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Archive from April 2007

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Sunday, April 29, 2007 5:02PM
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5:02 PM - Adventureland Park, Iowa (posted by Allen )
This weekend was the opening of Adventureland here in Des Moines, Iowa (well, Altoona actually). Saturday was a big "say no to drugs" type day with plenty of school buses, police cars, etc. It's always a sight to see the cruisers parked inside the front gates on display.

Some minor changes were noticed this year. First, the entire front entrance (outside the gates) has been repaved, and a new "A" is placed in the ground in front of the center ticket booth. Very nice. The entrance gates were also redone with a new shade shelter, and the removal of those turnstyles for exiting. When we exited on Saturday and Sunday, we just went out through an open gate. I'm sure this will help speed up exiting during peak times.

Not alot of major updates this year -- it seems Coca Cola has a bigger presence in the park. Coke machines were added in various places. Dr. Pepper is also more visible -- is this new? Was it Dr. Pepper previously, or Mr. Pibb (since that is a Coke product)? Since I'm a big Dr. Pepper fan, this is fine with me. Several places are also offering a long list of coffee type drinks -- it appears the park has acquired some kind of fancy machine that makes Chai, mochas, etc. at the touch of a button (perhaps using the powdered mix stuff you find at so many places these days). I look forward to trying them out.

The Main Street Cafe was still serving chicken and such, which is good since this is one of my favorite places to eat in the park. The pricing remains reasonable -- $5.50 for a two piece and two sides meal, and drinks around $2.25 for mediums.

Magician Ben Ulin was back in the Saloon and we saw Bernie the dog at the front gate, so the usual characters are there. The Sodas n' Sounds (or Sodas & Sounds depending on which signs you look at) was doing the 60's "Beat Goes On Show" (again? at least some of the songs were the same) and a country show. The Chapel has a tribute to Iowa-themed music, but I haven't caught it yet.

I'll get some pictures up from the craft show a few weekends ago, and from opening weekend, when I have time. I ran in to one of the family members who run the park today and had a great chat about park merchandise (I want a shirt with the classic logo on it, but they don't have one). It was very cool to meet him -- kinda like running in to a Disney at a Disney park! (Of interest, they seemed aware of this website.)

More to come...

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9:56 AM - We're back! Thanks for the interest. (posted by Allen )
I received an InternetSeer alert today that this site was offline, and when I finally got to check it out, I noticed it was just from being over bandwidth. Good job, gang! The more you view/download, the more I'll allocate for this site. I've added another 10GB of bandwidth to this account so that should help out.
Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:01PM
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9:01 PM - New Disney video podcast. (posted by Allen )
I've finally gotten around to starting my non-3D video podcast. You can find a link over at or subscribe direct from iTunes or this URL:

I have over 200 hours of digital video from Disney parks and such, and I'm finally sorting through it all. This video starts back in 1999 (when I first bought the digital camcorder). Later videos (2006) have all been shot in HD. The feed will be a format that is designed for the AppleTV and iPods.

The first video will be up in coming weeks, and if you subscribe you will automatically receive new videos when I post them. Direct links will also be provided for folks who just want to manually save out the videos.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 4:36PM
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4:36 PM - One of my videos may air on national TV... (posted by JohnPaul )
...but probably won't. Just a quick update. Last Friday, I received a call from a production house in Hollywood that is working on an upcoming ABC special for Dick Clark Productions. One of the TV commercials I produced a few years ago was found on, and they had me FedEx priority overnight them a copy (on their dime, even). I think it's unlikely the spot will make the final show, but it's nice being considered. The special will be a "bloopers and funny local TV ads" show, and here's the video they were interested in:

Just something fun.
Saturday, April 14, 2007 1:10AM
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1:10 AM - Thanks to (posted by Allen )
A big thank you to Werner of for sending me copies of my own files. Last year, I send him a six DVD set of my Disney photos for use on Yesterland, and thankfully, he held on to them. I therefore have all my 1996-2005 Disney photos intact.

All the December 2006 Walt Disney World photos appeared okay, but I was missing some from my October 2006 (two evening) visit. I have since found quite a few of them, including some pics that were "missing" but still on a 1GB memory stick I had yet to download.

Instead of being short 15,000 photos, maybe I'll end up missing just a few thousands (and only a handful of Disney related pics). So far, so good.

It's been a long week.
Sunday, April 8, 2007 1:09PM
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1:09 PM - Thousands of photos lost... oops. (posted by Allen )
In 2002, I had a hard drive issue that caused me to lose all my photos I took that year. Since then, I've made sure I had two hard drive images of all my photos, and also back them up to DVD-R.

Last night, my primary 250GB hard drive system Crashed. This was two 250GB drives in a RAID mirror, so the data is duplicated. The RAID was done since I've had three Western Digital drives die on me (I no longer use WD products). Unfortunately, this was a logical error, not a physical one, and the file system was corrupt. I spent $99 on a disk utility to repair the directory, but the end result was a drive that I could see, but had 115GB extra space than it should have.

I lost 115GB of data.

Now, all my photos are backuped up EXCEPT for my most recent batches. I don't recall backing up the thousands of photos I took at Disney World during the December trip. They may very well be gone forever unless I have a stack of DVD-Rs somewhere that I forgot about.

I also lost all my podcast master files -- this includes Park Hopping Podcast, Disgrunteld Disney Dweeb, Priuscast, Pirate Comedy Show, Rencast, and a few others. Very devastating, since NONE of these were backed up beyond using the RAID array. It's just not practical to duplicate this further. (I already have over 2.6 terrabytes of external hard drive storage for all my media projects; all of that is redundant, meaning every video file exists on two drives. The photos, though, were trusted only to the RAID array.)

Lessons are learned hard, and this is another example of that. I'll be occupied over the coming weeks trying to assess the damage and recover what I can from DVD-R backups. But, it looks like the thousands of new files I took on this last trip are gone.

Addendum: Fortunately, I never formatted the mini hard drive I used during this trip. I downloaded photos each day to it, and it has all the original photos from the December 2006 visit - 13 GB worth. Whether or not I have any enthusiasm to resort all those photos and respot them any time soon is another issue . . .
Saturday, April 7, 2007 2:26PM
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2:26 PM - WDW photo update in progress. (posted by Allen )
I have been having some intermittant networking issues lately, which is making the photo updates go a bit slower than I would like. For the next few days, there may be broken links inside the Walt Disney World photo gallery. If you find issues anywhere other than the WDW gallery, please take a moment and let me know. As far as I am aware, everything should be working as it always has.
Friday, April 6, 2007 7:03PM
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7:03 PM - 11,818 Walt Disney World photos... (posted by Allen )
Well, tonight I finally got around to sorting through the Disney/MGM Studios pictures I took this past December. I also remembered I had a thousand or so camcorder pictures taken at things like Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones, parades and other things. The photos are going to be uploaded over the next few days. There will be updates in all four parks, so check them out.

The new total of Walt Disney World photos appears to be 11,818.

Sea World photos will follow...
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