college I had the services of the campus newspaper at my disposal and decided it was time to unleash my comic strip dreams. My first idea for a comic strip was an obvious rip-off of Snoopy called "Schloopy". Believe it or not, the school was worried about a copyright infringement lawsuit. (Because Charles Schultz sits around and reads community college campus newspapers.) So I decided to take Schloopy, rename him with an even dumber name and give him a sidekick with an equally dumb name. It was then that "DOG AND BUNNY" was born.

Instead of drawling the strip myself, I enlisted the help of a talented girl already working on the newspaper staff. Her name was Rebecca Bachrach and, yes, her father's name was Burt. Rebecca was a good looking girl, way out of my league, and one time at a story pitch meeting I jokingly suggested that her and I go to the movies together to review some new movie and she surprisingly was o.k. that idea. So she was cool in my book...anyhow, back to the story - Rebecca designed the characters and I gave her the scripts and she drew up the strips.

DOG AND BUNNY debuted in the March 6, 1996 issue of Catonsville Community College's campus newspaper 'Red & Black'. My goal for the strip was not to be artsy/weird like so many other college paper strips, I just wanted my comic strip to look cute and make very little sense. Many of the strips were about a minor event that happened in the news that week and forgotten about by the next week. Looking back at the strips 10 years later, they make absolutely no sense!!! My joke with this one was that there are three sexes of Honey Bees. (Click on the comic to enlarge it if you can't read it.)

From my collection of old issues of Red & Black, it looks like we did the comic for the better part of 1996. The newspaper only came out once every other week, and we had the summer off, so it looks like we did about 7 installments of the "groundbreaking" comic strip. I'll be posting the further adventures of Dog & Bunny in the days and weeks to come...something to look forward to!

Wanna Read About a 29 Year Old TV Show About Horse Racing?

I've been a big fan of the web site Ultimate Disney for quite some time now. The site is one of the premiere spots on the internet for news on upcoming Disney DVD releases. I was excited a few months back when I got a gig writing their e-mail newsletter. Now I'm really thrilled to have my first DVD review published on the site.

The Bluegrass Special is an episode of THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY from 1977 that was recently released on DVD exclusively through the Disney Movie Club. It's the story of a young girl living on a horse farm who dreams of becoming a jockey. It's pure mid-70's Disney goodness! Check out my review over at Ultimate Disney.com.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Five Favorite TV Shows of All-Time

Because you've been dying to know...here's a list of my five all-time favorite tv shows. Oddly enough, they are all comedies! Go figure!

The Flintstones (1960-1966) I've literally watched THE FLINTSTONES all my life. It was a favorite cartoon of mine when I was little and is still a favorite today! All the great sit-com plots were used on THE FLINTSTONES and plenty of rock and dinosaur puns were also plentiful. I always dreamed of having a Fred & Barney kind of relationship with my next-door neighbor, but I have yet to get my thumb stuck in a bowling ball with any of my neighbors. When THE FLINTSTONES movie came out in 1994, I went to the opening night screening dressed as Fred Flintstone...thank you very much. All six seasons are on DVD.

The Muppet Show (1976-1981) I attribute much of my sense of humor to The Muppets. Rewatching season one on DVD recently I can easily trace the origins of my love of novelty records, corny jokes, and grade C celebrities. Where I lived growing up, we got both the Baltimore TV stations and the D.C. stations. One of the cities was a week behind the other, so every Saturday night I'd watch the new show at 7:00pm and then last weeks show again at 7:30pm. Good Times! My older son's middle name is James, as a tribute to Muppet creator Jim Henson. Season one is out on DVD, with season two slated for a February 2007 release.

Family Ties (1982-1989) This was the best traditional sit-com ever produced! The characters were all well developed and most of the humor grew out of that. FAMILY TIES was (and is) constantly funny no matter how serious the subject matter got. There were never any exterior establishing shots, no music between scenes, and they never faked the outdoors on a soundstage...just pure sit-com goodness. Everyone on that show perfected their comedy timing and they all played off each other real well. I'd kick your butt in a FAMILY TIES trivia competition! I've seen every episode at least a dozen times. Before DVD, I belonged to the Columbia House Family Ties Video Club where I got a VHS of 3-4 episodes a month for $25. Now you can buy whole seasons of shows for less than that. Not available on DVD, but long over due.

Alf (1986-1990) If you know me, you know one thing...Alf is my boy! Bob-Howdy I love that show! Every Monday night, for the entire run of the show, I caught the original airing of each and every episode. And then I would bore my friend Grant to death the next morning on the bus ride to school with a complete run down of what happened the previous night! In case you don't know, ALF is an alien who crashed his ship on Earth and lives with a family in California. How much do I love this show? The last name of the family Alf lives with is Tanner...my 8 month old son's name: Tanner. You do the math! Seasons 1-3 on DVD

Sledge Hammer! (1986-1988) Easily the most obscure show on my list, SLEDGE HAMMER! ran for two seasons on ABC. Sledge is a cop who shoots first and maybe asks questions later. He likes to blow up things, shoot bad guys, and beat up bad guys. This show is just crazy-looney which is what attracted 13 year old me. Both seasons on DVD

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sorry, Pirates

Another two movie weekend for me! Yesterday day afternoon I finally settled in for a screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. I hate to dis a Disney movie but I gotta say it didn't really do it for me! I think part of the success of the first film was that nobody expected a movie based on a theme park ride to be any good, and then it turned out to be outstanding. This second go-round is another two and a half hours of the same kind of thing except with less sword fights and a lot less humor.

There are some funny parts, and there are a few good fight scenes but all-in-all the movie felt like it was on auto-pilot. I don't know if I'll be roped in for the third installment, even though the film does a good job of making sure that everyone who coughed up eight bucks to see this one will be back in line next summer to shell out nine dollars to see the conclusion.

In other Disney news, Disney's California Adventure and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom are currently planning a live stage show based on the hit Disney Channel TV-movie HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. Wow...feel free to log off and scrape your eyeballs out with a grapefruit spoon!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bring It On: All or Nothing

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

...I love crap!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Big Eats, Big Laughs

We got to have a grown-up evening out last night. For the first time since we've had kids, we hired a babysitter to go out. Having to pay for a babysitter cranks the price of a night out quite a bit, but it was worth it to have a relaxing evening out.

My brother-in-law Michael and his girlfriend Amanda introduced us to this place they've been talking about called Friendly Farm. It was awesome! First of all you go in and order your main dish, the crabcakes came highly recommended by both Amanda and our babysitter so Jen and I both gave them a try along with a small steak. Then we were seated at our table where they took drink orders. Along with the drinks came big bowls of rolls, apple butter, cottage cheese, cole slaw, peaches, and a relish tray to our table. When the main course was presented the table was once again filled with bigger bowls of french fries, corn, green beans, and more fresh rolls.

The crab cake was out-of-this-world. One of the best I've ever had. Jumbo Lump and hardly any filler (if any), the cake was huge and hardly held together and very tasty! The steak was good too. The fries were awesome and even the corn was good. I'm not a big corn dude! The best part was when one of your bowls got empty they would refill it for you! That's good eats my friend! Mike and I put away a second bowl of fries by ourselves!

This place is in Upperco, Maryland....if you know where that is or your up for the challenge of finding it it's worth a visit for a slightly unique dining experience and some great food.

After diner we saw Talladega Nights which is as funny as everyone has told you it is. Perhaps the biggest and most laughs since the last Austin Powers flick. There are some great performances by some familiar faces in supporting roles. Since there are no opening credits it was a surprise to see all these actors, and I won't spoil it for you. But, for those of you that sit through all the end credits...You will be rewarded!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Greatest Thing Underground Ever

Holy Crap! Would you look at that! I stumbled across this picture yesterday on the internets while I was looking for a picture of the machine where you put a quarter in and a chicken spins around and clucks and then lays a little egg with a crappy prize in it. Anywho...this appears to be a vending machine dispensing delicious Cadbury Creme Eggs - the greatest candy on the face of the earth! How great is that!? Not only would I love to have a Creme Egg as I take the subway to work, I would three times as much love THREE Creme Eggs on the way to work! Check out the machine, you get three yummy creamy Creme Eggs for one pound. (Is that a good deal!? I'm quite sure it is!) Why is it that we are supposedly the greatest country on the planet, but the British have got Creme Eggs in vending machines before we do!? Those Brits are amazing! What else can you get out of a vending machine in England? Probably Spice Girls stickers...that's what!

First England gets DUCKTALES THE MOVIE on DVD long before we do, now they also get Cadbury Creme Eggs in snack machines in their subway stations. Viva la England!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fire Truck

Here's another piece of coin-op gold from the classic days of arcades: Fire Truck! This was pure video game goodness. The game was simple. You drive your fire truck around town putting out fires and avoiding things in the road like parked cars and oil spills. Simple enough! Here's the brilliance of the game...the cabinet of the game was designed for two people. One player sat down in front of the screen and drove the front end of the truck, and the second player stood in the back and used a different steering wheel to drive the back end of your hook-n-ladder.
How great of an idea was that!?! You'd have to work together as a team, because if the front of your truck took a curve wide you had to make sure the back of your truck also took the curve wide! You can see from the graphics that this was some serious videogaming. All the tension and peril of real firefighting was captured in glorious black and white in this classic video game. There's some game out now where you point a fake hose at the screen and try and put out fires. That's nothing compared to Fire Truck! That game had it all!

I haven't seen one of these around in many years. The last time I played it was at a classic video game exhibit at the Maryland Science Center. Anyone know where there's a Fire Truck waiting for a roll of my quarters!?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hot Dog! More Mickey Stuff to Buy

For those of you that pop by for a dose of Disney news, I've got a couple of new items sitting on shelves to tell you about. The first is a new toy called NAME THAT TUNE MICKEY. He's a plush Mickey with a wireless music keyboard. Using the keyboard you can program Mickey to sing different songs or to sing a creation of your own. He'll also play games with you, using the keyboard. Looks like fun, they had three sitting on the shelf at Wal-Mart today, but I used every bit of self-control and did NOT buy it for my son! It sells for about $30.00...I'm sure it will end up in our playroom before long.
They've also just put out the MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE PLAYSET, based on the hot preschool series on Disney Channel. This is a recreation of Mickey's clubhouse on the show and features many of the little gadgets and characteristics found inside the house. It comes with a Mickey figure (Mickey's other friends sold separately) and when the figures are placed in certain spots in the house, they talk and move around! Pretty Cool! They were already sold out of them at Wal-Mart today. When I was looking for information and pictures on the internet this evening, my son saw this picture and wanted to go into the playroom and play with it. I thought at almost 3 years old, he understood the difference between a picture of something and an actual something...but I guess I was wrong!

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Happy Birthday to my wife today who turns....oops, you almost got me there! She's two weeks older than me, so for the next two weeks I'm married to an older woman! Of all the things in my life I share with you here on the blog: stupid movies I love, all the Disney crap I buy, memories of my childhood, my never ending love of Alf and Gremlins...the one thing I cherrish above all in life and love talking about most is my family. And I have Jennifer to thank for that! Thanks, hon!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Cartoon For a Quarter

Does anyone remember this bad boy from the pre-VCR days? This was a coin-operated booth that you would sit down in, insert a quarter, and watch a cartoon projected from behind the screen. I used to LOVE this thing! There was one sitting right outside the Pantry Pride where my mom did our shopping when I was a kid. While she was checking out, she would give me two dollars and I would get a slice of sausage pizza at the pizza place next store (pizza place still there!) and then use to change to watch a cartoon in the little booth. They usually had the great Terrytoons lineup which included Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle, and Deputy Dawg and sometimes they would have Hanna-Barbera shorts or Walter Lantz films like Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda and Chilly Willy. Again, this was before VCR's when you couldn't watch whatever you wanted to whenever you wanted to. This was a big treat! I loved that machine. I haven't seen one in probably close to 20 years. I'd love to get my hands on one someday and have it in my home! I'm sure my wife would love that too!

Disney Dog Food

If you worked at Disney and were in charge of putting together their new brand of dog food you might choose Pluto or Lady and the Tramp or even 101 Dalmatians to be the mascot for your new product. But Disney has decided to go with OLD YELLER, the classic tale of a family dog that gets rabies, goes mad and has to be shot between the eyes by their pre-teen son. Nothing says healthy living for your dog like conjuring up memories of a film that has made everybody who has ever seen it cry for the last 49 years. So go on, pick up DISNEY'S OLD YELLER DOG FOOD and maybe your child will have to put down the family pet with a gatlin gun real soon!

Friday, August 04, 2006

One More Night...

Even though we had spent a week at the beach, a weekend at my mother's house, and a weekend in a hotel we still had one more night on the road! Before this mess with the air conditioner and the 100 degree weather, we had plans to take Elias to the Red Caboose Motel so that he could spend a night in a real caboose! So, AGAIN we packed up clothes and baby stuff and toys and books and DVDs, threw the kids in the car and headed out away from our home that we've spent so little time at the last couple of weeks.

The Red Caboose Motel is located in Strasburg, PA is is made up of 42 cabooses that have all been renovated into hotel rooms. It's as tacky as it sounds. I'm a fan of this kind of roadside attraction, but after spending a weekend at a Hampton Inn our little caboose didn't offer much in the way of "a cozy place to stay". But that didn't matter. We were there for Elias, and he had a great time seeing all the cabooses and train related items including the large train display in their gift shop. Luckily the caboose was air conditioned as it was 103 degrees out.

The Red Caboose Motel also offers a restaurant which is in an old dining car. The food was ok, and the air conditioner leaked a rust colored liquid on Jennifer and Tanner during our meal. If you're ever in these parts I'd suggest having a meal in an actual working dining car at the nearby Strasburg Railroad - that is very good food in a very unique setting!

Our mini-vacation also included a visit to the National Toy Train Museum which is located directly behind The Red Caboose Motel. The museum offers several train layouts with running model trains and plenty of buttons for kids to push. (Kids love buttons!) On display were trains dating back over 150 years. I took pictures of all the Disney related trains on display and have them posted up over at Wonderful World of Pictures along with pictures from the motel.

Now that I'm back in the comfort of my home, without having to sweat all over my keyboard we should be able to resume our regular wacky blog-antics!
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