Tag Archives: Indiana Jones

Celebrating Robert’s Birthday At Disneyland

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation via Socializr.com from Mike Trueblood inviting people to come celebrate the birthday of his partner, Robert Shadbolt at Disneyland. The date was for January 15th, a Friday, which normally I wouldn’t be able to do because Friday nights start my week of work at the casino. But that could be easily fixed with a time off request for a night off. I don’t usually get the chance to use my pass with friends as most of my friends have Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 type jobs and I work the middle of the night inclusive of weekends, so I jumped at the chance to share a day at Disneyland with Mike and Robert.

My requested night off was approved and I changed my “Maybe” to a definite “Yes” that I would be attending and was able to coordinate some details with them ahead of time when I saw them both at the bar on Wednesday night. The rough plan was that the guys would be there at 9 am and that I should call them around that time to coordinate locations. I was planning on being there early, but I was coming from my parent’s home in Temecula instead of from San Diego as they called me for some help setting up their brand new television for use in their home entertainment system. My folks wouldn’t let me leave in the morning without breakfast first, so I didn’t get to leave as early as I wanted.

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Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 1)

Disneyland Birthday ButtonWhen it was announced in 2008 that the Disney Resorts would be offering free admission to one park for people to celebrate their birthday in 2009, I knew I was going to make plans to enjoy Disneyland for my birthday. It’s not the first time I’ve spent my birthday at Disneyland. The last time was in 2004 back when I last had an annual pass to the parks. I was excited to come to Disneyland for my birthday as I haven’t been to the park since right around the time Space Mountain was re-opening following two years of being closed to completely replace the tracks.

I posted a note on my Twitter account to see if any of my friends would be free and available to join me at Disneyland, and I suppose the one thing as you get older is that the responsibilities of the real world doesn’t always allow your friends to come play with you in an amusement park on a “work” day during the week. So aside from several notes of regret of not being able to come from local friends and notes from international friends where the travel distances were prohibitive of being able to come, it was looking like I’d be doing the park on my own. No big deal as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never been the type of person to allow the fact others couldn’t come to stop me from enjoying the things I want to do. Besides, I’ve done the Disney parks several times on my own when I last had annual passes, sometimes I’d end up at the parks on a whim and would have no time to invite others anyway.

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Hooked On Classics – Blast From The Past

Hooked On ClassicsHaving hit a little bit of music boredom with the more limited selections on my iPod Touch, I decided to bring out the iPod Classic which is loaded with over 11,000 audio files. I let it play on random and one of the things that came up was “Hooked On Classics – Part 1 and 2” from the original “Hooked On Classics” album by Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

I ended up taking the iPod off random and played the full album. It’s been a very long time since I last listened to it. I don’t remember when exactly I added the Hooked On Classics albums to my iPod as the last crash of my iTunes wiped out the date added for every track I added prior to December 10, 2008. In any case, I was happy I had it on my iPod to enjoy without having to dig out the CD.

I remember having worn out two cassettes of this album back in the early 1980’s. I loved it. To me it was all the good parts of classical music without so much of the really boring stuff. And I suppose a disco-esque drum track didn’t hurt either for helping keep those classics going at an upbeat pace. I remember Hooked On Classics being very popular when it was originally released in Canada. It was released on the K-Tel label which I always had some collections of popular music from them. Probably my favorite of which was “Raiders Of The Pop Charts” which capitalized on the Indiana Jones theme which was current at the time.

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Indiana Jones And The Stolen Movie Plots

Indiana Jones LogoOne of the movies I was most looking forward to seeing this year was the return of Indiana Jones. Its been nearly twenty years since Indiana Jones’ last adventure where we joined the character on his search for the Holy Grail. Well what adventure would be exciting enough to bring the character back for yet another adventure, and it seems that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg felt that the “Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” should be that adventure that ushers in a revisit to the world of Indiana Jones. Sadly, I found the adventure to feel like it was blazed on a path already well paved by other movies. While I don’t regret going to see the new Indiana Jones film, it just felt like a big let down for the type of adventure you come to expect from Indiana Jones.

I personally quite enjoyed seeing Harrison Ford embark on another adventure as Indiana Jones. His acting was great. I did like touches that throw back to the earlier films such as a nod to the Ark from Raiders, the convention of flight with the animated flight path on maps, and even nods to characters from previous films not featured here, as well as about the only true genuine laugh I got from the film involving Indy’s dislike of snakes, however, the plot just really failed to serve the sense of adventure I was expecting from a character like Indiana Jones. In fact, I’m almost sure that had the lead character been something new instead of Indiana Jones, I’d have felt less disappointed and might actually feel it was a better movie than I think it is.

The movie just felt like an endless series of homages to other movies, that very little about the plot felt original. Cate Blanchett’s Russian felt like a knock off of Boris and Natasha just without Boris. The presence of John Hurt and the shape of the alien head just felt so much like Alien that I kept waiting for one to burst from John Hurt’s chest. The entire sequence with the ants felt like a similar scene with scarabs from one of the recent Mummy movies. Shia LaBeouf’s character could have been yanked out of American Graffiti or Grease, or just for sheer lameness, West Side Story. The alien plotline felt like a cross between E.T. and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. The whole chase through the jungle sequence felt like it was easily ripped off from the James Bond movies or even a much slower paced version of the speeder bike sequence from the Return of the Jedi installment of the Star Wars franchise. (Additionally, I thought it kind of interesting that the vehicles needed a truck to slash away the jungle just to get through it, but as soon as it was damaged, the chase sequence occurs and all the other vehicles could ride practically side by side through the now non-existent thickness of the jungle.) Continue reading Indiana Jones And The Stolen Movie Plots