Thursday, March 29, 2007

Peanuts, postage and puppets

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, and also April fool's day, so let's continue a very new tradition of running classic Peanuts comic strips in honor of April 1. I hope you enjoy them! More of my favorite classic Peanuts strips can be found by clicking “April 2006” in my archives listings to the right.


STAMP WARS. There will indeed be a series of stamps honoring "Star Wars" characters. It brings up an interesting issue. It is usually customary to wait until a person has died before honoring them with putting their image on a postage stamp. But Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are still with us! (Not to mention all the other costumed performers). I'm sure they'll be able to handle it (they've already been action figures, after all), but what does this mean for future stamps? Will we get to see more current movie stars? Lindsay Lohan? Chris Rock? Borat? That guy from "Saw?" Bill and Ted? Let us hope we never find out how far this thing will go.

My only complaint about the Star Wars stamps: No Lando! Lando was a big part of the team. We need a stamp for Lando. Hey, I'd love to see a stamp of Leia in the gold bikini, but even more than that, we need one for Lando! Too bad we can't vote him in, but you can vote for which "Star Wars" stamp you'd like to become its own stamp sheet. Vote at the site below:

The "Star Wars" folks are the latest in a growing list of my favorite fictional folks who have been on a U.S. postage stamp. Here are a few others: Popeye, Dick Tracy, Bugs Bunny, Big Bird, Snoopy, Kermit the Frog & Co., Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Dorothy & Toto from "Wizard of Oz," Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, etc.

Which fictional characters would you like to see on a future stamp? Here's my list: Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover, Godzilla, X the owl, Easy Reader, Underdog, Spider-Man, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Sherlock Holmes, George of the Jungle, Ginger from “Gilligan’s Island”, the Fonz

I enjoyed the recent entry on about "one-joke wonder" muppets. Partly because it was so well-written, but also because they actually provide relatively big pictures of said muppets. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a good picture of Forgetful Jones? You can find one here, along with some good shots of other muppets:


Video collecting. What could be an easier hobby? All you have to do is learn how your VCR or DVD recorder works, right? Wrong! This hobby is full of challenges. For example: Some never-before released episodes of "The Electric Company" are now available for purchase! Yay! The bad news: They're only available on the iTunes system. I'm not anit-iTunes (say that five times fast), but the problem is that everything else on video that I collect is on the regular NTSC system. That's a video standard for us in the U.S. And it seems that iTunes video can't be recorded onto a regular DVD (in DVD video format, that is. You can record it as a computer file to DVD, but you won't be able to play it on a DVD player. Are you confused yet?)

So the dilemma is: How can I effectively save copies of these episodes? If they remain in the iTunes format, I'll only be able to watch them on a computer or iPod. It's kind of awkward to have a handful of episodes that I'm unable to watch without an iPod handy. I would definitely prefer DVD or VHS versions of these shows.

I suppose I could always do what I do with YouTube videos and (ugh) set up a camcorder in front of my computer and videotape the clips. That's definitely not the best way to save video clips (there's a loss in quality), but it does work. Wish I didn't have to do that, though. But speaking of Electric Company, posters like nantoreturns have been putting up clips from "Electric Company" on their YouTube pages. Be sure to check them out!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm on YouTube. . .sort of

I’m pleased to announce the beginning of what I hope will be a beautiful friendship between YouTube and I. Announcing “The other side of the island” YouTube channel!

When you go to the site, you will probably notice that at the moment, I have no subscribers. There’s a very good reason for this. I have no videos. :)

Not yet, anyway. At the moment, my YouTube page is just a way of showcasing certain things I’ve seen on YouTube and would like others to see as well. It’s a chance for me to point out clips that I think are noteworthy. YouTube experts like sawing14s and mstatz have been posting clips that are worthy of note for several months now. You can see the ones I wish to showcase in my list of favorites on my “channel.” (“Channel” is YouTube lingo for my main YouTube page.)

My list of favorites will not be static. If I see another clip I like, I’ll probably add it to the favorites - and delete one of my old favorites. That’s not because I don’t like it anymore, that’s just to make room for current clips. I would like you to be able to click on exactly the clip you want from my front page, without having to search through several thousand pages to find the clip I‘m referring to.

Here are the first eight favorite clips that I’d like to present:

1. Gimme Five. Now THIS is classic! Perhaps you needed to grow up with Sesame Street in the 1970s to understand how special this is. David, Bob, Gordon and Luis join forces as “The Lovers of Five” to sing the praises of their favorite number. And not only is it ridiculously fun, but they sound great as they sing together!

2. Grover the Waiter: The Big Hamburger - Classic Sesame Street clip with Grover offering two sizes of hamburger to “Fat Blue.” (Dang, we need to give that guy a better name. Let’s call him “Mr. Johnson,” since that was his name in the singing telegram skit, okay?) Anyway, this is a great example of Sesame St. humor. As you watch the skit, you immediately begin to sense where the joke is going. But even though you know the punch line ahead of time, it doesn’t detract from your enjoyment of the skit. This is one of the more memorable “Grover as waiter” skits.

3. Mr. Rogers Farewell - Mister Rogers recorded a series of brief promos for PBS, and this is one that I had not seen before. It seems to be directed toward those of us who grew up with him, and it is something very special indeed. (By the way, other cast members like Betty Aberlin and Charles Aber also recorded promos for Mister Rogers. Anybody have any of those?)

4. Big Blue Marble Intro. - This is what video collecting was meant to be! Here’s a clip that I thought nobody else in the world would ever know existed!

If you ask somebody what “Big Blue Marble” was, you’ll probably run into few people who actually remember the show. If you ask them to sing the theme song, they’ll begin, “The Earth’s a big blue marble when you see it from out there. . .” But then if you stop them, and ask them to sing the OTHER theme song from “Big Blue Marble,” they’ll say, “What the (bleep) are you talking about? There was no other theme song from Big Blue Marble!”

But there was. And here is the clip to prove it. And although I do like the original theme, this second version is actually a nice song. It’s rare clips like this that make video collecting a personal joy. Here are the lyrics as best as I can transcribe them:

Closer, growing closer.
Perspectives start to change, things look a little strange
As we get closer.

Closer, getting closer.
No need to be afraid, our troubles start to fade
As we get closer.

Together is a word we must learn to understand
If we ever want to get to know each other better.
Together is a word that holds tomorrow in its hand
And tomorrow’s just another day to get together
And get closer
Closer. . .

5. Ernie & Bert role reversal - A unique clip of Ernie trying to imagine what life must be like for Bert. It demonstrates a little bit of empathy from our friend. It’s also one of the longer E&B skits, clocking in at over 4 minutes. YouTube is actually a great venue for showcasing Ernie and Bert, because most of their sketches are relatively short. In fact, the YouTube system could present a great opportunity for Sesame Workshop to showcase some of their classic clips. Are you guys listening? :)

6. Ernie makes Bert a soda - What a great clip! A rare scene of E&B outside their apartment, and a funny skit to boot. “What are friends for, Bert?” Watching this one skit could turn someone into an E&B fan. A must-see!

7. Sesame Street: Keeping the park clean - This clip may not look like much to the average viewer, but it is one of the classic clips from Sesame Street that I had been seeking for years. I’m so glad somebody posted this. Enjoy the beautiful music.

Does anybody know what the beautiful music in this film is? It sounds like a classical piece by Bach or someone like that, but for all I know it was just something specifically written for this film. Please listen to this piece, and if you DO know what it is, please send me a message at, but take out the “nosp” from my address before you do.

8. Friends: Underwear promo - What the world needs now is more pictures of Courteney Cox Arquette in her underwear. Actually, this promo kind of set the stage for the entire series. It was a series that was designed to titillate without being too graphic. Many people spent the next ten years waiting for another underwear scene. And they weren’t entirely disappointed! Among other things, we got to see Courteney in a tight cat suit (rowr!) and a red bikini top. No offense is intended here. But it does seem like Courteney is still playing to essentially the same crowd with her new show “Dirt.” It’s basically a more gritty & graphic version of “Friends.” I’m hoping for a bondage scene next. That would make my life complete. I say she gets tied up within the next two years. (assuming the show is still around). Are we taking bets? :)

When I see a clip that I’d like to showcase, I’ll let you know in a blog posting, and point you back to my YouTube channel, where you can watch it. Since these clips aren’t mine, I am unable to trade them with you via the Internet or any other way. You would have to rely on your “YouTube” download or contact the original poster of the video.

“But where are YOUR clips?” you cry. Well, I’m very much still in the dark ages over here, and I find myself usually working with a very slow Internet connection or a very slow computer or both. It doesn’t make it easy to upload or download huge files. Perhaps later on when things improve, I can add some of my own stuff, but until then, I’m very glad to be able to show what others have done. And actually, in most cases, I can’t improve on what others have already posted.

As you know, YouTube is currently going through some disagreements with Viacom & others who feel that they are infringing upon copyright. In a sense, the outcome of all this could change not just YouTube, but the way we collect data from the Internet. It’s too early to guess what will happen. I’m hoping that both sides will be happy, but I’m especially hoping that the web-surfing public will be happy. Because if they’re not, then neither side really wins.

Who knows? Maybe YouTube is the beginning of real high-quality video sharing over the Internet. Maybe someday we’ll be downloading stuff that looks as nice as the highest-quality video. That day is not today. But until then, we’ll keep YouTubing.
Is that a new verb? Hey, “googling” is, isn’t it?


For a brief introduction to YouTube and a list of what you’ll need to view the videos, check out this post:


A funny thing happened when I visited the United States Post Office web page this week.
( My computer began to make this funny beeping noise. Oh no - what is Windows up to now? What stupid program is it trying to run? Well, the beeping noise continued, and it began to sound very familiar. My suspicions were confirmed when who should crawl across the web page but R2-D2!

Here, courtesy of, is the press release:

"WASHINGTON, D.C. & SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Tomorrow morning in neighborhoods and street corners not so far, far away, hundreds of official U.S. Postal Service blue collection boxes will be transformed into look-alikes of Star Wars character R2-D2 to promote an exciting new adventure on which the Postal Service is embarking with Lucasfilm Ltd.As the legion of Star Wars fans around the world first learned 30 years ago, R2-D2 is the feisty astromech droid who embodies the trust and dependability for which the Postal Service is so renowned.The R2-D2 collection boxes will temporarily replace boxes in highly visible locations across the country. Customers can, of course, drop mail into them just like any other of the 280,000 collection boxes, but there’s a striking difference visually: Not only do the R2-D2 boxes look like the ever-popuar Star Wars character, they feature the address of a website that gives clues about the real meaning behind this unprecedented promotion — details about the promotion will be announced March 28. Look for the R2-D2 mailbox near you… until then, “May the Force be with you.”

This is a mixed blessing. In the movies, R2-D2 is the most reliable droid you could ever hope for. But as George Lucas will tell you, working with R2 is not always a bed of roses. He often bumps into walls, or doesn’t move when you want him to. For the sake of all our mail, let us hope that neither rain, nor snow, or jawa attacks prevent R2 from his appointed rounds.
Now if only the folks from “Star Trek” get into the act. Then we’ll be able to “beam up” our mail! :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Letter to a friend

The daughter of a dear friend of mine recently went through a rough time. Her husband left her, and she was distraught. I don’t know all the details. . . And yet I do. Wouldn’t you think that something as common as romantic rejection would make us all brothers and sisters - united in our caring and understanding about each others’ pain? Well, that’s how it should be, anyway.

My friend has been such a help to me that I wanted to try to help her daughter, and maybe help all of you folks as well. If it helps you, use it. I know I will.

Dear friend,

I recently heard about your bad news. It brought back memories of similar things that have happened to me. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

The most important thing I can tell you is something you may already know. You are going to be okay. Because the one you love has gone, it can feel like the end of the world, and that you will never love again. But do not forget where love comes from. It was in your heart all along. Your beloved helped bring it out, but it was already within you.

Our society does not place value on love of self. We just sort of assume that everyone has it. But everyone does not. Learning to love myself has been one of the most difficult challenges in my life. Why? Because often, no one is helping me do it. But through practice, I can do it and have been doing it. And through doing it, I have learned about myself and about love. I have refined a strength that few people seem to have.

It’s interesting how the stereotype of the “macho” guy makes guys seem tough and rugged and independent. But if this were true, why do these guys get married? Why don’t they just stay out there on the range like Marlboro men? Because they’re human, and they need love just like everyone else. The pain you feel is part of that humanity. It is the price we pay for loving, and it explains why so many people seem unable to love. It’s more like “unwilling.” They don’t want to get hurt again.

As you know, much of romantic love involves “give and take.” The problem arises when one of the people playing the “game” is gone. How do you play catch when there’s nobody there to catch the ball? That’s the struggle we face. We don’t want to have to change the rules of the game. The idea of “playing catch with yourself” sounds ridiculous. And yet we must, at least for a little while. It’s not quite as ridiculous as it seems. It just seems strange because we’ve never actually played the game this way.

You may indeed marry again. In fact, knowing how much you are loved, it’s likely. But one thing is certain - you will definitely LOVE again. That wonderful love will be there no matter what. And this time it will be better, because it will be by your own choice. Again, remember where love comes from. When you play the game this time, you will always catch the ball.

No matter who you find, that person will always be secondary to the person who is most important in your life - you. Your husband can and should do many wonderful things. But you can not and should not expect your husband to meet all of your emotional needs. (Any more than you could meet every single one of his emotional needs!) There is nothing that any man, woman or child on this planet can do to make you feel loved - unless you are able to love yourself first.

This is the great paradox. To feel love from others, we must love them first. And to love them first, we must love ourselves first.

The beautiful poem “After A While” by Veronica Shoffstall sums this up so perfectly. I want to share it with you now, with the “or a man“ line added for my own sake. :)

After A While ©1971 Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman (or a man),
not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.

After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.

And you learn
that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...

I know all this can sound difficult. I have certainly not found many people who can do it. I have, however, found many people who would rather spend the rest of their lives complaining about what a horrible spouse they have, and why did I ever marry this person, etc. Interestingly, they never divorce! For divorce would require a strength that they don’t have. You certainly do not have to live a life like that. You can plant your own garden now.

Regardless of what happens to you, you can always carry with you the loving feelings you have. I know your family cares for you, and as someone who’s been there, I do as well. We are behind you in this. You are not alone. We have all gone through this in some way. “After a while” was written by someone who walked the same path you did.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the book, “How To Be Your Own Best Friend”:

“Everything you do is richer and fuller when love is there. But love is not always there, and how you feel about yourself the times there isn’t someone around to receive and return your love has a lot to do with how rewarding the experience of love is when you have it.”

May the love of your friends, family and God be with you for all time. I know your love is already strong enough to accept all of ours. Your love will always be there.

Yours very truly,


For a little bit more about love & self-love, you might enjoy these two posts of mine. The first involves my “neighbor” and a certain striped tiger.


The following is a true story. I survived. And I’m still friends with the people involved. And I can still love them.


Friday, March 09, 2007

The "Thing" about comic books

IF THIS POST is supposed to be about Captain America’s recent "death," why is there a picture of “the Thing” up here? The answer will become clear as you read on!

If Captain America were a real person, the world would be mourning the news of his recent death in the comics right now. But no one is truly mourning. Nobody seems to be taking this the way a real death would be treated. “But Cap isn't real!” you cry. Very true, but you miss the point. If Cap's fictional “death” is unimportant, doesn't that mean his fictional “life” was unimportant?

Listen to this quote from the E-online Web page:

"This is the end of Steve Rogers, the meat-and-potatoes guy from 1941," (Marvel publisher Dan) Buckley told the wire service. "But Captain America is a costume, and there are other people who could take it over."

“Captain America is a costume.” It reminds me of a line by Iron Man's alter ego, Tony Stark. “Anybody who wears the armor is Iron Man.”

“Captain America is a costume.” That's the attitude these guys have toward these icons. Anyone can do it! Now if ANYONE can leap tall buildings in a single bound – then what makes Superman so super? I'm reminded of the movie “The Incredibles.” If everyone has super-powers, then doesn't that mean that NO ONE does?!

From a business perspective, why should they expect folks to keep buying comic books if it really doesn't matter what happens to the characters? Would you keep watching a show if you didn't really care about the characters – if you knew that whatever happened to them ultimately didn't matter? Hey, if I could come back from the dead, I wouldn't expect anyone to worry too much about my own well-being!

“Captain America is a costume.” With an attitude like that, it's no wonder that these characters are not treated like real people. But they should be. We seem to be turning away from realistic psychological characters in favor of graphic violence. The early Marvel comics featuring characters struggling with personal “real-life” issues don't seem to hold much sway with the current comic book crowd.

Let me tell you the story of my friend Benjamin J. Grimm. You know him better as “The Thing.” To put it mildly, the Thing has lived a rough life. You probably already know about his troubled youth and his exposure to cosmic rays, but let me tell you about what happened to him in just a three-year (or so) time span.

1. He and his friends get kidnapped and taken to a faraway planet and are forced to do battle with a bunch of super-villains. (“Marvel Super-heroes Secret Wars”)

2. After the battles, he decides to stay on the planet to sort things out in his life. While there, he meets an attractive woman and goes through various (G-rated) adventures with her. He is torn by his love for Alicia, his original girlfriend back on earth. But he is later attacked by HIMSELF – the original Ben Grimm, who was somehow psychologically cut off from “The Thing.” He wins the battle, but his attractive girlfriend ends up dying. (“The Thing,” issues 11-24)

3. He returns to Earth to learn that his best friend has stolen the heart of Alicia, his original girlfriend! He gets into a huge argument and (pardon the pun) storms out of the Fantastic Four.

4. He lives as a recluse for a time, then suddenly has to endure a painful physical change into a different kind of “thing.” His solo comic book series ends with him crawling away moaning something like, “Goodbye, cruel world!”

5. About a year later, he is back to his original form as the Thing, and back in the Fantastic Four! He even becomes best man at his old girlfriend's wedding!

You can read a better-written account of all this at the site below:

Now if all of these things happened to a regular person, he would be an emotional wreck! I know that “to forgive is divine,” but for all that crap to happen to somebody without any kind of leftover emotional pain is just too ridiculous to believe. It's easier to believe in “The Thing” than it is to believe that anyone could endure all of this and bounce back none the worse for wear.

And that's the issue here. If people in comics aren't allowed to go through realistic emotional growth, then it makes them seem, well. . .like a cartoon. It's no coincidence that “Fantastic Four 300” pretty much marks the end of my “golden age” of comics. At that point, what more can you say? Apparently you can get beat up and attacked by virtually everybody, and your best friends can betray you, and you're still supposed to go on as if nothing happened.

No thanks. We need to be allowed to grow a little sometimes. You shouldn’t be surprised if someone leaves you after you abuse them.

So don't worry too much about Cap's death. Besides, it seems they'll be making a movie about him pretty soon. So even the folks at Marvel agree. You can die, and it doesn't really matter. When Stan Lee dies, it's no problem. He's just a “suit” anyway. Somebody else will be able to take his place. Right?

Right? . . .

You disagree? Well, then maybe you've outgrown comic books, too.


Blogging friend Fred Hembeck knows what I’m talking about. This is a link to a comic strip of his that shows why it’s a good idea not to take comics too seriously.

My personal “best picture” of the past year would have to be “Phantom of the Opera,” which I saw for the first time and fell in love with immediately. It’s such a great story that I don’t feel there’s much that can be done to improve it. That’s why I was a bit taken aback by the news that there may be a sequel in the works!


Andrew Lloyd Webber "99.9% Sure" for Phantom Sequel!

Tony Award-winning composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber speaks in his latest video blog about his return to the Paris Opera House with a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. He notes that the sequel would follow ideas developed with Frederick Forsyth, who release a sequel to the show in novel form The Phantom of Manhattan in 1999. Webber goes on to say that "there are various things in the plotting that I'm not happy with, but I think that I solved them." Forsyth is said to be "away at the moment" but Webber is hopeful that they'll be able to work it out upon his return since he's "pretty buzzed up about it."

Wow, talk about mixed feelings. Many people on the Phantom message board (link below) don’t like the idea at all, and I can understand why. “Phantom” is a very complete story. There doesn’t seem to be any need for a sequel. It’s sort of like making a sequel to “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.” While it may be possible, it just doesn’t seem necessary.

Not only that, sequels to classics don’t always go over very well. You’ve all seen the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” but have you seen “Return to Oz?” No? Hmm. Well, how about “Journey Back to Oz?” No? Hmmmmm. Well, there’s the sequel to “Gone with the Wind.” It’s called “Scarlett.” Did you see the TV movie? No? Hmmmmmmm. Well, did you at least read the book? No? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

There was a musical sequel to “Annie.“ You didn’t see that one either, did you? I could go on “Hmming,” but you get the idea.

However, sequels are not always bad. It’s possible that another moving and powerful story could be told about the Phantom. It’s possible that the new play (assuming it is made) could be something good. Let’s reserve our judgment for now and go on with our lives. If it’s a great play, hooray! If it’s not - well, we still have the first one. :)

Here’s the great Phantom message board where I first heard about this:

If you’ve never seen the 2004 movie, please do! It’s one of my favorites, and you can read about it here:

Friday, March 02, 2007

Adventure Through Inner Space

“YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. This is the tracking system for an adventure through inner space.” With those words began one of the greatest rides in Disneyland’s history. It was not a roller coaster, not an audio-animatronic show, not a musical show, not a humorous show. It was not a corny show (not intentionally, anyway). It was not a show for toddlers or young kids. In fact, it was almost too scary for them! (I’m sure I’m not the only person who once believed that you really do shrink when you go on this ride!)

The premise of the ride is that you enter your “atommobile” (which looks a lot like the “Doom Buggys” at the Haunted Mansion) which rides into the “Mighty Microscope,” which then shrinks you down to the size of an atom - and smaller! Along the way, you see the water molecules, the protons, neutrons & electrons, then the “universe” within an atom, then finally the blinking red nucleus of the atom! Finally, you quickly grow back to your regular size and exit the atommobile and cry out, “I want to do it again!”

If there is any way to make the basics of atomic chemistry interesting and fun to the general public, it was through this ride. Years later, when I learned more about atoms in high school, I was able to better understand the images I saw in this ride. Monsanto & Disney really should be proud of themselves for helping so many people understand the basics of this stuff. “Big Thunder” may be fun, but what did you really LEARN from it? The only thing I learned is “Don’t trust a runaway train!”

Just for fun, here are the lessons of some other famous Disneyland attractions:

MAIN STREET, U.S.A.: Buy stuff.

STAR TOURS: Robots aren’t perfect.

AUTOPIA: Do not bump the car ahead of you.

MATTERHORN: Don’t ever, ever piss off the abominable snowman.

JUNGLE CRUISE: You can not always trust the person who is guiding you.

MISTER TOAD’S WILD RIDE: Drive like a maniac and you’ll go to hell.

Back to Inner Space : I’m not the only fan of past Disneyland rides. If you’ve never visited the Extinct Attractions club, now is the time. They offer videos of footage from Disneyland past, including “Inner Space” footage! They also have a great podcast page which includes audio clips from many favorite attractions. I am definitely thankful that these folks are around to preserve the history of Disneyland in this way. You can check them out here:

If it’s only the Inner Space ride that you’re interested in, then this is the page for you. This great tribute to the ride will teach you just about everything you wanted to know. And it's designed by a fellow SoCal native!

And how about the great Paul Frees, whose voice can be heard not only in “Inner Space,” but so many other Disneyland attractions as well, including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion (he’s the original “Ghost Host”) ! His classic voice can also be heard in the original “War of the Worlds” movie, one of my faves from the 1950s era. His voice was definitely an important “special effect” in that ride. You can learn more about him by following the link under "history" at the site above.

The Inner Space ride was in the location that “Star Tours” is today. Star Tours is great in its own way, but it can’t replace shrinking you down to the size of an atom! If I could bring back one ride from the Disneyland of my youth, it would probably be this ride. I have been told that this was one of the greatest “make out” rides in the history of the park as well. Man, what a cool idea! Making out on a Disneyland ride! Let’s face it, there aren’t too many other rides you can do that on. People will stare at you! I suppose you could do it quickly while on “Haunted Mansion,” but somehow it’s not the same. I’d feel more comfortable making out within the universe of an atom than in front of those hitchhiking ghosts. Hey, buddy, who let YOU in here, anyway? Get your own girl! :)

FAVORITE EXTINCT DISNEYLAND ATTRACTIONS: Adventure through Inner Space; America the Beautiful; America Sings; Original Submarine Voyage; Mission to Mars; Country Bear Jamboree

FAVORITE DISNEYLAND ATTRACTIONS: Pirates of the Caribbean; Matterhorn; Pinocchio’s daring journeys; Jungle Cruise; Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln; Star Tours; Alice in Wonderland; Haunted Mansion; Big Thunder; Primeval world dinosaurs

By the way, if you happen to have home movies of “Inner Space” or any of the other extinct attractions from Disneyland, you may want to contact the Extinct Attractions club and offer a copy of some of your footage. You may get to see it someday in a future DVD. And if they don’t want it. . . Could you contact me?


As I was web surfing this week, I found a link to a Web page that looked interesting. But when I clicked on it, I found a page with this message:

You were landed on this page because you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer. Nothing wrong with that, really, except that this particular browser is not welcome on this particular server. Webmaster's whim, if you want the easy explanation. The more complex explanation has to do with Microsoft's monopolistic ambitions and the simple measures that people like you and I can take against the arrogant rhino from Redmond.

If the information you were trying to access is worth your trouble, you can install Mozilla or Firefox, Opera, Netscape or any other browser and then come back. If, on the other hand, you feel that's too much hassle, then obviously you can live just as happily without the information you were trying to access. In that case, off you go to the next site.

So what about this? Well, I know many people who still use Macs, and that’s not necessarily because they hate Microsoft. They just like Macs better, and that’s fine. Macs are excellent machines. But it would be wrong to limit access to your Web page only to people who used Macs, wouldn’t it? And there are other browsers out there that are definitely just as good (if not better) than Explorer. There are a lot of cars out there that are probably better than my car. But I don’t think that’s enough of a reason not to allow me to drive down your street.

Don’t get me wrong - I have no particular love for Microsoft, and I am against their dreams of a “monopoly” in the computer world. But is it really a good policy to tell people that they can’t access your web page because of their choice of Web browsers? Nobody who wants to increase Web traffic to their page would want to do that. You’d be making a good political statement, but at the cost of more than a few people visiting your site. Perhaps that’s fine - the number of viewers does not necessarily mean anything. But if I told people that they couldn’t enter my house because of the funny clothes they wear, and they had to go home and change before they could come in - well, I wouldn’t blame them for not coming back.

So I respect this action, but I also question its wisdom or necessity. Like it or not, Microsoft is a big part of the computer world. You don’t necessarily have to obey them, but it might be wise to at least understand that many people do.