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Bruce Dickinson

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Bruce Dickinson last won the day on November 7 2018

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  1. I've met Wes a few times. When he talks about owning X companies on the Challenge, he's talking about his role in a business incubator that takes equity instead of cash for their startup assistance services. When I first met him (and KellyAnne; they were dating at the time), he had opened a frozen yogurt shop in a strip mall in a wealthy suburb, and kinda-sorta had the idea of an incubator with a one-page website and an office with a table. The yogurt shop didn't make it, but the incubator is now a big operation with multiple offices and a diverse staff. He's actually a pretty interesting guy, like a thousand times more laid-back in brick-and-mortar life than on the show. Can totally see how Wes would be an asset to a person/group that has a great idea for a business but needs help getting started and navigating the first 90-180 days, speed them up on the runway.
  2. The Pluto TV app added an MTV Challenge channel that streams Challenge episodes 24 hours a day (with ads). From what I can tell so far, they pick a season, run all the episodes in a row, then pick another season and run a marathon of that, and so on. I haven't slept in five days since I discovered this.
  3. Universal's biggest season is Halloween. (The Halloween Horror Nights series is amazing.) At Xmas it won't be Disney-crowded but still packed. Consider staying on-property or buying eXpress to jump the lines. Universal doesn't do Xmas overlays of attractions like Disney does, but will decorate the parks. The Seuss Landing section is transformed, complete with Grinch and the Whoville residents wandering around and doing photo-ops. There will also be a Grinch mini-musical on the scale of the Lion King and Finding Nemo shows at AK in a studio by IOA walkable from Seuss Landing. The Harry Potter sections will have Christmas decorations and holiday pop-up shows - the Hogwarts castle done up for Xmas is really cool. And over at Studios they stage a mini-version of the Macy's Parade through the big city set section with inflatables and characters. During the day they will recruit guests to be an inflatable handler. (We passed on it because our schedule was tight, but the people doing it in the parade seemed to be having fun.) Those are the highlights. Some of the characters will have Xmas dress, I remember Shrek and Donkey being in Xmas spirit. Our favorite Disney non-park stuff at Xmas... touring the monorail resorts and seeing the decorations and meeting characters is fun: grand Floridian usually has a life-size gingerbread house, Contemporary will have the biggest wreath on the property, Polynesian has Ohana. Also dig the Wilderness section - the Wilderness Lodge at Xmas is the resort that feels the most Christmas-y to me. You can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Wilderness campgrounds, great if you want something a little quieter by Disney standards, and there's lots of campers who set up sites for the entire month of December and decorate their site, so it's like a Xmas lights tour, too. Haven't spent much time at Disney Springs since the renovations there, but I'm a big fan of the boat ride from Port Orleans to Disney Springs - it covers a lot of ground that isn't seen otherwise. Not to invite a discussion about the morality of SeaWorld, but they do a good Xmas overlay and add a skating rink in December. IIRC Legoland does some Xmas overlay stuff, too, like 6-8 foot Lego Christmas trees and such.
  4. Current itinerary 9/25 afternoon flight in to MCO, check in at Riverside 9/26 EMH at DHS (Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars!); rest at hotel; dinner at Ohana, After Hours at Magic Kingdom 9/27 Food & Wine Festival at Epcot; Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom 9/28 Magic Kingdom (BOG breakfast), rest at hotel, evening at DHS (ride FPs, Oga's Cantina reservation) 9/29 Animal Kingdom morning and afternoon (I haven't been to AK since Pandora opened and all the work along the river got done), fly home that night
  5. The 2020 Moms Panel application schedule was released a couple days ago. I won't be applying (and it turns out because of my sister's job with a major hotel chain I'm ineligible anyway) but it was fun seeing the announcement and I'll be helping/encouraging a few applicants along the way. I'll be in Orlando at the end of September. We're staying at Port Orleans Riverside and hitting up WDW for the kid's birthday. Just reserved a room at the Disneyland Hotel for March 2020. We're going to California for Spring Break, Disneyland is one of the stops. We'll be spending some time in Europe next summer (the kid will probably go to college overseas) and my wife wants us to spend a day or two at Disneyland Paris just in case anyone in Europe suspects for one second that we aren't Americans.
  6. I recommend starting by contacting your Senators' offices. Phone calls carry more weight than emails or social media DMs. If you're not sure what to say, here's a pretty good template to call a Senator's voicemail box after they have left the office for the day. I'll annotate it to explain why each piece matters. "My name is [name]. I live in [city]." (Identify yourself as a constituent right away. People with the power to vote for or against the representative carry more weight than out-of-district contact.) "I do not need a return call." (This is a huge favor to the staffer who is listening to your message. If they don't need to call you back, they won't have to replay the message several times to get the contact info accurate. They can now concentrate on what issue you're calling about and where you stand.) "Please tell Senator [Senator's name] that I support gun control, and ask them to demand Senator McConnell to bring HR 8 and HR 1112 to the floor for a vote. And that I want [Senator] to vote for them." (cut right to the chase about what issue you're calling about, and a specific action you want to rep to take.) (HR 8 and HR 1112 are bills passed by the house that are first steps on gun control, enhancing background checks for prospective gun owners. These bills wouldn't come anywhere close to solving gun violence, but decent starts and would force our legislators to get on record with votes on gun control. Right now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blocking this bills from being voted on in the Senate. It's good for voters if these bills go to the floor and force Senators to take even a slight stand on this issue.) That's all you really need to include. If you want to pick a reason or two to explain why you have this stance, go for it. But you are under no obligation to explain yourself. It is unlikely you will get through directly to the Senator when calling during office hours unless you are a big donor. However, if you want to speak to someone during office hours, call up the Senator's office in DC or the field office closest to you in your state, identify yourself, and ask to speak with the staffer in office who handles the issue of gun control. The major issues are delegated to staff, and each Senator should have a point person on gun rights. That's the person who will talk with you about the Senator's stance and basic strategy on the issue. If you want to branch out beyond your two Senators... I recommend targeting Senators up for re-election in 2020, representing a state you have some sort of connection to, like having family there, doing business there, or potentially having future plans there. You don't have to power to vote, but you do have the right to donate to their re-election campaign if you like their stance on an issue important to you. Or donate to their opponent if you don't. I don't know anything about your political leanings or convictions. But regardless of them, I encourage you to get involved. Participation and advocacy goes a long way towards taking power away from the donor class and back in the hands of the people. And always keep in mind that people who don't have your best interests in mind hope you think you don't have a voice, want you to think you can't make a difference, and really want you to sit this one out. One last thing on the issue of gun control... the NRA has a LOT of power within the Republican Party and its representatives. The voters who can make the biggest difference right now are conservatives who are willing to get loud and show the NRA shouldn't have the power to be a litmus test for representatives and candidates. A conservative telling their Republican representative that you will support them if they stand up to the NRA and vote for gun control legislation can have a really loud voice right now if they are willing to speak up. There's a lot of Republican legislators out there who want common sense gun law reform but are scared the NRA will bankroll a primary opponent of any Republican who shows support for gun control. For a more hands-on involvement... I'd check out the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Everytown For Gun Safety to see if either of them are your style. I'm a little more familiar with Everytown - I have a high school aged child, and one of Everytown's missions is Students Demand Action, getting student groups organized at the local level and connecting them with others nationally. I like how Everytown advocates at the local and state level, targeting city mayors and state legislatures as well as federal representatives.
  7. Sorry about that. I wanted to wait until I got home to post about it. The whole experience was a whirlwind and awesome and I'm so happy I got to do it. I spent a lot of time taking photos and shooting video for Disney bloggers. That's how I weaseled my way in: support personnel for DPMP wannabes wanting more photos with them in the shot, having someone to hold the camera at more than arm's length while they logged Instagram stories, stuff like that. I've decided I'm not going to apply for DPMP again (more on that later), so it was extra special getting to do this to end that chapter. I did get to taste some of the foods and drinks available in SWGE, interacted with the cast members a bit, and got to ride Smuggler's Run a few times. I got in town just early enough to make it over to the dedication ceremony Wednesday night. Could clearly see even 40+ years later why Mark Hamill was cast as Luke and Harrison Ford was cast as Solo. Hamill's speech about how thankful he was to be part of the SW franchise and all the great stories he's heard from fans over the decades was really moving. Got a kick out of Hamill talking about being there for the opening of Star Tours and what a big thrill it was to have an actual Disney Parks ride tied to movies he'd been in. And now this. And then Ford ad-libbing a tribute to Peter Mayhew and throwing off the cue for the fireworks was just Han Solo enough for the moment. Walking around SWGE on Thursday, the word that kept coming to mind was "gratitude". I'm not the most intense Star Wars fan, but the movies and its universe have been part of my life for pretty much all of my life. The first movie I remember seeing in a movie theater, back in the one-screen movie house in the town I grew up in, was Star Wars: A New Hope during its initial theatrical run. I was Luke Skywalker for Halloween when I was 5. My favorite Christmas present from childhood was the Death Star play set. SWGE is built for people like me. They worked so hard to get so many details right, stuff casual fans or non-fans wouldn't have noticed. Shout-out to the people at Coca-Cola who designed special beverage bottles for SWGE printed in SW language, with design inspired by thermal detonators. So many moments that warmed the heart of my inner grade school kid. Another word that kept getting thrown around was "immersive". You really do disappear into Batuu. The basic premise of Batuu it is was once a bustling port and hub of travel and commerce, but then lightspeed technology developed at Batuu was no longer a necessary stop to refuel and buy supplies. So now it's a little run down because there isn't as much money flowing through it, and because it's no longer a strategic location in the galaxy it's become a haven for beings of the galaxy who would rather not be found. IMO it's genius they chose Batuu, grounding it firmly in the Star Wars universe while giving the cast and crew freedom to create their own characters and evolve the story there as the SW universe expands further. Anyway, it's an architectural wonder. They do a great job giving you great sights of Batuu from basically anywhere in the SWGE section without being aware that you're in Disneyland. There's one spot where you can see some of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but its figure kinda fits the view so I get why they left it in. I suppose the weather being 72 and sunny every day might be a giveaway that you're in Southern California, but it works. The cast members interact with you as if you are on Batuu. There's code words and catchphrases you use and pick up around the cast that help unlock new things to look for and see. I don't know how much of that will be experienced as huge crowds get unleashed into the SWGE, especially when the DHS version gets going. I was blown away by how good the cast was before the thing even opened. Usually the cast member experience at DLR is inferior to WDW, but on Batuu they bring it. It's comparable to the wizards of Diagon Alley Orlando interacting with the muggles who wandered in, or if one of those historical places you went to on field trips where the staff all acted as if it was a specific place/time was actually awesome. It did get a little rough talking "credits" with the bartenders and merchandise sellers, but overall you see how much work they've put into creating an immersive experience. So.... Smuggler's Run. There's going to be fisticuffs in one of these cockpits, or right outside. At some point a couple groups who don't know each other and spent a couple hours in line waiting to ride it only to have it ruined by some idiot kid who begged to be pilot but didn't fly the mission and instead just spun the Falcon around in circles is going to cause violence from the other group who had their ride ruined. I better back up a little bit.... there's six chairs in the cockpit: two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers. One pilot handles horizontal movement, the other vertical movement. The two gunners shoot at stuff. The two engineers press buttons and such fixing problems that pop up with Falcon during the run. This would be an awesome setup for a place like Main Event or Dave & Buster's or even the old DisneyQuest where you could take your own group in and go for it on your own terms. But waiting a couple hours and getting teamed up with another group you don't know? Or having three people who really really want to be pilots and only one opportunity to ride the ride on that day or even a lifetime? That's gonna cause some trouble. The pilot controls are wicked responsive and really tough to pick up without practice or a lot of gaming experience. For someone who has played a lot of flight or driving video games it won't be too rough, but getting both pilots on the same page will be a challenge without rehearsal... too much risk of having all the waiting ruined by giving the stick to someone with all the skill of my wife playing Mario Kart. I got a turn as pilot, gunner, and engineer. Pilot was by far the most fun but also the most pressure. You can overcome a lousy gunner or a slow engineer but a crap pilot is tough to get past. I found engineer to not be that much difference from Mission: Space as an experience, but a bit more challenging. Gunner required a bit of suspension of where the true gunner chairs are on the Falcon and what the sightings are like, but was still fun. The queue for this ride is part of the experience, both as an interactive storytelling experience and as a love letter to fans of the Millennium Falcon. I'll admit it; I got a little choked up sitting at the Dejarik table inside the Falcon, just like I'd sit my Luke Skywalker action figure there in my best friend's Millennium Falcon when we were kids while his Han Solo figure sat in the cockpit. And there's a color coded wait right before you enter, kind of a hybrid of the Dumbo queueless queue and the 30 Rock waiting room at the Jimmy Fallon ride at Universal Studios Orlando. You're put into a group of six, assigned a color, and then the role cards are distributed. For us, they allowed trading roles but not colors. But I could see a stink being put up for a twosome wanting to trade out of a color because they got engineer instead of pilot. Disneyland sells beer now. That's new. I sampled a Bad Motivator IPA. Not my thing, but IPAs in general aren't my thing. The milks were pretty good and will be a ton of fun for kids and something you will be able to re-create at home. Didn't get the full feel of the light saber builder show. It looked like they are going for an Ollivander's type thing bringing people in small groups, and choosing someone (presumably a kid) to test different light sabers for the young Padawan. This shtick works well at Ollivander's since it's authentic from the books and movies. But I don't want to be the parent who has their kid chosen for light saber testing then told they can't have it because the saber is 199 "imperial credits". Sure at Universal they are charging $40-50 for that stick of plastic, but the sensors on the ends can execute "magic" tricks at stations when done properly. No such luck at SWGE. The build-a-droid thing was really cool. As a frequent parkgoer who knows what a premium time is within the Parks, I would have preferred the build-a-droid out in Downtown Disney/Disney Springs because building one can take a while, but the mix of classics and customized pieces are really well-done. But I didn't buy one. For those of you going to DLR these first few months... they are doing the timed entry thing by sending one group en masse at entry time, and that group is who is in there for the next four hours. They aren't sending people in and out every hour like I'd expected. Our guess is waiting to hit up Smuggler's Run until a little later in that four-hour time will probably have a shorter wait, as there will be a crush to the queue at open but a lot of people only riding it once. And without fresh meat coming in every hour, that line should thin out after two hours or so. So yeah, I'm not going to apply for DPMP again. After really thinking about it, I realized what I really want is to be chosen to the Panel, not do the actual work of the Panel or launch my own Disney-related brand before or after. My interests are too broad. And with the kid at the top of her class after two years of high school, 99th percentile standardized test scores, and a group project for her Energy & Sustainability class last spring that might escalate into a patent application, she needs her father around supporting her at homework and activities time, assisting in the college search and selection, not playing Disney Trip Planner for little compensation and no plan to leverage the exposure. So that's what I'll be focusing on the next couple years. I'll have more time to play after the kid moves out. So don't expect me to participate in this thread much going forward. But we are going to WDW for the kid's birthday this fall (we booked the trip thinking SWGE Orlando wouldn't be open yet and the Parks would be a little less crowded; whoops) so I might livepost from queues there to help my cope with the waits. Thank you for your time.
  8. What has two thumbs and is going to the Galaxy's Edge media event at Disneyland on Thursday? This guy. Have fun at the office.
  9. Good call. I’m out. For good. Later Dodds. You win. You’ve demonstrated over and over again you aren’t interested in holding yourself to the same standards you expect the users here to adhere by. I can’t continue to participate in this community if you’re going to continue to behave like this. Bye.
  10. OH COME ON Users here get admonished all the time for making statements like this. Poor form.
  11. What examples from Trump’s adult life show he tries to be honest about any subject? Acosta is a critic of the administration, but he’s not a fundamentally dishonest person. Trump is fundamentally dishonest. Trump couldn’t even be honest about his own words when asked about them. The Acosta part wasn’t even Trump’s worst action during the presser. That goes to Trump cutting off a reporter who tried to ask him about white nationalists and called it a racist question.
  12. The voters who sat out 2014 and/or 2016 but turned out for Sharice Davids in 2018 were motivated primarily by health care concerns. That was the message that kept connecting. Over and over we heard from voters concerned about health care costs, worried about access to insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, excited by the possibility of detaching health insurance from employer to increase job change flexibility (and economic opportunity). So many people scared of getting sick and going bankrupt from medical bills.
  13. Borowitz: “Unskilled Wisconsin Man Unable To Keep Job”
  14. A high school friend recently got a form letter response from Gardner’s office where the staffer forgot to fill in the form letter fields. He posted a screenshot of it. It literally said “thanks for contacting me about ________” with the blank not filled in. And a spot where a paragraph should have been inserted just read “CONTENT”. He joked “feel free to refer to this letter for any future correspondence with this office”.