Archive | Travel RSS for this section

Alphabetical Movie – L.A. Story

I’ve been to a lot of places on vacation and almost every single one of them is a place I’d love to see again.

L.A. isn’t one of those places.  For a city filled with movie stars, it just didn’t really feel all that interesting to me.  Maybe I went to the wrong parts.

Actually, we were mostly there to spend time at Disneyland.  I liked Disneyland.  But Disneyland is in Anaheim.  Actually, it isn’t really in Anaheim.  It is in “magical Disney place” and has nothing to do with Anaheim, L.A. or the real world.  While there, though, we took the time to drive into L.A for a day.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off this Week – 12/28

The Pope Communicates his Growing Irrelevance to the World

After the Catholic church’s spectacular failure to stem the tide of tolerance, The Pope has decided to make opposition to gay marriage the major thrust of Catholic activism in the coming year.  In fact, he said that it is (I shit you now) a “threat to world peace.”


I really want to understand what kind of thinking would suggest that allowing two people who love each other the right to marry would ever threaten world peace.  I would think that stable, loving homes would be a benefit to world peace.  I don’t have any data to prove this but goodness knows that the pope has no data to prove his point either.

He doesn’t need data, though.  Because he’s infallible.

Infallibly wrong.

He’s also a very affordable line of cosmetics!

And, as usual, he is wasting the vast resources of his church on Gay Marriage.  At what point is he going to start focusing on issues that are actually important to his church?

Like the fact so many people think the guy leading his church is a dick?

Read More…

Butt-Numb-a-Thon 14

Having prefaced my rundown of BNAT 14 by talking about Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation and an important breakfast experience, it is time, finally, to write about the festival itself.

I’ve read a few comments by folks who didn’t attend complaining about the lineup.  I guess that is subjective.  For me, I described it as a prozac year.  There was not a single film that blew me away but I enjoyed everything.  The highs weren’t quite as high but the lows weren’t all that low.

Typically BNAT will feature a fairly even mix of new and classic films.  This year featured only four premieres, which is quite low.  I love classic film, though, and watching great old movies on the big screen is nothing to complain about.  It is something to celebrate.  We are all there because we are film fans and I would never complain about watching films from any era.  If you are the sort of person who would complain about that – Butt-Numb-a-Thon isn’t for you.

We had a lot of previews and trailers and I’m not going to write about them at all.  I loved seeing all of them but I’ve seen a lot of kick-ass trailers that didn’t translate into kick-ass films so I’m not going to write about them.  I’ll stick to the full length films that we saw.  Eleven in all. Well….more like ten and 97/100ths.

Read More…

Breakfast in Austin is Different

Maybe I could have had this experience anywhere in the world.  I could be romanticizing a bit.

But I think not.  I think I could what happened could only have happened in Austin.

I should be writing up my summary of the films we saw at this year’s Butt-Numb-a-Thon but I’ll tell you, I like writing about the things that make Butt-Numb-a-Thon about so much more than 24 hours in a movie theatre.  If all you do is spend 24 hours in a movie theatre, you don’t get it.  I read comments from folks who see a particular line up and complain that it is lame.  They don’t get it.  The movies we watch are a big deal.  But they aren’t everything.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off This Week – 11/16

Wisconsin Lawmakers want to Pass a Bill to make it Legal to Arrest a Federal Official who is Doing his job

This is not all of the members of the Wisconsin Legislature, mind you.  Just nine of them.  One of them says the Affordable care act is “unconstitutional” (even though the Supreme Court said it wasn’t) and that is his justification for supporting a law that would get a federal employee arrested for trying to do his job.

You can’t make something unconstitutional by saying so.  That isn’t the way the system works.  If it did, I’d say the Citizens’ United ruling was unconstitutional and Super Pac’s would be instantly dissolved.

As a lawmaker, you don’t get to pick which laws you follow.  That’s not the job you got hired to do.

You can try to change laws.  You can try to make laws better.  You can’t decide that the supreme court got it wrong (even if you believe they did) and then start enacting laws based on what you think they should have ruled.

Aw fuck it! We can just assume that whoever wrote the dissent got it right, can’t we?

Either you believe in our system of government and you work within the rules or you shouldn’t have run for office.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off this Week – 6/1

Missed last week because I was on vacation so here’s a couple weeks’ worth of annoyances.

Disney Changes it’s FastPass System – Sort of

I’m not going to try to explain the whole thing but the basic issue is that Disney has a system wherein you can get a pass that will allow you to go to the front of the line for various popular rides.  The catch is that you can’t go on the ride until a particular time.  So if you want to go on Space Mountain, you get a fast pass for – say – 10:00 and come back later rather than waiting in a 40 minute line.

Now the fast passes have always given you an hour window.  If your pass starts at 10:00, it ends at 11:00.  Except it never did.  They have been honored all day for as long as the system has been around (over ten years now).

Until now.  Now if you have a fast pass that says 10:00 to 11:00, you’d better get there between 10:00 and 11:00.  No exceptions.

So great – if I’ve got a lunch reservation at one and the fast pass time available is 1:00 to 2:00, I’m out of luck.  This wouldn’t bug me so much if the rules had always been that way.  No matter what it says on the pass, though, they have never enforced it.  Until now.

It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing.

Why did they do it?  I don’t know for sure but I would guess they did it to cut down on the wait in the standby line.  I would imagine most people using a fast pass wait well past the posted time on their pass and that serves to back up the standby line more and more as the day progresses.  Most people with a 9:45 fast pass don’t show up until much later.  I know I didn’t .  Also, by having the fast pass expire, not everyone who gets one will end up using it.  Overall, it means fewer people going through the fast pass line every hour which means the standby line is probably at least fifteen minutes faster.

That’s great for  them.  But what about me?

Read More…

How Disney Managed to offend me by depicting someone like me on stage – badly

This last week, I’ve been on vacation.  We were on the newest ship in the Disney cruise line, the Fantasy.  I’m not going to go into too much detail about the ship aside from noting that it is a beautiful ship filled to overflowing with Mickey Mouse.  I mean, if Mickey Mouse was a unit of measurement, the ship would bury the needle.  At one point, I was convinced that the propellers were designed to kick up a wake that would look like Mickey Mouse. Read More…

The Stories one Picture Tells

I take a ton of pictures when I’m on vacation.  It is a blessing and a curse of the digital photography age that you don’t have to worry about getting the “best” shot.  You can just take a few hundred pictures and when you get home, you can identify the ten that are actually worth keeping.

My goal is to take pictures that tell good stories.

As I’ve been looking through my pictures of the family trip to Monterey, I’ve especially enjoyed this one:

Two boys on a Beach

Read More…