Friday, May 28, 2010

Team AllEars – How to Donate!

(Note: if you don't want to read the background story and just want the link to donate, scroll down to the "Here's how you can help" section.)

One of the main reasons I submitted my name to become a member of the 2011 Team AllEars group (background story here) was because I saw what the group did in 2010. If you look here, you can see that the inaugural group of teammates raised over $25,000 for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. "Why this charity" you ask? Well, I didn't really know this answer myself until I heard about Team AllEars on a podcast last year. I could write down why, but I'd rather let you read it from a 24-year survivor of breast cancer: Deb Wills. Please take a minute to read her story on her Avon Walk Donation page…even those Disney fans who read this blog may not know about this part of her life.


It seems that everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed. While my side of the family has been fortunate to not have any members diagnosed, my wife's family has had two separate diagnoses in the past few years alone. Luckily, both are in the "survivor" category. This, as we all know, is not always the outcome. For many, it has taken the lives of wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins, friends…people known and loved.


To date, Deb has raised over $225,000 to aid in the fight against breast cancer, but she's not resting…her desire and determination to do what she can is just as strong as ever.


This is where Team AllEars comes in. While we, as individual members, benefit from the healthier lifestyle from the exercise and the camaraderie of helping each other in training and motivation, we also do this to help raise money for Deb and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. As mentioned earlier, the 42-member team from last year successfully raised over $25,000. Since I'm on the 2011 team, of course I want to say that we raised far more than last year's team! When I signed up to be a part of the team, it was requested that we raise $500 each.


I want that to be my halfway point in donations.


It's a lofty goal…one that I know I may fall short of. I look at the various connections I have, though, and I think that achieving $1,000 is a definite possibility.



Here's how you can help:

Note - I have had several people say that they couldn't quite understand how to do the online donation.  If you are willing to donate and want to do the most simple method, feel free to just send me a check made out to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and I'll forward it for you.

Head over to THIS INSTRUCTION PAGE, which spells out how to do an online donation (remember that these donations are tax-deductible). If you follow along the instructions, you go to the donation page and enter the donation amount, followed by the billing info. The last section takes you to a place where you can personalize the donation. If you would to donate and want the donation to count towards my tally, just do as the example on the instruction page shows – in the "How would you like your name to appear" box, put "your name Team AllEars Chris Mushrush". Note that you can put "Anonymous Team AllEars Chris Mushrush" too if you prefer not to disclose your name.


If you would rather use a check for a donation, just follow the directions on the donation page and include a note that you are supporting me.  If you prefer to give the funds to me, I'll also accept checks and will send them all in a batch.


One thing I do ask – if you do donate, please let me know so I can acknowledge what you've done. I will be updating this post as donations come in with the names of those who have helped out (I'll include "anonymous" to protect your identity if you wish…just let know).


 With that…let the training continue (barring any injuries) and let the fundraising begin!!!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Disney Podcast Updates: April 1-15, 2010

My apologies to the podcasters for taking so long to get this one out…it fell near the end of the semester. I had already started with a regular update and wanted to continue that for most of the shows. I can guarantee that the next couple will be pretty much show descriptions so I can get caught back up…

71 shows in this update…enjoy!

If you are interested in listening to any of these episodes, I have links to subscribe for most of these shows in my post HERE. Also, if you're willing, you can help these shows out by posting a review over on iTunes. The more they get, the higher up they appear on searches. If you do start listening to a podcast as a result of what you've seen on here, please let the podcasters know!

As always, please note that this again is not a comprehensive list of the Disney Podcasts that are out there. Mike Hamilton has created, which he periodically updates with new podcasts and removes dead casts. He also has the automated RSS (historical) feeds of the podcasts. This is more of a cross-section of what is currently being talked about…perhaps something may sound interesting, and you'll subscribe to listen to that topic.  Also, Shawn Rees does a similar set of posts over on and covers some shows that I don't list here.

Any and all comments are welcomed! Also, if you know of another podcast that fits here, let me know.



    • 04/14/10 – Vidcast 16, Hold on to them hats and glasses, 'cause….wait…wrong coaster! Hold on even tighter, because we're on a ride-thru of California Screamin! Time: 3:23

    • 04/10/10 – Episode 66, Keegan is nearing graduation but still is able to release the shows (we're not worthy!) in this one, we get some audio from the short-lived Tiana's Showboat Jubilee, with comments from Keegan's musical perspective. Afterwards, we listen to evidence of the squishing of Keegan when he incorrectly chooses which side of the car on BTMRR while riding with LFFG (will only a DPN DF understand that last sentence?). Time: 50:01

    • 04/02/10 – Episode 155, (Mush: another packed show!) This week we're going to be talking about some must-do attractions in Walt Disney World for anyone who hasn't been in 10 years or more. There have been a lot of new attractions, shows, parades, and even restaurants that have opened over the last 10 years and we frequently get people who ask us what are some attractions that you must do if you haven't been in 10 years or more. This will be an in-depth look at those must-do things. We also have quite a few other smaller segments that we'll get to this week including a very interesting rumor about "Maleficent", a Jabberwocky song that was sent in to us by one of the AllAbouttheMouseketeers, a Mouse Call (to an accomplice to the procuring of the earlier Jabberwocky song), more additions to the AllAbouttheMouseketeer Roll Call, and Don Morin from the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet will even join us to update us on the latest news from the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet including the newly added key note speaker. Time: 1:25:09
    • 04/09/10 – Episode 156, The passing of Eddie Carroll and the tragic accident at Ft. Wilderness make for a somber news segment. Another more uplifting segment has Lisa Battista, author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers, on to talk about one of the more fun parts of parenting (yes, Jonathan was taking notes). Time: 1:18:17

    • 04/01/60 – Episode 2,986, Grandpa Mike is joined by a very arthritic Rikki, a narcoleptic Debbie, and Pam (who sounds remarkably good for her age) talk about a rather foolish dining plan promo recently "announced" by WDW. The recording after the main show is classic! Time: 13:33
    • 04/01/10 – Episode 216, Today the panel discusses things to consider before ever leaving home for that wonderful Walt Disney World Vacation.  We discuss things to think about if you are either driving or flying to Florida, as well as "Day-before" routines and rituals that we follow.  We even get into a discussion about our preferred footwear for touring the parks (yes, folks, Crocs are allowed in the summer…Crocs in December might not be the best type of footwear, however). Time: 43:51
    • 04/04/10 – Episode 217, We are very excited to have our friend Paula from New Zealand joining us today to talk about her unique trip to Disney Parks.  We talk about how her love of Disney began so far from the United States, her buying into Disney Vacation Club from such a distance, as well as an upcoming trip that will take her on the Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village, and finally Disney's Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland!  You have to hear this show!  It might change how you see travel to Walt Disney World! Time: 34:38
    • 04/08/10 – Episode 218, Today we discuss ways to take our favorite Counter Service restaurants, Table Service restaurants, and snacks and "plus" the experience, as Walt would call it.  How could you make your favorite dining and snacks even better?  Hear what suggestions we have, and then let us know what you think (I LOVE the idea of a Pirate-themed restaurant in Adventureland). Also, several voice mails from a Northeast BOGP/Henson meet are added at the end). Time: 39:00
    • 04/11/10 – Episode 219, Today we are lucky to have Mike from St. Charles, Missouri join Rikki and I to discuss a last-minute trip that was planned for his family in February, 2010!  You won't believe the way they told the kids! (Mush: we're still trying to come up with a way to tell our boys about our trip…loved the way you did it!) We also discuss Mike's thoughts on making the drive to Walt Disney World, what it was like not being on the Disney Dining Plan for the first time, as well as surprise things the family really enjoyed outside the parks! Time: 38:50
    • 04/15/10 – Episode 220, Today the panel takes our topic from the message boards as we discuss restaurants, both counter and table service, that have surprised us in good and bad ways.  We discuss places like Casey's Corner, Roaring Forks, Sunshine Season, San Angel Inn, and much more (we are so going to try the shrimp at Columbia Harbor House…thanks Debbie! Gotta disagree with the San Angel Inn, though – I think that is more traditional Mexican fare than most realize. Many folks in the U.S. consider Tex-Mex/Southwestern to be authentic, because that's what their local Mexican restaurants serve (the steak chimichangas at our local one is the best I've ever had)…From what I've read, traditional Mexican is not usually super hot/spicy, and, when compared to the Tex-Mex, it may appear to be bland. I read the show-notes on the forums for this one (yes, I lurk there…if you haven't been there, stop reading and sign up now!), and Pam hit the nail on the head in the potential problem being the issue of preparation. We've eaten there once and LOVED it. The same could be said for the Garden Grill for us…many love that place, but our one experience has us to the point where we likely won't go back there for quite a while. Really good show…it made for some good discussion afterward!) Time: 47:30

    • 04/01/10 – Episode 9, (sniff) In this episode, (sniff, sniff), the hosts talk about their (sob) favorite Disney blogs, and (wipes tears) what makes for a good blog (tears streaming down face)…and they……left………………this one……………………out (insert uncontrollable wailing here)!!! In all seriousness, they highlight some absolutely amazing blogs out there…I subscribe to many of the ones they covered in the show to get my fix and can vouch for the popularity/excellence of them. If you're looking for a new Disney read, I'd definitely take the time to listen to this show. Time: 46:07
    • 04/07/10 – Episode 10, Steve Jobs junkies – this show's for you! In this show, Henry, Katie, Nate, Scott, and Jeff talk about the iPad, its uses for Disney, and its applicability for travel. Time: 44:16
    • 04/15/10 – Episode 11, Talk about redundant…this podcast update blog is talking about a podcast that highlights the various Disney podcasts that the hosts listen to. I think the world is about to implode…it's an infinite loop! They also highlight some of the non-Disney ones out there. Time: 1:02:39

    • 04/09/10 – BMS 84, Holy ****!!!! It's the original cast! Bob is back to join Lou for a "catch-up" show. We hear what's been happening and what is coming up for the BMS crew. Bob announces that, while he won't be back on for every episode, he does intend to do the occasional show with Lou. Good intro…we get to see some of the older episode antics. The end has some great head-banging outtakes. Time: 30:51
    • 04/13/10 – IYEE 58, Short show with audio highlights from the 2008 Westfest, including a ride-thru of the Indy attraction at Disneyland. Time: 14:41

    • 04/11/10 – Episode 89, Jeff starts off with news, including the recent bus issues (they get into more upbeat news too). Pluto and Imagine take the monorail station to DHS's Sunset Boulevard. The hosts then discuss what to do and what not to do on your Disney trips and then wrap the show with e-mails. Time: 1:11:34.

    • 04/01/10 – Episode 29, On this week show, I give you my reasons as to why I'm not renewing my D23 membership, plus we start a new segment called iPhone app of the week. Time: 8:10
    • 04/05/10 – Episode 30, Kyle joins us as he discusses why he is renewing his D23 membership; we have a roundtable discussion on what technology we would like to see in the parks, plus we have our first ever contest. Time: 30:50

    • 04/06/10 – Episode 42, After listening to this show, I think Trace is not a major fan of AirTran Airways. Before this, however, all the Dudes fans must join together in solidarity with Wayne to demand that Trace turn in his man card for his Friends knowledge. On to the bashing…chances are that, if you listen to the Disney Dudes, you also listen to Those Darn Cats, which means you likely heard the marathon weekend episode with Lisa driving all around the Orlando area waiting for Trace to arrive. Having followed many of the tweets from that weekend, I knew this was going to be an interesting episode! I feel for Trace with all that happened to him – I do want to take a minute or two to hopefully shed some light on some the goings-on behind the scenes of air travel. I'll put in a disclaimer that I worked for both Frontier and AirTran for a few months, doing the ramp/jetway/operations stuff. Many airlines do have a 10 minute rule so that they can get the paperwork completed and sent to the flight crew for an on-time departure. The paperwork includes a full head-count of passengers, the locations of the passengers, the distribution of the cargo and the people for weight and balance calculations, the amount of fuel loaded, and the final calculations to verify they are within limits for departure. Some airlines may be faster than others (Frontier was always a manual weight/balance calculation with charts) and can do more like a 5 minute rule. The crews usually do everything they can for an on-time departure for several reasons: 1) weather; 2) "air route slots"; 3) gate assignments; and 5) on-time reliability stats. The ground crew has little choice but to take the "out, off, on, in" times that the aircrew gives them, and, if the "out" time (leaving the gate) is past the scheduled time, it's not a good indicator. That's my guess as to why they have the 10-minute rule. If they have already "closed" the flight at ten minutes (the computer starts running the calculations and printing out the documents), they can't open it back up. Now, as for if they should have closed the flight at exactly 10 minutes…yes, the computers know who is checked in and on the plane as well as who is checked in but not onboard yet. I totally agree that it would have been better for them to hold off for another minute or two for a last page attempt over the airport intercom. I also think the service afterwards wasn't something to write home about…unfortunately, that (along with jobs like hotel front desk) is a position where the only feedback from customers is typically negative. It beats you down when you take the fall for something that often is out of your control. It doesn't make it right to give sub-par service…I'm not saying that at all. I'm just saying that I understand the conditions that sometimes lead to it. Common sense unfortunately does lack in the service industry, as you got to witness with clearing you but not your son initially on standby (or the other way around…can't remember). Regardless, it sucked to hear what all you had to go through. Anyways…I've inadvertently taken over the post (sorry!). Be sure to listen to the haunting rendition of a "Willy Wonka" song at the end. Time: 1:02:50

    • 04/12/10 – Halloween Time, Spring cleaning. Everybody's favorite. But for us Disney fans, sometimes the aforementioned organizational activity can result in finding hidden treasures. Case in point...As Electric Mic & Kiltboy rummaged through their haunted attic, they came across the lost Episode 6 from last Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort! Just when the scare had all but worn off, here are all the sights and sounds of Halloween fun at the DLR for you to enjoy. Joined by members of their Park Hoppin Party Posse (The P.H.P.P.), the boys bring you eerie adventures from Haunted Mansion Holiday, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the incredible new Halloween Screams Fireworks Spooktacular, even musical performances by the Dapper Dans and Firehouse Five. Then they foolishly turn the show over to the Kimballs from Duluth for Mickey's Trick or Treat Party. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid. And for the final nail in the coffin of creepy comicality, Electric wrote a fun new song called Spooky Park Hoppin Party. We hope you enjoy our lost treasure! Time: 52:47

    • 04/03/10 – Episode 105, Welcome to another edition of The Disney Pincast. Join hosts Tom Corless and John Rick for Disney Pin Trading news, upcoming pin trading opportunities around the world, John Rick's Ten Pin List, a profile of I.P.L.S. member number #84 (Timothy Wong from Chandler, AZ), all of this week's pin releases from the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, and much more (like Pinquiries and another random selection contest)!! Time: (oops…deleted the show before I grabbed the time)
    • 04/11/10 – Episode 106 - Welcome to another edition of The Disney Pincast. Join hosts Tom Corless and John Rick for Disney Pin Trading news, upcoming pin trading opportunities around the world, a look at Disney's Pin Celebration 2010 - Trade City U.S.A., a profile of I.P.L.S. member number #85 (Erin Walle from Statesville, NC), and much more!!! Time: 2:59:17

    • 04/01/10 – Duuuuuude, Trace fills in for Tairy this week and gives us some great info about a lesser-known Disney location…the Disney Farm near Marceline, MO. Time: 15:13

    • 04/04/10 – Episode 45, WHAT THE………….!!!!!!!!! We get to hear the top 5 songs from Scott and Tracey that are related to Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister, at times…sorry – loved that show in the 90s!). We then get a report on the local Six Flags from the duo before Scott turns it over to his best friend, the Mortis, for an update on what's playing at the Cinema…………….WHAT THE…….!!!!!!!! Nice April Fool's show,guys! Time: 1:25:44

    • 04/13/10 – Episode 39, The show begins with our usual news and rumours as we explore everything going on in the Disney parks in the Europe and Orlando. We get a surprise visit from a member of the team and Adam gives you an update on our recent Doing Disney DIY segment and how much he has saved on his recent trip. Continuing our tour of the Magic Kingdom, We journey in to Liberty Square as we take a look at the entire land with its rides, shows, shopping and dining. We end the show with a number of voicemails from our listeners. Thanks to everyone that phoned in. Time: 1:20:36

    • 04/02/10 – Vidcast, Walt Disney's Haunted Mansions Halloween Special with Phyllis Diller, a great show from the 1970's and as a bonus it also contains a ride through from 1971 on the Disneyland Haunted Mansion attraction. Time: 4:09
    • 04/08/10 - When Dave is off in Las Vegas, our man John C takes over and what happens next is anyone's guess! Time: 1:51:41
    • 04/10/10 - a video demo of how the book Anaheim vacationland on the iPad. Time: 7:30
    • 04/13/10 – New SHOW!!! WDWEAC #1 (the east coast version). Jon C. and Dave O present the all new show all about Walt Disney World now and then. Time: 1:00:37
    • 04/14/10 – Listener Feedback Episode. Time: 1:33:22

    • 04/07/10 – Episode 54. Greg starts off by getting kidnapped and having fellow DPNers/friends (do friends hijack friends' shows?) do the segments. Sleeping Beauty Castle gets bulldozed; Summer NighTastic is the Doppelganger; the engineering segment focuses on the U.K. pavilion; and the Liberty Bell Riverboat gets graded on the Report Card Segment. Hijackers include Tony Rigatoni, Paul Barrie, Esquire Matt, and Aaron Wallace. Time: 45:27

    • 04/04/10 – Episode 261. Get all of the big Inside the Magic 5th anniversary contest details including prizes and how you can enter. Then Ricky reviews the Blu-Ray release of The Princess and the Frog, followed by audio of Tiana's Mardi Gras Celebration at Disneyland. Ben and Lisa also join in with a report from their recent trip to the Universal Orlando Resort and a bit more Walt Disney World trip planning. Time: 1:25:01
    • 04/04/10 – Video Supplement to #261, Tiana's Mardis Gras Celebration at Disneyland. Time: 14:36
    • 04/11/10 – ITM-CON1, Celebrate the 5th anniversary of Inside the Magic with a visit to ITM-Con! This virtual convention brings together thousands of Inside the Magic listeners to enjoy presentations, special guests, performances, a convention floor full of exciting booths, and plenty of surprises. Be sure to stay tuned ALL the way to the end because you won't want to miss any of the ITM-Con excitement! ITM-Con is best experienced through headphones, so please wear yours for this special occasion. (Mush: Congrats on 5 years, Ricky!!! Lots of surprises in here…for example, Cosmic Ray makes a special appearance!). Time: 2:31:44

    • 04/01/10 – Episode 129, Today the podcast team discusses Character Dining at Walt Disney World. Karin is back in the studio with the latest Disney News. Mendy Huffman joins the team for the fourth chair. (Congrats, Mendy…good luck getting the fluff out of the show!!!) Time: 58:41
    • 04/10/10 – Episode 130, Today the podcast team discusses dining at EPCOT, what's good what's not. Each of the team members share their personal favorites and there are a couple surprises when the favorites are revealed. Karin has the latest Disney News and events including character locations. Please email us with your opinions about EPCOT dining we will try to share them on the air. Time: 1:09:32

    • 04/04/10 – Jim Hill is back from his research trips with all sorts of new information about Disney's summer film lineup, including The Prince of Persia, Toy Story 3, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Time: 44:05
    • 04/11/10 – April has always been a big month for the Disney Company, and this year is no exception. On this week's show, Nathan Rose and Jim Hill discuss the history of the Disney Company and the month of April -- what has come in the past, the present, and future. Time: 43:39

    • 04/06/10 – Episode 161, Before the crew focuses on Kevin Yee's most recent book, Mousetrap, (I haven't read it, so I can't comment on how it is, but I tend to listen to what the Micecast crew has to say with interest), they take some time to talk about the quickly-ended "Give a Day" promotion. Time: 1:47:58

    • 04/13/10 – "Gus"; We watch another Disney movie starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway from 1976, Gus. Listen to see if we get a 'kick' out of it or not. (Mush: I have NEVER heard of this movie…a donkey that plays football????? Oh, and there must be something with younger kids and the word "Google"…we hear it all the time in our house too). Time: 25:36

    • 04/10/10 – Episode 27, I'm not going to spoil it, but this episode rivals WTTM for the absolute best April Fool's show out there. I made a special trip over to the DPN forums to comment on this show, which revolves around the American Idol Experience. Just do yourself a favor and listen to it…ALL of it. I bow down to Matt's excellence with this one. BTW…how many flipping degrees do you have? Computer science, Law, MBA…??? Time: 41:10 (interesting time...hmmm)

    • 04/03/10 – Episode 245, This week, we set sail with Disney Cruises 101, where we answer your pressing questions regarding the seafaring vacation, and invite you to keep sending in your questions! Time: 52:20
    • 04/10/1- Episode 246, Continuing the Cruise Line Theme, we bring you the audio from one of the shows found on the Disney Magic, "Twice Charmed". What if the stepmother and stepsisters had a fairy godfather? Obviously, wackiness ensues, with a side of singing and dancing! Time: 57:15

    • 04/07/10 – Episode 401, While Mike is out sick, Mark spends most of the show answering your questions. Also, a Magical Moment, this week's Twitter/Facebook poll and sad news about MouseStation favorite Eddie Carroll. Time: 50:10
    • 04/14/10 – Episode 402, Mike interviews legendary video game audio designer Tommy Tallarico. Also, a Magical Moment, this week's Twitter/Facebook poll and some listener feedback. Time: 1:09:49

    • 04/07/10 – Episode 5, Frank, Margaret, and a very hoarse Heather (she's a trooper to make the show!) are joined again by Zannaland (Suzannah DiMarzio) for another fun show. In this one, Hidden Mickey guru Steve Barrett joins the Wild Ride to talk about his specialty. Also, Frank introduces a really interesting segment – calling the red phone booths at the U.K. pavilion and talking to unsuspecting guests at Epcot. I NEVER knew those were actual working phones…this segment was AWESOME! Time: 1:16:27

    • 04/09/10 – Episode 159, WOOHOO…Van's got another show out! In the news: virgins are going to Disney World, and some new Disney-inspired kids makeup will be safe (just listen to figure it out). Also in the news, Miley's finished (as might be her career), and Oregon's own Donald. Captain EO is the main topic of the show (I'm still not a fan of EO coming back). The Top 7: THINGS!!! (Just listen to figure it out). Time: 22:30

    • 04/05/10 – Episode 54, (Mush: the first part…all his words!) In what has to be the worst episode he has produced (and one sure to lose any remaining listeners), Gordon sets a PR in the 5K, shares ironing secrets, goes to Wal-Mart (Mush: Sun Chips, Spring Mix Lettuce, and Mushrooms are on the shopping list…oh, and he becomes a fashion critic at Wal-Mart, too!), and gets great Voice Mails. Time: 49:33
    • 04/08/10 – Episode 54 55, It's Gordon's Birthday, and he reflects on what has happened in the past year (most of it really good!). We get to hear a teaser for episode 56 (I swear I had déjà vu for a minute with one of those segment…was there a repeat from the last show?). Time: 1:19:12
    • 04/13/10 – Episode 56, I want you to say "I love crepes!" It's Talladega nights, Gordon-style. Gordon recaps his most recent run - the Talladega half-marathon, (let me just quote the late, great Colonel Sanders… 'I'm too drunk to taste this chicken!'). Also, he announces that he has joined Team AllEars (which means I'll be meeting him in-person in January!). Beware of deergs with big fangs at the end of the show (I'm still laughing at that one!). Time: 1:15:57

    • 04/07/10 – Episode 98, You forgot KISS (hey, everyone else said it, in reference to Episode 94). In this show, the Cats are reveling in more listener feedback! Other comments include wedding music ideas (Oohduhlaalee…and yes I know "King of the Road"…12 songs for only $800…I bet you can get Testa to sing "Wishes" for less), the return of Carlo(s) (no, I don't know the Cupid Shuffle), and even voice mail! Time: 38:33
    • 04/14/10 – Episode 99, First off, yes, Cats, I did make it all the way through the podcast without pausing and rewinding to that certain part several times. In this episode, we join Top 7 Stacy to try to find Kraftland. No, we're not on a mission to find macaroni and cheese. This is a documentary that highlights the Kraft family, with Stacy Aswad (it's a grill AND a cooler???) helping narrate the show. Definitely one to listen to without the kids around. Time: 30:22

    • 04/06/10 – Special episode, Upon hearing the news of Eddie Carroll's passing, Shawn remastered an interview WaltCast did with Mr. Carroll last fall and presents it in this show. Time: 47:07
    • 04/06/10 – Episode 37, Katie and Shawn are joined by a stranger to none in the Disney podcast universe – Tom Corless of the WDWNT. Tom (a season ticket holder for the Yankees…even though I'm a Cubs' fan, I'll let it slide since it's in the American League) helps out with the news and describes how he got into the podcasting realm, the various shows, some of his rants (don't ever mention cheese quesadillas to him), and more. I could sense Katie about to reach through the microphone to throttle Shawn as he and Tom went on a classic TV tangent. One excellent piece of advice from this show: your career goes down the tubes when you're on this podcast (loved that line!!!). A nice audio isolation from the Eddie Carroll interview ends the show. Time: 1:16:26
    • 4/13/10 – Episode 38, Shawn and (bleep) Katie have a shorter show with (bleep) news and upcoming (bleep) events for the podcast. (bleep) Time: 26:34

    • 04/06/10 – Episode 136, The mail bag was overflowing and threatening to burst through the floor, so Tom and company go through a number of e-mails in this show. Time: 1:04:13
    • 04/09/10 – Episode 137, News and Rumors starts off the show, with some info on the Summer Nightastic event (I've got a bad feeling about the fireworks at MK), Extra Noming Hours (still laughing at that one!), and more. After that, we are treated to Round Two of the WDWNT March Madness tournament (top 64 attractions). Time: 1:02:10

    • 04/03/10 – Episode 164, Tim Foster is back on, which means one thing: another Top "Ten" list! In this one, Lou and Tim debate the top attraction ride vehicles (I'm still looking for a picture of Lou and Mom's Panelist Marc Lorenzo crammed into a Dumbo vehicle). As you would expect, this is another fun segment that gets you making up your own list as you listen. Afterwards, Lou has on Robert Croskery from to talk about prolonging the legacy of the Adventurer's Club (I'm still bummed that I never got to see this). Robert is the primary organizer of Congaloosh 2010…see the web site for more information. Time: 1:26:47
    • 04/12/10 – Episode 165, This week, join us at the dinner table as we sit down to dine at and review Paradiso 37, the high-energy waterfront restaurant located in Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island. We'll review a number of different items from the menu, and discuss the decor, ambiance and overall dining experience to give you a taste of this restaurant which offers cuisine inspired by the Street Foods of the Americas. (Mush: Those joining Lou (live!) are Glenn Whelan, Scott Otis, John Leuzzi, Ryan Wilson. Try the Skirt Steak!) Time: 1:01:41
    • 04/14/10 – Video Extra, Lou meets up with Kingdom Keepers Author Ridley Pearson in Norway to talk about the newly-released book of the Kingdom Keeper series. This one is titled: Disney in Shadow. Ridley gives us some great teasers for the plot of this book. It is so cool that he did a little reading from the new book (some video of this is at the end). Lou, when you have a video release in the feed, it becomes a family event…another great job! Time: 10:00

    • 04/02/10 – Episode 702, At the request of Scopa, the crew tackles a subject that isn't an easy one to talk about but is on the minds of many. After a string of unfortunate incidents on Disney World property (from the monorail accident in July of 2009 to the Indy stuntman losing his life…from the tragedy of the boy losing his life at Ft. Wilderness to the string of bus and boat mishaps), the hosts examine the safety record of Disney World. Time: 24:13
    • 04/04/10 – Audio extra…TENTFEST Live show. Join the crew for "camping" with "tents" during the Princess half-marathon weekend. Marvin even shows up for the fun! Being an economist, I was pained to hear that y'all broke the concept of comparative advantage by having someone who has no love for s'mores actually making the s'mores (though the usage of Peeps was a nice touch). Probably the funniest part has to be when Newell's wife, Mary (she was listening to the live show…FYI: she's a teacher), calls in to tell them that he can't add! One of these days, I've got to get down for one of these meet-ups! Time: 1:14:26
    • 04/06/10 – Episode 703, Tentfest recap. If you thought the Tentfest live show was good, wait 'til you hear this one! We hear that the Touringplans guys who were staying there (Henry and Fred) outright CHEATED by leaving their tent at 4 am so they could check in to Port Orleans (oh, the things they do for research), and Testa didn't even put his own tent up! We hear of odd sounds from those "roughing it" (Newell's heater kicking on all throughout the night. There are just too many one-liners to comment on here. Ugh (translation: It's too @#$^$!** cold to say "good morning"). Time: 20:03
    • 04/08/10 – Episode 704, Matt, Mike, Mike, Len, and Annette tackle a multitude of listener questions, including how to pop the question, tipping the mousekeeping, the fate of the 20K under the sea subs, Len's deep pockets (in the name of research), and more. Time: 31:00
    • 04/09/10 – Episode 705, Mattycakes, Tonto (aka My Little Princess), Scop-rates, and MouseworldMike are joined by AJ Wolfe (she's the guest, so I'm not going to give her a nickname…yet) from the Disney Food Blog to talk about a really interesting topic – does excellent theming make a restaurant good despite average/subpar food? As expected, this one led to quite a few comments on the episode discussion, though none of the comments revolved around the Korean Barbeque at the Axis of Evil restaurant located at the Seas with Nemo and Friends. Time: 24:03
    • 04/13/10 – Episode 706, It's a live show recapping the Mousefan Challenge that occurred during the Tentfest weekend. We get to hear of some of the antics that went on and find out which team won the most money for charity (Mousefantravel donated the money to go to the charities). By the way, if you're on Facebook, they had a caption contest from this event, and the pics (and the captions) are located here. Time: 15:44
    • 04/15/10 – Episode 707, Listener questions. Matt and the Mikes are on this one…a really good discussion ensues on this show pertaining to a follow-up from Episode 704 on tipping the housekeeping at the WDW resorts. Time: 33:13

    • 04/11/10 – Episode 40, In this episode Matt and Nate introduce a new series to WEDway Radio, Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair.  In this particular series we will go in depth on the four different attractions that Walt Disney was most responsible for at The Fair.  In this particular episode we discuss Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and tell the story of the attractions development as well as the different incarnations that the attraction went through. In the news this week we discuss the new concept art for the new Italian pizzeria at the Italy pavilion in World Showcase and the art for the redesigned and rebuilt new San Angel Cantina in the Mexico pavilion as well. (Mush: yet another fact-filled show…good episode, guys!) Time: 54:16

    • 04/04/10 – Episode 234, Paul has stepped out for a bit to help Tairy recover from her surgery. Jeff Roney controls the microphone for this show. We get a smorgasbord of audio (including some good comedy…chicken roasting and chafed thighs???!!!). Halfway through the show, however, Tony Rigatoni makes a surprise appearance (locking Jeff out of the studio) and starts spinning the tunes himself. Jeff returns for the end of the show and gets in a few more tracks in (including from La Nouba, Star Tours, and more). Time: 1:00:20

    • 04/05/10 – Episode 51, ZADDP gears up for its biggest countdown yet -- so big, it takes four episodes to do it! The doors are open to the whole wide world of Disneydom, with nearly a century of songs in competition for the top spot. There are 25 songs in each episode, plus some discussion about every single one of them. We kick things off this week with #100. (Mush: LOVING the countdown, Aaron! Definitely some surprises in this one…some songs that I thought might be higher, though I'll keep listening to hear the higher songs and the reasoning. I'll have to disagree with which version of "Reflections" was better, however (it probably doesn't help that I'm not a Christina Aguilera fan, though) – still, I think the song is supposed to be more tender, where a quieter voice benefits the presentation of the lyrics. Mulan is reflecting on herself, trying to figure out who she actually is and who she is supposed to be. It's the vulnerability of the song that makes it so powerful, IMHO. Also, is it bad that I've never seen the Gummy Bears or Ducktales?) Time: 1:30:50
    • 04/12/10 – Episode 52, ZADDP's countdown of the Top 100 Disney Songs continues with a second set of 25! We start at #75 this time and move all the way down to #51, covering some really amazing songs along the way. Each one is, of course, treated to a little analysis. Time: 1:37:31

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

WDW Family Trip, December 2007, Day 4, Part 4: A Whole New World

Part 3 can be viewed HERE.

We bolt out the door quickly and realize that we have no idea where we're going. I look up and see the Haunted Mansion looming nearby. The smile on my face starts to grow, and I look down at Aaron who, bless his heart, has the same smile and is looking at the same thing I am (it could have been gas, but I think he wanted to go on it too). I look at Sheri for her take on it.


Sheri looks at Aaron to gauge how much crap would be scared out of him if we were to ride it.


Aaron looks back and forth between Sheri and me for confirmation.


Eric looks at a leaf blowing by.





Aaron pleads with us to let him ride it, and we agree to split up. I'll take Aaron into the Haunted Mansion, while Sheri takes Eric on it's a small world. Sounds like a good tradeoff to me! As they start to head towards Fantasyland, I look at Aaron and ask him if he's ready for HM.


He jumps up and down with a YESYESYESYESYES!!!!!!!


I guess he's ready.



This is one of those attractions that I have been looking forward to riding with the boys for a while now. We have a CD in the car that I drive that has the "Grim Grinning Ghosts" song on it, and I played it quite a bit before we went on vacation. Yes, we never told them that we were going to Disney World, but we gave them every clue imaginable. Aaron knows what to expect…somewhat.


He's really excited until we start to see grave stones, and the luster in his eyes start to fade a little. There's no wait, and we head directly into the holding room and hear the start of what he knows from the CD… "When hinges creak in door-less chambers…" His eyes light up for a moment until he realizes that the picture in front of him is in varying stages of decomposition.


I blame Sheri…she gave the go-ahead for him to ride.


He's a little hesitant to walk into the stretch room, and I point him towards the pic with the three guys standing on top of each other. I warn him that the lights would go out for just a second, and then we'd get to go on the ride.


"Daddy? This is kind of spooky."


Damn you for letting us on this attraction, wifey!!!


Aaron escapes from the stretch room at approximately Mach 3.5 and heads towards the loading dock for the doom buggies. I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket and realize that I have a new voice message. It was Mare, letting us know that they were on a Santa hunt over in Epcot and weren't going to be able to make it over to the Magic Kingdom that night…they'd try to see us there tomorrow morning, however.


I tell the now-traumatized Aaron that Renee won't be able to make it tonight but that we'd try to see them again before we left. He takes the news remarkably well…my guess is that he's more worried about the size of the spider that left all the cobwebs in the hallway than not seeing his friend.


We get in the buggy, and something just kind of snaps in Aaron…he's completely fine now – actually smiling as the ghost host lowers the bar for us. We get going, and I point out one or two of my favorite parts (the shadow playing the organ is one of my favorites). I keep kind of quiet to let him take it all in.


Then things start to get really spooky.


Madame Leota develops laryngitis a couple of seconds after we enter her room. Then we get to the ballroom and there's no music. I'm getting a bit concerned about what's going on (are we going to get stuck?), while Aaron starts clapping and laughing at everything.


I should have anticipated this. Remember…this is the kid that was rooting for the dragon over at Fantasmic a few days ago.


Then it happened.


The doom buggy stopped just as it rotates and starts going backwards. We crawl to a complete stop by the caretaker. I look at Aaron, fully expecting a full-blown panic attack.


"Daddy, this isn't so scary!"


Good…he's not scared.  We're leaning backwards, and it's dark and quiet.  Now if he would just let me lay back, close my eyes, and take a short nap. Don't bother me, bud.


"This ride is AWESOME Daddy!!!"


"uh huh" Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz






Charlie Brown's teacher gets on the intercom and says something. I think it was either something about remaining inside your doom buggies as it could restart at any moment or something about installing a slide that starts near a Monet. Aaron thinks being stuck inside HM is the coolest thing ever, and we spend the next several minutes looking and pointing out everything in the graveyard scene. The ride starts back up after something like 5-6 minutes, but with no audio the rest of the way, so Aaron couldn't hear Grim Grinning Ghosts.


We exit the ride and see the mass exodus emerging from the front as the ride goes 101 for an extended period of time. We head over to the gate for the Liberty Bell to wait for Sheri and Eric. While there, a CM who was cleaning up the area was doing everything he could to keep from getting run over from the hordes of people heading away from HM. He mentions to me that almost all of "North" is down, so something major happened (3 attractions in Fantasyland were down too). I could just imagine Sheri and Eric stuck in the middle of IASW, the music droning on endlessly, Sheri leaning over the edge of the boat chumming the water as a result of her motion sickness, and Eric (noticing that Mommy was barfing) escaping to go dancing with the dolls. It reminds me of a strip of Misery Loves Sherman, where Mort experiences something "similar" (btw, if you haven't had the opportunity to read this strip, by Chris Eliopoulos, do yourself a favor…he's also a big Disney fan and does a great job with the strip!).


A few minutes later we see them heading our way. We meet up and start making our way to Tomorrowland for a ride on the TTA. On our way (and after passing about 6 souvenir carts), we finally cave into the incessant demands and buy the boys the Mickey light up toys. Aaron had been begging for one since Day 1 at Fantasmic…written somewhere about 4 years ago.




Immediately they start doing the Star Wars thing, but we keep it somewhat subdued so they don't slice off the arm of an unsuspecting bystander. We hit the bathroom over by Cosmic Ray's and then hop on the TTA. I'm really glad that Debbie, Mark, and Mare dragged me on this attraction back in '05 because this one has quietly become a favorite attraction for us. As we head around, the castle comes into view with the shimmering icicle lights blazing away. Sheri and I just look at each other and smile. It is the rare occasion that I am truly content with things, but this is one of those times. The weather is nice, it's quiet, everyone's happy, and I temporarily don't care about the multitude of things constantly running through my mind.


We are heading back home tomorrow, but it's tempered by the fact that, for the first time, we have a somewhat later flight and can go to a park before hopping on, as Sheri calls it, the "bad bus" (the Magical Express bus that takes you back to the airport). We decide to head out now before Spectromagic starts and the bus lines get really ugly. I always take a little longer to leave the Magic Kingdom the last night we're there to absorb the atmosphere. I take in the lights, the smells, the sounds…everything. We head out under the train station, and, as always, I take one last look behind me.























The trek to the Pop bus stop is taken at a leisurely stroll…so what if it's the farthest bus stop?! I always wonder why I'm not like this at the beginning of a vacation…why doesn't it happen until the last day??!!!


There's a line for the Pop…guessing about 10-15 minutes, but it's moving at a decent pace as buses arrive every couple of minutes. The boys are doing their best Skywalker/Vader impersonations with their light-up toys. "Daddy…I love the light saber!!!"


"It's not a light saber, Aaron."


Sheri: "Then what IS it?"


Me: (sensing about 100 pairs of ears all around me waiting to hear how I'm going to squirm out of this)……………………gives up It's a…ummmmmmmmm………….I…….guess….SCREW IT!!! IT'S A LIGHT SABER, OKAY!??????!!!?!!!! (About 20 people in line started laughing at that)


We pass the time by talking with the folks in the line for the bus. In what seemed like no time, we are on the bus and back at the Pop. We wave at the dog's ass and head up to our room. After baths, books, and brute force, the boys fall asleep around 10 pm.

Day 5 is located HERE.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It’s Disney…It’s Exercise…& It’s For a Good Cause! (or, To Run, or Not To Run – Revisited)

Well, back in March I posted about potentially subjecting myself to 13.1 miles of pain and suffering at Walt Disney World, despite my dislike for distance running (makes sense, doesn't it?). I went through the pros and cons, and I even ran a mile in late March to see if I was going to actually die right on the track, a mere 500 feet from my house.


Miraculously, I didn't die. I actually ran the mile in under the 16:00 pace (barely). Considering I hadn't run for at least 12.5 years and was around 260 lbs (only 50 or so lbs heavier than I was the last time I attempted to run), I considered that to be something of an achievement, and I thought to myself that this might be a possibility. I knew I wasn't going to set any records if I ran the Disney World half-marathon (except for perhaps most water sweated out in a race) - if I could crawl across the finish line, I would consider it a major success…a major sense of accomplishment.


I recall listening to an episode of the Running to Disney podcast (Episode 45…I wrote about it here) and hearing all of the inspiring stories of those running (yes, Gordon, I'm blaming you in-part for getting me to where I am now). A lot of them talked about "Team AllEars" in their recap of marathon weekend. Being a WDW Today listener and a frequent visitor to Deb Wills' site for Disney World news and planning assistance, I knew of Team AllEars and of its purpose. I never thought I'd consider being a part of the team, but I applauded the efforts of those members of the inaugural team who ran to raise money for Breast Cancer research.


In late March, I noticed a familiar name on Facebook that I hadn't friended up yet: Michelle Scribner-Maclean…I knew she had recently completed the WDW half and was also on WDW Today and AllEars. We started messaging each other after I noticed a posting about Team AllEars doing a live show on Mike Newell's Mouseworld Radio. I assumed that the team was already set and that they were announcing the members – I was going to follow the team to see what to expect when it comes to the training. Michelle informed me that they in fact were just getting started with this year's team (meaning: there's room for me to be on the team for this year if I wanted to sign up).





The pros and cons went through my head very rapidly over the next few days. The main cons were whittled down to:

  1. Will I have time to actually train for this thing?
  2. Will my dissertation-writing take a major hit?
  3. Will the $$ needed for another trip to WDW be too much?
  4. Will we be able to handle the logistics of that weekend with 2 kids in school?


I decided to listen to the live show and call in with a question about the time constraints.  I was about 75% convinced that things could come together so that I could take part in the half-marathon, but I still had concerns.  Before I could call in, however, I heard Deb talk about her battle against breast cancer and what she has done since. After hearing Deb, I decided that night that I wanted to be a part of this group – to help out in what little way I could to raise funds.


The following morning, my e-mail inbox had the registration confirmation for the 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon!!! I opened up the confirmation and stared at it for a minute or two, wondering if I jumped into this too quickly. Before buyer's remorse could start creeping into my mind, I finished up all the paperwork to join 2011 Team AllEars. Within a couple of days, I got the notification that I was officially a part of the team!


I can honestly say that I am beyond excited to be a part of this. But wait…there's more! Since the 6th of April, when I signed up, I've lost about 15 lbs and have been able to run 4.2 miles at one time. Well, I'm not really running…it's more like walking with short bursts of jogging interspersed between the walking segments. Still, if anybody would have told me that I'd be able to do 4 miles at one time and at a 14:19 pace (definitely under the 16:00 requirement), I would have laughed. As of this writing, I've run 37 miles, worked out around 9 hours, burned through the equivalent of 63 donuts, and, after only a few weeks, lowered both my resting heart rate as well as my blood pressure to levels that I have never seen.  The hopes are that I'll be able to continue the trend of losing weight (down to 245 now) and gaining distance.  I'm also signing up for my first 5K run in August and am contemplating trying to find a 10K race in September/October.



Keep in mind, though, that, while I am experiencing many benefits for myself in the training, taking part in this endeavor also has a fundraising aspect. While we members of the team are asked to raise $500 each for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, I hope to far surpass this, and I'll need your support to realize this goal. In an upcoming post, you will see how you can help by donating, whether it's a lump sum, an amount per mile, or whatever.



Boom Boom Pow!



The logo above is not mine – it comes from Deb's site.