Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top 10

I recently pulled out my trades for "Top 10" and reread them. This was one of the series that was recommended to me by the owner of our FLCS years ago.

For those of you not familiar with the series, it's basically "Hill Street Blues" with superpowers. Our POV character is rookie Robyn Singer, aka Toybox, who is starting at Precinct 10. The series takes us through several cases in the city of Neopolis, which is where all of the "Science Heroes" live.

This is right up my alley, as I love police procedurals, but I'm especially fond of the type that gives you all layers of the force. Here we have patrolmen, detectives, a sergeant that's an intelligent dog in an exoskeleton, everything I could want. So, of course I like it.

If this sounds at all intriguing to you, I'd recommend picking up at least the first twelve issues (see the link above). There are offshoots of those, and I like what I've read, but the original issues give you a really nice story that has a beginning, middle, and end while still leaving it open for more stories to be told. Kind of unusual in comics, which might be another reason that the series appeals to me.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Santa and his Mechanical Reindeer

One of our family traditions every December is to watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode for "Santa Claus", a lovely little Mexican film that pits Santa against his anagram, Satan. There's a whole lot of nightmare fuel here, but Mike & the Bots do a really good job with it. Enjoy!

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Evaluating Vacation Options - Where to Stay

Where to stay when going on vacation to Orlando can be a big question. For us, the answer is simple, we have a time share*. No, we're not members of the Disney Vacation Club (mainly because I'm an idiot), but we have the ability to stay a week in Orlando for <$200. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

However, we are going to be staying "On Property" for the first time this trip, even if it's only for a couple of days, so I want to go into how we decided which hotel to pick.

The first thing I did was consult the experts, and by that I mean Scott & Scott from "Earning My Ears". Both of them are huge Disney fans, Walt Disney World in particular, and they frequently stay on property. So I laid it all out for them and got a couple of recommendations.

Obviously, the Value Resorts are a viable option. They cost the least, but are in no way "cheap" hotels. Heck, Scott Gardner works at one of them, so it must be good, right? ;-)

What they suggested, though, is to try for a Moderate Resort. Yes, they cost a little more, but they are more than worth it, according to the guys. They actually recommended the "Port Orleans - French Quarter" as one to check out, so I did. Not only did I read up on it on the WDW website, but I found several YouTube videos where people showed the rooms, lobby, pool, etc. Watching these pretty much clinched it, and that's where we're going to book.

All that being said, one day I'd love to be able to stay at The Contemporary Resort. Not only is it one of the two resorts that opened when WDW did, 45 years ago, but the Monorail runs through the hotel! How cool is that!?!?

* If anyone would like a good deal on purchasing a time share, let me know. I'd much rather sell this and buy into the DVC. Not that I'm unhappy with what we have, but with the amount of time we're probably be going to be spending at Disney over the years, DVC would just make more sense for us.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

I was finally able to watch Captain America: Civil War recently, since life got in the way when it was out in theaters. I'm not a fan of the comic series, since it was really heavy handed about forcing views on the characters just so that they would serve the story, rather than having them naturally come to that decision. So, I wasn't really thrilled with the announcement of the title of this movie.

That being said, I did like this. It's not going to replace The First Avenger as my favorite Cap movie, but it handled the whole registration issue in a very well thought out way. The best part of this was that I could see both sides of the argument and could agree with Steve or Tony alternatively. Both had very valid points and Tony, as well as T'Challa, was able to revise his position based on new information.

Add to that the fact that this had the single best live action Spider-Man that I've ever seen, and I would have to say that this movie succeeded on most levels. (It gets deducted for shaky cam.)

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Evaluating Vacation Options - Park Tickets

Many people visiting Walt Disney World or Universal Studios, Orlando for the first time can feel a bit overwhelmed. There's so much to see, how do you do it? Well, one option is the Park Hopper/Multi-Park ticket.

If I lived in Orlando, I would be an Annual Pass Holder and spend a good amount of time in just one section of one park each visit. There's so much stuff to see that I could be perfectly happy looking in each nook and cranny. Being on vacation, however, that means that we have certain things that we want to see and, often, we have to bounce back and forth between parks to do it.*

So, fo every visit that I have been a part of, we've purchased the Park Hopper tickets. At WDW, this is would add $207 to the ticket price for us (2 Adults, 1 Child over 4 Days), and that's not too bad for the freedom it gives you. This way you can start at The Magic Kingdom and then, after lunch, head over to Epcot, and maybe wrap up the day at Hollywood Studios for dinner and Fantsamic.

At Universal, the same 4 day tickets would add $150 for the park-to-park option, which allows you to bounce back and forth between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Now, I could spend all day just on the Marvel island, but having that freedom to jump back and forth is worth the money, in my opinion.

If you want to save money and concentrate on one park at a time**, then I wouldn't try and talk you out of it. The multi-park tickets are just the way to go, for our family.

* Actually, on thing that we want to see at Universal Studios is the Hogwarts Express, which REQUIRED the multi-park ticket, since it travels between the two Universal parks.

** If you only want to do one park per day, then might I suggest this special from Walt Disney World.

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