Disney’s New Mouse Ears Know Where You Are

I know the very notion of this sounds a bit absurd but with the introduction of Disney’s Glow with the Show Mickey ears, it’s definitely something to think about.

On the surface these ears look just like any other pair of souvenir Mickey Mouse ears that you can buy at any Disney park, but these ears pack a little something extra that Disney hopes will make you drop a cool $25 per pair.

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As you can plainly see these ears glow but ah, they don’t just glow when you turn the switch on and off. The multicolor LEDs in the ears have been specifically designed to interact with Disney’s California Adventure’s World of Color and Disneyland’s Fantasmic! shows to change colors, flash, etc. in sync with said shows.

And yes, it does look pretty cool when they are in action. Check out this obviously staged video, staged because a) they are not available as of this post, b) the chances of the entire crowd buying a hat are slim to none and c) the crowd is practically lifeless during the show.

Oooh, look at all those pretty colors. Nice, eh? While it’s fine and all, keep in mind the angle at which the video was shot. Unless you are Shaq or some dude standing on a ladder, you will not get the same effect. In fact it could be considerably worse if you are shorter than the average bear. Additionally, this video was shot with almost 100% audience participation. I have read that it was made up of Annual Passholders who were given complimentary ears for this video. Anything less than 100% of the crowd wearing the illuminated ears would make the effect look like a string of Christmas lights with bulbs burned out, and nobody likes that.

And hey, did you pick up the part on the video where Chuck Davis mentions that each hat has its own serial number and, using infrared technology and different zones in the crowd, they can be made to interact for entirely different effects such as flowing water?

That’s where I kind of went “Huh?” and really started to think twice about them.

In short, buying and wearing this hat is pretty similar to having an RFID chip on your head in that The Mouse will be able to track where you’ve been inside the park as they expand the range of the ears. (They currently work at a few other places as well as the aforementioned shows.)

Granted, your identity is not required (at least I don’t think it will be) when buying these hats but it’s a bit freaky just thinking that if I wear one of these hats while strolling through Disneyland, somewhere there’s a computer with my hat’s ID that knows where I’ve been.

And I’m sure the argument can be made that with cell phone technology and GPS (plus granting countless permissions on apps), we willingly give up a piece of our privacy in the name of convenience, and this is no different.

Point taken. But hey, Disney’s plan is all in the name of fun, right? Well, okay, I’m sure cash registers ringing up $100 for a family of four might have a little to do with it as well.

Just remember: selling cool souvenir hats with flashing lights is exactly how Plankton started controlling minds of Bikini Bottom residents in The SpongeBob SqurePants Movie.


Just sayin’.

Mozart’s Fist


Inspired by the typo in this article that appeared in the Daily Mail, Mozart’s Fist is my new band name.

I Sense A Disturbance in The Force

I may be rather slow in some aspects of my life but if there’s one thing I take particular pride in is my astuteness. It’s come in handy many times but more often than not, it’s in the workplace where it’s come in most handy – and I’ve always been dead-nuts on my instincts.

With all that said, I’ve heard and seen a few things around the office which may not be red flags to many but to me, they definitely make me wonder.

First off, we were told at a meeting last week that our Head Honcho’s boss was either a) leaving the company or b) moving to another position within the company. I forget which but in either case, there will be a vacancy.

The other two observations occurred today.

The Head Honcho used to have a bunch of framed family photos on top of their storage cabinets and I couldn’t help but notice as I passed their office today that they were all gone. Interesting.

Then, as the coup de grâce, I offer this.

We have three TVs in the lounge with two dedicated to showing CNN and the middle one being connected to a computer and showing a PowerPoint presentation with news and other company information. One slide gives the names and extensions of three of the building’s contacts should you need to contact them.

Today there were only two people listed. The Head Honcho had been removed.

I sense many changes in our future…

OC Fair 5k Fun Run

On Sunday I ran in the Orange County Fair 5k Fun Run, the first time I’d participated in the event. I had honestly forgotten about this one until I saw it being advertised in an email I got from Active.com so I figured I might as well go for it.

Much like the WetNWild 5k, this is more than your standard 5k. The route winds through the OC Fair and you have a choice of running straight through the course or, as was my case, decide to take several “Detours of Fun” along the way. I’ll get into those as you scroll through the pictures.

Speaking of pictures, here we go.

Here is the pile of finisher’s medals being prepped at the start/finish line.

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The start/finish line. I was back about halfway so that I could pace myself and not get in the way of anybody who wanted to pass me. And I was actually shocked at how many, um, thinner runners I managed to pass after the first mile.

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Here was one of the Detours of Fun: the Euroslide.

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And here’s a video from my POV sliding down it!

Did you notice the stuffed animal at my feet? No, it wasn’t a good luck charm that I carry with me to each 5k. It was a prize I won at another Detour of Fun in which runners were given two baseballs to break at least one plate. I managed to break two but we were only allowed one prize. (I couldn’t have done that if I paid!) I ran by Ann and Anthony during the run where I gave my prize to him, gave him a hug and a kiss, and kept on running. He named him OC5k.


Another detour was at the Pacific Amphitheater. Here is the backstage VIP area.


Nothing fancy, right? Well, they also let you go onto the stage. Here’s what it looks like to perform in front of…a bunch of empty seats.


While onstage, you could have your picture taken as you live out your rock-and-roll fantasy by standing in front of a mic with a bass – back to the crowd, strangely. It’s worth noting that The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” was playing in the background as my photo was taken and I yelled, “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!”


And, of course, my efforts were rewarded in the end. Here’s me, now goatee-free if you hadn’t noticed yet, with my finisher’s medal.


A better shot of the medal.


Oh, then there’s my not-so-magnificent time below. I can explain. The time you see is the total time that included my lollygagging with all of the Detours of Fun.


But this is why I use the Sports Tracker app. I stopped it at all Detours and started it when I was finished. According to the app, my total time over 3.16 miles was 34:03 which is much more like my average pace. Click image below to enlarge.


Afterward, we all sat around and waited for the Fair to open. Thinking we had to exit and come back in, we were told that we could just sit tight where we were and partake in the Fair once it opened. So that’s exactly what we did. Granted, we could have gotten in for $2 per person and I got a ticket as part of my goodie bag, but free is good. I ended up giving my ticket to a mom who was bringing her kids in as we were leaving.

And yes, Fair silliness ensued.

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That’s a totally big cow.

All in all it was a fantastic day for a run and some fun in the sun.

Next run on the list: Awesome ‘80s 5K/10k on September 1, 2012. I’m looking forward to seeing some awful ‘80s fashions at that one since runners are encouraged to dress the part.

And yes, my outfit is almost complete. You will see it in less than a month…

More from the Dodger Game

I’m going to make this one rather short and let the pictures to most of the talking. But Tuesday night, despite the Dodgers losing (and eventually getting swept by the D-Backs) was memorable. I met a bunch of new people who were all great to be around and with stories of motivation, perseverance, and dedication to weight loss and nutrition.

We got to speak with Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone who was a great gal and a lot of fun (and also now follows me on Twitter). Photographer Jon SooHoo took a picture of the gang and jokingly told us to “Get the hell off of the grass!” after we were told to not go near it. Hey, he said we could, right? More of his pictures from that night are up on the Dodgers Photog Blog.


I also got autographs from former Dodger players Don Newcombe and Sweet Lou Johnson as you will see later in this post. Both of them were very gracious.

In short, it was a fantastic night and I would like to thank Josh Tucker, Dodgers Social Media Guru and host. He kept us all in line and ensured everything was taken care of. And a tip of the cap to the entire Dodger organization who once again were pure class.

And without any further delay, the pictures.

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No pass, no field entry

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Beautiful Dodger Stadium

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Panoramic of the field with Josh Tucker on the right. Click to enlarge.

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Maury Wills and Andre Ethier

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Trainer Sue Falsone

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Don Newcombe tossing a ball to a fan

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Maury Wills signs autographs

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The winners in their corral

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Coach Tim Wallach

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“The Penguin” Ron Cey

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Golf cart on the Club Level

Me on the field. This is also my Facebook cover photo.

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2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw

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Tommy Lasorda

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Jon SooHoo with GM Ned Colletti

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Owner Magic Johnson

The Vin Scully Press Box

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And in the dead center of this picture in the Prime Ticket booth, Vin Scully

I didn’t get this far to not eat a Dodger Dog

Jersey autographed by Sweet Lou Johnson and Don Newcombe

Entry to the Main Offices

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Me and organist Nancy Bea. I only wish this image was a bit clearer.

Kirk Gibson bobblehead

Batting practice

Game time

A great day indeed.