Monday, June 30, 2008

We Went to Disney World!

Saturday morning, June 21, at 8:35 the family boarded the plane for Orlando via Dallas. Mrs. Driller, myself, our daughter, her husband, and the four members of the grandcrew. It was the first plane trip for the two youngest and they made the most of it.

De plane, de plane!!

We arrived in Orlando about 3:00 local time. It was raining, which is normal central Florida weather this time of year. By the time we got to the resort, the rain had quit, the humidity had set in, but it was cooler. After we got checked in, we headed to Downtown Disney. We had made arrangements with Disney to pick up our luggage at the airport and deliver it directly to the resort, great service! Our hotel was only a few blocks from DD. We stayed in a two bedroom condo at Saratoga Springs Resort on Disney property. This is the most convenient way to visit Disney World. All of your transportation is provided via bus or monorail. At Downtown Disney we purchased the first round of souvenirs. I got a baseball cap that chronicled the history of Mickey Mouse. The cap would be my constant companion the remainder of the week. Although we had purchased a Disney Deluxe Meal Plan, we had dinner at Rain Forest Cafe that evening. The food was excellent and the grand crew enjoyed the atmosphere.

My New Hats!

After dinner we wandered through a few more shops before heading home. I began to collect a few Disney pins. This is something that I resisted five years ago, but what can I say, this is probably our last trip to see Mickey and friends so I spent a little more money on silly stuff than I might have otherwise.

My Mickey Pins

Once that our shopping was completed , it was time to walk back to the resort and bring a close to day one at Walt Disney World. Stay tuned, tomorrow we're going to Hollywood Studios. It's Star Wars week-end! You don't want to miss it.

Note: In additon to all of the shops, Downtown Disney has plenty of food and entertainment. There is Rain Forest Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Wolfgang Puck, Raglan Road (Irish Pub & Grill), Fulton's Crab House, Cirque Du Soliel, Disney Quest (video gamer's Nirvanah), House of Blues, and a 24 screen cinema among the line-up. You're sure to find something to entertain you.
As always, just click on any photo to enlarge and see the details. You might want to do that for the pins.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sneak Preview Part II

OK, I've been through the 500 photos and I have thinned the herd down to about 100 good shots. That's still way too many for three or four posts this week, so I am going to post a few of my favorite grandcrew photos now. Disney is about kids and those who are still kids at heart. Some of the best photos are just kids being kids and not necessarily the posed pics. None the less, here are some of each for your enjoyment. Actually they're for my enjoyment, you can look over my shoulder if you like. As always, click on any photo to enlarge.

The Grandcrew

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sneak Preview

We're HOME!!!
I have over 500 photos to go through so it will be a few days before I post a few of my favorites, however, Disney World is more than just rides and shows. If you look around, you will find some excellent photo opportunities. Here is a short sneak preview of a couple of my favorite shots.
Disney Land and Disney World are defined by Cinderella's castle. The most common view is looking directly at the front of the castle, but there are other great views available.
You can click on any photo to enlarge.

Here is the most common view, looking down Main Street USA. This angle will ALWAYS be filled with people.

Standing on the bridge leading to Tomorrow Land provides this shot. Look, no people!

Looking over the rooftops in Fantasy Land provides this view. The only way to eliminate the crowd is to crop them out.

This view is from another bridge between Tomorrow Land and Fantasy Land. Look, no people again!!! This is probably my favorite view.
Ok, that's it for the preview. Stay tuned for the whole story. The saga begins on Tuesday. Until then, "Have a magical day."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Let's Make Some Magic

We are less than 24 hours from take-off! Tomorrow we will be traveling to Disney World! We will be leaving at 8:30 am CDT and flying from NW Arkansas, through Dallas to Orlando. Our arrival time is 2:30 pm EDT.
Yesterday I finished up everything at the office. Busy day! After twenty years of dreaming, two years of design and drawings, fifteen months of construction, we signed the Certificate of Substantial Completion and took possession of our new building. I finished packing up my office since the move will happen while I am gone. That means I get to unpack twice when we return from vacation (my bags and my office).
Last night I got the yard mowed so that it won't look like a pasture when we return. We've had so much rain this spring that I have been mowing twice a week lately. Later, I spent some time checking my camera gear and laptop to be sure all of it was packed. Getting on the plane with a backpack filled with camera equipment might be a bit of adventure.
Today, the final packing begins. Most of my stuff is in my suitcase, it's just a matter of double checking everything. Gotta get my hair cut later this morning. Then I can enjoy the rest of the day.
This most likely will be the last post until we return. Four adults, four kids, Disney World, it's going to be an exciting week and I doubt if there will be any down time for blogging. Most of my down time will be spent downloading photos and videos shot each day into the laptop or burning the information to discs. When we return home, you can expect to be overwhelmed with vacation photos and posts. So, enjoy the vacation from this place, visit among your selves and I'll see you back here in a week.

It's Friday. It's time for the inspirational song. What could be more appropriate than "I'll Fly Away"? Enjoy!

I'll Fly Away" - Kim Hopper & David Phelps

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Thirteen No. 28

Thirteen Signs You're Getting Old

Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) as a group are generally in age denial. We're getting older we just don't want to admit it and we certainly don't want to act like it. The awful truth of the matter is that we are indeed getting older, whether we like it or not. So, here are few signs that you may be getting older.
1. You would love to own a new Nissan 350Z, but you have absolutely NO interest in a six speed manual transmission.

2. You would love to own a new Nissan 350Z, but there is NO way you're going to give up your pick-up truck!
3. You don't belong to a health club, it's called a Wellness Center and you must be at least 50 years old to join.
4. After thier work-outs, the guys at the Wellness Center don't compare bench press numbers, they compare blood pressure numbers.
5. You are the oldest commenter on every blog that you visit.
6. You're pretty sure that you know more about the Bible than that TV evangelist that's always asking you to plant that seed of faith in his wallet.
Everyone in your office comes to you for advice because of your vast experience.
8. Your boss comes to you to learn about the history of the company.
9. You have started reading the obituary column to see if any of your high school classmates are listed.
10. If you and three of your friends decide to go skinny dipping and you look like this
11. You don' t see anything wrong with the third guy's footwear.
12. Your favorite radio station plays nothing but 60's Top 40 music.
13. Your idea of a great family vacation is taking the grand kids to Disney World!!!

Well, we're going to find out if No. 13 is a good idea next week. Saturday we are leaving with the family and the four grandcrew to Disney World. The result is that there will probably be no posting from me next week. However, when we get back, you can expect multiple posts and lots of photos.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Countdown Begins

We're less than one week away from our trip to Disney World. The packing and final plans will begin in earnest now. I have packed most of my camera bag and there may not be quite enough room for everything. I have my digital SLR, my digital point & shoot, my wife's digital point & shoot (4 AA batteries required here) and we now own a digital camcorder. There is plenty of room for the cameras, but the accessories are another issue. Of course each camera has it's own special battery, and it's own charger...and none are interchangeable. I think it's a conspiracy. Oh yeah, there is the laptop and it has its own charger too.
Clothing is a whole other issue. Since we have a two bedroom unit with a washer and dryer, I am willing to bet I can pack everything I need in a carry-on bag. I'm not going to actually do that, but I'll bet I can.
We will be leaving Saturday morning and returning home the following Friday. That probably means that there will be NO posts on this site next week. I'll be too busy with the grandcrew to do any blogging. We have a 5 day park hopper pass and a meal plan, so there will be few out of pocket expenses once we arrive. Now, while you may be thinking this trip is all about the grandcrew, let me assure you that I do have a day for myself. After all this is my trip. I have celebrated my 20th anniversary with the firm where I work. After twenty years of service, the firm awards you with a trip for two anywhere in the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. We picked Orlando and Disney World because we wanted to share the trip with someone, and who better than the grandcrew?
What about my day you ask? Well Thursday, I have booked a guide, a bass boat and I will spend the morning bass fishing the lakes of Epcot. It will be just the guide and myself. I am really looking forward to this little adventure. While I am going to enjoy every minute with the family, I have a feeling that this extra activity has the potential to be the highlight of the trip for me, especially if there is a 6-10 pound bass in it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day!

It's another opportunity to show our patriotism and wave "Old Glory"! Today is Flag Day!
The following are a few fun facts that I found about this non-holiday celebration. So fly the flag, wear the red, white, and blue, and be proud of the principles that on which this great nation was founded. Have a great Flag Day.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag.

Since 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14, Americans have commemorated the adoption of the Stars and Stripes by celebrating June 14 as Flag Day. Prior to 1916, many localities and a few states had been celebrating the day for years. Congressional legislation designating that date as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949; the legislation also called upon the president to issue a flag day proclamation every year.

According to legend, in 1776, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new nation. Scholars debate this legend, but agree that Mrs. Ross most likely knew Washington and sewed flags. To date, there have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers' preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag's forty-eight stars into six rows of eight. The forty-nine-star flag (1959-60), as well as the fifty-star flag, also have standardized star patterns. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959.

When : Always June 14th

Flag Day, is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers and makers. Our flag is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a proud and glorious history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it. It even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.

As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. So raise the flag today and every day with pride!

Properly Display Our Flag

There is a right way and a wrong way to display the flag. The American flag should be held in the highest of regards. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag. Here are the basics on displaying the American flag:

  • The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
  • The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
  • The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
  • After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It's called "half staff" on land ,and "half mast" on a ship.
  • When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field , or "union", is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your house).
  • The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
  • The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
  • Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
  • Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
  • When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.

Did you Know? There is a very special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see.Your local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, give it to them. And, attend the ceremony.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day

It's Friday and Father's Day is just around the corner. Don't forget to do something special for him, even if it's only a phone call to tell him how much you appreciate him. If you are a father reading this, Happy Father's Day a little early.
If you're a father with children still at home and under your guidance, you have the most important responsibility in the world, raising children. It's not supposed to be just a mother's job. In fact, dad is supposed to set the tone for the house. It is his guidance and leadership that the family is expected to honor and respect. Of course a father's guidance and leadership is supposed t be worthy of honor and respect. That is why we are to follow the guidance and leadership of our Creator and Heavenly Father. God's Word provides us with everything that we need to live a life that honors Him and to live in peace with the world around us. It provides us with all of the information necessary to raise our children into happy, well adjusted adults. What most of us who are fathers or grandfathers really need is nothing more than a daily closer walk with our Heavenly Father.

A Closer Walk With Thee - Randy Travis

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday 13, the Movie Meme

I wasn't sure what I would do this week for a Thursday Thirteen, then I stumbled on this meme over at Keepin' it Rural. I liked it and thought I'd share my answers with you.

The Movie Meme

1. One movie that made you laugh Parenthood. This is one of the Steve Martin fatherhood movies that I really enjoyed. Father of the Bride was great, but since our daughter was getting married about that time and I was a living "Father of the Bride", I didn't see the humor in it until a couple of years later.
2. One movie that made you cry, Old Yeller. OK, so I'm two days older that water. Get over it. There's gonna be several answers here that you will think are ancient.
3. One movie you loved when you were a child, Lady and The Tramp. I was nine years old when I saw this movie and I have always love animated features. I've gotta kidnap the grandson so I have a reason to go see Kung Fu Panda.
4. One movie you’ve seen more than once The Godfather.
5. One movie you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it, Romeo & Juliet (1968 version). Who knew I would like Shakespeare. My bride to be and I were dating and I thought I'd be a romantic and take her to see it. We saw it in 1973. She cried all the way home. I didn't do that again.
6. One movie you hated, Moulin Rouge. I've tried two or three times to watch this on video and I just can't get through it.
7. One movie that scared you , Jaws.
8. One movie that bored you, The Out of Towners, starring Jack Lemon. I love Jack Lemon but this is the only movie I actually can remember getting up and walking out on.
9. One movie that made you happy, American Graffiti.
10. One movie that made you miserable, Pulp Fiction. I really don't like spending that much time trying to figure out what's going on. It's another movie that I have tried to watch a couple of times on video and finally just gave up on.
11. One movie you weren’t brave enough to see, Platoon. I spent a year in Viet Nam, I didn't need to see this.
12. One movie character you’ve fallen in love with, Boss Spearman, Robert Duvall's character in Open Range. If this movie is on TV when I walk by, it will still stop me in my tracks and I will wind up watching the remainder of the film. This is a classic western, complete with gun fight at the OK corral at the end. I love this film.
13. The last movie you saw, American Gangster with Denzel Washington. Different role for him, but a good movie.

14. The next movie you hope to see, Kung Fu Panda. I told you, I like animated features.
So, what movies would you use as answers to these questions?

Monday, June 9, 2008


In keeping with my recent randomness, I found this meme over at "The Bluest Butterfly". I thought it was very interesting and decided to play along. So, here goes.

Week of June 9: Fill in the blanks.....
1. My best friend wife. She may be the most detail oriented person I know. On her very worst day, she is more organized that anyone else I know on their very best day. I have come to appreciate and rely on that part of her personality.
2. I love it bride and I have a day together to just piddle. We may start with breakfast at IHOP, Mimi's, or Cracker Barrel and just let the day go where it may. We might shop, take in a matinee movie, or wander through a few flea markets. It doesn't really matter as long as we can spend the day enjoying the company of one another.
3. My favorite movie is________________because_______________. Jeremiah Johnson because I love the characters that Robert Redford and Will Geer play. It has everything I like about motion pictures, and it is clean.
4. I can't stand it when________________________. I have to deal with a major personnel issue at the office. I used to be an architect, now there are days when I feel like I'm running an adult day care with seventy-five clients.
5. If I could have any job in the world it would be___________________. Singer/songwriter/musician. Of course I have absolutely no talent to do any of these. I love music and would give anything to be talented enough to actually create music that people would want to listen to and purchase.
6. Most weekends I _____________ _______. Blog a little, get what ever personal errands done that I can't do during the work week.
7. _____________ tastes so good! Almost any one of the cheese cakes from Cheesecake Factory!
8. Why does _______________________?every new cell phone come with more features than I need, and still not get a clear, stable signal.
9. I have lots of _________________ around the house. books and writing utensils. I'm an architect, we're suckers for spiffy new pens and pencils. Most of my books are informational, not novels. I'm not an avid reader so the books are there for reference.
10. Blogging satisfies my need for ________________. sharing common interests with others from around the country and around the world. When you think about it, the Internet is truly amazing.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Miscellaneous Ramblings

It's Friday. I've got a few thoughts running around in my head and an order of business to take care of. First of all I want to thank Mama Archer for the "You Make My Day" award. I'm glad that I make someone's day. Some days there are people who wish I wasn't in their day. Well, stuff happens. Moving right along, I would pass this award on to blogs that make my day.
1. IdolBlogLive (DJ Slims Place). This is undoubtedly the best American Idol blog on the net.
2. Ornery's Wife. This comes from my childhood hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma and we have more in common than you might imagine.
3. Trav's Thoughts. Travis and I share too many common traits. Our tastes in music, television, and movies are so similar it's scary. Trav has some wonderful posts.
4. Bonds Big Leather Couch. Bond and I are kindred spirits is music tastes. He shares his vast knowledge and collection with us every day. It is a regular stop on my blog rounds each day.
5. Doubledeckerbuses. Matthew is a wonderfully funny Canadian. He's a political moderate, that's politic talk for common sense.
6. Comedy Plus. Sandee provides humor every morning and an occasional game for us to play while she's away on the boat for the week-end.
Ok, now that I've passed the award along, I can get on with other stuff.
Second, I did enjoy participating in the Blog Blast for Peace. It gave me an opportunity to share my faith and to speak to the issue of peace through God's Word. That was fun. It gave me an idea for another post later. It will take some work and digging around or the right pictures, but that's OK. I probably will wait until I get back from vacation.
Vacation!!! We're two weeks out from Disney World!!! WoooooHOooooo!!!!! Buckle up your chin straps and brace yourselves for multiple Disney posts when we get home. This place will be filled with pics of the grandcrew and Disney characters. Well, stuff happens.
Finally, it's Friday and that means an inspirational song. We did go see the Booth Brothers last Friday night. Our friend with ALS did get to attend and it was a special evening. However, since I shared two Booth Brothers songs with you last week, I will move in a different direction today.
In fact I am going to move away from Southern Gospel and into Contemporary Christian music.
Here is Mercy Me performing "Bring The Rain". Enjoy.

Bring The Rain - Mercy Me

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

I've been a little random in my participation of Thursday Thirteen lately. There's no particular reason except that I have a lot of things going on right now and some Thursdays just sneak up on me before I get something posted. So to honor my recent randomness, I thought I would find thirteen random quotes and share them with you. Some are humorous, some are thought provoking and most are from unknown sources. Enjoy.

1. Don't take life too seriously, no one gets out alive anyway.

2. Never regret something that once made you smile.

3. Hate is easy, love takes courage.

4. I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

5. If we are a stranger to all of the people around us, are we a stranger to ourselves.

6. Take what you can from your dreams and make them as real as possible.

7. I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're headed and hook up with them later.

8. If a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman around to hear him, will he still be wrong?

9. In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is so weird, people take prozac to make it normal.

10. Do you know why they call it PMS? Because "Mad Cow Disease" as already taken.

11. Do not go where the path may lead. Go where no one has gone, and leave a trail.

12. Don't worry about the people in your past. There's a reason they didn't make it into your future.

13. Always be yourself. Because people that matter, don't mind and people that mind, don't matter.

Well there you have it. Not terribly original and maybe a little out of character, but random none the less.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blog Blast For Peace

Today is Blog Blast For Peace. I found this a very interesting meme so I thought I'd add my two cents worth to the conversation. First I went to Mimi Writes blog and downloaded one of several peace globe options. I put my message on them and e-mailed them back to her.
The truth of the matter is, there is no peace without Christ, either personally, or globally. Peace will not be worldwide until His return. Time and space do not permit me to expound much more and it would probably have very little impact on the thinking of others anyway. So with that in mind, I offer some scripture verses that point us in the direction of peace. Peace be with you.

God Bless America!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Smokin' In The Boys Room

Last Friday I purchased this new charcoal grill/smoker at SAM's Club. It is smokin'! It took the better part of three hours to put together, but it was worth the effort! I can't wait to fire it up this week-end and cook something. As you have probably noticed this is a charcoal grill. I am a traditionalist. I use hardwood charcoal (no briquettes please) and hickory chips soaked in water for that true smoked flavor. I have never used propane and I don't suppose I ever will at this point.

This grill has a number of really nice features. First of all it has that little side firebox for indirect cooking. This will allow for slow smoking meats like pork loins and beef brisket. In the main firebox there are two charcoal baskets and they are adjustable. You can build a fire in one side and still do semi-indirect cooking on the other half of the grill. There is also a warming tray in the top of the unit. Like I said, I can't wait to fire this baby up! Friday night will probably be burgers for my bride and I. Saturday, I just may smoke a pork loin for the fun of it. I'll take pics of the finished product.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

This past week we lost another great television comedian, Harvey Korman. Korman was best known for being a part of the outstanding cast of the The Carol Burnett Show in the mid to late sixties. I loved this show. Harvey spent a great deal of time playing the straight man for Carol or Tim Conway, and he did it brilliantly. Tim and Harvey spent much of their time trying to break each other up during the sketches. One of my favorite comedy sketches of all time involves Tim Conway as a young dentist and Harvey as his first patient. While this clip may showcase Tim's comedy talent, the chemistry between two is evident. They were partners and friends. The world will be a little less funny without Harvey Korman.

Harvey Korman: February 15, 1927 - May 29, 2008
Tim Conway & Harvey Korman - The Dentist