November 21, 2005

Oreo was super snuggle boy last night and shared a pillow with me and layed right against me. It is really hard to get yourself out of bed in the morning with a dog that is so affectionate. I had to get up and call Castile because I killed their main computer on Friday and they are without it this morning. But they said that they really didn’t need it and could easily make due today without it. So that saved me from having a crazy, awful morning. I was going to have to make a run to Home Depot in Henrietta first thing this morning just to pick up a few dollars of parts and then run down to Leicester, get Jeremy and then run down to Castile all to fix a single computer to get them through today. Then be there all day tomorrow. I am really relived that they don’t need me to do that. It would have been even worse because Dominica and I are planning on going to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire early this afternoon and that would have been yet another trip to Rochester. Now I can combine the trips and not waste nearly so much time. HP&tGoF is playing at the Tinseltown DLP theatre in Gates so we are really excited. We have not had a chance to see anything in that theatre since Star Wars III was there and that was the first movie that they ever showed there. So this will be exciting. We are really hoping that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will be shown there. That would be awesome.

Because my plans got totally changed this morning I was able to catch dad just as he was about to walk out the door and tell him that I was able to do breakfast this morning. Now Jeremy doesn’t have to get up early either on his first day of vacation. He and his mom are going acoustic guitar shopping today now that I don’t need him to go work in Castile with me until tomorrow.

I managed to get a lot of work done on the new WordPress system last night and I am really excited that we might be able to have that up and running in a trial mode in the very near future. So far it looks like a really nice and easy to use program with lots of really cool features. I am really looking forward to being able to use it to run the site. Once we have it in place we will have an opportunity for people to leave comments, for Internet crawlers to actually be able to search the site more effectively, for people to link directly to specific stories and for everyone to be able to subscribe to the site via RSS instead of having to go to the page everyday. That will all be really cool when it is done. The site is so big though that it is going to take a really long time to get everything moved over. There must be well over one thousand entries and possible two thousand that have to be moved over manually and there will probably be some editing to do as well during the transition process. So I can imagine that this will end up taking quite some time.

My Chia Herb Garden seems to be growing well so far. The sweet marjoram is doing really well and the house crop has a nice set of leaves now. They are just tiny but they are just starting to be able to pull in energy from the light source so they should be thriving soon. The dill is doing decently well and is really tall. Only one or two of those plants has any leaves yet but it is just getting started and I expect it to have lots of leaves within forty-eight hours. The chives are just getting going. There are a few sprouts but nothing really exciting yet but they seem to be fine. The cilantro might be dead. I can not quite tell. It started off strong but seems to have collapsed under its own weight and there hasn’t been any noticeable growth for a few days now so I am not convinced that it is doing all right. I might have to replant something else in there. That is okay because Dominica really didn’t want cilantro anyway but hadn’t told me what she did want so I went with that. We still have two seed packets left so we could grow something else quite easily. It has been a little cold in the house and the cilantro might just be wanting some warmth.

I got out some of the rockwool last night and got three rockwool cubes cleaned and soaked and put some of the pepper seeds in them. I think that some of the seeds had sprouted while I had them soaking but I can’t really tell. It will take a few days before we really know if they are doing anything. It only takes a two or three of them to take root and we should have a decent amount of peppers. I planted orange bell pepper which are my favourites. I need to get some Miracle Grow today for all of the plants. I really should get something more complete from the hydroponics store but it is a lot cheaper to go with the Home Depot stuff.

Dominica got back to the house just after eleven. She and Jenn had breakfast at Tim Horton’s – that is two meals in a row there – and Jenn left to go back to Philadelphia straight from there. Unfortunately Min forgot to get copies of the pictures that Jenn took with her digital camera before she left so we don’t have any new pictures from her to put up on the Flickrcast for everyone.

Dad returned the first season of Roswell today. He finished watching it last night. He is hooked now.

I recorded my eighth Scott Reads Bible Podcast today. For the past two days it has been on the podOmatic top 100 list. Not a lot of listeners but a few everyday. I have been looking through the copyright information on some of the newer translations of the Bible and can’t figure out whether or not I am allowed to be recording them the way that I have been. There is no clear definition for how a podcast works since it is in some ways like a radio show and is ongoing and in some ways is an individual recording and is combined audio and text. That makes it really unclear whether or not I fall into the “needing permission in writing” category. I am definitely recording so little at a time that I am not breaching the “length” requirements but the audio constitutes a good portion of the “work” but it is impossible to define what exactly the “work” is. Is the “work” the entire podcast show, in its entirety, ever? Or is it just the portions of the podcast that are available any any given time? Or just a single show within the podcast context? I have no idea. If I was archiving all of the readings somewhere I think that that would clearly need written permission but since I am not I think that I might be okay since no one could ever go out and download whole sections of the Bible. It is a really grey area since there is no definition of “work”. I don’t know. I think that as long as I am only on podOmatic that it is fine the way that I am doing it. There are so few people listening to the show right now that it really doesn’t matter. But just in case it becomes popular I don’t want to have to ask for permission later and be like “Oops, should have asked before.” I am carefully putting in a lot of stuff like the King James Bible so that no single copyrighted version is a very large percentage of the whole. As I write this I think that I am beginning to see that I am fine and that the only way that a problem would come in is if I was reading the Bible straight through, which I am only doing with the KJV, or if I was archiving it someplace like on the Internet Archive where, eventually, there would end up being a complete audio recording of the Bible in every known version. But since we have a total storage area of only 250MB on podOmatic there will only ever be several interspersed chapters from any given translation and never a significant percentage of the whole podcast. Good, that settles that. Eventually I would really like to have all of the work that I am doing hosted on the Internet Archive in a higher quality than I am doing now (32kb/s) but I will most definitely have to have written permission for that.

Dad told me today that Niagara has spent in excess of $1700 on breakfast meetings at the Omega Grill so far this year. That is just over ten months. That is a lot of breakfast.

Today’s great headline: French woman attempts to exit flying aircraft to smoke!. She admitted to taking sleeping pills and alcohol before flying. Umm, okay. Can anyone say drug addict? Sleeping pills, mixed with alcohol and almost killing dozens of people to get a tobacco fix. Just great.

At noon Dominica and I left to go up to Gates to see HP4 at Tinseltown. We were very excited. We have been waiting for this latest installment for some time now. We got there just in time to see the first digital show of the day. There were only ten to twenty people in the theatre. The movie was really good. Maybe the best one yet of the series. I was pretty impressed. Cutting that huge book down to just a single movie was no small project and it had to have been really hard to do. It is too bad that they had to cut so much important personal and character development out to make the movie but it would have been really long and difficult as well. The resulting movie was very action oriented but quite entertaining and really well done. Maybe the most disappointing part of the entire thing was that it was so apparent that the original movie was shot on traditional analogue film and not in a digital format since the digital projector was so good that we could still see the grain from the original! But it still looked awfully good. But definitely not as good as Star Wars III which was totally digital. The thing that really gets me is that at the same theatre they convince people to pay quite a bit extra to see the same movie in the Imax theatre. That makes no sense to me. Imax theatres are not widescreen so watching something in there is like watching regular movies converted for old, legacy televisions. And, since the original film resolution was not good enough to even stand up to the rigors of regular projection using a good projector what would be the benefit of seeing it blown up even more? Imax theatres crop off a large portion of the image and blow the remaining portion up to many times the original size. That means that you only have about half of the original film material to work with and giving you about a 50% reduced film quality over the regular DLP theatre. Then they project it so large that the human eye cannot see things happening at the top and the bottom simultaneously resulting in another effective image quality loss. The end result is a far inferior movie experience that costs more for a silly name that wasn’t even cool when it was new twenty years ago. And, contrary to the apparent popular belief, Imax move are seldom in 3D. In fact, so many people think that Imax means it is in 3D, they have started labeling all of the Imax movie as 2D. Trust me, the digital theatre makes the Imax theatre look like a joke.

Here is another great news RSS feed for you news junkies out there: Reuters. Reuters is a major source of news for everyone else. Another major news source is the Christian Science Monitor which has RSS feeds as well. Just add either of these link locations to your RSS feed aggregator and you will be good to go with plenty of news.

After the movie Dominica and I went to the Pakistan House to get some dinner. We made it just in time to get the buffet before they tore it down. Yummy. Then we went to Home Depot so that I could get some supplies for tomorrow and then did some banking and back home we went.

I have a lot of work that needs to be done tonight so I am quite busy. After getting home Dominica realized that she has a test tomorrow that she has not yet studied for so she got to work on that as quickly as possible. Jeremy called and is coming over tonight to use the Internet and then is spending the night so that it is easier for us to go down to Castile in the morning and get to work right away. We are planning on being down there for pretty much the entire school day to get as much done as possible. There is a lot to do so we are going to be really busy. Hopefully we won’t have too much trouble fixing the one computer that I killed on Friday. That could prove to be a real roadblock if we are not lucky.

Phil called tonight to make plans to go and see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when it releases. We haven’t talked to the Ayers in forever. Several months at least. Everyone keeps asking us if they are still alive and we haven’t had a definite answer. Too bad that we didn’t talk to them yesterday when Jenn was still here.

A little before midnight Dominica and Jeremy made a Tim Horton’s run. This will be Dominica’s third trip to Timmy Ho’s in just twenty-four hours. They must really love us there. When they got back Min said that almost nothing that we had wanted did they still have. Everytime that we go there we find out about more stuff that they are not offering in the late evenings and during the overnight. She is wondering why they are even attempting to stay open a full twenty-four hours if they are not serving during that time. It used to be that they only did not offer soup at night but now they are stopping making donuts, bagels and just about everything else. I understand that they need to have a scaled back menu at night and that it is a lot slower there than they had originally anticipated but if they don’t offer anything than how do they expect anyone to buy anything. It would be like General Motors saying that they had considered selling a personal spacecraft for $80,000 but since no one was buying any that they had proof that no one was interested in any. That hardly makes any sense. People don’t buy what isn’t for sale very often, do they? I can’t believe how many stores use that very logic when determining when to stay open or what products to sell.

I discovered a web site that has some information on Walt Disney World rides that are no longer around. Here are some links to rides that we loved that we didn’t get to ride and tell you all about. My old standby favourite and my parents’ favourite as well from our trip to Disney in 1987 was Horizons presented by General Electric. It was really dated even then but it was a really well done ride. Dominica remembers it from her first time in WDW and she really loved it. Also great in EPCOT was General Motors’ World of Motion. From these pictures you can kind of get a sense as to why Disney felt that they needed to remove these rides and replace them with something more current. But the current rides aren’t any more fun than the dated ones. I never got to see the Magic Kingdom’s Swan Boats because they closed four years before I first went to Disney or even Florida but I think they were a great idea. I have long wondered what those dock like buildings were designed for along the Magic Kingdom’s waterway. Dominica and I were even talking about that while we were there. Of course we can’t forget the original Tiki Room or more appropriately “Tropical Serenade”. The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride vanished several years ago and was never really a cutting edge ride but it was a real ride in Fantasyland and it was fun, especially for kids. This one turned into nothing but a playground. Very sad. The current Winnie the Pooh ride replaced Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride which was pretty bad but better than Snow White used to be. I only ever rode the Skyway once but it was a nice way to skip over boring Fantasyland without being harassed by the rude people and their kids who are far too young to be out in a park with other people. Another ride that was removed and nothing done to replace it. Now the whole thing is nothing but stroller parking. Dominica and my favourtie Magic Kingdom attraction, the Carousel of Progress, has changed a lot over the years. After reading this it takes me back to the things I have seen change from time to time that I have been there. I only barely remember Take Flight but I do remember that it used to be a lot better than a lot of the stuff in Tomorrowland. I do remember Mission to Mars quite well and it was awful. But by awful I don’t mean that it was nearly as awful as the Stitch attraction that is in its place now. My all time favourite thing in all of Walt Disney World will always be Discovery Island – the real, original one that is not its namesake in the Animal Kingdom – and in these pictures you can see some of the classic spots on the island, get some history and there is even a picture of the two capybaras that lived there that I am always telling people about. For those of you who have been to WDW in the past. This should have taken you on quite the trip down memory lane.
Scott in Disney World circa 1992

Scott Alan Miller in Walt Disney World circa 1992 at age sixteen

Who is this total loser? Look at those glasses! Those sneakers! Those old Nike shorts/swim trunks. Are those dolphins on that tee shirt? What a loser I was. I am pretty sure that this picture was taken in 1992. This is me in Disney World on my family’s second vacation there. I figured that since I had found that great web site with information on so many of the old rides that it would be a perfect day to include a picture of me in Disney back when EPCOT was just turning ten.

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