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February, 2018

  1. Disneyland Rant – Ticket Prices are Only Part of the Solution

    February 14, 2018 by Ryan

    In the least surprising news of the week, Disney raised ticket prices for their US parks.


    Let me get a few things out of the way…

    People who enjoy going to the parks do not want to pay more.

    Yes, it is expensive.

    Yes, in 1955 Walt originally charged $1 for admission (although if you wanted to actually ride anything you needed to buy a ride ticket separately).

    Yes, today’s prices way outpace inflation when compared to that.

    This news happens every year – sometimes twice a year. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone by now. You could set your Futurosity Shop watch by it.

    Disney offers the same explanation each year also: they do this to help control the crowds.

    I can go along with that to a point. They will eliminate some people from visiting. Those folks can go visit Knotts Berry Farm instead.

    But if Disney were serious about crowding at the parks, here is what they really need to do: Eliminate the option for Southern California residents to pay for their pass in monthly installments.

    Disney won’t do that, for the same reason that the government takes taxes out of your paycheck. People are lousy savers. If they see a little bit of money come out of their paycheck each time, they don’t notice the large total at the end of the year.

    Another thing Disney really needs to do is eliminate the Fast Pass system.

    Fast Pass allows you to obtain a return time for major rides and attractions. Instead of standing in line, you can be somewhere else doing something else. You come back in your window of time, and walk through the shorter line on the side.

    This creates several problems.

    If you are not in the line, you are somewhere else in the park, taking up space.

    When you return to the attraction, they slow down or stop the standby line to let the fast pass line go ahead.

    If everyone just waited in one line, it would move continuously. The lines would eat people from the walkways, reducing crowding. It would be a win-win!

    But now that Disney makes money selling “Max Pass”es (a paid Fast Pass system done within the Disneyland app), I’m afraid that they are never going to go back!


  2. The Maine Problem

    February 7, 2018 by Ryan

    Poor Tom Golisano. I read his story in the national news a few days ago.

    Tom purchased a vacation home in Maine, and now he claims that he cannot enjoy it because his Canadian neighbors are making life miserable for himself and his family.

    When he is not there, they hang out on his lawn. They scatter when he arrives on the scene to chase them away, but by then the damage is done and the yard is a complete mess – it is in no condition to play Frisbee on or have a picnic with the grandchildren.

    Tom has asked his local government officials to get involved. He would like his neighbors deported. Or at least evicted.

    What do his neighbors have to say about it when asked for comment?

    “Honk! Honk! Honk!” said one.

    “Honk! HONK!” replied another.

    Then they turned their backs and flew away.

    You see, Tom’s neighbors are geese. Canadian Geese.

    They like Tom’s property too. Their ancestors have been flying by and nesting in the area for a long time. They have no intentions of leaving.

    They are loud and messy. They relieve themselves on his lawn.

    What is a billionaire to do when he simply can’t enjoy his vacation home in Maine?

    Tom has decided not to pay his property tax bill anymore, until the city officials can control the geese.

    Good luck with that, Tom! You try not paying your taxes, and see what kind of actions the officials take.

    I’m just not feeling sorry for you.

    Here you went and bought a nice home in a place where geese live, and now you are upset because geese live there.

    Somehow that is the government’s fault?

    This fight is for the birds!

    Honk for Your Rights!

    You know why those geese fly in a “V” formation? “V” stands for “Victory,” Tom! I’m certain they do it just to spite you.

  3. Ye Simple Souls Who Stray – Wine, Oil, Refreshment

    February 3, 2018 by Ryan

    The headline intrigued me:

    Rising Utah liquor sales fueled by more non-Mormons, tourism

    How naïve I have been! To think that all this time, I believed that the Mormons were the ones buying up the booze!

    I must continue reading!

    In Mormon dominated Utah where alcohol is frowned upon, liquor sales keep climbing each year.

    I paused to check the byline! Right out of the gate, the writer has skillfully blended adverbs and a subordinate clause to the point  that I am unable to discern the intended meaning. Is alcohol frowned upon by Utah? Or by the Mormons?

    With my head still spinning by this challenging information, I continued reading.

    State residents bought nearly $428 million in alcohol last year to set another record, continuing a two-decade trend likely fueled a steady influx of new out-of-state residents and a thriving tourism sector.

    I pondered and reread the following…

    “…A steady influx of new out-of-state residents….”

    Are the residents relocating from out-of-state? Are they buying up liquor in Utah, only to return to their out-of-state residences? Or are they purchasing property in Utah so they can be considered a resident, but continuing to live elsewhere so they can still be considered out-of-state?

    My head was spinning.

    I checked the byline again. Was this author perhaps one of the high school students recently in the news for having his article removed from the school paper? Perhaps he had found a new rag to write for?

    Then, at once, all of these thoughts were superseded by a different quandary: How do they know that the potable purchaser’s piety is of the “Mormon” persuasion?

    I will admit to ignorance here. I have never been a patron of the Utah State Liquor Stores. As the article states, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instructs its members to avoid drinking alcohol. As a faithful member, I do not know the manner of becoming a vendee of this establishment.

    I assume they ask to see one’s identification at the check-out line. I could guess that, from a government-issued ID, they could count the number of out-of-state verses in-state driver’s licenses to determine that statistic.

    But what about religious preference? Do they ask for this information too?

    I double-checked my Utah State Driver’s License. The closest thing I could find to a religious declaration was the spot for organ-donation.

    So how are the shopkeepers determining the religious statistic? Are Latter-day Saints presenting their church-issued “Temple Recommend” as a testimony that they have obtained to the age of accountability?

    Or, thinking more conspiratorially, is the state drivers license bureau inter-connected with the church’s membership record database? I’m sure that the National Security Agency must know!

    Believing I was on the trail of a much bigger, serious discovery, I reviewed the rest of the article. It presented a mundane recitation of how the liquor agency spends its money, and what the most popular beverages are. Unfortunately, it did not answer my question or explain how they can be confident in their consumer’s convictions.

    A scientific investigation should be launched immediately! Volunteers of all persuasions and residences are needed to make undercover purchases from the state.

    Come to think of it, the results of this investigation could give a whole new meaning to the concept of being baptized-by-the-spirit.


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