Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My Birthday Present! - Roku Netflix Player

Got my Roku Netflix box today. Pulled it out of the box and set it up very quickly.

Longest part was finding my old video distribution box so I could convert the video to old fashioned coax.

Unboxing the device

Mary and Mao helping out

My "wiring closet". Router (white). Network Storage (640GB) behind it.
My old video distributor is under the Roku box. It feeds me the signal on Ch. 79

Imagine what I am watching first!

Screen for my main Kubuntu box on the left and TV to the right.
I couldn't get a good Netflix stream going on the Kubuntu Box (running XP in VirtualBox) so pulling it off onto its own platform made sense.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Jake Ludington’s HP Magic Giveaway

Check out this Giveaway at one of my favorite tech newsletter/blogs

Jake Ludington’s HP Magic Giveaway

50 sites are awarding an incredible selection of HP equipment to lucky winners. Jake adds "Most of us don’t really need 4 computers at home, but we all know a person or an organization who could really use some help. For my giveaway, I’m asking you to tell me about who you would share some of this great hardware and software with and why."

I would find a way to support "Our Chinese Daughters Foundation" http://www.ocdf.org/

(Ha! I HAVE more than 4 computers at home, but they are getting pretty old. The Dell Mini I am writing this on is more powerful than most of the other boxes I have. Those machines are mostly single purpose machines - i.e. podcast aggregator, DVD burner, Pop email for those mailing lists I subscribe to but don't have time to read. It would be nice to join the 21st Century with more than my netbook.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Peter Pan at 8:15pm

Recently one of my favorite sites - Disneyland Resort Mystery Photo - had a mystery photo of a clock face that was projected onto the floor of the animation building in Disney's California Adventure - Click here for the entire blog entry from http://www.ldphotography.net/disneypics/2008/dl081109/

I've been so busy at work lately that I have not been keeping up with Disneyland Resort Mystery Photos. Tonite was the first time in weeks I have had a chance to look at the page to see what I have missed.

When looking at the clock picture, the first thing I recognized was that it was from Peter Pan.

The second thing I noticed was that there was a comment on the page from someone who did not know what the picture was, but who said "I have no idea, but is 8:15 significant?". The site owner of Disneyland Resort Mystery Photos responded "I have no idea if there's a significance other than it wasn't the current time. I took that photo at 4:23pm."

"Hmm", I thought. Could this be the actual time that was showing on Big Ben in the 1953 Disney movie? Out came my DVD, where I discovered that indeed that is the time - after Peter, Wendy, John and Michael land on the minute hand! (The screen grab at the top of this post is straight off the DVD)

A little snooping around the web revealed another image - this one from the mural at Peter Pan's flight in Disneyland Paris - although here it is 7:15.

I also found a snow globe on Disney's site that shows 8:15!

No real significance to this post, just thought it interesting that Disney maintains that 8:15 time for Big Ben.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008 and Haunted House

The girls are beginning to grow out of Trick or Treating. We only hit a few houses this year and then visited an elaborate Haunted House that a coworker told me about. The older girls (and their best friend) loved the Haunted House, but 11 year old Mary hated it

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tree Removal - Day 1

We are getting rid of some trees in the back yard that have the potential of falling into the house and a stand of pines in the front to allow the dogwood trees to grow.

If the above slideshow doesn't show, the pictures can be found at

Youtube video of the cutting of the pines.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My new computer setup

Kubuntu box on the Left (with Robin Hood playing)
Dual Boot XP and Kubuntu Laptop on the right with dual screens.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

1988 Oldsmobile dangling part - What is it

I started hearing a rattling today as I was driving my beater - a 1989 Oldsmobile Royale 88. (yeah, I put the wrong year in the title above and I can't change it now)

When I got home, I found this thing hanging from underneath the right front part of the engine.

I will call my mechanic on Monday, but if anyone has any idea what this thing is, let me know kirbysloan@gmail.com

Click on the pictures to get a larger view.

The bottom picture is sideways, but you can see the connection where this sucker broke off.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

There's a Bat in Me Attic!

I was up in the attic today and happened to look behind a shelf at one of the vents at one end of the house.

Wow! A Bat was hanging on the outside of the screen. Coolness! I made enough noise to make it move a little (to make sure it was actually alive), took a quick picture with my cel phone and will leave it alone.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The DPN's WestFest 08 - Sunday

If the slideshow does not appear in the above space, you may find it at
You can also comment on the pictures at this link.

TheDPN's WestFest 08 Heimlich Chew Chew Meet

Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Track Switch (Yes, I'm a Geek)

The Meandering Mouse - GlowFest

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Motorcycle Dog

Had to share this picture taken by another person in our van pool.

On our way home on Wednesday afternoon 5/21/08, we noticed traffic slowing down as they passed a particular motorcyclist on I-575 N heading out of Atlanta.

As we got closer, we could see why. He had his dog riding in front of him - complete with goggles.

Click on the picture for a better view.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The DPN's WestFest 08 - Saturday - daytime

If the slideshow does not appear in the above space, you may find it at

Includes pics of

Meeting BlackJack Joe and Keymo
Nemo Subs
The DPN Meet and Greet
Greg's "What's Behind that door" meet
The photo session in front of the castle
Being pulled off of Space Mountain for "audio problems"
Misc DCA

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The DPN's WestFest 08 - Friday Afternoon and Evening

If the slideshow does not appear in the above space, you may find it at


Animation Lobby


Pixar Play Parade - Jack Jack "Flame On"


Will gets his Man Card


Fantasmic - Mickey Sorcerer


Fantasmic - Monkeys


Fantasmic - Princesses


Fantasmic - Finale

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The DPN's WestFest 08 - Friday Morning

Slideshow of my Friday morning at the DPN's WestFest 08. Great fun even before the official activities.

Will and Shannon get excited over getting ready to enter Disneyland

First ride on the Matterhorn for me and for Will and Shannon.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The DPN on the Tower of Terror

That is me - second row right hand end. click on the picture for a larger copy.
These are about half the people at tonite's meet.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Disneyland countdown - 8 days

Five more days of work. I leave for the airport a week from tomorrow to head to Disneyland and WestFest08.

Below are two shots of my cube at work. One of my old 2002 Disneyland Resort Maps is on a cube wall with an aerial shot of the resort.

My Antenna toppers are prominently displayed (and you can see my Monkey King back there as well.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Video of Tony Curtis in 1962 Disneyland with Suzanne Pleshette

I was going to submit this to boingboing a few days ago after
completing my shot descriptions. Someone beat me to it this morning
Oh Well!

Video of Tony Curtis in 1962 Disneyland with Suzanne Pleshette


In 1962, Universal (imagine that) filmed a Tony Curtis comedy that had
an extended sequence filmed at Disneyland. The film - "40 Pounds of
Trouble" http://imdb.com/title/tt0057069/ is an updated version of the
classic Runyon tale "Little Miss Marker".

That entire 16 min sequence has landed in YouTube (with no tags
indicating what it really is) and is linked to from the
isntlifeterrible blog in a tribute to the late Suzanne Pleshette.

What a fascinating find and an amazing view of 1962 Disneyland. Many
shots of extinct attractions and unusual views.

But it is a Disneyland with some even more warped and amazing
geographical anomalies and strange rule breaking as I indicate in my
screen shot descriptions below.

Part one - 8 min 29 sec

The clip begins as Tony and Suzanne and the little girl arrive at
Disneyland via Helicopter (Helicopter service was discontinued a few
years later after 2 devastating Helicopter crashes).

After a few aerial views of the park, the trio finds itself in the
nose cone of the Disneyland-Alweg Mark II Monorail admiring more views
of the park (theoretically possible chronologically, as the Mark II
was part of the extension to the Disneyland Hotel so the trio could
have embarked there.)
They arrive at the Tomorrowland station and step over to the rail to
look over the park.

cut to - a shot of Main Street U.S.A. from the Santa Fe-Disneyland
Railroad Main Street Station.

What the Heck?! That's not right. Or did they find their way there and
this is later?

No! Cut back to the trio Goshwowing over the view as they are
obviously in the Tomorrowland Monorail station.

Next, they take a Surrey ride in Town Square as Alice and the Mad
Hatter pass by in the background.
The little girl cries out "There's Mickey Mouse" as the Surrey passes
a very weird version of Mickey and Minnie. These are obviously better
than the Ice Capades costumes used 7 years before when the park
opened, though.

Suzanne points out "The Keystone Cops playing the saxophone" as the
little girls sez "Hi, Policemen".

In a view down Tomorrowland Way, we see the little girl chasing the
Three Little Pigs (What are the Pigs doing in Tomorrowland?)

The YouTube video goes dark for a few seconds at the 2 minute mark.

When it resumes, we are riding a Canal Boat through Storybookland.
This features what is probably an actual cast member spieling as we go
through Monstro and see Pinocchio's village, Toad Hall, and
Cinderella's Castle.

A couple of seconds in a Teacup is followed by a ride in the original
Astro-Jets as we watch as Tony simultaneously tries to hide from the
people chasing him and is turning green from a fear of heights.

Across the park, we see the trio arriving from a trip on the Mine
Train through Nature's Wonderland. (Many of the buildings behind them
are still visible in the queue of Big Thunder.) The little girl is
wearing Mickey ears in this scene only for some reason.

A cigar chomping cop is seen looking for Steve (Tony Curtis'
character) in the courtyard of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Next - we have just passed through the Matterhorn while riding the
Skyway toward Fantasyland. Suzanne and the little girl are in one
gondola while Tony is in another. An older lady seated next to him
proclaims "Isn't this exciting" and he tells her of his fear of

The Dark Ride sequence that follows is very, very strange, as it
combines elements of all the Dark Rides as if they are one. We see the
trio start out in a Peter Pan pirate ship. The next few quick cuts
shift between Snow White and Mr. Toad and reaction shots of the trio
(obviously no longer in a pirate ship). The little girl cowers as the
Mr. Toad locomotive bears down on their car.

A lovely view of the Matterhorn (with Monorail passing as a rappeller
comes down the mountain), is followed by a ride on the Matterhorn
Bobsleds (point of view AND reaction shots of the riders obviously
filmed on the attraction).

The plot starts kicking in as the believability drops. Tony spots his
pursuer as they go through the Bobsled exit turnstile. He jumps the
exit and they get back into the Bobsled for another ride.

Pausing for a meal in front of the Chicken of the Sea restaurant in
Fantasyland, the trio disguises themselves with full face masks of
Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro (I doubt the park sold these!). Tony
wants to leave, but the little girl wants to visit Tom Sawyer Island.

On the Island, they pass Harper's Mill and go to the Treehouse, where
their pursuer catches up with them - temporarily.

Part 1 ends with the trio crossing the barrel bridge.

Part 2 - 7 min 42 sec

Continuing across the barrel bridge, the trio and their pursuer have a
run in with a heavyset lady who wields her purse at the cigar chomper.

Everyone then crosses the suspension bridge and gets tangled up with a
troupe of German Boy Scouts.

Inside Fort Wilderness, the chase is suspended while the United States
Flag is raised and saluted.

Fort Wilderness experiences an Indian attack. Our intrepid trio ducks
out through the escape tunnel.
They board a raft back to the park but are stopped by a cast member
asking for a ticket. (I don't think tickets were required to LEAVE the
island!). Tony pays and makes a spectacular leap from the dock to the
raft. Mr. Cigar is left at the dock and assured that another raft will
be along in a few minutes. He high tails it to the fishing dock where
he flashes his cop badge at a cast member in a conveniently placed

Tony and company exit the Tom Sawyer raft at the Mark Twain dock instead of the raft dock and run past an amused crowd that obviously knows a movie is being filmed.
The cop also goes to the Mark Twain dock. His boat driver gets out of there just ahead of the massive Mark Twain.

Tony dons a Fantasia Mushroom costume and runs into the middle of the
street in Frontierland (I thought Walt was a stickler for out of place
characters!). He sheds the costume in the queue area of the Mine Train
(which is not only devoid of guests, it is also 180 degrees away from
the direction we last saw him running.)

Tony runs into the tunnel leading to Nature's Wonderland and into the
painted desert scene. The cop soon follows.

From there, they both run through the animatronic Indian village and
interact with the scenery and an unexpected cast member.

Tony ends up running down the Disneyland Railroad tracks and into a
tunnel. A few seconds later he runs out of the tunnel in front of the
C.K. Holliday Engine Number 1.

Suddenly he is in Fantasyland again, vaulting over a worker in front
of the Pirate Ship and bouncing through the Three Little Pigs. Things
get fast and furious in the chase as he and the cop pass by, over, and
through King Arthur's Carrousel (with the Disneyland band on the
horses), Sleeping Beauty Castle (where the portcullis gate is lowered suddenly
to trap the cop), and past a group of Japanese Sailors who get Tony to
take their picture.

Into the Hub, where Keystone Cop costumed cast members enter the chase
as... Keystone Cops! (The center of the Hub is a grassy circle. The
Partners stature of Walt and Mickey stands there now.)

Tony runs into Tomorrowland and leaps over the fence to board an
Autopia car (Probably Mark V cars - Bob Gurr article at
http://www.laughingplace.com/News-ID108100.asp ) The cop commandeers
another car - "Hey Kid! Follow that car!" and pops a kid's balloon
with his cigar. There is a quick shot of the keystone cops racing down
Main Street in the Antique Car.

Tony and the cop both abandon their cars mid course. Tony leaps aboard a passing caboose on the Railroad.

The train (pulled by Number 3 - the Fred Gurley) pulls into Main Street Station where Suzanne and the kid are waiting. Another cop is waiting nearby and confronts them. Suzanne creates a diversion by leaping into the cop's arms and pretending he is a long lost relative while Tony and the kid leave the park. The kid stops to hug the White Rabbit, Goofy, and the Big Bad Wolf while they run. The kid also gets Tony to buy a large bunch of balloons and they race out the exit.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A visit to FDR's Little White House and meeting the Tuskegee Airmen

On Saturday Feb 9, 2008 We visited FDR's Little White House, met some of the Tuskegee Airmen (as they were honored by the Patriot Guard Riders), ate lunch at Bulloch House restaurant, visited the old Rehabilitation Institute swimming pool, and went to FDR's favorite spot on Pine Mountain.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Westfest - videos from 2007

Here are a few videos from last year's Westfest (that I could not attend)

Slide show of Westfest 2007

Disneyland Hotel History Walk - Part 1

Disneyland Hotel History Walk - Part 2

YehaaBob Bob Jackson - Piano player from Walt Disney World who will be playing at the Westfest banquet.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm going to Disneyland!!!

The image

Being the Crazed Disney Parks fan that I am, Marie agreed to my cashing in some of our United miles (from the China trips) to go to Westfest in Disneyland in May.

Money is tight, so I am making the trip solo. I actually have paid vacation for the first time in 3 years and I can definitely keep within budget of my vacation pay as a solo traveler.

The girls know of my Disney hobby and haven't really complained about their not being included in the trip. As this is my second solo trip to a Disney Park, they have seen me do this before. I hope we get a chance to take them down to Walt Disney World sometime in the next couple of years to make up for my solo Disneyland trips.

My trip is partially sponsored by my favorite Disney podcast - Paul Barrie's Window to the Magic Podcast. WTTM has been my weekly escape to the sound experience of being in the parks for several years now. Thanks, Paul.

Westfest started as an informal gathering of podcasters and their listeners that were part of the Disney Podcast Network http://www.thedpn.com that got together in the fall of 2006 as kind of a West Coast version of the huge gathering of the Disney Online Community that happens in December at Walt Disney World - Mousefest. Westfest was formalized in 2007 with official meets and a banquet.

I've been researching the trip for several days now. Digging out old park guide books and maps. I've put together a list of what I know of that has been added or changed since my trip in Nov 2002. I hope to see most of them.

Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Space Mountain - completely rebuilt
Matterhorn Bobsleds (was in refurb in 2002)
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
The Pile of Pooh
Jungle Cruise - has been Refurbed by adding piranha and other effects
King Arthur Carrousel - completely rebuilt
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Innoventions - Asimo robot was added
"Remember... Dreams Come True" - fireworks
Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams

Disney's California Adventure
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
Turtle Talk with Crush in Animation (was "One Man's Dream" when I was there)
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (was being built in 2002)
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail - "The Magic of Brother Bear" additions
Aladdin - the Musical
Block Party Bash (which will be gone during Westfest, as it is moving to Walt Disney World)
High School Musical 2 show (I can skip this )
Playhouse Disney (I can skip this. This was the closed Soap Opera Bistro when I was there )

Be prepared for a lot of Disney on this blog for the next few months.



Visit My Disney Theme Parks Related TV Web Page at
(A LaughingPlace Community Member
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Web page about our October 2000 Walt Disney World trip at

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Check out my 1960 Disneyland Map at

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