Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Formulaic Church Service

Anyone seen this before in real life?

update: had to change the video as the original was removed from Vimeo

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Republicans Promoting Voodoo Economics Again

Republicans during this next election cycle are returning to promotion of "Voodoo Economics", which is the notion that tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, equal economic growth as well as the tax cuts even being a non-impact on the deficit. This while historically having been debunked with TWO (count 'em) in the past 30 years, both with Ronald Reagan's track record and George W. Bush's record economically, in Reagan's case in debate against George H. W. Bush, and in Bush's case by his own economic advisors. Amazing that they would run on on this platform. Be aware that Supply-Side Economics (or Reaganomics, or Voodoo Economics...pick a name) does not work, as economic growth under such policies does NOT out-pace loss in revenue from taxation, which leads to bigger deficits...just like out-of-control spending does.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Orlando, FL - Day 5

I'm actually making this posting while my wife, girls, sister-in-law, and nephews are down at the Universal Boardwalk and Universal Studios. I'm sure the boardwalk is packed, just like it was yesterday. I had a nice time relaxing at the resort instead.

I got pretty burned today, as did my oldest daughter. I'm hoping that it is just red and not going to peel...but that is the price of being in the sun too long. I did have fun swimming with the possible crocs in the lake. :-) It is probably unlikely they would let people swim there constantly if they believed that their lake had a crocodile population in it, but still the idea of it freaks me out a bit. You can see by our photos that it didn't stop us from swimming, apparently.

We take off for the airport tomorrow early, and will be back in Missouri by late morning. It has been fun, but I'll enjoy being home again. Thanks for the fun, Florida!

Photos from today:

Orlando, FL - Day 5 - quick update

Friday, July 16, 2010

Orlando, FL - Day 4

Today's destination: Universal Studios, Orlando! We got a late start to the park today, which is actually a good thing because you avoid most of the mad-rush to the major attractions at the park. We didn't really wait for more than 30 minutes to anything there for the whole day, except for the roller-coaster called "Rock-It" for which we waited for about 60 minutes. It was the best time I've had at a theme park, honestly.

My favorite attraction at Universal Studios was The Simpsons ride, though I realize now that I didn't take a photo of that attraction at all. It was a multimedia sort of ride, where you get in a rollercoaster car, but it just raises into a room with a huge screen that encompasses your field of vision, and the car moves with the action. It is fantastic though how well it convinces your body that you are actually moving. Great ride!

I'm looking forward to my 'day off' tomorrow where I get to just kick back by the pool and relax (i.e. no theme parks!)

Photos for the day are here:

You can see videos from today, or any of my others here:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Orlando, FL - Day 3

Day 3 here in Orlando was quite a bit more lazy than our previous two days since I've been here. We slept in, once we woke the kids did a t-shirt painting activity here at the clubhouse, and then once we had some lunch we got on the road for Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island (click for map) which are both near Dunedin, FL just west of Tampa. I have a lot of videos for this blog entry.

Our first stop was Caladesi Island State Park, which is only accessible via boat. We took a ferry. It was nice to just lazily walk along the beach, look for shells, and have the waves rush in by your feet.

After the last ferry came back from Caladesi Island, we drove up Honeymoon Island to the north beach there had some dinner and enjoyed that beach. Of course the gulls wanted in on our food.

The ocean was beautiful here as well, and there were quite a few cool shells to be found here too. We'll be bringing back quite a few!

We rushed to a clubhouse to change into dry clothes, and got caught by huge rainstorm. I took an opportunity to try to move the car closer while the rain seemed to let up a little, but instead as I was getting into the car the wind caught the car-door, and I got hit in the forehead by the corner of the door. So, now I have an interesting souvenir from our travels...a possible scar in the middle of my forehead.

We figured we would just have to make a dash to the car and take off, because the storm didn't seem to be letting up. Sure we headed back into Dunedin the rain did lighten up significantly. Oh well. It was still a very nice day at the ocean.

Here is the link to today's photos:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Orlando, FL - Day 2

Today we set off pretty early in the day to Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure. We successfully avoided the toll roads on the way and got to the park during the first hour of it being open. The crowds were already pretty intense and we waded through people just to get to Islands of Adventure, which is a 1/2-mile from the parking ramp. Here is a link to the map of the area:

Universal Studios - Islands of Adventure and surrounding area

Of course everyone's first destination was the Harry Potter area...but as we passed Poseidon's Fury and rounded into the Jurassic Park area...we could see the line just to get into the Hogsmeade's area...which was roughly 1/4-mile in length. We overheard one gentleman say that they were 7-hours from getting in!!! That was a bit discouraging at the time, though we couldn't have known his estimate was not at all accurate. There was a long line nonetheless, so we didn't get in it then, but moved on to enjoy the rest of the park.

My favorite areas were the Marvel Superheros area and Hogsmeade, which we did easily get into later in the day. The Marvel area had a great ride called The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man. It was 1/2 a ride, 1/2 a 3-D multimedia presentation...but excellent. In Hogsmeade we did the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride (also 1/2 ride, 1/2 multimedia) and the Dueling Dragons rollercoaster. Both of these were also excellent.

While in Hogsmeade we had to try the butterbeer and the pumpkin-juice. :-) It was pretty expensive, but was a nice part of the whole experience. And it made for a nice break to sit down and just rest. The whole Islands of Adventure park is a 1-mile loop, which was circled at least 5 times during the whole day. My feet hurt, needless to say. It was a fun day, but I was glad to get back to the condo to shower and rest!

Link to all the pictures in today's photo album:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orlando, FL - Day 1

Jumped on a flight this morning on Allegiant Air to Orlando, FL.  Nice airline overall.  They don't offer any free beverage...really expensive bag checking, which prompted me to bring my lunch on the plan, and carry-on my luggage.  But the seats were comfortable and the flight-attendants were nice.

Didn't end up doing too much today...I painted a sand-dollar with the kids. It was really was.

After a little bit of dinner we set off to see Cocoa Beach. But we took off way too late and figured out that the sun would have set before we ended up getting we nixed that idea and took a detour through the "Kissimmee Historic Downtown" where we found Pure Magic Ice Cream. Fantastic place and I definitely recommend their ice cream if you are here. Check out this video of them making our ice cream:

Tomorrow we head off to Islands Of Adventure!

update: forgot to add a link to this day's photos -