Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Wednesday I headed down to Orlando fairly early for me, mainly to see the special presentation for he new Shamu Show, Believe, at SeaWorld for annual pass holders. I arrived about 1 and registered and instead of the lame wristband I was told we would get, we got a pretty nice lanyard with a really nice card on it promoting the show- the type that show movement when you tip them to each side a bit- what is that called?
Wednesday night I headed over to DownTown Disney to catch a movie, saw Mission Impossible III, and it was very good, though hardly resembling the concept of the TV show anymore. Then hung around the area for a bit. I browsed the Virgin Mega Store and checked out the titles they had on sale. To my great surprise, they had an old sci-fi classic on DVD, Colossus: The Forbin Project! Great movie! Or rather, kinda lame movie, but really neat! Bogus acting and writing etc, but still really neat! I guess a really interesting "B" movie. Watched it a couple of times after I wrote that, and it is actually the lighting and camera angles that make this movie look cheap. The acting, writing and timing is actually pretty good. It just looks a bit off.
Thursday I headed over to Epcot for my day at Disney, having finally decided that given one day and no park hopping, that Epcot had to be my choice. Okay, so I'm getting old! It basically came down to three factors. First, there was a beautiful carving in Germany that I wanted to get a good shot of with my new since I have been there camera; second, I find Epcot the most enjoyable park environmentally if one is just hanging out and not particularly looking to race around doing as many rides as possible; and third, Illuminations- just wouldn’t' be right to leave WDW without closing out the night with Illuminations!
Oh! And it was also the annual Flower and Garden Festival!
A couple of highlights in an otherwise fairly typical day at Epcot. First, I did head over to Germany to get that shot, and on the way stopped by Africa to visit the woodcarver there who I covered in a section in my book on woodcarving. He wasn’t there, but his grandson was, and I showed him the book and the part where his grandfather appears. He was very excited about it, and we traded contact information. I learned that his grandfather, David, had gone home to Kenya for a visit. But I also discovered that I had David's name wrong! So have corrected that for the new edition: Masaku, not Masuka! And I found out a bit more about him. Seems he traveled Europe for 20+ years carving and selling! Quite an adventurer! He never mentioned it, but it is now on a blurb for his new business card. Has a bit of history- seems all the men in his tribe are woodcarvers and he learned from his father who learned... and he has passed it on to his son and now to his grandson!
Later, I did do a couple of rides, Mission: Space, (didn't die), and Test Trak, and discovered that my camera will take long movie clips, not just ten seconds as the former one did, and much later discovered that the sound has to be turned on separately… Oh well. Then, just for the heck of it, I did Soarin’, having done it before, and not being particularly impressed, and certainly not enough for a long line wait, which was there, so I grabbed a fast pass and returned later; but instead of riding my ECV in, I walked in, despite it being a long walk, cause in the ECV you always end up in row three, and I wanted to try row one, the row that goes to the top of the screen. As I was planning on hitting the van for a nap after this ride anyway, I endured the strain on my legs and hips to get this shot at it. I had to wait a bit for my seat selection, but I am very happy to say oh my god was it worth it! Totally different experience from the top! I ended up doing it two more times that day (with naps after each long journey!) and had the top each time. I talked with another fellow who went through the same thing, and he thought it was such a different experience that they should simply remove the bottom row. It is that different! Frankly, the bottom row experience is a good fun movie, but motion wise, the effect is lost as you clearly have the bottom of the screen in your view, which just kills the illusion: at the top, you can even lean forward and not loose the illusion. Now having done that, I can see why some people have become addicted to this ride!
I also saw The Tokens perform at the Flower Power concert series- they did The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Enjoyable show, but nothing outstanding. Also saw the English Invasion perform in England, always good, and again, have a long vid clip of four mop tops silently moving their mouths and running their hands over their guitars… and got a shot with them, Mary Poppins and Alice!
Ended the night with Illuminations and went home happy.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
On another matter, I want to pass on a very funny fellow! Recently, I fell into watching the Late Late Show on CBS with Craig Ferguson. When you see him, you might recognize him as Drew Carrie's boss on that show, and he is now doing the late late show, and he opens each night with a 15 minute monologue that is at times witty and funny enough to bring tears to my eyes from laughter! This guy is hilarious and fresh and unique! His nightly monologue is the funniest thing I have seen on TV since Bob Saget cut loose on Johnny Carson one night long ago. Anyone who saw that knows what I mean! Give him a shot if you get the chance!
A reminder, the America's Funniest Home Video's show that I was an extra on, one of 1200, is airing this coming Friday, May 19th. For more details, photos and stories scroll down further in the blog.
Lots of other good stuff as you scroll down too, so take a moment or two!
Currently am nearing completion of preparation of the 2nd edition of my book on my adventures of the last nearly 40 years pursuing art in woodcarving in America, which will include some exciting new material that came to be available only after I went to press with the first edition, and will also be re-titled to be a bit more descriptive for the reader.
And soon, I will get up a report on my visit last week back to the Suwannee River to interview a woodcarver near there, and then spend a day in my kayak on the river. Did a lot of shooting and have to prep the pictures. I have never seen so many fish outside of an aquarium! And those big ones doing belly flops... but more on that later!
Bookmark, baby! Bookmark!