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June, 2009

  1. Love the ‘land

    June 17, 2009 by Ryan

    Sometimes people ask me why I like Disneyland so much? What makes it so special? Why do I keep going back?

    As you enter the park, you must pass under a tunnel that supports the train track. Above the tunnel is a sign that reads:

    Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.

    And that sums it up for me. Even if I have spent most of the day standing on my feet at the convention center across the street, or fighting the stressful traffic at the end of a 564 mile car ride, I feel an energy and renewal wash over me as I approach the land. When you walk through that tunnel, you emerge on a typical 1900 era Main Street scene like you could imagine happened in any small town at the time. Go a little further, and you see a fairy-tale castle, inviting you to come further and explore. Along the way, you can detour into the jungles of another continent, ride herd through the frontiers of America, or blast off in the exciting world of space and technology. Or head through the castle and end up in a place that could otherwise only be found within the imagination of a child.

    I distinctly remember being there for my first visit, which was as a grown adult. Somewhere in the middle of our multi-day trip, I found myself so lost in the experience that I stopped, and thought to myself, “I know I have a job somewhere, but where?” I had to think hard for a couple of minutes before I could pull reality back enough to remember my employer’s name. It was a tranquil experience where I found I had let go completely of my cares, and I liked it.

    I like the feeling every time I go. I love the immersive theming, the impressive entertainment, and the inviting ambiance.

    I agree with their saying, “love the land”.

  2. Keep Hope Alive

    June 11, 2009 by Nate and Michelle

    Okay, so I know I haven’t been much of a blogger of late.  Partly because I forgot my login (something you should never change while under the influence of baby brain) and partly because I just forgot (a common thing of late).

    Anyhow, I am writing today to support a great cause.  A cause that has brought much joy and anticipation to my life since hearing about it.  Jimmy Fallon (of late night TV) is attempting to stage a 20th anniversary Saved by the Bell reunion!  If that doesn’t make you giddier than Lawrence Welk or powdered Donettes, I am not sure what will.  So, whether you’re a preppie, jock, or geek you can help bring joy back to television by signing the petition.  And while you’re there, the Zack Morris and A.C. Slater videos are pretty awesome.

    Let’s say it together:  Go bayside!

  3. Would you like to take a survey?

    June 5, 2009 by Ryan

    Once upon a time, I took a job as a pollster. I went door to door, surveying people high and low, near and far, all throughout the kingdom, gathering statistics as I went.

    One day, I came upon a quaint little cottage in the woods. I knocked on the door, and had the most unusual visit. During that stop I learned the following:

    First, I learned that only one out of every seven dwarfs is happy. In contrast, one out of seven has anger management issues.

    In two out of every seven dwarfs, I observed serious medical issues, ranging from narcolepsy to severe allergies.

    14% of all dwarfs wear corrective lenses.

    1/7th of the respondents would only nod his head in response to the questions.

    Finally, this survey has a margin of error of plus or minus one, as the last respondent repeatedly withdrew, making it tough to discern his answers.

  4. Too close! A little too close.

    June 3, 2009 by Ryan

    I only wished we would have gotten a picture.

    Yesterday, as I drove through Springville, UT, I followed a large truck. It looked like the kind that would carry construction derbies – heavy, cement material; probably containing rocks and such that could easily break lose and fly out while in motion.

    Here is a mockup of what I saw:

    Come Up Close and Read Our Warning!

    Come Up Close and Read Our Warning!

    The bumper-sticker sized warning printed on the back read:


    Their lawyer must have told them that they have to put that message on the truck. So they picked the smallest font they could get away with to cover themselves legally.

    Now, if I were in charge of their marketing, and if I actually cared about the other driver’s windshields, this is how I would have done it…

    Something you can read from at least 5 feet away!

    Something you can read from at least 5 feet away!

    After all, they had a large surface area to work with. It would cost a dollar or two more in vinyl lettering, but would have indicated that they really cared for people to read their message.

    Instead, I can now easily discern their true intentions.

  5. The banker wants me to leave

    June 2, 2009 by Ryan

    I’ve begun to work out my strategy for the eventual day when I get on that show.

    I’ve been practicing on the home game, and I pretty much got it down. I figure though that you only get one shot at the real deal. So you’ve got to make it count, and “go for broke” so to speak.

    Though “broke” is a relative term, since all players are guaranteed to make at least a penny.

    Which is not really true anymore, because on the daytime rules, only 5 out of 26 get to play. The rest get to be on TV and “open the case.” They start with 22, and they each have five chances in five days to get picked. One of them does come up to play on Monday. Then they bring somebody else in on Tuesday to fill that spot. That guy has at least four chances to have his number spun. And again on Wednesday, but this replacement has only three opportunities for random luck to come his way. Thursday again. Pitty the guy on Friday, who has one shot at the wheel spinning his number.

    I’ve also figured that I have a better shot at getting on in the daytime version. They don’t have the time in a half-hour to socialize, and so I don’t have to have (so much of) a strange personality quirk to attract attention and get on the show. I’d just have to be engaging enough for the 20 minutes of air time. The trade-off is that I start with only a half-million as the top jackpot, and the top amounts drop down much more rapidly. It would leave me with a very thin safety-net. If I uncover those amounts first, the deal will drop significantly.

    I have not completely worked out yet if I will keep my number, or trade it for another case. After all, it was lucky enough to be spun by the giant roulette wheel, so it must be a lucky number. Or, was all the luck used up to get me up on stage, then should I trade it for another case. One that has a track record of being unlucky already during that same episode?

    Then, I pretty much will go for the gusto. After I leave the stage, they won’t ever let me come back. So I might as well play it out and have fun and go for it all!

    Plus, if I take an offer of $13,000 and leave, after California state and US federal taxes, I will take home about $6.50. It won’t really change my life in any significant way. So I figure to get any good out of the appearance, I’ve got to maximize my time and profit potential.

    Which brings me to my other strategy. If I’m feeling uncomfortable, and ready to take a deal and bail out on the game, that is the time that I should take a deep breath, and go one more time. Push lady luck to her limit. That’s ‘Howie’ would do it!

    Now, I’ve just got to apply. Now where did I set that online application?