Monday, August 19, 2013

My Magic Plus...

This new program that Disney Florida is rolling out was a mystery to me.  But after reading FutureProbe's article on the subject, now I'm worried.

Go ahead and read the article, titled The Pixie Dust Detoxification Effect

Is this going to enhance or ruin the Disney vacation experience?  Sounds like the latter...


Monday, August 12, 2013

Off Topic: Chicago bassist passes away

One of my favorite musicians in the Chicago bar band scene was bass player Tom "Pickles" Piekarski.  Besides playing with John Prine, he also played with the Famous Potatoes, Mike Jordan and the Rockamatics, Betsy and the Boneshakers, and finally, The Bad Examples. 

I loved watching him, listening to him, and talking with him between sets and after or before shows.  Pickles always had time and interest in chatting with people. 

Here's the obit from the Chicago Sun-Times:  The Tasty Force of Tom Piekarski


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Midwest Attractions: St. Louis

You know it, you've seen it, the home of the Cardinals, Blues and Rams...the city on the Mississippi, Gateway to the West, all that stuff. 

We took a quick jaunt to visit the city of St. Louis a weekend or so ago, and while there we visited the famous Arch, taking the ride up to the top.  We also visited two caves about an hour west of the city, Meramec Caverns and Onandaga Cave.  We went to a really unique "museum", called the City Museum, which was more of an indoor/outdoor/rooftop urban playground, and we saw the Basilica Cathedral, which is a gorgeous example of Byzantine architecture right here in the Midwestern United States. 

Oh, and we got to see a "Naked Bike Ride".  Which could have been funny, but ended up being more annoying than anything since it made finding parking near the restaurant we were determined to dine at almost impossible.  (Plus, in my view, the folks who were riding naked probably shouldn't have been...)

Last, we stayed at the Union Station Hotel, a Doubletree by Hilton hotel, where a shopping mall and a grand hotel are built into the old railroad station.  Pretty cool all by itself, with a very nice room.

I enjoyed the caves the most, followed by the City Museum.  My kids liked the slides, passageways, catwalks and man-made caves at the City Museum the best. 

I may (or may not, depending on my mood) post in more detail about some of the individual attractions.  It should be noted that there is more to do than just what we did. 


Monday, August 5, 2013


I didn't get to see this movie in the theater, like I'd hoped to do.  But I caught some of it on a flight, and it looked pretty good.  Waiting at home was the DVD (which I had purchased when it came out), and it took until now to finally watch it.

And my initial impression was correct.  This was a really fun movie.  It told a pretty decent, if a little thin, story, describing just how the Wizard of Oz gets to be the Wizard.  It filled in the backstory of the witches.  It paid homage to the original film in several places.  And it was a beautifully filmed movie, with plenty of colorful effects and solid animation.  Performances were good, and I liked all of the actors in their roles.

More importantly, it held my boys' interest better than a lot of movies do when I show them on DVD.  And now they want to see the original film, which prior to now, they've always demurred when offered the opportunity.  So we'll be popping that one in soon.

My sons are REALLY looking forward to seeing PERCY JACKSON:  SEA OF MONSTERS in the theater, maybe even this weekend.