Tag Archives: Discovery

Park People Parade Purposefully

Pick your poison, dudes.

If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World, I simultaneously envy and pity you. I have a massive love-hate relationship with Mouschwitz, knowing how much happiness it brings to most and how much misery it’s brought to me in the past.

Still, this last time, I actually had more fun than not. And that’s something of a first for me.

How to describe the Magic Kingdom? It’s been called (relentlessly) The Happiest Place On Earth and the cast members there certainly try to force you to live up to that logo. They are smiling all the time. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that facial smile fatigue is the most-treated concern at the Disney Docs.

Completely covered in concrete, the Magic Kingdom is what first comes to mind when most dudes think about Walt Disney World. It’s made up of Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland , Main Street USA, Mickey’s Toontown Circus and Liberty Square. Crowds enter on Main Street and are forced to walk down the double rows of shops and emporiums on their way to Cinderella’s Castle at the end of the street.

Once there, they can branch off into any of the different areas. Famous rides include Space Mountain (my favorite as it’s almost a thrill ride instead of a theme ride), Splash Mountain, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (my third favorite), the Haunted Mansion (my second favorite), the Jungle Cruise and many, many more. Since we went in December, it wasn’t as broiling hot as in the summer months (although most days it got up to 85 Fahrenheit) and the crowds were lighter.

All in all, we had a pretty tremendous time. Hyper Lad enjoyed a lot of the rides, with one severe exception, while the wife and I had a good time as well, actually going on all the rides together, instead of a certain someone sitting it out.

Animal Kingdom was, I thought, very much improved over the last time I went there. In addition to a simply amazing safari ride, I finally experienced the Expedition Everest roller coaster, in which we “escaped” from a Yeti attack. The Animal Kingdom is divided into sections featuring Africa, Asia, Dino Land, Camp Minnie-Mickey and Discovery Island. We had a lot of fun watching the various animal antics and going back in time millions of years to get screamed at by a Carnataurus.

EPCOT was home to three of what turned out to be very, very fun rides. At Mission: Space, Hyper Lad and I went on a virtual Mission to Mars, which featured some very convincing combinations of physical movement and video to make us think we IMG_4184were piloting a ship down to the surface of Mars. At the Test Track, Hyper Lad designed his own massively powered car, which we then drove around a track to “test.” We also enjoyed Soarin’ in The Land section, which combined a moving bench and a very large video of flying, to make us think we were in a hang glider.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios, though, was the most disappointing. Although we enjoyed Star Tours (a virtual ride in an out-of-control spaceship in the Star Wars universe) and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, there wasn’t much else at the park to hold our interest. Although I did get to ride a speeder, so there was that.

All in all, I’d have to say that Disney World made a much better impression on me this time around. Maybe I’m older and less easily angered or annoyed (although I seriously doubt that last one), or having older young dudes along for the ride made for a less-stressful experience, but, whatever the case, it made for an enjoyable short vacation.

Not sure if I’d go back there, but I feel like I can actually recommend other people go without feeling like a hypocrite.

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Ten Rules For Success Not A Myth

Adam Savage is a dude who knows about which he speaks.

A special effects master, a Maker, a knowledgable sort-of scientist, an amazing television co-host of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, Savage is an all-round astonishingly good guy.

He spoke recently at a theatrical event for Makers, designers, engineers, eccentrics and anyone who wants to be around clearly odd folks like that in San Francisco. His topic was on how to succeed. Savage didn’t actually say succeed in what. But, after looking over the interesting assortment of suggestions he put forth, I’m thinking these ideas could apply just about anywhere.

I’m going to just run them here because, really, there’s not much I could add right now*. Thanks to boingboing.net, which originally ran the list.

1. Get good at something.
Really good. Get good at as many things as you can. Being good at one thing makes it easier to get good at other things.

2. Getting good at stuff takes practice.
Lots and lots of practice.

3. Get OBSESSED.
Everyone at the top of their field is obsessed with what they’re doing.

4. Doing something well and thoroughly is its OWN reward.

5. Show and Tell.
If you do something well and you’re happy with it, for FSM’s sake, tell EVERYONE.

6. If you want something, ASK.
If something piques your interest, tell someone. If you want to learn something, ask someone, like your BOSS. As an employer, I can tell you, people who want to learn new skills are people I want to keep employed.

7. Have GOALS.
Make up goals. Set goals. Regularly assess where you are and where you want to be in terms of them. This is a kind of prayer that works, and works well. Allow for the fact that things will NEVER turn out like you think they will, and you must be prepared to end up miles from where you intended.

8. Be nice. To EVERYONE.
Life is way too short to be an asshole. If you are an asshole, apologize.

9. FAIL.
You will fail. It’s one of our jobs in life. Keep failing. When you fail, admit it. When you don’t, don’t get cocky. ‘Cause you’re just about to fail again.

10. WORK YOUR ASS OFF.
Work like your life depends on it…

*Which is not to say that I won’t find something to say in a a day or so, which I can almost guarantee will be the case. Check back tomorrow and see if I’ve recovered the power of voice by keyboard.

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The Now You Versus The Future You

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

For Walt Whitman, astonishingly erudite poet of years gone by, it was a sign of intelligence, of passion, of an attempted understanding of the world’s infinite variations.

For most other people? Eh, not so much.

How many times have you had to defend yourself when you suddenly have a different opinion than one you previously held? In a politician, that’s called flip-flopping and it’s considered a bad thing. Not sure I understand that. I mean, if you continue researching a problem, come up with new information, why is it a good thing to hold to an outdated opinion, rather than reassessing what you do based on new information?

And that’s what I wanted to talk about today. How it’s likely that you as a parent are going to run afoul of you decreed as a parent years, months or even days before. And how, really, that’s all right, even though you’re going to have to fight the little dudes and dudettes about it.

There’s two concepts I want to include in this: Present bias and generalization.

Present bias is something we covered over the last couple of days when we talked about procrastination with David McRaney, from You Are Not So Smart. It’s the inability to understand that your desires will change over time. That what you want today is not necessarily what you will want next month.

The now you may see the costs and rewards at stake when it comes time to choose studying for the test instead of going to the club, eating the salad instead of the cupcake, writing the article instead of playing the video game.

The trick is to accept the now you will not be the person facing those choices, it will be the future you – a person who can’t be trusted. Future-you will give in, and then you’ll go back to being now-you and feel weak and ashamed. Now-you must trick future-you into doing what is right for both parties.

In this case, McRaney was talking about how the people who acknowledge that they will procrastinate and find ways to work around it are better prepared to counter that tendency to put off until tomorrow what needs to be done the day after tomorrow.

In dealing with the little dudes, it comes into how we set the rules. For instance, you might decide that it’s all right for the little dudette to stay up later for a week because there’s a great educational series on Discovery that you want to share with her, as a sort of father-daughter bonding experience. So you guarantee that she’ll be able to do it all week.

However, two days into it, you come down with a cold and decide you both need to hit the hay early, taping the show to watch later. When you promised up late every night, you didn’t conceive that the future you might want to change things.

So even though going to bed early is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, considering the circumstances, your little dudette is not going to be happy about it. Here’s the thing: You can’t beat yourself up about it. She, or any little dudes involved, will be more than happy to give you grief, you don’t need to heap any more on your own shoulders.

It’s important to know that, while you must do everything you can to keep your promises, to make sure that future you does what now you says he will, sometimes life makes other decisions when we’re not looking.

We can’t predict the future, but that doesn’t stop us from assuming that we will always be the same as time goes on. And when you add that to the idea of generalization. . .

Well, that’s a story for tomorrow.

 

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