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Category: travel

04/28/07 12:35 - 50ºF - ID#39069

Old Town- a dollar to make him holler

Off the busy street, located adjacent to restaurants and variety stores is a little nugget of entertainment called Old Town. Old Town in a quaint festive section of Kissimmee Florida that offers a clean family atmosphere amongst an assortment of attractions and live events. It was pleasant to find that it offered free parking and access. Prices for rides, games and food were affordable. Shop prices, depending on what you were looking for, varied.

The little "town" consists of a few short streets comprised of eating parlors, unique gift shops, carnival rides, games and classic cars. The area was picturesque and cozy. Going on a Easter Sunday afternoon proved to be a relaxing time to go.





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A store completely dedicated to Hello Kitty! I'm beginning to have a thing now for Chococat.
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NY "sock" exchange, har har
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Sky Coaster
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Walking down the street, there were even plenty of pretty flowers and greenery to view.
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pretty cute find, huh?

We really weren't there long enough to check everything out, as we arrived a short while before having to head out to the airport for our return trip home.

If I was giving a formal review, I would highly recommend it for families looking to enjoy an affordable means of entertainment. I would..
until I saw this "Attraction" --out on the main street of this "town" lined up against the outer store walls, like it was a pop machine.

this is an ATTRACTION???????????


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As you can see, what appears to be a good imitation of a man sits in an electrocution chair- life size, the whole bit- in a large cage. What you don't see, is that he sits there, rocks back and forth and grunts, groans and occasionally swears at you- practically daring you to give the machine a dollar so you can "flip the switch".

I have never seen this before, and this is one of the few things that I DO NOT find any sort of entertainment value in- and I do have a warped sense of humor. And I *know* its fake, but...

I took a few pics because I couldn't believe that this existed where little kids played.

I walked away and went into a nearby shop.

A few minutes later, I heard agonizing screams and groans coming from where I had just been. I stepped back outside in time to see the "man" twisting and turning, followed by poofs of smoke. A few people were standing nearby getting a good chuckle. Had I wanted to immortalize the visual sequence, I could have easily of recorded it, but the stand alone picture- pre 'shake and bake', were sufficient to keep that memory alive. And yeh, i share it with you.. sorry, but it disturbed me so much to see that located THERE.

not sure if its good anywhere, but, hey, if thats your thing and its in an environment of other people digging that sort of thing- then enjoy.

but such a real image, life size..


gah
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04/26/07 10:30 - 57ºF - ID#39058

thruway adventure

Driving on the highway close to rush hour in a rain/thunder/lightening storm did not bother me at all. I was energetically singing along to the random songs shuffling out of my iPod.

what did bother me was the sensation of my hair standing on end- I know I stopped singing for a fraction of a second before experiencing what felt like something landing on the roof of my car and pushing down on it.

followed by an eerie flash of bright horizontal light directly in front of me.


my heart jumped into my throat.

I drove in wonderment for a few minutes while allowing my heart beat to regulate again before proceeded back to my sing fest.

creepy.


makes me want to go buy a big ole jackpot ticket..
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Category: food

04/25/07 10:55 - 46ºF - ID#39043

25 Cent Chicken Wings

Brennan's Irish Pub in the village of Youngstown has .25 chicken wings on Wednesdays- they also have this special and a few others on Sabres game night. My step dad and I headed to the restaurant to partake in the festivities.

After several minutes of not knowing what I felt like eating, I ordered a bunch of wings.

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They were impressive. I waste so much with them, just pulling a little flesh off before discarding the remainder to the bone bowl. I rarely order wings- and never before ordered them for myself out in public; not for any particular reason. They just seem like such a 'sit-on-couch-while-watching-rented movie' sort of food. random old memory: And never ever try eating them shortly after having 4 wisdom teeth yanked out of your head. You can not eat chicken wings with your front teeth alone. haha

I certainly did not need to be watching the screen to know when the Sabres scored. Just the happy shouts alone gave it away.

Go Sabres!

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Category: travel

04/24/07 01:33 - 64ºF - ID#39023

staircase to heaven... or hell?

omg!!

I need to go here.


electronic gadgets in any form are fun!


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An Apple store that is open 24/7!! Its not far enough away. Just a bus, train or plane ride away..

5th Avenue, Manhattan


mmmmm techy goodness in morning. in the afternoon. after dinner. before cocktails, before retiring for the night at say, 4am. oh boy, the trouble I could get myself into!

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04/22/07 10:50 - 59ºF - ID#39009

observations

1. Its officially ice cream season.

I love it any day, anytime of year- but today, there were hordes of people gathered around various ice cream joints. Namely, Cold Stone Creamery . I did not think to take a picture of the huge line that filled up the store and trickled out the door. I did not partake, as I was instead heading to a nearby Mighty Taco for lunch/dinner. yum. As much as I am a fan of the creamy cold goo, I am not fond of 'things' in my ice cream. Not that I will turn it away..



2. Do remember to trade your flimsy flip flops for a more substantial piece of walk wear when heading out for a trek.

Ok, I was heading one short block to Cafe 59 on Allen in my flip flops when reaching the door I saw that it was closed. No problem, I would just continue up to Chippewa to grab a coffee at Starbucks. Not a big deal until I decide to keep on, and on and on, and walk around the city a bit. Only once I returned to the 24, did I realize how much my feet felt a little beat up. And dirty.
update- i forgot that (e:mike) can totally testify to this!


3. Taking a nap to rejuvenate yourself is fine as long as you have something to rejuvenate for.

Sitting in my comfy rocker chair, covered up in a warm blanket listening to a relaxing cd, I dozed off. Did I really thing that anything but would happen? 45 minutes later, I awoke to wanting to do something, but realized it was too late to go do anything else- dark, Sunday, etc.. Now I am bouncing full of energy, ready to climb a mountain. I will not be going to bed anytime soon. Oops.


and thats about it.

think I'll have some soup and pester my roomies.


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04/22/07 12:21 - 62ºF - ID#39000

a few good nuggets

Steve Jobs' Commencement address (2005) on YouTube followed by the text version. I was sent this recently and thought there were a few good nuggets to share. Rather, take away from it what you will. Whether a good laugh, moment of contemplation, spark of epiphany or disgruntled snicker (you know who you are, haha), its a thoughtful read.



Text of Steve Jobs' Commencement address (2005)

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5ยข deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky - I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.
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Category: friday

04/21/07 12:06 - 46ºF - ID#38981

diablo

yeh, i havent been there in awhile, but I am heading out tonight.

come join

smoke some cloves

haha
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Category: friday

04/20/07 01:31 - 60ºF - ID#38976

inhale exhale

um yeah, Happy 420 -- pass it on ;)

I forgot it was easter but i remember 420, haha





I head out for a walk probably just about every single day of the year. Any sort of weather will do. Even when I don't really feel like it, at the time that I would normally go, my body starts itching to do it. Same thing happens when on a regular schedule for the gym.

anyhoo-- with the sunshine, it really makes a difference- puts an extra bounce in the step. you know how it is :)

that is all.


so go on and inhale the sparkling air.

or anything else you choose to inhale ;)
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04/19/07 09:40 - 54ºF - ID#38964

Distance around delaware park

Ok, out of curiosity- what is the distance around Delaware park? I've never really wondered before.. just walked around 2-3 times before getting bored of the scenery.

unless there are Rugby players, then I can't seem to walk at all.

they were out today :)


and so many other people.

a very nice day, indeed.


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Category: entetainment

04/19/07 11:43 - 47ºF - ID#38956

Dark Shadows

First, thank you very much (e:zobar) , (e:mrmike) and (e:ladycroft) for the push reel lawn mower information. I will look around and see what I can find :)

I've rarely been able to commit to watching a television show. Even with VCR's and now Tivo/DV-R (alright, so maybe, just maybe if I had the latter, I might become a junkie).

Sure there have been and continue to be shows that I catch- but they are more likely ones that do not require week to week season to season follow through. ie; Law and Order, Seinfeld, Family Guy, Roseanne reruns

There was one show in the early 90's I remember really getting into. I caught it on tv at a friends house and found myself mesmerized.

Does anyone remember, "Dark Shadows: The Revival" ?

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I don't remember much about it. Other than vampires, cool period clothing and some interesting looking men. The plot must have intrigued me as it was the one show that I really liked and wanted to watch forever. I kept at it for several episodes until it suddenly went off air.

Ever since then I would fondly think back to that show. I wanted to find it and finish watching it! I remember in the mid nineties (pre household internet access) seeking out information on it.

At some point I realized that it was based on the series, "Dark Shadows" which ran 1966-1971.
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At the time I thought my show was just "dark shadows" which may or may not have had "revival" in the title line, or rather I didn't notice or care. Didnt actually know until that that it was based on an original series. And that is all I would find when I would look for "Dark Shadows" anywhere.

original series and some info on the revival:
(WIKIPEDIA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Shadows)

Several more years passed and forgot about looking for the show that I knew. Perhaps it never existed, or that I go the name wrong.

It wasnt until very recently that i thought about it again and decided to look for it.

found it.

One year it was on, back in 1990-1991 and then suddenly ended, as i recall.

from wikipedia

Although it was a huge hit at introduction (watched by almost 1 in 4 households according to official ratings during that time period), an untimely international incident would inflict a fatal wound to the show. The onset of the Gulf War caused NBC to continually pre-empt or reschedule the early episodes resulting in viewer confusion and a loss of momentum. In the end, it was canceled after only 12 episodes.



I am thrilled to have the episodes in my possession. I'm hoping I will love it as much I had or perhaps I will love it for other reasons.

I am now curious about the original series. That went on for 5 or 6 seasons, which are also available for purchase. I would need to watch a few before I decided to buy them all.

There are other shows that I would eventually like very much to buy as I have seen a few and loved them, then found myself not willing or able to watch them weekly.

all at once or at my leisure on dvd, sure.

Smallville is namely one of them (LOVE!!!). I catch occasional new ones and plenty of old ones in syndication, but I want them all to watch in order. And now, Heroes. Began to watch it when it very first started, but missed one or two, then decided not to watch it so as not to be so confused with story line. I totally loved what I did see and I am hoping someone has been recording them this past season :)



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mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

joe said to grandma
OMG welcome!...

joe said to mike
New years resolution to top (e:strip)?...