Riding Autopia!

Me and The Kid risk the lives of fellow Autopia drivers by posing for a cell-photograph.

UDPATED 8-26-07 

We once again got there at opening to avoid the crowds. It was a long day since we woke up at 6am (!). That aside, a good time was had by all.

Some highlights from today…

Haunted Mansion: Still not scary after 38 years but a favorite.

Pirates of the Caribbean: I don’t know what the fuss was about the integration of Jack Sparrow in the attraction. He looks too “real” when compared to the other pirates, all of whom possess that classic Disney look. But it was The Kid’s first time and he dug it!

Autopia: See picture above.

Star Tours: The film is still grainy, that lady on the video still looks like she’s from 1984, and the pilot’s awful jokes are still hard to swallow. But I still love it.

And I finally got a new picture of my two most favorite people to put on my desk:

We also plan on doing the Character Breakfast again since we had such a good time the first time.

Off to bed!

Toyota: Moving…Backward?

You may have seen billboards for the 2008 Toyota Highlander that highlight the fact that Toyota’s second-smallest SUV offers a backup camera for those who are too lazy to use its mirrors and, honestly, who really shouldn’t be driving an SUV in the first place.

The billboards are catchy: an isometric-angle rear view of the Highlander is seen dangerously close to a three-dimensional yellow post. The taillights for the SUV protrude from the ad as well.

Nice, no? You bet. But is it me or is Toyota being counterproductive by boasting this feature of their sprite of an SUV and still adhering to their current slogan of “Moving Forward”?

And I get the sneaky suspicion that someone at Toyota’s ad agency a Depeche Mode fan. Peep this screencap from the Highlander’s Flash site which features the name of a DM song:

It’s not unusual, really. I used to sneak all sorts of Depeche Mode song titles and partial lyrics in some of the articles I wrote for the magazine. One of my favorites was an article with the heading of “Your Own Personal Putting Green,” a takeoff of the first line of “Personal Jesus.”

But it still makes me wonder.

Toughest. Job. Ever.

This one might just pull a heartstring or two.

For it was a few days ago when The Kid’s beloved rat Percy, or PercyMouse as he called her, slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of…GodRat. Yes, she was only an eight-dollar pet but she was his favorite in this house filled with four-legged creatures–and one really cool blue betta fish.

Ann called me at work to give me the bad news. I immediately Googled relevant terms such as “explaining passing of child’s pet” and whatnot. I gained some insight on what to say and why, and felt pretty prepared for what was waiting at home.

Boy, was I wrong.

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Starting Over

A recent visit to my doctor–well, the doctor in place of my vacationing regular doctor–woke me up to something that I’ve known all along.

Despite losing 20 lbs. since my last visit, I’m overweight. Really overweight. Not exactly mou-mou-and-fat-guy-hat overweight but still enough to wake my ass up and whip myself into shape. It’s what I need to do.

In addition to a better diet, which includes eating much more fruit and absolutely no fast food, she suggested that I get more sleep which could explain the lack of recent posts. (Sorry, all.) I’ve been trying to get to bed–or at least in bed–by 10 pm every night. Being a night owl, this is unusual for me but it’s something I must do. There’s more to all of this and it will be revealed in time.

So I’ve committed myself to two simple rules in order to lose the 1-2 lbs. a week my doctor pro tem suggested: eat less and exercise more. I even cleaned off my exercise machine that had recently been transformed into a clothes rack. Yes, it’s serious this time.

How serious? I also bought two pairs of Reebok running shoes and use said shoes to walk the following circuitous path during lunch:

One-Mile Walk

Beginning from that arbitrary red blob near the center of the picture, the entire route is a little over a mile and can easily be completed in 15 minutes. Yep, I get back to work a little more drippy than I’d like but my desk fan takes care of that in a matter of minutes. And to be perfectly honest, it’s been years since I had a really good pair of running/walking shoes and when one has a 40% off coupon for the Reebok store at the local outlet, one stocks up. Considering I still walk to and from the train and work and walk with the family down to the school playground when I get home, I’m easily walking at least two miles a day. Not bad for a fat guy.

So keep an eye on my Traineo gauge as it will be updated once again. In fact, it’s dropped a few pounds since my visit to the doctor.

Other news: the garage is clean! While we still can’t fit a car in there, it’s a hell of a lot better than it was. The next step is to clean out the old cabinets, demolish them and buy or fabricate new ones. It will serve as an extra room when it’s done, with computer, TV, exercise equipment and new electrical outlets. The joys of home improvement never end.

As Seen at the Grocery Store

A bunch of Loozas.