Vacationing in Anchorage

You might remember we were supposed to go to Alaska on vacation back in February but at the last minute we had to reschedule.

So this afternoon we’re trying again! We plan to fly out of MCO (Orlando) around 5:30 pm. Connecting through Salt Lake City, we arrive in Anchorage some hours later. The time change is confusing me as to when we actually get there.

Anyway, I hope to take a lot of photos and I’ll share them as I’m able. I don’t plan to be online a lot but we both know I will. We fly home May 7 on the red-eye.

We’ve cashed in frequent flier miles for both of us and we’re staying and hanging out with friends. Since our costs to get and stay there are very low, we’re going to try and take advantage of a few things:

We’re really excited about it! So we’ll catch up later…

Nice Shirt

One of the things I like to do when interacting with guests is comment about their shirts. I figure they are wearing particular shirts for particular reasons. So I talk to them about it! Here’s a few of the exchanges:

  • The easiest are the people wearing shirts with the dwarf Grumpy on them. They are easy targets. While focusing a shot I may ask “Is Grumpy smiling?” Another is watching a tired “Grumpy” leave the park. I might say “So long, Grumpy!” That one I use with great discretion! Another time a family of four were all wearing the same orange Grumpy shirt. I said to them, “Now that’s the brightest group of Grumpies I’ve ever seen!” They laughed.
  • A teen-aged girl had on a white shirt with large black lettering on it. The words were names and they were in a huge typeface so it took up the entire shirt. I saw her coming and I said, “Nice shirt! I have no idea what it means.” She smiled and said, “It’s a band!” Then she giggled probably thinking I’m some old guy or something.
  • A guy was wearing a black shirt with this on it: “4 8 15 16 23 42”. I said, “Excuse me sir, are you LOST?” He had a quizzical look and I moved my hand across my shirt indicating the numbers on his. He realized what I was referring to and smiled then said, “Oh yeah! Naw, I’m good.”

I need a contact manager (CMS)

I used to just live inside Microsoft Outlook.  I don’t anymore.  I’ve switched to using gMail exclusively.  And with that I’ve found ways to manage my tasks and calendar online also.  I actually really like the system I have.

However, I don’t have a good solution for managing contacts.  I’ve read the recent posts on what people like but I’m not so sure about what works best for me.

I wish Google Contacts worked great, but I can’t manage a good work flow process with it.  I’m thinking about Plaxo but they offer so much fluff now I’m not crazy about it.

I could use Outlook again, but I’d only be using it for contacts.  That seems bloaty to me.

What I want is a good, free, lightweight CMS that allows me to group and tag people (like to follow-up with) and it would be nice to be able to make a copy somewhere online so my wife can access them also.

Any ideas?

Star Wars Weekend Starts Next Weekend

Unbelievably, I’ve never been to Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios.

I plan to change that in June (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 6 – June 29, 2008).

Lots of Star Wars characters will be there and each weekend a few special guests will be on hand. Here’s the schedule:

All 4 weekends:

  • Celebrity Host, Warwick Davis (“Wicket the Ewok”)

Weekend 1: June 6-8

  • Jeremy Bulloch (“Boba Fett”)
  • Daniel Logan (“young Boba Fett”)

Weekend 2 : June 13-15

  • Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”)
  • David Prowse (“Darth Vader”)

Weekend 3 : June 2-22

  • Amy Allen (“Aayla Secura”)
  • Matthew Wood (“General Grievous”)

Weekend 4 : June 27-29

  • Dave Filoni (Director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • rumored Jeremy Bulloch (“Boba Fett”)

Since I am normally on stage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Friday and Saturdays, I’m going to have to get out there on a Sunday next month.  It is, after all, the biggest event in the galaxy!

Hi, Bye

I have noticed that I probably should enunciate the “buh” sound when saying “bye” to guests as they exit the park.  About 90% of the time when I say “bye”, they say “hello”.

I could take this a couple of ways:

  1. They just saw me so they were nice and gave me a greeting
  2. They thought I said “hi” so they responded in kind

It just sounds funny to me to hear a backwards conversation.

“Bye!”

“Hello.”

I should learn some more salutations.

Happy Birthday DAK

Today, Earth Day, is the 10-year Anniversary for the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I wish I could personally wish you a happy birthday, but I’ll have to send it virtually. I’ll see you Friday though!

One thing I’ve learned a lot about is that DAK isn’t just about being an attraction. It is also about doing good with the earth. That’s why it opened on Earth Day.

Also, the animlas there are not “on display”. They are taken care of and studied. Check this discovery out:

Dr. Jackie Ogden, vice president of animal programs, was part of the pre-opening team for the Animal Kingdom. She told News 13 she is very proud of everything they have accomplished over 10 years in studying and contributing to the welfare of animals.

“We have a very extensive elephant communication program where we actually put big collars on the elephants that are out at Kilimanjaro Safari, and we are able to hear these low-frequency vocalizations that elephants make. We actually found two vocalizations that no scientist had ever found before. Very cool,” Ogden said.

Happy Birthday, DAK!