Monday, February 01, 2010

The Game

So I was thinking (dangerous, I know)... this morning on the drive into work. I know there are a fair number of Star Trek fans who read my blog out there, so hopefully some will get this. :)

Does anyone remember the episode of TNG titled "The Game", where Riker brings back this virtual game device, that everyone started playing. It wasn't until nearly the whole crew of the Enterprise was absolutely addicted to it that the ever-annoying Wesley Crusher and his partner in crime determined that it was actually a mind-control device sent by a group of rogue aliens with the intent of infiltrating and taking over the ship. Their very existence was threatened by this all-consuming game that would allow the evil bad guys to swoop in and capture them all for eternity.


Ladies and gentlemen... I give you Farmville.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Disneyland Videoblog

Last weekend I met my friends Kristen and Mark down at Disneyland for some good times in the not-always-so-warm California sun. As part of my adventure, I decided to try something new and record a bit of a video blog of the fun. It was my first time using the Flip MinoHD recorder, and it leaves a bit to be desired. As you will notice, there is absolutely zero image stabilization, so unless I was standing in one place, it was pretty hopeless to get a steady shot. But that didn't stop me from getting some hilariously entertaining clips, and a capture a bit of the Disney magic on film. Enjoy!







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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pictures and Updates

OK, nearly 3 months since my last post. I'm lazy. BUT, some good has come of it...

Pictures
I finally got around to uploading all of the pictures from Disneyworld back in August. Find them in my photo album. The only problem is that going through them all again made me just want to go back again. Good thing I'm going to Disneyland next weekend. :)

Holidays and Stuff
Well, I survived the holidays. Nothing too exciting there, it was holidays, it was vacation, it was what it was.

OK, on further observation, nothing exciting has been happening. I have a slew of random posts to make about random things. Those are more entertaining anyway. I'll get around to that... in probably 3 months.


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Update, Olympics, and Curling

Another long stretch without an update. I finally have pictures from WDW ready to put online, when I get around to it. Maybe next week.

Olympics

The Olympics are coming! Yesterday they unveiled the Vancouver 2010 Olympic medals. The medals themselves in recent games have been one of the most visible ways for the host country to showcase their individuality. From the donut-holes of Torino, to the jade-inlaid medals of Beijing, the 2010 medals are no exception, recognizing the Aboriginal roots of the Pacific coast of Canada. On first glance they may look rather artistic, yet traditional.

That is until you look at them from the side and realize they are far from ordinary -- and far from flat!

Rather amusing. I actually like them a lot. Too bad I'll never get one. :)

Curling

In related news (well, related only because curling is an Olympic sport), the curling season has started again. This year I'm curling on Tuesday and Friday nights, which should give me a bit more manageable schedule (to fit in everything else that's going on in the world). I'm once again managing the Friday night league, because it's still fun. We'll see how many more years until I give up on that. :)

Huskies

How 'bout them Dawgs? Who would have possibly expected we would be 3-3 halfway through the season. Well, perhaps me, but it wasn't the 3 wins I was expecting to have. Husky Stadium has come alive again, in a way I haven't seen since the beginning of the decade. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to make some holiday plans this year to go find a football game to go to. We'll see.


This will mark the beginning of a new round of blog posting. I hope. I just have to get in the habit of it again. I'm trying not to leave my were-to-be-avid readers waiting. Until then...

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wicked

I know, I know... I still haven't posted an update after my Florida trip, but that will have to wait until I'm inspired again (which by my calculations will be about 3 weeks from never). But in the meantime, I need to do a musical review of Wicked.

Wicked made its way back to the Paramount this year after a 3 year hiatus, but this time with an incredible month-long run. Avid readers may recall all the way back to one of my inaugural musical reviews from from September 2006, where I briefly graced the show with my coveted 5-star rating. It's exciting to see it again to see what I may have missed the first time.

I actually attended opening night of the Seattle stop on the tour, which if I see correctly, is actually the first stop on the entire tour. The performance was not without its share of hiccups, but overall it's still hard to beat such an outstanding collection of music and an amazing performance. That said, this performance wasn't quite as brilliant as I recall. That's not to say it still doesn't receive my 5-star rating, or that I wouldn't go see it again next time it comes to town.

Most notably, the ensemble seemed a bit on the weak side musically. I fully expect this to improve over the course of the run, but it was a bit rough at points. Also, the role of Glinda was performed so over-the-top that I actually found her to be somewhat annoying. Musically weaker than I've previously seen (and certainly weaker than the outstanding performance by Kristen Chenoweth in the original Broadway production), and just overacted. Fortunately, these minor weaknesses in the performance were more than compensated by the phenomenal performance of Elphaba, which was as good as any performance I've seen or heard.

My ratings for this performance:

Script: 5-stars - still a hard show to beat.
Music: 5-stars - I don't think there's a bad song in the show, compared to a typical musical where you maybe get a couple showstopping numbers and a lot of fill.
Cast: 4-stars - The only weakness in the production, but minor at that.
Technical: 5-stars - Still an amazing set and a true theatrical spectacle.
Overall: 5-stars - You should still see this any chance you get. Still in that elite class of musicals to receive my 5-star rating along with Avenue Q and RENT.

Wicked continues to play at the Paramount in Seattle through October 4th.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

9 Days of WDW - Day 1 - Epcot

Day 1 - Epcot



Aha, you all were expecting something else? For the last day, I choose ALL of Epcot. A whole park you can't find anywhere else! Of course, the first thing people think of when they hear Epcot is the iconic geodesic sphere housing the Spaceship Earth attraction. I know it's the first thing I think of.


Epcot is divided into two parts: Future World, consisting of most of the ride-based attractions in the park featuring primarily science and technology; and World Showcase, featuring 11 pavilions representing countries from around the globe. The pavilions of the World Showcase span around the aptly-named World Showcase Lagoon. What I love about it is that Disney has done such an amazing job theming each country, it's almost as if you've taken a small trip around the world. Most of the countries have at least one attraction, though most of them are some sort of interesting movie-based show, most are pretty good. Though, no doubt by design, the United States pavilion is at the center of the showcase, and contains I believe the best attraction in the showcase, an show featuring an audio-animatronic history of the US entitled "The American Adventure". Or as I also like to call it "the best 30 minutes of air conditioning you'll find in Epcot."



Disney is also known for its spectacular nighttime shows, and Epcot has one of the finest in IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Fireworks, lasers, fire, and water, all synchronized to another amazing soundtrack. (Hey, I'm a musician, a good soundtrack means a lot to me.)

Tonight I'm on the redeye out of Seattle (with an intentionally ugly layover to coordinate flight times), so I'll be in Florida by morning. Updates to follow later.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

9 Days of WDW - Day 2 - Tower of Terror

Day 2 - Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Apples


What: A one-way ticket to The Twilight Zone in a broken elevator.
Where: Disney's Hollywood Studios

Only 2 days of WDW left, and we reach the only ride in WDW to make me legitimately scream everytime I ride it. Like Splash Mountain, this ride is so elaborately themed it's hard not to love it. Even if you're deathly afraid of the ride, I believe that everyone should "survive" it once, just to see how amazing it is inside.

The ride itself, well, for those of you who haven't ridden it or its much younger (and vastly inferior) brother at Disney's California Adventure, I won't spoil too much of the magic. But it's not hard to assume that the centerpiece of the ride is a 13-story drop in a runaway elevator car. As if that's not bad enough, for you physics majors out there, the car actually falls faster than the pull of gravity, and you literally would fly out of your seat if not for the fact that you are securely (and they double-check that you are) belted in.

When this ride first opened, it was terrifying. Then they made it scarier. In a fit of Imagineering genius, they reprogrammed the entire drop sequence to be random. I've ridden this ride countless times, and sometimes it's FAR more terrifying than others. Maybe I'm an adrenaline junkie afterall. It's fantastic.

One day left... tomorrow night I leave for Florida. What will be the last day of WDW anticipation? We'll see...

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